There are worse people to be trapped with during a pandemic than a sibling in his final semester of culinary school.
My 27-year-old brother, Armand Kohn, is studying in the culinary arts program at Schoolcraft College in Michigan with the goal of one day becoming a world-class chef. He flexed his already-considerable skills feeding me, my parents and my nine-year-old son while we hunkered down in my childhood home in suburban Detroit for three months.
I chop with the speed an arthritic tortoise and slice with precision of a Tasmanian devil. My brother had no use for me in the kitchen. I did, however, take advantage of the opportunity to learn at his elbow, and I am sharing two extremely simple recipes that will elevate whatever you pair them with to a whole new level of flavor.
Sun-Dried Tomato Pesto
This condiment is versatile and perfect for summer. Use it on sandwich with cheese, tomato, avocado and onion. Enjoy it on top of pasta with some grilled asparagus and salmon. The options are endless, and the recipe leaves plenty of room for you to experiment and make it your own.
- 8.5 oz of sun-dried tomatoes (with some of the oil)
- ¾ cup fresh basil
- ¼ cup fresh parsley
- ¼ cup toasted pine nuts
- ½ cup parmesan cheese
- 2 cloves of garlic
- 1 teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon smoked paprika
- 2 tablespoon lemon juice
- ½ cup olive oil
Combine all ingredients except oil in food processor and blend into a paste. Slowly add in oil with the machine running until desired consistency is met. Can be stored in a refrigerator for up to a week.
Roasted Red Pepper Butter
This butter goes well with fish, pasta, or even simply on a slice of fresh bread. The real trick is how easy it is to make.
- 8oz softened butter
- ½ cup roasted red peppers with skins and seeds removed, minced
- ¼ teaspoon garlic, minced
- 2 teaspoon lemon juice
- Pinch of salt and pepper
Mix all ingredients together. Refrigerate until ready to use.