Blog Posts by Mark Bittman

  • Mark Bittman on Shine: Pasta Frittata

    Mark BittmanMark Bittman

    Pasta frittataPasta frittataThis is a perfect way to use leftover pasta, instantly lovable and easily varied; add whatever fresh herbs you like or use grains, bread, or potatoes instead of pasta (see the variations). And you don't even have to use long pasta; try this with rigatoni for more chew. From How to Cook Everything Vegetarian.

    Makes: 4 servings
    Time: 40 minutes, including cooking the pasta

    1/4 pound spaghetti, linguine, fettuccine, or other long pasta or about 1/2 pound cooked pasta
    4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) butter or extra virgin olive oil
    5 eggs
    Freshly ground black pepper
    1 cup grated Parmesan cheese
    1/4 cup chopped parsley or fresh basil leaves (optional)

    1. If you're using dried pasta, bring a large pot of water to a boil and salt it. Cook the pasta until barely tender, somewhat short of where you would normally cook it. Drain and immediately toss it in a wide bowl with half the butter or oil. Cool it a bit.

    2. Preheat the oven to 400°F. Put the remaining butter or oil in a large ovenproof

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  • Mark Bittman: Lima Bean Stew

    By Alaina Sullivan

    Lima beans are notoriously unloved, but they're starchy, buttery, and delicious. In this stew, half of the beans are pureed into a luxuriously creamy base, while the other half (left whole) are suspended in the thick broth. For some freshness, arugula is stirred in at the end, wilting as it folds into the broth. Recipe from Mark Bittman's Kitchen Express.

    Lima Bean Stew with Arugula

    Cook a package of frozen lima beans in a cup of water with some salt, butter, and minced garlic. When the beans are tender, puree half of them with most of the cooking liquid in a food processor until smooth; add some cream, half-and-half, or broth to thin. Return the pureed bean mixture to the pan with the whole beans and season with salt and pepper.* Add a bunch of tender greens and continue cooking until the greens are wilted. Add more liquid if necessary and serve, with a drizzle of good-quality olive oil and crusty bread.

    *Alternatively, I presoaked 1 lb of dried lima beans and

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  • Mark Bittman: Rice Pudding in the Oven

    By Alaina Sullivan

    Patience is a virtue with oven-cooked rice pudding. It takes some time for the rice and milk to warm up to each other, but when they finally do, the wait is rewarded. The foundation of rice pudding is incredibly simple -- rice, milk and sugar. From there, the possibilities are basically limitless. I tested three versions using three different grains and three different milks: 1) Brown basmati rice and almond milk, with lemon zest, honey and crushed almonds (I particularly like the brightness of the zest here); 2) Arborio rice and rice milk, with coconut flakes and vanilla (exotic, rich, and very sweet); 3) Brown jasmine and regular cow's milk, with nutmeg, cinnamon, and pistachios (warmly spiced with a more subtle sweetness).

    The arborio version achieved the creamiest consistency, while the brown rice delivered a coarser-textured pudding with a nuttier fragrance. Brown rice takes longer to cook than white, but if you want to speed up the process and make the pudding

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  • Mark Bittman: Crisp Tofu with Asian Greens and Peanut Sauce

    By Alaina Sullivan

    The combination of quick-fried tofu, sautéed greens and Thai-inspired peanut sauce brings a ton of texture and flavor to the plate. For the greens I used baby bok choy, though Chinese broccoli, tatsoi, or Napa cabbage, alone or in combination, would work just as well. The tofu (which you want to be as dry as possible) is pan-fried, which browns its exterior while the inside stays warm and soft. The peanut sauce is thick and rich, with tangy notes of soy sauce and lime. Recipe from Mark Bittman's Kitchen Express.

    Crisp Tofu and Asian Greens with Peanut Sauce

    Slice firm tofu into strips or cubes and pat dry; roughly chop a bunch of the greens. Pan-fry the tofu in some vegetable oil until it browns on all sides, about four minutes; remove tofu from pan and pour off all but a little of the oil. Add the greens and pinch or two of red chile flakes, and continue cooking until the vegetables turn dark green, about three minutes. Mix together a half cup of peanut butter, a

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  • Mark Bittman: Roasted Chicken Cutlets

    By Alaina Sullivan

    Baked chicken wrapped in breadcrumbs immediately conjures up memories of the dry, bland versions I used to endure as a kid. (The kind where a vat of dipping mustard was essential and you needed a glass of milk to wash down each chalky bite.) This recipe is anything but dry or bland. Part of it is because the breadcrumbs are limited to a topping - they maintain a strong textural presence without sealing the chicken in a dusty coat. Using thinner cutlets instead of full breasts ensures that the ratio of crust to meat is just right. The other part of the equation is using fresh breadcrumbs - homemade crumbs from a decent loaf of bread will take your dredge to a whole new level. Add some fresh parsley and grated Parmesan to the mix and you've got yourself an easy and flavorful crust that makes the store-bought version all-but useless. Recipe from How to Cook Everything: The Basics.

