The Minimalist Cooks Dinner: More than 100 Recipes for Fast Weeknight Meals and Casual Entertaining
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The Minimalist Cooks Dinner: More than 100 Recipes for Fast Weeknight Meals and Casual Entertaining

by Mark Bittman
     
 

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Back with another splendid collection, America’s most popular cooking authority and author of How to Cook Everything, presents more than 100 fast, sophisticated main courses for home cooks of every skill level.

The Minimalist Cooks Dinner showcases Mark Bittman’s signature ease and imagination, and focuses on

Overview

Back with another splendid collection, America’s most popular cooking authority and author of How to Cook Everything, presents more than 100 fast, sophisticated main courses for home cooks of every skill level.

The Minimalist Cooks Dinner showcases Mark Bittman’s signature ease and imagination, and focuses on center-of-the-plate main dishes. And, in this new volume, he also provides recipes for classic, versatile side dishes as well as recommendations for wine and food pairings. With a majority of its main dish recipes taking less than thirty minutes to prepare, this is truly the book every busy cook has been waiting for. Every recipe in The Minimalist Cooks Dinner is big on flavor, drawing on the global pantry and international repertoire that sets Bittman apart.

This inventive collection offers a refreshing new take on standards, along with ideas that will inspire both novices and experienced home cooks to branch out, making it the perfect solution for weeknight after-work meals or elegant weekend dinner parties. From Steamed Chicken Breasts with Scallion-Ginger Sauce to Korean-Style Beef Wrapped in Lettuce Leaves to Roast Fish with Meat Sauce, Bittman banishes the ordinary with an exciting range of choices. Also covering hearty pasta dishes, steaks, pork, veal, lamb, chicken, and a wide assortment of seafood, The Minimalist Cooks Dinner is the answer when you’re looking for “satisfying dishes with a minimum of effort.”

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Recipes from the past two years of "The Minimalist," Bittman's widely read weekly food column in the New York Times, shape this latest collection from the author of the phenomenally popular How to Cook Everything. Cementing his reputation for quick, uncomplicated and rewardingly tasty fare within reach of any cook, Bittman overflows with inspiration in the basic recipes and in the suggestions that can be undertaken "With Minimal Effort" accompanying each one. For example, tinkering with Vichyssoise with Garlic, he proposes adding tomato and basil as one variation. To speed up a pasta meal, why not cook Pasta, Risotto Style? Adding stock a ladle at a time to a cut pasta yields a creamy dish without having to wait for a gallon of water to boil. Black Skillet Mussels couldn't be easier: heat a heavy skillet, add mussels and, when they open, eat. Suggested variations include a side sauce of butter, Tabasco and lemon juice. Combining unusual flavors comes naturally to Bittman, as in Roast Fish with Meat Sauce or Pot Roast with Cranberries, in which the meat quickly caramelizes with its dusting of sugar. Chicken-Mushroom "Cutlets" with Parmesan are basically chickenburgers gussied up temptingly with parmesan, porcini and garlic. The headnotes are much shorter than those in last year's The Minimalist Cooks at Home, but each recipe now brings pointers in the form of "Keys to Success" as well as suggested wines. Cooks with discerning tastes but little time will be very glad to add this to their library. (On-sale Sept. 11) Copyright 1999 Cahners Business Information.
Library Journal - Library Journal
The Minimalist Cooks at Home, Bittman's first cookbook from his weekly New York Times column, included recipes for all courses of a meal. This time, he concentrates on easy main courses, but he includes serving suggestions for rounding out the meal, as well as a chapter on salads and side dishes. The recipes are generally sophisticated but undemanding with their trademark short ingredients lists; for those with a bit more time or the inclination to experiment, variations are provided for each recipe under the heading "With Minimal Effort." Wine (or beer) suggestions are also included. Sure to be in demand. Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780767906715
Publisher:
Crown Publishing Group
Publication date:
09/28/2001
Pages:
240
Product dimensions:
7.45(w) x 9.43(h) x 0.80(d)

Read an Excerpt

Pot Roast with Cranberries

Unlike their cousin, the blueberry — which is sometimes used in savory cooking, although almost never successfully — cranberries are not at all sweet, and so make a much more natural companion for meat. This is a gutsy, appealing, and unusual pot roast, and one you can make quickly or slowly, depending on your time, taste, and budget.

Time: 1 1/2 hours, or more Makes: 4 to 6 servings

Ingredients

1 tablespoon butter or extra virgin olive oil
1/2 cup sugar
2- to 3-pound piece of chuck or brisket Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1/2 cup sherry vinegar or good wine vinegar
12 ounces fresh or frozen cranberries
1 orange Cayenne

1. Put the butter in a casserole or skillet and turn the heat to medium-high. Put the sugar on a plate and dredge the meat in it until all the surfaces are coated. Reserve the remaining sugar. When the butter foam subsides, brown the meat on all sides —this will take about 15 minutes — seasoning it with salt and pepper as it browns.

2. When the meat is nicely browned, add the vinegar and cook for a minute, stirring. Add the cranberries and remaining sugar and stir. Strip the zest from the orange (you can do it in broad strips, with a small knife or vegetable peeler) and add it to the skillet. Juice the orange and add the juice also, along with a pinch of cayenne. Turn the heat to low and cover; the mixture should bubble but not furiously.

3. Cook, turning the meat and stirring about every 30 minutes, for 2 hours or longer, or until the meat is tender. When the meat is done, taste and adjust the seasoning if necessary. Turn off the heat and let the roast rest for a few minutes, then carve and serve, with the sauce.

Keys To Success

DUSTING THE MEAT with some of the sugar makes the browning process go much more rapidly, and leaves behind a caramelized residue that is deglazed by the vinegar when you add it. All of this lends complexity to the final dish.

MOST POT ROASTS depend for their flavor on the juices exuded by the meat itself; that's why tough, slow-cooking cuts like brisket or chuck are usually preferable. But since the meat's contribution here is minimized by the powerful cranberry-based combination, a faster-cooking cut like tenderloin works perfectly, reducing the cooking time to just over an hour.

With Minimal Effort
Faster Pot Roast with Cranberries: Substitute a 2-to-3-pound piece of tenderloin (filet mignon) for the chuck or brisket and reduce the cooking time to about 1 hour, or until the internal temperature is 125° to 130°F (medium-rare); you can cook it longer than that if you like.

Wine: Rioja, Merlot, or another soft red

Meet the Author

Mark Bittman is the creator and author of the popular weekly New York Times column “The Minimalist,” and a frequent contributor to the newspaper’s Dining In/Dining Out section. His previous books include The Minimalist Cooks at Home (winner of an IACP Award), How to Cook Everything (a four-time award winner, with more than 400,000 copies in print), Fish (winner of an IACP/Julia Child Cookbook Award) and, with Jean-Georges Vongerichten, Jean-Georges: Cooking at Home with a Four-Star Chef (winner of a James Beard Award) and Simple to Spectacular. He lives in Connecticut.

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