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The Minimalist Cooks at Home: Recipes That Give You More Flavor from Fewer Ingredients in Less Time Hardcover – September 10, 2002
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Mark Bittman's New York Times column, "The Minimalist," is a much-consulted source for easy but polished recipes. The Minimalist Cooks at Home features these less-is-more recipes plus others never before published--formulas that require a minimum of technique and/or ingredients. Bittman's dishes draw on the world's cuisines and, taken together, represent what might be called a new kind of home cooking. Anyone seeking delicious everyday food that's quick to put on the table yet satisfies the demands of modern palates should embrace the book. In succinct chapters that cover the major dish categories, salads through desserts, Bittman offers fare like Roast Cod with Tangerine Sauce, Chicken Under a Brick, Real Paella, and 15-Minute Fruit Gratin. These approachable, flexible dishes should enter the repertoire of cooks at all skill levels, as well as please those they feed. Bittman also includes recipes that illustrate a particular cooking technique or sequence; his Creamy Broccoli Soup, for example, presents a formula--three parts liquid, two parts vegetable, one part dairy--that can be applied widely to create new dishes instinctively. Cooking lessons like these, plus shortcuts and multiple suggestions for flavorful variations, make the book particularly useful. With photos that illustrate a number of the techniques, and recipe notes that further explore dish anatomy, the book delivers on its promise to provide strategies for good eating with little fuss. --Arthur Boehm
From Publishers Weekly
Adding to the popular subgenre of cookbooks that emphasize good food achieved with simplicity and speed, the rerelease of Bittman's 2000 original delivers the goods. Exhibiting the lucid and breezy style that characterizes his weekly New York Times column, "The Minimalist," which served as a launchpad for this book, he notes the preparation and cooking time for each basic dish and provides suggestions for variations. Many of the recipes are easy and familiar (Pear and Gorgonzola Green Salad, Linguine with Garlic and Oil, Chicken with Vinegar and Strawberries with Balsamic Vinegar), while others offer more unusual combinations: Pasta with Red Wine Sauce calls for spaghetti to finish cooking in garlic-flavored wine; Negima is a Japanese dish that consists of thin slices of beef, chicken, veal or pork wrapped around scallion bundles and grilled. The Minimalist's Thanksgiving Turkey and the Minimalist's Choucroute take longer, requiring 2 1/2 hours and 2 hours, respectively; the former is stuffed with a Pierre Franey-inspired sandwich of bread, chicken livers and parsley. Among toothsome sides are Beet Roesti with Rosemary and a Fennel Gratin redolent with crumbled blue cheese. There are many inspired ideas here, but Bittman fans will also encounter a few reworked recipes from his previous books How to Cook Everything and Fish.
Copyright 2002 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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Bittman presents fairly simply but flavorful recipies that can be easily produced in short order. Many recipies include ingredients that are easily kept on hand or found quickly at the store. My favorite aspect of the book is the variations that can be quickly and easily selected to vary the recipie. For example, Linguine with Garlic and Oil; variations: with chickpeas... with chiles... with parsely... with olives... with fresh herbs...
Not every recipie is everyday (Lobster? for my 2 year old?) - but there is opportunity for company entertaining there.