    Roasted Chicken Cutlets

    Crisp bread crumbs on top, tender and juicy inside-without

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  • Mark Bittman: Easy, Lighter Baked Falafel

    Falafel is easy: just soak raw chickpeas until they’re soft enough to grind in the food processor, combine with some spices, shape, and bake. The baking makes lighter falafel, but they’re just as crunchy as deep-fried. This makes a big batch, which is fine, since you can refrigerate the leftovers for several days, or freeze them for a couple of months. To reheat, wrap them in foil and bake at 350°F until they’re hot throughout, 15 to 30 minutes depending on whether they were frozen. Here are some serving suggestions: Make a sandwich with half a whole wheat pita, lettuce, tomatoes, cucumbers, and other raw vegetables, then drizzle with sauce. Or add lemon juice to the sauce and eat on top of a green salad, using the tahini for dressing. From VB6

    Baked Falafel with Tahini Sauce
    Yield: 8 servings
    Time: 45 minutes, plus up to 24 hours to soak chickpeas

    1¾ cups dried chickpeas
    2 garlic cloves, chopped
    1 small onion, quartered
    1 tablespoon cumin
    Scant teaspoon
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  • Mark Bittman on Shine: Espresso Black Bean Chili

    This deep, richly flavored chili has enough caffeine to keep you awake-literally. (Bear this in mind when you're serving it; use decaffeinated espresso if you or your guests are caffeine sensitive or reserve it for lunch or early dinner.) Serve this with rice, a stack of warm tortillas, or tortilla chips, some crumbled queso fresco or sour cream, and parsley or cilantro.

    Other beans you can use: Earthy-flavored beans that can stand up to the other flavors––pinto, kidney, or dried soybeans––work best. Recipe from How to Cook Everything Vegetarian.

    Black Bean Espresso Chili
    Makes: 6 to 8 servings
    Time: 1 1/2 to 2 hours, largely unattended

    3 tablespoons neutral oil, like grapeseed or corn
    2 onions, chopped
    2 tablespoons minced garlic
    3 cups chopped ripe tomato (about 1 1/2 pounds whole; canned is fine; don't bother to drain)
    1/2 to 1 cup freshly brewed espresso, 1 to 2 cups brewed coffee, or 2 tablespoons espresso powder
    2 tablespoons chili powder
    1/4 cup dark brown sugar or 3 tablespoons Read More »from Mark Bittman on Shine: Espresso Black Bean Chili
  • Mark Bittman: Udon Noodles with Green Tea Broth

     By Alaina Sullivan

    While udon noodles typically swim in water or broth, here they're cooked in green tea. The herbal broth is fortified by the noodles as they simmer, and brightened with a touch of sweet mirin. This dish is easy as can be (if you can brew tea and boil noodles you're good to go,) and a perfect canvas for endless variations. I made mine with yellow beans (added to the broth when the noodles were nearly finished cooking,) sliced leftover pork (decidedly not vegetarian,) crunchy lentil sprouts, chopped scallions and a final drizzle of toasted sesame oil. Recipe from How to Cook Everything Vegetarian.

    Green Tea Broth with Udon Noodles

    1/4 cup green tea leaves
    8 ounces udon noodles
    Freshly ground black pepper
    1 tablespoon mirin or sugar (optional)

    1. Put 7 cups water in a large pot with a tight-fitting lid and bring to a boil. Remove from the heat and let rest for a couple minutes. Stir in the tea leaves (or use a tea ball, cheesecloth, or some other mesh

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  • Mark Bittman: 3 Sandwiches You Might Want to Eat This Fall

    By Alaina Sullivan

    Recipes from Mark Bittman's Kitchen Express

    1) Kale + Prosciutto + Goat Cheese -- Crunchy, leafy, chewy and creamy -- the range of textures makes each bite interesting, with the optional roasted red peppers adding a welcome touch of sweetness.

    Kale and Prosciutto Sandwich

    Roll four leaves of kale and slice them into half-inch ribbons. Cook in olive oil until wilted and softened; season with fresh lemon juice, salt, and pepper. Toast slices of sourdough or other good-quality bread; spread the toasts with goat cheese and a heaping spoonful of kale; top with a slice of prosciutto.

    2) Tuna + Fennel + Tarragon -- Fennel is a refreshing, crunchy accompaniment to the tuna (as opposed to the standard celery,) while tangy yogurt laced with tarragon provides the requisite creaminess.

    Tuna Sandwich with Fennel and Tarragon

    Dice a bulb of fennel and a shallot or red onion. In a bowl, mix together about half a cup of plain yogurt, the fennel, the shallot, a drained can of tuna packed inRead More »from Mark Bittman: 3 Sandwiches You Might Want to Eat This Fall
  • Mark Bittman: Steamed Fish with Ratatouille

    The vegetables make a perfect "steamer" and create a built-in side dish. From How to Cook Everything: The Basics.

    Time 1 hour
    Makes 4 servings

    1 large or 2 medium zucchini
    1 medium or 2 small eggplants
    1 medium red bell pepper, cored
    2 medium or 3 small tomatoes, cored
    3 tablespoons olive oil, or more as needed
    1 tablespoon minced garlic
    1 large onion, chopped
    Salt and freshly ground black pepper
    1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves
    1/2 cup Niçoise or kalamata olives, pitted, optional
    4 thick fish fillets or steaks (about 1 1/2 pounds)
    1/2 cup roughly chopped fresh basil leaves
    1. Trim and cut the eggplant and zucchini into 1-inch chunks. Cut the pepper into strips. Roughly chop the tomatoes, reserving their juice.

    2. Put 2 tablespoons of the oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat and immediately add the garlic. When it begins to sizzle, add the onion and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the onion begins to soften, 3 to 5 minutes.

    3. Add the eggplant, zucchini, bell

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