20120427-203764-how-cook-everything-basics.jpgWhen you write about cookbooks for a living, there's a pretty good chance that the first thing you do when walking into someone's kitchen is scan their cookbook shelf. At least, that's what I do.

I've found that more often than not, the book most often found is one of Mark Bittman's How to Cook Everythings. And with good reason, Bittman is the everyman of cookbook writers. He's accessible in a way that appeals to all levels of cooks, writes in a way that just makes sense, down to earth while producing venerable results. Bittman is solid.

Bittman's latest, How to Cook Everything The Basics, is another addition to his oeuvre of indispensable cookbooks. It's the kind of book that timid cooks need to hold their hand in the kitchen, the book that gives adventuresome cooks the guidance to branch out, the kind of book that you'll find yourself referencing again and again.

How to Cook Everything The Basics is a visual cookbook, each recipe and technique illustrated with step by step photos, sidebars containing tips and variations, and notes from Bittman highlighted in blue. The recipes are comprehensive in a way that leave no question unanswered, making for a book that's a joy to cook from, especially for those new to the kitchen.

For the next week we're going to be making our way through How to Cook Everything The Basics, sharing some of Bittman's hall of fame recipes including quick, dependable, rich, and rather elegant Chicken Cutlets with Quick Pan Sauce, and the basics of Grilled or Broiled Steak—in a nutshell: salt, pepper, meat, heat, eat.

Win 'How to Cook Everything The Basics'

Thanks to the generous folks over at Wiley, we are giving away five (5) copies of How to Cook Everything The Basics this week.

All you have to do is tell us the most battered and spattered cookbook on your shelf in the comments section below.

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