HTCE Fast: Ricotta Dumplings with Spinach and Brown Butter

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Every Wednesday, I’m featuring one of my favorite recipes from How to Cook Everything FastIf you cook it, too, I want to see it—tag it on social media with #HTCEFast. And enjoy!

There is no homemade pasta faster to whip up than ricotta dumplings. The only part that requires patience is cooking them in batches so you don’t overload the pot. It’s worth the short wait, though; these are downright luxurious.

Salt
6 ounces Parmesan cheese (1 1/2 cups grated)
2 eggs
2 cups ricotta cheese
Pepper
3/4 cup to 1 cup flour
6 tablespoons (3/4 stick) butter
1 bunch spinach (1 pound)

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Posted in Mark Bittman Books, Recipes

HTCE Fast: Spaghetti and Drop Meatballs with Tomato Sauce

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Every Wednesday, I’m featuring one of my favorite recipes from How to Cook Everything FastIf you cook it, too, I want to see it—tag it on social media with #HTCEFast. And enjoy!

The most time-consuming part of making meatballs is rolling them. The solution? Don’t. Just use two spoons to drop little mounds of the mixture into the hot skillet. (Skipping the rolling also prevents you from overworking the meatballs until they get tough.) Leave them alone to brown beautifully on the bottom while you start building the tomato sauce around them.

Salt
2 tablespoons olive oil
12 ounces ground beef
6 ounces Parmesan cheese (1 1/2 cups grated)
1 bunch fresh parsley
1/4 cup bread crumbs
1 egg
Pepper
1 large onion
3 garlic cloves
Two 28-ounce cans diced tomatoes
3 bay leaves
1 pound spaghetti

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Posted in Mark Bittman Books, Recipes

Planet Plant

Mushroom Leek Saute

Whether you follow the habits of “sexy A-listers” or march to your own drum, consider eating more fruits and vegetables in 2015. You don’t have to become a vegan or vegetarian, or even make an official “resolution.” Just shift the balance of calories in your diet away from animal foods and toward plants. Assuming you also avoid junk food, you’ll be doing both yourself and the planet a world of good. If you need more guidance and some recipes, see my books VB6® and The VB6® Cookbook. Here’s an example of what I mean—a steak topped with loads of caramelized leeks and mushrooms.

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Posted in Mark Bittman Books, Recipes

HTCE Fast: Warm Escarole and White Bean Salad with Poached Eggs

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Every Wednesday, I’m featuring one of my favorite recipes from How to Cook Everything FastIf you cook it, too, I want to see it—tag it on social media with #HTCEFast. And enjoy!

This cousin to the classic frisée au lardons — with its luscious poached egg on top — substitutes white beans and Parmesan for bacon, and, believe me, it’s a fair trade.

1/4 cup olive oil, plus more for garnish
2 garlic cloves
1/2 teaspoon red chile flakes (optional)
1 large bunch escarole (1 to 1 1/2 pounds) (If you can’t find escarole, spinach works too.)
4 cups cooked or canned white beans (two 15-ounce cans)
Salt and pepper
2 teaspoons white vinegar
4 eggs
4 ounces Parmesan cheese (1 cup grated)

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Posted in Mark Bittman Books, Recipes

HTCE Fast: Broken Wonton Soup

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Every Wednesday, I’m featuring one of my favorite recipes from How to Cook Everything FastIf you cook it, too, I want to see it—tag it on social media with #HTCEFast. And enjoy!

Even with the convenience of packaged wonton skins, no one is going to fill and seal wontons while hurrying to get dinner on the table. But if you deconstruct the whole thing, you can pull together homemade wonton soup in minutes.

8 cups chicken or vegetable stock
4 ounces shiitake mushrooms
2 garlic cloves
1/2 inch fresh ginger
4 scallions
1 pound ground pork
1 egg
1 tablespoon soy sauce, plus more for serving
2 teaspoons sesame oil, plus more for serving
1/4 teaspoon five-spice powder (optional)
Salt
24 wonton skins

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Posted in Mark Bittman Books, Recipes

HTCE Fast: Chicken with Creamy Spinach-Cashew Sauce

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Every Wednesday, I’m featuring one of my favorite recipes from How to Cook Everything FastIf you cook it, too, I want to see it—tag it on social media with #HTCEFast. And enjoy!

