Mark Bittman’s highly acclaimed, bestselling book How to Cook Everything is an indispensable guide for any modern cook. With How to Cook Everything The Basics he reveals how actually easy it is to be told fundamental techniques and recipes. From dicing vegetables and roasting meat, to cooking building-block meals that come with salads, soups, poultry, meats, fish, sides, and desserts, Bittman explains what every home cook, particularly novices, must know.
1,000 beautiful and instructive photographs all through the book reveal key preparation details that make every dish inviting and accessible. With clear and straightforward directions, Bittman’s 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.
- This is the essential teaching cookbook, with 1,000 photos illustrating every technique and recipe; the result is a comprehensive reference that’s both visually stunning and utterly practical.
- Special Basics features scattered all through simplify broad subjects with sections like “Think of Vegetables in Groups,” “How to Cook Any Grain,” and “5 Rules for Buying and Storing Seafood.”
- 600 demonstration photos each build on a step from the recipe to teach a core lesson, like “Cracking an Egg,” “The use of Pasta Water,” “Recognizing Doneness,” and “Crimping the Pie Shut.”
- Detailed notes appear in blue type near selected images. Here Mark highlights what to look for all the way through a particular step and offers handy advice and other helpful asides.
- Tips and variations let cooks hone their skills and be creative.
In How to Cook Everything The Basics, best-selling writer Mark Bittman offers another essential collection of delicious recipes, from fried egg to steamed mussels. With clear and straightforward directions, practical tips and variation ideas, and helpful photos for each of the recipes, Bittman breaks down the basics to help all home cooks.
Recipe Excerpts from How to Cook Everything The Basics
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Curried Chickpea Salad
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Steamed Fish with Ratatouille
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Q&A with Mark Bittman, writer of How to Cook Everything The Basics
|Mark Bittman, Author|
It’s been ten years since How to Cook Everything came out. How has your approach to thinking about food and writing cookbooks changed since then?
It’s in fact been almost 14 years since the first edition, which I will be able to hardly imagine myself. For me, there is a big difference between how I take into consideration “food” and how I approach writing cookbooks. Actually, the way I write cookbooks has barely changed: I try to write simple, straightforward recipes that encourage people to cook reasonably than wow or intimidate them. These are cookbooks for people who cook or need to learn to cook. In the case of thinking about food, see the next question.
This year, you ended your “Minimalist” column for The New York Times and became a regular op-ed author. Would you say that The Basics reflects this big change in your career, and how you’ll present your ideas?
It’s a huge change but I haven’t left much at the back of; I’m still writing about cooking not only for the Times but for others. The Opinion writing gives me a chance to say what I think not only about cooking but about food, about eating. And what I think is that even though cooking goes a long way to helping us eat better, there are lots of, many issues that cooking can’t address, important issues to anyone who eats–which is everyone.
It seems like a large number of cookbooks are more about way of life and the recent trends in restaurant food. Do you think that The Basics is almost an anti-trend cookbook?
No. I think that the books about way of life and trends in restaurant food don’t seem to be cookbooks. The Basics, modesty aside, is the epitome of a cookbook: It’s a book that teaches how to cook. It will be trendy for some people and not for others, like everything else.
When you were learning the basics of cooking yourself, what kinds of cookbooks did you use?
The basic books of the ’60s and ’70s, that have been those by Jim Beard; Julia Child; Paula Peck; Craig Claiborne; and a couple of others. And of course Joy of Cooking.