Posts Tagged ‘How To Cook Everything’

How To Cook Everything: App Style

Anyone who’s been reading this blog for any length of time surely knows how much I am a fan of Mark Bittman.

But (full disclosure time) I’ve never really cooked many of his recipes, if only because I don’t generally use recipes.  You probably wouldn’t know considering how many recipes I publish on this website, but 9 times out of 10 I’m just throwing stuff together off the top of my head and trying to write recipes after the fact as best as possible from memory.  As a sidebar on my recipes, you may also have noticed that I never tell anyone to season their food with salt and pepper, which is because I assume that’s a given and you’ll season it to your liking (just sayin’).

The reason I like Bittman is because he does keep things simple, and because the intros to his podcasts are oh-so-hilarious (seriously, you must watch them!)

So, when I heard that How To Cook Everything was coming to the iPhone as an app, it only took me 2.5 seconds to download the thing and start messing around with it.  For the introductory price of $1.99 (I know, I sound like some sort of corny infomercial) it really is quite the steal.  I read somewhere that the app encompasses all 2000+ recipes from the book, which in a sense seems like a terrible marketing idea, but could also be considered very shrewd.  For people who don’t already have the book, you’re potentially losing the customer base, but for ones like me who have the book but are lazy and like flashy, shiny things, we’ll buy it even though we already own the book anyway.

I test drove the app while making a few dinners last week, and it proved to be quite the workhorse.  On Wednesday night I made a version of pad Thai (though not the exact same as the one published as the NY Times Minimalist recently) that was only passable moreso because I had to make so many substitutions than owing to the character of his recipe.  To test it again a few days later, I made one of his streamlined tagines for Friday night supper.  One of the features of the app that I loved outright was the linkage within recipes to other variations on that theme.  Also, the easier to digest screen by screen separation of instructions make any challenge seem much less daunting.  Though I’ve since decided to leave pad Thai to professionals, we were quite taken with the chicken and chickpea tagine served alongside homemade wholewheat pita bread and will definitely be making it again.


Making A Case For Vegetables

How To Cook Everything Vegetarian

I’ve long been a fan of Mark Bittman’s gregariously engaging style and presentation.

Anyone who has watched more than a few minutes of his vast library of podcasts knows that the man is a serious ham (oh the irony!).

At times I’ve found myself transfixed, watching entire episodes on preparations of foods that I don’t even like, just because he’s so darned entertaining and fun.

I’ve owned How To Cook Everything for years, and though I don’t often cook whole recipes from it (in general because I don’t like the limitations that a recipe puts on my creative intentions) it sits right there on the easy-to-reach shelf alongside The Joy (Of Cooking) and various other handy encyclopedic references, like my 27 volume Time Life Cooking set from the 70′s.  I own a few other Bittman tomes too, like Food Matters, Quick And Easy Recipes From The NY Times, and I’m sure there’s another one or two in there somewhere, but I’ll be damned if I could tell you which ones, which I suppose points out how often I use them.

And after what seemed like a ridiculously long time, I finally managed to get a copy of How To Cook Everything Vegetarian recently.  Ever since I read Food Matters, I’ve been meaning to pick up a copy, but every time I went to one of my local book shops, it’s always the one book in his massive repertoire that’s consistently absent.  For a bit I began to wonder whether that was because it was so incredibly popular that nobody could keep it in stock, or because it was so unpopular nobody wanted it.


The Foodie 13 – Cookbooks

As promised earlier this week, we’re unveiling a new feature at Foodie and the Everyman today; book reviews and recommendations!

This also dovetails nicely with another addition to Foodie and the Everyman that I’ve started called The Foodie 13The Foodie 13 will be an ongoing series of lists about 13 really neat things in specific categories, that I intend to publish several times a month.  For our first Foodie 13, I thought I’d pick a subject that is near and dear to my heart; cookbooks!

So, without further adieu, and in no particular order, here are the 13 cookbooks I can’t live without:

1- Charcuterie by Michael Ruhlman and Brian Polcyn – There’s much that can be said about this great book, but primarily it’s the one I credit with sparking my carnivorous love affair.  After less than 10 minutes of paging through the book I was already plotting exactly where in my shoebox apartment I could fit a Bradley smoker.   Each new recipe I try from the book spurs me on to try even more.  A real winner.

2- Perfect Scoop: Ice Creams, Sorbets, Granitas and Sweet Accompaniments by David Lebovitz - A fantastic book laced with great recipes for enjoying the simple pleasure of homemade frozen desserts.  Since purchasing this book I’ve sampled approximately 20 of the recipes, and not one of them was bad.  The pear sorbet is definitely a recipe of note, as are the spicy, crinkled speculaas cookies, that are meant to be folded in to recipes but are amazing in their own right.

3- Local Breads by Daniel Leader - This is the most recent purchase on my list, so I can’t vouch for a very large percentage of the recipes yet.  From what I’ve already sampled and pored over pictures of though, it’s clear to me that this is a book worth having, as it conjures up an intense hunger every time I read it.  The pictures peppered throughout the book are colorful, rustic, and absolutely delicious.  And the Parisian daily bread is to die for, and as I’ve said before is worth the cost of the book alone.