*April 2010 COTM, Bittman: Pasta, Grains, Beans
April's Cookbook of the Month is How to Cook Everything, by Mark Bittman.
Please use this thread for reports on the following chapters:
Pasta, Noodles, and Dumplings
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I've made a habit of Bittman's Brown Rice with Cashews and Herbs (in the 1st edition). Essentially a pilaf with onions and garlic, the nuts and herbs being added with the rice and stock/water.
Also the Rice Pilaf with Currants and Pine Nuts, flavored with ground cumin and cinnamon (in both editions). I use brown jasmine rice and cook longer until it's as soft as I want it.
Chicken and Sausage Jambalaya (2nd edition), with no requirements for exotic meats (use andouille sausage if you've got it). Not the best jambalaya I've ever tasted but holds its own with several recipes having bona fide New Orleans credentials. Without tomato sauce.
Broad Rice Noodles with Chiles, Pork (ground turkey) and Basil (p. 176, 1st ed).
Winner. The recipe calls for ground pork, but he also says ground turkey is fine. You do the rice noodle thing, meanwhile making the sauce. Saute garlic and hot chile peppers (he calls for 5, but AHA - I've figured out to always add more with him, I used 7) in peanut oil, then add your meat and cook until almost done. Then add soy sauce and fish sauce and sugar. Stir to mix, add the noodles, some rice vinegar and basil (I only had 1/2 cup, he calls for a cup - it was still excellent). I'd make this again in a heartbeat. Easy and very tasty. Served with a salad with asian dressing. No picture today.
Pasta with Savoy Cabbage (On-line recipe)
Place EVOO, garlic, anchovies, a dried red chile, and bay leaves in a large pot. Cook on medium till the garlic is golden. Add the cabbage, sliced in ribbons, and raise the heat to high. Cook, stirring occasionally, til the cabbage browns a little.
Add a cup of stock or wine, I used Noilly Pratt, and continue to cook until the cabbage becomes tender, about 10-ish minutes. Meanwhile, cook a dry pasta, I used fettuccine. Drain the pasta but reserve some of the cooking water. Toss the cabbage and pasta together. Add some cooking water if necessary. Adjust seasoning with salt and pepper, garnish with chopped parsley and serve. At the end we did add a little more red pepper flakes and a good grinding of Tellicherry pepper as well.
We liked this dish so well we made it twice, once with Savoy and once with green cabbage. I thought it could have used a sprinkling of Pecorino Romano the first time and indeed, when I made it again I did grate some cheese on top of each dish.
Lentils with Roasted Squash, p 432 2008 edition
Cube winter squash, toss with olive oil and roast at 375. Saute half an onion, add 2 tsp of chopped garlic. Add bay leaf, 1/2 cup white wine, 2 cups of stock and bring to boil. Add 1 cup dried lentils. Squash goes into the soup just before the lentils are done cooking.
I doubled the recipe, used all stock instead of wine, and added 1/2 cup of barley. It was very easy and tasty. I will definitely be making this again, it's a nice change from my regular lentil soup.