Mark Bittman's Kitchen Matrix
Bestselling author Mark Bittman anthologizes his popular Matrix series in a boldly graphic new cookbook that emphasizes creativity, improvisation, and simplicity as the keys to varied cooking.For years, Mark Bittman has shared his formulas, recipes, and kitchen improvisations in his popular New York Times Eat column, in which an ingredient or essential technique is presented in different variations in a bold matrix. Accompanied by striking photographs and brief, straightforward instructions, these thematic matrices show how simple changes in preparation and ingredient swaps in a master recipe can yield dishes that are each completely different from the original, and equally delicious. In Mark Bittman’s Kitchen Matrix, Mark’s matrices come together to create a collection of over 400 flexible recipes covering vegetables, fruits, meats and chicken, and even desserts.  Whether you're cooking up soup (creamy, brothy, earthy, or hearty), freezing ice pops (in fruity, savory, creamy, or boozy varieties), or preparing asparagus (steamed, roasted, stir-fried, or grilled), following Mark’s approach to culinary improvisation will deliver stand-out results.  

Mark Bittman's Kitchen Matrix Details

TitleMark Bittman's Kitchen Matrix
Author
LanguageEnglish
ReleaseOct 27th, 2015
PublisherClarkson Potter
Rating
GenreFood and Drink, Cookbooks, Cooking, Food, Nonfiction, Reference

Mark Bittman's Kitchen Matrix Review

  • Andrea James
    January 1, 1970
    I had such high hopes for this book. Its premise of understanding the component parts of recipes so that one can switch the ingredients with component part and end up with a quite different finished dish is one of the ways I explain cooking to newbies.I've given it 4 stars because:a) there are not many other books like it and its presentation is the best that I've seen so far (I didn't really like the Flavour Thesaurus)b) the "Recipe Generator" pages are, I think, the most helpful parts of the I had such high hopes for this book. Its premise of understanding the component parts of recipes so that one can switch the ingredients with component part and end up with a quite different finished dish is one of the ways I explain cooking to newbies.I've given it 4 stars because:a) there are not many other books like it and its presentation is the best that I've seen so far (I didn't really like the Flavour Thesaurus)b) the "Recipe Generator" pages are, I think, the most helpful parts of the book - they do give ideas to mix and matchc) the quality of the photos, colour, layout and general print of the book is solidBut there are a number of things I wasn't so keen on:a) the book starts with Cocktails +12 ways and as far as I can see is just a bunch of pictures and recipes with four of the main base alcohols (Gin, Vodka, Tequila and Bourbon*)It is not laid out in a way that would clearly suggest any trends or patterns with the ingredients or the proportions. When I worked as a cocktail bartender, a friend (it was mostly his genius) created a neat table from which we learned about 200 recipes. It would have been helpful if this book featured 12 in that way for the layperson. *it is an American book after allb) It then moves to Party Dips +3 ways and once again it's just three suggestions of dips, there's no obvious matrix. Or perhaps it's subtle and has gone over my headc) my last "complaint" (it's more a sadness of a missed opportunity...rather than an armchair critic's rant at the imperfections of someone else's respectable work. I have a lot of time for people who get off their arse and actually produce decent stuff) many of the other suggestions in the book like "Pancakes +13 ways" are just ideas of fillings like chicken or olives. It would have been far more interesting and helpful to have a pancake variations - what happens when you switch the base grain (e.g. wheat for rice) or liquid component (milk for buttermilk)Maybe I should get off my arse and write a book and not just timidly write book reviews. (I'm working on it!)
