People who like to eat well without the fuss have always turned to Mark Bittman for his trademark pared-down elegance and contemporary style. In 404 Express, Bittman, author of the popular New York Times column "The Minimalist" and the bestselling How to Cook Everything series, offers readers a new level of ease with recipes that that are no more than a paragraph long.
The 404 seasonal recipes are sophisticated as they are simple: on a cold winter night, warm up with White Bean Stew served over crusty slices of oil-rubbed baguette. Welcome spring with Shrimp with Asparagus, Dill or Spice Poached Eggs and Truffled Arugula Prosciutto Salad. Make the most of summer produce with Scallop and Peach Ceviche or Apricot Cream Upside Down Pie, and try Salmon and Sweet Potato with Coconut Curry Sauce or Broiled Brussels Sprouts with Hazelnuts when the air starts to cool.
The beautiful, two color cookbook also includes Bittman's complete guide to stocking your pantry, menus for a variety of occasions, and recipe lists that span the seasons.
Bittman here offers a sampling of 404 inspiring recipes. But don't expect another How to Cook Everything. This newest is of a different kind simple and snappy, and rarely calls for measuring spoons. The no-sweat recipes are divided into four sections: summer, fall, winter and spring, capitalizing on the freshest ingredients of each season while whittling down the prep time of ordinarily elaborate dishes like coq au vin and ricotta cheesecake to 10 minutes or less. The book includes a drill-down of how best to stock your kitchen, and given the impromptu nature of the book, the substitution grid proves indispensable. While many dishes are sandwiches, dips or salads, Bittman offers a handful of innovative gems like figs in a blanket and pasta jambalaya, drawing from a diverse gastronomical panorama including Latin, Asian, Mediterranean and Creole flavors. And while quick, Bittman's recipes don't lack his signature creative punch. Lavender-thyme braised chicken, scallop and peach ceviche and a five-spice lobster sandwich will make most readers both salivate and appreciate the ease of his recipes.