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, March 28, 2022

Caesar Crusted Baked Cod

Oh baby oh baby, this is a good one! My best customer and most trustworthy critic told me it was the best thing I’ve made in a long time. There’s a little bit of prep, but it’s still easier than making an actual Caesar dressing.

Preheat your oven to 425. In a small bowl, mash together two minced garlic cloves, some black pepper, the zest from half a lemon, two tablespoons of olive oil, and a tablespoon each of room temperature butter, Dijon mustard, and if you’re a real Caesar fan, anchovy paste.

Stir in a half a cup each of grated parmesan and panko and combine well to form a coarse paste. You may have to loosen it up with another splash or two of olive oil.

Cut about a pound of cod into portion sized pieces and put them onto a butter smeared baking sheet or roasting pan. Use your hands to form a quarter inch layer of the mixture on the tops of the fillets and bake for 15 minutes. Turn up the heat to 450 or 500 and cook until you start to see some browning…probably no more than five minutes.

Give each fillet a big squeeze of lemon juice and serve.

Monday, March 21, 2022

Sauteed Lacinato Kale

Sauteed kale is such a simple pleasure, and it’s even simpler if you don’t have to de-stem it. For this method, it’s better to use lacinato over curly kale as the stems are much more delicate.

Warm a few splashes of olive oil in a large heavy bottomed pot over low heat. Add a couple thinly sliced cloves of garlic and cook until fork tender and the flavor is imparted into the oil.

Next, pour in a half a cup of water, vegetable, or chicken stock along with a bunch of coarsely chopped kale. Turn the heat to medium high, cover, and cook for approximately five minutes. Uncover and simmer until all the liquid has evaporated.

Salt and pepper to taste. And if you have it, drizzle with a fine extra virgin olive oil.

Happy spring!

Monday, March 14, 2022

Korean Eggplant

I’m always looking for new ways to make eggplant, and this side dish I recently discovered in the cookbook Korean Home Cooking was so easy and flavorful I’ll definitely be making it regularly.

Slice a large eggplant in half the long way, cut each half into three long triangular wedges, then cut each of those wedges into two-inch long pieces.

Set your heaviest skillet over medium heat.  Once it’s hot, coat lightly with some veggie oil and place the eggplant wedges cut side down.

Being careful not to let them burn, cook for a couple of minutes until they’re charred on the bottom. Flip to the other cut side, cook for another minute, then turn the heat down to low and leave on the heat until they’re tender and cooked through…about two minutes. Set aside and let cool.

In a medium bowl, mix together two thinly sliced scallions, a small thinly sliced deseeded Fresno chili, a teaspoon of fish sauce, and two teaspoons each of minced garlic, toasted sesame seeds, and soy sauce.

Shred the eggplant pieces lengthwise with your fingers and toss together with the dressing…done! They’re as good at room temperature as they are chilled, and last for a few days in the fridge.

Monday, March 7, 2022

White Bean and Broccoli Rabe Soup

I hadn’t made this broccoli rabe soup in years, and boy I have been missing out. Now that broccoli rabe, also known as rapini, is so easy to find, don’t make the same mistake I did.

Cut about a half an inch from the bottom of the broccoli rabe stocks and discard. Cut the remainder of the bunch into thirds and blanch for a couple of minutes in a large pot of salted water. Drain and run under some cold water to keep it from cooking any further.

Heat a generous pour of olive oil in the soup pot then stir in a few good shakes of red pepper flakes and a couple of finely chopped garlic cloves. After a minute, add the broccoli rabe, stir it around a bit, then add about six cups of chicken or vegetable stock.

Bring to a boil, then quickly turn down to a simmer. Stir in a drained can of cannellini, navy, or northern white beans and simmer for another twenty minutes. Salt to taste.

A little parmesan grated over the top is never a bad idea.