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  • Vicki
    January 1, 1970
    It's impossible to see this book and consider it as anybody other than myself. I am a good home cook; I have gotten better at improvising, but I love following new recipes. And Mark Bittman kind of talks about that in the forward -- he used to slavishly follow recipes, but as time and his confidence grew, he just instinctively knew how to combine things. I think that's what happens if you keep playing, and are interested in food -- you just develop an instinct for how to put together It's impossible to see this book and consider it as anybody other than myself. I am a good home cook; I have gotten better at improvising, but I love following new recipes. And Mark Bittman kind of talks about that in the forward -- he used to slavishly follow recipes, but as time and his confidence grew, he just instinctively knew how to combine things. I think that's what happens if you keep playing, and are interested in food -- you just develop an instinct for how to put together flavors/textures/ideas together. But could I learn to cook from this book? Maybe not. But I could learn about flavor profiles and combos, or learn to expand them.So, if you aren't that kind of home cook, would this book be helpful to you? If the way Bittman has laid out this book doesn't work for the way you think through cooking, would you dislike it? Well, I will say this: his thought process generally works for me. I am stopping on my way home from work to pick up tarragon to make the pickled cherry salad with frisee and brie because, duh, that sounds amazing. There are enough ideas in here to make it a home run for me.
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  • Carey
    January 1, 1970
    The idea of creating meals with this matrix formula is amazing. It's what many of us do, but Mark Bittman takes it to a whole new level with the ingredients and flavor combinations he uses. This is a beautiful book, for someone who loves cookbooks, it's tons of fun! The Roasted beets with Pine nuts, lemon, and parm, was absolutely delicious! I've made it three times already and have stored the recipe in my favorites. This is short of four stars because of his dried beans recipe. It called for The idea of creating meals with this matrix formula is amazing. It's what many of us do, but Mark Bittman takes it to a whole new level with the ingredients and flavor combinations he uses. This is a beautiful book, for someone who loves cookbooks, it's tons of fun! The Roasted beets with Pine nuts, lemon, and parm, was absolutely delicious! I've made it three times already and have stored the recipe in my favorites. This is short of four stars because of his dried beans recipe. It called for 1lb of dried beans and 4 cups of water. I knew it wouldn't work, but thought "Hmmm...this is Mark Bittman...I'm sure it's been tested!" Anyway all was not lost, I was able to add the 5 more cups water needed before it was too late.
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  • Coleen (The Book Ramblings)
    January 1, 1970
    This is a must-have in the kitchen because the variety of recipes, techniques, and simplicity makes it accessible to anyone, no matter the skill level. The Kitchen Matrix is the first cookbook that everyone in this household looked at, and truly enjoyed. Its a cookbook that is cooking friendly for everyone, regardless of whats available in the pantry, budget, experience. The design and photographs are beautiful, and display the dishes wonderfully. I was surprised by the amount of tips, This is a must-have in the kitchen because the variety of recipes, techniques, and simplicity makes it accessible to anyone, no matter the skill level. The Kitchen Matrix is the first cookbook that everyone in this household looked at, and truly enjoyed. It’s a cookbook that is cooking friendly for everyone, regardless of what’s available in the pantry, budget, experience. The design and photographs are beautiful, and display the dishes wonderfully. I was surprised by the amount of tips, variations, advice, and cooking techniques available that actually help teach you how to accomplish it all. If you aren’t sure what to do with a particular ingredients(s), or you’re tired of cooking the same meals every week, this is a great resource to have readily available.I received this cookbook through Blogging for Books for reviewing purposes.
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  • Tracy
    January 1, 1970
    4.5 stars. Mark Bittman manages to be both casual and commanding in his instructions. His comfort and flexibility with cooking and adapting recipes is showcased well here, and is a little infectious. I really enjoyed the presentation of the recipes -- 3-4 sentences for each variation. Actually cooking from the recipes might be a little confusing as you might have to look at two boxes (both the base recipe and the variant), but since they're all so short it shouldn't be challenging. I appreciate 4.5 stars. Mark Bittman manages to be both casual and commanding in his instructions. His comfort and flexibility with cooking and adapting recipes is showcased well here, and is a little infectious. I really enjoyed the presentation of the recipes -- 3-4 sentences for each variation. Actually cooking from the recipes might be a little confusing as you might have to look at two boxes (both the base recipe and the variant), but since they're all so short it shouldn't be challenging. I appreciate the willingness to try something different in cookbook presentation -- not a perfect execution, but very good. I wasn't sure why some vegetables warranted ten recipes while others were omitted or had only three, and the ordering of some of the sections felt a bit odd (especially the last section). Some pages were "recipe generators" which wouldn't be especially helpful for someone who doesn't already know which types of flavorings go together traditionally -- those recipe generators would be enhanced by combining the concept of the dish from this book with The Flavor Bible's recommendations on what tastes good with what. I think I'll buy it because it inspired me. Even though I'm a vegetarian, the majority of the book seemed to be dishes I could either make as-is or adapt easily (e.g. omit bacon). I prefer this to "How to Cook Everything Vegetarian" because I'm a visual person and enjoy the photos.
