Mark Bittman's Kitchen Express: 404 Inspired Seasonal Dishes You Can Make in 20 Minutes or Less
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Mark Bittman's Kitchen Express: 404 Inspired Seasonal Dishes You Can Make in 20 Minutes or Less

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3.94 of 5 stars 3.94  ·  rating details  ·  582 ratings  ·  68 reviews
101 super-quick and ultra-easy recipes for each of the four seasons— totaling a whopping 404 recipes—from award-winning cookbook author and popular New York Times columnist Mark Bittman.

• A celebrated author with a huge following: The author of the perennial bestseller How to Cook Everything, mark Bittman is known across the country as “The...more
Hardcover, 240 pages
Published July 7th 2009 by Simon & Schuster (first published 2009)
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Judy
I'm biased. I love Mark Bittman's recipes - they are simple, easy to understand, and delicious. Perhaps best of all, he provides plenty of room for improvisation. This book is the epitome of leaving room for the chef's tastes and flavors to emerge. He basically gives just the gist of the recipe. It's fine as is, but there's room for addition/subtraction. The recipes are very brief - there are 2 - 3 per page.

Here's one called Broccoli Rabe and Garlic Soup: In a 450 degree oven, roast a handful...more
rachel
Aug 13, 2012 rachel marked it as to-read
I've only made one recipe from this book, back when it was first released in 2009 and I was barely a year out of college, thinking about leaving my parents' house but totally unprepared to do so in a "having practical adult skills" kind of way.

I was house-sitting for a relative for a night and didn't want the typical pizza/Chinese/fast food options, so I photocopied a recipe from this book at work (yes, seriously) and took it home. The recipe I made was some kind of fish with jalapeno lime butt...more
Experience Life
The fabulous new book from the bestselling author of How to Cook Everything could just as easily be called “How to Cook Everything, Fast.” Bittman groups his 404 recipes by season and points out that he chops slower than anyone he knows, so when he says you can get these dishes on the table in 20 minutes, he’s not exaggerating.

His “kitchen express” style is about three things: speed, flexibility and relaxation, so there aren’t many ingredients and he doesn’t expect you to measure them precisely....more
Christie Martel
Mark Bittman is my hero! We only got this cookbook in February so we haven't tried a ton of recipes from it but we're about 5/5 or 6/6 already. I love the fact that it is separated out by season and you can find recipes that are specific to your season using only in-season ingredients. I was a little put out at first by the lack of an ingredient list for the recipes. I didn't know how much spice to add or how many chicken breasts to cook. But then I realised that this is the true beauty of this...more
Ben
Recipes distilled to their essence: this is good to eat; here's how to make it. I am the biggest Mark Bittman fanboy, and I'm not ashamed to admit it.
Julie
My husband brought home this book a few weeks ago, and we have been using it regularly since. It's basically my new favorite cookbook, and I cook from it almost every time it's my turn to make dinner.

Why?
1. The recipes are creative and sometimes surprising, and always good.
2. You really can make these recipes in about 20 minutes, if you have the right ingredients on hand.
3. Bittman begins this book by telling you how to stock your pantry so that you will have the right ingredients on hand.
4. The...more
Black Heart
Love the way these are broken down by season. This is a bit of a weird cookbook, though, as it's mostly about combining the same types of ingredients over and over in different ways. Bittman is a minimalist, so it's about having the kitchen stocked and ready to go, and then just mixing and matching flavors. So the "recipes" aren't very involved, and it takes a bit more work to get your kitchen set up to do these in 20 minutes or less, but it's an interesting way to do things. Plus it'll help you...more
Sarah
I love this book because on my bookshelf of ridiculously intensive recipe books, this makes my life easy. This is all about buying fresh, in-season ingredients and cooking them simply. It is a great, weeknight meal planner. Because frankly, there are some nights that I don't want to spend an hour in the kitchen. I want to eat. Now. One caveat is that you really should know how to cook before you buy this. It is not going to teach you techniques or give you step-by-step advice. But if you are eve...more
Jennifer
What's not to love about Mark Bittman? This cookbook is formatted completely different from another one I have from him. I am a list girl and really like to see ingredients listed, which this book does not do. Mark has the ingredients only in the same paragraph he tells you how to make the recipe. It literally is a paragraph a recipe. I really like how he has sectioned recipes by season and of the recipes I've made so far they are all very quick and delicious. Another winner!
Laila
This is my husband's favorite cookbook (I'm getting him this for Christmas, actually), and one of mine as well. The recipes are all made with fresh, easy-to-find ingredients. Anyone with just a little bit of kitchen know-how can cook them, and they're quick too! Nothing processed or out of a box - just good flavorful food. Lots of vegetarian options, all types of meat dishes, as well as desserts and drinks. I *highly* recommend this cookbook.
Spike
A cook book for people who cook. This is not a book of recipes, so much as a book of ideas. Most of the recipes are in the form of "Sauté some onions in butter, add some mushroom, and ham, when cooked season to taste." . Measurements are only given when something is to be baked.

