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, August 31, 2020

Ginger Lime Corn

 


I’m a huge fan of caramelizing your corn no matter how you’re going to serve it.  But, if you’re in a rush, this will work just fine with raw corn…either way, the more local the better.

To caramelize, rub the shucked corn with a little bit of olive oil and salt, grill it on the barbeque, then cut the kernels from the cob once it’s cooled.  Alternatively, cut the kernels from the cobs first, toss with some olive and salt, then either sauté in a heavy pan over medium high heat or roast at 450 for about 40 minutes.  Whichever way you choose, you’re looking for golden brown edges on your kernels.

In a large bowl, for every two ears of corn you used, combine a tablespoon of minced ginger, a teaspoon of tahini, the juice from one lime, and a generous pour of olive oil.  Whisk until smooth.

Add the corn kernels, two chopped scallions, and salt and pepper to taste. 

Monday, August 24, 2020

Tomato Mozzarella Bruschetta

Olive oil-soaked grilled baguette slices are the secret to making local August tomatoes, bail, and mozzarella even better than a maskless date night…well, maybe not that good, but pretty darn good. 

On a cutting board that will allow you to preserve all the juices, cut the tomatoes and mozzarella into quarter inch chunks. Combine all in a large bowl with lots of chopped basil, your best extra virgin olive oil, and salt to taste. A splash of balsamic vinegar is nice too. 

Place a heavy frying pan over medium heat then cut your baguette into quarter inch slices. Add a generous amount of olive oil to the hot pan along with a light dusting of kosher salt. Place the bread in the pan and brown on both sides, add some more oil if necessary. You’re looking for oil-soaked bread, golden brown, not charred. 

Serve with small plates and lots of napkins, and enjoy one of the best things about August.

Monday, August 17, 2020

Sweet and Spicy Marinade

 

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I’ve used this marinade several times for shrimp and boneless chicken and been totally wowed by it…it’s the perfect balance of sweet and spicy. Not only that, it doesn’t have a lot of ingredients, it comes together quickly, and you only need fifteen to thirty minutes of marinating time.

For a pound of shrimp or chicken, coarsely chop three Fresno chiles and six garlic cloves then combine them in the food processor with an 1/8 of a cup of sugar, 2 tablespoons of fish sauce, a teaspoon of kosher salt, and about 3 tablespoons of vegetable oil. Run until smooth, then toss in a glass bowl with the peeled shrimp or chicken.  Cover and refrigerate. 

When you’re ready for dinner, heat a little bit of vegetable oil over high heat in a heavy pan.  When it starts to smoke, add the shrimp or chicken making sure to leave any excess marinade in the bowl. I also recommend stirring in a bunch of chopped basil after everything is cooked through and you’ve removed the pan from the heat.

Monday, August 10, 2020

Tuna and Caramelized Fennel Pasta

Hard to go wrong with caramelized fennel.

Generously salt and pepper a pound of tuna and broil, grill, or sauté on medium heat until cooked to your liking then set aside. If you prefer it on the rarer side, take into account it will cook more when you toss it with the hot pasta.

Thinly slice a medium onion and a bulb of fennel, saving any fronds you may have had on your fennel bulb. Sauté in olive oil with a half teaspoon each of sugar and salt over medium heat. Stir and toss often until everything is evenly browned and caramelized, should take about ten to fifteen minutes.

While the pasta is boiling, add a half a teaspoon of lemon zest, three tablespoons of capers, the juice from one lemon, and a half a cup of clam or fish stock to the fennel and onions and let simmer over low heat.   

Drain your al dente pasta, then toss in a big bowl with the tuna, fennel onion mixture, a handful of chopped parsley, and any leftover finely chopped fennel fronds.  Salt and pepper to taste.

 

Monday, August 3, 2020

Chocolate Dipped Frozen Bananas

Yowza!  I don’t say that every week, but the dessert maker in our house surprised me with this one and it definitely falls into the yowza category. It’s a must try! However, I have to warn you, they’re incredibly dangerous to have around if you lack will power…which I do.

Peel and cut three to four firm bananas into half inch slices and freeze on parchment lined cookie sheets for about an hour.  In a small metal bowl over simmering water, melt together three and half tablespoons of coconut oil and12 ounces of chocolate chips.  Doesn’t matter what kind of chocolate, milk, dark, bittersweet, whatever you like.  Stir well, and keep the mixture warm until you’re ready to start dipping.

With a toothpick or small fork, individually dip each frozen banana slice into the chocolate and place back on the parchment.  The chocolate hardens quickly so they can be eaten immediately, which I highly recommend. 

To store any extras, place back in the freezer on the trays for thirty minutes then bulk pack in freezer bags.  Happy August!