As I review cookbooks, I’m seeing a common theme…make it ahead, cook it fast. I can certainly relate to not having enough time to cook an elaborate meal during the week, which is why I’m loving Mark Bittman’s latest tome, “How to Cook Everything Fast.” With 2,000 recipes, he’s streamlined the cooking process without compromising the use of fresh ingredients to create delicious dishes. Bittman weaves the prep work and the cooking instructions together to save time: if something needs to simmer for 15 minutes, it’s the perfect window to chop or prepare subsequent ingredients. The prep steps appear in blue, and cooking steps in black, so you can easily differentiate and know what’s coming up next. Each recipe also features suggestions for variations. Suddenly, one recipe turns into two, three or four. For example, the sriracha shrimp salad roll is just a few substitutions removed from a scallop roll with lemon-tarragon aioli. Bittman’s shortcuts, techniques and tricks are invaluable. Even though I’m more partial to cookbooks with mouthwatering photography, when it comes to Bittman’s cookbooks, I’ll happily swap the glossy photos for his tips on cooking in a pinch.
HOW TO COOK EVERYTHING FAST © 2014 by Double B Publishing, Inc. Reproduced by permission of Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. All rights reserved.
All the flavors of deviled eggs without the hassle. Not sure why I never thought of this before now, but . . . they’re beauties. (For more ways to flavor the mayo, see page 144.)
Hard-Boiled Eggs with Curry Mayo
Substitute curry powder for the paprika.