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, October 26, 2020

Ginger Vegetable Stir Fry


If you don’t do a lot of stir frys you’re missing out on one of the easiest ways to whip off a last-minute meal.  And the key to a good stir fry is simple, good ingredients, especially when it comes to the ginger and garlic…always go with the fresh stuff.  

Garlic doesn’t take much to deal with, but until someone showed me how easy it was to peel ginger by scraping it with an upside-down teaspoon, I used to think it was kind of a hassle…what a life changing event that was.  Even more life changing, throw a cut up piece of unpeeled ginger root in your food processor, you won’t even notice the skin once it’s minced up.  So, no excuses, use the real deal, and use lots of it.

After prepping all your vegetables, heat some veggie oil over medium-high heat in a wok or large heavy pot.  For this cabbage, shitake mushroom, and scallion stir fry, I started by throwing the chopped cabbage in the wok first as it takes the longest to cook. 

After a couple of minutes, add the mushrooms, scallions, ginger, garlic, and some fresh chili pepper if you want a little heat.  I like the Fresno peppers myself.

Toss the mixture often for another four to six minutes, you don’t want the veggies to soften too much, then salt to taste.  At this point you can also add some sesame seeds, and, or, sesame oil for a bit more flavor. But it doesn’t need it, the ginger and garlic are all it takes.

Tuesday, October 20, 2020

Devil Butter


Holy Shmolly!  Put down that Catalina dressing, your wings deserve better…as do your grilled meats, eggs, roast and steamed vegetables, and a whole lot more.  A friend turned me onto this compound butter recipe in a cookbook I highly recommend, Six Seasons by Joshua McFadden.

You’ll need two sticks of room temperature butter. Now, two sticks might sound like a lot of butter, but trust me, I used one stick and regretted it after the first bite.

Start by draining a quarter cup of pickled banana peppers, pepperoncini, or jalapeno slices in a strainer.  Use your hand to squeeze out as much of the juices as you can then finely chop. 

With a fork or wooden spoon, mash the peppers into the softened butter along with a tablespoon each of red chile flakes, ground black pepper, smoked paprika, and Tobasco sauce, as well as a half a teaspoon of kosher salt. Once it’s well mixed, scrape it into a container and refrigerate until you’re ready to use it.

For these steamed turnips, I simply tossed them right out of the pan with a generous amount of the butter and served immediately.

Wednesday, October 7, 2020

Tomato Butter Puree

It’s time to face a very sad reality, this Saturday is the final farmer’s market of 2020.  Luckily, here in VT, we’re able to find a lot of local produce year-round at our Valley markets, however, what we aren’t going to see until next summer are tomatoes.  While they aren’t what they were a month ago, with some roasting and a little butter you can still create a pretty epic tomato memory to last the winter.

Preheat your oven to 400, then core and quarter about a pound of tomatoes.  In a large bowl, toss the tomatoes with a coarsely chopped onion, a splash or two of olive oil, salt, and pepper. Spread on a cookie sheet or oven proof dish and roast for approximately 30 minutes.

In a food processor, combine the cooked tomatoes and onions with a quarter cup of chicken stock and puree for half a minute.  Cut a couple of half inch slices of butter and with the food processor running, add one to the mixture.  After 10 seconds, add the second and puree until silky smooth.  For a thinner sauce, add some more chicken stock.  Salt and pepper to taste.

You’ll want to immediately eat it with a spoon, but you could also serve it with some roast cauliflower, broccoli, grilled chicken, or beef.