Mark Bittman's Quick and Easy Recipes from the New York Times: Featuring 350 recipes from the author of HOW TO COOK EVERYTHING and THE BEST RECIPES IN THE WORLD Paperback – May 22 2007
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From Publishers Weekly
Culling 350 recipes from his New York Times "The Minimalist" column, Bittman offers a go-to volume for anyone who enjoys cooking simply. His recipes are easy to follow and execute, but they maintain a level of sophistication and freshness that many super-quick cookbooks lack. All recipes are marked with a realistic estimate of how much time they require, start to finish: Chicken with Coconut and Lime takes 20 minutes; Sparkling Cider Poached Fish takes 15 minutes; Coq au Vin with Prunes takes an hour. Several of the longer-duration entries don't require much hands-on work; the Bread Pudding with Shiitake Mushrooms, requires "about 1 hour, largely unattended" and the Braised and Brown Lamb with Peaches needs "about 1 ½ hours, largely unattended." Simple sauces, condiments and desserts such as Dried Fruit Poached in Port and Ginger Pots de Crème round out the selection of mostly dinner-appropriate recipes, which are perfect for home cooks who want to put tasty, impressive meals on the table frequently and without much fuss. (May)
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“Mark Bittman's quick and easy recipes are much more than that, a definitive collection that takes as little as a half hour and results in truly remarkable food. That alone should empower you to drive past the take-out place and do some cooking.”
“Some cooks enjoy giving the impression that their work requires esoteric language and complicated skills. Mark Bittman is just the opposite. He is devoted to making it clear that great food can be created with few ingredients and a minimum of effort.”
—John Willoughby and Chris Schlesinger, coauthors of The Thrill of the Grill and License to Grill
"Mark Bittman makes great everyday cooking and eating possible in a harried world. He is a master of streamlining good food down to its essence without losing a jot of taste. Mark understands and loves exceptional food and enjoys cooking it. Under his tutelage, we can, too."
-Lynne Rossetto Kasper, host of The Splendid Table® on PBS and author of The Italian Country Table
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Top Customer Reviews
There are no pictures, but the recipes are simple and straightforward. The intros to the recipes are informative and most recipes come with instructions for substitutions that are really entirely new recipes. Simple, tasty and good. I still cook from it even though I have (and enjoy) How To Cook Everything.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
From Garlic Soup with Shrimp to Pear and Gorgonzola Green Salad with Walnuts, to Herb-Rubbed Salmon, Pot Roast with Cranberries, Fast Potato Gratin, Pasta with Clams and Tomatoes, and Sautéed Bananas, Bittman provides simple directions and numerous variations which inspire the cook to branch out with his or her own ideas.
A simple Asian-style Cucumber Salad becomes dinner with the addition of chicken or scallops and maybe some jicama, apples, bean sprouts or watercress. Braises change character with a change of herb, an addition of butter, or a tweak of technique, like caramelizing the onions rather than simply softening.
Bittman ranges across the world with dishes like Lemongrass-Ginger Soup with Mushrooms, Grilled Chicken Thighs with Sauce au Chien, Lamb with Peppers and Yogurt Sauce, Cauliflower with Garlic and Anchovy, Curried Tofu with Soy Sauce, Pasta Risotto Style.
There's plenty of homey familiar fare too - Creamy Mushroom Soup, Fastest Roast Chicken, Deviled Chicken Thighs, Braised Pork with Turnips, Spaghetti Carbonara, Maple Bread Pudding and more. Time estimates are accurate for the organized cook and although not all dishes can be on the table in 30 minutes or less, few require more than 20 to 30 minutes actual prep time.
This is a book for every kitchen, every day.
Additionally, the recipes use common ingredients--and a limited number of ingredients per recipe. For example, Chicken Curry in a Hurry calls for 4 ingredients: vidalia onions, curry powder, chicken breasts, and sour cream (excluding cooking oil, salt, and pepper: too ubiquitous to be considered ingredients). Egg Drop Soup calls for 5 ingredients: chicken stock/broth, eggs, soy sauce, sesame oil, and scallions.
I recommend this book both to novice and experienced cooks that are looking for a go-to cookbook with reliable recipes.
But boy, I sure did like my two "Minimalist Cooks" collections, so I am delighted to have this compilation. Bittman makes even formidable sounding dishes sound approachable and his calm, spare, economical style makes me want to break out the pots and knives and have at the recipes without delay.
Some people might bridle at this as another "repackaging" of the Bittman brand name, but this particular collection just makes me happy.