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.

Tuesday, December 5, 2023

Pasta Bolognese

The key to a great Bolognese is to simmer the sauce for upwards of two hours. It takes time to caramelize tomatoes, but that’s what makes it so good.  

In a heavy pot or large skillet, sauté a chopped onion and a finely chopped carrot in a splash of olive oil. Once the onion is translucent, add a few minced cloves of garlic, a pinch or two of chili flakes, and a quarter teaspoon of ground black pepper.

Turn the heat up to medium high and add a pound of ground chuck, or half a pound of chuck and half a pound of Italian sausage removed from the casing.  After a few minutes, break up the meat with a spoon then pour in a can of drained diced tomatoes. Be sure to save the remaining tomato liquid and set aside.

Stir occasionally, and as the liquid in the pan evaporates, add the rest of the reserved juice from the can. When all the liquid has evaporated, add a half a cup of water and turn the heat down to low. Gently simmer for another hour and a half, adding more water when necessary. Eventually it will become quite dry and the tomatoes will begin to caramelize on the bottom of the pot, that’s when you know you’re finished.

Salt and pepper to taste then serve over a pound of buttered pasta with some grated parmesan on the side.

Wednesday, November 1, 2023

Ginger Squash Soup

Happy November, and cheers to soup season! Time to roast some squash.

Preheat your oven to 350, cut a large butternut squash in half the long way, scoop out the seeds, place cut side up in a roasting pan and cover tightly with aluminum foil. Bake for 45 minutes, or until you can easily pierce the flesh with a fork. Scoop out the squash and set aside.

In a large soup pot, heat a couple tablespoons of vegetable and sauté a chopped onion and fennel bulb over medium heat until translucent. Add a three-inch piece of grated fresh ginger, the squash, and two to three cups of chicken or vegetable stock.

Bring to a boil then immediately lower the heat, cover, and simmer for thirty minutes.

Turn off the heat and use a stick blender to puree the soup in the pot until smooth. To finish, add a can of coconut milk, salt and pepper to taste, and the juice from one lime. Simmer for another ten minutes and serve.

Wednesday, October 4, 2023

Mexican Braised Wings


It might not seem like Fall today, but it will by the weekend, and these wings are the perfect way to jump into the braising season.

Take two pounds of wings, separate the wings from the drums, dry with a paper towel, and generously dust with salt. The next step is to heat a heavy straight-sided pan or large pot over medium heat, add a couple of tablespoons of vegetable oil, and brown the wings in batches for approximately five minutes per batch. Stir occasionally so they lightly brown all over, then set aside.

Add another splash of vegetable oil to the pan followed by a finely chopped jalapeno or two canned chipotle peppers in adobo sauce. Give it a minute, then stir in a can of enchilada sauce, a half of a cup of water or chicken stock, and the wings. Bring to a boil.

Reduce the heat, cover, and simmer for approximately 35 minutes, stirring occasionally until the wings are cooked through and tender.

Using a slotted spoon, remove the wings and arrange them on a platter. Turn up the heat to medium, let the sauce reduce for a few minutes, then pour over the wings.

Wednesday, September 6, 2023

Sesame Noodles with Corn

Local corn makes this irresistibly delicious cold noodle dish even better!

Cook a half a pound of thin spaghetti or stir fry rice noodles until al dente, run under cold water, then drain and set aside.

To make the sauce, whisk together a quarter cup of tahini, four teaspoons of sesame oil, 5 teaspoons of chili crisp or Sriracha, and a quarter cup of water until smooth (the consistency of Ranch dressing). You can add more water if necessary.

When you’re ready to serve, combine the noodles, sauce, the kernels from two ears of corn, a large handful of chopped basil, and a tablespoon of toasted sesame seeds.


Tuesday, August 1, 2023

Steamed Mussels with Tomatoes and Corn

A bit of bacon makes these brothy steamed mussels a summer favorite! Figure a pound of mussels per person, or half of that for an appetizer portion.

Start by lightly browning a couple of slices of finely chopped bacon in a large heavy pot with a tight-fitting lid. Add two thinly sliced scallions, a large chopped tomato, a tablespoon of tomato paste, an ear of corn removed from the cob, and two or three minced cloves of garlic.

Once the garlic is translucent, stir in a cup of clam stock and simmer lightly for ten minutes. If you won’t be eating them for a while, remove the pot from the heat and set aside until you’re ready. But if you’re serving immediately, turn up the heat to medium high and add two pounds of mussels.

Cover and cook until the shells have opened and the mussels are fully cooked, about five minutes. Serve over pasta or with a great baguette…with every last drop of the broth.

Monday, July 3, 2023

Hot Honey Butter Shrimp

Looking for some sweet summer heat? Whether your grilling, sautéing, or roasting, this shrimp has it all!  And it comes together in no time.

For a pound of shrimp, combine a tablespoon and a half each of honey and butter in a small sauce pot and warm over low heat. For the spice, stir in either an 1/8th of a teaspoon of cayenne, a thinly sliced seeded jalapeno, or some chopped canned chipotle peppers in adobo sauce. Just depends on what else you’re serving it with and what you have around. Salt to taste.

