Blog & Featured Recipes

Culinary Questions?

 

  1. Russ Peterson says:

    Please add more recipes! Love the shrimp and scallop recipes. I’m a musician that loves to cook….

    • Keith Darling says:

      Hello Russ,

      Happy to hear of your enjoyment of my recipes! For more recipes and video links to many more, please visit Dining with Darling on facebook. Just scroll through my posts to unover many tips and all things foodie!

      Ciao,

      Chef Darling

  2. How many ways are there to ruin brussels sprouts, and how many ways not to?

    • Keith Darling says:

      Hi Bill,

      Let me count the ways! I love Brussels sprouts and cooked them often. I enjoy roasting the best as it brings out a deep caramelized flavor. Over cooking by boiling, in my mind, is far and away the worst. Here is my quick and easy method:

      ROASTED BRUSSELS SPROUTS
      Serves 6
      2 lbs Brussels sprouts
      1/4 cup olive oil
      1 tsp kosher salt
      1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper

      Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
      Cut off brown ends and pull off any yellow outer leaves.
      Toss in a bowl with the olive oil, salt and pepper.
      Pour onto a sheet pan or into a low sided roasted pan.
      Roast for 35 to 40 minutes, shaking the pan a few times to brown the sprouts evenly. Transfer to an attractive serving dish, bring to your table, take a bow, and ENJOY!

      Bon Appetit!
      Chef Darling

  3. What’s the secret to perfect melange of superfoods? Kale takes so much longer than other vegetables to cook.

    • Keith Darling says:

      Hi Bill,

      One of my favorites is cooking Swiss chard. It cooks quicker than Kale and are less bitter. Green leafy vegetable are packed with vitamins K and iron to name a few. Here is one of my versions.

      SWISS CHARD WITH APPLE CIDER AND ONIONS
      Serves 4

      4 Tbsp olive oil
      1 small yellow onion, medium chopped
      3 large garlic cloves, minced
      2 tbsp sugar
      1 Tsp kosher salt
      1/2 Tsp freshly ground pepper
      Several dashes favorite hot sauce
      1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
      2 lbs Swiss chard, stems removed, sliced into 1 inch strips

      Heat the olive in a large skillet or pot on medium heat. Add the onions and cook until they have softened and are just starting to brown.
      Add the garlic, sugar, salt, pepper, and hot sauce. Cook until the garlic becomes fragrant, about a minute. Add the vinegar, bring to a simmer, and cook until the amount of liquid is reduced by half, stirring and scraping any browned bits from the bottom of the skillet/pot.

      Add the Swiss chard and the chicken broth and bring to a simmer. Reduce the heat to medium low and slightly cover with a lid. Cook, stirring occasionally, until soft and tender. Remove the lid, Season with additional vinegar and hot sauce. serve with some of the pan juices from the pan and ENJOY!

      Bon Appetit!
      Chef Darling

  4. You made an amazing dinner on Academy Awards night-glazed salmon, roasted fingerling potatoes, and roasted fresh asparagus. It was fabulous and, along with the musical numbers, the highlight of my Oscar night! Thank-you! PLEASE share the recipe for the marvelous salmon glaze?

    • Keith Darling says:

      Hi Pat,

      Thank you for the glowing review of my Oscar night dinner! I have an abundance of rosemary in my garden, and after a few trials, I developed this recipe to reflect the deep rosemary and fruit flavors. I brush this glaze on meats, poultry and other seafood. Purchase good quality apricot and marmalade preserves, as they bring richer fruited flavors to the glaze.

      ROSEMARY, APRICOT, MARMALADE GLAZE
      Makes 1 cup

      3/4 cup apricot preserves
      1/4 cup orange marmalade
      3 tbsp finely chopped fresh rosemary
      1/3 cup dry white wine
      2 medium sized minced French shallots
      1/3 cup balsamic vinegar
      3-4 tbsp white wine vinegar
      Salt to taste

      Combine wine, shallots, rosemary, and white wine vinegar into a one quart sized saucepan. Turn heat to medium high and reduce the liquid by half. Stir in the apricot and marmalade preserves, turn the heat down to medium low and simmer, stirring occasionally, for 10-15 minutes or until slightly thickened. To check, dip a soup spoon into the glaze, it should thickly coat the back of the spoon. Add the balsamic vinegar, stir and taste for a sweet/acid balance, simmer on medium low heat for 5 minutes. Season to taste with salt. If you prefer a more tart taste, add more white wine vinegar. Cool to room temperature. Refrigerate unused portion, its freshness will last about a week.

      Ciao,

      Chef Darling

  5. Mike McCoy - Simi Valley, California says:

    When I was in high school (back when they cooked our food) they used to have this wonderfull warm buttered bread that everyone realy enjoyed. I would love to know how they made this.

    • Keith Darling says:

      Hi Mike,

      This bread surely made quite the impression on you to fondly remember how perfect it actually was! I am certain that the bread was freshly made and most likely cut into warm, thick slices, then slathered with a buttery blend.
      There are many recipes on the internet; take a look at a few then pick the ones that looks the best. Quite a few call for freshly made bread; if you or friends have a bread maker, jump in and give it a go!

