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The New York Times Cooking No-Recipe Recipes

[A Cookbook]

Author Sam Sifton
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Paperback (Flexibound)
$28.00 US
6.86"W x 9.32"H x 0.94"D   | 26 oz | 20 per carton
On sale Mar 16, 2021 | 256 Pages | 978-1-9848-5847-4
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NATIONAL BESTSELLER • The debut cookbook from the popular New York Times website and mobile app NYT Cooking, featuring 100 vividly photographed no-recipe recipes to make weeknight cooking more inspired and delicious—featuring a convenient flexibound format.
 
ONE OF THE BEST COOKBOOKS OF THE YEAR: Vanity Fair, Time Out, Salon, Publishers Weekly

You don’t need a recipe. Really, you don’t.
 
Sam Sifton, founding editor of New York Times Cooking, makes improvisational cooking easier than you think. In this handy book of ideas, Sifton delivers more than one hundred no-recipe recipes—each gloriously photographed—to make with the ingredients you have on hand or could pick up on a quick trip to the store. You’ll see how to make these meals as big or as small as you like, substituting ingredients as you go.
 
Fried Egg Quesadillas. Pizza without a Crust. Weeknight Fried Rice. Pasta with Garbanzos. Roasted Shrimp Tacos. Chicken with Caramelized Onions and Croutons. Oven S’Mores. Welcome home to freestyle, relaxed cooking that is absolutely yours.
“ . . . perfect for busy parents and people who don’t always have the patience to follow detailed directions. You’ll basically be ready to star in an episode of 'Chopped' in no time.”—the Skimm

“Sam Sifton wants you to ditch the recipe and have some fun in the kitchen. The founding editor of NYT Cooking does away with fussy ingredient lists and step-by-step instructions, opting instead for casual, conversational descriptions that allow home cooks to improvise, learn and evolve.”TimeOut

“ . . . his no-recipes are easy to follow and involve techniques and preparation times that become instinctual even for a recipe-bound cook like me.”—Barry Estabrook, Wall Street Journal

“The kind of food that is best prepared in loungewear and bears an excellent chic-to-effort ratio.”—Keziah Weir, Vanity Fair

“Every visionary cookbook writer is a bit of a missionary, and Sifton is no exception. In the friendliest way possible, he’s out to win converts. Throw away your crutches, he’s saying, and start cooking by faith alone.”—Laura Shapiro, The Atlantic

“. . . perfect to keep in your back pocket (and the back of your pantry) for those days when you really meant to go to the grocery store, but didn't quite make it.”—Eliza Green, mindbodygreen

“Innovative, fun, and freeing, this outstanding offering will reenergize the creative spirits of novice and experienced home cooks alike.”Publishers Weekly
© Brendan Mccarthy
Sam Sifton is an assistant managing editor of The New York Times, overseeing culture and lifestyle coverage; an "Eat" columnist for The New York Times Magazine; and the founding editor of NYT Cooking, an award-winning digital cookbook and cooking school. Formerly the newspaper's national news editor, culture editor, and chief restaurant critic, he is also the author of Thanksgiving: How to Cook It Well and See You on Sunday: A Cookbook for Family and Friends. View titles by Sam Sifton
Weeknight Fried Rice

It’s always good to have some cooked rice hanging around in the refrigerator or freezer, because you can make this dinner with it anytime you like. (Chilling the rice helps separate the grains during stir-frying.)

Cooked rice
Frozen diced vegetables
Any meat or tofu
Eggs
Garlic
Ginger
Scallions
Soy sauce
Sesame oil
Gochujang
Neutral oil

Start with cooked rice, white or brown, a cup or so per person, made fresh and chilled or pulled from the freezer, where you keep some in a plastic bag against the promise of just such an exercise. Also helpful, also in the freezer: bags of diced organic vegetables you can get at the market (the mixed corn, carrots, and peas number, for instance). For the rest, assemble meat, if you eat meat, or tofu; a couple of whisked eggs; about a tablespoon each of minced garlic and ginger; and some scallions. You can make a sauce from soy sauce and sesame oil (about a 3:1 ratio) and fire it up with a teaspoon or two of gochujang. You’ll need a little less than a quarter cup of sauce to cook for four.

To the wok! Crank the heat, add a little oil, and toss in a handful of chopped meat or tofu. After it crisps, fish it from the pan and set on a plate. Add the garlic and ginger and a handful of chopped scallions. Stir-fry for 30 seconds or so, then add those frozen vegetables. More stir-frying. Return the meat to the wok. Stir-fry. Clear a space in the center of the wok and add the eggs, cooking them quickly to softness. Throw in the sauce, then the rice, and mix it all together until it’s steaming hot. Finish with more chopped scallions.

Pressure Cooker Chicken Tacos

There’s no one better at the midweek miracle meal than my friend and colleague Melissa Clark, who turned me on to this gem of a recipe. It’s best with chicken thighs, ideally the skinless, boneless variety—though skin and bones are fine. So are breasts. So are turkey thighs, for that matter.

Chicken
Tomatoes
Jalapeño
Chile powder
Cumin
Paprika
Tortillas
Cheese

Season a chicken with salt and pepper, then put it in the pressure cooker pot with some chopped tomatoes and a seeded diced jalapeño. Add a tablespoon of chile powder, a little ground cumin, some smoked paprika, and a splash of water. Set the machine to high pressure for 14 minutes, manual release, and then shred the meat back into the sauce and serve with warm tortillas, grated cheese, and whatever else you like.

