Thursday, October 23, 2008

Mark Bittman's Kasha Varnishkes

Or, I do whatever the NYtimes tells me to, part two. There have actually been several unsuccessful efforts between this post and the Chocolate Chip Cookies, but the Times has a surprisingly high hook rate, I tend to make at least one recipe of theirs a week, if not more. This week's breakaway winner was Mark Bittman's simple Kasha Varnishkes. I even had chicken fat leftover from last week's roast. I made it last night--this version is fast enough even for the likes of Rachel Ray, and I was making another recipe at the same time. I particularly liked learning Bittman's way of drying out the onions--he cooks them covered in a dry pan to sweat out some juice, and only adds fat after ten minutes when they've shrunk and started to brown. And it's so so delicious.

I inhaled half of it five seconds after it was done, added a bunch of sauteed mushrooms and repeated the process for breakfast today. It's that good. Sometimes color and fresh vegetables are just not everything. Sometimes you have to inhale greyish-brown, oniony food, cooked in chicken fat, and praise your ancestors for coming up with anything so good. (If anyone's counting, the mushrooms, and the kasha were farmer's market local, but I'm not kidding myself that that detail truly affected the dish.) Thanks, ancestors. You really did this one proud..

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