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How to Cook Everything: 2,000 Simple Recipes for Great Food,10th Anniversary Edition Hardcover – October 20, 2008

4.5 out of 5 stars 1,554 customer reviews

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The Mediterranean Diet Plan: Heart-Healthy Recipes & Meal Plans for Every Type of Eater by Susan Zogheib  MHS  RD  LDN
"The Mediterranean Diet Plan" by Susan Zogheib MHS RD LDN
Learn the basics of mediterranean cooking and choose from included meal plans with four variations- traditional, meatless, seafood-free, and 30-Minute. Learn more
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Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

Today's favorite kitchen companion—revised and better than ever.

Mark Bittman's award-winning How to Cook Everything has helped countless home cooks discover the rewards of simple cooking. Now the ultimate cookbook has been revised and expanded (almost half the material is new), making it absolutely indispensable for anyone who cooks—or wants to. With Bittman's straightforward instructions and advice, you'll make crowd-pleasing food using fresh, natural ingredients; simple techniques; and basic equipment. Even better, you'll discover how to relax and enjoy yourself in the kitchen as you prepare delicious meals for every occasion.

"A week doesn't go by where I don't pull How to Cook Everything down from the shelf, so I am thrilled there's a new, revised edition. My original is falling apart!"
Al Roker

"This new generation of How to Cook Everything makes my 'desert island' cookbook choice jacked up and simply universal. I'll now bequeath my cookbooks to a collector; I need only this one."
Mario Batali

"Mark Bittman has done the impossible, improving upon his now-classic How to Cook Everything. If you need know-how, here's where to find it."
Bobby Flay

"Mark Bittman is a great cook and an incredible teacher. In this second edition, Mark has fine-tuned the original, making this book a must for every kitchen."
Jean-Georges Vongerichten

"Throw away all your old recipes and buy How to Cook Everything. Mark Bittman's recipes are foolproof, easy, and more modern than any others."
Isaac Mizrahi

"Generous, thorough, reliable, and necessary, How to Cook Everything is an indispensable reference for both experienced and beginner cooks."
Mollie Katzen, author of the Moosewood Cookbook

"I learned how to cook from How to Cook Everything in a way that gives me the freedom to be creative. This new edition will be my gift to new couples or for a housewarming; if you have this book, you don't really need any others."
Lisa Loeb, singer/songwriter

Exclusive Recipe Excerpts from How to Cook Everything

Grilled or Broiled Chicken Kebabs

Roasted Shrimp with Herb Sauce

Warm Spicy Greens with Bacon and Eggs

Author Tip: 7 Ways to Vary Chicken Kebabs [PDF]



10 Reasons You Need the New How to Cook Everything (even if you already have the original)

1. The 2000+ simple recipes will make cooking at home easier, so you can spend less and eat better.

2. With 1,446 new recipes and variations such as Beer-and-Butter Chicken Wings, Roasted Corn Chowder, BLT Salad, Paella with Chicken and Chorizo, Caramelized French Toast, and Popcorn Brittle, this book provides a whole new array of recipes.

3. The many new techniques covered in this edition will help you to expand your repertoire of kitchen skills to include frosting a cake, grinding your own chili powder, or even de-boning a quail.

4. Your husband, wife, brother, sister, son, daughter, or best friend needs a little help in the kitchen (okay, maybe a lot). The new How to Cook Everything contains more expert advice like “12 Must-Have Kitchen Tools,” “Super-Easy 3-Ingredient Soups,” and “The Basics of Cutting.”

5. You trust Bittman’s no-nonsense opinions and can’t wait to read the thousands of new ones packed into this edition. He’ll even help you to select the best inexpensive fish (ex. mackerel is versatile, tasty, healthy, and plentiful; tilapia can taste kinda muddy).

6. The index of “Essential Recipes” points you to Bittman’s favorite dishes in each chapter, so there’s less reason to be intimidated by all those recipes.

7. There are more helpful lists in the new How to Cook Everything than ever before. Bittman shows how to jack up the basics with easy ideas like “4 Ways to Thicken a Sauce”, and “Infinite Ways to Season or Serve Any Grilled or Broiled Chicken Dish.”

8. With this edition’s brand new charts, it’s absurdly easy to look up the cooking times for grains, heat factor for chiles, and other need-to-know information about everything from herbs and spices to flour and noodles.

9. You know it’s cheap, easy, and fast to serve your family boneless chicken breasts every week, but sometimes you run out of ideas. That’s why you really need all the new recipes, variations, and other suggestions for chicken breasts like “11 More Ways to Vary Grilled or Broiled Boneless Chicken.”

10. There are plenty of new illustrations which incorporate more detail than many photos. They’ll show you how to use a pastry bag, how to eat crabs, and even how to puree soup using an immersion blender (it’s is way less messy than a regular blender).

From Publishers Weekly

Starred Review. Ten years have brought many changes to the U.S. culinary landscape, and Bittman's new edition of his contemporary classic reflects that, with hundreds of recipes added, out-of-date ones banished and few lines from the holdovers left untouched. The opening chapter offers invaluable new tips on basic kitchen equipment and techniques, and in the wake of the recent vegetarian version of the book, produce and legumes are now featured earlier and with more inspired meatless recipes. Overall, Bittman's globe-trotting palate shows even better than it did in the already quite international first edition, with intriguing recipes from every corner of the world. Considering these expansions, the most important change has been to the book's user-friendliness: a proliferation of charts, lists and boxes makes much more information immediately available—hardly a page goes by without an eye-catching sidebar about technique, a handy table organizing the basics of an ingredient or dish or the myriad suggestions of variations and new ways to think about a recipe that make it the best-value all-in-one volume available. At-a-glance coding to indicate what is fast to make, what can be made ahead and what is vegetarian, plus highlighted recipes that Bittman considers essential, help ensure that even with more of everything to cook, this massive tome is navigable. Whether the first edition is on their shelves or not, home cooks of all skill levels will want to get this one. (Oct.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
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Product Details

