The Minimalist Cooks at Home: Recipes That Give You More Flavor from Fewer Ingredients in Less Time

Mark Bittman, Author
Mark Bittman, Author Broadway Books $25 (256p) ISBN 978-0-7679-0361-5
Reviewed on: 04/03/2000
Release date: 04/01/2000
Hardcover - 240 pages - 978-0-7679-0926-6
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Adding to the popular subgenre of cookbooks that emphasize good food achieved with simplicity and speed, Bittman's latest delivers the goods. Exhibiting the lucid and breezy style that characterizes his weekly New York Times column, ""The Minimalist,"" which served as a launchpad for this book, he notes the preparation and cooking time for each basic dish and provides suggestions for variations. Many of the recipes are easy and familiar (Pear and Gorgonzola Green Salad, Linguine with Garlic and Oil, Chicken with Vinegar and Strawberries with Balsamic Vinegar), while others offer more unusual combinations: Pasta with Red Wine Sauce calls for spaghetti to finish cooking in garlic-flavored wine; Negima is a Japanese dish that consists of thin slices of beef, chicken, veal or pork wrapped around scallion bundles and grilled. The Minimalist's Thanksgiving Turkey and the Minimalist's Choucroute take longer, requiring 2 1/2 hours and 2 hours, respectively; the former is stuffed with a Pierre Franey-inspired sandwich of bread, chicken livers and parsley. Among toothsome sides are Beet Roesti with Rosemary and a Fennel Gratin redolent with crumbled blue cheese. There are many inspired ideas here, but Bittman fans will also encounter a few reworked recipes from his previous books How to Cook Everything and Fish. (Apr.)
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