From Publishers Weekly
The prolific New York Times columnist Bittman is now on his eighth edited or co-authored book in as many years. Like many entertaining-based cookbooks, Bittman's is organized by dinner menus: 10 for each season. Charmingly titled ("A Meal for Questionable Weather," "A Cool Dinner for a Hot Night," etc.), the meals rely heavily on simple Asian and Mediterranean techniques like stir-frying and braising. Impressive but eminently do-able entrees like Curried Mussels, Roast Tomato Frittata, and Pasta with Dark Red Duck Sauce are probably his hallmark, but Bittman also shows a flair for assembling succulent, long-cooking dishes like Kale, Sausage and Mushroom Stew and Slow-Cooked Leg of Lamb with Fresh Mint Sauce. For desserts, he shies away from labor-intensive baking projects; more typical are forgiving foods to be prepared ahead of time like Pineapple-Ginger Sorbet and Coconut Rice Pudding. Bittman prefaces each menu with tips, timetables and wine recommendations. The recipes themselves are airily laid out-one page per recipe, rarely more than eight or 10 ingredients-so that although home cooks may be preparing four or five dishes at once, it scarcely seems like a challenge. As for the author, it seems as if he could keep on making life easier for time-pressed gourmands ad infinitum-as long as you keep it simple, you need never run out of inspiration.
Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information, Inc.
“Minimum ingredients, great techniques, and maximum flavor; that’s what Mark is all about.”
“This book perfectly describes simple and easy entertaining for each season. Mark Bittman’s pared-to-the-essentials style of cooking is the way that professional chefs wish they could cook at home.”
--Daniel Boulud, chef and restaurateur, and author of Chef Daniel Boulud: Cooking in New York City
“Let’s face it: entertaining is a slightly scary business for just about everybody. But in this book, Mark Bittman’s trademark brand of delicious but easy recipes is joined by a ‘let's just have fun’ attitude that makes you actually want to have folks over for dinner. So bring on the guests–you’ll not only be a success, you’ll enjoy yourself, too.”
--John Willoughby and Chris Schlesinger, coauthors of The Thrill of the Grill
and License to Grill