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, July 26, 2021

Summer Pea Soup

The peas I picked up at the farmer’s market were so good, I thought, these would make an amazing summer soup. But, being the lazy/practical cook that I am, the reality of shelling all those peas, not to mention the cost, made me think better of it. I bought a bag of frozen baby sweet peas instead…and the soup was still pretty amazing.

In a medium soup pot, sauté a finely chopped sweet onion in olive oil until translucent. Add four cups of chicken stock, bring to a boil, then add the peas and turn the heat down to medium.

Cook for five minutes then take the pot off of the heat. Either puree with a stick blender, or transfer in batches to a food processor. Either way, you don’t want to see any peas floating around in your soup.

Salt and pepper to taste, stir in a half a cup of crème fraiche, reheat and serve.

Tuesday, July 20, 2021

Cauliflower Mint Salad

Sometimes the trickiest part about putting out a meal isn’t making the food, but timing it so everything is ready at the same time. However, you can really increase your chances of getting it right when you include a side dish that can be made well ahead of time and served at room temperature.

Preheat your over to 450 and cut a head of cauliflower into small florets. Toss with some olive oil and salt and pepper, then roast for approximately 40 minutes, or until it’s caramelized around the edges.

Transfer to a large bowl, let cool for ten minutes, then stir together with a large handful of chopped mint.

If you’re eating within a few hours, leave at room temperature, otherwise refrigerate until an hour before you need it. Either way, give it a good squeeze of lemon before serving.  Of, if you’re really feeling it, prep a sauce with tahini, olive oil, lemon juice, salt, and pepper to puddle under the cauliflower on a platter.

Monday, July 12, 2021

Classic Wedge Salad

There’s only one thing to do when friends bring over the largest, crunchiest, most beautiful head of iceberg lettuce from their garden that you’ve ever seen…break out the blue cheese and bacon.  Classics are classics for good reason!

To make the blue cheese dressing, crumble four ounces of blue cheese into a bowl.  Add a half a cup each of mayonnaise and sour cream, a third of a cup of buttermilk, the juice from half a lemon, a half a teaspoon of black pepper, and salt to taste. Mix well, then refrigerated for at least an hour.

While that’s chilling, coarsely chop and crisp up a third of a pound of bacon then set aside on a paper towel or brown bag.

To serve, cut the lettuce into wedges, remove the core and stem from each wedge, then generously dollop with the dressing followed by the bacon bits. 

If there’s any dressing left over, or if you were savvy enough to double the recipe, puddle it under a steak and roast potatoes sometime in the next week.

Tuesday, July 6, 2021

Honey Butter Shrimp with Wilted Greens

Bitter greens really make this dish pop!  This time around I used endive along with some local arugula…gave me a nice color mix. Other greens that would have worked include radicchio, mustard, and collard.

Season a pound of shelled shrimp with salt and pepper. Heat a splash of olive oil over medium heat in a large cast iron skillet or sauté pan, slide in the shrimp and cook for a couple of minutes.

Flip the shrimp and leave on the heat for another minute or so, then stir in two tablespoons of room temperature butter and a tablespoon of honey. Turn the heat down to low and stir to coat well.

Toss the shrimp, and every last drop of the honey butter, together with the greens in a large bowl.  Let sit for a minute so the greens can wilt a bit, salt to taste, then serve.