The Best Recipe

ISBN 10: 0936184388 / ISBN 13: 9780936184388
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Synopsis: Founded in 1980, Cook's Illustrated (formerly Cook's Magazine) has emerged as "America's Test Kitchen," renowned for its near-obsessive dedication to finding the best methods of American home cooking. Over the years, we've tested 80 recipes for chocolate chip cookies, more than 70 recipes for gumbo, 40 versions of the peanut butter cookie, and more than 20 versions of such simple recipes as coleslaw, roast chicken, and hash brown potatoes. The Best Recipe is a collection of the editors' picks from the pages of Cook's Illustrated. The recipes have been edited, organized, and annotated with in-depth descriptions of how we developed the "best" recipe. And they appear alongside dozens of equipment ratings and taste tests of supermarket foods, as well as more than 200 illustrations demonstrating the most efficient food preparation methods.

In The Best Recipe, we invite you into our test kitchen, where you will stand at our elbow as we try to develop the best macaroni and cheese or the best split pea soup. You'll discover how to make a foolproof yellow cake, a perfectly cooked prime rib roast, and homemade bread in under two hours. You'll find out how to solve the problem of watery coleslaw, overcooked turkey breast, acidic salad dressing, dull tomato sauce, sticky white rice, dry turkey burgers, tough scrambled eggs, and sunken birthday cakes. You will also find the secret to bakery-style high-rise muffins and the way to make that restaurant favorite, warm, fallen chocolate cake, at home, with only a few minutes of preparation.

The Best Recipe also gives you useful tips on purchasing cookware (based on extensive test kitchen evaluations), including pie plates, food processors, standing mixers, chef's knives, skillets, vegetable peelers, and Dutch ovens. We also explain the science of cooking (how to cream butter and why, how baking powder works, the difference between semisweet and bittersweet chocolate) and offer tips on purchasing canned chicken stock, canned tomatoes, flour, butter, and dried pasta.

The editors of Cook's Illustrated have performed thousands of hours of kitchen testing to bring you a cookbook that not only provides the best recipes but also tells you how they came to be that way. Let The Best Recipe become your one-stop cooking school and your favorite kitchen reference.

Review: "Consider this a companion to 'The Joy of Cooking,' with recipes that run from the basic to creatively unusual. Sidebars on storage and equipment, step-by-step illustrations on more difficult techniques and taste-test results done in the Cook's Illustrated kitchen--it's all here. The information is exact and even scientific, but reader-friendly. For those who want good recipes that work and also want to expand their knowledge of how and why things work, this is a fascinating book. (The Black and White Chocolate Chip Cookies with Pecans tested in The Times kitchen may actually be the best chocolate-chip cookies ever.)" -- The Seattle Times, December 8, 1999

"The folks at Cook's Illustrated magazine have compiled a fine collection of recipes that have been tested not once, not twice, but many more times, to find the absolutely best version....This is a great choice for cooks who want to know the 'whys' of cooking: why you should roast beef at a low temperature, why you should use high heat for eggs, and so forth." -- The New York Daily News, December 8, 1999

"This gastronomic classic belongs on every serious cook's shelf." -- The Christian Science Monitor, December 8, 1999

"This is the perfectionist's 'Joy of Cooking.'" -- The Amherst Bulletin, November 26, 1999

"[T]he more than 700 recipes compiled within The Best Recipe represent a range of culinary strains from a Southern Baked Country Ham to Italian Shrimp Scampi to a Middle Eastern Tabbouleh and French inspired Chilled Lemon Souffle. You'll find basic staples as well as more esoteric ones, dishes that regardless of their pedigree represent how we eat today or better yet the foods we crave these days. The Best Recipe is without question one of the best cookery books published this year and is the book I'll be giving to my foodie friends this holiday season." -- The Houston Chronicle, November 2, 1999

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