Roasted or Grilled Asparagus

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Makes: 4 servings

Time: 30 minutes

Asparagus are terrific when blasted with high heat; if you haven’t had them browned, you’re in for a new treat. If you have a grill going, you should really try grilling them; thick spears, especially, are wonderful this way (thin ones are good too, but you have to be especially careful not to let them fall through the grill grates). If the grill is not on, roast them. They’re amazing this way, especially with butter. Recipe from How to Cook Everything Vegetarian.

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Posted in Produce, Recipes

Just Released: How to Cook Everything Vegetarian App for iPhone and iPod Touch

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The How to Cook Everything Vegetarian app for iPhone and iPod Touch just went live. I must say, it’s totally great. You can buy it here, browse the full family of How to Cook Everything apps here, or keep reading for details other than “it’s totally great.” If you already have, and love the book, this app will become it’s well-traveled companion.

From the press release:

Mark Bittman’s How to Cook Everything Vegetarian is now available as an app for iPhone and iPod Touch. This seminal work contains more than 2,000 meatless recipes and variations—plus ample cooking, shopping, and ingredient information—making this app every bit as useful as its predecessors, How to Cook Everything for iPhone and iPad.

Like the incredibly popular How to Cook Everything apps, which have had more than half a million downloads, the new app on vegetarian cooking features enhanced search capabilities, shopping lists, timers for every recipe, and featured recipes (updated weekly). Similarly, too, How to Cook Everything Vegetarian can be used anywhere, anytime, online or offline. It’s the ultimate app companion to the ultimate vegetarian cookbook.

Features of the How to Cook Everything Vegetarian app include:

·       Intuitive filters that pinpoint searches by multiple ingredients,

        techniques, or styles

·       Access to how-to illustrations and detailed reference information

·       Customizable shopping lists and personalized favorites lists

·       Built-in timers and a settings option for integrated metric display

·       Cooking inspiration with Bittman’s Picks, Menu Ideas, and weekly new

        featured recipes

·       Printing and emailing option for recipes and shopping lists

 

Posted in Mark Bittman Books

Smashed Potato Salad with Escarole

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By Freya Bellin

In this dish, ultimate comfort food meets veggies, and they get along pretty well. Mashed potatoes are classically very buttery, but this version doesn’t suffer at all in the absence of milk or butter. The olive oil flavors the potatoes nicely, and although you don’t want to over-smash the potatoes in this dish, I was able to achieve a really creamy consistency, dairy-free. The greens add color and make the salad a little lighter, while the lemon offers a bright, springy, and zesty touch. The citrus is lovely but quite pervasive, so I would start with half a lemon’s worth of juice and add more to taste. I tossed in some salt and lots of extra black pepper at the end, which helped cut the lemon if you find it’s too strong. For those who like spice, try sprinkling red pepper flakes or cayenne on top. Recipe from The Food Matters Cookbook.

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Posted in Produce, Recipes

Fast French Bread or Rolls

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Makes: 3 or 4 baguettes, 1 boule, or 12 to 16 rolls

Time: About 2 hours, largely unattended

This bread can be made by hand or with an electric mixer, but the food processor is the tool of choice and will save you tons of time. Recipe from How to Cook Everything.

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Posted in Baking

Coconut and Brown Rice Pudding

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By Freya Bellin

It is difficult to be patient with the aroma of coconut milk slowly simmering in the oven, but patience is both required and rewarded by this rice pudding. I love the idea of using brown rice in this recipe. It’s healthier, for one, and adds a nuttiness and texture that you can’t get from white rice. The coconut milk makes the pudding rich, a little exotic, and much more flavorful than regular milk would. I used light coconut milk, which is pretty drastically lower in fat than the regular kind, and it was still quite rich. The single cinnamon stick I used made a huge flavor impact, proving that a little seasoning can go a long way.

