HTCE Fast: Cheddar Waffles with Bacon Maple Syrup

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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!

These cheddar waffles are an addictive mix of sweet and savory. They bake up crisp and rich like grilled cheese sandwiches, only with the classic flavors of breakfast on top.

Vegetable oil
6 slices bacon
4 ounces sharp cheddar cheese (1 cup grated)
2 cups flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 eggs
1 cup milk
3/4 cup maple syrup
Pepper

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Posted in Mark Bittman Books, Recipes

HTCE Fast: Jambalaya des Herbes with Shrimp

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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!

To accommodate Catholics who were abstaining from meat during Lent, a vegetarian version of gumbo with lots of greens—gumbo z’herbes—was often served in New Orleans. This recipe takes the same approach with another bayou classic, jambalaya.

3 tablespoons olive oil
1 large onion
2 celery stalks
2 green bell peppers
2 garlic cloves
Salt and pepper
1 1/2 cups long-grain white rice
2 large ripe tomatoes (1 pound)
1 teaspoon paprika
1/2 teaspoon cayenne
1 teaspoon dried thyme
3 bay leaves
1 bunch fresh parsley
1 pound peeled shrimp
Hot sauce for serving (optional)

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Posted in Mark Bittman Books, Recipes

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

A Last-Minute Dessert for Holiday Hosting and Giving

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If the word “ganache” intimidates you, you are not alone. Maybe if the stuff were called “basic, simple and entirely superior chocolate sauce,” more people would make it. Ganache is not just chocolate sauce, though; it is also the basis for the easiest chocolate truffles. (This word is easier to understand because chocolate truffles do, in fact, closely resemble black truffles.)

To make truffles, you just chill the ganache, then roll it in cocoa, powdered sugar or cinnamon, or some combination, which might even include exotic spices. The finished truffles, which are softer and more delicate than the types that are enrobed in hard chocolate, make perfect little gifts, as long as you keep them refrigerated. Cool room temperature is acceptable; storing them next to the radiator is not.

Time: 30 minutes, plus at least one hour’s chilling
7/8 cup heavy cream
8 ounces good quality bittersweet chocolate, chopped
Unsweetened cocoa powder as needed

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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