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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

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  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.

                  2. From the magazines I love the chicken piccata, the eggpolant parmesan, the shrimp fra diavlo.

                    2 Replies
                    1. re: emilief

                      Agree on the Chicken Piccata. It became one of my "most requested" dishes among my friends. Funny thing is, CP was never a particular favorite of mine; I'd taste it if someone else ordered it in a restaurant, but that was about it. For whatever reason, I tried the CI recipe for my dinner one night and, somewhat to my surprise, it was a very happy meal indeed.

                      1. re: Old Spice

                        I just made that (from TNBR) this weekend. It was pretty darn good-my 3 year old liked it, too. Don't know that it's one of my favorites, but I'd make again.

                    2. From the magazine: brown sugar cookies and butternut squash risotto.

                      2 Replies
                      1. re: jencounter

                        The brown sugar cookies sound great, would you mind sharing the recipe!?

                      2. From the website: Chicken tikka massala. Chicken Paprikash. Those Brown Sugar cookies Jen mentioned are out of this world. (I have some in the freezer...cookies for lunch?....) adam

                        1 Reply
                        1. re: adamshoe

                          oh adam, that chicken tikka really is the best. i make a cilantro relish to serve on top with the chutney. heaven!

                        2. New Best Recipe:

                          Scalloped Potatoes (I reduce the salt a bit)
                          Breaded Chicken Cutlets - a huge pain, but very good
                          Sauteed Pork Tenderloin Medallions with port, dried cherries and rosemary
                          Yellow Layer Cake

                          Not Good
                          Glazed Cinnamon Rolls - stodgy and bready and the icing is lousy, too
                          Dutch Apple Pie - not terrible, but not that appealing and not worth the effort
                          Pumpkin Pie - mediocre and too complicated

                          12 Replies
                          1. re: CathleenH

                            This is good to know, never tried the pumpkin pie cause I always thought my Mom's was the best, but sometimes I am tempted to see. Was it the crust that was mediocre on the apple and pumpkin pies? I love my Mom's crust.

                            1. re: DishDelish

                              The custard is rather loose when it comes out of the oven. It improves a lot if you refrigerate the pie overnight. Since I prefer my pumpkin pie refrigerated, that's not a problem, but this pie is more complicated to put together than the one of the back of the can, and doesn't improve on the taste or texture enough for me to want to bother.

                              1. re: DebL

                                My Mom takes hours to make her wonderful recipe, she is a perfectionist when it comes to the crust. She has also had to find new methods since shortening isn't the same nowdays. I think that may be why I have never tackled it on my own, I may not do as well. =)

                                1. re: DishDelish

                                  Wow, I am shocked to hear about the pumpkin pie- the first time I made it I swore I would never do it again (complicated and messy) but one bite and I was hooked. Made it TGiving an XMas and both times had to copy the article to pass out to friends for the recipe. I think the filling has wonderful depth with the yams, but not too rich- also passing it through the press makes it impossibly smooth and creamy. This one tops my list for sure, along with the meat lasagna.

                                  1. re: domestikate

                                    Thanks for letting us know about your successful and delicious pie dome! ;)

                                    1. re: domestikate

                                      I also made the pumpkin pie for Thansgiving this year and loved it. It's a bit of a pain, and the filling was a little loose for my taste, but everyone loved the flavor of it. I think I'll just bake it a few minutes longer next time so it's a little firmer, or like DebL says make it the night before and refrigerate it.

                                  2. re: DebL

                                    I so agree that this recipe is not worth the work. I like the Libby's recipe just as much and it takes a fraction of the time. Don't bother with this one.

                                    1. re: spgayle

                                      As Garrison Keillor says, the best pumpkin pie you ever ate is just not that much different from the worst pumpkin pie you ever ate.
                                      Not totally true, but there's a kernel there.

                                      1. re: sccrash

                                        I totally disagree, but a) it's my favorite pie and I've had alot of variations b) I suspect that, with all due respect, Mr. Keillor's diet does not have the same variety as most of us.

                                        1. re: blkery

                                          My favorite was also pumpkin pie, until I tried a sweet potato pie a few years ago. Now I prefer the sweet potato pie.

                                          1. re: Antilope

                                            I stand half corrected.
                                            a) I tried the CI Pumpkin Pie recipe (11/2008) this year, and it's head and shoulders above many I've had- it was a wonderful difference. I used the instant read thermometer as they suggested to tell when it was done, which ended up being a much longer baking time than called for. The consistency of the filling was substantial without being too heavy, the texture was very silky.
                                            b) With all due respect right back at you, Mr. Keillor has lived in New York, Denmark, and Minneapolis. He shows quite an interest in food in his writing and performing. The show has been broadcast from cities all over the US, Canada, and Europe. I suspect he's been exposed to a wide variety of food, perhaps has a diet as varied and interesting as most of you.
                                            (Not my intent to be snippy, but some of the assumptions made about us rubes here in flyoverland are a bit dated. We've even got indoor plumbing and electricity and lots of other cool stuff like that now:)

                                            1. re: Antilope

                                              ...although we are still a little slow about posting correctly on message boards

                                2. The meatballs from the Spaghetti and Meatballs recipe. They soak the breadcrumbs in an acidic dairy product which makes all the difference and has applications for any ground meat item you add breadcrumbs to. They used buttermilk or yogurt thinned with milk. The acidity makes them so tender. I add a load of rosemary. I got this from one of the magz rather than the book.

                                  I just wish the book would give as much background info as their show and magazine. For example, on their show about pancakes they say to use milk soured with lemon if you don't have buttermilk. That, in fact, they like the recipe even better that way! Yet in the book there's no discussion of this, or why it's better. Sometimes, I wonder if imagine some of these convos!

                                  7 Replies
                                  1. re: cinnamon girl

                                    lol! Which book do you have? My NBR book has the recipe for pancakes on p. 648 which I think I forgot to mention at top, and they talk about the lemon, in the milk in my book. It is very interesting to me, because the best banana bread that I have ever had (my grandmothers recipe) uses sour milk too. We add distilled white vinegar to the milk though.

                                    1. re: DishDelish

                                      it isn't so much abt the pancake recipe per se; it's more abt the stuff that doesn't make it from their PBS show or the magz into the book, or morphs en route. In this case I wanted more details on why they stated on the show that "soured milk was nicer than buttermilk", b/c I found it surprising. And since it's all the contextual stuff I love about their magz/shows I hope to see it intact in the books.

                                      But I just found out on another post that they revisit recipes. So for example, one of my all-times faves of theirs was their spatchcocked, brined chicken roasted over potatoes. Delish, Dish Delish: should have mentioned it above. I made it often while in my brining phase (lol). But by the time it made it to the book (from the show or mag-forget which), it had morphed into something else. So if all their recipes are the "best" version of a dish, why do they keep changing them? Roast chicken has been done 4 or 5 times and each time it is the "best". That said, I'm a big fan of the magazine, and love their analysis of why things work or not. Sorry I forget which book I was looking at. Still, I want to try most of the things on your list! :-) Thanks for a great post!

                                      1. re: cinnamon girl

                                        Your welcome. That chicken sounds good, I'm going to have to look it up. I understand what you mean about the sour milk. It would be nice to understand why it works better. If you do find out let us know. =)

                                        1. re: cinnamon girl

                                          I totally agree! I have the original Best Recipe and was annoyed when they replaced. Some of the recipes I love aren't in the new version, and I've written notes throughout, so now I have both. It's annoying.

                                          Speaking of, I love, love, love their stovetop mac and cheese from the first TBR; it uses eggs and evaporated milk and is easy and incredibly creamy.

                                          On the other end of the spectrum, their Beef Bourguignon is a lot of work and just amazing.

                                          I also love the pesto from TBR, where you blanch the garlic and toast the nuts (I think the toasting is key).

                                          THeir pie crust, both with and without vodka, is amazing! I'll never do anything else.

                                          THeir rolled sugar cookie dough is also great; flavorful and easy to work with.

                                          And the bolognese sauce for spaghetti fro TBR is fabulous.

                                          1. re: girlwonder88

                                            I agree on the bolognese sauce, yum!
                                            I can't wait to try the mac and cheese for my kids, thanks for the tip.
                                            I will have to try the Beef Bourguignon and pesto, yum! Thanks!

                                      2. re: cinnamon girl

                                        The meatballs for me, too. Best ever, light and tender and tasty.

                                        The Raspberry Bars, the recipe with a mixture of fresh raspberries and jam are also terrific.

                                        1. re: cinnamon girl

                                          LOVE the meatballs. They are truly excellent - and a very requested dish at our home. Also, their recipe for chicken parmigiana (i know, simple, but still worth following the recipe) is excellent. The fast and easy sauce has a perfect level of acidity for the parm and they tell you to put the cheese under the sauce so that the chicken stays crispy.

                                        2. Their chocolate frosting recipe--can't recall what issue it's in. Melt butter and chocolate, toss it in the food processor with some corn syrup and a little powder sugar, buzz and go. Always silky, never separates, never gets crusty, not at all fussy to work with, fabulous flavor.

                                          2 Replies
                                          1. re: Erika L

                                            I think you're talking about their Foolproof Chocolate Frosting recipe. It is fantastic recipe--so easy to make and so tasty (and I'm not much of a chocolate-frosting fan).


                                            1. re: HFXNS

                                              If you don't have a CI online membership, you can get the recipe online here:

                                          2. Great thread. I'd appreciate hearing where everyone is posting from, as Cooks Illustrated is what launched my belief that New Englanders and those in the general East have sweeter palates than those in the West.

                                            9 Replies
                                            1. re: blkery

                                              I live in Alaska, and am from Wisconsin. Mom is from Montana and Dad from Minnesota, Hubby is from Hawaii and also lived in Maine for a while. I would say that they all influenced me ... that said I will eat just about anything. =)

                                              1. re: blkery

                                                I live in Toronto. Now that you mention it, in their tv taste tests they often go for the sweeter, less spicy item. They invariably choose the bbq sauce (or whatever) that is mildest. The host on the show makes a lot of (laughing) coughing sounds while trying things that are "too hot" - things that I've tried that weren't hot to me at all. And while I like some heat, I'm not exactly a chili hound. As for sweet, I've cut back on the sugar in some of their desserts (oatmeal cookies, banana loaf). So do you think the south has got a bum rap - or the rap that rightfully belongs to New Englanders? Or more of an east/west divide?

                                                1. re: cinnamon girl

                                                  Their chili recipe has a good kick to it though. =)

                                                  1. re: cinnamon girl

                                                    On the other hand ... those oatmeal raisin cookies from TNBR are way to sweet for me.

                                                  2. re: blkery

                                                    I live in Seattle, have been a west coaster all my life. I've never noticed a regional palate but will say that my fave sweets are traditional southeastern ones: chess pies, shoofly pies...all those frilly, sugary, open-faced southern pies, not those staid, double-crusted New England fruit pies. The one mid-Atlantic/New England sweet I adore is whoopie pies. I get them when I'm in PA but have heard that they originated in ME. Come to think of it, has CI ever published a whoopie pie recipe? Or would that be Cook's Country?

                                                    1. re: Erika L

                                                      They have a woopie pie recipe on their Cooks County TV website that is free to access. You just have to enter your e-mail address to get access.


