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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HTCE Fast: Za’atar Wings and Eggplant

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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!

Buffalo wings go to Beirut. The sauce is creamy and spicy — a familiar pairing for crispy wings — but the flavor is new and unexpected thanks to za’atar, a spice blend containing thyme, sumac, and sesame seeds that’s ubiquitous in the Middle East.

Za’atar Wings and Eggplant with Yogurt-Harissa Sauce
1 small garlic clove
1 lemon
1 cup yogurt
1 tablespoon harissa
Salt and pepper
1 large or 2 medium eggplant (about 2 pounds)
3 pounds chicken wings
1/4 cup olive oil
2 tablespoons ground sumac
1 tablespoon dried thyme
2 teaspoons sesame seeds

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HTCE Fast: Rice Bowl with Sausage

Rice Bowl Eaten Into 4

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

Whenever you can use what you’ve got and can save a trip to the market, I’m all for it. Flexible recipes like this Rice Bowl with Sausage from How to Cook Everything Fast are perfect for improvisation: I had excellent Indian summer peppers from the farmers’ market to use instead of the fennel. The recipe includes a couple variations to get you started, but the formula is infinitely variable. Here’s how: Start some rice in one pot and get the sausage—any kind—browning in a skillet while you prep the vegetables—broccoli, asparagus, green beans, or even greens would all work. Then add thick slices to the pan so everything cooks together and is perfectly seasoned by the time the rice is ready.

Rice Bowl with Sausage (from How to Cook Everything Fast)
1 1/2 cups short-grain white rice
Salt
2 tablespoons olive oil, plus more for drizzling
1 pound hot or sweet Italian sausage links
2 large fennel bulbs
Pepper
4 ounces Parmesan cheese (1 cup shaved)
Several sprigs fresh basil for garnish

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HTCE Fast: Skillet Meat Loaf

meatloaf

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

Flattening out meat loaf to cook it in a skillet not only reduces cooking time but also dramatically increases the surface area to maximize crunch. It’s faster and better.

Skillet Meat Loaf (from How to Cook Everything Fast)
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 cup bread crumbs
1/2 cup milk
1 pound ground beef
1 pound ground pork
Salt and pepper
2 ounces Parmesan cheese (1/2 cup grated)
1 garlic clove
1 egg
1/4 cup ketchup

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Spring Stews with Crunchy Crusts

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April is a transitional season, not only for weather but also for cooking. More produce begins to appear at farmers’ markets, and even supermarket asparagus begins to come from places closer than Peru. In most of the country, though, it’s not yet time for hot-weather eating; we still crave more than a light salad.

Light stews with springtime ingredients and satisfying crusts are the perfect dish for this time of year. These are neither the gut-busting braises that we’ve been eating all winter nor the cold soups that we’ll eat in a couple of months, but something in between. The most famous example of this kind of dish, of course, is chicken potpie. The version I offer here is a modern take that celebrates spring with the addition of peas (traditional) and asparagus (less so) and the exclusion of cream.

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Not Just for Breakfast Anymore

Screen Shot 2013-12-05 at 11.41.09 AMIt started simply enough: Some months ago, I needed to make myself something to eat, and I had a few ounces of leftover scallops from dinner the night before. I remembered something I learned in Madrid called a tortillita, which inspired me to produce a kind of eggy pancake — or, if you like, a floury omelet — laced with shrimp, parsley and onion. I beat together an egg and a little flour until smooth, wanting to thicken the mixture just enough so that it wouldn’t run in the pan. I chopped the scallops and added them to the batter, along with a bit of onion, some parsley, salt and chopped fresh chile, shallow-frying all this by the spoonful in abundant oil. Predictably, the little guys — eight in total — took a couple of minutes per side to become gorgeously golden. I sprinkled them with salt, squeezed a few drops of lemon over each and ate the entire batch by myself, in about the same amount of time they took to cook.

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Better Than a Meat Lollipop

Screen Shot 2013-12-02 at 5.49.03 PMNot long ago, in certain circles, serving anything other than the most tender and expensive rib or loin chops — in the form of a “rack” or a “meat lollipop” — to respectable company was considered déclassé. Leg and shank eventually got their dues — and now the shoulder has finally arrived.

It’s about time, because all things considered, it’s the best major cut of lamb. (The best minor cut might be the neck, or even the kidney or tongue, but we’re not addressing “specialty meats” here.)

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Past Perfect: Memories of Home, and a Huge Thanksgiving Latke

Screen Shot 2013-11-24 at 12.54.36 PMAfter living in what must have seemed like every neighborhood in three boroughs — Coney Island, the South Bronx, East Flatbush, Spanish Harlem (as it was then called), the Lower East Side — my mother’s parents, in their oldish age, settled in Astoria, which is where I spent almost all the Thanksgivings of my childhood.

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Thanksgiving Pastrami From Danny Bowien

Hanukkah and Thanksgiving fall on the same day this year, so Danny Bowien proposed doing a Thanksgiving Pastrami. He demonstrates the simple meat dish for me.

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Do Not Fear a Beet Without Goat Cheese

Screen Shot 2013-10-23 at 9.31.46 AMGive a cook a beet, and he’ll probably do one of two things with it: Reject it for fear of turning the kitchen into a juicy red crime scene, or roast it and serve it with goat cheese. Ever since its ascendance, the beet-and-goat-cheese salad has been as ubiquitous a combination as tomato and mozzarella. I can take this marriage or leave it, but even if you love it, you must admit that it only scratches the surface of what beets have to offer.

There are some roasted-beet recipes here — sans goat cheese — but the rest treat the root in less familiar ways. More than half the time that I prepare beets, I begin by shredding them in a food processor. After that, you can serve them raw with a simple dressing, or you can stir-fry them in a skillet to brown them slightly, which brings out their sweetness like nothing else.

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