July 18, 2007



I wouldn't restrict this concept to summer. Shouldn't all home cooking should be something you can do in 10 minutes or less?


peter hoh said...

Well, then you haven't tasted my curry.

Ann Althouse said...

I'm making an exception for my Bolognese sauce too.

Harsh Pencil said...

Ann Asks: Shouldn't all home cooking be done in 10 minutes or less?

It is true that I know more and more people who simply don't cook at all. They don't buy food - they buy food products: things that just need to be reheated that already have a dozen ingredients. And that is what they eat meal after meal. What is nice about this NYT list is that almost all use basic ingredients.

So if things which can be made in ten minutes or less is what it takes to get people to actually cook real food, then I guess that is fine. Real food made from real ingredients, not food products, tastes better, is better for you and is far less likely to make you fat.

Two problems:

A lot of these recipes require you to shop for fresh ingredients. People don't want to do that either. They want to buy 10 frozen pizza pockets at a time.

We watch a lot of TV in this country. We're not that busy. There is no reason you can't spend a half hour to 40 minutes cooking.

reader_iam said...


Roger said...

Agree with reader; if you like cooking don't rush it. In addition, I am a day by day shopper so food creation is a major part of my day which I enjoy.

MadisonMan said...

As you note, tomato sauces simply must simmer. I also refuse to eat quick-cook rice, and my rice cooker takes about 20 or 30 minutes to cook rice. But the article says that if you're not in the kitchen, so that time doesn't count.

On the subject of food, have any althousians been to Parthenon Foods in West Allis? I found them on-line, and they seem to have a nice selection. Is the in-store selection just as noteworthy? I have to go to Milwaukee anyway in a couple weeks, and I may stop.

reader_iam said...

Also, in glancing through these recipes, this writer is being an optimist, if not outright deceptive, in a number of cases.

Ruth Anne Adams said...

Food + heat = cooking at my house.

al said...

Absolutely not.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

No way. Cooking is a zen experience that should be treasured from beginning to end.

Hazy Dave said...

It's good that some people enjoy cooking as much as I enjoy eating. I've never been to Parthenon Foods, but it may bear investigation. While you're in town, I highly recommend the Indian Grocery Store at 107th & North in Wauwatosa for the aroma alone.

EnigmatiCore said...

"Shouldn't all home cooking should be something you can do in 10 minutes or less?"

Only if you don't enjoy cooking.

I do not enjoy cooking a quicky, 10 minute, type of meal-- the kind which is necessary during the work week. My wife handles those because she does not mind that.

On the weekends, when there is more time, I enjoy being the chef. I like the more time consuming preparations. It is a pleasurable activity for me. And my wife is more than thrilled to pass the apron.

davidc. said...

My wife has this down to a science. When I ask what we are having for dinner, she says what ever I can make. Total time = less than one minute.

XWL said...

Some reason, I'm reminded of Prince's song, Slow Love

Young is the night
It feels so right
Now that U're mine
Let's take our time
The man in the moon is smiling
4 he knows what I'm dreaming of
Tonight is the night 4 making slow love

The gentle breeze
It blows with ease
Let's make IT slow
Just like the wind blows
Let's make IT last forever
For a hundred times won't be enough
Tonight is the night 4 making slow love

Slow love
So much better when we take it easy
Slow love
So much better when we take our time

Love's in your eyes (in your eyes)
Eyes never lie
Don't rush the feelin'
You've got me reelin'

U can see through race car drivers
Let me show U what I'm made of
Tonight is the night 4 making slow love

[repeated to fade]
Slow love
So much better when we take it easy
Slow love

(There are times when a quick meal is better, as well as a quickie, but when time is a luxury that's available, time should be taken)

knoxwhirled said...

Also, in glancing through these recipes, this writer is being an optimist, if not outright deceptive, in a number of cases.


MadisonMan said...

I suspect that people who take a long time to cook in the Summer have air conditioning. Simmering something in a sweltering kitchen is not ever tempting.

Mike said...

It's been my experience that the "Preparation Time" listed for recipes are almost always a joke.

bill said...

Also, in glancing through these recipes, this writer is being an optimist, if not outright deceptive, in a number of cases.


yup, again. If I'm making pasta, it's taking almost 10 minutes to just to get the water boiling. Otherwise, expect 20 minutes for many of these and you'll be fine.

But the overall point is valid, you can eat very well in not much time using fresh ingredients.

bill said...

As you note, tomato sauces simply must simmer

not exactly. Nothing wrong with quick sauces and here's a good one: simple tomato sauce

reader_iam said...

Can I just say that that if you don't let it sit long enough to let the flavors meld, raita, which I adore and of which I could eat vast quantities if I didn't resist, amounts to nothing more than cucumber-spiked yogurt, which, in contrast, is not appetizing to me.

