To me the question was not, “Would I cook this as a native would?” but rather, “How would a native cook this if he had my ingredients, my kitchen, my background?” It’s obviously a different dish. But as Jacques Pépin once said to me, you never cook a recipe the same way twice, even if you try. I never maintained that my way of cooking was the “best” way to cook, only that it’s a practical way to cook. (I’m lazy, I’m rushed, and I’m not all that skillful, and many people share those qualities.)
Noooooo! Don't go! Arrgh.
In honor of the Minimalist's retirement, here are my top five Mark Bittman recipes:
1. Soupy Dal, American Style (my take on this): Natalie's favorite meal; I make it a couple of times a month.
2. Baked Mustard-Herb Chicken Legs (my take on this): Bittman puts my love for dark meat chicken into words.
3. The Clambake, Minus The Beach: I turn to this recipe every fall for a clambake.
4. Fried Rice, Dressed Simply (my take on this): Bittman's take on Jean-Georges Vongerichten's fried rice.
5. No Knead Bread: The internet sensation. I don't bake, but when I do, this is the recipe I use.
*Mark's favorites: The Minimalist Chooses 25 Of His Favorites
Thank you, Mr. Bittman, for all the years of experimenting, travelling, tasting, and thinking about food, then stripping it down to the basics. You will be missed.