This is the book to reach for when the question is "What do I should I make for dinner?", not "How do I make this?".
Laura
Nov 08, 2009 Laura rated it 5 of 5 stars
Shelves: 2009
I checked this out from the library to see if it is something to give my sister-in-law for Christmas. It's excellent! So much so, I'm ordering a copy for myself. The four to five sentence recipes are perfect for quick, throw-together meals. Mark Bittman's recipes have never steered me wrong, wether they come from his Minimalist pieces in NYT or "How To Cook Everything Vegetarian". He's excellent.
Kbg503
After re-reading, I better understand the inspiration in creativity and freedom.
Rachel Howard-hines
My collection of favorite and in rotation cookbooks is slowly morphing into only cookbooks with simple 20 minute meals. There is a shelf where I can guarantee that a cookbook will be easy and produce a consistently tasty, fantastic, satisfying result, and I find there are mostly Mark Bittman books on that shelf. Nothing wrong with a Real Simple recipe, but I want to love my food, and eat something exceptionally tasty, and a simple Mark Bittman recipe hits the spot. My only gripe, and actually th...more
Ashley
101 dishes for addressing dinner in every season (yes, divided into Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter)- I'm pretty sure these were published in the NYTimes in the past few years. I love the approach here: one simple, straightforward paragraph per recipe including (sometimes sophisticated) ingredients and method (the appeal is in the lack of precision for either). This book isn't for the true beginner cook, but it's not for the fussy one either. A fabulous resource (can't wait to try the Chicken Satay...more
Tasya Iskandarsyah
first book i bought when i came to america.now i'm good at cooking simple american food.thanks to Mark!
Yasmine Alfouzan
I own all of Mark Bittman's cookbooks and this is a very good one. I used it many times to get ideas for what to eat when I'm in a hurry. Most recipes I already know how to make but the cookbook reminded me to make that when I was feeling uninspired, like most egg-based dishes, I tried the following:
Mark's Famous Spicy Shrimp
Chicken with green olives
Chocolate panini
Eggplant rolls
and more.

I almost never follow the instructions precisely, as most of them are very flexible. It contains no photos wh...more
Jennifer Didik
I adore The Minimalist columns and I had no idea this compilation exists until a few months ago. I wish I knew sooner. I also think, however, that I came across Bittman's Minimalist recipes at the perfect time in my life; I know my way around a kitchen well-enough that I don't need my nose in a cookbook the entire time I'm following a recipe. If you're an extreme beginner, be warned that these recipes certainly ARE easy, but they don't have measurements of ingredients, cooking times, etc. If thi...more
Lea
I am enjoying this collection of simple dishes and are quickly and easily prepared from whole foods using recipes that leave plenty of room for improvisation. A good index makes it a useful tool for answering the questions like, hmmmmm... what's something new that I could do with this cabbage without spending all afternoon at the stove or all morning shopping for obscure ingredients. It's an easy source of inspiration when I am headed to the market and the recipes we have tried have all been on...more
Eddie
Mostly salads and scrambled eggs. Not really what I'm looking for.
Cynthia
excellent, as are all his cookbooks. This one is the recipe equivalent of speed dating: there are 101 recipes for each of four seasons and each one only gets about four sentences. But that's the great thing about Bittman: he's not really about technique or seeking-out-the-perfect-exotic-ingredient, he's more about, well, having a good time in the kitchen by mixing together a bunch of interesting stuff; and he's eliminated the trial and error part, so it's all yummy.
Jeesun Shin
I got this book because I love the Minimalist columns. It is written in the same way as the column (lots of room for improvising, simple ingredients, no-nonsense instructions) but I found it a little disappointing because most recipes are meat centered. I was hoping for a book that could provide quick weekday meals but it didn't really suit a flexitarian/on a budget diet. I was surprised because Bittman is a big proponent of "part-time vegetarianism".
Mrs. Musrum's Mum Keleher
Another superb cookbook from Mark Bittman. This one is arranged by seasons, so if you're shopping at farmers' markets or have a CSA membership, it's very helpful. The recipes are quick and delicious, but do assume some cooking ability. Not a beginner's cookbook.

