Mark Bittman, You Have Disappointed Me

6:26 PM Edit This 6 Comments »
After a fun filled weekend, I made my menus for the coming week, went grocery shopping and started cooking. I settled on two dishes for my lunches. I eat the same thing every day for a week because, well - I'm single and if I make something, it usually goes bad before I can finish it, so I try to find something I'll really like. I settled for Tuscan-Style Tuna on Greens for the main dish and a cold Green Bean and Onion Salad for a side. Throw in an apple and I have a great lunch for work.

I pillaged through Cowgirl's extensive cookbook collection while we were laying in the hot and humid sun on her patio this afternoon and found the Green Bean and Onion Salad. I have no idea what cookbook it came from, so don't ask. But here it is.

Green Bean and Onion Salad
1 lb. green beans
1 red onion, thinly sliced
1 T. olive oil
1 T. red of white wine vinegar
1 t. lemon juice
salt and pepper

Blanch beans and drain. Mix with onions and toss with remaining ingredients.

Sounds simple, right? Only I didn't QUITE know what blanching meant. I'm pretty sure it means not cooking them until they are a soggy, slimy mess. So I consulted the God of cooking, Mark Bittman. I've had this cookbook for quite a few years, but I've rarely looked at it. I don't know why, but it says, "How to Cook Everything," so I assumed it would tell me how to blanch green beans.
I look up "blanching" in the back of the book, like they taught me to do in 3rd grade. Blanching - pg. 14. I go to page 14 and it says it means to partially cook it... details in "Vegetables" (pages 529-617). Perfect. I turn there and it tells me that there are all kinds of ways to make vegetables and no way is the right way and here's how to buy them and here's how to steam them and here's how to prepare them ahead of time and then it starts talking about Artichokes. Oh. So I flip through and realize they are going vegetable by vegetable in alphabetical order and flip and flip and flip to find green beans. It describes how to simmer, steam and microwave them, but not how to blanch them. Foiled in my attempt to actually USE A BOOK INSTEAD OF THE INTERNET, I type "blanch green beans" into Google search and immediately find out you throw them in boiling water for 3 minutes, drain them, then throw them in an ice bath for another 5 and voila! Blanched green beans. Hrmph. I tried, Universe! I tried to use a printed book for information, but it did not suffice. The internet has ruined me, people. Ruined me.
THIS is blanching.
And doesn't it look gorgeous? I currently have no black pepper. What?! No black pepper? I'll get some tomorrow. And I only made 1/2 a lb of green beans because for all I know, it will go bad in my refrigerator before I eat it up.

Then I partook of creating the Tuscan-Style Tuna. This makes four servings - which means four lunches. I have no idea how many servings the green beans make. I'm going to call 1/2 lb of beans, 4 servings. Because I can.

Tuscan-Style Tuna
12 oz. chunk light tuna, drained
1 15 oz. can cannellini beans
10 cherry tomatoes (WHAT? Try 20.)
4 scallions, trimmed and slied
2 T. olive oil
2 T. lemon juice
1/2 t. salt
pepper to taste

(Also, no idea where this came from.)

Combine tuna, beans, tomatoes, scallions (I used winter onions from the market), oil, lemon juice, salt and pepper. Stir gently. Refrigerate until ready to serve.

I decided to serve it on a bed of mixed lettuce that I got at the farmer's market, because I wanted to put it on bread, and well? That's not as healthy as lettuce. So there you go. The beans make it super creamy. I'm convinced it will be even better tomorrow.
Oh, and I've decided not to have two blogs - one for cooking and one for regular stuff. Because I just can't handle it. Anyone know how to integrate the two and get all my old cooking posts onto this one without slitting my wrists?


Lindsay said...

Yum that tuna sounds so yummy I am going to have to try it :)

G said...

I agree, that tuna salad looks really good.

As for your other question, somewhere in those help topics that Blogger has, it should be able to tell you how to import your other blog posts into this one.

Good luck.

BrianAlt said...

Blanching retains the color. By putting it in the ice bath, the cooking process is halted.

But, you probably know this by know. Da Internets is da bomb!

The Good Cook said...

Yum... the Tuscan Tuna Salad looks good... I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE beans. Not as much as cheese, but, well, yeah... kind of just as much as cheese. That should tell you how much I love beans. Especially those white tuscan beans...

Now I'm going to have to make something with beans. Geez, I am so susceptible to food suggestions...

Anyway, I rotisseried an entire turkey yesterday so I'm thinking Tuscan Turkey Salad?

I don't know how to combine blogs but I have to agree with you about maintaining two blogs - besides, cooking and food and eating and planning meals and thinking about food is all so much of one's life, why have two blogs? Integration for all!

Anonymous said...

Oh yeah, that tuscan tuna thing looks delicious. Mark Bittman! I love Mark Bittman but you know what? I don't own any of his cookbooks. So I guess I don't love him. He has disappointed me as well.

Kelly Hogaboom said...

Oh goodness. That all looks so wonderful.

If you can't figure out the blog thing email my husband and he will help you. ralph AT hogaboom DOT org. I switched to wordpress and am much happier with that than I was blogger.