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, January 31, 2022

Garlic Scallion Edamame

Shelled edamame are one of my freezer staples. They’re so incredibly versatile, I use them in salads, soups, pastas, curries, stir fries, or simply sauteed as a veggie side dish. In fact, sautéed edamame are one of my go to sides on those, not in the mood to cook, kind of evenings.

They don’t require any prep, just remember to pull them out of the freezer a couple of hours before dinner. And even if you forget, you can put them in a strainer and run them under some warm water to defrost quickly.

Unlike most sauteed vegetables which I do at high heat, I do edamame a little differently. I start with a generous pour of olive oil in a large sauté pan and a couple of minced garlic cloves over low heat to let the garlic impart its flavor into the oil.

Then, after a few minutes I turn up the heat to medium low, add the edamame, a couple of chopped scallions, some salt and pepper, and cook for five minutes and done.

Monday, January 24, 2022

The Best Chili Ever

Bacon, coffee, and beer are amazing on their own, but would you ever think of putting them all in your chili? I gave it a try, and I’ll never make chili any other way again.

Over a medium flame, use a pair of tongs to char two large poblano peppers on one of your stove’s gas burners. Once they are completely blackened place them in a bowl and seal tightly with saran.  Wait ten minutes, remove the charred skin with your hands, deseed, cut into one-inch pieces, then set aside.

In a large pot, lightly brown two pounds of ground beef then remove and set aside. Add a third of a pound of diced bacon and a large chopped onion to the pot, sauté for ten minutes or until the onion starts to brown.

Add a can of tomato paste, a tablespoon of cumin powder, two tablespoons of chili powder, a teaspoon of Dijon mustard, two minced garlic cloves, two chopped jalapeno peppers, and three finely chopped canned chipotle peppers in adobo sauce. Stir often and adjust the heat if necessary to ensure the spices don’t burn.

After a couple of minutes, return the ground beef to the pot along with three14oz. cans of diced tomatoes, a large cup of strong coffee, six cups of chicken stock, and a 12 oz. beer of your choice. Cover, bring to a quick boil, then turn down the heat and simmer for an hour.

Rinse three cans of black or pinto beans in a strainer, stir into the chili with the poblano pepper pieces and simmer for another hour covered.

If it’s too soupy after it’s finished cooking, continue to simmer uncovered until it reduces to your desired thickness.  Salt to taste.

Monday, January 17, 2022

Gochujang Glazed Salmon

Tired of the same old broiled salmon? Create a dinner that’s restaurant worthy, it only takes an extra ten minutes.

Preheat your oven to 400, then, in a small bowl stir together three tablespoons of gochujang paste, half a teaspoon of grated fresh ginger, and a tablespoon each of sesame oil, honey, and rice wine vinegar.

Heat a frying pan over medium heat with just few drops of vegetable oil. Salt and pepper your salmon filet and set it in the pan skin side up. Wait two minutes, flip, brush the glaze over the top, cook for another minute, then pop it into the oven for 10 to 15 more depending on how you like it cooked.

Thursday, January 6, 2022


January is all about comfort food, and gravy makes most anything way more comfy. Pour some over pork cutlets, roast chicken, mashed potatoes, meatloaf, biscuits…the list goes on and on.

Gravy comes down to two things, a stock and a roux. As far as a stock goes, I use Better Than Bouillon chicken, beef, vegetable, or mushroom base, all available locally. If you are roasting chicken or beef, you can add the drippings as well. Whichever stock flavor you use, it’s best to dissolve the base in hot water beforehand and set aside to cool slightly while you’re making the roux.

The roux is what will thicken the stock into a gravy, it’s simply equal parts butter and all-purpose flour. For four cups of stock, melt four tablespoons of butter in a medium sauce pan over medium to medium-low heat. Once melted, add four tablespoons of flour and let it cook for approximately ten minutes, whisking frequently. You’ll know it’s done when you get a faint smell of toast and the color starts to brown…but be careful not to let it burn.

When your roux is ready, add the pot of stock a ladle at a time, whisking as you go to keep it from getting lumpy. Then turn the heat to low and simmer for another 15 minutes to let it fully thicken, salt and pepper to taste.