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, July 22, 2020

Black Bean Broccoli and Tofu

I’ve recently discovered the beauty of soft tofu, and it works especially well in a saucy stir fry.

For the sauce, I used store bought black bean and garlic. I love it!  It’s super flavorful, lasts for months and months in your fridge, and it only takes a spoonful or two turn your soups, stews, and stir frys into restaurant good Chinese food…it’s all about the condiments.

Have your broccolini or broccoli crowns prepped before you start as things come together quickly.  Heat some vegetable oil in a large pot or wok over medium high heat and sauté the broccoli for a couple of minutes tossing frequently.  Add an 1/8 of a cup of water and a heaping tablespoon of the black bean sauce, turn down the heat to low, and simmer. 

After a few minutes, mix in the soft or silken tofu by squeezing it between your fingers over the broccoli to break it up.  Stir thoroughly, leave on the heat for another few minutes, then serve.

Monday, July 20, 2020

Pork and Basil Chimichurri Stir Fry

With the price of supermarket meat so high these days, now is the time to be buying locally raised meat if you aren’t already. I used some boneless pork loin chops along with some local basil for this dinner for two.

Slice a pound of loin chops into quarter inch thick strips, generously salt and pepper, and set aside in the fridge. Next, quarter and slice a sweet onion, cut the kernels from two cobs of corn, and set aside with an extra-large handful of spinach.

Make the chimichurri in a food processor by combining a cup of fresh basil leaves, a quarter cup of parsley, two garlic cloves, a quarter cup of red wine vinegar or fresh lime juice, a quarter teaspoon of kosher salt, and some red chile flakes and black pepper. With the processor running, drizzle in a quarter cup of olive oil and run until smooth. Salt to taste…now you’re ready to get cooking.

Heat some oil in a wok over medium high heat and cook the onion until translucent. Add the corn, give it a minute, then toss in the pork. Stir frequently until the pork is cooked through, it won’t take long.

Take off the heat and stir in the spinach. Once wilted, serve with a heaping spoonful or two of chimichurri over the top.

Monday, July 13, 2020

Potato and Scape Stir Fry

The scape season is a short one, so don’t miss out…and if you already did, no worries, you can substitute scallions. What I really love about this simple stir fry is the freshness and crunchiness of the potatoes you get from not par-boiling them first.

Set a large frying pan or wok over medium heat, then quarter your russet potatoes. Next, with your sharpest knife or mandolin, cut the potatoes into 1/16 inch slices, and the scapes into one inch pieces. Add some olive oil to the hot pan, then slide in the potatoes and scapes.

Toss often to ensure even cooking. Also, continue to test the potatoes with a fork so you don’t let them get beyond al dente…it should take less than five minutes.

Add some salt and pepper to taste, as well as some chopped garlic if you’re using scallions, and serve immediately.

Tuesday, July 7, 2020

Syrian Red Pepper Dip

Otherwise known as Muhammara, it’s tastier than hummus and a lot more versatile. In addition to serving it as a dip with some toasted pita, you can also pair it with chicken, pork, lamb, and grilled vegetables, or as a side to any salad. It lasts for well over a week in the fridge too.

You could go to the trouble of making your own roasted red peppers, or you could just use a 12 oz. jar of fire roasted peppers…guess it depends on how much time you have on your hands these days. If you do have some time, roast, skin, and seed two medium red peppers.

In a food processor, combine the roast peppers, half of a cup of toasted walnuts or slivered almonds, a quarter of a cup of bread crumbs, a teaspoon of fresh lemon juice, a half teaspoon of smoked paprika, a teaspoon of kosher salt, and a tablespoon each of extra virgin olive oil, pomegranate molasses or honey, and Aleppo or mild red chili flakes.

Run until smooth, then salt to taste.