  • Series: How to Cook Everything
  • Hardcover: 1056 pages
  • Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt; 2 edition (October 3, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0764578650
  • ISBN-13: 978-0764578656
  • Product Dimensions: 8.4 x 2.2 x 9.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 4.6 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1,554 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,795 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Denise Patterson VINE VOICE on October 29, 2007
Format: Hardcover
Let me start by saying I'm a busy working mom of two. I grew up eating Hamburger Helper and hot dogs, so I didn't learn to cook until I was an adult. My dad's had triple bypass and my mom's having gastric bypass, so we're trying to learn from their mistakes and eat not entirely vegetarian, but definitely a more plant-based diet. I'm sure all this sounds familiar to a lot of people!

How to Cook Everything Vegetarian is exactly the cookbook I've been trying to find for a long time. It has the simple, everyday recipes that I sometimes need, combined with a LOT of wonderful vegetarian dishes from ordinary supermarket ingredients. How about Peanut Soup, Senegalese Style? Or Korean-Style Noodles in Cool Bean Broth (in less than 20 minutes for when the kids are whining for dinner) Mustard Cheese Fondue?

This book is written in Bittman's typical `theme and variations' style, with a basic recipe (like for waffles) and then a sidebar or list following the recipe that gives variations (like a list of things you can add to waffles for flavoring). The great thing about this is that it means you rarely have to reject a recipe because you don't have the exact ingredients, just go with a variant. The only quibble I have with it is, it's sometimes difficult to keep track of what you are supposed to sub out & sub back in when you have a crying toddler on your ankle.

A basic cookbook should also walk you through basic techniques and ingredients. I was a little surprised to see the vegetables chapter was nearly 200 pages. Then I looked through it and realized a lot of that is guidance on how to select and prep the various vegetables.
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Format: Hardcover
"How to Cook Everything" is one of the more useful cookbooks I've owned. Each type of food has a "Basics" section that includes lots of preparation tips. The recipes themselves are detailed enough for beginners, and not so esoteric that you have to make a trip to a specialty grocery store every time you want to cook something. Especially helpful are the suggestions for expanding on each dish. For example, after the basic Chicken Kebab recipe, there are four modifications, including Chicken Kebabs in Yogurt-Cumin Sauce.

I'm relearning the way I prepare even the most basic things, like sandwiches and scrambled eggs. Who would have thought scrambled eggs could be so good? And the Pan-Grilled steak has weaned me from the backyard grill forever. No other cookbook would warn you that "clouds of smoke will instantly appear; do not turn down the heat." That bit of fear that your fire alarm will go off at any second just adds spice to the whole cooking experience.

The breadth of this book is amazing. Besides having nearly every type of Western cooking you can imagine, it also has recipes from Japan, India, Thailand, and... you get the idea.

There is one drawback -- this book has no photos, just a few hand-drawn illustrations. However, the book is so big that if it did have photos, it would cost much more.
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Format: Hardcover
I'm a vegetarian of 15 years (with a meat-eating but open minded fiance) and an avid home cook. I got this book for Christmas and have slowly been exploring it. It's an interesting book and there are a lot of recipes that I'm tempted by, but it's the same problem I have with "How to cook everything": something is always wrong with the recipe. For example, his kosher pickles: the first time I tried making them with his measurements, the pickles were inedibly salty (and I love salt!) I'm now working with about a third less salt than he recommends and it's getting better. And that's what I always find with his recipes: they give you a promising start but require some major tinkering before they are really good, and I don't usually feel up to committing to that sort of trial and error. I am a passionate fan of Debbie Madison's "Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone." As an example of the difference, this week I had a dinner party and I made her cauliflower salad with green olives and capers even though I'd never tried it before, and it was a hit. Having used her book so much, I trust her recipes to be at least decent right out of the gate. I would never serve a Bittman recipe that I hadn't made before to guests because there are pretty good odds that the initial recipe needs some changes.
That being said, I'm certainly not sorry that I have this book. It has a good section on condiments that I'm sure I'll make use of fairly often, and it's a good cookbook to have on hand if you're tinkering in the kitchen and want some perspective on your technique. It's really more of a reference book than an book of recipes, and in that it is useful. But if you want ideas for delicious, satisfying vegetarian food, get "Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone."
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Format: Hardcover
I got my copy of the new edition of How to Cook Everything the other day and am beyond thrilled. I own the old yellow edition and have cooked from it far more than any other book, so I knew the new book had a lot to live up to. Well, it by far exceeded my expectations. While the book still feels familiar, it also feels new and improved. The essential recipe sections beginning each chapter are a great way to find the basics. But even the basics have changed. For example, Mark's roast chicken recipe, which I've used and liked in the past (though I still love Barbara Kafka's) has changed. He suggests you heat the pan before putting the chicken in and placing the chicken breast side up (instead of side down as he suggested in his old book). The heat of the pan helps cook the thighs faster so the breasts don't dry out. It worked perfectly the first time I tried it. Beyond the basics, there are just so many new recipes in here. The variations, lists, and charts that Mark is famous for seem even more plentiful than before, and there are tons of beautiful new illustrations. I'm so excited to cook with this new edition and foresee a day when it's pages will be stained with grease and flour just like the old edition. But I still can't get rid of the old one. It's like a good friend. I'll just put the new one on the shelf right next to it, red by yellow, and know that I can always count on them.
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