Mark Bittman

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Garam Masala

Put the seeds from 10 cardamom pods and one 3­-inch cinnamon stick in a dry…

Parmesan Stock

Combine a few Parmesan rinds, 2 crushed garlic cloves, a rosemary sprig, and 6 cups…

Mushroom Stock

Toss a pound of trimmed button mushrooms and a few dried porcini into 6 cups…

Bean Griddlecakes

Bean Griddlecakes

These are delicious and wildly inexpensive. As is true for any bean dish, starting with dried beans that you cook yourself is more flavorful and cheaper, but canned are completely fine, and you can use any kind you like. Cooked in a skillet (just like pancakes), the cakes get golden and crisp on the outside while staying slightly creamy in the middle. I eat these with a handful of dressed greens, raw or cooked, on the side. Easy, rustic, good.

Free

Garlic Fideo Soup

You can’t go wrong with a soup made of lots of fried garlic and noodles topped with fried bread crumbs. Chicken stock would work well if you have some handy.

Winter Squash Curry

Skillet Pork Chops

Garlic Fideo Soup

Skillet Pork Chops

Skillet Pork Chops

A basic sear-and-simmer technique that provides the foundation for all sorts of experimentation. For instance, replace the garlic with ginger, chopped fresh rosemary, or curry powder; replace the water with chicken stock, canned tomatoes, orange juice, or coconut milk; or replace the vinegar with Dijon or soy sauce. The possible flavor combinations are endless.