Bittman’s Food Matters Cook Book


There is just something about Mark BIttman’s recipes/dishes that keeps calling me back. I know you know the feeling. You find a chef/cook/baker you really like and then you just want to keep making their goodies. I am that way with Madjur Jaffrey, Donna Hay, and Mark Bittman, among others..

So when it came time to do another potluck for I heart Cooking Clubs I went with Bittman – again.

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    8 ripe pears peeled, cored, and roughly chopped into smallish pieces
    1/4 – 1/3 cup sugar
    1 tablespoon cornstarch
    1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
    8 – 10 sheets whole-wheat phyllo dough, thawed
    4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, melted
    Powdered sugar for dusting

Heat the oven to 350 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Combine the pears, sugar, cornstarch, and cinnamon in a large bowl.
Set the phyllo on your work surface and cover with a piece of plastic and a damp towel to keep it from drying out. Remove one sheet and put it in front of you, brush it with some butter and fold in 1/2 length wise.

Put about 1/8 of the pear mixture at one end of the phyllo strip and begin folding the filled section of the phyllo to form triangles back and forth along the length of the strip, like folding a flag. Keep folding the triangle back and forth until you reach the end of the sheet.
Transfer the turnover to the prepared baking sheet, seam side down, and brush it with a little more butter. Repeat with the remaining phyllo sheets and apple mixture. You should have 8 turnovers.

Bake the turnovers until deeply golden and crisp (it’s okay if they ooze a little juice), 25 to 35 minutes.

Sprinkle with powdered sugar or


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    cinnamon sugar.

These were quick, crispy, flaky, tasty and the perfect light dessert. They are on page 565 of Bittman’s The Food Matters Cook book

For the other Pot Luck picks visit us over at IHCC

It seems that every time I get ready to do a dish for I Heart Cooking Clubs something gets in my way. Well not this time!! THIS time I had a recipe aleady and the dish completed. So take that, Time Consumers!!!!
Lucky for me this is Potluck week for IHCC so it was a pretty laid back event. No rushing to find a Henry recipe with the right theme. No searching thru 1000s of recipes for just the right one. I have had this Bittman recipe marked for awhile.

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Bittman calls this a Tamale Casserole. I would rather think of if as deconstructed tamales. So. Much. Easier. than rolling up the tamales and then wrapping them in shucks and steaming them. All the flavor without all the work. Well, almost all the flavor.

I liked it but I didn’t love it.

    1 cup cornmeal (fine or medium grind)
    1 1/2 cups hot water, or more as needed. {Boiling water would help cook the cornmeal and thicken it better.}
    Salt
    2 tablespoons olive oil, or more as needed
    8 ounces ground beef, pork, or lamb
    Black pepper
    1 onion, chopped
    1 tablespoon minced garlic
    1 tablespoon chili powder
    8 Roma (plum) tomatoes, chopped (canned are fine; drain their juice) {I used regular canned tomatoes}
    2 cups corn kernels (frozen are fine)
    1/2 teaspoon baking powder
    1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro or shredded cheese, for garnish

Heat the oven to 400°F. Combine the cornmeal, hot water, and a tsp salt and stir until smooth. Set it aside
Heat the oil in an oven proof skillet. Add the meat and season with salt and pepper. and cook until nicely browned, 5 to 10 minutes.
Lower the heat and add the onion and garlic. Cook until the vegetables soften, about 8 minutes more, stirring periodically. If the mix is dry you can add some more oil. Remove from the heat and add the chili powder, tomatoes, and corn.
Incorporate the baking powder into the cornmeal mix which should be the consistency of thick pancake batter; if not, add a little more water. Spoon the batter into the skillet on top of the filling and spread it around a bit. Bake until the cornbread has cracked and turned golden and is cooked all the way through – 20 to 25 minutes. Garnish with the cilantroshredded cheese and serve hot or at room temperature.

I found this to be a little dry. I would suggest saving some of the canned tomato juice or adding some tomato juice. And more salt in the cornmeal mix would help a lot as well. The seasoning for the filling, however, was spot on. Maybe adding a litte cumin to the cornmeal?
Again, I didn’t love it, but I would make it again with those small changes.

The original recipe is on page 339 of Mark Bittman’s The Food Matters Cookbook

I made this for IHCC Potluck. Check out the other choices this week.

Yep, it’s that time of the month again. Potluck week for I Heart Cooking Clubs. I haven’t had a chance to try any of our new Chef’s, Diana Henry, dishes but I had made a Bittman recipe earlier. A tasty pasta dish with lots of bacon and asparagus.

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I found some asparagus on sale so I took advantage of it and brought home a couple of bunches. I know it won’t last long – we will eat it too quickly – so I had to make this dish before the Man came around!

    2 Tbsp olive oil
    4 ounces bacon, chopped
    1 1/2 lb asparagus, cut into 2 inch pieces
    8 ounces whole wheat pasta shells or ziti
    2 eggs
    1/4 cup Parmesan cheese (freshly grated)
    Pepper to taste

Cook your pasta according to package directions. {Bittman recommends WW pasta but I had some Rice and Quinoa pasta in the pantry from Trader Joes.}
Cook the oil and chopped bacon in a hot skillet over medium heat until has started to brown.
Add in the chopped asparagus and cook asparagus until softened but still crisp.
In a warmed bowl (I put mine in a hot oven and then turned the oven off while I was cooking the bacon mix.} beat the egg and then mix in the bacon and asparagus mix. Make sure to add the rendered fat from the bacon.
Mix the drained pasta with the egg mix. Add a little pasta water if needed. Add in the Parmesan cheese. Pepper to taste. Serve.


