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From Fried Rice to Clemenetine Clafoutis: Gourmet Video Recipes by Mark Bittman’s “The Minimalist”

Ironically, one of the best “shows” on food right now is not found on any television network but rather on YouTube. Mark Bittman’s “The Minimalist” series is presented in short video clips of simple and seasonal recipes for the everyday chef. Inspired by Bittman’s column in the New York Times, Bittman’s video series presents juicy nuggets of recipes from chefs such as Jean-Georges Vongerichten to Jamie Oliver. His style of cooking is unrehearsed and refreshing. Today, we present to you some of our favorite Minimalist creations which happen to be perfect for amateur college chefs. Simple in technique, ingredients, and preparation, Bittman’s recipes are perfect for busy college students who are looking to make quick but impressive meals.

Jean-Georges’s Fried Rice

We’ve made this before, and Bittman is not hyperbolizing when he says that this is the best fried rice ever. While perhaps not the most authentic recipe, the little touches in this recipe make it golden. The fried ginger and garlic add a beautiful charred flavor to the rice, matching well with the leeks. And a fried egg makes anything better. Bittman’s willingness to improvise and make mistakes and his impersonations of Jean-Georges also make it worth watching.

Butternut Squash Salad

We know, we know, butternut squash is out of season, but we miss autumn and this will satisfy our cravings for Thanksgiving for now, at least. We will definitely be trying this raw butternut squash salad recipe for next Thanksgiving. This recipe represents what Bittman does best–using an everyday ingredient to create something new and previously unthought of without getting outlandish on us.

Four-Spice Salmon

This salmon recipe is not only inspired by a great New York chef–Katy Sparks–but it is also beyond simple to make. Letting the spices speak for themselves, this salmon recipe uses four spices and lets them speak for themselves. This recipe is perhaps the epitome of the minimalist technique. Mark does nothing groundbreaking with the salmon, but rather simplifies it as much as possible, giving the salmon the voice its perhaps always needed.

Clementine Clafoutis

Nightmares of trying to make Julia Child’s clafoutis recipe still haunts us, but Bittman makes it all seem so easy and reproducible in his clementine version of the dessert. Bittman’s style of baking is much like ours–eliminating fussiness for simplicity. This version of the classic French dessert is quick and easy and definitely can be made in a college student’s kitchen.

Strawberries with Almond Sauce

Summer is coming, and what better way to welcome it than with strawberries and almonds. Once again, Bittman simplifies a French dessert which is bound to impress your friends. Living up to the minimalist name, Bittman presents us with a dessert that is little more than a bowl of strawberries with creme anglaise–but the almonds, the richness of the creme anglaise, and the sweetness of fresh strawberries all combine for a dessert that screams perfection.

– Damanpreet Pelia

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