Blog Posts by Mark Bittman

  • Mark Bittman on Shine: Curried Coconut-Butternut Squash Soup

    By Alaina Sullivan

    Squash soups typically rely on a blender to give them a luxuriously creamy consistency, yet this version achieves richness without being pureed to a pulp. Small cubes of butternut squash are cooked in a milky-sweet broth, and they hold their shape all through cooking. The soup becomes creamy by way of coconut milk, which contributes a rich flavor without weighing it down. Curry, cinnamon and cumin spike the broth just enough to accent the squash without masking its natural flavor. The curry and coconut shine together as they usually do, but it's the cinnamon that brings a warm, unexpected undertone to the dish.

    It's a soup that sits in limbo somewhere between creamy and brothy, sort of the best of both worlds. Garnish with fresh cilantro or mint. Recipe from Mark Bittman's Kitchen Express.

    Curried Coconut-Butternut Squash Soup

    Cook two cups of chopped squash in a few tablespoons of vegetable oil, along with a diced onion, a teaspoon of cumin, a half teaspoon of

    Read More »from Mark Bittman on Shine: Curried Coconut-Butternut Squash Soup
  • Mark Bittman: Sesame Noodles with Spinach and Salmon

     
    By Freya Bellin

    Normally the idea of sesame noodles conjures images of a dense, nutty sauce. Here, a lighter approach is taken, with toasted sesame seeds offering a subtle nuttiness, alongside hearty whole wheat or soba noodles. Tender, wilted spinach soaks up the garlicky soy sauce, and seared salmon is a lovely accent; you can't beat crispy salmon skin. However, it is truly just an accent. If you're looking for a little more heft, you may want some additional protein, be it fish or tofu. Either way, the dish comes together quite quickly, and tastes great at room temperature. Recipe from The Food Matters Cookbook.

    Sesame Noodles with Spinach and Salmon

    Makes: 4 servings

    Time: 30 minutes

    The flavors of oshitashi-Japanese spinach salad garnished with shaved dried bonito flakes-are at play here, only the fish is fresh salmon. I love the flavor and texture of seared salmon skin, but you can discard it if you prefer. (In either case, don't eat the scales!). Instead of the

    Read More »from Mark Bittman: Sesame Noodles with Spinach and Salmon
  • Mark Bittman: Roast Chicken Parts with Butter or Olive Oil (plus 15 Variations!)


    Roast chickenRoast chickenThe simplest chicken recipe there is and perhaps the easiest as well. Add the herb here if you like or see the flavoring ideas that follow. This is the kind of dish you'll never get tired of, because you can change the flavoring every time you make it. From How to Cook Everything

    Roast Chicken Parts with Olive Oil or Butter

    Makes: 4 to 6 servings
    Time: 40 minutes

    1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil or butter
    1 whole chicken, 3 to 4 pounds, trimmed of excess fat and cut into 8 pieces, or any combination of parts
    Salt and freshly ground black pepper
    1/4 cup any mild green herb-like parsley, dill, basil, or sage-or a combination of herbs (optional)

    1. Heat the oven to 450°F. Put the oil or butter in a roasting pan and put it in the oven for a couple of minutes, until the oil is hot or the butter melts. Add the chicken and turn it a couple of times in the fat, leaving it skin side up. Sprinkle with salt and pepper and return the pan to the oven.
    2. After the chicken has
    Read More »from Mark Bittman: Roast Chicken Parts with Butter or Olive Oil (plus 15 Variations!)
  • Mark Bittman: Steak Fajitas


    These fajitas are like the sweet, spicy, crunchy distant cousin of the fajita you know now. The recipe breathes some fresh air into the standard fajita by adding crunchy jicama and carrots, plus the sweetness of pineapple. The flavors are unexpected, but they work together beautifully. Make sure to do your chopping ahead of time as things move pretty fast once you start cooking. I like putting each ingredient in its own separate bowl, ready to be dropped into the pan. You'll only need one large skillet for cooking everything, which means easy cleanup too. Serve with plenty of cilantro and guacamole or salsa. Recipe from The Food Matters Cookbook.

    Not Your Usual Steak Fajitas

    Makes: 4 servings

    Time: 40 minutes

    These fajitas aren't just meaty and smoky-they sizzle with crunchy jícama, a touch of sweet pineapple, and an eye-opening tequila-lime glaze. Though soft corn tortillas are traditional, you can think of this as a Mexican stir-fry and spoon it over brown rice. But

    Read More »from Mark Bittman: Steak Fajitas
  • Mark Bittman on Shine: Curried Chickpeas with Cauliflower (or Okra) and Chicken


    By Freya Bellin

    Okra is an underdog of a vegetable, but I'm a full-fledged fan. It has a crunchy exterior, a tender center, and lots of texture from the seeds inside-which is why I chose to go with the okra variation of this recipe. Its season is short-lived here in New York, so I typically jump at the opportunity to cook with it.

    This dish cooks in phases (first chicken, then chickpeas, then veggies), but it still has all the benefits of a one-pot meal, as the flavors keep building. As the title of the recipe might lead you to believe, the curried chickpeas were a highlight. I couldn't resist snacking on them once they were removed from the pan: browned, crispy, spicy, delicious. They make a great snack, with or without the rest of the recipe. The coconut, ginger, and curry seasonings add some classic Indian flavors, and the chiles just the right amount of heat. I don't think this needs sugar (in fact, I seasoned with more salt at the end) but taste as you go. Recipe from The Food

    Read More »from Mark Bittman on Shine: Curried Chickpeas with Cauliflower (or Okra) and Chicken
  • Mark Bittman: Cassoulet with Lots of Vegetables




    Cassoulet is one of the best of the myriad of traditional European dishes that combine beans and meat to produce wonderful rich, robust stews. This recipe maintains that spirit, but is much faster, easier, less expensive, and more contemporary, emphasizing the beans and vegetables over meat. (That probably makes it more, not less, traditional, since meat was always hard to come by before the mid-twentieth century.)

