How to Cook Everything — The Basics
This was my first real cook book and I found it invaluable.
Mark is food critic for the New York Times. His TV show squares him off with a famous chef; they cook a delicious specialty, then Mark duplicates their dish on the spot, using a simpler set of ingredients — the way you’d do it yourself at home.
His writing and recipes are as approachable as it can get; you’ll want to get your hands dirty after reading just a few recipes. The simplicity of his writing and dishes make all the difference. If you’re intimidated by cooking, I highly recommend you start with this book.