Dinner with Bittman: Raw Beet Salad

Recipe from How to Cook Everything.

Raw Beet Salad

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.

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Posted in Produce

Putting McDonald’s Out of Business

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The fact that Mickey D’s may be forced to raise prices because of higher commodity costs isn’t entirely bad news; but it’s not entirely good either.

In a fair world, anything that discourages people from eating at McDonald’s could be seen as wonderful. Reflecting the true cost of a cheeseburger – one that includes the health care costs that appear down the road, or the environmental costs that few people seem concerned about – would be a good thing. By discouraging the consumption of cheeseburgers, higher prices would encourage better health and less environmental damage.

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Posted in Food Politics

Creamy Carrot and Chickpea Soup

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By Freya Bellin

One of the cold weather staples in my kitchen is a good, hearty soup — the kind that needs only a thick slice of bread to make itself a meal.  This carrot and chickpea soup fits right into that category: it has relatively few ingredients, takes only about 30 minutes of active cook time, and is completely satisfying as a main dish.   The smoked paprika smells amazing bubbling in a stock pot for hours.  My chickpeas soaked for about 3 hours before I added them to the stock, and it required about 2 hours cooking time to soften them.  If you remember, try soaking the beans overnight to reduce that time.  Plus, you can reuse the soaking liquid – I used 2 cups of chickpea liquid and 4 cups of vegetable stock for the 6 cups of liquid needed. I ate a few bites of the soup before I pureed it and it’s as good chunky as it is smooth. Recipe from The Food Matters Cookbook.

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Posted in Recipes

Leonard Lopate Show

My conversation with Leonard Lopate on his show last Friday.

Posted in Behind The Scenes

Sunday Supper: Chicken Cutlets and Tomatoes in Packages

Recipe from How to Cook Everything.

Chicken Cutlets and Tomatoes in Packages

Makes: 4 servings

Time: 1 hour

You can steam chicken directly over water, but better, in my opinion, is to steam the chicken, along with the flavorful juices of wine, tomato, oil, or stock, in a wrapped package in the oven. This method—traditionally called cooking en papillote—is simple and foolproof. It’s also impressive to serve individual packages at the table, using either parchment paper or aluminum foil to wrap the chicken and its seasonings. Easier still, if not quite as attractive, is to combine everything in a covered glass or ceramic baking dish.

Other protein you can use in this recipe: any cutlets—pork, veal, or turkey.

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Posted in Recipes

Everyday Pancakes

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Makes: 4 to 6 servings

Time: 20 minutes

It’s amazing how quickly you can whip up this batter.  Store it, covered, in the refrigerator for up to 2 days.  Adjust the consistency of the batter with either more milk or more flour as you like. Recipe from How to Cook Everything.

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Posted in American, Recipes

Dinner with Bittman: Roasted Chickpeas

Recipe from How to Cook Everything.

Roasted Chickpeas

Makes: 4 servings

Time: Less than 30 minutes with cooked chickpeas

When you cook chickpeas long enough, whether on the stovetop or in the oven, their exterior becomes crisp. These are equally good as a side dish or finger food.

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Posted in Middle Eastern, Recipes

Dinner with Bittman: Arroz Con Pollo

Recipe from How to Cook Everything.

Arroz Con Pollo

Makes: 4 servings

Time: About 1 hour

There are as many ways to make this as there are to make fried chicken, and they’re all pretty good. This version is stripped to its bare essentials: onion, chicken, and rice. You can add peas, red pepper, tomato, seasonings like bay leaves and allspice—well, see the variation for a more complex version. Stock makes the best cooking liquid, but the commonly used water works well, because as it simmers with the chicken they combine to produce a flavorful broth, which is in turn absorbed by the rice.

Saffron is not essential here, though it is welcome. More often than not, though, people make arroz con pollo with turmeric or annatto oil, which are more about color than flavor; the dish is customarily yellow. Take your pick.

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Posted in Mexican, Recipes

This Week’s Minimalist: Quick Preserved Lemons

So they’re not actually “preserved”, but you only have to wait hours instead of weeks. Give them a try.

Posted in Produce