                                                    2. re: blkery

                                                      Why would they be biasing their recipes to the east if they are not writing regional cookbooks? I know they are based in Boston, but I bet their staff comes from all over the country. Their volunteer recipe testers come from all over the country. Perhaps they are going for across-the-board acceptance for tastes across the country?

                                                      1. re: blkery

                                                        I've always thought their reviewers were [too] young and had less sophisticated palates.

                                                      2. I received a copy of CI's "The Quick Recipe" as a gift and have never even cracked the cover (but won't get rid of it either, because it was a gift.) If anyone has any recipes to recommend from this book, I would be most appreciative, if DishDelish doesn't mind the slight departure of her topic.

                                                        Thanks in advance!


                                                        3 Replies
                                                        1. re: The Dairy Queen

                                                          Hey, I also love cooking light. ;) I have some of those recipes in my dozens of CL's. I have had some luck cooking a couple of the quick recipes, but I don't know which ones are in your book.

                                                          1. re: DishDelish

                                                            No, no, no, not Cooking Light,

                                                            Cooks Illustrated ("CI") "The Quick Recipe" book. "The Quick Recipe" is also part of Cooks Illustrated "Best Recipes" series...


                                                            1. re: The Dairy Queen

                                                              Ohhh, lol, I thought you meant Cooking Light since you said it was off subject. I don't think The Quick Recipe Cooks Illustrated book is off subject. I want people to talk about all of their fav. Cook's Illustrated recipes regardless of what book or magazine they come from so we can all help each other find the best of the best. ;)

                                                        2. Yes! A new, interesting post - thanks DD!!
                                                          The Shrimp Tempura is the best I've ever had. The batter uses vodka and seltzer water.
                                                          There are many, many others I'll get back with you on.

                                                          1 Reply
                                                          1. re: bayoucook

                                                            YW! I've never tried their shrimp recipes. This sounds delicious, shrimp is one of my favorite things. Thanks bayou!

                                                          2. Melissa - I found all those recipes online except for the Ranch dressing (I'll give it another try) - those are some great recipes - thanks! -Paula

                                                            2 Replies
                                                            1. re: bayoucook

                                                              From Cook's Illustrated "The Best Recipe American Classics" cookbook
                                                              and The Cook's Country Cookbook, this

                                                              **** paraphrased recipe ****

                                                              Ranch Dressing

                                                              Makes about 3/4 cup

                                                              This recipe will coat 3 quarts (6 servings) of salad greens.

                                                              1/2 small clove garlic, peeled
                                                              1/4 teaspoon salt
                                                              1/4 small red bell pepper, minced (about 1 tablespoon)
                                                              1 medium scallion, white and green parts, minced
                                                              1 small shallot, minced (about 1/2 tablespoon)
                                                              1-1/2 teaspoons minced fresh parsley leaves
                                                              1/2 teaspoon minced fresh cilantro leaves
                                                              1/2 teaspoon lemon juice
                                                              Pinch ground black pepper
                                                              1/4 cup buttermilk
                                                              1/4 cup mayonnaise
                                                              2 tablespoons sour cream

                                                              Chop garlic with knife on cutting board.
                                                              Sprinkle chopped garlic with salt. Drag
                                                              side of chef's knife over garlic / salt
                                                              mixture until it forms a smooth paste.

                                                              Mix garlic paste, minced bell pepper,
                                                              minced scallion, minced shallot, minced parsley,
                                                              minced cilantro, lemon juice and ground black
                                                              pepper in a mixing bowl.

                                                              Add buttermilk, mayonnaise and sour cream.

                                                              Whisk combined ingredients until smooth.

                                                              Can be kept in fridge up to 4 days in an
                                                              airtight container.

                                                            2. A couple just off the top of my head, both from the magazine:

                                                              Mexican Rice
                                                              Chocolate Caramel Walnut Tart

                                                              1. Chicken Tikka Masala
                                                                French Pot Roast
                                                                Almost No-Knead Bread

                                                                10 Replies
                                                                1. re: bayoucook

                                                                  Do you remember what book or magazine you got the bread recipe from? That sounds like something I would like to try. =)

                                                                  1. re: DishDelish

                                                                    Don't remember which magazines - but they're all online. The almost no-knead bread is simply amazing. It's baked in a Dutch oven!

                                                                    1. re: bayoucook

                                                                      I love me some carbs! ;) Mmmmm, this looks delightful. I have been looking for a Dutch Oven on Amazon since I don't yet have one. Do you have a recommendations?

                                                                      1. re: DishDelish

                                                                        If they still sell it, the 5-quart enameled one from Target. I'm pretty sure it was going to be a limited run but it became quite popular when CI said it was almost as good as Le Creuset for a fraction of the price. I see on their website that they now sell a 6.5 quart one that says it's available only online. Go with that one, it's only 50 bucks. I used to use a Lodge Dutch oven but it hasn't seen the light of day since I got the enameled one.

                                                                        1. re: JK Grence the Cosmic Jester

                                                                          And we just got Target last year. =) If they don't have it I'll check Amazon. Thanks!

                                                                        2. re: DishDelish

                                                                          I'm still using the beat-up (kind of) Le Crueset Dutch oven I got in the '70s.
                                                                          Bought a cast-iron one at Target that I love, too. I'm thinking of getting an 8-qt one for gumbos and stews.

                                                                          1. re: DishDelish

                                                                            I bought a Cuisinart dutch oven a couple of years ago and it's every bit as good as the Le Creuset I used to have . . . and a lot less $$$.

                                                                            1. re: DishDelish

                                                                              Check out Costco, they have a great one for under $ 40.

                                                                              1. re: Doña Olga

                                                                                Thanks! I haven't yet added this to my set of kitchenware and I love a deal! I will check it out.

                                                                        3. not all cooks recipes have held on to favorite status over the years. some that have include--

                                                                          whole wheat sandwich bread
                                                                          cole slaw
                                                                          pie crust w/vodka (recent)

                                                                          and yes, the chicken picatta is good, isn't it.

                                                                          6 Replies
                                                                          1. re: silverhawk

                                                                            Did they say why vodka was used in the crust? What kind of difference did it make in your crust?

                                                                            1. re: DishDelish

                                                                              alcohol does not encourage gluten formation as water does, but still adds moisture that makes the dough easy to role out. essentially you get a workable dough w/o sacrificing the flakiness that would follow from the gluten created by a comparable quantity of water. any drinkable, distilled alcohol would address the workability issue but vodka doesn't flavor the dough and it is pretty common.

                                                                              1. re: silverhawk

                                                                                Very interesting. I'm going to mention this to my Mom who makes a great crust. =) She has told me that it is getting to be more difficult though with the change in shortening as I just mentioned to DebL. =)

                                                                                1. re: DishDelish

                                                                                  Just FYI- there are several threads on this topic if you want more info and to hear from a lot of folks who have tried it (before you give it a go).

                                                                                  I didn't really care for it, but I don't have a problem with pastry- I think it's a nice fix for people who have a harder time with crust.

                                                                                  And my two cents (all from the mags): the quick chicken enchiladas are really fantastic; the 45-min bolognese is excellent, but not good enough to justify the time/labor/dirty dishes; the blueberry pie (with a grated apple to hold it together) is truly a keeper, and the only recipe I use.

                                                                                  1. re: happybellynh

                                                                                    Thanks happy. It probably wouldn't be a good idea for my Mother then, especially since her pie crust is already heavenly. =)

                                                                            2. re: silverhawk

                                                                              I've been using the vodka crust...love it.

                                                                            3. I totally agree that their biscuit recipe is amazing. Doing 'turns" like puff pastry was a bit of a revelation for me at the time.

                                                                              2 Replies
                                                                              1. re: afoodyear

                                                                                Same here. I confess that I ate way too much the night I made them too. They were soo good. =)

                                                                                1. re: afoodyear

                                                                                  is the recipe for their biscuits posted somewhere or can someone paraphrase it

                                                                                2. The ones that really stick out in my mind are strawberry shortcake and pecan pie. One that I almost feel strange mentioning is their tuna salad recipe. Tuna salad is one of those things that doesn't seem like it needs a recipe, but there's little techniques that make all the difference, such as draining out the tuna in a strainer instead of just squishing the can lid, and seasoning the tuna before adding mayo. It really is a wonderful tuna salad.

                                                                                  If you want a good hummus recipe, the one out of Sarah Leah Chase's Nantucket Open-House Cookbook is a winner. I make it all the time and it always gets mad raves.

                                                                                  1 Reply
                                                                                  1. re: JK Grence the Cosmic Jester

                                                                                    It was the exact same thing with the guacamole ... which is why I always include the tips I received on handling the avocado and make up my own recipe. =) Hummus is another thing that I rarely look at a recipe for except to see if anyone came up with some new twist on it. I'll check out that recipe. Thanks. ;)

                                                                                  2. From the Best Light Recipe, which is a great book:
                                                                                    - The onion dip is very nice, a bit bland so I always add extra seasoning.
                                                                                    - I really like their stir-fry technique, and have made a few different stir-fry sauces. The technique results in a very fresh and bright tasting stir-fry, even though you have to use a ton of bowls to prep everything. The curry is the best.
                                                                                    - Restaurant-Style Hummus - I finally achieved the texture I'd been seeking using their technique. Light and fluffy, not grainy at all. Very good, and no more experimenting!
                                                                                    The Family Cookbook:
                                                                                    - Meatballs from the spaghetti and meatballs recipe - the best I've had. We couldn't stop saying "these are SO good" all through the meal. The secret was bread soaked in buttermilk. They also froze well.

                                                                                    1 Reply
                                                                                    1. re: sgogo

                                                                                      Mmmmm, I love curry. I'm going to try that. It is very rare for a cookbook to get curry right. =)

                                                                                    2. Best Cook's Illustrated: Fresh Margarita-I modestly admit I am FAMOUS for my margarita's and I owe it all to this recipe from many years ago

                                                                                      Worst Cook's Illustrated: French Onion Soup-hours of taking a pot in and out of oven, while stirring onions to carmelize and so vastly inferior in the end to Julia Child's version which is a long, slow stove-top carmelization.

                                                                                      5 Replies
                                                                                      1. re: LJS

                                                                                        This is how I do my onions, I have never added wine though. I googled the recipe by the way, and here it is. Looks good from this blogger who made the soup. =)


                                                                                        1. re: LJS

                                                                                          Oh the CI Margarita! So freaking good... Of course I am 8 months pregnant right now... so no go.

                                                                                          1. re: LJS

                                                                                            I totally agree about the onion soup. I was so disappointed.

                                                                                            1. re: LJS

                                                                                              I disagree about the onion soup. It's brilliant and easy.

                                                                                              1. re: LJS

                                                                                                Yeah I was really disappointed with the onion soup too - way too much work for what you get.

                                                                                              2. I love their Easy Multigrain Sandwich Bread. I know posting their recipes is a no-no but you can find it by Googling "Cooks Illustrated Easy Multigrain Bread." The blog listed 3 results down looks right on, though I upped the total seed count to 1 C, my preference is half pepitas half sunflower seeds.

                                                                                                It is the easiest, most fool-proof yeast bread I have ever made. It is also one of my favorites.

