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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

4.3 out of 5 stars 115 customer reviews

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Hardcover, Bargain Price, July 7, 2009
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Editorial Reviews

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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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 240 pages
  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster (July 7, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1416575669
  • ASIN: B00381B7XW
  • Product Dimensions: 9.4 x 7.7 x 0.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.3 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (115 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,467,243 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
I love this cookbook! WOW.

What I love about this book:
1) Recipes are sectioned by season
2) All recipes are written in paragraph form - with very little instruction (a pinch, a splash, drizzle, etc..)
3) At the beginning of the book, he gives you recommendations for a well-stocked pantry (I passed - woo hoo).
4) At the back of the book he provides tables for Kitchen Express Menus - Weeknight Dinner Party, Romantic Supper, Better-than-Chinese Takeout, Kids' night, Room-Temperature Buffet, Finger-food Cocktail Party, and Picnic/Road Trip, Holiday Blowout and Weekend Brunch. Each table is segmented by season - listing potentially an appetizer, main course, salad or vegetable, side dish, dessert.
5) The food tastes great! My very picky eater 4 yr old son loved the Korean Barbecued Beef that I paired with rice and sugar snap peas.

I highly recommend this cookbook.
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Format: Hardcover
I really like the book. I have Mark Bittmans' book "How to Cook Everything" too, which I've always loved. This is smaller but still has a ton of great recipes. This is perfect if you really like quick-cooking dishes. "How to Cook Everything" also has a lot of quick dishes but you have to find them (which takes time - and that's what I'm trying to save). The format is different - just a paragraph for each recipe - but I like it. He always makes everything simple and his dishes are delicious. He's also very practical. He also has a section on what substitutes you can use if you don't have an ingredient. I also have celiac disease and have to eat gluten-free. Most of his recipes lend themselves naturally to a gluten-free diet. He doesn't use processed foods and he doesn't use flour to make a lot of sauces. He might use flour to dredge meats but I usually just skip this step or you can use cornstarch or another wheat flour substitute. His ingredients are just simple, fresh ingredients....and he doesn't use too many.
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Format: Hardcover
Executive Summary: Great book, get it. Maybe not as your first cookbook, and not as your only cookbook, but for everyday meals, nothing beats this.

I stood there in Costco in the books section. I had been looking at the Ad Hoc at Home on Amazon and was happy to see it in person. Oh, so tempting. Maybe, I too could cook like Thomas Keller might at home. However the recipes are still exacting, and there is a level of planning ahead that I know means I would rarely use that book.

On the other hand, right next to it, was this little gem: Kitchen Express. I've made some of Bittman's recipes in the past from the NY Times and the Minimalist podcast (Sauteed Brussel Sprouts with Bacon was a hit with the family.) I've had the book for a couple of weeks and have used it or been inspired by it almost every day.

Cookbook Elements
1. Recipes are organized into seasons, so it's easy to refer to it before a trip to the farmer's market for fresh foods.
2. Additionally, they are indexed by type - one-dish cooking, potluck dishes, picnic dishes, etc. There are also several suggested menus.
3. The kitchen pantry section gives a good overview of useful items to have on hand.
4. There's a generous substitution list that gives you full permission to substitute red onions for shallots, for example. This is great for my wife who is often substituting completely random things in recipes in ways that totally change the dish.

Things I like about this:
1. 20 minutes per dish, max. Meals really don't take long - under 30 total.
2. Generally very healthy dishes - he relies on butter and bacon as cooking aids, not as the main attraction.
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Format: Hardcover
I must, shamefully, admit to not owning enough Mark Bittman books; in fact, though both volumes of How to Cook Everything have been on my shopping list for quite a long time now, so was Home Improvement 1-2-3 and it took me the better part of 7 years to get around to picking up a copy.

That said, I don't think it's any secret at this point that Bittman is one of the most influential American food writers out there right now; the No-Knead Bread column he wrote in 2006 took off like wildfire and lit up the culinary blogosphere in a manner that has only ever been equaled by the Bacon Explosion. How to Cook Everything Vegetarian is one of the biggest go-to books since Moosewood for people who want vegetarian recipes without the self-righteousness of Christina Pirello or the hucksterism of macrobiotics, and overall Bittman might just be the modern oracle of American food. But he's always writing for a very basic audience that doesn't always have a firm grasp of technique or food science; this is fine, but it can be somewhat limiting to someone who is comfortable in skills and just wants to tap in and hit a vein of inspiration on the first try. Enter "Kitchen Express".

This is a most curious book to a modern reader -- dish after dish, laid out on the page and described in a short, dense paragraph. It's not a beginner's book -- these recipes are for people who know what they're doing and just need quick inspiration.
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