How to Cook Everything: 2,000 Simple Recipes for Great Food

Mark Bittman, Author, Alan Witschonke, Illustrator . Wiley $35 (1044p) ISBN 978-0-7645-7865-6

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landscape, and Bittman's new edition of his contemporary classic reflects that, with hundreds of recipes added, out-of-date ones banished and few lines from the holdovers left untouched.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.)

Reviewed on: 09/01/2008
Release date: 10/01/2008
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