Words by Michele Humes | "I have no interest in helping people becoming chefs," Mark Bittman admits in a recent interview. Instead, he's interested in teaching people to cook as he himself does—which is to say, "adequately."
I happen to think that Mr. Bittman sells himself short. I'll admit, the title of this week's Cook the Book pick initially struck me as a little grandiose. But, having thoroughly combed the volume, I've come to understand that How to Cook Everything doesn't purport to contain every recipe in the world. What it does contain are the starting points, the techniques, and, crucially, the coaching in kitchen improv that will enable you to piece together almost any dish you can think of. It's the most splattered, dog-eared volume in Mario Batali's kitchen, which should tell you something about its resonance.
Each day this week, we'll be posting an appetizer recipe from the revised, tenth anniversary edition of this important cookbook. Just in time for party season, you'll be armed with 14 ways to prepare deviled eggs, have easily scaled recipes for satay and skordalia, and see crudités in a whole new light.
Win 'How to Cook Everything, the Revised Tenth Anniversary Edition'
Thanks to the fine folks at Wiley, we are giving away five (5) copies of How to Cook Everything. In the comments below, just tell us your favorite Mark Bittman tip or trick.
Contest will end and comments will close at 3 p.m. ET, Monday, December 15, 2008. One entry per community member. The standard Serious Eats contest rules apply.