Enjoy Every Single Thing You Put In Your Mouth, Thanks To Innovative New Cookbook

Image: Courtesy of Simon & Schuster.
Analyzing what you eat on a bite-by-bite level seems like the opposite advice to follow when it comes to having a healthy relationship with food. But, when you look at it from professional eater Dan Pashman's perspective, it starts to sound pretty tasty. Pashman, whose new cookbook Eat More Better (out in stores and online now), believes that every bite of food is precious and should be treated as such.
The philosophy on which his recipes stand seek to maximize deliciousness in all its forms — whether that's arranging salad ingredients in such a way that allows you to, for example, "stab through them so you end up with your favorite bits on the tip of the fork...what I call the proximity effect. Whatever is in closest proximity to your tongue is what will be accentuated."
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Savoring food is key, as Pashman explains: "If you're really craving an ice cream sundae, and then you get one and inhale the whole thing while checking e-mail, tweeting and texting, you get through to the end and look down and think 'where did my sundae go?' But if you really pay attention to what you're eating, and savor it, you'll feel more satisfied at the end."
It's almost as if he's pulling a trend from the yoga world, combining it with some Pinterest quotes about living in the moment, and turning it into a new way of eating and cooking that focuses on the experience. The result is a collection of sometimes decadent, sometimes subtle, but always thoroughly surprising recipes.
And, the surprise factor is no small part of the pull here. Pashman thinks the biggest thing standing in the way of people and better food is convention. "You're told there are, for example, certain breakfast foods and certain dinner foots, but to me that's hogwash. I'll have an avocado for breakfast and eggs for dinner, and there's not a single moment of the day when PB&J isn't delicious."
Some of that advice is common sense — like his suggestion that eating cake for breakfast should be completely acceptable when coffee shops sell muffins the size of a human brain. Some of it, on the other hand, leads to a recipe for goldfish cereal. "It's so shocking to the palate, it will confuse you a bit, but then it's actually kind of delicious once you get past the fact that you expect anything you eat in a bowl with milk to be sweet."
Delightfully, the book includes several hilarious illustrations that remind us of Pashman's day job in media; he's the voice behind the podcast The Sporkful. See his extremely helpful flow-chart to navigate your next visit to the vending machine, then hit page two for his Jack the Horse Mac & Cheese recipe, a tempting taste of Eat More Better at its finest.
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Image: Courtesy of Simon & Schuster.
Photographed by Erin Phraner.
Jack The Horse Mac And Cheese
"The folks at Jack the Horse restaurant in Brooklyn Heights make the best mac and cheese I’ve ever eaten. It has the perfect combination of cheese flavors, creaminess, and crisp plus a ridged, corkscrew mac that maximizes cheesehesion. Chef/owner Tim Oltmans from Jack the Horse was nice enough to let me publish his recipe here. Enjoy!"
Serves 4
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Ingredients
1 pint potato cream (see recipe below)
12 oz grated cheese (8 oz smoked gouda and 4 oz fontina)
2½ cups cooked cavatappi pasta
1 tbsp Dijon mustard
¼ cup toasted panko bread crumbs
Pepper
Instructions
Gently heat potato cream. Add cheese; stir until melted. Add pasta and mustard; stir until heated. Fill baking dishes and sprinkle on bread crumbs. Bake at 400 for 6 minutes (if making mac and cheese ahead bake for 8 to 10 minutes when ready to serve).
Note: Individual baking dishes are best. You want dishes that are not too deep or they’ll take too long to heat and the fat may separate.
Potato Cream
Ingredients
1 pint heavy cream
½ cup grated potato
¼ tsp grated nutmeg
½ tsp salt
½ tsp pepper
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Instructions
Heat all ingredients, stirring frequently until thickened, 15 minutes or so. Strain out and discard grated potato. You should have about one and two-thirds cups of liquid left, and it should be like béchamel (roux and milk). This process washes the starch off of the potato to thicken the cream and absorb the fat from the melted cheese.
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