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.

Monday, May 25, 2020

Lentil Feta Arugula Sauté

Firm lentils are a beautiful thing, mushy lentils, not so much unless you’re making soup. So, you need only boil them for ten to fifteen minutes for al dente. And after placing them in a strainer to drain, immediately rinse with cold water to stop them from cooking further.

Another thing to know about lentils is that they go a long way, so figure about a quarter cup of dry lentils per person.

Ten minutes before your meal, heat some olive oil in large pan and sauté a minced shallot and a couple of cloves of garlic until translucent. Stir in the cooked lentils, a large handful of chopped arugula, some sunflower seeds or slivered almonds, and a generous grind of black pepper.

Cook for another five minutes, salt to taste, then serve with crumbled feta over the top.

Tuesday, May 19, 2020

Fried Corn Tortillas

Freshly fried corn tortillas are in a category of food I call, “why don’t I make these more often?” Because that’s what I say every time I make them.

Recently I’ve layered them under some beans and eggs for brunch, melted cheese on them in the oven and doused with salsa, made leftover veggie tostadas with kimchi, crumbled them on top of a chopped salad, and into chicken soup just before serving. Not to mention the one’s I’ve just eaten hot out of the oil with a little bit of salt.

They couldn’t be easier to make either, and if you use a small soup pot there’s not the mess you would think with frying. Heat a quarter inch of vegetable oil until hot but not smoking, you can test to see if the oil is ready by dropping in a small pinch of a tortilla. It should sizzle immediately; you can always adjust the heat down if it’s too hot once you start.

As they only take a minute or so per side to get golden brown and crispy, it really doesn’t take long to fry up quite a few…even one at a time. I use tongs, and set them to drain on a used paper bag and salt immediately.

Once you taste them, you’ll know why I always have a pack or two of tortillas in the freezer.

Monday, May 11, 2020

Creamy Coconut Greens

I love this recipe I adapted from Food & Wine for all the usual reasons, its easy, super flavorful, versatile, and takes only a few ingredients.

Empty a can of coconut milk into a small sauce pot and whisk until smooth. Bring to a boil then simmer uncovered for thirty minutes to thicken, then remove from the heat.

I used a bunch of collard greens this time around, but kale or Swiss chard would have worked just as well. Cut the leaves from the stems then chop the stems into quarter inch slices and the leaves into larger pieces. Bring a pot of salted water to a boil and drop in the stem slices. After three minutes add the leaves, wait another minute, then drain well and set aside.

Heat some olive or coconut oil in a large sauté pan and cook two finely chopped shallots or a medium onion until translucent. Stir in the greens and creamy coconut milk along with a generous grind of black pepper. Minced ginger and, or, fresh lime juice would add some tanginess, but definitely not required.

Simmer for five minutes then salt to taste. Serve with pork, chicken, salmon, tofu, eggplant, garbanzo beans, and a whole lot more.

Monday, May 4, 2020

Fried Baked Potatoes

If you can bake a potato, you’re half way to making one of the best things you’ll eat this week. No joke, for the amount of effort these fried potatoes take, the results are off the charts.

It’s best to bake your potatoes at least a couple of hours before dinner as you want them to have some time to cool. You could even bake them the day before. Figure about 45 to 55 minutes in a 450 oven, you want them cooked through but still firm. Once cooled slightly, cut them into quarter inch slices and lightly salt both sides.

Heat a large sauté pan over medium heat and add just enough olive oil to barely cover the bottom of the pan. Once the oil is hot, slide the potatoes into the pan and fry approximately three minutes per side, or until golden brown and crispy. Remove from the pan, salt, and serve immediately.