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Dining

An app that can make you a self-satisfied cook of everything

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This is a man with a philosophy I can live by: minimalism, on the plate, in the kitchen, in my mouth. Mark Bittman is not a chef, and he’ll be the first to tell you that. Rather, Bittman is a journalist, a food writer and the author of the now-defunct New York Times column “The Minimalist.” I fell in love with the column because it spoke about food in words I could understand and through techniques I could follow. Now, I find myself following those same techniques on Bittman’s iPhone ($4.99) and iPad ($9.99) app, How to Cook Everything.

The app, which includes recipes like chicken adobo, pad Thai and “boiled water” (and a simple garlic soup served over browned bread) is an intuitive tool that re-creates a home cook’s thought process with impressive precision. Pasta for dinner becomes quick homemade tomato sauce becomes a deeper sauce enriched with the hearty flavor of mushrooms—each step just a click away from the one before. The result? A dinner that tastes deceptively complex and a cook with the self-satisfied feeling of having created something delicious. Thanks, Mark.

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