When people find out I’m a chef, just about the first thing they ask after “where?” is ” what do you cook?” The “where” part is easy: wherever you pay me to cook. The “what” part is a lot harder, because I cook all kinds of things. I love food, I love experimenting, and I love fun combinations. But, the backbone for all of these things are basic ingredients, and that’s what I am going to talk about today: my favorite single foods. I’ll be doing my favorite herbs later this week, too.
-Greek Yogurt. Full-fat only, please, and homemade whenever I can! Great alone, as a replacement for sour cream, in all kinds of soups, in any dish (especially Indian) that calls for yogurt, mixed with chocolate and berries as ice cream.
-Red bell peppers. Sweet, crisp, and flavorful, they only get better when roasted.
-Onions. Forget baking bread. You want me to buy your house, just saute’ some onions.
-Local, pastured beef. Rich, flavorful, needs very little seasoning.
-Squash, especially local squash from the cellar in the middle of winter!
-Heirloom tomatoes from the garden. Tomatoes from the store are useless. Tomatoes only taste like tomatoes if they’re heirlooms, grown to full ripeness, and harvested at peak.
-Fresh Chevre. Oh, so creamy and good. Plain, topped with herbs, stuffed into pasta, spread on a cracker.
-Kale. Raw, wilted, topped with bacon dressing or walnuts, stuffed with chickpeas.
-Olives. Good quality only! Stuffed, plain, roasted (with grapes..yum!).
-Cannellini beans. Creamy wonders. Great as dip, in a casserole, bean bolognese, stuffed into ravioli.
–Farm Fresh Eggs. Rich, delicious wonders.
-Cranberries. Tart, delicious little balls of flavor!
-Fresh peaches. Because really, how can you not like peaches? Local, heirloom!
This list isn’t exhaustive–I have a LOT of favorite foods. But, it’s a start. Got any favorites?