Blog Posts by Mark Bittman

  • Mark Bittman: Hummus

    HummusThe Middle Eastern classic has become daily fare for many Americans, whether as a dip or a sandwich spread. Make it as garlicky, lemony, or spicy as you like (try it with smoked pimentón or Aleppo or other mild Middle Eastern pepper); I love it with lots of lemon juice.

    If you're serving it as a dip, you may need to add more bean-cooking liquid, water, olive oil, or lemon juice to thin it. From How to Cook Everything (Completely Revised 10th Anniversary Edition)

    Hummus
    Makes: 6 to 8 servings

    Time: 15 minutes with precooked chickpeas

    2 cups drained well-cooked or canned chickpeas, cooking liquid reserved if possible
    1/2 cup tahini, with some of its oil if you like
    1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil, plus oil for garnish
    2 cloves garlic, peeled, or to taste
    Juice of 1 lemon, plus more as needed
    Salt and freshly ground black pepper
    1 tablespoon ground cumin or paprika, or to taste, plus a sprinkling for garnish
    Chopped fresh parsley leaves for garnish

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  • Mark Bittman: Sweet Potato and Quinoa Salad




    For a range of colors, flavors, and textures, this pretty little salad is a tough one to beat. If you have leftover sweet potatoes and quinoa, you can whip it up in no time, but even if you start from scratch it isn't much work. As is often the case, you can substitute millet for the quinoa if you like; the golden color is lovely.

    Sweet Potato and Quinoa Salad

    Makes: 4 servings
    Time: 40 minutes

    2 1/2 cups cooked quinoa or other small-kernel grain or 1 cup raw
    1 large or 2 medium (about 1 pound) sweet potatoes
    Salt
    1 red bell pepper, cored, seeded, and diced
    1/4 cup minced red onion or shallot
    Freshly ground black pepper
    1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
    2 tablespoons balsamic, sherry, or red wine vinegar
    1/4 cup minced fresh chives or parsley leaves

    1. If you haven't already, cook the quinoa or other grain. Drain in a strainer and rinse. Meanwhile, peel the sweet potato and dice it into 1/2-inch or smaller pieces. Cook it in boiling salted water to cover
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  • Mark Bittman: Crisp Pan-Fried Potatoes (Home Fries)





    This technique produces better results than conventional Home Fries, but you need two things: waxy potatoes, because starchy ones will fall apart before they get crisp; and patience.
    Other vegetables you can use: beets, rutabagas, parsnips, or carrots, though they won't get quite as crisp.

    From How to Cook Everything (Completely Revised 10th Anniversary Edition)


    Crisp Pan-Fried Potatoes (Home Fries)

    Makes: 4 servings
    Time: About 45 minutes

    About 2 pounds waxy potatoes
    1/4 cup peanut, extra virgin olive, or neutral oil, like grapeseed or corn, or more as needed
    Salt and freshly ground black pepper

    1. Peel the potatoes if you like (it isn't at all necessary since waxy potatoes have thin, delicious skins) and cut them into 1-inch chunks. Put the oil in a large skillet, preferably nonstick or cast-iron, over medium heat. When hot, add the potatoes and cook, undisturbed, until they begin to brown around the edges and release from the pan, about 10 minutes.

    2.

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  • Mark Bittman: Potato Salad with Mustard Vinaigrette

    To me, the best and simplest potato salad is made of just-boiled potatoes dressed in a freshly made vinaigrette. If you're in a hurry, whisk together the vinaigrette ingredients in a bowl, then just add the potatoes. Parsley and chopped onion are easy, flavorful additions.

    From How to Cook Everything (Completely Revised 10th Anniversary Edition)




    Potato Salad with Mustard Vinaigrette

    Makes: 4 servings
    Time: 30 minutes, plus time to cool

    11/2 pounds waxy potatoes, like red new potatoes or fingerling; or all-purpose, like Yukon Gold (or even starchy baking potatoes are fine)
    Salt
    1/2 cup minced fresh parsley leaves
    1/4 cup chopped scallions or red or yellow onion
    1/2 cup Mustard Vinaigrette (see recipe below), plus more to taste
    Freshly ground black pepper

    For the Vinaigrette:

    1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
    3 tablespoons or more good wine vinegar
    1 heaping teaspoon any good mustard or 1/2 teaspoon or so dry mustard
    1 to 2 tablespoons honey

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  • Mark Bittman: Spicy No-Mayo Coleslaw




    If you want restaurant-style coleslaw, you take shredded cabbage and combine it with mayo and maybe a little lemon juice. This version is far more flavorful with far less fat. I like cabbage salad (which is what coleslaw amounts to) on the spicy side, so I use plenty of Dijon, along with a little garlic and chile (you could substitute cayenne for the chile or just omit it if you prefer), and scallions. From How to Cook Everything (Completely Revised 10th Anniversary Edition)


    Spicy No-Mayo Coleslaw

    Makes: 8 servings
    Time: 30 minutes

    2 tablespoons Dijon mustard, or to taste
    2 tablespoons sherry vinegar, red wine vinegar, or freshly squeezed lemon juice
    1 small clove garlic, minced
    1 tablespoon minced fresh chile, like jalapeño, Thai, serrano, or habanero, or to taste (optional)
    1/4 cup peanut oil or extra virgin olive oil
    6 cups cored and shredded Napa, Savoy, green, and/or red cabbage
    1 large red or yellow bell pepper, cored, seeded, and diced or shredded

