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Mark Bittman's Kitchen Express: 404 inspired seasonal dishes you can make in 20 minutes or less Hardcover – Bargain Price, July 7, 2009
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From Publishers Weekly
Bittman here offers a sampling of 404 inspiring recipes. But don't expect another How to Cook Everything. This newest is of a different kind—simple and snappy, and rarely calls for measuring spoons. The no-sweat recipes are divided into four sections: summer, fall, winter and spring, capitalizing on the freshest ingredients of each season while whittling down the prep time of ordinarily elaborate dishes like coq au vin and ricotta cheesecake to 10 minutes or less. The book includes a drill-down of how best to stock your kitchen, and given the impromptu nature of the book, the substitution grid proves indispensable. While many dishes are sandwiches, dips or salads, Bittman offers a handful of innovative gems like figs in a blanket and pasta jambalaya, drawing from a diverse gastronomical panorama including Latin, Asian, Mediterranean and Creole flavors. And while quick, Bittman's recipes don't lack his signature creative punch. Lavender-thyme braised chicken, scallop and peach ceviche and a five-spice lobster sandwich will make most readers both salivate and appreciate the ease of his recipes. (June)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
“I’d buy any cookbook Bittman wrote.”
—The Miami Herald
“This is a man who loves food in the most unstuffy way possible.”
—The Chicago Tribune --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Top customer reviews
This cookbook is brilliantly devised. First of all, the recipes are divided into seasons, which is useful because there are no braising recipes in the summer, no grilling recipes in the winter, and so forth. Also, the seasonal recipes call for ingredients that are in season (and therefore cheaper and tastier!), so in summer you see lots of tomato and corn recipes, while in fall you see root vegetables and pork. There are 101 recipes for each season, which is a large enough number that most people will find many dishes they like for each season.
The recipes are not written in the traditional way. They read more like a paragraph, which is brilliant because it is the exact sort of "recipe" you would get if you asked your mother or grandmother how to cook something. You basically just need to read the recipe once, and you will immediately understand how to make the dish. There are no ingredient lists at the start of the recipes, but this is not a problem because the recipes use few ingredients, and the vast majority of the ingredients are very simple, common ones. This does not mean that the recipes are uninspired, however! I made the Tuna Tabbouleh last night, and I never would have thought of putting canned tuna in oil into tabbouleh salad, but it was absolutely delicious, refreshing, and it did not heat up my kitchen (it is summer now).
A brief word of warning, however: This cookbook is probably not very good for cooks who are just beginning to learn how to cook. Mark Bittman states this on the first couple of pages of the book. This is because it contains the sort of recipes that call for a "splash of this, a pinch of that, lots and lots of these", etc. A beginner cook might not do well with these loosey-goosey instructions. A better cookbook for a beginner would be "How to Cook Everything."
I have been cooking for a while by mostly following very precise recipes. I consider myself an intermediate cook and this book is great for me. I really like that the recipes in this book are just general ideas without exact measures. This is because it gives me a general idea for something delicious and simple while inciting me to experiment and trust my instincts.