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Cook Something: Simple Recipes and Sound Advice toBring Good Food into Your Fabulous Lifestyle Paperback – August 20, 1997

4.9 out of 5 stars 12 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From the Inside Flap

Cook Something
You have the most completed cd collection, the hippest wardrobe, and a fabulous social life. But what about a cookbook? (Your mother's old copy of Joy of Cooking that's propping up the sofa doesn't count.) Here is the most complete, hip, and utterly fabulous cookbook you'll ever need.

Forget take-out. It's time you learned to cook something, anything. Author Mitchell Davis makes it easy. Cook Something contains over 150 recipes—for everything from French Toast to BLT Tartlets, from Brisket to Aunt Josephine's Chocolate Cake—all spelled out for you with easy-to-follow instructions.

Eat whatever you want, whenever you want. Breakfast for dinner. Dinner for breakfast. No time to order in before you have to meet your friends at the movies? With Cook Something, you can find an Asian recipe that takes less than 30 minutes to prepare, one that even uses the leftover chicken from the night before last. Just open to the complete and thorough Recipe Guide at the beginning of the book. Then flip through the recipes, arranged alphabetically, to find the dish you're in the mood for, the one you have the time or the ingredients on hand to prepare, or simply the one that you are capable of making.

To help in that last area, Mitchell primes you on every basic technique. He covers everything from nuking to zesting, from selecting ingredients to cutting in butter. And since Mitchell conveys the information as if you're chatting over a cup of latte at the local Starbucks, you won't have to call Mom to ask her to interpret.

Of course there are photographs—close-up shots of techniques demystified, as well as atmospheric images of cool people enjoying good food.

There are no more excuses. Get into the kitchen and Cook Something.

About the Author

Author Mitchell Davis believes you can't really have a good time if you don't have good food. Described as an "avid entertainer" by The New York Times, Davis has been known to squeeze 20 people around the table in his closet-sized dining room for multicourse meals and other culinary celebrations. "It isn't always comfortable," he admits, "but the food always make everybody happy." As Director of Publications for The James Beard Foundation, Davis helps educate people about the pleasures of the table. He reviews restaurants, teaches cooking classes, writes articles, and travels extensively to reinforce the idea that good food doesn't have to be complicated or fussy, just yummy. "We'd all eat much better if everyone just knew how to cook something."
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 246 pages
  • Publisher: Wiley; 1 edition (August 20, 1997)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0028612558
  • ISBN-13: 978-0028612553
  • Product Dimensions: 7.4 x 0.6 x 9.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,188,693 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

As someone who purchased this book on a lark, then continued to buy it for all my gift-giving needs - including a wedding shower only a couple of weeks ago - as well as to use it periodically with fantastic results, I feel compelled to rave about it to anyone interested.
The recipes are easy to follow, the helpful advice and recipe cross references are just that, helpful, and the humourous introductions are truly enticing. This book intends to grab the reader by the collar, send him or her straight into the kitchen regardless of experience or trepidation and produce a delicious, mouthwatering, "you'll be everyone's best friend" dish every time.
What strikes me as invaluable about Cook Something and what separates it from all the other really good cookbooks on the shelf is the fact that it is a great collection of sound, tested recipes. It lists every single modern, homey, comfort food you would ever want in a well-rounded repertoire. For instance, the pancake recipe is the best. There is no reason to use any other. The light and flaky pastry crust has become my secret weapon and I use it everywhere, from tarts, to quiches, to pot pies, to dessert pizzas. You'll want to make each recipe as you read it, if only because you'll want to eat each dish that is listed. If you're nervous, stick to the recipe measurements. If you're daring, mix and match according to taste. The creamy mustard sauce is listed with salmon, but it works just as well with monkfish, scallops and pork loin. In any case, use this book as a reference guide, from checking the ideal temperature for roasting chicken to which ingredients go into hummus. Each recipe works well, so you'll not only build your culinary confidence but you'll be inspired to share your cooking with your friends.
Run, don't walk, to pick up your copy!
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This hip cookbook may have been written for people who've logged little stove time, but it's also a great addition to the experienced home cook's library. I cook a lot (mostly without recipes) and write about food for women's magazines, and I find myself reaching for this book over and over again because the recipes are well written and (so far) have given me good results. I love the fact that they're listed in alphabetical order, forcing me to try new stuff.
Websavvy cooks will also appreciate the layout. Almost all recipes are on one page, with icons that identify about how long they'll take to make, as well as a list of the tools you'll need, and links to other recipes in the book.
Another plus: unlike most cookbooks (which seem to be written for old foggies or hard core foodies), this one is filled with foods that are popular right now--dishes you're likely to really want to eat, like biscotti, hummus and sesame noodles.
The Moroccan Style CousCous Salad is worth the price of the book. I've made this for numerous parties (including for my wedding), and it never ceases to draw raves. One guest told me it was the best he'd ever had, and he'd had couscous in Morocco.
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Easy-to-read, easy-to-use recipes which will make you WANT to cook instead of eating out tonight. You'll love "Adam's Big Pancake" (my mom prepared a similar pancake for my father and me on Sunday mornings) and you'll impress guests with "Badda Bing Chicken."
Don't let the "for beginners" tag turn you off if you're an experienced cook...this book is fun and full of great recipes whether you never cook or have been cooking for years. Buy one for yourself and more as gifts for friends. They'll love it.
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Mitchell Davis is a wonderful writer, and that is part of what makes this book so wonderful. He is a joy to read, even if I never cooked a recipe. However, the recipes are really well-chosen and easy to execute - even for someone like me who is afraid fo hte kitchen! A great book to give someone who doesn't cook.
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With several indexes, this book is easy to navigate, while having enough attitude to be fun flip through (even when you're not cooking). With witty commentary, the author includes recipes that aren't too complicated but that produce great results. It also has a guide to cooking basics in the front.
Each index groups the recipes differently: by meal, by course, by main ingredient ("Before it grows mold"), by ethnic origin, by time it takes to cook, and more.
This is not your cooking encyclopedia, but I find it more accessible and more fun to read than my "Joy of Cooking." Since it doesn't have every dish under the sun, it's easier to thumb through and pick something quick. And whatever you pick will probably be a success (see below for my one objection).
My favorite recipes: Pancakes (from scratch, I'm a breakfast food junkie), Beef Stew, both the chicken wings recipes.
Disregard the author when he raves about "Cheese Thing;" It's not all it's cracked up to be.
This book was a great find for a college student with little experience with cooking, but a taste for really good home-cooked food. And since it's not just a list of recipes, but a cleverly written book, it makes cooking from it that much more fun.
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