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  • Mark Bittman: Lemon Cheesecake with Sour Cream Topping

    Most veteran cooks have their favorite cheesecake, and this is mine. It's relatively low in sugar, and the lemon provides balance. You can skip the sour cream topping if you feel that enough is enough. From How to Cook Everything

    Lemon Cheesecake with Sour Cream Topping

    Makes at least 12 servings
    Time: About 1 1/2 hours

    Unsalted butter for greasing the pan
    1 double recipe Graham Cracker Crust
    4 eggs, separated
    24 ounces (3 [8-ounce] packages) cream cheese
    Grated zest and juice of 1 lemon
    1 cup sugar, plus 1 tablespoon (optional)
    1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
    2 cups sour cream (optional)
    1 teaspoon vanilla extract (optional)

    1. Preheat the oven to 325°F. Liberally butter a 9- or 10-inch springform pan, then press the crust into its bottom. Prebake the crust for 8 to 10 minutes, just until it begins to brown. Cool on a rack; the crust will harden as it cools.

    2. Use an electric mixer to beat the egg yolks until light; add the cheese, lemon

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  • Mark Bittman: Grilled or Broiled Chicken Kebabs



    Chicken KebabsWell-seasoned grilled or broiled kebabs will make anyone a convert to dark-meat chicken. You can use chicken breasts here too, but watch them closely so they don't overcook and dry out.

    Other protein you can use: turkey thighs; pork or veal shoulder, steak, or loin; sturdy fish like swordfish or salmon. From How to Cook Everything (Completely Revised 10th Anniversary Edition)

    Grilled or Broiled Chicken Kebabs

    About 11/2 pounds boneless chicken thighs or legs, cut into 11/2-inch chunks
    2 large onions
    2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
    Juice of 1 lemon
    1 tablespoon minced garlic
    Salt and freshly ground black pepper
    3 bay leaves, crumbled
    1 tablespoon fresh marjoram or oregano leaves or
    1 teaspoon dried oregano
    Lemon wedges or ground sumac (available in Middle Eastern stores)

    1. If you're using wooden skewers (you'll need at least 8), soak them in warm water while you prepare the chicken. When you're ready to cook-if you choose not to marinate the

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  • Mark Bittman: Tomato Cobbler



    Everyone is intrigued by the idea of a savory version of one of their favorite desserts, and this one is a beauty. In fact, there's nothing quite like a summertime tomato cobbler, though you can make one with canned tomatoes all year long. (It's just different; see the variation.) The biscuit topping is quickly assembled in a food processor, making this an ideal potluck dish: Not only is the preparation easy, but you serve it at room temperature. This dish is also really good with tomatillos. From How to Cook Everything Vegetarian

    Tomato Cobbler

    Makes: 6 to 8 servings
    Time: About 1 hour

    Oil or butter for the baking dish
    3 pounds ripe tomatoes (8 to 10 medium), cored and cut into wedges
    1 tablespoon cornstarch
    Salt and freshly ground black pepper
    1 cup all-purpose flour, plus more if needed
    1 cup cornmeal
    1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
    1/4 teaspoon baking soda
    4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) butter, cut into large pieces and refrigerated until very cold
    1 egg, beaten
    3/4 cup

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  • Mark Bittman: Warm Chickpea Salad

    Chickpeas frequently get the salad treatment throughout the Mediterranean and Middle East. My version is a panorama of these recipes that includes ginger, garlic, and cumin. After the seasonings are cooked and the beans warmed, the dressing is finished in the pan and tossed with arugula leaves, which wilts them just slightly. Serve small portions as a side salad or appetizer or add the optional hard-cooked egg and make this a light meal. From How to Cook Everything (Completely Revised 10th Anniversary Edition)

    Warm Chickpea Salad with Arugula

    Makes: 4 side- or 2 main-dish servings
    Time: 20 minutes with precooked beans

    3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
    1 tablespoon minced peeled fresh ginger
    1 tablespoon minced garlic
    1/2 teaspoon cumin seeds
    Salt and freshly ground black pepper
    1 1/2 cups cooked or drained canned chickpeas
    1 tablespoon rice wine vinegar
    1 teaspoon honey
    4 cups arugula leaves
    1 small red onion, halved and thinly sliced
    4

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  • Mark Bittman: Beer Battered Shrimp Po' Boy

    By Alaina Sullivan

    Not only does beer give the shrimp great flavor, but it is scientifically proven to make superior batter. As soon as the beer-battered shrimp hit the pan, CO2 bubbles begin to dance and foam up around the shrimp. A panko dredging assists the process, and, as a result, the shrimp are left trapped in a flavorful and lacy-light crust. Pile them high on bread with mayo, lettuce, and tomato. Recipe from Mark Bittman's Kitchen Express.

    Beer Batter Shrimp Po' Boy

    Heat oil for frying. In a bowl, mix together one can of beer; one and one-half cups cornmeal (or panko) and pinches of salt, pepper; and paprika. Dip shrimp into batter and fry in batches until golden, about three minutes (flip once). Serve on split crusty Italian or French loaves with lettuce, tomato, and mayonnaise; lemon juice and hot sauce are also great here.

    Mark Bittman's Kitchen Express presents more than 400 incredibly fast and easy recipes tailored to each season and presented in a simple,

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