Monday, January 4, 2016

Mark Bittman's Kitchen Matrix: Mix and Match from Your Pantry

Mark Bittman's Kitchen Matrix
by Mark Bittman

I have a copy of Mark Bittman's How to Cook Everything that's at least ten years old and falling apart. It's one of two cookbooks that's pulled off the shelf more often than any of the others. When I saw his new cookbook on the Blogging for Books site, I immediately requested it.

This is a beautiful book. The photographs are stunning. The layout is clear and reassuring. The binding seems more durable than How to Cook Everything.

We have tried a few recipes from the book, some we enjoyed more than others, but what I love most is how we have turned to it when we realized we were out of salad dressing or needed a way to make a side dish of lentils or wanted to try a new way to cook squash. 

Unlike many cookbooks, Mark Bittman's Kitchen Matrix is a like a playbook. Often, we find ourselves at home with cut of beef we received from friends with a farm or that we discovered on sale at the store but without a specific recipe. With Kitchen Matrix, Bittman offers up 4, or 8, or 12 ways to prepare a variety of dishes. A quick glance in the pantry, and you can choose the recipe that suits the ingredients you have on hand and your preferred tastes. The recipes themselves are usually presented within a few lines, inviting adaptations. I think it's most suited to someone who knows and is comfortable following a recipe but wants to be more flexible and creative in the kitchen.

I received this book for free from Blogging for Books for this review. The opinions above are my own. The links in this post are not affiliate links.

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