The Minimalist Entertains by Mark Bittman

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The popular New York Times columnist and award-winning, bestselling cookbook author Mark Bittman now shares his winning strategies for creating elegant, delicious dinner parties with no fuss. Famous as “the Minimalist” for delicious recipes that can be made in a flash, Bittman’s entertaining cookbook is a must-have for hosts and home cooks of all skill levels.

The book features more than 150 recipes in 40 menus organized by season. Bittman’s signature “Keys to Success” offer a wealth of tips, from choosing the best ingredients to improving and streamlining your cooking techniques. Invaluable “Timetables” break down the process of preparing the meal step-by-step, including what can be made ahead of time (the day before or even earlier) and—that most daunting of tasks for home cooks—how to make several recipes at once. The menus, which include recipes for starters, main dishes, side dishes, and desserts, as well as wine suggestions, are tailored for all kinds of parties—barbecues, buffets, picnics, sit-down dinners, cocktail fêtes, and even an indoor or outdoor clambake.

Each menu draws on the peak ingredients of the season as well as foods that are always readily available. Spring encompasses menus like A Tuscan-Style Meal (Pasta with Dark Red Duck Sauce, Cauliflower with Garlic and Anchovy, Olive Oil Cookies with Red Wine and Rosemary) and A Simple Spring Dinner (Pan-Roasted Asparagus Soup with Tarragon, Broiled Salmon with Beurre Noisette, Pan-Crisped Potatoes, Ricotta with Walnuts and Honey). Summer features Grilling, Asian Style (Soy-Dipped Shrimp; Grilled Skirt Steak with Thai-Style Sauce; Grilled Corn; Pineapple Ginger Sorbet) and A Cool Dinner for a Hot Night (Cold Pea Soup; Salted Watermelon, Thai-Style; Grilled Chicken, Sausage, and Vegetable Skewers; Lemon Granita).

For autumn, there’s A Cool-Weather Feast with Asian Flavors (Rich Chicken-Noodle Soup with Ginger; Broiled Bluefish or Mackerel with Green Tea Salt; Spareribs, Korean-Style; Herbed Green Salad with Soy Vinaigrette; Coconut Rice Pudding) and A Crowd-Pleasing Mexican Buffet (Shrimp “Seviche,” Fish Tacos with Fresh Salsa, Chicken Thighs with Mexican Flavors, Lime Granita).

When the weather turns wintry, try A Hearty Midwinter Sit-Down (Mushroom Barley Soup, Breaded Lamb Cutlets, Pilaf with Pine Nuts and Currants, Tender Spinach and Crisp Shallots, Maple Bread Pudding) or A Cocktail Party (Prosciutto, Fig, and Parmesan Rolls; White Bean Dip; Skewered Crisp Shiitakes with Garlic; Miso-Broiled Scallops; Fennel, Orange, and Apple Skewers).

Forget hard-to-find ingredients and hours in the kitchen. With The Minimalist Entertains, you’ll look like a five-star host but feel like a carefree guest.

About Mark Bittman

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MARK BITTMAN is the creator and author of “The Minimalist,” the weekly New York Times column. His previous books include The Minimalist Cooks at Home, The Minimalist Cooks Dinner, and the new standard in basic cookbooks, How to Cook Everything (more than 500,000 copies in print). With Jean-Georges Vongerichten, he coauthored Jean-Georges (winner of a James Beard Award) and Simple to Spectacular.
Published March 25, 2003 by Clarkson Potter. 288 pages
Genres: Cooking. Non-fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for The Minimalist Entertains

Publishers Weekly

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Many of the recipes are easy and familiar (Pear and Gorgonzola Green Salad, Linguine with Garlic and Oil, Chicken with Vinegar and Strawberries with Balsamic Vinegar), while others offer more unusual combinations: Pasta with Red Wine Sauce calls for spaghetti to finish cooking in garlic-flavored ...

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Publishers Weekly

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Recipes from the past two years of "The Minimalist," Bittman's widely read weekly food column in the New York Times, shape this latest collection from the author of the phenomenally popular How to Cook Everything.

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Publishers Weekly

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Impressive but eminently do-able entrées like Curried Mussels, Roast Tomato Frittata, and Pasta with Dark Red Duck Sauce are probably his hallmark, but Bittman also shows a flair for assembling succulent, long-cooking dishes like Kale, Sausage and Mushroom Stew and Slow-Cooked Leg of Lamb with Fr...

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