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  • Emily
    January 1, 1970
    I originally rated as 4 stars--good, easy recipes, but nothing that new or exciting. After having it for a few more weeks, I'm upgrading to 5 stars! I like that it's set up by ingredient, and then gives you many options of what to do with it. It's a perfect idea generator for easy weeknight cooking. Most of the other components are pantry staples and these are all healthy ideas that come together quickly.Not the most exciting cookbook on my shelf, but will likely be one of the most used.
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  • Turrean
    January 1, 1970
    One of my new favorites. Nearly perfect!
  • Sharon
    January 1, 1970
    Some good recipe ideas. Even a vegan section! Good focus on vegetables.
  • Mary
    January 1, 1970
    If you like quick, basic recipes with many variations and minimal instructions this may be a good choice. Recipes run the gamut of ethnicities and encourage creative combinations. If you like lots of guidance and direction and dont want to pick which seasoning to use, this is probably not the cookbook you want.What I appreciate as a pretty advanced cook is just thinking about how different foods could be combined, most of these recipes are already in my repertoire. I would like a kitchen matrix If you like quick, basic recipes with many variations and minimal instructions this may be a good choice. Recipes run the gamut of ethnicities and encourage creative combinations. If you like lots of guidance and direction and don’t want to pick which seasoning to use, this is probably not the cookbook you want.What I appreciate as a pretty advanced cook is just thinking about how different foods could be combined, most of these recipes are already in my repertoire. I would like a kitchen matrix 2 where Bittman takes things up a level to capture more unique combinations. There are a few really intriguing dishes that achieve a level of uniqueness like his celery salt or celery noodles (Bittman goes a little crazy with the celery) and the knafeh a la creme, for example. But the book offers little that goes beyond the expected. The section on using thanksgiving leftovers is good if short.
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  • Elise Rogers
    January 1, 1970
    I didn't so much "read" this book as savor it. It's like a thesaurus of food, and can be used in similar ways for gustatory compositions instead of literary ones. It's aptly named: it contains a network of ingredients, each linked with others in interesting ways that encourage experimentation and exploration. It has gorgeous pictures and layouts, practical and easy-to-use accompanying descriptions and recipes, and is altogether one of the more beautiful books I've ever owned. I'd highly I didn't so much "read" this book as savor it. It's like a thesaurus of food, and can be used in similar ways for gustatory compositions instead of literary ones. It's aptly named: it contains a network of ingredients, each linked with others in interesting ways that encourage experimentation and exploration. It has gorgeous pictures and layouts, practical and easy-to-use accompanying descriptions and recipes, and is altogether one of the more beautiful books I've ever owned. I'd highly recommend it for anyone interested in cooking as self-expression as well as those with more pragmatic interests such as just trying to use up a few pantry items before they get old, or adding some variation to their daily meal planning
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  • Aja Marsh
    January 1, 1970
    Oh, he's done it again. Though I suppose this book came out a couple of years ago and I only just happened upon it at my library. This is very much in the same format/spirit as his "How to Cook Everything" cookbooks, but with awesome, simple photographs. It's great fun to look at and read through, and I'm always a fan of his simple, yet unique recipes and how he makes cooking more broadly accessible and works to help prevent ingredient fatigue. Yay!
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  • Terresa
    January 1, 1970
    I appreciate how this cookbook is organized -- but my brain doesn't work that way when I'm crunched on time & need to cook a good, filling, healthy meal for 6 people fast. I'm always on the lookout for potential family favorites -- that is, keeper recipes I can add to my repertoire to use again & again. With this book I walked away with only 2 possible keeper recipes: jam + donuts.
