Just Cook! (and other things)

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Ellen Kanner‘s been busy since I saw her in Florida the week before last. She just published an interview that she did with me for Culinate (covering all sorts of food topics), as well as her Meatless Monday column in the Huffington Post.

Posted in Behind The Scenes

Sunday Supper: Stuck-Pot Rice with Potato Crust

Recipe from How to Cook Everything.

Stuck-Pot Rice with Potato Crust

Makes: 4 to 6 servings

Time: 1 1/2 hours, largely unattended

Visualize a stovetop paella served upside down, the gorgeous crust sitting on top. Made with rice, potatoes, or anything else that browns and sticks to the bottom of a pot—and given the fact that the recipe actually directs that you simply walk away (you’ll ruin it if you don’t)—stuck-pot rice is one of the easiest ways to get an impressive rice dish on the table.

Use brown basmati rice here if you like. The kernels will be slightly less starchy than with white basmati rice, but the flavor will be deep and delicious. Take the time to line the pot lid with a clean towel. This absorbs water so the condensation from the lid doesn’t drip back into the rice.

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Posted in Recipes

Dinner with Bittman: Braised and Glazed Butternut Squash

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Recipe from How to Cook Everything.

Braised and Glazed Butternut Squash

Makes: 4 servings

Time: 30 minutes

This is your go-to recipe for everyday winter squash; it will work with any variety, but I usually turn to butternut because it’s so much easier to deal with than all the others. Once you peel and cut the squash, you braise it in a small amount of liquid, then boil off the remaining moisture to glaze it. Other vegetables you can use: any winter squash (except spaghetti), though they will all be more difficult to cut and peel than butternut.

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Posted in Produce, Recipes

Behind the Scenes at the Minimalist

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Just finished shooting twelve minimalist videos in two days. Here’s what we’re up to when the cameras aren’t rolling (notice the intense concentration on that rack of lamb).

Posted in Behind The Scenes

Dinner with Bittman: Chard with Orange and Shallots

Recipe from How to Cook Everything.

Chard with Orange and Shallots

Makes: 4 servings

Time: 25 minutes

A perfect winter dish, this warm salad has vibrant color and tangy sweet-sour flavor. The skin of the orange or tangerine becomes almost candied and provides a nice chew, but if you’d rather not eat it, simply peel before chopping.

Other vegetables you can use: any chard, bok choy, kale, or any cabbage. For the citrus, use kumquats (quartered) if available.

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Posted in Produce, Recipes

You Want Chronicles? I’ll Give You Chronicles!

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Today is the first “normal” day I’ve had in more than two weeks. I know this because I had steel-cut oats (with soy, mirin, and rice vinegar, fantastic) for breakfast. Otherwise I couldn’t tell.

Last week began in Philly, with a talk at the Free Public Library; I thought it went well. Loads of people, all very friendly. Finished signing at 9.00 or so, and ate at the hotel, the Palomar. I have to say I was pleasantly surprised; I know Kimpton (the hotel chain) tries to work on its restaurants, but I haven’t been that impressed overall. But Square 1682 was really, really good: a warm octopus salad, followed by a tiny little cassoulet … obviously not a big enough sample to judge by, but I’d go back. Not that I know when I’ll be in Philly again.

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Posted in Travel

Dinner with Bittman: Pasta with Leeks and Parsley

Recipe from How to Cook Everthing.

Pasta with Leeks and Parsley

Makes: About 4 servings

Time: 30 minutes

Leeks become tender quickly enough to make a distinctive sauce for pasta in little more time than it takes to boil the water and cook the pasta. And teamed with the classic southern Italian quartet of garlic, chile, parsley, and olive oil (butter’s good, too), the sauce is delicious.

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Posted in Italian, Recipes

Dinner with Bittman: Stuffed Mushrooms

Recipe from How to Cook Everything.

Stuffed Mushrooms

Makes: At least 6 servings

Time: 30 minutes

Another good use for button mushrooms, which have a fine shape for stuffing.

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Posted in Produce, Recipes

The Food Matters Cookbook Chronicles: St. Louis

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Oftentimes when I’m signing books for people they ask if they can take my picture. Last week in St. Louis I (for the first time) replied, “Fine, if I can take yours.” Really fun. Here are some of them.

Posted in Behind The Scenes, Travel