The Bittman is a source of contention around here. Me, I don’t think much about The Bitt one way or the other. I never read The Bitt’s Minimalist column with regularity and have never understood the cult of his personality. He’s just a goofy white guy who mostly cooks off-book, right? Who can’t do that? Buy whatever’s wholesome and on sale, go home and Google ”easy [something you just bought] recipe,” pick the one you can fudge the best and make. (At least, that’s what I do.)
(Having said that, my new love is Gojee.com, which lets you search blogged-about recipes by ingredients you have/crave/dislike. And I’m not just saying that because this blog is included in the new Gojee Drinks database!)
Anyway, Sean hates The Bitt. What Sean has to say about The Bitt is, “He’s just annoying and he seems like a hack. I don’t understand why anybody cares what he has to say. I do not trust his authority. I feel like anyone could be Mark Bittman, he just happens to be the one, probably because he knows somebody or various other social injustices.”
Yet I couldn’t look away when a recent Bittman headline in the Times touted “A Radical Rethinking of Thanksgiving Leftovers.” Just how “radical” were we talking here? Well, The Bitt had me at “pan-fried stuffing cakes,” and so I read until the end, where I was rewarded with the notion of a Cranberry Negroni. Or really, tortured by reading in print that The Bitt had come up with a way to sneak a cocktail into his list of 20 radicalizations, and WHY DIDN’T I THINK OF THAT, DAMMIT?! DAMN THE BITT!! (I’m not the only one who feels this way, either.)
So yes, The Bitt’s Cranberry Negroni is pretty wondrous and awesome in its simplicity (erm, minimalism) and I highly recommend it as a way to get rid of your cranberry sauce reserves. Using sauce instead of juice adds a little gritty texture to the cocktail that I found I quite liked until the very end of the drink, when it got to be a bit too much. Also, The Bitt says to mix equal parts cranberry sauce, gin, Campari and sweet vermouth, but when I did this I found that you really couldn’t taste the cranberry, so I amped that up.
The Cranberry Negroni
(Adapted with minor additions from the New York Times Dining section)
About an ounce of cranberry sauce
About 1/2 ounce each of gin, Campari and sweet vermouth
Orange peel and/or dried cranberries, to garnish
Combine all ingredients in an ice-filled cocktail shaker. Shake vigorously to allow the cranberry sauce to mix well. Strain into a chilled cocktail glass. Garnish with an orange peel, and/or several dried cranberries speared onto a toothpick umbrella.
I have to try this with my World’s Greatest Cosmopolitan.