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  • Liz
    January 1, 1970
    I love this cookbook. I borrowed it from the library 4 separate times, then finally bought it. The format of the recipes and variations are unlike other cookbooks- you can have one page with 9 possibilities for one star ingredient. Most of the recipes are very uncomplicated. I have come back to this book many times, have easily found inspiration, and cooked food the whole family loves.
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  • Ashleyree
    January 1, 1970
    Amazing. Takes single food items and prepares many different ways with different cooking style and several recipes per style. Salmon 12 ways, spinach 12 ways, recipe generators, tips, just an all-around solid guide. Buy!
  • Erin
    January 1, 1970
    Debating whether to get a copy for myself, but I haven't had a chance to actually try any of the recipes yet. Liked the format a lot, gleaned lots of ideas / inspirations, which is what makes a good cookbook.
  • Sasha
    January 1, 1970
    Lots of great ideas! Got this from the library but want to buy it now. Not amazing for meal planning though as similar ingredients are scattered across different pages.
  • Kathi
    January 1, 1970
    Such a great way to approach cooking. Ive learned a lot about how to throw something together and trust my instincts from this cookbook. Such a great way to approach cooking. I’ve learned a lot about how to throw something together and trust my instincts from this cookbook.
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  • Karen Taylor
    January 1, 1970
    Not as easy to follow as his other books. Wasn't the matrix I expected, for making dinner easier.
  • Jeff
    January 1, 1970
    It's hard to say I "read" this book. More like a test drive, which is what I always do with cookbooks--get them from the library and see if I like it. I like the approach which gets you thinking about what to do with ingredients you might have, with lots of variations. I was hoping it would shake me out of a cooking creativity rut, and it did the trick. The "what to do with lamb shank" page was mind-blowing when I made it. Good chance I'll buy it for the permanent collection
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  • Judith Kerr
    January 1, 1970
    Mark used a different take on cooking. One basic ingredient was used many ways to create interesting recipes. I love this book.
  • Clifford
    January 1, 1970
    Interesting book. I liked that it wasn't full of complicated recipes. It feels like a book that would be very useful. I'd consider buying it in the future.
  • Nora St Laurent
    January 1, 1970
    I had read the book A Bone to Pick by this author who also has a column in the New York Times Magazine called Eat, he started writing in 2011 and continues today. I found the book insightful and disturbing as I learned about the food we eat and where it comes from. Because I learned so much I couldnt wait to check out one of his cook books. I found this book informative, fascinating and very helpful. Im a visual learner and found the design and color pictures in this hardback book wonderful. In I had read the book A Bone to Pick by this author who also has a column in the New York Times Magazine called “Eat”, he started writing in 2011 and continues today. I found the book insightful and disturbing as I learned about the food we eat and where it comes from. Because I learned so much I couldn’t wait to check out one of his cook books. I found this book informative, fascinating and very helpful. I’m a visual learner and found the design and color pictures in this hardback book wonderful. In this book here are over 750 simple recipes and techniques to mix and match. This cookbook has several categories; first there is the introduction to the book and how it all works. First there is the section on Appetizers and Entertaining, then Soups, Stews and sandwiches; Vegetables, Pasta, Grains and Beans; Fish and Seafood; Poultry and Eggs; Meat; Condiments and Seasonings; Fruit; Desserts and Baking. I appreciated the fact that they included pictures of ingredients on one section. Some of these ingredients I’ve never seen in its original form only in a ground up form in a jar. I liked the fact that he puts together flavors that complement one another and taste good. He’s taken the guess work out cooking for me. I liked the section on entertaining. I love having a go to book where I can look at what’s in my cupboard and see what I can create from it. I’m excited that now I have a tool I can use to be creative and cook good healthy food.Beautiful color pictures are on every page of this wonderful and helpful book. It’s said we first enjoy a meal with eyes; that is so true. Each chapter has an introduction to what to expect and how to use the recipes in each section. The recipes are simple and the instructions easy to follow with ingredients I can easily find in the local grocery store. There are some fun sections I can’t wait to try like the one on burgers. The author says, “…for the sake of mixing it up – and frankly, because you probably don’t need me telling you how to make a classic burger – here are nine burgers that move beyond beef.” Oh, Yeah I think so!I also can’t wait to start on the veggie chapter. This author says, “You can probably tell by the length of this chapter that I’m a little obsessed with vegetables. Not only are they what we