Chicken Under A Brick (Or A Cast Iron Skillet)


Scared you, didn’t I? Well I didn’t mean to. It’s funny how many people read my last post and assumed I was ending my blog. That’s not what I said! I just said that my blog was no longer my primary source of income; in many ways, it’s a liberating state of affairs. It means that if I post on here (as I’m doing now) it’s because I have something I’m really eager to share with the world, not just something to fill up space on the internet (like that time I told you that my cake stand is really a punch bowl; though, weirdly, that post really caught on). In any case: chicken under a brick. Have you tried it? If not, why not? I bet I can guess: you’re afraid. I was afraid too. Then, this past Tuesday, I tried it and–I mean this seriously–I don’t think I’ll ever make chicken any other way again.

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The weirdest thing: we moved to Atwater Village, right next to Glendale, only a few weeks ago. When our New York Times weekend subscription kicked in, I eagerly opened the magazine, as I always do, checking out the food column before attempting (and failing at) the puzzle. To my total amazement, Mark Bittman’s column celebrated a restaurant not in New York or even Connecticut…it was a restaurant in California, but not just anywhere in California: GLENDALE. Right down the street from us. 7 minutes away according to Google Maps. I nearly fainted with surprise.

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Gwyneth Paltrow Cookbooks: Love ‘Em or Hate ‘Em?

[Photo credit Raphael Brion]

The knives are out for Gwyneth Paltrow and her new cookbook. Eater, of course, had fun pulling out the most ridiculous lines of text (“Yes, eggplant is a nightshade, so this isn’t a recipe for times when you’re on an elimination diet”); but I was surprised today to see this scathing post on Mark Bittman’s blog. Surprised because Bittman co-starred on a TV show with Gwyneth, along with Mario Batali and Spanish actress Claudia Bassols. Bittman didn’t write the post (it’s by Jennifer Mascia) but it’s under his masthead. Mascia says, “At best [the book] makes it seem like healthy eating is strictly for the wealthy; at worst, it’s quack science for attempting to export Paltrow’s wacky elimination diet (no bell peppers, eggplant or corn? Huh?) to a populace that’s improperly nourished and financially struggling.” What do you all think? Are you fans of Paltrow’s cookbooks? Or does she make you foam at the mouth the way Hathahaters do around Anne Hathaway? And do you think Anne Hathaway will write a cookbook? If she does, will you hate it too?

Cooking on T.V.


The green room was filled with male models who do construction, the actor Alden Ehrenreich (star of “Beautiful Creatures”), a mob of make-up people, hair people, managers and agents all hovering around a plate of half-doughnuts, half-bagels and half-muffins. I hovered on the sidelines with my book publicist, Molly, and didn’t allow myself to feel nervous. That, I knew, was the trick.

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Turkey Oysters

Bittman's Turkey OystersMark Bittman waxes lyrical over the part of the chicken the French call “sot-l’y-laisse” (which translates to ““the part that only a fool leaves behind”) and others call “the oyster” when he finds a bag of them from a large turkey at a French market. Do you dig these out when you roast a chicken? I know I often forget about them and Craig digs them out when I’m not looking.

The No-Knead Bread


If you haven’t heard about the no-knead bread by now, you clearly don’t read many food blogs (or newspapers, for that matter.) Last year, in The New York Times–actually, TWO years ago in The New York Times (the article was published November 8, 2006! Boy, I’m way behind on making this)–Mark Bittman coaxed a recipe from master bread baker Jim Lahey for perfect bakery-quality bread at home. Shockingly, the recipe required no work, no kneading of any kind. The food world was astonished. Food bloggers went ga-ga. I watched them go ga-ga. And, finally, last week I decided to go ga-ga myself.

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101 Foods with Mark Bittman’s Initials (COMPLETE!)

After Mark Bittman’s third foray into 101 lists, I thought it’d be fun to make a list of 101 foods with Mark Bittman’s initials. Here we go….

**UPDATE: Thanks to the help of my brilliant readers, we have completed the list. Check it out!**

1. Meat Balls

2. Malt Balls

3. Matzoh Balls

4. Melted Brie

5. Melon Balls

6. Matzoh Brei

7. Mashed Banana

8. Mango Beef

9. Marinated Beets

10. Marinated Beef

11. Mushroom Bolognese

12. Marble (rye) Bagel

13. Melted Butter

14. Mexican Breadfruit

15. Milk-chocolate Brownie

16. Marinated Beans

17. Mung Beans

18. Maitre (d’hotel) Butter

19. Marrow Bones

20. Mont Blanc

21. Mountain Berries

22. Monkey Bread

23. Multigrain Bread

24. Marshmallow Brownies

25. Marshmallow Bunnies

26. Mrs. Butterworth’s

27. Malted Beverage

28. Minced Beef

29. Mocha Beans

30. Mozzarella Bocconcini

31. Mesquite Barbecue

32. Mars Bars

33. Macerated Berries

34. Mushroom Burger

35. Mixed Bag (aka leftovers at Val’s house)

36. Mint Brownies

37. Minced Buffalo

38. Mixed Bivalves

39. Mushroom Burrito

40. Mexican Burrito

41. Mashed Brains

42. Mooshu Beef

43. Mushroom Bread

44. Marmite Bread

45. Milk Bread

46. Mandel Bread

47. Matrimonial Bars

48. Macaroon Bars

49. Marzipan Bars

50. Macadamia Bars

51. Maple Biscuits

52. Maple Butter

53. Macadamia Butter

54. Mint Butter

55. Marmalade Butter

56. Malt Beer

57. Masala Beef

58. Maple Biscotti

59. Meaty Borscht

60. Mashed Beans

61. Mandarin Beef

62. Minced Beets

63. Marinated Bruschetta

64. Margarita Balls

65. Mexican Beans

66. Marinated Broccoli

67. Mushroom Bisque

68. Monkfish Bisque

69. Margarine Blend

70. Multi-grain Bagels

71. Miller Beer

72. Macaroni Bake

73. Marie’s Blue (cheese salad dressing)

74. Maytag Blue

75. Mini Bagels

76. Melted Bark

77. Milk Bones (for the pups)

78. Mushroom Beignet

79. Marbled Beef

80. Meunster Blintz

81. Maple Bacon

82. Mozzarella Balls

83. Marisco’s Burrito

84. Mushroom Brioche

85. Mocha Bars

86. Mongolian Barbecue

87. Malted Barley

88. Macerated Brambles

89. Mango Bellini

90. Mashed Banana

91. Millet Breat

92. Marion Berries

93. Magic Bars

94. Macadamia Brownies

95. Marble Bundt (cake)

96. Minted Berries

97. Melon Bread

98. Meat Bread

99. Mango Butter

100. Mango Beer

101. Mmmmm Bacon (thanks Anna)

Thanks for all the help everyone! Some are stretches, but it’s the spirit of the thing that counts.

Braised Duck Legs For Idiots


The dish you see above is a dish from a four-star chef and yet it’s among the easiest you will ever prepare. It comes from Jean-George’s “Cooking at Home with a Four-Star Chef” which was co-written by Mark Bittman. As many of you know, Mr. Bittman is The Minimalist and it might seem strange, at first, that a man who prides himself on simplicity would co-author a book with a chef renowned for his complexity, innovation and flair. But this recipe proves that two opposing forces, working together, can generate electricity: it’s astonishingly good and amazingly easy. Click ahead and behold the splendor of Jean-George’s Braised Duck and Vegetables with Asian Spices.

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