Making dinner just got easier. Mark Bittman, author of “The Minimalist Cooks Dinner,” focuses on center-of-the-plate main dishes in his latest cookbook. But best of all, the majority of these main dish recipes take less than an hour to prepare. Check out his recipes for pot roast with cranberries, dried fruit poached in port and crisp pan-fried noodles cake below.
CRISP PAN-FRIED NOODLE CAKE Mark Bittman
Makes: 4 to 6 servings
Bring a large pot of water to a boil; cook the noodles until they are tender, but not mushy. Drain, then toss with the scallions, soy sauce, and 1 tablespoon of the oil.
Pour 2 tablespoons of the oil into a heavy medium to large skillet, preferably nonstick; turn the heat to medium-high. When the oil is hot, add the noodle mix, spreading it out evenly and pressing it down.
Cook for 2 minutes, then turn the heat to medium-low. Continue to cook until the cake is holding together and is nicely browned on the bottom, about 10 minutes.
Turn carefully; the easiest way to do this is to slide the cake out onto a plate, cover it with another plate, invert the plates, and slide the cake back into the skillet, browned side up (add the remaining 1 tablespoon oil to the skillet if necessary).
Cook on the other side until brown. Cut into eights or quarters and serve.
Time: 30 to 40 minutes
9123741605753408260487pasta12ounce1 pound fresh Chinese egg noodles, or 12 ounces dried pastascallions0.5cup1/2 cup minced scallionssoy sauce2tablespoon2 tablespoons soy saucepeanut or vegetable oil4tablespoon3 to 4 tablespoons peanut or vegetable oil
Excerpted from “The Minimalist Cooks Dinner” by Mark Bittman. Copyright © 2001 by Mark Bittman . Excerpted by permission of Broadway, a division of Random House, Inc. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.