should be eating more of than anything else, but there are nearly countless varieties that can be prepared (cooked or not), in an endless number of ways…this chapter is ordered largely by season, which is meant to facilitate the kind of ingredients – driven cooking that I highly recommend when it comes to produce.” He encourages readers to see ingredients in the grocery story that look great and then go home and find recipes to make wonderful meals. There are a variety of recipes in the book that look yummy. He also includes a page on Vegetable show stoppers that are a substitute for meaty main courses. Some of the vegetables listed are corn, celery, potatoes, tomatoes, cabbage, peppers, eggplant, root veggies and many more.This is my new go to book for the vegetable seasons. I look forward to all I’m going to learn from this author. There is also a fun section titled Thanksgiving leftovers that is creative and know I’ll be using it really soon. Some of the desserts look great too. Some that stand out are the recipes on donuts, brownies, Ice pops and Fruit desserts look wonderful too. This book would make a great gift for the skilled and unskilled cook!Disclosure of Material Connection: I received a complimentary copy of this book from Blogging for Books site. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising”Nora St LaurentTBCN Where Book Fun Begins! www.bookfun.orgThe Book Club Network blog www.psalm516.blogspot.comBook Fun Magazine www.bookfunmagazine.com
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  • Emma
    January 1, 1970
    This is a wonderful cookbook! I love the combination of typically "boring" ingredients and things that the average home cook would probably not consider or avoid because it seems to complicated.
  • Heather
    January 1, 1970
    In this volume, Bittman encourages you to find and create new recipes by changing one or more aspects of a different recipe. He has several ways of demonstrating this.One type of inspiration is his recipe generator applied to a handful of types of dishes. For example, theres a tartare generator. The categories it pulls from are binders, meat, seafood, vegetables, and garnishes. Theres an example on the page that combines raw salmon with capers, scallions, and lemon zest, thus nicely In this volume, Bittman encourages you to find and create new recipes by changing one or more aspects of a different recipe. He has several ways of demonstrating this.One type of inspiration is his ‘recipe generator’ applied to a handful of types of dishes. For example, there’s a tartare generator. The categories it pulls from are ‘binders,’ ‘meat, seafood, vegetables,’ and ‘garnishes’. There’s an example on the page that combines raw salmon with capers, scallions, and lemon zest, thus nicely demonstrating that you don’t have to stick to one item from each list.The rest of the information consists primarily of a short recipe and then variations on that recipe. Sometimes items are organized via ingredient, but there are exceptions, such as type of ingredient (root vegetables), or part of dinner (starters). I think one major change is needed. The nice, short example recipe is great. The variations, though, even though they seem to get either as much or almost as much space in the book, are described only in terms of how they alter the original recipe. I get that Bittman is trying to show us how we go about changing things. But I find that whenever I need to make one of the variations, I need to sit down with pen and paper and write it out as a whole recipe. For example, let’s start with a meatball recipe. The main one includes an egg. In the variations, a couple of them say to skip the egg, while one doesn’t say anything at all, which presumably means you do include it. It’s awkward to have to go through and figure out how all the unmentioned steps get changed or not. (By the way, we loved the Chicken “Tikka Masala” Meatballs and the Spicy Cumin Meatballs. But we definitely had to write each of the recipes out before using.)There are a few sections that use multiple full recipes instead of enumerating variations. One of those is the quick stock entry, which I love. Don’t have stock on hand? Here are nine ways to make one quickly, ranging from an herb stock (we made it and liked it) to coconut stock, tomato stock, prosciutto-parmesan stock, mushroom stock, and more! There are also handfuls of recipes that concentrate on less likely ingredients such as squid. We made a wonderful stew recipe with ginger, chiles, tomatoes, and coconut milk that was fantastic.We also made a recipe of potatoes curried in coconut milk which was just wonderful. From a root vegetable section we made a mixed sautee of shredded root vegetables. Not only was it very tasty, but the leftovers were still delicious. The only recipe we made from here that wasn’t so good was the Cold Cream of Tomato and Peach soup. Next time I’d strain out the tomato seeds, but the flavor also seemed to be missing something.What with the awkward variation recipes and the fact that many of these recipes never discuss any kind of seasoning with salt, I’d recommend this for non-beginner yet non-expert cook. They’re perfect for folks who’re at that stage where they’ve got the basics down pat, and just need a little nudge to confidently adapt recipes into new and wonderful tastes.Book provided free for review.Original review including photos on my site: http://www.errantdreams.com/2015/12/r...