    The main recipe starts with already cooked beans or canned beans and is ready relatively fast. To begin with dried beans, see the variation; it takes more time, but the results are even better. From Food Matters

    Cassoulet with Lots of Vegetables

    Makes: 4 to 6 servings
    Time: 40 minutes

    2 tablespoons olive oil
    1 pound Italian sausages, bone-in pork chops, confit duck legs, or duck breasts, or a combination
    1 tablespoon chopped garlic
    2 leeks or onions, trimmed, washed, and sliced
    2 carrots, peeled and cut into 1-inch lengths
    3 celery stalks,

    Read More »from Mark Bittman: Cassoulet with Lots of Vegetables
  • Mark Bittman: Pork Stir-Fry with Greens



    By Alaina Sullivan

    In the time that it takes to wait for take-out, you could already be sinking your chopsticks into this savory stir-fry. Nothing more than pork and greens dressed in a garlicky soy-lime sauce, it is not only weeknight-dinner easy, but also a foundation for any number of variations (each more delicious and more fun than any take-out version). I used red chard here, but any green is fair game (bok choy, spinach, mustard greens, kale and collards are other great options).

    The trademark flavors of lime juice and soy sauce create a bright, umami-rich sauce. If you want to give it extra kick, toss in a bit of lime zest and some crushed red pepper flakes. I also added a drizzle of toasted sesame oil (and sesame seeds too) for some nuttiness and extra crunch. Recipe from How to Cook Everything: The Basics.

    Pork Stir-Fry with Greens

    Far better-and even faster-than any takeout.

    Time: 15 minutes, plus time to freeze the meat

    Makes: 4 servings

    1 pound

    Read More »from Mark Bittman: Pork Stir-Fry with Greens
  • Mark Bittman on Shine: 7 Ways to Make Lentil Soup


    Lentil soupLentil soupLentils make soup making easy-they cook quickly and are incredibly tasty. And unlike many lentil soups, which are so thick they put people off completely, this one is nicely balanced with some simple vegetables. The lentils break down a bit during the cooking to give the soup a hearty consistency, but you can purée it if you prefer. Recipe from How to Cook Everything.

    Makes: 4 servings
    Time: About 45 minutes

    2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
    1 onion, chopped
    1 carrot, cut into 1/2 -inch dice
    1 celery stalk, cut into 1/2 -inch dice
    1 cup lentils, washed and picked over
    1 bay leaf
    6 cups chicken, beef, or vegetable stock or water
    Freshly ground black pepper
    Salt

    1. Put the oil in a large, deep pot over medium heat. When hot, add the onion and cook, stirring frequently, until soft, just a minute or two. Add the carrot and celery and keep cooking and stirring until brightly colored and hot, about 2 minutes.

    2. Add the lentils, bay leaf, and stock; sprinkle with freshly

    Read More »from Mark Bittman on Shine: 7 Ways to Make Lentil Soup
  • Mark Bittman on Shine: Baked Rigatoni with Brussels Sprouts, Figs and Blue Cheese


    Baked rigatoni with brussels sprouts, figs, and blue cheese

    By Freya Bellin

    As the weather becomes chillier, I love a good casserole. This pasta dish, though maybe not a traditional casserole, evokes the same warm, melty, heartiness. And while the list of ingredients may raise eyebrows, they all come together harmoniously: the bite of the cheese, the juicy sweetness of fresh figs, and the crunch of Brussels sprouts. I don't always love blue cheese, but it served its purpose well here. 4 ounces of cheese, especially a pungent one like gorgonzola, is just the right amount to add flavor throughout, without overwhelming the dish. It seeps into the tubes of rigatoni, and coats everything in a light, cheesy sauce. The almonds add some crunch, but flavor-wise don't interfere with the rest of the dish. This pasta is well balanced, unique, and makes excellent leftovers. Recipe from The Food Matters Cookbook.

    Baked Rigatoni with Brussels Sprouts, Figs, and Blue Cheese

    Makes: 4 servings

    Time: 45 minutes

    Many cheesy baked pastas depend on

    Read More »from Mark Bittman on Shine: Baked Rigatoni with Brussels Sprouts, Figs and Blue Cheese
  • Mark Bittman on Shine: Pan-Cooked Salmon with Lentils


    Salmon and green lentils are an excellent combination. Err on the side of undercooking the lentils. You want them to have an almost nutty texture. Other seafood you can use: trout, shrimp (both of which will cook more quickly, so make the sauce first), or scallops. Recipe from How to Cook Everything.



    Pan-Cooked Salmon with Lentils

    Makes: 4 servings

    Time: About 1 hour

    2 to 3 cups dried green lentils, washed and picked over

    2 medium carrots, cut into 1/4-inch cubes

    1 small potato, peeled and cut into 1/4-inch cube

    1 medium onion, chopped

    2 cloves garlic, minced

    A few sprigs each fresh parsley and thyme, a bay leaf, and a few chives, tied in cheesecloth for easy removal, or about 11/2 teaspoons mixed dried herbs

    Salt and freshly ground black pepper

    2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

    Four 6-ounce salmon fillets

    Chopped fresh parsley leaves or chives for garnish

    1. Put the lentils in a large, deep saucepan with water to cover. Cook over

    Read More »from Mark Bittman on Shine: Pan-Cooked Salmon with Lentils

Pagination

(78 Stories)