Just a note – if the bowl is too warm the egg will cook fine but stick to the bowl. I added a little pasta water as I was cooking the egg.
As usual Bittman was right on with this recipe. Very good.


You can find the recipe on page 219 in Bittman’s Food Matters Cookbook or HERE.


Check out with the other POTLUCKS were this month over at I Heart Cooking Clubs.

It’s potluck week again with I Heart Cooking Clubs. I went with Bittman again. His recipes have so much flavor and they are healthy to boot. It’s a win/win!

There is just something about the flavors used in Asian food that always draws me in. Ginger. Sesame. When I saw this recipe in Bittman’s The Food Matters Cookbook I knew it would be perfect.

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    8 ounces any rice, buckwheat(soba){which is what I used}, or wheat noodles, preferably whole grain.
    1 tablespoon sesame oil
    2 tablespoons vegetable canola oil
    1 tablespoon minced garlic
    1 teaspoon minced ginger
    1 cup chopped green onions
    2 large carrots chopped, sliced, or julienned
    3 celery stalks, chopped, sliced, or julienned
    2 cups snow peas
    1/4 cup chicken stock or water (more if you need it, I didn’t.)
    2 tablespoons soy sauce
    1 egg, beaten {I left this out cause of the cholesterol. Next time I would add it in.}
    black pepper
    1/4 cups chopped peanuts for garnish


Bring a large pot of water to a boil and salt it. Cook the noodles according to the directions on the package, but make sure they don’t get mushy. Drain the noodles and rinse under cold water. Toss them with sesame oil to prevent sticking.
Heat oil in a large, deep skillet over medium-high heat. Add garlic, ginger, and scallions. Cook for about 15 seconds.
Add the carrots, celery, snow peas, and stock or water and turn the heat to high. Cook, stirring frequently, until the vegetables are tender, about 5-10 minutes. If the mixture gets too dry, add more liquid a tablespoon at a time.
Stir in soy sauce and beaten egg(s) and let the egg lightly scramble in the pan. Add the noodles, sprinkle with pepper, and toss well. Taste and adjust the seasoning. I have found that I needed more soy sauce. Garnish and serve.

I added chicken to mine – a 6 oz breast. Slice up the chicken and brown in the oil before you cook the veggies. When the chicken is done set it aside and then start with the veggies, etc. Add the chicken back when you add the noodles.

This fits pretty well with the DASH way of eating. I used less oil than called for and the buckwheat noodles are better for you. Like I said – win/win.

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I liked it better without the chopped peanuts.

<The recipe is on page 208 of his cookbook.

Visit with the other IHCC members for their Potluck picks. So many chefs to choose from!!

It’s POTLUCK week for I Heart Cooking Club. Still going with Bittman so this week I tried his Almost Whole Wheat Quick Bread.

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This is a non-yeast whole wheat bread. And not bad. IT was good toasted with some jam. It was even better as a grilled cheese sammy with some Gruyere.

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    5 tablespoons olive oil
    2 cups whole wheat flour, or more as needed
    1 cup all-purpose flour
    1/2 teaspoon baking powder
    1 teaspoon baking soda
    1 1/2 teaspoons salt, preferably coarse or sea salt, plus more for sprinkling
    3/4 cup yogurt or buttermilk
    3/4 cup warm water
    2 tablespoons honey, optional

2 Tbl 7 grain cereal {I added this in.}
1. Heat the oven to 375°F Grease a baking sheet or 8-inch square baking pan with 1 tablespoon of the oil. Put the flours, baking powder, soda, and
salt in a food processor and turn the machine on. Into the feed tube, pour first the remaining 4 tablespoons oil, then the yogurt or buttermilk, most of the water, and the honey if you’re using it and the 7-grain cereal.
2. Process for a few seconds until the dough is a well-defined, barely sticky, easy-to-handle ball. If it’s too dry, add the remaining water 1 tablespoon at a time and process for 5 to 10 seconds after each addition. If it is too wet (this is unlikely), add 1 to 2 tablespoons whole wheat flour and process briefly.
3. Form the dough into a round and put it on the baking sheet or press into the prepared pan, all the way to the edges. Bake for 20 minutes. Sprinkle the top with a little coarse salt and continue baking for another 35 to 40 minutes, until the loaf is firm and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
Let cool completely. Cut the bread into slices or squares and serve or store for up to a day.
I made mine in a loaf. I think next time I would make it a free form.


The 7-grain cereal added some extra texture and crunch to the bread.

The recipe is on page 529 of Bittman’s Food Matters Cookbook

Last week I was in one of our local bookstores. They were having a BOGO $1 on the bargain books. Including a whole slew of cook books. I had promised myself I wasn’t going to buy Any.More.Cookbooks. I don’t need them. I have more than recipes I will ever use, which I know is NOT the reason we buy cookbooks, but I really DON’T need any more. REALLY! But this sale was just TOO good. So, since I have no self control…

ckbk

Bittman for $4.00. I could NOT pass that up. Or Krieger. Or Hay. So I buckled under and bought the books. Lucky for me POTLUCK this week so I am using at least one of my unnecessary purchases. Bittman for Potluck!

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    Wild Rice with Celery and Steamed Salmon

I have to admit I have NEVER cooked Wild Rice before. Eaten yes, cooked, no! I was a little leary. But while it took FOREVER {58 minutes} it was delicious. The celery, garlic, onions, bay leaf added so much flavor. And so much better than white rice. I loved the idea that the salmon was steamed on top of the rice before the rice was completely finished. It did make it a one pot meal. I think I would like to add some color to this one – red or orange bell peppers would be nice.

The recipe is HERE! It is delicious. Low cal. Dellicous. Healthy food. And, as Bittman would say – Food Matters!

Check out the other Potluck dishes at I heart Cooking Club.

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