Baking is science and I don't like formulas, but cooking is art and anything goes...and the simpler the better. It's all about less time at the stove and more time at the table. With a forty year passion for food I'm excited to share what I do in the kitchen nearly every day.

Wednesday, December 18, 2019

Sweet Potato, Onion, and Kale Hash

This hash is just the thing for Christmas breakfast or New Year’s Day brunch. Not only is it on the lighter side as far as hash goes, but you can prep it up to three days ahead of time. And it’s holiday worthy!

Cut your unpeeled sweet potatoes into ¼” cubes. Drop them in a pot of simmering salted water for a couple of minutes then drain well.

Sauté some chopped onion in a large frying pan over medium heat. After five minutes or so, stir the sweet potatoes into the pan and continue to cook. Give the pan a shake and a flip with a spatula every few minutes.

Once the potatoes are cooked through and the onions start to brown, add some finely chopped kale, a couple of minced garlic cloves, and a bit of salt and pepper. Turn the heat to medium low and continue to cook until the kale is tender, about seven to ten minutes. Again, an occasional flip with a spatula wouldn’t hurt.

Salt and pepper to taste, then serve immediately with an egg on top. Or let cool and store in the fridge for reheating later. Hot sauce optional.

Happy Merry!

Wednesday, December 11, 2019

Pan Fried King Oyster Mushrooms

‘Tis the season for entertaining, and these pan-fried king oyster mushrooms make a special appetizer for an intimate gathering…and they’re ready in minutes. Figure a mushroom and a half per guest.

While you heat a few splashes of olive oil in a large sauté pan over medium heat, carefully cut your mushrooms the long way into 1/8” slices. Toss gently in a shallow dish with some olive, salt, and pepper.

Using a fork or a pair of tongs, place the mushroom slices into the hot pan and cook for approximately two minutes, or until they are lightly browned. Flip and do the same to the other side.

Turn the heat to low, remove the mushrooms from the pan and arrange on your plates. Add another splash of oil to the pan if necessary, then stir in some sliced garlic. Sauté for about a minute. Once they are browned on both sides, slide them onto your mushrooms along with some chopped parsley and serve.

Monday, December 2, 2019

Hot and Sour Soup

I made this one with chicken and black beans, but pork or tofu would have worked too, and the beans are optional. The broth and mushrooms are what it’s all about, and it all comes together in less than twenty minutes.

If you’re using meat, brown in a large stock pot then set aside. In the same pot, quickly sauté three minced garlic cloves and a couple tablespoons of fresh ginger. Add six cups of chicken stock, a large pour of soy sauce, a squirt of Sriracha, and a teaspoon of ground white pepper….no worries if you don’t have any, use half a teaspoon of black pepper.

As soon as it boils stir in ten or so thinly sliced shiitake mushrooms, then turn down the heat and simmer for ten minutes. While that’s cooking, whisk four tablespoons of rice wine vinegar and two heaping tablespoons of cornstarch together in a small bowl.

Slowly pour the mixture into the soup followed by a couple of lightly beaten eggs. Stir continually until you start to see the soup thicken and egg ribbons form.

Add the cooked meat or some diced tofu along with a few thinly sliced scallions and a couple teaspoons of sesame oil. Taste, and adjust with some more soy sauce, rice wine vinegar, or Sriracha if needed.