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  • Jenn Ballmann
    January 1, 1970
    I was sent a copy of the book for review through the blogging for books program, as always, all opinions are my own.A couple of days ago I came home to find a whole slew of packages on my front porch, one of which contained the review copy of Mark Bittman's Kitchen Matrix that Pam Krauss Books sent my way. I'll admit, I was surprised at it's petite size. The front cover points out that it contains more than 700 simple recipes, but what it doesn't say is that these recipes are packed into a mere I was sent a copy of the book for review through the blogging for books program, as always, all opinions are my own.A couple of days ago I came home to find a whole slew of packages on my front porch, one of which contained the review copy of Mark Bittman's Kitchen Matrix that Pam Krauss Books sent my way. I'll admit, I was surprised at it's petite size. The front cover points out that it contains more than 700 simple recipes, but what it doesn't say is that these recipes are packed into a mere 300 pages.The good news is that it's bigger on the inside.The minimal design of this book packs multiple recipes on to a single page—it's the most efficient cookbook design I think I've ever seen. You start off with a master recipe, or as the cookbook calls it—universal instructions. I'll use Tomato Sauce +9 Ways on page 237 as an example. You have a master recipe for tomato sauce and eight other variations all listed on the same page. If you feel like something different than basic tomato sauce, try the tomato sauce with fresh herbs, cheesy tomato sauce, or use the recipes as inspiration to come up with a sauce all on your own. The Kitchen Matrix system is meant to inspire creativity in the kitchen and I think it does an excellent job.As much as I love the book, the layout isn't quite perfect. It could use a little fine-tuning to make it easier to use. The chapter indexes (you know, those pages that tell you which recipes are in each chapter) are a beautiful dark orange-red with tiny black text. It's incredibly hard to read in low-light and lets face it, most kitchens have poor lighting. In my kitchen I'm lucky to be able to see my hand in front of my face after the sun goes down.The other issue I have with the book is that you have to physically turn it to read some of the recipe generators. The layout for items like vinaigrette or sandwiches aren't meant to be read from left to right as we are accustomed to, but instead top to bottom. This is a huge pain if you have a small workspace or prefer to keep your cookbooks on a stand. Fortunately there are only a small handful of these pages, but I still find them annoying. Even though Mark Bittman's Kitchen Matrix has a few quirks, I think it's a great book. The recipes may be a little minimal for the budding cook in your life who may need more instruction at first, but as they develop their skills they'll find this book a valuable resource providing endless amounts of inspiration. For the intermediate cook looking to shake things up a bit, this is the book for you.
