How to Cook Everything, the Basics: All You Need to Make Great Food
Mark Bittman’s earlier best-selling cookbook How to Cook Everything is an indispensable guide for any modern cook. Now, with How to Cook Everything, the Basics: All You Need to Make Great Food, Bittman reveals how truly easy it is to learn fundamental techniques and recipes. From dicing vegetables and roasting meat to cooking building-block meals that include salads, soups, poultry, meats, fish, sides, and desserts, Bittman explains what every home cook, particularly novices, should know.
Plus, 1,000 beautiful and instructive photographs throughout the book reveal key preparation details that make every dish inviting and accessible. With Bittman’s clear and straightforward directions, practical tips and variation ideas, and visual cues that accompany each of the 185 recipes, cooking with How to Cook Everything, the Basics is like having Bittman in the kitchen with you.
Cooks&Books&Recipes Editors, on How to Cook Everything, the Basics:
Every time I look at the cover of this cookbook I think about baseball. I guess that’s because it shows a white circular object with red and black across it — kinda like a baseball. Except that the white circular object on this cookbook cover is actually an egg. Anyway … for me the analogy is fitting, since both baseball and cooking can be as complicated or as simple (“basic”) as you want to make them.
As for cooking, I so wish I’d had this book when I started experimenting in the kitchen years ago. But even so, I’m thankful to have it now. Because this is not a cookbook for beginning cooks only. Yes, the “Getting Started” chapter is invaluable for those new to the kitchen, with sections on “Setting Up Your Pantry,” “All the Tools You’ll Need,” “Building Flavor,” “Preparation” (e.g., Holding a Knife, Peeling), and “Techniques” (e.g., Simmering, Braising), but you know what? These sections are exceedingly helpful even if you’ve been cooking for years. And that’s before Bittman even gets into the incredibly varied recipes, with step-by-step photos throughout. I love the photos: they’re not included simply to show off gorgeous food shots; they’re useful. They illustrate steps, methods, and aspects of the food preparation and cooking that you need to actually see in order to get a good idea of what the food and the dish should look like.
Every section — “Breakfast,” “Pasta and Grains,” “Seafood” — starts with the “Basics.” But I’m willing to bet that even experienced cooks will find something new in Bittman’s basics (e.g., “chicken lingo,” “bread crust and crumbs”). Because cooking is a lot like baseball. As Yogi Berra said: “In baseball, you don’t know nothing.”
C&B&R next-to-try recipes: Tomato, Mozzarella, and Bread Salad; Chicken Stew with Softened Garlic; No-Knead Bread; Stovetop Pudding