How to Cook Everything The Basics: All You Need to Make Great Food (with 1,000 Photos)

How to Cook Everything The Basics: All You Need to Make Great Food (with 1,000 Photos)

by Mark Bittman


$33.49 $37.00 Save 9% Current price is $33.49, Original price is $37. You Save 9%.
View All Available Formats & Editions
Members save with free shipping everyday! 
See details


The next best thing to having Mark Bittman in the kitchen with you

Mark Bittman's highly acclaimed, bestselling book How to Cook Everything is an indispensable guide for any modern cook. With How to Cook Everything The Basics he reveals how truly easy it is to learn fundamental techniques and recipes. From dicing vegetables and roasting meat, to cooking building-block meals that include salads, soups, poultry, meats, fish, sides, and desserts, Bittman explains what every home cook, particularly novices, should know.

1,000 beautiful and instructive photographs throughout the book reveal key preparation details that make every dish inviting and accessible. With clear and straightforward directions, Bittman's practical tips and variation ideas, and visual cues that accompany each of the 185 recipes, cooking with How to Cook Everything The Basics is like having Bittman in the kitchen with you.

  • This is the essential teaching cookbook, with 1,000 photos illustrating every technique and recipe; the result is a comprehensive reference that’s both visually stunning and utterly practical.
  • Special Basics features scattered throughout simplify broad subjects with sections like “Think of Vegetables in Groups,” “How to Cook Any Grain,” and “5 Rules for Buying and Storing Seafood.”
  • 600 demonstration photos each build on a step from the recipe to teach a core lesson, like “Cracking an Egg,” “Using Pasta Water,” “Recognizing Doneness,” and “Crimping the Pie Shut.”
  • Detailed notes appear in blue type near selected images. Here Mark highlights what to look for during a particular step and offers handy advice and other helpful asides.
  • Tips and variations let cooks hone their skills and be creative.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780470528068
Publisher: HMH Books
Publication date: 03/13/2012
Pages: 496
Sales rank: 62,372
Product dimensions: 8.40(w) x 8.90(h) x 1.50(d)

About the Author

MARK BITTMAN is the author of thirty acclaimed books, including the How to Cook Everything series, the award-winning Food Matters, and the New YorkTimes number-one bestseller, VB6: Eat Vegan Before 6:00. For more than two decades his popular and compelling stories appeared in the Times, where he was ultimately the lead food writer for the Sunday magazine and became the country’s first food-focused Op-Ed columnist for a major news publication. Bittman has starred in four television series, including Showtime’s Emmy-winning Years of Living Dangerously. He has written for nearly every major newspaper in the United States and many magazines and has spoken at dozens of universities and conferences; his 2007 TED talk has had more than a million views. In 2015 he was a distinguished fellow at the University of California, Berkeley; he is currently a fellow at the Union of Concerned Scientists. Throughout his career Bittman has strived for the same goal: to make food, in all its aspects, understandable. He can be found at, @bittman on Twitter, and @markbittman on Instagram.

Table of Contents

Why Cook? ix

Getting Started 1

Breakfast 41

Appetizers and Snacks 69

Salads 107

Soups and Stews 135

Pasta and Grains 171

Vegetables and Beans 215

Meat 263

Poultry 305

Seafood 345

Breads 381

Desserts 419

Making Menus 458

List of Lessons 460

Index 464

Converting Measurements 486


Ridiculously easy, ridiculously good.
Time 30 to 40 minutes
Makes 9 to 12
8 tablespoons (1 stick) butter, plus a little more for greasing the pan
3 ounces unsweetened chocolate, roughly chopped
1 cup sugar
2 eggs
½ cup allpurpose flour
Pinch salt
½ teaspoon vanilla extract, optional

1 Heat the oven to 350°F. Grease a square baking pan with butter or line it with 2 overlapping pieces of parchment paper or aluminum foil and grease the lining.
2 Combine the stick of butter and the chocolate in a small saucepan over very low heat, stirring occasionally. (Or microwave them in a large microwavesafe bowl on medium for 10second intervals, stirring after each.) When the chocolate is just about melted, remove the saucepan from the heat (or bowl from the microwave) and continue to stir until the mixture is smooth.
3 Transfer the mixture to a large bowl (or use the bowl you put in the microwave) and stir in the sugar. Then beat in the eggs, one at a time. Gently stir in the flour, salt, and the vanilla if you're using it.
4 Pour and scrape the mixture into the prepared pan and bake for 20 to 25 minutes, until just barely set in the middle. Cool on a rack until set. If you used parchment, lift it out to remove the brownies. If not, cut them in squares right in the pan. Store, covered, at room temperature, for no more than a day.


If you use parchment paper (or foil) to line the pan, leave an extra inch or two overhanging each end. When the brownies are cool, grab each flap and lift them out of the pan.

Chocolate burns easily, even when you're melting it with butter. So keep the heat really low, be patient, stir frequently, and keep an eye on it.

Err on the side of underbaking: An overcooked brownie is dry and cakey, while an undercooked brownie is gooey and delicious.


Nutty Brownies: In Step 3, substitute 1/4 cup finely ground hazelnuts, almonds, walnuts, or pecans (use the food processor or blender to grind them) for 1/4 cup of the flour and add 1 cup lightly toasted, roughly chopped nuts to the batter.

Cocoa Brownies: After the brownies cool a bit but are still warm, put 2 tablespoons cocoa in a small strainer and shake it over the pan to dust the tops of the brownies.

Learn More

BreadBaking Basics (page 394), Chocolate, Butter, Sugar (page 422), Melting Chocolate (page 441)

Whether you line the pan or not, make sure to cover the bottom as well as the sides. And don't be stingy or the brownies might stick.

Stir the melted chocolate and butter until it's completely smooth and thin, like this.

When there's this much butter, the chocolate won't burn easily; just stir them both together in a small pot over the lowest possible heat.

The batter should be relatively smooth and thick; some lumps are okay. If you work it too much, the brownies will be tough.

A clean toothpick might signal some cakes are ready, but it means brownies are overcooked.
Their signal: a crust on top with a slightly jiggly center underneath.

Customer Reviews