DCFoodies.com Mark Bittman "How to Cook Everything" - DCFoodies.com

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Jul 06, 2009



i love mark bittman. his "how to cook everything vegetarian" is one of my favorites.

Karen Loeschner

I was going to add a note referencing the vegetarian version, but you beat me to it, Vixen! Thanks!

Brandon Green

What a great title for a cookbook! I'm surprised it wasn't used previously.

Karen Loeschner

Yes, Brendan, and just as bold as his book "The Best Recipes in the World." Luckily, he backs up both claims!


I usually get great ideas from reading Mark Bittman, but some of my experiences trying recipes from the Bitten column have scarred me (they just didn't work). Do people generally think the cookbooks have better-tested recipes than the column? I have yet to pick up "How To Cook Everything" for this reason.

Karen Loeschner

Great question, Jenna. I'm not sure of the recipe testing process for any cookbook (I imagine it varies greatly) except for Cooks Illustrated, which goes to great length detailing how they test recipes. (Pick up a copy next time you're in a bookstore or Whole Foods if you're not familiar with it -- it's a great resource for the home chef.)

As for this Bittman book, I have to admit the recipes that have not worked well for me have been a result of "operator error". I recently made his apple pie with apples I had doubts about and sure enough, the crust was fantastic but the filling...eh, not so much.

The benefit of this book is the quantity and quality of information that he provides about food, cooking and variations on either. That said, perhaps the process of writing an edited and vetted cookbook vs. a column written under a deadline might produce different results in the quality of the recipes. For example, my experience with WaPo Food section recipes has been atrocious!

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