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How to Cook Everything The Basics: All You Need to Make Great Food--With 1,000 Photos Hardcover – February 24, 2012

4.7 out of 5 stars 821 ratings

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Editorial Reviews

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In How to Cook Everything The Basics, best-selling author 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

Brownies
(Click for recipe)
Curried Chickpea Salad
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Steamed Fish with Ratatouille
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Q&A with Mark Bittman, author 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 actually been almost 14 years since the first edition, which I can hardly believe myself. For me, there's a big difference between how I think about "food" and how I approach writing cookbooks. In fact, the way I write cookbooks has barely changed: I try to write simple, straightforward recipes that encourage people to cook rather than wow or intimidate them. These are cookbooks for people who cook or want to learn how to cook. In terms 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 writer. Would you say that The Basics reflects this big change in your career, and how you can present your ideas?
It's a huge change but I haven't left much behind; 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 although cooking goes a long way to helping us eat better, there are many, many issues that cooking can't address, important issues to anyone who eats--which is everyone.

It seems like a lot of cookbooks are more about lifestyle and the latest trends in restaurant food. Do you think that The Basics is almost an anti-trend cookbook?
No. I think that the books about lifestyle and trends in restaurant food are not cookbooks. The Basics, modesty aside, is the epitome of a cookbook: It's a book that teaches how to cook. It'll 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, which were those by Jim Beard; Julia Child; Paula Peck; Craig Claiborne; and a few others. And of course Joy of Cooking.




From the Inside Flap

"Mark is an important voice in American home cooking, and this new book is essential for anyone wanting tasty, easy, fresh recipes."
Jamie Oliver, Celebrity Chef and Activist

Photography by Romulo Yanes

Since its publication in 1998, Mark Bittman's award-winning How to Cook Everything has become an indispensable kitchen staple. This modern classic serves as both an endlessly inspiring recipe collection and comprehensive reference for cooks of all ages and abilities.

Now, with How to Cook Everything The Basics, Bittman has provided a book for true beginners and perennial students, one that captures the pleasure and simplicity of everyday home cooking and makes it accessible to everyone, in full-color, step-by-step action.

The Basics is the ultimate confidence-builder. Whether you're just learning your way around a stove or are hungry for detailed guidance, Bittman's sensible approach, along with instructive, realistic photography, offers just the encouragement you need.

How to Cook Everything The Basics is a rare cookbook that teaches by example. Each of the 1,000 gorgeous photographs and 185 recipes has a story to tell and a lesson to share (you'll find a list of them in the back of the book), all in a casual, unfussy way that makes meals as enjoyable to prepare as they are to eat.

The Basics also provides commonsense advice on how to stock your kitchen with equipment and ingredients, while special features scattered throughout offer useful information on general techniques like cooking pasta, choosing and using seafood, making bread, and 26 other skills for identifying and preparing foods from vegetables and beans to meats, soups, and desserts.

Along the way, Bittman's practical tips and variations, descriptive visual cues, and straightforward explanations will help you recognize doneness, taste and adjust seasoning, and learn to trust your instincts. How to Cook Everything The Basics is the next best thing to having America's favorite home cook right in the kitchen with you.


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Chery
5.0 out of 5 stars This is the cookbook people need in their lives
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5.0 out of 5 stars An excellent resource
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5.0 out of 5 stars Amazing book for beginners!
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Steven Robinson
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic gift for a new cook, but if you're experienced, get "How to Cook Everything" instead.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Great for beginners or anyone wanting some simplicity
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5.0 out of 5 stars Perfect for those who can't cook
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Jtc
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent choice for new cooks, and some not-so new cooks!
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Robert W.
5.0 out of 5 stars Every kitchen should have this book.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Love This Book
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5.0 out of 5 stars Great book for beginners and more
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5.0 out of 5 stars Why everyone should own this book!
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David Castaldo
4.0 out of 5 stars Good read to eating
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