Just one teeny example of an issue ... .

bill said...

"Shouldn't all home cooking should be something you can do in 10 minutes or less?"

Only if you don't enjoy cooking.

Snobbish statement--not that there's anything wrong with being a snob. I'd approach the question from a different direction, I don't think 10 minutes is fair, but if can't get a full meal on the table in under 20 minutes, then you don't know how to cook. Keep practicing, it'll get easier. Try and find a kitchen shop that will teach knife skills since prep work is where most of the time is lost.

reader_iam said...

I make a sauce very similar to that one, Bill, and I love it. Very quick.

And I LOVE a good immersion blender, too--one of my favorite tools.

I make a wide variety of scratch sauces, and especially in August/September, tend to do so in quantity and freeze for winter. I do prefer longer simmer times for the sauces I freeze.

bill said...

Here's one of my favorite finds in the grocery store: cut and bagged fresh green beans (no preservatives). Just snip the corner and microwave for about 2.5 minutes. Toss with kosher salt and eat.

Sure it's about 3-4 times the expense of grabbing a handful from the produce bin, but the binned beans are dirty, of nonuniform shape, and need to be snipped. The bagged beans look better, taste the same, and I fix them while setting the table.

Theo Boehm said...

Good points above about taking time when it's needed, fresh ingredients, etc.  I only want to second what reader_iam says about making and freezing sauces.  A big example around our house: My wife makes a pesto that's to die for, and she usually freezes about six quarts for the rest of the year.  It's January, and the garden is covered with a foot of snow, but we've got fresh-tasting pesto that would cost an arm and a leg at Whole Foods if you could find it at all.

Sigivald said...

I think the half-hour mark is much more reasonable for most days (and, no, this has nothing to do with Rachel Ray).

I can't make burritos in ten minutes, and they're not leaving my kitchen. (Twenty minutes? Possibly, but that would feel far too rushed and stressful, doing too many things at once.)

Harsh: If real food is less likely to make you fat, that would be because you're choosing less fattening real foods.

Real food can also be chock full of fat and sugar, if you like it that way. I mean, bacon alone...

(And you're right, there's no reason we can't spend half an hour cooking.

But people who don't like cooking or care a whole lot about food feel no reason to do so... and why should they?)

Kathy said...

People might find they like food better if they cooked with real foods! :-) I have 3 kids (with a fourth coming soon); I homeschool. I don't spend hours cooking every day. Most recipes I use require 30 minutes or less to prepare, but I also make use of my crockpot and the freezer to manage cooking time better. That lets me do the prep work ahead of time.

I think simple meals are great, but 10 minutes is unrealistic. If you don't have 30 minutes, then avail yourself of your crockpot and freezer. Do the prep work on the weekend, making several of the same recipe and bagging it (after a few of these sessions you'll have quite a variety stored up), and then drop one in the crockpot in the morning on the way out the door. Fresh cooked meal when you get home, and you actually know what's in it!

ricpic said...

Put pan on mild heat. Olive oil in pan. Sautee thin strips of beef, chicken or pork. Chop up an onion, green pepper and tomato. Throw in same pan.
In a pot at the same time you are sauteeing you have heated water to a boil. Throw in rice or pasta. When rice or pasta are ready throw either into the pan with the sauteed meat and veggies. Plate or simply bring pan to table and eat out of pan. Tasty, healthy, 20 minutes tops.

paul a'barge said...

...open a can of...

Adios, muchacha

howzerdo said...

I lost interest at #38 on the list, but are these all one dish meals? How long would it take to prepare the sides? Or does the author have something against most fresh vegetables?

knoxwhirled said...

Adios, muchacha

...are you saying you don't use canned food? Even veg?

knoxwhirled said...

bill, I read through your recipe. This is a bit OT, but your line re: garlic for god's sake down let it brown made me think of the fact that most recipes never mention this... for a long time, when I first started cooking, I had no idea that garlic's flavor became repulsive if overcooked. So many recipes tell you to add the garlic at the same time as onion, or give other misleading instructions, and it took a while before I had enough "wisdom" to avoid browning the garlic and would wonder why some things came out putrid. Anyway...

TMink said...

You can't make jambalaya or gumbo or etouffe in 10 minutes. How can you live without eating some of that?


Ann Althouse said...

TMink said..."You can't make jambalaya or gumbo or etouffe in 10 minutes. How can you live without eating some of that?"

Why do you assume there are no restaurants? I'm saying if you cook at home, do easy and quick things (with a rare exception). Then, go to restaurants sometimes.

TMink said...

Why do you assume that I can get cajun food as good as mine at a restaurant?

Besides, I like to cook for my family. It is fun, and it is one ways that I show them that I love them.