Archive for the ‘Sam Sifton’ Tag

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The New York Times Cooking No-Recipes Cookbook might sound like an oxymoron, but it promotes a fun approach to preparing food. Sam Sifton who founded the Times Cooking section offers non-recipes with the barest suggestions for ingredients and the loosest of instructions.

Yet, even with unembellished directions, Sifton’s creative ideas, humor and confidence inspire readers’ abilities to rise to the challenge. Not wanting to let him down, I tried several no-recipes with, what I consider, great success.

Main dishes, ranging from tacos to fish, pasta to  chowder are among the (non)recipes included. For example, the Curry Beef begins includes such vague guidelines as “Chop a bunch of garlic and ginger and onion into the finest sort of dice…” Who needs exacts amount, it’s all about taste. It’s clear if you’re not a fan of any of these three items, skip or reduce them. It’s that easy.

Or how about this for the Crispy Pork Sandwiches with Spicy Mayo and Scallions: “Get some pork belly if you can or some fatty pork chops if you can’t.” that’s precise, hah!

Among my favorites, though, is Pasta with Sausage and Parm. With orecchiette and you can probably guess the other ingredients, although you might not think about including sage. Sifton wraps up his directive for this with “ … grate a lot of parmesan over the top, and let me know how it goes.”

On the page featuring Terriyaki Salmon with Mixed Greens, Sifton writes, “Cooking’s not difficult. It just takes practice.”

The New York Times Cooking No Recipes Cookbook

Five Bookmarks

Ten Speed Press, 2021

256 pages