I get asked a lot what is the best cookbook I should buy? My answer is always Mark Bittman’s How to Cook Everything. Why you may ask? It is because this book is the most comprehensive cookbook I have ever come across. It has recipes and step by step instructions for anything you can imagine. It is a great reference guide for the kitchen.
So with my rave reviews you can only imagine how excited I was to find out that he created an app for the iPhone and iPad. I read about it here, here, and here. As soon as I got home I downloaded the app to our iPad. I used it to make Mark Bittman’s Skillet Pork Chops. My first reaction was WOW I love this! It was so easy to use. Below I take you through cooking with the app. If you can go and download the app its only $1.99 (for a limited time) and its so much easier to use than going to look up a recipe in the index of this massive book (however go buy the book too its fantastic and makes a great shower gift).
When using the app on the iPad it looks the size of an iPhone app but you can make it bigger by tapping on the 2x button which allows the app to fill the screen. It becomes a little pix-elated at this zoom but you can read it fine. The main screen of the page includes options such as browse recipes, kitchen basics, Bittman’s picks, most popular, featured recipe, quick dinners and a search bar. It also has options on the lower tool bar that include home, search, favorites , shop and more.
Browsing recipes is really easy to do on the app. I tapped on meat and then chose pork. I knew this was what I was cooking for dinner so it was easy to make a decision on what protein I wanted to use. The next screen displayed the options of quick cooking pork dishes, slow cooking pork dishes and then ham and bacon. I chose quick cooking pork dishes. The first recipe that came up was Skillet Pork Chops, Eight Ways. The app first brings you to an overview of the recipe that explains the technique being used. Next you can tap to the ingredient list. The recipe called for pork chops, olive oil, salt, pepper, garlic, white wine, butter, and chicken stock.
The steps tab, is the next tab that you can tap on. This recipe was set up into three different tabs or steps. First you salt and pepper the pork chops.
When you come to an instruction that requires timing there is a timer that you can click on!! This is my favorite part of the app. You tap on it and it starts the countdown. When the time is up it dings and you move on to the next step. I think this will be so helpful to cooks out there that follow the directions step by step. It also allows you to not have to go run and find the timer. It is all right there. So I set the timer and heated the pan.
Then I added the olive oil and the pork chops. I started to brown the pork chops and was able to set the next timer. The next timer comes up and when it is done it goes to the the top of recipe to show that you completed that step.
Next you add the wine and garlic setting another timer. Next you add the chicken broth and set the next timer.
This was a longer timer so I set off and started to browse the app some more. On the top there is an icon that when you tap on it you can save the recipe or add the ingredients to a grocery list. I love it! This comes in really handy when you are using the app on your iphone because you can just tap, add the ingredients to your shopping list and take it with you shopping. You can also add other ingredients to the list and can make other lists as well. You can even email yourself the shopping list.
You may be asking yourself what happened to the timer? The timer stays running in the background! This is great when you are making multiple recipes from this app or you want to browse for more recipes. I started a search for spinach while the timer was going.
When the timer did go off I removed the pork chops from the pan. I added the butter and let the liquid reduce down. Then it was all ready to serve.
This recipe also had a tab for variations, which are the other 7 ways to make skillet pork chops. Overall, I loved cooking with this app. It made cooking very easy and I anticipate that it will be very helpful to new cooks or people uncomfortable in the kitchen. The book as well as the app are essentials to the kitchen. It is the ultimate reference for any home cook. I have to continue to explore the other fabulous things that I know this app can do. I hope you do go and buy the app or the book How to Cook Everything. I love it and hope you do to!