Five minutes before you’re ready to serve, salt and pepper your shrimp, cook until done, and toss with the honey butter sauce until coated well.

Happy Summer!

Tuesday, June 6, 2023

Crispy Noodles

This is my favorite new noodle dish of the year, maybe the last few years. It’s best with chow mein, lo mein, vermicelli, or thin spaghetti noodles.

Cook noodles according to the directions on the package, then immediately rinse with cold water to keep them from overcooking. Half a pound of noodles will be plenty for four people.

In a small bowl, stir together a tablespoon of oyster sauce, two tablespoons of soy sauce, a half a teaspoon of sesame oil, and a teaspoon of sugar. Whisk in three tablespoons of corn starch or flour until smooth.

In a wok, large frying pan, or heavy pot, heat a couple tablespoons of vegetable oil followed by half a sliced onion and a couple of minced garlic cloves. Salt and pepper some thinly sliced chicken, beef, fish, or pork then slide into the pan, toss until nearly cooked through. Remove all, set aside, then turn off the heat.

To crisp the noodles, heat a tablespoon of vegetable oil in another large pan over medium heat. Once hot, place a large handful of the drained noodles into the pan and spread them evenly so they cover the bottom. After a minute or two, or when they’re golden-brown underneath, slide them off onto a glass plate then flip them back into the pan to crisp the other side. Once done, keep them warm in a low heat oven while you’re repeating the process with the rest of the noodles.

When the noodles are done, reheat your wok and add some chopped vegetables, they could include carrots, shallots, bok choy, red or green pepper, mushrooms, or cabbage…sliced ginger would also be great.

Cook for a few minutes before adding three quarters of a cup of chicken or vegetable stock, your corn starch sauce, and some spice or Sriracha if you’re looking to add some heat.  Let simmer on low heat until the vegetables are fork tender and sauce is syrupy.

When you’re nearly ready to serve, add the protein back into the wok, simmer for a couple of minutes, then serve on top of the crispy noodles.

Thursday, May 11, 2023

Kimchi Grilled Cheese

Not only will you be dreaming about this kimchi grilled cheese for days to come, but once you try it with mayonnaise, you’ll never make any kind of grilled cheese sandwich again with buttered bread.

Heat a large skillet over medium heat, once hot, sauté a quarter cup of chopped kimchi in a teaspoon of butter. After a few minutes, remove and set aside.

Spread an even layer of mayonnaise on one side of your bread slices then place them in the hot pan, mayonnaise side down. Top one of the slices with a half a cup of shredded cheddar or mozzarella cheese, and the other with the sauteed kimchi. If you like spicy, now’s the time for a squirt or two of Sriracha.

After a minute or two, flip the cheesy slice on top of the kimchi slice to make your sandwich. Turn down the heat to low and cook for another couple of minutes, pressing down with a spatula for maximum browning. Flip and do the same on the other side, then remove and serve immediately.

For a more substantial meal, you could also add some thinly sliced steak, chicken, or tofu.

Thursday, March 30, 2023

Glazed Baby Back Ribs

The snow is gone from the deck, time to roll out the barbeque! No grill, no problem, these ribs are nearly as good under the broiler…the key is an hour in the oven first.

Preheat your oven to 425, cut the racks in half, and rub all over with a mixture of salt and sugar. Approximately a tablespoon and a half of salt and a tablespoon of sugar per rack.

Wrap them individually in aluminum foil and pop them in the oven on a baking sheet. Leave them in for an hour, flipping once or twice. Once done, take them out of the oven and set aside for fifteen minutes while your grill or broiler heats up.

Remove the ribs from the foil and lather them liberally with your favorite barbeque sauce. Place on a hot grill or under the broiler for five minutes or until lightly charred. Cut into individual ribs and serve with some extra sauce.

Happy spring!

Tuesday, February 28, 2023

Pea and Pecorino Pesto

Get a jump on spring, courtesy of some frozen peas. BTW, did you know that frozen vegetables are just as nutritious as fresh ones? Really!

After defrosting, remove a small handful of peas from a 12 oz. bag and set aside for later. Add the remainder of the peas to the food processor along with a garlic clove and a quarter teaspoon of kosher salt.

With the machine running, slowly add extra virgin olive oil until the mixture is smooth and runny enough to coat your pasta, about a third of a cup. You could also use a little water if you wanted to cut back on the oil.

Salt and pepper to taste then toss with a pound of cooked pasta and a half a cup of grated pecorino. Serve immediately with the reserved peas and bit of pecorino over the top.

Monday, January 16, 2023

Miso Glazed Salmon

Fire up your broiler, this miso salmon will soon be on your short list of go to meals.

For half a pound of salmon, stir together two to three tablespoons of red or white miso, a squirt of Sriracha, a quarter teaspoon of salt, and two tablespoons each of sugar, soy sauce, and sake, mirin,or dry white wine. When the sugar is dissolved, pour the marinade into a glass baking dish along with the salmon and coat well. Let marinate for at least 30 minutes, or as long as overnight.

When you’re ready to go, transfer the fillets to a foil lined broiling pan then slide it under the heat for about six minutes. Serve immediately when it’s at its crispiest.