Psst... We're working on the next generation of Chowhound! View >
HOME > Chowhound > Home Cooking >
Aug 7, 2009 07:02 PM

Your tried and true Cook's illustrated Best recipes.

I own "The New Best Recipe" cookbook, "The Best of America's Test Kitchen" 2007, and "Restaurant Favorites at Home" from Cook's Illustrated and have had amazing results with many of these recipes and have also had a few that were good, but not the best. I am curious what recipes you have tried by Cooks Illustrated and what ones weren't so good. I have gotten some of my best recipes and ideas from Cook's Illustrated so lets make a list for those of us that want to make only the best of the best from these books.

Here are some of my favs:
-Black Bean Soup, p. 63 in The New Best Recipe, this is the best black bean soup I have ever eaten!! It may even be one of the best soups I have ever eaten.

-Hearty Meat Lasagna, p. 282 in TNBR, my hubby and I LOVED this recipe and lasagna is one of our favorite things

-Chicken Stock p. 32 TNBR, this the only stock I have ever made, but it was VERY simple and tasted amazing.

-Wilted spinach Salad, p. 88 in TNBR, positively addicting. Had to eat it all in one sitting.

-Mayonnaise, p 76 in TNBR, my eldest daughter is allergic to egg whites so we do the hand mix version and it is very easy and good. She loves it.

-Classic Roast Turkey and gravy, p 360 TNBR, Excellent flavor but very difficult to make. We did make 2 that year though so if I make it again we will only do 1 bird. The gravy is amazing, tastes like one from a fine, gourmet restaurant.

-Beef Chili with Kidney Beans, p 443 in TNBR, WOW! Excellent! I have made this over and over, and my hubby and kids love it! I serve with Tortilla chips lining the bowl, shredded cheese, fresh avocado, fresh cilantro, chopped green onion, fresh lime, and sour cream. It is comfort in a bowl!

-Roasted carrots, p. 150 in TNBR, excellent.

-Broccoli Rabe, p. 142 in TNBR, Very good, and hubby loved it!

Yew York Cheese Cake, p. 868 in TNBR, my first time making Cheese Cake, and I did it for my hubby's b-day a couple years ago since it is his favorite desert. It tasted great, I was surprised by how well it turned out because I have always heard that most people have to make Cheese Cake several times to get it right. He loved it!

-Thick and Chewy Gingerbread Cookies, p. 796, TNBR mmmm, very yummy!

-Basic Omlet, p. 636 in TNBR, the best basic omlet recipe ever! I of course come up with my own fillings though ... and sometimes I do add an extra egg for my hubby.

-Ranch Dressing, p 78 in TNBR. I loved it and have made it 3 times now.

-Chunky Guacamole, I don't really like to follow a recipe for mine, but I learned how to handle my avocados better from their tips.

-Pasta and Quick Tomato Sauce, p 245 TNBR I love this recipe! It is SO easy and good. I usually make mine with fresh sage sausage and top with Parmesan cheese.

-Flaky Buttermilk Biscuits, p. 82 in The Best of America's test Kitchen 07, these truly were as good as the best biscuits I have had made professionally. So flaky and delicious. This is a comfort food!

-Slow Cooker Bolognese Sauce, p. 125 in The Best of America's Test Kitchen 07, Excellent with a few modifications to the sauce. The slow cooker really does not cook it down very well, so i had to put mine in the oven to cook down and the end result was the best bolognese sauce I have ever had. Of course with the use of Hawaiian sea salt, my secret to good pasta.

-Chicken Kiev, p. 181 in The Best of America's Test Kitchen 07, I love this!!

-Maple Sausage and Waffle Breakfast Casserole, p. 75 in The Best of America's Test Kitchen 07. It makes me want to drool to think of this. It was that good! Mmmmm! Another comfort food recipe.

Now for the good recipes I have made that aren't quite the "best":

-Chewy Oatmeal-Raisin cookies p. 782 in TNBR, Very good, and some may consider to be the best, but my taste buds just don't think so. I love cinnamon in mine and they don't like cinnamon in their cookies. Also they were too sweet. for me. The texture was amazing though. definitely thick and chewy!

-Eggplant Parmesan, p. 166 in TNBR. Excellent but not the best I have ever eaten.

-Hearty lentil soup, p. 56, in TNBR, good, but I like my vegan recipe for the Crock Pot better.

-Cream of Tomato Soup, p. 46 in TNBR. Excellent, but not the best. Definitely too much work!

-American Sandwich Bread, p. 725 in TNBR. Maybe it was me, but it didn't turn out very good.

-Chicken Caesar Salad, p. 110 in TNBR, Good, but not the best.

-Hummus, p. 13 in TNBR. Great, but I like mine with cumin and a bit more garlic. Good basic recipe though.

-Light Cream of Broccoli Soup, p. 29 in The Best of America's Test Kitchen 07, good, but not the best.

If I think of more I will add.

-Melissa Patterson

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. I don't have my CI books handy, but a couple recipes I make over and over again are the Puttanecsa sauce, the cream biscuits, and the pzza bianco (I think that's a 2009 magazine recipe, not in any of the books yet).

    6 Replies
    1. re: jeanmarieok

      The magazine suggestions are helpful too. This is good to know. ;) I need to get myself a subscription.

      1. re: DishDelish

        I enjoy subscribing online - get to see each issue plus a huge amount of recipes and techniques. It's 19.95 (I think) for a year.

        1. re: bayoucook

          I've been thinking about getting a subscription. =)

          1. re: DishDelish

            me too dishdelish and the idea by grnidkjun is great too

            1. re: iL Divo


          2. re: bayoucook

            I enjoy the online subscription too.. sign up for the trial.. and eventually they email you with an offer for 50% off the "normal fee"

      2. I never make any other chocolate chip cookie. Thick and Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookies, February, 1996. ! cup choc chips, 1 cup barely chopped walnuts or pecans. I use dark brown sugar, not the alternate light; makes for an even chewier cookie.

        3 Replies
        1. re: JoanN

          I have this in my cookbook. =) I'll have to compare it to my double tree recipe now.

          1. re: JoanN

            I agree!! But I buy a trader joes pound plus bar of chocolate and whack it into really big chunks and then round up the recipe to 1/5-2 c. chunks. By far my most successful baking endeavor ever.

            1. re: JoanN

              so weird - everyone on here has complained that most of CI's literature have repeated recipes - I just bought the MORE Best Recipes - and looked up the chocolate chip cookie that you recommended as well as the black bean soup referenced above by Dish Delish and both of those are not in my book!! :(

            2. From a magazine the Beef Carbonade. My SO will eat so much that I've thought about doubling so that I get enough leftovers.

              1. I forget the exact name, but it was published in the mag a few years ago, a chocolate Bundt cake that says to bloom cocoa powder in hot water (or possibly hot coffee) and also directed one to grease the pan with oil and cocoa powder to prevent a white film from marring the surface. It generated a lot of messy bowls and utensils but the cake was splendid.

                There was also a lemon curd tart from a free sample issue. Probably a decade ago!

                1. I found a copy of that Maple Sausage and Waffle Breakfast Casserole on line.

                  Looks like a strata made with waffles, but it's supposed to be lighter and airier.

                  Is that right? And it looks like it calls for frozen waffles? Do those work ok with it?

                  Can you tell they were frozen? I suppose you could substitute homemade? What do you think?

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: karykat

                    I don't know. I actually bought some whole wheat frozen Eggo waffles that tasted great! =) Homemade may or may not work but if you try it let me know. My book says that they conducted a study on the best tasting waffle though, and Eggo Home-style waffles was the undisputed winner.