                                                                                                1. From the Best Recipe cookbook I learned a neat trick for making cream pies (chocolate cream, banana cream, coconut cream, etc). Instead of putting the hot filling directly into your crust, pour it into a separate pie plate, then when it's cool, spoon it into your crust. It keeps the crusts real crisp.
                                                                                                  I also use the white rice recipe which calls for sauteing 1 cup rice in a little oil, add 1.5 cup water, bring only to a boil, cover, cook on low 15 min. Turn off heat, leave covered another 15 min. et voila! Perfect rice. You can even let it sit covered while you finish the rest of your meal and it is still perfect.

                                                                                                  1. I don't have the book compilations you mention, but I cook from the magazine a good bit. Most of these will be available either at the website or could be googled up, I hope. Some off the top of my head that I've enjoyed and repeated:

                                                                                                    Frozen Yogurt, with flavor variations, is a strained yogurt and gelatin based recipe, and the texture is very good even with lowfat yogurt. I think this one was from the late nineties.

                                                                                                    Muesli Pancakes, as my mother loves these, especially on a tray in bed on Mother's Day!

                                                                                                    BBQ Pulled Chicken is pretty darned close to what I used to eat when I lived in North Carolina, if just a little sweeter. Good recipe for bbq neophytes, although it is a bit involved, but what good bbq isn't?

                                                                                                    The fluffly oatmeal technique from a 2003 issue, I use a lot in winter when I'm tired of the same old oatmeal. You parboil, then steam rolled oats, for a unique oatmeal.

                                                                                                    Spicy chicken stir fry with bok choy and crispy noodle cake is a great recipe for those who haven't cooked much Chinese food at home, but want to try something other than rice and kung pao. My mom loves it.

                                                                                                    Molasses spice cookies and the oatmeal cookie variation with dates instead of raisins, both are keepers.

                                                                                                    Chicken Paprikash

                                                                                                    Hot Fudge Pudding Cake has a crackly top and soft cake with a gooey layer underneath, rich and delicious.

                                                                                                    Salmon Cakes with fresh salmon are worth the extra expense.

                                                                                                    Mushroom Lasagna, which is a special occasion recipe, because it's such a PITA to slice, brush with olive oil, and roast all those portobellos, make sauces, grate cheese, and make my own noodles. It's good, though.

                                                                                                    I compiled two chicken pot pie recipes, one a skillet recipe, the other I don't recall so well, but together and fiddled with, they make a good quick weeknight chicken pot pie if you have the crust in the freezer. I keep the vodka pie crust already rolled to fit a ten inch skillet and frozen in wintertime, for this specific purpose. You can also use it for a skillet cobbler.

                                                                                                    Turkey burgers with ricotta cheese

                                                                                                    Brining instructions are reliable in CI, especially that they break down the kosher salt by brand, letting you know which are denser and will measure differently by volume. I use them each year to brine the Thanksgiving or Christmas bird, but I use Alton Brown's additions, too.

                                                                                                    Oh, and one that was a disaster: blueberry muffins with sour cream. Horrible texture, will never make these again. Dense little messes, and no, I didn't over mix the batter.

                                                                                                    2 Replies
                                                                                                      1. re: amyzan

                                                                                                        Completely agree on the Pulled Pork BBQ! I've made it many times to wide acclaim. The mustard bbq sauce and the cole slaw that accompany the pulled pork recipe are also outstanding.

                                                                                                      2. The stir fry recipes in "The Best 30 Min Recipe" (or something like that) are crap.

                                                                                                        But the stir fry recipes such as beef and broccoli or pork and string beans in TNBR are very good. I cook them a lot.

                                                                                                        Chili from TNBR is my standby.

                                                                                                        I always enjoy the marinades in TNBR, such as the ones for flank steak or pork tenderloin. There's an asian-inspired marinade for pork tenderloin that I use on pork chops and then grill and it reminds me of Vietnamese BBQ pork.

                                                                                                        4 Replies
                                                                                                        1. re: MrsCheese

                                                                                                          I recently came across the BEST flank steak marinade ever! My family went crazy for it. Next time I will use a 3 or 3.5 lb. steak because it was gone in a flash!

                                                                                                          • 2 pounds Flank Steak
                                                                                                          • ½ cups Soy Sauce (you Can Use Low Sodium If You Like)
                                                                                                          • ⅓ cups Olive Oil
                                                                                                          • ¼ cups Worcestershire Sauce
                                                                                                          • 2 Tablespoons Brown Sugar
                                                                                                          • 3 cloves Minced Garlic
                                                                                                          • 2 Tablespoons Chopped Green Onion
                                                                                                          • 1-½ teaspoon Cracked Black Pepper (more Or Less To Taste)
                                                                                                          • 2 teaspoons Balsamic Vinegar

                                                                                                          Preparation Instructions

                                                                                                          1. Add soy sauce, olive oil, Worcestershire sauce, brown sugar, garlic and green onion to a bowl and whisk well to combine.

                                                                                                          2. Remove 1/4 of a cup of the marinade and place in a small bowl and set aside.

                                                                                                          3. Place flank steak in a large Ziploc bag and add marinade to the bag, seal to close.

                                                                                                          4. Place the steak in the refrigerator for at least 4 hours. The longer you can marinate this, the better; I suggest marinating it overnight or even for up to 2 days.

                                                                                                          5. To the remaining 1/4 cup of marinade you removed, add the balsamic vinegar, cover and set aside until you are ready to serve.

                                                                                                          6. When ready to cook, heat your grill or grill pan, remove the steak from the bag and discard marinade.

                                                                                                          7. Grill steak for 5-7 minutes per side depending on your desired doneness. Remove from the grill and cover with foil and let the steak rest for at least 5-10 minutes. The resting is VERY important, don’t skip this step!!

                                                                                                          8. See the lines in the steak? The lines are the grain. DON’T cut the steak with the grain of the meat. Cut the steak thinly against the grain of the meat. That way, it will be tender and delicious! Pour the balsamic sauce over the steak and serve.

                                                                                                          1. re: sahm2three

                                                                                                            That marinade sounds really good. Thanks for posting it.

                                                                                                            1. re: sahm2three

                                                                                                              Flank Steak Marinade - I see you posted this quite some time ago, but would just like to thank you for it...I am just now getting around to reading the CI thread.

                                                                                                              How do you serve this flank steak - with flour tortillas or in a stir fry or what?

                                                                                                              1. re: cstout

                                                                                                                You could put it in tortillas, but we just eat it by itself with some rice and a side salad.

                                                                                                          2. Tall and fluffy biscuits
                                                                                                            Free form fruit tart
                                                                                                            Oven fries
                                                                                                            Roasted green beans
                                                                                                            Creme brulle
                                                                                                            Pie crust (the vodka recipe)

                                                                                                            All standard fare in my kitchen now.

                                                                                                            17 Replies
                                                                                                            1. re: Brandon Nelson

                                                                                                              Oh yes, the green beans are delicious! =)

                                                                                                              1. re: DishDelish

                                                                                                                Turns less than great beans into something worth eating for sure.

                                                                                                                1. re: Brandon Nelson

                                                                                                                  I tried the vodka pie crust and wasn't thrilled with it - was too tender to roll and get picked up off the board and into the pan, andtook forever to cook through in the oven (started at 425 and went to 350 for a 9" cherry pie). Followed the recipe cloesly and do not know what went wrong. Pie crust is my nemesis and I had such high hopes for this...

                                                                                                                  1. re: buttertart

                                                                                                                    PS don't care for the baked texture, expected flaky and got something much closer to a commercial frozen piecrust...

                                                                                                                    1. re: buttertart

                                                                                                                      Good to know; I've been meaning to try the vodka crust.
                                                                                                                      Pie crust is also my nemesis. I've tried so many versions and techniques. We love pie, too, both savory and sweet. So far, the Pillsbury refrigerator rolled crusts are better than most I've made. But I'm still searching.

                                                                                                                      1. re: nomadchowwoman

                                                                                                                        It's particularly galling to me because my mother could just about wave her fingers in the air and conjure up the best piecrust you could lay tooth to (used lard, flaky ++). I found a Nick Malgieri recipe on CH - I think posted by Candy - that made a good crust and was very easy to handle but lost it and it's out of searching range by now. The ones in his books are not quite the same.

                                                                                                                        1. re: buttertart

                                                                                                                          I made successful crusts a few times from Shirley Corriher's Cookwise, but they were so involved, and I came to resent having to use ingredients like Wondra, graham cracker crumbs, sour cream and whole milk in a flippin' pie crust!

                                                                                                                          1. re: nomadchowwoman

                                                                                                                            I was using Rose Levy Beranbaum's cream cheese one for a while and liked it but don't always have cream cheese on hand. Know what you mean about special ingredients.

                                                                                                                          2. re: nomadchowwoman

                                                                                                                            Try the Vodka crust, it really is fantastic. If you don't have it hear it is.

                                                                                                                            1. re: mlukan

                                                                                                                              Did you not have the problems buttertart describes? I always wonder, too, how much climate has to do w/the success (or lack thereof) in piecrusts.

                                                                                                                              1. re: nomadchowwoman

                                                                                                                                I have made it several times and never had an issue with it. I agree that climate may have a lot to do with the success rate. People are either amazed with the results or sorely disappointed. It would be worth trying IMHO.

                                                                                                                                1. re: mlukan

                                                                                                                                  The creator of the recipe told me that the people that are going to have the hardest time with it are people that already make a good crust the traditional way. It goes against all the usual pie making advice.

                                                                                                                                  I have never liked it. I might have if I hadn't already taught myself the hard way.

                                                                                                                                  1. re: Becca Porter

                                                                                                                                    That vodka crust makes the best pie crust I've ever had. Extremely flaky. I use all butter and I pulse the food processor until I still see pea sized flakes of butter. The problems that I think people are having are probably related to overprocessing the fat with the flour, especially the problem of it having a texture like a commercial crust.

                                                                                                                          3. re: buttertart

                                                                                                                            I still use the same technique and recipe I always have for my pie crusts, but after reading the CI vodka recipe, I started subbing about half of the liquid with vodka. It's brilliant and helps the process go much more smoothly, and *also* lets you cut the butter/shortening to the appropriate size to get a nice, flaky crust (rather than a mealy one).

                                                                                                                      2. I cannot say I have found any best recipes per se, but rather I have found some methods or techniques I have learned from reading Cooks Illustrated that has changed the way I prepare foods. The most notable information that has been their findings on the best ways to achieve moist tender meats when roasting......which is the slow roast, low temperature method @ 225*. I used this method exclusively for Prime Rib Roast, Pork Shoulder. Loin Roast and Fresh Hams, Turkey and Cheaper Beef Cuts, e.g., Chuck Roasts. Top butt sirloin and Flap Meats. Recently, I tried the pre-salting of the Eye round for 24 hours and slow roasting the next day to medium-rare temperature.....very tender and flavorful for a cut of meat I normally would not purchase....but will now consider when it goes on sale.

                                                                                                                        I've been slow roasting now for about 10 years.....my family truly appreciates the results at the holiday dinner table......moist turkey....what an enjoyable concept.

                                                                                                                        2 Replies
                                                                                                                        1. re: fourunder

                                                                                                                          We had good results with our Turkey when we slow roasted as well. =)

                                                                                                                          1. re: fourunder

                                                                                                                            Does anyone know what they call flap meat in Austin? I can't find anything that seems to come close.