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  • Virginia Campbell
    January 1, 1970
    A matrix is defined as "something that constitutes the place or point from which something else originates, takes form, or develops". Expounding upon this theory, iconic food writer Mark Bittman offers "Kitchen Matrix: More Than 700 Simple Recipes and Techniques to Mix and Match for Endless Possibilities". Adding and subtracting has never been so much fun--and never this delicious. Using simple ingredients, follow the basic principles, create your own "formulas", and then eat the tasty results A matrix is defined as "something that constitutes the place or point from which something else originates, takes form, or develops". Expounding upon this theory, iconic food writer Mark Bittman offers "Kitchen Matrix: More Than 700 Simple Recipes and Techniques to Mix and Match for Endless Possibilities". Adding and subtracting has never been so much fun--and never this delicious. Using simple ingredients, follow the basic principles, create your own "formulas", and then eat the tasty results of your experiments. The chapters include: "Appetizers and Entertaining"; "Soups, Stews, and Sandwiches"; "Vegetables"; "Pasta, Grains, and Beans"; "Fish and Seafood"; "Poultry and Eggs"; "Meat"; "Condiments and Seasonings"; "Fruit"; and "Desserts and Baking". Lots of lovely food photos are featured on almost every page, and the recipes temptingly cover a wide variety of categories. Familiar foods are "kicked up and served up" with small changes that make a big difference. I loved looking through this book and being inspired to step out of my cooking routine and try something new. My favorite sections are: "Vegetable Soup + 12 Ways"; "Potatoes + 12 Ways"; "Brown Rice + 12 Ways"; "Shrimp + 12 Ways"; "Thanksgiving Leftovers + 20 Ways"; "Pears + 10 Ways"; and "Fruit Desserts + 12 Ways". However, there is much more to explore in this cookbook, and both beginners and kitchen pros will enjoy spending time learning the new "kitchen math". 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, can be seen on the Cooking Channel. His most recent book, VB6, debuted at #1 on the New York Times bestseller list in its first week on sale.Review Copy Gratis Pam Krauss Books via Blogging for Books
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  • Tiffany Ewigleben
    January 1, 1970
    I must say, I am bias towards Bittman. How to Cook Everything and How to Cook Everything Vegetarian have been my go-to's whenever I cook. By cooking, I mean looking in the fridge and seeing what's about to go bad, throwing it all together and making it work. Bittman's books have allowed me to make it work without it tasting like crap.So I was excited to receive this book in the mail. First off, I gave it to my Chef husband, so we could dual review it, the thought being that his opinion about I must say, I am bias towards Bittman. How to Cook Everything and How to Cook Everything Vegetarian have been my go-to's whenever I cook. By cooking, I mean looking in the fridge and seeing what's about to go bad, throwing it all together and making it work. Bittman's books have allowed me to make it work without it tasting like crap.So I was excited to receive this book in the mail. First off, I gave it to my Chef husband, so we could dual review it, the thought being that his opinion about cookbooks would differ wildly from mine, but it wasn't as dramatic as I thought.Him: "I like the layout of this book. It's organized in a way to make it easy for anyone to follow, and the base recipes allow people to expand upon their cooking techniques by providing a foundation. The variations on the recipes are pretty good as well. I do have an issue with some of the directions, for example, cutting meat. It's written, but there are no illustrations, and that's not something everyone would understand with written description only. "Hrm. Good point, and something I didn't think about. So, that, coming from a Professional Chef. I looked over the book and read a bit, but then he snagged it and hasn't given it back, so it's apparently pretty sweet, regardless of any complaints. I appreciate the ease of all of Bittman's books, and this one allows you to be a little more creative, step out of your norm or go-to (which, for me, is something that ends up tasting vaguely Spanish). I also appreciated the 'what the hell to do with holiday leftovers' section, hehe. The photos, of course, are great, beautiful, clean, basically food porn, what I want to see in my cookbooks. OH. The cocktail section? That was pretty cool too. (*this book was received free via bloggingforbooks.com)
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  • Molly
    January 1, 1970
    Mark Bittman's Kitchen Matrix is a great starter book for a new cook but it's also full of new recipes for someone tired of making the same thing every week. The whole premise behind the book is, "if you can cook 10 recipes, you can cook 10,000." The book covers everything from salsas and soups to vegetables and seafood. There is a huge variety of foods covered and I really like the layout of this cookbook. The book itself is large and full of colorful pictures.Each section starts with an Mark Bittman's Kitchen Matrix is a great starter book for a new cook but it's also full of new recipes for someone tired of making the same thing every week. The whole premise behind the book is, "if you can cook 10 recipes, you can cook 10,000." The book covers everything from salsas and soups to vegetables and seafood. There is a huge variety of foods covered and I really like the layout of this cookbook. The book itself is large and full of colorful pictures.Each section starts with an ingredient or type of food (for example spinach or soup). Bittman provides a recipe and then also lists several variations of it. Want to make rice pilaf? Start with a recipe for Garlic and Parsley Pilaf, then substitute a few ingredients and you have Shrimp, Scallions, and Snow Peas Pilaf. The book makes it really easy to see how a simple variation can make an entirely different meal. It is a little hard to keep track of the different recipes because you have to follow the original recipe first but make certain substitutions along the way.I do like how the layout of the book is though. It makes it very easy to see what you have in your pantry and then search for a recipe that way. Do you have asparagus but aren't sure what to do with it? Here are twelve different ways to cook it. This is a very useful cookbook when you need new ideas for dinner.I received this book from Blogging for Books in exchange for my honest review.
