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Mark Bittman

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The Best Apple Crisp I've Ever Tasted (Seriously)

Lamb Ribs with Maple-Dijon Dipping Sauce

Lamb Ribs with Maple-Dijon Dipping Sauce

The pork belly of lamb, only with bones for gnawing. It’s hard to believe this extraordinary eating experience used to be sold for scrap.

How I (kind of) invented the gas grill and forgot to become a billionaire

Green Chile Cheeseburgers

Green Chile Cheeseburgers

In New Mexico, where this burger is ubiquitous, flat green chiles from the Hatch Valley are the first choice. They’re flavorful with mellow, herbal heat, not blow-your-head-off hot. Anaheim and poblano chiles are common replacements, though they can be milder—Hatch chiles are increasingly easy to find. But use whatever heat level you like.

Pizza with Tomato Sauce and Mozzarella

Pizza with Tomato Sauce and Mozzarella

This pizza, with a smear of tomato sauce and a fair amount of mozzarella, is a little too loaded to grill, but the good news is that the cheese helps other unwieldy toppings—like broccoli, bell peppers, or olives—stick to the pie.

Pizza Dough

Pizza Dough

You won’t believe how simple it is to make pizza dough at home. And because the dough freezes very well (at least for a couple of weeks), it’s even practical to whip up a batch for one or two people and tuck the rest away for another day.
To make pizza dough by hand or with a standing mixer, follow the directions, but use a bowl and a heavy wooden spoon or the mixer’s bowl and the paddle attachment instead of the food processor. When the dough becomes too heavy to stir, use your hands or exchange the mixer’s paddle for the dough hook and proceed with the recipe.

Marinated Celery and Carrots, Chinese Style

Marinated Celery and Carrots, Chinese-Style

It’s the time of the year for really beautiful celery; this recipe can work as dinner with some brown or jasmine rice, a dash of soy, a trickle of rice vinegar, some toasted sesame seeds, chopped scallion, and perhaps an egg if you’d like.

Edamame with Fresh Tomatoes and Cilantro

Edamame with Fresh Tomatoes and Cilantro

I’ve adjusted this recipe so it’s a summer stew, though it becomes a year-round dish if you use 1 28-ounce can diced tomatoes instead of fresh. You can also cook other vegetables in the sauce at the same time — try corn kernels, cubed eggplant, squash, whole green beans or okra, or cauliflow3er or broccoli florets.

Other fresh or frozen shell beans you can use: limas, favas, black-eyed peas.

Korean Vegetable Pancakes

Korean Vegetable Pancakes

These addictive pancakes are almost crêpelike in their crisp and chewy texture. That texture—crisp on the outside, tender and chewy on the inside—is best if you use half rice flour, which is pretty easy to find these days. Serve the pancakes hot or at room temperature with a mixture of soy sauce and rice vinegar. Other vegetables you can use: corn kernels, radish (especially daikon), or broccoli.

EAT: Eggplant, Arugula and Tomato

Tofu Larb

Pasta with Tuna Sauce

Pasta with Tuna Sauce

Canned tuna is not only acceptable but necessary (the ideal tuna here would be that taken from the tuna’s belly, the fattiest part, and cured, preferably by your Sicilian grandmother, in great olive oil). But most of us (including me) don’t have that. Do buy tuna packed in olive oil, though. What you’re looking for is dark, soft meat that will flake nicely and add its rich flavor to the sauce.

Flaky Piecrust

I’ve used this recipe and technique for years and always been pleased with the results; it may be basic, but piecrusts don’t get much more flaky and flavorful. This is enough dough for a single-crusted pie; simply double the recipe for fruit pies where you need a bottom and top (or lattice) crust.

Peach Pie

Peach Pie

Perfectly ripe fruit — peaches or otherwise — is crucial to success here. Other fruits to substitute: apricots, plums, sweet cherries, nectarines.

Free

Thin-Cut Coconut Pork Chops with Pickled Vegetables

In Cambodia, there’s a popular breakfast dish called bai sach chrouk, traditionally prepared over charcoal fires by roadside vendors. It’s served with rice and a bird’s nest of pickled shredded vegetables, and stands at the intersection of sweet, sour, savory, and spicy. This takes you there, any time of day.
You can use this recipe with pork sirloin steaks, too. I also like to use this marinade for pork kebabs and boneless chicken.

Fish Fillets with Avocado-Cilantro Salsa

Fish Fillets with Avocado-Cilantro Salsa

Grilled fish and fresh salsa is one of my favorite combinations. The salsas here and in the variations are slightly offbeat, with vibrant flavors and textures that perfectly complement the mild sweetness of the fish. When fillets still have their skin on—the thin kind that’s edible—all the better. The fire will crunch it up for even more contrast. Bass and salmon are both great choices to try. These salsas also pair great with seared sea scallops.

Oven-Baked Ratatouille

Oven-Baked Ratatouille

The French classic stew is simple, no matter where you cook it. Combine vegetables, herbs, and olive oil, and soften them on the stove or in the oven. That’s it. Longish, slow cooking and lots of good olive oil are important.

Have a robust serving with bread for a light repast or roast a chicken, grill a skirt steak, or pan-sear a piece of fish and it’s a hearty meal.

The Last Conversation You’ll Ever Need to Have About Eating Right