                                                                                                                          2. The one recipe I make over and over is for the crab cakes from TNBR. To me, it is the definitive recipe since it is almost all crab with very little binder. Excellent recipe!

                                                                                                                            1. From the show (America's Test Kitchen), it would have to be the Slow-Roasted Beef from the Episode, "Resurrecting the Roast Beef Dinner" - http://www.americastestkitchen.com/re....

                                                                                                                              From the magazine, it's definitely their "Perfect Lemon Tart" from January 2000 - http://www.cooksillustrated.com/recip...

                                                                                                                              1 Reply
                                                                                                                              1. re: Deenso

                                                                                                                                I saw a similar recipe on CI and about the same time my grocery store had a sale of Angus rump roast. I figured it was divine intervention. It was great. It had been years since I had had sliced roast, mashed potatoes and beef gravy. Two days later I had hot beef open faced sandwiches with mashed potatoes and gravy. I pot roasted mine low and slow in a dutch oven. Used Beef broth enhanced with redi-base beef base for a braising liquid. I had deglazed the oven after searing with a cup of red wine. I added onions and garlic to the braising liquid. I then put it in the oven at 300 for about 4 hours.

                                                                                                                              2. Shrimp Scampi from the website is my go to weeknight meal:


                                                                                                                                2 Replies
                                                                                                                                  1. re: tiramasue

                                                                                                                                    Wonder if that's the same as the Shrimp Scampi for a Crowd from the magazine? This is a long time favorite - had it last Friday night! We have a big family (usually 6-7 around the table), and this recipe means we can all eat when it's hot.
                                                                                                                                    Other big favorites (all from magazines but available on line):
                                                                                                                                    Smoky Scalloped Potatoes (with two cups smoked gouda - amazing)
                                                                                                                                    Fried Rice
                                                                                                                                    Creamy Ravioli Bake

                                                                                                                                  2. I have so many of their books that I can't keep track of what's in which. Here's but a small sampling of my favorite recipes that I think are in the New Best book: the American potato salad, the tomato sauce for pasta,the pie crust recipe, the pecan bars, the salmon cakes, the oven baked french fries (that's not the name, but that's what they amount to). It might be better to say what I don't like of theirs: cornbread, zucchini bread, mac 'n' cheese--I didn't like any of these.

                                                                                                                                    2 Replies
                                                                                                                                    1. re: PAO

                                                                                                                                      That reminds me, I tried their cornbread too and didn't like it. I love my Mothers recipe too much. =)

                                                                                                                                      1. re: PAO

                                                                                                                                        I was recently given this recipe for mac 'n cheese that is easy and creamy. Even though it won't look like it's doing anything when you put the pasta in, don't worry, it all comes together.

                                                                                                                                        Cuisine at Home's Macaroni & Cheese
                                                                                                                                        (from Slow Cooker Menus)

                                                                                                                                        Makes 6 cups

                                                                                                                                        3 cups shredded Cheddar Cheese (12oz)
                                                                                                                                        1 cups shredded provolone (4oz)
                                                                                                                                        1 ½ cups whole milk
                                                                                                                                        1 ½ cups heavy cream
                                                                                                                                        2 teaspoons kosher salt
                                                                                                                                        1 teaspoon black pepper
                                                                                                                                        1 teaspoon dry mustard
                                                                                                                                        2 cup dry elbow macaroni
                                                                                                                                        8 oz sour cream

                                                                                                                                        Combine cheddar, provolone, milk, cream, salt, pepper, and mustard in a 4-6qt slow cooker. Cover; cook on low-heat setting for 1hr.

                                                                                                                                        Stir in macaroni and sour cream. Cover; cook on low-heat setting for an additional 1 hr.

                                                                                                                                      2. Roasted rosemary garlic chicken (over potatoes). They are pro-brining the bird before cooking and it turned out great.

                                                                                                                                        7 Replies
                                                                                                                                        1. re: lochan

                                                                                                                                          I think this might be the one I mentioned up-thread that I made several times - is it split open and roasted on top of the spuds?

                                                                                                                                          1. re: cinnamon girl

                                                                                                                                            i think you are thinking of the Crisp-Skin High-Roast Butterflied Chicken with Potatoes. It is excellent. very fast way to cook a whole chickent, super moist, and so tasty because of the butter under the skin. I just do it in a casserole dish b/c it smokes up the house if i do it over the potatoes. Also, i don't really want potatoes that are soaking in chicken fat...but they were delicious when i made them.

                                                                                                                                            1. re: ismith999

                                                                                                                                              That could be it. I remember roasting it a high temp. But I didn't put butter under the skin, nor did they call for it. Often I put the chicken on a broiler pan with the potatoes in the underneath part, foil-lined. Only the fat that made it thru the slats in the broiler top got thru' to the spuds below so they weren't so greasy. The recipe said to drizzle w olive oil, which I did but they would still stick ... so you have to stir them around a few times during baking. But as you say very fast. Abt 45 mins for a 3-lb chicken.

                                                                                                                                              1. re: ismith999

                                                                                                                                                LOVE this chicken recipe! Total comfort food!

                                                                                                                                                1. re: StaffyOwner

                                                                                                                                                  I'm going to try this ... I keep reading about it in my book (and still haven't tried it) and I've been trying to figure out what to do with my chicken, and this will be it. Thank you for the reminder. :)

                                                                                                                                                  1. re: DishDelish

                                                                                                                                                    DD, if you do try it I strongly recommend the rack over potatoes. They are sooooo good. Even more delicious is to slice or coarsely chop some onions to mix with the potatoes before cooking. I use the compound butter with dijon, herbs and garlic under the skin, and it's really good. I also take the chicken out and let it rest for a few minutes while I let the potatoes brown a bit more. I must say, though, that I've had trouble with the skin not staying crisp even when I've done the overnight drying in the fridge. Still fabulous, though.

                                                                                                                                                    1. re: bear

                                                                                                                                                      wow, thank you for the extra tips!! :) That compound butter idea sounds delish!

                                                                                                                                          2. The cold-oil method french fries From the magazine is now standard in our household, and the Blueberry Boy Bait cake from the Family Baking Book is great - it stays moist several days. Still exploring the baking book.

                                                                                                                                            1. I was looking at the recipe for Shrimp Scampi, and I see it has vermouth as one of the ingredients. I don't usually have a bottle of vermouth hanging around, so I wonder if the recipe really needs the vermouth? What does it add, and can I omit it or substitute something else?

                                                                                                                                              10 Replies
                                                                                                                                              1. re: bxgirl

                                                                                                                                                If you do consider purchasing a bottle of vermouth, something that many people are afraid of since it has been known to ruin drinks and dishes, here is a very interesting article talking about the proper care of vermouth to prevent it from going stale. It could actually make your shrimp scampi taste great if you decide to go this route.

                                                                                                                                                Otherwise, if you do substitute, someone posted a similar question about vermouth substitutes on the cooks illustrated board and there are some great answers.

                                                                                                                                                1. re: DishDelish

                                                                                                                                                  Thanks so much for the reply and the links. Very helpful.

                                                                                                                                                  1. re: bxgirl

                                                                                                                                                    Your very welcome! ;) Please let us know what you do and how it turns out when you make it.

                                                                                                                                                    1. re: DishDelish

                                                                                                                                                      I did make the scampi for dinner last night, and I did break down and buy vermouth. The scampi came out very well, but,honestly, I can't say I tasted the vemouth, or that it added anything to the dish. Maybe it is just a subtle flavor, that I couldn't detect.
                                                                                                                                                      Now I'm on the case of finding other recipes that call for vermouth, since I now have a bottle of the stuff!!! Any suggestions?

                                                                                                                                                      1. re: bxgirl

                                                                                                                                                        You can use it in anything you would use white wine in (of a savory nature).

                                                                                                                                                        1. re: bxgirl

                                                                                                                                                          Do you like Martinis? Otherwise, buttertart is right. =)
                                                                                                                                                          So you recommend the scampi then?

                                                                                                                                                          1. re: DishDelish

                                                                                                                                                            At 7:1 gin:vermouth it would take tee many martoonies to use up!

                                                                                                                                                    2. re: DishDelish

                                                                                                                                                      Thanks for the serious eats vermouth link . . . most interesting. Now I need to find MORE room in my fridge . . . :-( . . . lol

                                                                                                                                                      1. re: cinnamon girl

                                                                                                                                                        I hear ya! There is never enough room in mine as it is, lol!

                                                                                                                                                    3. re: bxgirl

                                                                                                                                                      You could use marsala wine or maybe madiera. I keep a bottle of each in the pantry for cooking.

                                                                                                                                                    4. They have an excellent meatloaf recipe (I'll never use a loaf pan again) and a really great cheese lasagna dish. And I use their marinades over and over - lemon and garlic, garlic and herb, asian, southwestern - on beef, lamb and chicken.

                                                                                                                                                      The worst recipe of theirs I ever made was actually a 'tester' recipe - they have a volunteer home-cook test program. This was for a bread-tomato-basil salad that was very time-intensive with only a bleh result. I've never seen it in print so I assume I wasn't the only tester that didn't like it.

                                                                                                                                                      The tester program is pretty interesting, provided you don't mind grilling in December or making winter squash soup in June because of their editorial deadlines. It's completely volunteer and you can opt out of any recipe (I've only tested two recipes but have probably received a dozen or so requests over the last three years). I see calls for testers occasionally on their web site if anyone's interested.

                                                                                                                                                      1. I agree that there is an overall sweet bias--not to my taste. That said, I've made several of the desserts with success, notably the lemon tart. And I have gotten a lot of useful feedback on food products and appliances and some useful tips. But by far, my favorite recipe/technique, which had the most to do with keeping me a subscriber is their "perfect pork roast," in the May/June 1995 issue (for the lean pork loin that would often dry by the time it was cooked even to 140-150 internal temp.): the meat is roasted at high heat (475F) for 30 minutes, then rested on the counter for 30 minutes, then returned to a low oven (325) until done. I have passed on this technique to countless friends and relatives who have raved about my moist pork roast. This one recipe has been worth the subscription cost all these years.

                                                                                                                                                        4 Replies
                                                                                                                                                        1. re: nomadchowwoman

                                                                                                                                                          NomadChowWoman, the "perfect pork roast" sounds great. Do you brine your pork loin roasts? CI usually brines their pork loin roasts (but maybe not in 1995).

                                                                                                                                                          After you return the pork loin roast to the low oven (325 F), what internal temperature are you aiming for when the pork loin roast is done?

                                                                                                                                                          Thanks in advance.

                                                                                                                                                          1. re: Norm Man

                                                                                                                                                            Sorry so late to answer; I'm just seeing your question.
                                                                                                                                                            No, this recipe doesn't call for brining, which likely would improve it if done correctly (most of my attempts at brining have failed *sigh*). I aim for 140-150, and then, of course, it cooks a bit more as it rests. According to the CI explanantion, the early high heat "seals" in the juices, and during the rest following the high heat the juices are redistributed throughout the roast. Then the meat cooks gently in low heat, not giving up all its moisture, until done.
                                                                                                                                                            It works is all I can say, and it was a revelation. Maybe, however, proper brining would obviate this process.