This is a classic Indian preparation, achieving a delicious creaminess in almost no time.

Two 10-ounce packages frozen spinach
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken thighs
Salt and pepper
1 cup cream
1 1/2 cups unsalted cashews
2 garlic cloves
1 inch fresh ginger
1 teaspoon garam masala
Several sprigs fresh cilantro for garnish

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Posted in Mark Bittman Books, Recipes

HTCE Fast: Bánh Mì

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Every Wednesday, I’m featuring one of my favorite recipes from How to Cook Everything FastIf you cook it, too, I want to see it—tag it on social media with #HTCEFast. And enjoy!

Bánh mì—a Vietnamese-style hoagie—is often a complicated affair with a number of different components. Here it’s pared down to the absolute essentials: pork and pickled vegetables. Pretty cool for 30 minutes.

1 small daikon radish or 4 small regular red radishes
1 large carrot
1 small cucumber
Salt
3 tablespoons sugar
1 inch fresh ginger
1 garlic clove
1 tablespoon peanut oil
1 pound ground pork
1/2 cup mayonnaise
2 teaspoons Sriracha, or more to taste
1 tablespoon fish sauce
1 tablespoon soy sauce
4 hard sub rolls
Several sprigs fresh cilantro

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Posted in Mark Bittman Books, Recipes

HTCE Fast: Red Lentils with Toasted Cauliflower

Red Lentils with Toasted Cauliflower

Every Wednesday, I’m featuring one of my favorite recipes from How to Cook Everything FastIf you cook it, too, I want to see it—tag it on social media with #HTCEFast. And enjoy!

There is no better use for lentils than dal, the stewed, spiced lentil dishes ubiquitous in India. The idea is to cook them long enough so they begin to break apart and become creamy. And these red pulses are not only traditional for the soupy dals (which are often used like sauces), but they also soften in minutes. Toasted cauliflower adds another layer of texture. To easily expand the meal, serve with rice, bread, or steamed greens.

5 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 small onion
1 garlic clove
1 inch fresh ginger
1 tablespoon curry powder
3 cups coconut milk (two 15-ounce cans)
1 1/2 cups red lentils
1 large head cauliflower (about 2 1/2 pounds)
Salt and pepper
4 scallions

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HTCE Fast: Broccoli Tabbouleh with Charred Tomato and Lemon

Broccoli Tabbouleh

Every Wednesday, I’m featuring one of my favorite recipes from How to Cook Everything FastIf you cook it, too, I want to see it—tag it on social media with #HTCEFast. And enjoy!

Tabbouleh is a classic Middle Eastern salad of bulgur, tomatoes, herbs, lemon, and olive oil. If you pulse raw broccoli in the food processor, you wind up with crunchy bits that make a fine addition. Charring the tomatoes and lemon is gilding the lily, but you do it while the bulgur cooks, and it only takes a little extra work.

1 lemon
1 pint cherry tomatoes
1 cup bulgur
Salt
4 tablespoons olive oil
Pepper
1 small head broccoli (about 1 pound)
1 bunch fresh mint
1 bunch fresh parsley
1 garlic clove

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HTCE Fast: Roasted Salmon with Potato Crust

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Every Wednesday, I’m featuring one of my favorite recipes from How to Cook Everything FastIf you cook it, too, I want to see it—tag it on social media with #HTCEFast. And enjoy!

 Topping salmon with a thin layer of shredded potatoes and roasting it in a hot oven is as impressive as it is delicious. It’s also a 5-ingredient dinner, and you probably already have most of the ingredients on hand.

2 or 3 medium russet or Yukon Gold potatoes (8 ounces)
4 thick salmon fillets (1 1/2 pounds)
3 tablespoons olive oil
Salt and pepper
1 bunch fresh chives

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Posted in Mark Bittman Books, Recipes