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Friday, March 28, 2008

Mark Bittman

The writer of a weekly column, The Minimalist, and the How to Cook Everything series, Mark and I became friends a few years ago when he briefly experimented with living in LA. I can confirm that Mark really does know how to cook everything. I remember emailing him one time from a supermarket with a question about roast pork. Before I finished shopping, he sent back the information and I bought the cut I needed.

Since he started his blog, Bitten, his encyclopedic knowledge is accessible on a daily basis. Always informative and personable, Mark makes good cooking fun and easy. In addition to his own postings, he has occasional contributors. He has been kind enough to include me in that group. In my maiden posting Mark allowed me "to show off a bit: three dishes from one chicken."

The recipes came from a recent trip to New York when we stayed with friends, Vicki, Mike, and their amazing daughters, Isabella and Olivia. A difference I've noted between LA and New York is that when we have friends over for a meal in LA, the food has to be ready to serve. In the East, I find that hanging out while the food is cooked is part of the experience. That was certainly the case when we stayed with Vicki and Mike. While we talked about what was going on in the world, I happily cooked and slid plate after plate onto the kitchen table. I can't think of a better way to spend the day than cooking, talking, and eating with friends.

For Mark's site, I wrote up the recipes I made that day: Chicken Breasts with Italian Parsley and Garlic, Chicken Soup with Vegetables, and Mushroom, Sausage and Chicken Ragout. In addition to these dishes, I also prepared a simple dessert of baked plums. The dessert recipe isn't on Bitten. I saved that for our site. Hope you enjoy it.

Baked Plums

The easiest dessert I've ever made, baked plums take only a few minutes to prepare and they're a visual pleasure. Served with whipped cream, yogurt, or ice cream, they'll satisfy anyone's sweet tooth.

4 ripe plums, washed, dried, stems removed
1 teaspoon raw sugar

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Quarter the plums and remove the pit. Lay the sections on a Silpat sheet or piece of tin foil on a baking sheet. Sprinkle with raw sugar and put into the oven. If you want the plums firm, bake them for 35 minutes. For a softer consistency, bake a total of 45 minutes.

Serves 4. Preparation Time: 5 minutes. Cooking Time: 35-45 minutes.


FoodRockz said...

I just discovered your blog via Bitten and love it. Keep it up. I'll be back often and I'll add you to my blogroll on Food Rockz.

David Latt said...

Food Rockz,
Thanks for the nice note. I appreciate that and if you'll add me to your blogroll, that would be great. Your site is very cool. I subscribed. D.