Watching the pudding cook, it looked like soup for most of the cook time, and then seemingly suddenly looked more like rice, so don’t be discouraged if it seems to be taking a while for the rice to absorb the liquid. I couldn’t resist eating some straight out of the oven, and while it does thicken up nicely when it cools, I enjoyed it most while warm, with raisins tossed in at the end. Recipe from The Food Matters Cookbook. Continue reading

Posted in Baking

Coconut Macaroons

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Makes: About 2 dozen

Time: About 45 minutes, plus time to chill

1 cup sugar

3 cups shredded unsweetened coconut

3 egg whites, lightly beaten

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Pinch salt

1. Heat the oven to 350 degrees. Combine all ingredients in a large bowl and mix well with a rubber spatula or your hands.

2. Use a non-stick baking sheet, or line a baking sheet with parchment paper. To make the pyramids, wet your hands and scoop out a rounded tablespoon of the mixture into the palm of one hand. Using your other hand, press in gently on both sides of the mixture, bringing the macaroon to a point. Continue pressing with your thumb and forefinger on both sides until you have an even shape. For cubes, start as you would for the pyramids, then gently press equally on all sides, turning the macaroon to square off each side. You can use a butter knife to gently smooth the sides of the pyramids and cubes if you like. For balls, roll the mixture between your palms gently until round.

3. Place each macaroon about an inch apart on the baking sheet. Bake until light brown, about 15 minutes. Remove the baking sheet and cool on a rack for at least 30 minutes before eating. These keep well in a covered container for up to 3 days.

 

Posted in Baking

Real Popcorn

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By Freya Bellin

You may be wondering why you’d need a recipe for something as simple as popcorn, but follow any of the variations below, and you’ll see that popcorn need not be simple—at least not in flavor. As with most pre-packaged foods, microwaveable popcorn doesn’t allow you much control over its seasoning. When you pop plain corn kernels, however, you have the freedom to add as much or as little salt, oil, or anything else, as you like. It tastes cleaner and fresher than anything you can get in a package.

It turns out that popcorn is the perfect “nosh” food for entertaining, especially when you can make it gourmet. I tried three variations: sautéed garlic, curry powder, and truffle salt. The truffle salt by far was the biggest hit. Note that seasonings like minced garlic won’t stick well to the popcorn unless they’re both hot. In general, though, as long as you’ve used enough oil (just enough to coat the bottom of your pan) the extra ingredients should stick fine. The popcorn tastes best hot, so only make as much as you’ll eat in a day. Recipe from The Food Matters Cookbook.

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Posted in American

Raw Beet Salad

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Makes: 4 servings

Time: 20 minutes

Beets, like carrots, can be eaten raw. And they’re delicious that way, crunchy and sweet. So sweet, in fact, that they need a strongly acidic dressing like this one for balance. Recipe from How to Cook Everything Vegetarian.

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Posted in Produce, Recipes

Parsnips and Chicken with Pumpkin Seed Sauce

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By Freya Bellin

I grew up thinking of parsnips as a soup vegetable. My mom always uses them when she makes chicken or vegetable stock, and she adds them to matzo ball soup. However, as my cooking horizons have expanded, I’ve begun to appreciate how versatile parsnips are. They have an earthy sweetness that works very well in broths, but also comes through when roasted or braised, as in this recipe.

You may consider trying this dish with a combination of root vegetables, as the all-parsnip dish was quite sweet. Potatoes, in particular, would be a nice complement to the parsnips and would also go well with the pumpkin seeds. This sauce is a really creative way of adding both flavor and texture to the dish.  Grinding the seeds more makes them more of a thickening agent, and grinding less adds some crunch. The browned chicken is tasty and adds some protein to make this a heartier meal, but the vegetables really take center stage. Recipe from The Food Matters Cookbook.

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Posted in Recipes

Cold Noodles with Peanut or Sesame Sauce

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Makes: 2 main-course or 4 side-dish or appetizer servings

Time: 30 minutes

A crowd-pleaser and an easy starter or side—or a main course on a hot day. To make it more substantial, add 1/2 cup or so of small tofu cubes or cooked soybeans. Or top each serving with a few slices of grilled, roasted, or poached chicken. The cucumber adds nice crunch and freshness to what is otherwise a pretty dense dish. Recipe from How to Cook Everything.

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Posted in Japanese, Recipes