Mark Bittmann’s “the Minimalist” column for the New York Times leaves me hot and cold. Sometimes, he’s pared a dish down to its spot-on essentials; other times, I think, “who needs a recipe for something so simple?” But I’m grateful for his recent pad thai recipe: it is easy, delicious, and made with things I routinely keep in the kitchen. So maybe most people don’t keep tamarind paste on hand, or fish sauce, or rice noodles (but I do). Thanks to Bittmann, now I can make a pad thai as good as any found in south Louisiana.
I printed that recipe to try so I’m glad to see your positive review. I’ve had so many mediocre to dreadful versions in restaurants that it would be good to find a reliable do-it-myself version.
I went light on the tamarind and heavy on the honey (due to the dregs of two respective jars), but the opposite would have worked better: a little less sugar & a little more tamarind.
Catching up on blogs.
I agree about Bittman. Oddly, I feel like he’s the acceptable version of Rachael Ray. They both often simplify global cuisines to a few essential ingredients. The difference is that Ray’s dishes (which often get passed on to me by relatives) more often taste good.
Bittman’s stuff is often pretty bland as well. And don’t get me started on his ridiculous cocktail article a few years back…
I’ll have to go looking for the cocktail article…his “how to cook everything” book isn’t one of my favorites. Reminds me of a collection of recipes designed for a dorm cook, or a kid who’s just moved out of mama’s kitchen. (I know, I’m not the target market 😉