How Your Dream of Easy Weeknight Dinners Comes True

Thanks to author Yasmin Fahr's newest cookbook, "Cook Simply, Live Fully."

<p>Simply Recipes / Photo Illustrations by Wanda Abraham / Matt Russell</p>

Simply Recipes / Photo Illustrations by Wanda Abraham / Matt Russell

Welcome to One Quick Bite, where we share smart, cool, and weird conversations with our favorite authors about their new cookbook and beyond.

Have you ever dreamed of hightailing out of your daily routine, if just for a brief moment of relief to spend "days reading book after book, swimming in the clear, warm water, eating heaping plates of jamón and pan con tomate, and drinking lots of wine..."? I imagine this for myself multiple times a day.

These are real moments described by cookbook author Yasmin Fahr, of her days spent off the coast of Spain on a small island called Menorca. Driven by burnout, Yasmin booked a transformative getaway that ended up inspiring her latest cookbook, "Cook Simply, Live Fully."

If I could dream up a cookbook that Simply Recipes editors curate to best represent the ethos of quick, easy, and nourishing weeknight recipes, every single recipe from "Cook Simply, Live Fully" would make the cut. Like the four-ingredient chicken with chili crisp—it's so simple and delicious, and I've made it so often that the recipe has made it to my long-term memory.

This cookbook is full of practical recipes for busy home cooks—you will actually want to make them, will memorize them in no time, and build them into your cooking routine with ease, even on the murky days when you rather be floating in clear waters.

That's why I know our readers would love this cookbook. Get yourself a copy and consider it your ticket to a brief moment of relief every time you are faced with "I'm tired. What's for dinner?"

In a moment of clarity (and big courage!), Yasmin eventually returned to Menorca more permanently, packing her life in Los Angeles into a suitcase, including her favorite Nordic Ware half sheet pan (that of course doesn't fit in her new oven) and a knife kit containing a seven-inch Misono chef's knife, a five-inch Wüsthof Santoku knife, a Wüsthof classic pairing knife, and a Microplane.

I celebrated Yasmin's new cookbook with a rapid-fire Q&A with the author. Enjoy Yasmin's cooking playlist and a little peek into her life.

This interview has been edited for length and clarity.

What’s your most-used pan?
My cast-iron skillet and an almost 15-year-old Le Creuset Dutch oven that I've written three cookbooks with and dragged around the country during countless moves.

What do you always keep on your kitchen counter?
Salt, olive oil, red pepper flakes, and my go-to spices, which are cumin, oregano, turmeric, and paprika. Lemons and garlic are always close by.

Gas, electric, or induction?
Induction! I was always a gas girl, but then I had an induction cooktop in Miami, and it was incredible. Boiling water feels like magic as it happens so quickly, and you have as much control over the heat as you do with gas.

What ingredient would you pass a ban on?
Truffle oil. I feel like it's dying down now, but for a while, it felt like "truffle everything" and it was just too much.

Kitchen tool you wouldn't be caught dead using.
Garlic press. No need for it. Just use your Microplane! I'm definitely more on the minimalist end of kitchen gadgets and tools.

The Instagram account you can’t quit.
Awkward Family Photos. It truly cracks me up looking at some of the strange scenarios people find themselves in. Whenever I need a laugh, I scroll through their page.

Describe your cooking style in four words.
Simple, fresh, flavorful, and fun.

What is the first dish you remember making yourself?
As a kid, banana and chocolate chip pancakes.

After an exhausting day, what's your go-to meal?
It depends on the time of year. When it's hot, it's usually good bread with soft cheese like feta or fresh goat cheese from here in Menorca, with olive oil, salt, and tomatoes. Otherwise, it's the 10-Minute Spicy Tomato Pasta the cookbook, which is just a sauce of tomato paste and harissa with pasta. Sometimes I throw in a handful of greens if I have them for "balance."

What's the best frozen pre-made meal you always keep around?
Dumplings! I love having a bag of frozen dumplings in the freezer. They are the perfect reheat meal as you can eat them just as is, add them to a soup, or eat with quickly cooked greens and leftover rice.

The one restaurant you’ve been to more than any restaurant in your life?
Little Owl in NYC. There's such a lovely neighborhood feel to the restaurant, which I think is getting harder and harder to find in New York.

What's your most stained cookbook?
"The Zuni Cafe Cookbook"—the roast chicken pages are the most stained and wrinkled. I have used Chef Judy Rodgers' method for roasting chickens for so long and just love all the information in that book.

If you didn’t have the limit of time and budget, what cookbook would you write?
A digital nomad/travel cookbook. I would fly to different destinations around the world, live there for a month, and cook simple recipes inspired by the place that you could make in a rental home. I think living somewhere for more than a week and doing "regular" activities, like grocery shopping, provides a greater sense of place as you fall into the rhythm of daily life. It would also be dotted with photos of explorations of the city.

What is the first recipe someone should make from your cookbook?
Lemony Ginger Chicken with Potatoes + Onions, as it's one of those dishes that's greater than the sum of its parts, and it cooks mostly undisturbed in the oven, so you get this comforting, bright dish with very little work on your end.

What is the one recipe you want to be known for from your cookbook?
Big Cockle Energy! It's a spicy, broth clam dish with sausage. The recipe is one pot, comes together quickly, and is absurdly delicious for how little you do. Plus, the name is so fun that I think it captures the joy of the cooking and how I want cooks to feel in the kitchen.

What is one recipe from your cookbook you keep making again and again?
So many of them! Lots of the "Lap Dinners" section pasta, toasts, and sheet pan meals. The Crispy, Crunchy Oregano Chicken is one I make often as well as the Kale, Ginger, and Turmeric soup when I want something nourishing and light.

BUY THE COOKBOOK: "Cook Simply, Live Fully"

Read the original article on Simply Recipes.