Photos

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About

NATIONAL BESTSELLER • The debut cookbook from the popular New York Times website and mobile app NYT Cooking, featuring 100 vividly photographed no-recipe recipes to make weeknight cooking more inspired and delicious—featuring a convenient flexibound format.
 
ONE OF THE BEST COOKBOOKS OF THE YEAR: Vanity Fair, Time Out, Salon, Publishers Weekly

You don’t need a recipe. Really, you don’t.
 
Sam Sifton, founding editor of New York Times Cooking, makes improvisational cooking easier than you think. In this handy book of ideas, Sifton delivers more than one hundred no-recipe recipes—each gloriously photographed—to make with the ingredients you have on hand or could pick up on a quick trip to the store. You’ll see how to make these meals as big or as small as you like, substituting ingredients as you go.
 
Fried Egg Quesadillas. Pizza without a Crust. Weeknight Fried Rice. Pasta with Garbanzos. Roasted Shrimp Tacos. Chicken with Caramelized Onions and Croutons. Oven S’Mores. Welcome home to freestyle, relaxed cooking that is absolutely yours.

Praise

“ . . . perfect for busy parents and people who don’t always have the patience to follow detailed directions. You’ll basically be ready to star in an episode of 'Chopped' in no time.”—the Skimm

“Sam Sifton wants you to ditch the recipe and have some fun in the kitchen. The founding editor of NYT Cooking does away with fussy ingredient lists and step-by-step instructions, opting instead for casual, conversational descriptions that allow home cooks to improvise, learn and evolve.”TimeOut

“ . . . his no-recipes are easy to follow and involve techniques and preparation times that become instinctual even for a recipe-bound cook like me.”—Barry Estabrook, Wall Street Journal

“The kind of food that is best prepared in loungewear and bears an excellent chic-to-effort ratio.”—Keziah Weir, Vanity Fair

“Every visionary cookbook writer is a bit of a missionary, and Sifton is no exception. In the friendliest way possible, he’s out to win converts. Throw away your crutches, he’s saying, and start cooking by faith alone.”—Laura Shapiro, The Atlantic

“. . . perfect to keep in your back pocket (and the back of your pantry) for those days when you really meant to go to the grocery store, but didn't quite make it.”—Eliza Green, mindbodygreen

“Innovative, fun, and freeing, this outstanding offering will reenergize the creative spirits of novice and experienced home cooks alike.”Publishers Weekly

Author

© Brendan Mccarthy
Sam Sifton is an assistant managing editor of The New York Times, overseeing culture and lifestyle coverage; an "Eat" columnist for The New York Times Magazine; and the founding editor of NYT Cooking, an award-winning digital cookbook and cooking school. Formerly the newspaper's national news editor, culture editor, and chief restaurant critic, he is also the author of Thanksgiving: How to Cook It Well and See You on Sunday: A Cookbook for Family and Friends. View titles by Sam Sifton

Excerpt

Weeknight Fried Rice

It’s always good to have some cooked rice hanging around in the refrigerator or freezer, because you can make this dinner with it anytime you like. (Chilling the rice helps separate the grains during stir-frying.)

Cooked rice
Frozen diced vegetables
Any meat or tofu
Eggs
Garlic
Ginger
Scallions
Soy sauce
Sesame oil
Gochujang
Neutral oil

Start with cooked rice, white or brown, a cup or so per person, made fresh and chilled or pulled from the freezer, where you keep some in a plastic bag against the promise of just such an exercise. Also helpful, also in the freezer: bags of diced organic vegetables you can get at the market (the mixed corn, carrots, and peas number, for instance). For the rest, assemble meat, if you eat meat, or tofu; a couple of whisked eggs; about a tablespoon each of minced garlic and ginger; and some scallions. You can make a sauce from soy sauce and sesame oil (about a 3:1 ratio) and fire it up with a teaspoon or two of gochujang. You’ll need a little less than a quarter cup of sauce to cook for four.

To the wok! Crank the heat, add a little oil, and toss in a handful of chopped meat or tofu. After it crisps, fish it from the pan and set on a plate. Add the garlic and ginger and a handful of chopped scallions. Stir-fry for 30 seconds or so, then add those frozen vegetables. More stir-frying. Return the meat to the wok. Stir-fry. Clear a space in the center of the wok and add the eggs, cooking them quickly to softness. Throw in the sauce, then the rice, and mix it all together until it’s steaming hot. Finish with more chopped scallions.

Pressure Cooker Chicken Tacos

There’s no one better at the midweek miracle meal than my friend and colleague Melissa Clark, who turned me on to this gem of a recipe. It’s best with chicken thighs, ideally the skinless, boneless variety—though skin and bones are fine. So are breasts. So are turkey thighs, for that matter.

Chicken
Tomatoes
Jalapeño
Chile powder
Cumin
Paprika
Tortillas
Cheese

Season a chicken with salt and pepper, then put it in the pressure cooker pot with some chopped tomatoes and a seeded diced jalapeño. Add a tablespoon of chile powder, a little ground cumin, some smoked paprika, and a splash of water. Set the machine to high pressure for 14 minutes, manual release, and then shred the meat back into the sauce and serve with warm tortillas, grated cheese, and whatever else you like.

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