                                                                                                                                                            1. re: nomadchowwoman

                                                                                                                                                              I'm curious to know in what they fail? Or maybe you're just being unduly self-critical, Mz Nomad. There are variations on brining that I find as good or better than the full deal. Frankly most recipes insist on far too long of brine period IMO. For example, the other day I cooked turkey thighs (quite large) and just brined for 2 hrs at room temp. They were perfect. Didn't even bother w a recipe. (The best judge is the next day when you eat a piece of it cold and you tell how well the brine salted and "herbed" the meat - if you added herbs; this time it was rosemary.)

                                                                                                                                                              Also, in keeping with old practices of salting a bird inside and out or coating thoroughly a piece of meat, I've done variations on this to good success. So for example, I might rinse chicken pieces or pork chops, coat well w salt, let it sit (at room temp), while getting the other things ready, rinse well, pat dry and continue. Even these mini-brines work well in producing a moisture finished product. For steak, I'll wet it w/ Worcestershire, coat it with salt - the salt pulls in some of the wooster sauce flavour. Half and hour to an hour is plenty of time at room temp. The key for me, is to get it wet first, and let the salt draw the moisture into the meat. (The Zuni Cafe book inspired me to pre-salt beef more often, contrary to conventional wisdom.) Hope you'll give it another try, Nomad.

                                                                                                                                                            2. re: Norm Man

                                                                                                                                                              I always brine pork, chicken and poultry. I cook a lot of pork chops from the loin but don't usually cook a loin roast. I cook a lot of pork tenderloin. It's cheaper than ground beef.

                                                                                                                                                              As far as temperature, I don't want my pork very rare. I think I prefer somewhere between medium and medium well. Just a little on the pink side. I cook mine to about 148 to 150 then wrap it in aluminum foil to rest for 10 minutes. Usually rises another 7-10 degrees.

                                                                                                                                                          2. I'm a fool for the magazine, cookbooks, limited edition magazines, tv show, website. Due to recent "hard times" in my household, though, I haven't been able to keep up with newer books and canceled my web subscription, but I do browse the magazine and troll the internet for new recipes.

                                                                                                                                                            - Spaghetti & Meatballs, both the ground beef/pork and ground turkey versions. Actually, I probably make the ground turkey version more often. Can't really detect a huge taste difference and definitely no texture difference, really a brilliant lower-calorie version. It was featured in The Light Recipe magazine.
                                                                                                                                                            - Portobello Mushroom, Bok Choy & Carrot stir-fry - Also in the Light Recipe magazine.
                                                                                                                                                            - Cream biscuits, seriously good.
                                                                                                                                                            - Creme Brulee
                                                                                                                                                            - Chicken under a brick, which, I think, is the same recipe you are referring to...butterflied chicken over potatoes...started off seared in a hot pan under "bricks", then potatoes thrown under and the whole thing goes into the oven for a while. Schmaltz-y potatoes are a good thing.
                                                                                                                                                            - Shrimp Fra Diavolo. I am not a huge fan of shrimp, but this dish has enough garlic and red pepper flakes that I get over the fact this is shrimp. Oh, and did I mention it's served over PASTA...I'm a sucker for pasta.
                                                                                                                                                            - Spaghetti alla carbonara - mostly good techniques here because most recipes are quite similar. Although, I believe this one omits cream, which is arguably, a sin to add to this recipe in Rome.
                                                                                                                                                            - Sausage, mushroom and egg Strata. Oh. My. God. one of the best breakfast dishes I ever did eat.
                                                                                                                                                            - Strawberries with balsamic vinegar. Yeah, this is a simple idea, but sometimes simplicity needs a recipe. This has been our go-to dessert this summer with freshly whipped cream.
                                                                                                                                                            - Strawberry Shortcake. The shortcakes are huge, but really really good.
                                                                                                                                                            - Baby Back Ribs. This is my go-to recipe for ribs. It's how I learned to smoke meat. The rub is spicy and flavorful. I receive many requests for them. In fact, may make these again this weekend.
                                                                                                                                                            - Bolognese (from the older Italian Classics) - YUM and so worth the time.
                                                                                                                                                            - Chicken Noodle Soup - Calls for a whole chicken, but you only use the breast meat in the soup, the legs/thighs/wings and backbone are chopped into pieces and used for a quick broth, which is quite flavorful. The only real modification is that I add 2x as many veggies and extra noodles.
                                                                                                                                                            - Smashed Potatoes - Some of the most flavorful potatoes I've eaten, calls for red potatoes, cream cheese, left-over potato water, a bit of milk and green onions. The potatoes are boiled in salted water and bay leaves.
                                                                                                                                                            - Pork Tenderloin medallions wrapped in bacon with a Maple (I think) sauce - haven't made this recently because my husband didn't want to eat any pork for a while, but it is a memorable dish.
                                                                                                                                                            - Chicken Piccata - enough said.
                                                                                                                                                            - Fish & Chips - the french fry method here is genious, microwave the potatoes in oil for a few minutes before frying. That way the fish and chips are done at the same time.
                                                                                                                                                            - Thin Crust Pizza - almost make this weekly (at least 2x per month). I make the cheese version (but use a bit less cheese than called for). After the pizza has baked, I top it with proscuitto and arugula lightly dressed with olive oil, lemon juice, salt & pepper. Really, really good. My husband won't eat pizza from anywhere else now.

                                                                                                                                                            - Dark chocolate cupcakes, issues, issues, issues. I consider myself to be an accomplished baker (I've made wedding, anniversary and birthday cakes to order.) but this recipe is a FAIL for me. The taste is good, but the cupcakes do not bake up correctly. Tried them 2 or 3 times, in two different ovens, in two different climates. Each time, SAME problem...the cupcakes do not rise upward and overflow, making a cupcake mess.
                                                                                                                                                            - Cuban-style pork roast, meat was not as flavorful as I had hoped...and I didn't want to rely on the accompanying sauce for all the flavor.
                                                                                                                                                            - Smoked Turkey - wanted to love this, but I think I just don't like the flavor of smoked turkey.
                                                                                                                                                            - Light-version of the meaty lasagne - Just didn't do it for me.
                                                                                                                                                            - Minestrone Soup - just OK
                                                                                                                                                            - Black Bean Soup - older recipe from the TV show. I am very interested in trying the updated version mentioned above.
                                                                                                                                                            - Short Ribs - this recipe called for prunes and red wine for most of the sauce. I even made it the day before to let the flavors improve. It was good, but not that good.

                                                                                                                                                            That's probably only about half of the recipes I've tried from Cook's. These are just the ones I can remember off the top of my head. Obviously I feel I've had many more successes than failures. My DVR is full of old America's Test Kitchen episodes. (Need to clear that out before the fall TV season starts...Perhaps an ATK marathon is due.)

                                                                                                                                                            5 Replies
                                                                                                                                                            1. re: iphonechica

                                                                                                                                                              Thank you so much for your recipe reviews! I definitely want to try many of your favorite recipes now. The Sausage, mushroom and egg strata sounds amazing. I also am happy to hear about the pizza as I am just about to order a pizza stone from Amazon.
                                                                                                                                                              Definitely give the black-bean soup recipe I mentioned a go. If you can't find the recipe online I will post it here for you.

                                                                                                                                                              1. re: iphonechica

                                                                                                                                                                What! I have always been shocked that the dark choc cupcakes bake up so perfectly for me every time. No issues ever. One of my very favorites...

                                                                                                                                                                I totally agree with the smashed potatoes and the fish and chips...

                                                                                                                                                                1. re: Becca Porter

                                                                                                                                                                  I wonder if you were to compare recipes if you might find that the recipe has now been improved upon? I know CI is always trying to makes foods better. Maybe that would explain why iphonechica's have failed and yours are fantastic. It's worth a try ... =)

                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: DishDelish

                                                                                                                                                                    I use the recipe on the website from March 2005. Truthfully it sounds to me like maybe there was too much batter in the cups. This makes exactly 12 cupcakes, the tops do not dome at all. They are pretty flat.

                                                                                                                                                                    If you used a different pan or tried to make another number of cupcakes, perhaps the cups were overfilled?

                                                                                                                                                                2. re: iphonechica

                                                                                                                                                                  Try the updated "roasted smashed potatoes" -- really different, with a wonderful crunchy texture. These take a long time, but they're easy to do.

                                                                                                                                                                3. I live in Ontario, but am from California.

                                                                                                                                                                  I am a HUGE fan of CI, almost everything I've made comes out great. Most of the recipes, I repeat as they're just too good. I am a subscriber to the website, so if anyone wants a recipe, just let me know.

                                                                                                                                                                  My faves
                                                                                                                                                                  Chicken fajitas
                                                                                                                                                                  spinach lasagna( white sauce)
                                                                                                                                                                  Tall and fluffy biscuits
                                                                                                                                                                  german choc. cake
                                                                                                                                                                  ultimate choc. chip cookies( I wont make another kind now, these have browned butter in them).
                                                                                                                                                                  skillet chicken pot pie w/ cream biscuits
                                                                                                                                                                  thin crust pizza
                                                                                                                                                                  grilled pizza
                                                                                                                                                                  green bean and mushroom stir fry
                                                                                                                                                                  NY crumb cake
                                                                                                                                                                  Pineapple upside down cake( uses fresh pineapple)
                                                                                                                                                                  chicken tikka masala
                                                                                                                                                                  strawberry cream cake
                                                                                                                                                                  multigrain bread( fab, makes 2 loaves)
                                                                                                                                                                  multigrain pancakes
                                                                                                                                                                  choc. pot de creme
                                                                                                                                                                  spinach salad
                                                                                                                                                                  big super nutty peanut butter cookies.

                                                                                                                                                                  There are so many more recipes from the last few issues that I want to try!!

                                                                                                                                                                  8 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: Calipoutine

                                                                                                                                                                    Now I am hungry! I can't wait to try some of these. My hubby and I are moving so I'm not doing much cooking this month. I can't wait for next month! =)

                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: Calipoutine

                                                                                                                                                                      Okay I forgot about half the ones on your list:

                                                                                                                                                                      chic fajitas, spinach lasagna, straw cream cake, multigrain bread... All fantastic.

                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: Calipoutine

                                                                                                                                                                        I love the plum variation on pineapple-upside-down-cake. The cakey part is really, really good, and the plums are fabulous.

                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: Calipoutine

                                                                                                                                                                          I am just reading through this old post. I would love a few recipes from the website. Specifically the French Onion Tart and the Perfect Pork Roast mentioned earlier in this thread.

                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: TimeToCook

                                                                                                                                                                            I'm pretty sure this is the CI tart recipe. Hopefully somene who has it can confirm.

                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: toveggiegirl

                                                                                                                                                                              Yes that is the CI French Onion and Bacon Tart recipe, word for word.

                                                                                                                                                                              The May/June 1995 "Perfect Pork Roast" on the CI website its title is "Garlic Studded Roast Pork Loin". Here's the same recipe on another site.

                                                                                                                                                                              GARLIC STUDDED ROAST PORK LOIN

                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: Antilope

                                                                                                                                                                                I thought so but thanks for confirming.

                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: Antilope

                                                                                                                                                                                  Boo! thepiggly-wiggly.com page has been taken down.

                                                                                                                                                                          2. I love the pot roast recipe from the New Best Recipe book.

                                                                                                                                                                            From the magazine (and maybe the book?), the brown sugar cookies are insanely good. I don't usually waste my time eating (let alone cooking) cookies that don't have chocolate in them but these are worth it. Also a long time ago there was a recipe in the magazine for lemon cookies with lemon-cream cheese frosting that was also terrific.

