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Behind this book—and indeed everything we do at America’s Test Kitchen—is a shared understanding of how frustrating it can be to spend time planning, shopping, and cooking only to turn out dishes that are mediocre at best. Have you ever been frustrated by piecrust that shrinks down the sides of the pan once baked? Have you ever spent a -fortune on prime rib only to have it come out dry and tough? Or baked a cheesecake that emerged from the oven with a crack the size of the San Andreas fault? Most of us don’t have the time or inclination to spend hours and hours finding the answers to these and hundreds of other common cooking problems. We want recipes that work the first time and every time, and we want clear instructions. With The New Best Recipe in hand, you will have access to a wealth of practical information that will make you not only a better cook but a more confident one as well. No one likes to make mistakes in the kitchen. That’s why we test recipes over and over again (in some cases, more than 50 times)—so you don’t have to.
Because good technique is also critical, we have included 800 illustrations that show you the best way to do everything from carving a turkey to beating egg whites properly to frosting a layer cake to setting up your grill. And because the right equipment always makes a difference, you’ll find valuable information on how and when to splurge on that expensive knife or baking pan and when the basic model will do just fine. (In our test, for instance, the $4 Baker’s Secret loaf pan trumped competitors with prices four times as high.)
We also explain the science of cooking (for instance, how brining works to ensure juicy meat and why butter should be added before dairy for the silkiest mashed potatoes) because understanding the science of food can help anyone become a better cook. Complete with recipes ranging from appetizers to desserts, The New Best Recipe promises to be a classic and timeless kitchen companion, one that draws back the curtain on our testing process so you learn firsthand what makes even the simplest recipe the best.
Founded in 1980, Cook’s Illustrated is renowned for its near-obsessive dedication to finding the best methods of American home cooking. The editors of Cook’s Illustrated are also the authors of a best selling series of cookbooks (The Best Recipe Series) as well as a series of companion books to the America’s Test Kitchen public television show (which reaches 2.4 million viewers per episode). Filmed in America’s Test Kitchen (a 2,500-square-foot test kitchen in Brookline, Massachusetts), the show features the editors, test cooks, equipment testers, science experts, and food tasters from the magazine’s staff.
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