Mark Bittman on How to Cook Everything

Friday, October 17, 2008

Mark Bittman shares tips on essential kitchen equipment, favorite fall recipes, seasonal produce, and lots more. He’s the author of the classic cookbook How to Cook Everything and writes the "Bitten" and "The Minimalist" columns for the New York Times.

Weigh in: Is there something you’ve always wanted to try cooking, but haven’t because you’re intimidated or it seems too complicated? Ask Mark Bittman for tips!


Mark Bittman

Comments [14]

Wendy from the BackWoods

Did Leonard Lopate seriously suggest there's no decent restaurants outside of "a few big cities"?

Mar. 10 2009 03:44 PM
Amy from Manhattan

Leon [6]: Great poem! Luckily, in the real world most (maybe not enough, but I'd still say most) people w/dietary restrictions don't demand that the foods they can't eat be summarily banned, just identified so they can avoid them. But it's funnier the way you wrote it....

Oct. 17 2008 03:31 PM
mike from nyc

The one thing that really makes food inedible is too much salt which I find in more prepared food as of late. Salt is the one thing taht can be added afterwards but too many places make that decision for customers before they can decide for themselves.

Oct. 17 2008 12:52 PM
anonyme from NY NY

but bones are the whole point of broth, traditionally - getting the gelatin!

Oct. 17 2008 12:50 PM
Joe from DUMBO

i always say the most important ingredient is Time. Can Mark speak to the importance of timing in cooking?

Oct. 17 2008 12:47 PM
Noah from Brooklyn

I think the most important way to make good use of a cookbook or any recipe is to cook a recipe once, essentially by the book (maybe make a few changes), then after you understand the aspects make slight changes to your taste. I think it is funny how most users of cookbooks look at the recipe within as absolutes. I think that is the most important thing for new cooks to understand. This is a little different with bread making.

Oct. 17 2008 12:45 PM
Liz Marshall from Marlboro, NJ

How to Cook Everything is my favorite cookbook. I turn to this book almost every day. I have dozens of cookbooks. This is by far the easiest to follow and I do not need to go to three markets to gather the ingredients.

Right now I am making tomato sauce for homemade pizza tonight. I read the basics of artichokes to prepare for a topping just an hour ago.

My friends, upon seeing this book always want to buy it when they see the food stained pages, pages falling out and the cover long gone! Thanks Mark.

PS: I also love the Minimalist Cooks at Home.

Oct. 17 2008 12:41 PM
anonyme from NY NY

I lived in France first as an au pair and was really surprised to find that a) you don't need a big kitchen and b) cooking at home is not cooking at Tour d'Argent! It's amazing how efficient a small space can make you become as a cook.

Oct. 17 2008 12:38 PM
Leon Freilich from Park Slope


I mailed a dinner invitation

To colleagues in my organization,

An effort to forge a closer bond,

Hoping they'd cheerfully respond.

They did, without too many delays,

Beginning with Ted, in just a few days.

"Sounds great," he emailed, adding, "Please

Serve nothing containing any cheese."

Conchita phoned to urge No Meat:

"A morsel of flesh, and I beat a retreat."

Samantha faxed me an alert--

"Don't tempt me with non-fruit dessert."

Then Bobbi texted, with some heat,

"Whatever you do, nothing with wheat!"

Dimitri telegrammed he'd migrate

"If there's a single carbohydrate."

Aware of each's set fixation,

Out went a second invitation:

"Now that I know what you don't want,

Let's meet--sometime--in a restaurant."

Oct. 17 2008 12:38 PM
anonyme from NY NY

Thank you Mark! Great segment, Leonard! I looove your columns and your recipes. This is fun to listen to. Great to hear you talking about the importance of how animals are treated, fed and pastured etc. How ecological food is.

I think Barack Obama has been reading Michael Pollan if you look at his farm policy.

Salt - Morton salt is toxic!!! so treated that you can't absorb the iodine - this is not a glamor issue - it's not all about taste!!! read Sally Fallon!!! This is not food elitism, it's common sense.

I use my cookbooks! I only have a few and I love them all. (Deborah Madison's Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone is great for veggie cookbooks)Sally Fallon's books are also beyond informative - with history and nutritional info great and traditional recipes.

Minimalsit recipes are really helpful because I tend to cook minimally!

I go all over hell's half acre for good food (farmers mkts, farmers for raw milk etc.) - it's because good food reversed my bone loss - who else is going to take care of that? Not the pharmaceuticals, that's for sure!


Oct. 17 2008 12:27 PM
Leslie from New York

Just wondered if Mark knows about/endorses the idea behind Proposition 2, coming up for a vote in California this November: (from their website)

"Californians for Humane Farms is the proud sponsor of the Prevention of Farm Animal Cruelty Act, an initiative that will appear on California's November 2008 ballot. It is cruel and inhumane to confine animals in cages so small they can’t turn around or stretch their limbs. All animals deserve humane treatment, including those raised for food. Vote YES on Prop #2 to protect animals from unacceptable abuse."

Would he support more initiatives like this all over the country?

Oct. 17 2008 12:26 PM
Steven B. from New York, NY

I'll take a look at the book but, unless I can cook in a kitchen the size of a shoebox, I'm afraid that it may not change my life.

Oct. 17 2008 12:18 PM
barbara marwell from Manhattan

I have to go out and can't listen to the show now or call in, but I need help from Mark Bittman. I have tried to make the no-Knead bread but have been unable to get it to rise. I now have instant yeast (which was hard to find) but I can't find Bread flour. I live on the UWS. Fairway does not have it.
Can I use all-purpose flour? If not, where can I get bread flour?
Many thanks

Oct. 17 2008 12:18 PM
Joe from DUMBO

I've taken cooking seriously for the past ten years (grew up baking).

My bible has always been an old, tattered copy of the Joy of Cooking. Does Mark have a "bible"?

Oct. 17 2008 12:17 PM

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