                                                                                                                                                                            2 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: lvsnyder

                                                                                                                                                                              I really like the new lemon souffle. I will be making it over and over again.

                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: lvsnyder

                                                                                                                                                                                Was this the lemon cookie recipe you were referring to?


                                                                                                                                                                                It matches the CI one online word for word.

                                                                                                                                                                              2. I forgot when I was posting earlier: the skillet lasagna idea is great. I haven't made theirs verbatim but adapted it to do my own thing and it was absolutely delish. You need a lot more liquid than you'd think to cook the noodles. Regular lasagna is time consuming. While the skillet version isn't intended to be a permanent replacement of the classic, it's a pretty good stand-in in a pinch.

                                                                                                                                                                                8 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: cinnamon girl

                                                                                                                                                                                  I love skillet lasagna for a fast dinner. It helps of course that my kids adore it! I haven't tried their recipe yet though, so I must give it a try now. Thanks! =)

                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: DishDelish

                                                                                                                                                                                    How do you do it DD, roughly? Do you put the noodles in uncooked and add lots of extra liquid? Do you stir it around much while it's cooking or try to leave it alone as much as possible?

                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: cinnamon girl

                                                                                                                                                                                      I add my 3 c. fresh tomatoes and 1/2 lb. mafalda or farfalle noodles, 1 c. broth and seasonings at the same time after browning the bulk Italian sausage and sauteing the onion and garlic. I bring all to a boil then reduce to med-low heat, cover and simmer until noodles are soft, stirring occasionally (about 10 min). After done, stir in some cubed mozzarella, half my Parmesan, and then dollop with ricotta, top with mozzarella, and sprinkle remaining Parmesan then stick under broiler to brown cheese (about 4-6 min). I garnish with fresh basil right before serving.

                                                                                                                                                                                      Sorry it took me so long to reply. I haven't been on much with the moving.

                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: DishDelish

                                                                                                                                                                                        Thank you both DishDelish and Valerie. I hope the move went well DD.

                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: cinnamon girl

                                                                                                                                                                                          It did, thank you. Still sorting through everything though. My hubby threw everything in unmarked boxes and bags at the last minute. It has been interesting. =) At least my kitchen is mostly set up though.

                                                                                                                                                                                      2. re: cinnamon girl

                                                                                                                                                                                        Here is a link to the CI Skillet Lasagna. I make it for my kids and they love it. I generally use ground turkey breast rather than meatloaf mix.


                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: cinnamon girl

                                                                                                                                                                                          I also have made CI's skillet ziti from the 2007 issues which was fantastic. I completely forgot about making this until flipping through my cookbook recently. It was scrumptious as I recall.

                                                                                                                                                                                        2. re: DishDelish

                                                                                                                                                                                          I made the skillet lasagna as one of my first meals this new year, and I don't know what would ever convince me to go back to the old way! it was so much easier, shorter time spent and equally flavorful. leaving it on the heat longer even crisps the bottom, which mirrors the top of a lasagna in the oven.

                                                                                                                                                                                      3. Summer vegetable gratin. Brought it to a potluck this summer and people are STILL asking me for that recipe.

                                                                                                                                                                                        1. Hands down the Ricotta Gnocci with Browned Butter and Sage Leaves from Sept. 2007 issue of CI. The "almost no knead" bread recipe, but I can't remember which mag. issue.
                                                                                                                                                                                          The "Billowly Chocolate Frosting" from one of the t.v. shows. All are true "keepeers"

                                                                                                                                                                                          3 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: amazinc

                                                                                                                                                                                            That Ricotta Gnocchi sounds fabulous! I want to try it. Thanks!

                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: DishDelish

                                                                                                                                                                                              I make ricotta gnocchi whenever I have leftover ricotta (albeit not theirs) and freeze them. I find it's a great way to avoid letting the ricotta go bad. Also if I've got a bunch of herbs I put them into the gnocchi - it's a way of not wasting them too. Then when serving you can make a bare-bones sauce what with all the "herbage" in the gnocchi.

                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: cinnamon girl

                                                                                                                                                                                                Thank you for this tip. I love finding new ways to keep my food from going bad. I always feel so guilty when i let that happen.

                                                                                                                                                                                          2. buttermilk waffles chili, beef stew... yum!!!

                                                                                                                                                                                            1. - Mexican Rice - Published September 1, 2004. Taste and texture exactly replicate what you get at Mexican Restaurants. Really good.
                                                                                                                                                                                              - Well-Done Hamburgers on a Gas Grill. This recipe makes some of the best hamburgers that we've had at home.
                                                                                                                                                                                              - Microwave Polenta. Creamy polenta in about 15 minutes with minimal work. I've made stovetop and oven polenta and to me, this is just as good.
                                                                                                                                                                                              - Almost No-Knead Bread. I've made bread from scratch, sourdough bread, etc. This is one of the best bread recipes I've tried.

                                                                                                                                                                                              5 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: Antilope

                                                                                                                                                                                                Faves are lemon bars, sauteed chicken breasts, meatloaf (complicated but good -- we just make a double of recipe and make smaller loaves, and freeze the ones we don't use right away and it's totally worth making) cornmeal muffins, oatmeal (steel-cut, toasted and then simmered for 20 minutes--our variation is to serve it with cranberries as well as toasted walnuts or pecans), and I love their oatmeal scones.

                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: vanillagrrl

                                                                                                                                                                                                  Sorry, I don't remember what page/issue numbers these are from, but they were in the magazine in the past 1-2 years.

                                                                                                                                                                                                  -osso buco
                                                                                                                                                                                                  -chicken and dumplings
                                                                                                                                                                                                  -mashed potatoes

                                                                                                                                                                                                  -these were the stand-outs from the past year or so ie when I think of when I made them I can actually taste them again.

                                                                                                                                                                                                  They also had an ATK issue devoted to 30-minute meals - tried the pork chops and crusted them with panko - fantastic.

                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: DishDelish

                                                                                                                                                                                                      I liked Alton Brown's steel cut oatmeal recipe better. It was similiar, but better.

                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: jeanmarieok

                                                                                                                                                                                                        Thank you for the tip! I'll look it up. =)

                                                                                                                                                                                                2. Triple coconut macaroons -- they're kind of a pain to shape (haystacks/pyramids), but they taste great and aren't too too sweet.


                                                                                                                                                                                                  2 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: Chocolatechipkt

                                                                                                                                                                                                    I have to take back my recommendation for these -- they do work, but they're a pain to make, esp. relative to Mark Bittman's quick and easy (and just as tasty) recipe in the NYT.

                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: Chocolatechipkt

                                                                                                                                                                                                      My favorite macaroons are Joanne Chang's from the flour cookbook. Delish!

                                                                                                                                                                                                  2. I recently made the slow roast beef using eye round and although overcooked, it tasted amazing.

                                                                                                                                                                                                    Also made the beef with chimay stew for my friends and everyone loooved it!

                                                                                                                                                                                                    1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: joonjoon

                                                                                                                                                                                                      I've now made the eye round slow-roast recipe 3 times - when you get it cooked right it's really amazing.

                                                                                                                                                                                                      I don't follow their recipe exactly - I roast the entire time at 175, and sear at the end instead of in the beginning.

                                                                                                                                                                                                    2. I'm a little late in responding to this, but I have many many years issues of Cooks Illustrated and there are several recipes I make each year:
                                                                                                                                                                                                      - The Roast Turkey (original fecipe where you cook it breast side down, then flip to a wing, other wing then breast side up at a high temp) - best turkey ever
                                                                                                                                                                                                      - The Cornbread Stuffing recipe - for me labor intensive, so I make a double batch. Highly fattening, but my husband requests it every Thanksgiving - so I make a double batch so it can be freezed for Christmas. .
                                                                                                                                                                                                      - The stuffed peppers recipe is fabulous. Again I make a double batch. I do not like green pepper, but this recipe uses orange and red or yellow - very colorful.
                                                                                                                                                                                                      - Brining - I didn't even know about brining until I read about it in CI. Now all my friend's brine their meats after tasting my chicken, pork or shrimp dishes.

                                                                                                                                                                                                      - Pat

                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. Glazed Lemon Cookies- Pure flaky lemon flavor, so good.
                                                                                                                                                                                                        Chicken Tikka Masala
                                                                                                                                                                                                        Sour Cream Bundt Cake- just perfect
                                                                                                                                                                                                        Raspberry bars
                                                                                                                                                                                                        Mashed Potatoes and Root vegetables- Esp celery root
                                                                                                                                                                                                        Dark chocolate cupcakes w/ easy buttercream- also perfect
                                                                                                                                                                                                        thick gingerbread cookies- mmm
                                                                                                                                                                                                        almost no-knead bread
                                                                                                                                                                                                        strawberry pie!
                                                                                                                                                                                                        choc cream pie and coco cream pie
                                                                                                                                                                                                        blueberry scones- or with raspberries- insane
                                                                                                                                                                                                        choc butter cookies- delicious choc cutouts

                                                                                                                                                                                                        I will think of a ton more later...

                                                                                                                                                                                                        3 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: Becca Porter

                                                                                                                                                                                                          hi Becca-

                                                                                                                                                                                                          would you be able to post the choc butter cookies, dark choc cupcakes with buttercream AND/OR...

                                                                                                                                                                                                          that would be awesome

                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: drewb123

                                                                                                                                                                                                            These links have recipes you are looking for. I compared them to the CI website and they are exact copies.

                                                                                                                                                                                                            Link to Cook's Illustrated Chocolate Butter Cookies recipe

                                                                                                                                                                                                            Link to Cook's Illustrated Dark Chocolate Cupcakes recipe

                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: Antilope

                                                                                                                                                                                                              The only difference is the buttercream on the cupcakes. It is a separate recipe. I have the coffee version of the CI recipe somewhere on my blog.

                                                                                                                                                                                                        2. Definitely the vodka crust. A revelation.

                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. I had to mention the recipe I made last night from the Dec/Jan 2010 issue of Cook's Country. The Wellesley Fudge Cake, I had to post a long blog all about it. Truly great!

                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. Thick and Chewy Double Chocolate Cookies.

                                                                                                                                                                                                              1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: yannie

                                                                                                                                                                                                                Finally tried these a few weeks ago--they're rich and wonderful.

                                                                                                                                                                                                              2. These recipes are really good:

                                                                                                                                                                                                                Popovers (Cook's Country)
                                                                                                                                                                                                                Southern Style Cornbread in a Skillet (Cook's Illustrated)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                17 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: Antilope

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Also the Blueberry Muffins from Frozen Blueberries are very good. Just made some today for the first time.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  If anyone needs a Cook's Illustrated recipe, let me know here and I will post a paraphrased recipe.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: Antilope

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Thank you! Mmm, I am going to look up the blueberry muffins, my hubby loves those. He is always asking me to buy a mix from the store, and I can't bring myself to. Which magazine or book is that one from?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: DishDelish

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      I subscribe to the website, but it states that the recipe for "Best Blueberry Muffins with Frozen Blueberries" was in the May 2009 Cook's Illustrated magazine. If you can't find it I can post a paraphrased version.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Now another delicious recipe I've just tried:

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      - Garlic Mashed Potatoes. These are really good and I love the technique. 4 lbs of diced potatoes are simmered in 1-3/4 cups of half & half and water in a covered dutch oven on the stovetop. The end result is nothing to drain. All of the liquid is absorbed by the potatoes and you just mash them in the pot, adding 1/4 cup more of half & half and more butter. None of the flavor is washed away and no pouring off scalding water. I'm going to use this technique from now on for plain mashed potatoes. The recipe is on the Cook's Country TV part of the website. Just enter your e-mail address and you can access the recipe for free.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: Antilope

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        I made these potatoes as well and they ARE amazing. I completely agree! Thanks for reminding me, I need to make them again! =)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: Antilope

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          I couldn't find the recipe for Garlic Mashed Potatoes free on their website - would you mind posting it?


