I think cooking is cool as long as I'm on the receiving end of its spoils. For example, I like fried chicken, smoked brisket, homemade croissants, lasagna, apple hand pies, and those cheesy potatoes with Corn Flakes on top. All cooked by my mama. But I understand that she doesn't always have 3 to 5 hours to prepare my meals. And mostly I understand that I don't always have 3 to 5 hours to sit around waiting for them to be ready.
Because I'm going to Cornelius' house to watch the Australian Women's Beach Volleyball playoffs at 7 sharp, Mama!
Maybe I will do us both a favor and get her How to Cook Everything author Mark Bittman's latest release, How to Cook Everything Fast.
The cookbook condenses 2,000 main dishes and accompaniments that could normally take hours to make into recipes that promote efficient preparation techniques, creative (and sometimes unorthodox) use of kitchen equipment, and what Bittman calls "naturally fast cooking." Eat homemade wonton soup in around 30 minutes. Chicken parm now requires no dredging or frying. And fruit crisp does its crisping on the stovetop.
Bittman also focuses on maximizing a cook's use of time, offering guidance not only on how, but when to prepare the various components of his recipes. Chop these vegetables while the soup simmers, toast your croutons while whisking the dressing, grow 3 more arms so you can stuff the cornish hens, ice the mocha fudge cake, and give your husband (or wife) a happy ending all at once. Some How to Cook Everything Fast standout dishes include:
- Cheddar Waffles with Bacon Maple Syrup
- Spaghetti and Drop Meatballs with Tomato Sauce
- Charred Brussels Sprout Salad with Walnuts and Gorgonzola
- Apple Crumble Under the Broiler