I love Mark Bittman, you know the minimalist and his simplistic attitude towards cooking- I mean even his monstrosity of “How to” series lack the usual colorful photographs that make their way through most cook books (I love his books). I do not know about you but as much as I love thumbing through the pages of such books, I rarely have tried anything from me- may be partly because I feel like my dishes would never look as radiant as the ones in the book. I recently borrowed Bittman’s “How to Cook Everything Vegetarian: Simple Meatless Recipes for Great Food” from the library and going it through it like it was my way to salvation!
Here is my version of the two recipes from this book-
Rice Cakes with cheese
Ingredients (My changes in red)
1/2 cup milk
1 1/2 cups cooked rice
1/2 cup all purpose flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 cup grated aged sharp white cheddar
2 tsp cumin powder
2 tsp red chilli powder
1 tbsp dried oregano
salt and pepper to taste
butter for frying
Whisk eggs and milk in a bowl until it is mixed well. Whisk rice and cheese. Use a spoon to mix in flour, baking powder, cumin powder, red chilli powder, oregano, salt and pepper. Make a batter that is not too thick.
Heat a skillet. Add a small piece of butter and using a large ladle scoop the batter and put it in the pan. Cook as many as would fit in the pan- and cook both sides, takes less than 10minutes per cake.
Serve hot- ketchup goes great with it
Curried spinach with coconut milk
3 tbsp oil
dried red chillies, I used about 6
3 cloves garlic, chopped
1 pound spinach. washed and destemmed
1 tbsp curry powder, or as per your taste
3/4 cup coconut milk
1/4 cup water/stock
Heat oil in a large pan. When hot add chillies and garlic
Add in the spinach, all the liquid (stock and coconut milk, I had some left over stock from a previous recipe-you could simply do by with just coconut milk)
Cook slowly (took about 20 min) until most liquid has evaporated
The rice cakes had a beautiful golden crust and they tasted beautiful too. I served the rice cakes with ketchup and curried spinach. I loved all these flavors together- sweetness of ketchup, curry from spinach and all the cheesy goodness of the cakes! Try it- you can do the same with any other grain!