      I hope it brings you back to the days when you looked forward to the lunch period and in savoring this delicious combination!

      Ciao,

      Chef Darling

  6. Sue C. - San Francisco says:

    My family LOVES potatoes, but they get so boring after awhile. Do you have any recipes to spice them up? Thanks!

    • Keith Darling says:

      Hi Sue,

      Here is a favorite that I often bring to my table, they bring many praises from friends and family!

      DIJON MUSTARD AND ROSEMARY ROASTED POTATOES
      Serves 4-6

      3 lbs Yukon Gold potatoes – cut into quarters
      1/4 – 1/3 cup Dijon mustard
      4 tbsp Extra virgin olive oil
      2 tbsp Finely chopped fresh rosemary
      Fresh ground pepper/salt to taste

      1. Place rack in the center of the oven, preheat to 375 deg.
      2. Blend mustard, rosemary, olive oil, add salt and pepper to taste.
      3. Place potatoes in a large mixing bowl, add the blended mustard, mix to fully coat.
      4. Lightly coat a large roasting pan or large baking dish with olive oil, you will need the larger size to gently turn the potatoes while roasting for an even color.
      5. Roast for approximately 15 to 20 minutes, gently turn potatoes over with a stiff spatula to allow for more even roasting. Turn again in 10 to 15 minutes, then use a knife or fork to check for doneness, they should be slightly
      soft in the center.
      6. Before serving, scrape any crispy potato that sticks to the bottom of the pan as they are very delicious!

      I hope this recipe becomes a tradition on your table as they has been a tradition on mine for years!

      Bon Appetite,

      Chef Darling

  7. Hillary A – San Raphael, CA says:

    My family loves pasta with my kids always asking for “buttered noodles”; I seem to always have a pot of pasta cooking. Any suggestions on storing cooked pasta so it doesn’t end up in one big tangled lump?

    • Chef Darling says:

      I love having cooked pastas in my fridge. Buttered pasta with a little finely chopped green onion and a sprinkling of fresh grated aged Parmesan is in my opinion, one of the great comfort foods!
      I prefer the Italian method of cooking “al dente” or; “to the tooth”. This means the pasta has a cooked texture that requires you to bite more firmly. I also like the semolina flavor it brings to my finished pasta dishes.
      Cook the pasta to your desired texture. Carefully pour into a large colander and thoroughly rinse with cold water; make sure the center portion of the pasta is cold. Allow time for the water to completely drain; shake the colander a few times to drain more water. Grab a few 1 gallon size zip lock freezer bags (they are sturdier than the standard bags) and add about ¼ cup oil, I use olive oil as this brings more flavor. Fill to about 2/3 from the top of the bag, seal allowing for some air in the bag and gently massage and shake until the oil has completely covered the pasta. Remove the air and store in the fridge, it will usually hold for about three days.


  8. Bill J – Los Altos, CA says:

    In cutting and cooking fresh vegetables for sautéing, when eating they are over and undercooked. My family is very supportive in my cooking by eating all that is placed in front of them; I want to get this right!

    • Chef Darling says:

      Precutting vegetables unevenly will always end up with under/overcooked textures and inconsistent color. Learning proper knife handling techniques will even the cutting of the vegetables. Check out local kitchen supply stores that offer cooking classes as they usually offer classes in learning knife techniques. Knowing how to use your knives skillfully will improve a variety of dishes you cook!


  9. Jessica P – Boise, Idaho says:

    When I cook fish such as Red Snapper or Tilapia, it ends up dry after it is cooked. Help!

    • Chef Darling says:

      In my cooking of these fish I “dust” the filets with seasoned flour. This helps to keep moisture from evaporating and adds color by lightly browning. Season white flour with salt and pepper or your favorite pre mixed seasoning to taste, place filets in the flour coating both sides, place the filet between both and pat to remove excess flour. The goal is to have a light or “dusted” coating on the fish.


  10. Alan S – Key West, FL says:

    In some recipes I use, they call for browning ground beef, pork, or turkey. When I cook the meat it comes out bland tasting and pale looking.

    • Chef Darling says:

      Browning the meat over high heat adds flavor to the dish by caramelizing sugars and proteins, which in French cooking is described as the maillard (mayard) reaction. Here are steps in bringing these flavors to your cooking:
      Bring the meat out 30 minutes before cooking – Open the package and loosen up the meat. This reduces cold meat being cooked in the pan which reduces the pan temperature and eliminates proper browning.
      Pre heat the pan – A hot pan is crucial. Medium high to high heat is needed. Add a touch of oil to lightly coat the bottom after the pan is heated.
      Cook in small batches – Separating the meat into 3-4 cooking portions allows for more contact surface in the pan for browning and keeps the pan hotter.
      Don’t play with your food! – Constant stirring reduces contact time on the pans surface. Turn meat over after 3-4 minutes; continue to cook until browning is complete.

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