How To Cook Everything Book Review – Comprehensive, Easy-to-Follow, The Gourmands Bible

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How To Cook Everything, twentieth anniversary edition, from culinary expert Mark Bittman, presents a completely revised edition, upgrading, modernizing and offers to his legion of fans the opportunity to follow along as he embarks on this fantastical food journey.

Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, How to Cook Everything explains the unexpectedness of this journey which began twenty-five years ago and the many who have made the impossible a reality.

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For the new generation of home-schooled home chefs, cuisine masters have begun to address this hidden demographic providing the tools necessary to elevate their skills to the next level and have a whole lot of fun along the way.

So if you are a professional, a connoisseur, a novice or neophyte, this bible of gastronomy will offer easy to follow instruction that will present challenges on every level, provide intriguing recipes, and help with the basics, equipment, techniques and ingredients, and of course the lexicon of language in the world of spices, vegetables, seafood or desserts.

He includes a section on flavor and provides the word list of seasonings to aid those epicurean enthusiasts who's spice cabinet is complete with "Salt and Pepper" including the necessity of each and even provides an easy to read spreadsheet style guide to stocking the kitchen where an exhaustive review of the spices, herbs, and flavor enhancements are presented.

By this point, one would wonder when the "meat" comes into play. Bittman has organized the book in the way many, if not all master Chef's prepare, with a "mise en place" style which translates to having all the ingredients ready, measured, all pans ready, preparing an efficient kitchen, which reduces to beginning in the beginning.

Once we move past the basics, stocking the kitchen, spices, Herbs, Sauces and Condiments he follows with Appetizers and Snacks, Soups, Salads, Vegetables and Fruit, Beans, Rice and other Grains, Pasta, Noodles and Dumplings, Seafood, Poultry, Meat, Breakfast, Eggs and Dairy, Bread, Sandwiches and Pizza and finally Desserts.

Each section of How To Cook Everything has more than spreadsheet style of quick tips, additional ideas, food parings for holiday or seasonal dining, and description and flavors of fruit, vegetables, poultry, best ways, unusual Pizza toppings and unusual egg dishes.

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He includes so many of his "best ways and ideas" from thirty books and more than thirty years of culinary experiences, How to Cook Everything is a treasure trough of mouth-watering possibilities. The decadence of desserts, delicacies from the deep, full-page photos so crisp one can almost taste the results.

After thumbing through the 911 active pages sectioned into expected food pairings, How to Cook Everything provides one more essential directional to help navigate this bible of gastronomy by key lists which details the contents in six separate sections beginning with "How-To Illustrations."

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Bittman has dotted the landscape of this foodie trip with billboard illustrations that provide instructions on everything from how to use a mandoline, a paring knife, slicing, chopping and ways to rig a steamer, removing leaves from Thyme, sealing wantons, using an immersion blender, preparing a variety of vegetables, whole artichokes, chestnuts, fennel, plantains, and onto rice, pasta, noodles and dumplings, making cannelloni, gnocchi, spaetzle.

He includes in this How To illustration the proper way to prepare seafood, shuck clams, oysters, how to prepare lobster, how to clean squid, and onto Poultry, Meat, Breakfast, Eggs, Dairy, and Desserts.

This section also includes 61 Essential recipes, which Bittman states, "these will become the foundation of your cooking, the go-to dishes and components you can eat all sorts of ways." This back of the book guide also includes 40 Hidden Gems which he states are "some of the most interesting recipes in the book" and ends this section with 27 All-in-one recipes. One final page before the Index provides an essential conversion chart and a metric approximation chart.

The Index, at 41 pages completes the 951-page easy-to-follow culinary manual.

Mark Bittman, a well-known gourmand, has authored thirty foodie books, is currently the food editor for Heated, an online food magazine, spent two decades at The New York Times as the Sunday Times Food Editor. He teaches at Columbia University, is a distinguished fellow at University of California at Berkeley, has covered food before the explosion into culture and now the food culture for nearly every major newspaper and magazine in the country.

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This How To Cook Everything, Twentieth Anniversary Edition, has been completely revised, modernized, and upgraded from the original two decades ago and is available at fine book stores and online retailers everywhere and at Houghton Mifflin Harcourt.

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