Archive for category Back to Basics

Back to Basics: Sweet Potato Fries

Fridays are dedicated to the beginner cooks.

Sweet Potato Fries
Sweet potato fries are gaining in popularity. I usually just buy a monster frozen bag at Costco to be done with it. Sometimes, however, I make the real thing. Why? Because it’s still easy!

Peel and slice four sweet potatoes into preferred fry size. Throw them into a big bowl and toss with some kosher salt, a little pepper, a little brown sugar, and some canola oil. Line a baking sheet with foil and toss the potatoes on it. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees and bake for 45 minutes. If you want them crispy…take out, flip fries and bake for another 20 minutes. As you can see, these aren’t crispy. It really just depends on what mood you’re in.

***PLEASE NOTE*** I don’t usually eat fries alongside four perfect drops of ketchup. I promise this was strictly done for blog aesthetics. If you ever see me eating fries like this, you have my permission to punch me in the face.

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Back to Basics: Sauteed Spinach

Fridays are for the beginner cooks.

Sauteed Spinach

Remember…Fridays are for beginners…so don’t judge. Preparing a little spinach is about as easy as it gets. It certainly adds to the presentation of any meal with its beautiful green color. And last, but certainly not least…spinach is very healthy. Also…for lack of a better word…cooking up some spinach can really get you out of a “bind” in the kitchen. Why? Let’s say you’re preparing fairly complicated and time-consuming meat and starch dishes. The spinach ties it all together and only takes about three minutes to prepare. Here’s how I do it:

1. Take a bag of pre-washed spinach. Throw into a pan.
2. Toss in some minced garlic, a decent pour of olive oil, and salt and pepper to taste.
3. Turn burner to Medium and cover.
4. Come back in less than five minutes…give a good mix, and you’re done! It’s that easy.

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Back to Basics: Grilled Corn

Fridays are for the beginner cooks.

Grilled Corn…Sort Of

This week’s Back to Basics is all about sprucing up a very common food item, but still keeping it EASY. Who doesn’t love fresh corn on the cob? Probably people with dentures. But for the rest of us, we can’t get enough of it. Take a look at how I prepare it:

1. Take 4-5 ears of corn and shuck.
2. In bowl, combine 3 TBSP butter, 3 TBSP fresh cilantro, one squeezed lime, 1 tsp and salt/pepper.
3. Boil corn for 10 minutes. Take out and coat with mixture.
4. Throw on grill for about 5 minutes.
5. Coat with mixture again.

6. Serve. (top with Parmesan if you’d like)

Boiling the corn first makes the entire process a lot easier. The grill adds a nice flavor and char. The green cilantro is a perfect compliment and adds to a great presentation (especially if you have a big date!).

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Back to Basics: The Right Knives

Fridays are for the beginner cooks.

The Right Knives

Before you can really get into cooking, you need the proper cutlery. I’d say these three knives pictured above account for 90% of my kitchen cutting. The top one (Santoku) is my all-purpose knife. It the head honcho, the work horse…without it, I am nothing. It’s good for cutting just about anything. A decent one is about $25-$35. The paring knife (middle) is great for peeling fruits and vegetables or trimming the fat. The serrated knife is my bread knife. I also use it for cutting sushi rolls. If you want to make cooking a hobby or just want to prepare food more efficiently…these are the three knives you may want to start with.

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