Some of my favorite recipes: Turkey Walnut Cutlets, Salad with Prosciutto, Peaches and Mozzarella, Pasta with Cherry Tomatoes.I'm looking forward to making Sausage with Potatoes.
Elizabeth
Oooops! I incorrectly reviewed this book and mixed it up with "The Silver Spoon" by Paiden Press. Geez. Many thanks to the reader who noticed my mistake!

This book is not HUGE and the size is just right- easy to prop up and flip through. I like this type of recipe book best because of the "ish" factor (drizzle this, a pinch of that...).

Simple ingredients and flavorful food. Three stars because there is no table of contents or index.
Inder
Simple, unpretentious, seasonal recipes. The exact opposite of micromanaging America's Test Kitchen recipes (my other favorite), these recipes are basic, with lots of room for improvisation. I both like and dislike the seasonal format. While applauding the emphasis on seasonal produce, I think I like other kinds of thematic groupings (appetizers, soups, sandwiches, casseroles) better when I'm searching for a particular kind recipe.
Rebekah
If you have trouble cooking for one, I highly recommend this cookbook. There are no quantities, so you can scale meals as you see fit, without a lick of arithmetic. But that means you have to embrace directions like "Cook some grated ginger and minced garlic in sesame oil." If that doesn't make your OCD flare, then you should give this one a go. Delicious, easy, and fast. Good vegetarian options, too.
Pink
This book will teach how you to cook without relying heavily on strictly measured recipes. Just fantastic! I was making a holiday meal and didn't have time to make the fish recipe I was originally planning. I opened the cookbook, found a simple set of instructions for a set of ingredients I had in stock, and knocked it out quickly. Rave reviews from my guests. Thanks, Mark! Planning to buy this one.
Katie
This is a great cookbook for people who have limited time to cook (i.e. everyone) and for people who aren't super comfortable with combining different spices and flavors.

For people with extensive spice collections and an aversion to following recipes (i.e. me), it just wasn't awesome. I got some ideas, but I am a visual person and wish there had been photos of some of the things.
Kristina
No photos- enough said. Yes, I am a photo snob when it comes to cookbooks. The recipes were nothing out of the ordinary. The book was organized by season which I liked. But the best part was at the beginning of the book they had the recipes broken down by very interesting categories, such as "Re-heats well", "Make Ahead", "Easy", etc. That was a nice touch.
Jeanette
These recipes rely too heavily on animal products for me, but no one ever said it was vegetarian. I just thought "Ooh, Mark Bittman!" and grabbed it off the shelf at the library. I did find some nice plant-based options scattered throughout the book. Mostly just simpler versions of dishes for which you already have more time-consuming recipes.
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MARK BITTMAN is one of the country's best-known and most widely respected food writers. His How to Cook Everything books, with one million copies in print, are a mainstay of the modern kitchen. Bittman writes for the Opinion section of New York Times on food policy and cooking, and is a columnist for the New York Times Magazine. His "The Minimalist" cooking show, based on his popular NYT column,...more
More about Mark Bittman...
How To Cook Everything: Simple Recipes for Great Food How to Cook Everything Vegetarian Food Matters: A Guide to Conscious Eating with More Than 75 Recipes The Best Recipes in the World VB6: Eat Vegan Before 6:00 to Lose Weight and Restore Your Health . . . for Good

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