Friday, May 16, 2008
Everybody has an opinion about Mark Bittman. You may like him; you may hate him; you may not dig his style of cooking and eating because you're not sure you should dig him because, as far as you know, he has no formal training. Well, neither do I, and that makes me like him even more. He knows so much! And he's so willing to share what he knows! And he makes it so simple! So maybe I'm a cheering a bit too loudly for him, but I can't help it. He's really helped me learn things with his bible, How to Cook Everything.
But wait, you're saying. Isn't that salsa and chips up there? How much help do you need with salsa and chips?! Well, okay, maybe not much help, but when it comes to cooking I think you need the basics and from there you can expound. And Bittman taught me the basics of salsa. Sure, you can add cilantro (ew), corn, chunkier bits of tomato - you name it - but my salsa was bare bones because I was learning how to make it and how to make it right. And it was gooood, too. And, of course, those semi-homemade tortilla chips helped it go down even easier, but that's really beside the point today. I mean seriously, warm, golden, crispy tortilla chips would make any day brighter, wouldn't they?
Want to bake fish but aren't sure on the temperature? Check Bittman. Curious how to slice and serve a mango? Check Bittman. Trying to make seven-minute frosting for the first time? Check Bittman. It's all there - from the most simple things to some of the most difficult. It's a modern Joy of Cooking, I guess. Regardless of what you want to try today just try this salsa tonight (with some fresh chips, of course). I mean, it's Friday, right? Isn't it time for salsa and margaritas?
Adapted from How to Cook Everything
1 medium white onion, peeled and quartered
2 medium tomatoes, cored, peeled and seeded
1 teaspoon paprika
1 clove garlic
1 tablespoon vinegar, plus more to taste
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon sugar
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1. In your food processor put the onion, tomatoes, paprika, garlic, vinegar, salt and sugar. Process to the consistency you prefer.
2. Pour into a bowl and taste salsa, then add more salt and paprika, if needed. Stir in lemon juice and taste. Add more vinegar if needed. Serve immediately or refrigerate.