cover image How to Cook Everything the Basics: All You Need to Make Great Food

How to Cook Everything the Basics: All You Need to Make Great Food

Mark Bittman. Wiley, $35 (495p) ISBN 978-0-470-52806-8

Food writer Bittman’s latest installment in his award-winning How to Cook Everything series gets back to basics. Once again, Bittman keeps it straightforward, providing another indispensable reference. He explains that in cooking “your basic skills provide the foundation. As you improve and gain confidence, you’ll become more creative.” His goal is to get everyone into the kitchen; this latest work inspires confidence and optimism in the kitchen, and novices especially will believe they can successfully make each and every dish. Instructive pictures accompany each technique and recipe, illustrating everything from peeling vegetables to searing meat or correctly mashing potatoes. Bittman begins by providing a list of essential ingredients for your cupboard and refrigerator, as well as a list of equipment needed to make every recipe in the book. Sections show how to hold a knife, how to chop and mince, and they also carefully explain roasting, broiling, and baking. Chapters include breakfast (scrambled, poached, and fried eggs); soups and stews (tomato, miso, and lentil); and meat, poultry, and seafood dishes such as perfect roast beef and chicken and rice. A wonderful book of perfectly simple recipes that every neophyte and experienced cook should have in their kitchen. (Apr.)