Mark Bittman’s Kitchen Matrix: Visual Recipes to Make Cooking Easier than Ever

Mark Bittman. Clarkson Potter/Krauss, $35 (304p) ISBN 978-0-8041-8801-2
Bittman (VB6, How to Cook Everything, etc.) continues his winning approach to simplifying recipes for the average home cook in this terrific collection of more than 400 customizable recipes. Beginning with a basic ingredient (beets, soft-shell crab, pork ribs) or concept (gnocchi, spring rolls, slow cooker recipes), Bittman extrapolates on each entry’s inherent appeal and qualities, showing readers how to fight palate fatigue with just a few shifts of preparation or seasoning. It’s a terrific approach, particularly for readers who find themselves with a bounty of zucchini (zucchini carpaccio, curried zucchini soup, sautéed zucchini with sausage and pasta), corn (a cold salad with seafood and tarragon; corn and crab cakes), scallops (Bittman suggests a tartare), or chicken (try grilling it tandoori style or sautéing it with asparagus). While the book’s many riffs and recipes are certainly inventive, not all can be whipped up in minutes. Spicy Big Tray Chicken, an adaptation of one of Bittman’s favorite dishes from a local Chinese restaurant, and Smoked and Roasted Spare Ribs are sure to deliver, but require some patience and planning. That said, readers tired of the same old, same old will find this book to be a godsend, and cooks in search of new ideas are sure to find a few new culinary avenues to explore. (Oct.)
Reviewed on: 09/21/2015
Release date: 10/27/2015
Genre: Nonfiction
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