                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: sallyt

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            **** Paraphrased Recipe ****

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Garlic Mashed Potatoes

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Cook's Country TV From the episode: Fail-Safe Thanksgiving

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            This recipe uses just the right amount of liquid to cook the potatoes without the need to drain them. This method of preparation retains all of the flavor.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            When the potatoes are cut into 1/2-inch pieces they present maximum surface area to absorb the garlic flavor.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Serves 8 to 10.


                                                                                                                                                                                                                            4 pounds russet potatoes , peeled, quartered, and cut into 1/2-inch pieces
                                                                                                                                                                                                                            12 tablespoons (1-1/2 sticks) unsalted butter , cut into pieces (divided use)
                                                                                                                                                                                                                            12 garlic cloves , minced
                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1 teaspoon sugar
                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1 1/2 cups half-and-half (divided use)
                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1/2 cup water
                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1 teaspoon salt
                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Salt and pepper


                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. Rinse cut potatoes, in a colander, under cold running water. Continue to rinse until the water runs clear. Rinsing eliminates extra starch that causes gluey mashed potatoes. Drain well.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            2. In a dutch oven, melt 4 Tablespoons of the butter over medium heat. Cook the garlic and sugar in the butter until it is straw color and sticky. This takes about 3 to 4 minutes. Now add the previously rinsed potatoes, 1-1/4 cups of half-and-half (reserve 1/4 cup until later), water, and 1 teaspoon of salt to the dutch oven. Stir well to mix all ingredients. Bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to a low simmer and cover the dutch oven. Cook (stirring occasionally) until the liquid is absorbed and potatoes are tender. This should take 25 to 30 minutes.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            3. Remove from heat when done and add remaining butter. Using a potato masher, mash until potatoes are smooth. Fold in remaining 1/4 cup of half-and-half with a rubber spatula. Continue to fold until liquid is absorbed and the potatoes are creamy. Add salt and pepper to taste.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            (Once I slightly undercooked the potatoes and they had lumps. I used a potato ricer and the recipe came out fine.)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: Antilope

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              This is very like their sweet potato method that I posted somewhere on this thread. I adore the method because they come out tasting like the essence of sweet potatoes. Between the flavour being washed away in all the boiling water and all the stuff we usually add to sw potatoes, I think we come to forget what they really taste like. Can hardly wait to try this - thanks for the post.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: Antilope

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Tried this method last night after an earlier post. Perfect!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: Antilope

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Thank you! Can't wait to make them...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            2. re: DishDelish

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              I don't know if this is the same CI Blueberry Muffin recipe, but this one (from "The New Best Recipe Cookbook" ) is very good.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: toveggiegirl

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                The recipe I used involved making a quick preserve from some of the blueberries and placing a teaspoon of that preserve on top of each unbaked muffin and swirling it into the center. The remainder of the blueberries go into the batter, whole, earlier.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: Antilope

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  That reminds me of their blueberry pancake recipe. =)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              2. re: Antilope

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                I would really love it if you could paraphrase the roasted turkey (stuffed with minced herbs, parsley, sage, thyme, rosemary?) -- I saw them do this on tv and it looked really good.


                                                                                                                                                                                                                            3. It's great how we keep thinking of more CI recipes. Another that I like very much is for sweet potatoes; it's more of a method than a recipe. A friend once told me that she didn't like sweet potatoes and I was gobsmacked - what's not to like? She responded that if they're so great why does everyone feel they have to do so much to them? Good point. And not long after, they made that same point on their PBS show . . .

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              The idea is that there's so much water in them that you can cook them in a covered saucepan w a little butter (should they want to stick a bit) and a modicum of cream. You get the most intense sweet potato flavour. You have to stir and break them up frequently but it's not a problem when you're pulling other things together anyway. I find one of those hard, fine-edged, spoonulas (sp?) work best as you can jab at the pieces, breaking them up, and scrape the bottom of the pot. If they "accidentally" brown a bit on the bottom, so much the better. Just scrape it up and into the orange mass for yet more intensity. Salt, pepper, maybe a pinch of nutmeg is all that is needed.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              2 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: cinnamon girl

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Do you peel the sweet potatoes or leave the skins on?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: karykat

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Yes you do peel them and cut them into cubes. They cook faster than you would expect them to.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              2. Great post. I can't think of all my favorites off the top of my head except for their pizza dough from TNBR and pecan pie are both unbelievable!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. I see two of you have tried the skillet chicken pot pie -- I'm about to try to skillet salmon and leek pot pie. The recipe calls for whole milk, which surprised me a little. Other recipes call for much less liquid and/or add some cream, etc. Has anyone made the salmon and leek pot pie? And if so, did you follow the directions exactly, or futz with it? What did you think?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: herring

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    The yeasted waffles are perfect for the holidays. They're delicious and you make them the day before so all you have to do is cook them in the morning.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  2. I agree with Dogsrus that the stuffed peppers recipe in TNBR is fantastic. The only change I make is instead of using tomato sauce or ketchup (can't remember which it calls for), I use salsa -- both on top, and a dollop at the bottom of the peppers.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. I recently tried their meatball recipe where you microwave them for a bit before putting them in the sauce. It uses beef/sweet italian sausage mixture. They are very good and the cooking them a bit before putting them in the sauce really helps with them not falling apart in the sauce. This recipe also has you put the sauce/meatballs in a slow cooker. I like the sauce and the slow cooker part as well. This recipe is in the 2010 book.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      I also use their vodka pie crust recipe with some variations (I put some cinnamon in it if I am making an apple pie) with good results.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. I just made Christopher Kimball's Rum Balls, out of my local paper, for the second year in a row because they were great the first year, even though (or because) I accidentally doubled the quantity of rum! Does that count as a CI recipe? By the way, they're better this year because you can taste flavors other than rum.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. GREAT caramel sauce--my go-to recipe that always gets raves. Hate their hot fudge though; it's a dud in my book.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. There are two recipes that I have made over and over. One is for the peach crisp. I make this every year for a huge barbecue that we have in the summer. I make the topping times 8 and freeze it until I am ready to assemble the crisp. It is always hugely popular. I also make the crab cakes. What I particularly like about them is that there is very little binding. It is essentially just crab held together with a whisper of other ingredients. They are fabulous. Sometimes I also make the tartar sauce that is listed with the crab cake recipe. It has chopped up cornichons and capers, so it has a very sophisticated taste.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. I thought I was the King of French Toast... until I read the recipe in CI a year or two ago. I am humbled that they can bring so much more to such a simple recipe. I absolutely LOVE the Baking Illustrated book!! I'm making my own pizzas now... to h*** with that delivery crap! It's like a pastry chef course at culinary school in one large volume. I highly recommend it! I'm no longer afraid of yeast recipes! "Yeast is your friend..." ;-)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              2 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: DigitalVelvet

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                We really like the French Toast recipe from the ATK Family Cookbook.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                **** Paraphrased Recipe ****

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                French Toast

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                From America's Test Kitchen Family Cookbook, page 235

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Serves: 4
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Prep Time: 5 minutes
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Total Time: 45 minutes

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                In addition to white sandwich bread, other types of bread
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                may be used in this recipe, such as challah or cinnamon-raisin
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                bread. You may double this recipe and speed up cooking by
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                using two skillets or a griddle and preparing two batches
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                of the batter.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                French toast is often soggy inside and out. This recipe
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                uses flour in the batter to produce a crisp on the outside
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                moist on the inside French toast that cannot be produced
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                with just eggs and milk. America's Test Kitchen tried a
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                number of techniques to create a French toast with this texture.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                8 slices high-quality white sandwich bread
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                6 tablespoons (3/4 stick) unsalted butter
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1 cup milk
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1 large egg
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                2 tablespoons sugar
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                2 teaspoons vanilla extract
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                3/4 teaspoon cinnamon
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1/4 teaspoon salt
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1/2 cup all-purpose flour

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. Preheat oven to 200-F degrees and place a rack in
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                the middle position. Place bread in a single layer
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                on a wire rack over a baking sheet. Bake until the
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                bread is slightly dry. About 15 minutes.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                2. While bread is drying, whisk together the milk, egg, sugar
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                vanilla, cinnamon and salt. Melt 2 tablespoons of butter and
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                whisk it into the milk mixture. Whisk in the flour slowly.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Whisk until batter is smooth. Pour batter into shallow dish.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                3. Soak 2 pieces of bread in the batter for about 30 seconds per
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                side. Melt 1 tablespoon of butter in 12 inch non-stick skillet over medium
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                heat until it begins to brown. Swirl butter to coat skillet.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Take bread out of batter and allow excess to drip back into dish.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Place 2 pieces of battered bread in skillet. Cook until French toast
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                is golden brown on both sides. About 2-1/2 minutes per side. To keep
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                cooked French toast warm, transfer to wire rack in oven. Repeat
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                with remaining ingredients, 2 slices at a time.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: DigitalVelvet

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  I'm going to have to check out that book!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                2. From the magazines:
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Raised waffles (2004)
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Asparagus in salad
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Pad thai

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  From the original BR book:
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Pork medallions with rosemary
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Thin crust pizza (though I modify to half reg flour and half bread flour)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  My husband likes the basic ribs recipe in the rib book.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  The only recipe I really remember disliking was one for a Chinese chicken dish. Should have known better! Though after the pad thai success, I thought, why not? Oy.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: redwood2bay

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    I agree, the pad thai recipe is awesome!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  2. I just made the split pea soup from "The Best Recipe" and it was amazing, nourishing, flavorful. By far the best split pea soup I've had. (I used a bone from a whole ham, not the picnic ham that's recommended, but I did everything else as detailed in the recipe.)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    It's here: http://www.recipezaar.com/Split-Pea-S...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Some Cook's Illustrated recipes, I've found, are too generic tasting for me. Sort of, the most perfect version of chocolate-chip cookies or whatever, but not that interesting. But this soup recipe was perfect and interesting. Delicious.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    2 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: missyp

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      I make something very similar to CI's split pea soup. Hey it's the best I can do! I just can't leave a recipe alone. I have to make it mine. I'm a cook not a recipe follower.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      At the last moment, I ad a pinch of cayenne and mix it in and taste it. I keep adding until I can just taste the cayenne, where it just gives you a hint in the back of the throat. That add a whole new dimension to split pea soup. As a variation, I will remove the meat, I have to anyway as i use ham hocks and need to remove the bone and the skin and break it into bit size pieces. I then use a stick blender and whir it very smooth, add a half cup of heavy cream and then do the cayenne trick . Put the meat back in and serve. Both are wonderful.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: tonka11_99