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  • Julie Webb
    January 1, 1970
    Overall quite impressive.This book is probably the best one of its type that I have seen. It covers an amazing array of recipes, easy to follow, and helps you see how ingredients fit together. Great for the experienced cook that might need a little inspiration but especially good for newer cooks that will help you look amazing.I deducted one star because of at least one typo as caught by another reviewer. In the beans selection it says to use 4 cups of water for one pound of beans. In the photo Overall quite impressive.This book is probably the best one of its type that I have seen. It covers an amazing array of recipes, easy to follow, and helps you see how ingredients fit together. Great for the experienced cook that might need a little inspiration but especially good for newer cooks that will help you look amazing.I deducted one star because of at least one typo as caught by another reviewer. In the beans selection it says to use 4 cups of water for one pound of beans. In the photo above it shows white beans, black beans, lentils, and split peas. The recipe says to put everything in a crock pot without soaking. This is fine for spilt peas and lentils, especially with the addition of meat and vegetables which give off liquid as they cook. BUT, that doesn't work for the beans listed. They require either a presoak or more water, and a much longer cook time compared to lentils. Some cooks may not be aware of this and could lead to some sad, disappointing results. Especially for a new cook who may not know what went wrong.Most of the recipes look pretty great, tons of photos, even the poached chicken looks good (done 3 ways White Wine, Onions, and Herb; Soy Poached; and Coconut Ginger). Some areas are less inspirational than others but over all solid. Good addition to the library.Happy Reading :)
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  • Tina
    January 1, 1970
    Kitchen Matrix is different from Mark Bittmans other cookbooks. Its just as informative and comprehensive as the others but this one is so visual. Its colorful and super easy to view at a glance. There are so many different combinations to make a good meal. Suggestions and recipes are adapted to include vegetarian, paleo, gluten-free as well as recipes for meat and seafood eaters.This is a hardcover, well produced book. Nothing cheap feeling about it and you know it will hold up to the abuse we Kitchen Matrix is different from Mark Bittman’s other cookbooks. It’s just as informative and comprehensive as the others but this one is so visual. It’s colorful and super easy to view at a glance. There are so many different combinations to make a good meal. Suggestions and recipes are adapted to include vegetarian, paleo, gluten-free as well as recipes for meat and seafood eaters.This is a hardcover, well produced book. Nothing cheap feeling about it and you know it will hold up to the abuse we give cookbooks on the counter. Here are some illustrations – don’t you think it’s a well laid out book? I do!We don’t have deviled eggs often but I didn’t do more than use cream cheese and maybe some bacon before. Look at all these cool ideas – Soy pickled, beet pickled (those are good), tomato sauced, Waldorf style, and more. (Photo on Novel Meals blog)The lobster photo here has my mouth watering. There are twelve suggestion on how to prepare.This section on clams will get a bit of use. I really like clams. There are over 700 recipes with all the different combinations suggested. If you are a fan of Mark Bittman you will love this book!*I received this book from Blogging for Books for this review. All opinions, nice and no-so-nice are my own :-)
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