Bare Minimum Dinners: Recipes and Strategies for Doing Less in the Kitchen

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Bare Minimum DinnersBare Minimum Dinners

Cacio e Pepe Mac ’n’ CheeseCacio e Pepe Mac ’n’ Cheese

Cacio e Pepe Mac ’n’ Cheese

Makes 4 to 6 servings

This creamy, delicious crowd-pleaser is a great excuse to clean out the odds and ends of your cheese drawer; just be sure to choose good melters. The recipe requires grinding a full teaspoon of pepper. If you’ve got a pint-sized kitchen helper, I recommend enlisting them for that task.


1. Bring a large pot of well-salted water to a boil. Cook the fusilli according to the package directions. Drain and return to the pot.

2. While the pasta is cooking, melt the butter in a medium pot over medium heat. Whisk in the flour and continue whisking for 2 minutes as the mixture (the roux) bubbles and turns a light golden color. Gradually add the milk, whisking all the while.

Increase the heat to medium-high and bring the mixture to a simmer, whisking frequently. Simmer for 3 minutes.

3. Remove the sauce from the heat. Stir in the salt and cheeses. Pour the sauce over the drained pasta and stir to combine. Add the pepper and stir once more.

Ingredients 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt, plus more for the pasta water 1 pound fusilli or other short pasta 4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) unsalted butter 1/4 cup all-purpose flour 3 cups whole milk (2% will work in a pinch) 2 cups shredded cheddar, Gruyère, or fontina cheese (or a combination; about 8 ounces) 1/2 cup finely grated pecorino Romano cheese (about 2 ounces) 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, or more to taste

Chile-Lime SalmonChile-Lime Salmon

Chile-Lime Salmon

Makes 4 servings

Roasting salmon low and slow is a game-changer for foolproof silky, tender fish. And, since this is salmon—not a pork shoulder—“slow” means about 20 minutes. Serve this with crusty bread for soaking up the chile-lime oil.


1. Preheat the oven to 300°F.

2. Pour the olive oil into a small bowl. Zest the limes into the oil, then whisk in the crushed red pepper and 1/4 teaspoon of the salt. Thinly slice the zested limes.

3. Spread out the lime slices in a 13 × 9-inch baking dish. Top with the salmon fillets. Sprinkle the salmon with the remaining 3/4 teaspoon salt. Nestle the tomatoes and olives around the fish, and pour the olive oil mixture over it all.

4. Bake until the salmon is cooked to the level of doneness you prefer, 20 to 25 minutes for medium. Sprinkle flaky sea salt over everything and serve.

Ingredients 1/2 cup olive oil 2 limes 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper 1 teaspoon kosher salt, divided 4 5–6-ounce salmon fillets 1 cup cherry tomatoes 1/2 cup pitted olives (such as Castelvetrano) Flaky sea salt to taste

Bare Minimum DinnersBare Minimum Dinners

Publisher ‏ : ‎ Harvest (September 7, 2021)
Language ‏ : ‎ English
Paperback ‏ : ‎ 240 pages
ISBN-10 ‏ : ‎ 0358434718
ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-0358434719
Item Weight ‏ : ‎ 1.64 pounds
Dimensions ‏ : ‎ 8 x 0.68 x 9 inches