So! We continue with five more recipes from The Minimalist’s “25 favorites.” This set includes one of the biggest cooking disasters I can remember—and perhaps the most delightful thing I’ve ever cooked:
Oh. My. Cod. This was magnificent. Black cod with miso. Broiled black cod fillets with just three ingredients: miso, sugar, and mirin. How did I not know? How could I have gone so long without eating this? This dish makes the whole thing worthwhile. The whole “learning how to cook” thing. Not that it wasn’t a worthwhile endeavor already. But this dish really seals the deal. And it took no time at all to put together. Cod, rice, salad. Why go out? Why go anywhere? BTW, I believe this was originally a Nobu recipe that Mark adapted.
Fennel and Celery salad. I’d had Winnie’s celery salad before and it was much like this. Fennel does add something nice to it. This recipe made me wish I had a mandoline. PS: The shaved Parmesan is very important.
More-vegetable-than-egg Frittata. This was quite good and is an excellent example of the Minimalist Way. This was a quick breakfast on a weekend morning. Versatile, easy, and very satisfying. Looking forward to making something like this with asparagus when they come around.
Crisp-braised duck legs. I could see how this might be good. It looks good. The sauce was excellent. The vegetables were great. And the duck was dry and cottony. Was it me, or was it Mark? Do I need to try this one again, or have I found a crack in the otherwise perfect canon of minimalist cuisine?
Braised Squid & Artichokes. Sure looks good, doesn’t it? I bounded home from the fish market to make this one as a special Friday night dish.
Well, it was an unmitigated disaster. It was so terrible. The squid was rubbery and Karl said it tasted like cigarettes. The artichokes came out like thorny hairballs because I’m an idiot. You’re supposed to trim them! The instructions explained how, and I misread. And it’s not like I haven’t prepared an artichoke before, either. But my mind was elsewhere. Coupled with the Marlboro squid, the whole thing was a deceptively good looking inedible pile of garbage that I sifted through for an occasional chunk of hairy artichoke heart while Karl made a bowl of cereal for himself. I wish I had watched this video on the proper, cooking school way to trim an artichoke. And I have to stop buying the squid from that chain-smoking fish monger down the block. Maybe next spring I’ll try this again.
OK, back to the kitchen. I’ll have recipes #11-15 of 25 in the coming weeks.