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        I recommend trying chipotle peppers to your split pea for a great kick. I did this when my hubby and I were doing a meat free fast last year and it was excellent. I honestly didn't miss the ham hocks, but I would like to try with next time I make split pea soup.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    2. I found this on line and have made it for our family and for 60 people at a brunch


                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Breakfast Strata with Spinach & Gruyere

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      This is one of my all-time favorites. From Cook's Illustrated "For Christmas Morning" -- it is rich, but if you only eat it every now and then I don't think it's so bad.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      8-10 slices of supermarket French Bread (1/2 inch thick) or Italian bread
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      8 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      4 medium shallots, minced (about 1/2 cup
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      ) *
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1 pkg frozen chopped spinach (10 oz) thawed and squeezed dry
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      table salt
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      ground black pepper
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1/2 cup medium dry white wine, such as Sauvignon Blanc
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      6 oz Gruyere cheese, grated (about 1 1/2 cups)
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      6 large eggs
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1 3/4 cups half-and-half

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 225 degrees. Arrange bread in single layer on large baking sheet and bake until dry and crisp, about 40 minutes, turning slives over halfway through drying time. (alternatively, leave slices out overnight to dry) When cooled, butter slices on one side with 2 tablespoon butter; set aside.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      2. Heat 2 tablespoons butter in medium nonstick skillet over medium heat. Saute shallots until fragrant and translucent; about 3 minutes; add spinach and salt and pepper to taste and cook stirring occasionally, until spinach and shallots are combined, about 2 minutes. Transfer to medium bowl, set aside. Add wine to skillet, increase heat to medium high and simmer until reduced to 1/4 cup, 2-3 minutes; set aside.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      3. Butter 8 inch square baking dish with remaining 1 tablespoon butter; arrange half the buttered bread slices, buttered side up, in single layer in dish. Sprinkle half of spinach mixture, then 1/2 cup grated cheese evenly over bread slices. Arrange remaining bread slices in single layer over cheese; sprinkle remaining spinach mixture and another 1/2 cup cheese evenly over bread. Whisk eggs in medium bowl until combined; whisk in reduced wine, half and half, 1 teaspoon salt, and pepper to taste. Pour egg mixture evenly over bread layers; cover surface flush with plastic wrap, weigh down (I used 2 One lb boxes of brown or powdered sugar, laid side by side over plastic covered surface) and refrigerate overnight.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      4. Remove dish from refrigerator and let stand at room temperature 20 minutes. Meanwhile, adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 325 degrees. Uncover strata and sprinkle remaining 1/2 cup cheese evenly over surface. Bake until both edges and center are puffed and edges have pulled away slightly from sides of dish. (50-55 minutes -- or 60 minutes if you've doubled the recipe). Cool on wire rack 5 minutes, serve.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      4 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: ginnyhw

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Thank you!!! I will be trying this one for the holidays!! =)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: ginnyhw

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Thanks from me too. This just looks like a delicious dish, with a classic flavour combo . . . not all mucked up with too many ingredients like so many recipes for stratas.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          I take it a single recipe would do 4 adults?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: cinnamon girl

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Hi cinnamon girl,

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            I usually get 9 servings - it puffs up.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            After posting it I decided to make it for tomorrow!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          2. re: ginnyhw

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Tanks for posting this recipe. It looks delicious and I am definitely saving it for a later date.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          3. Sour Cream Coffee Cake. No fail, excellent!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. From the magazine, I LOVE the Lemon Curd Cheesecake, and the Yellow Cake and Chocolate Frosting. Also had great results with the pie crust recipe that uses vodka. Great magazine!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. The CI Tiramisu recipe is fairly quick, easy, and has outstanding flavor and keeping qualities The recipe says it makes 10 to 12 servings, I'd call it closer to 18.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. ATC Family Cookbook is my go-to cookbook for recipes, but I also record the program. my faves:
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  From the show we have adopted their technique for heating steaks in the oven slightly before grilling them. Perfect steaks every time!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Family Cookbook:
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  hash browns
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  pan sauces for chicken
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  cheese lasagne (and the accompanying chunky tomato sauce). Just made this last night, and even my meat-insistant husband loved it.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Maple soy glazed salmon
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  pan seared shrimp with chipotle-lime glaze
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  shrimp scampi
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  flourless chocolate cake - big hit!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  I love that most of the family cookbook recipes can be thrown together pretty fast, unlike some of the more complex CI recipes.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  ATK also recently released a "best of" book covering the last 10 years of ATK. It's next on my list of cookbooks.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  5 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: puddin head

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Ok, my turn. I've been a magazine subscriber for years and a web subscriber since 2003. I also like the chicken piccata, skillet lasagna, old fashioned chocolate cake with buttercream frosting, raspberry bars, triple chocolate cookies, popovers from cooks country, molasses and snickerdoodle cookies from the Dessert Bible, seafood risotto from their cooking for two, cornbread stuffing, brined turkey, bittersweet chocolate mousse cake, mint brownies, corn muffins, meatballs. I'm sure there are more...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: petitgateau

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      so may people have mentioned the chicken piccata - but alas, it is not in my book - would someone please send it my way?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    2. re: puddin head

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Puddin head - would you mind posting the maple soy glazed salmon recipe? Thanks!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    3. CI Sangria recipe is the only one I like. Simple with citrus - not fruit salad in a glass. I've made both the red wine sangria and white versions several times. Both are great and crowd pleasers!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Agree with others that more than anything I've learned technique with Cook's.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. Wow, what a great thread. My favorites are: 1) orange salads - magazine 2) orange sherbet - magazine 3) how cook chicken breast - TNR. Can't wait to try some of these others!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. Hands down the Crisp Skin High Roast Butterflied Chicken with Potatoes from The Best Recipe, American Classics. The potatoes are amazing although a bit of work. Halved tiny creamer potatoes cut the prep-time in half and my family liked it the same. There's nothing like potatoes cooked until browned in chicken fat.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          I've also had good luck with the Simple Pot Roast, Scalloped Potatoes (fast and easy), Potato salad with Hard boiled Eggs and Sweet Pickles (a lot of work but it is the best), Cranberry Nut Bread. There are a lot of recipes that have "a lot of work" written next to them. (I write in my cookbooks).

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          2 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: karabe

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            The best butternut squash soup ever, their Silky Butternut Squash Soup, in a 2009 CI mag I think. Not an apple or pear in sight! Delish.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: czyha

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              I can't wait to try. I love a good butternut squash soup!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          2. I don't recall exactly what they called it, but I call it Grill Roasted Turkey. (Brined)Turkey done "off-heat" but on the grill with a few wood chips, in a turkey rack, breast side down w/breast facing coals, cook for a period, turn around so opposite breast is facing coals, cook for a period, flip to breast side up, cook, turn around, remove, rest, slice and serve.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            I've always done a breast with the cooking intervals being 15-20 min - but use a thermometer. Excellent flavor, juicy, you control the amount of smoke. No one in my house likes gravy, so lost drippings are not an issue.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. Chicken piccata
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Well-done hamburgers
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Oven roasted potatoes (fries)
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Creme caramel
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Guinness beef stew (OMG, so good, has chocolate in it)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              4 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: lulou23

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Which magazine was the beef stew in?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: DishDelish

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Guinness Beef Stew

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    From Cook's Country March 2007

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    4 lbs boneless beef chuck stew meat
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    2 tbsp vegetable oil
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    2 onions, chopped
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    4 cups low-sodium chicken broth
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1 1/2 cups Guinees Draught (not the extra stout)
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1 tbsp light brown sugar
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1 tsp dried thyme
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1 oz bittersweet chocolate, chopped
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    2 bay leaves
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    5 carrots, peeled and cut into 1" chunks
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1 lb parsnips, peeled and cut into 1" chunks
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1 1/2 lb baby red potatoes, scrubbed clean
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1/4 cup all-purpose flour
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    2 tbsp minced parsley (fresh)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Pat beef dry with paper towels and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Heat 2 tsp oil in large skillet over medium-high heat until just smoking. Cook half of beef until browned on all-sides, about 8 minutes. Transfer to slow cooker insert and repeat with additional 2 tsp oil and remaining beef.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Add remaining 2 tsp oil, onions, and 1/4 tsp salt to skillet and cook until onions are lightly browned, about 5 minutes. Add broth, 1 1/4 cups stout, sugar, thyme, chocolate and bay leaves - bring to boil using wooden spoon to scrape up browned bits. Transfer to slow cooker insert.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Add carrots, parsnips, and potatoes to slow cooker insert. Cover and cook on low until meat is tender, 9-10 hours (or cook on hight for 6-7 hours). Set slow cooker to high. Whisk flour and remaining 1/4 cup beer until smooth, then stir mixture into slow cooker. Cook, covered, until sauce thickens, about 15 minutes. Stir in parsley, season with salt and pepper, and discard bay leaf. Serve!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: lulou23

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Thank you so much!! I'm adding this to the menu very soon! :)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. these recipes are a+ to me, i have made them numerous times and will keep making them:

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  * fried fish (from the fish & chips recipe - I didn't try the fries)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  * antipasto pasta salad

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  * moroccan grilled shrimp

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  the thai chile beef was adequate but not great. same for the tacos, but i thought they were far from being worth the effort it took to make them. the manicotti was the one recipe i didn't enjoy at all, although someone who tried it with me did.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  2 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: Mr. Mack

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Was the fried fish from a magazine or book, and which one? I am having a pregnant craving for fried fish that must be satisfied.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: Mr. Mack

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      BTW I adore the manicotti recipe from the Sopranos family cookbook. I'll post it if you're interested.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    2. Chicken Enchiladas with Red Sauce
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      White Chicken Chile
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Skillet Chicken, Broccoli, and Ziti
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Sesame Noodles with Chicken
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Chicken Tikka Masala
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Skillet Chicken Pot Pie
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Cincinnati Chili
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Penne with Vodka Sauce
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Thirty-Minute Meatloaf
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Stuffed Cabbage Rolls
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Dan Dan Mian

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Not sure off the top of my head where all these were published because I subscribe to the web site and get the recipes that way. Although some of them are from ATK.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. Beef Stroganoff (soo good!) and Steak Tacos

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: wineos

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          - Raspberry Streusel Bars
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          - German Apple Pancake
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          - Guiness Beef Stew
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          - Simple Beef Chili with Kidney Beans
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          - White Chicken Chili
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          - Hungarian Beef Stew
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          - Broccoli Cheese Soup

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        2. From the magazine: Banana bread made with yogurt. It is the only way i've made it now for years.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. -The Beef Stroganoff actually humbled stroganoff snobs. A triumph!
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            -Bite sized Key Lime Bars means no more throwing out half-eaten pieces of pie from guests who love Key Lime pie for dessert, but are too full to finish a whole piece. (Regular limes taste great and are much easier than Keys.)
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            -Most Used Tip: Baking thick steaks in low-heat oven, then finishing on grill. Perfection.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            3 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: ski_gpsy

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              could someone post the bite sized key lime bars pretty please??

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            2. Their cold-oil method french fries are now the only ones I make. Astonishingly they do absorb much less oil than those fried in hot oil.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              7 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: buttertart

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Do you put the fries in cold oil and then heat it? Hard to imagine. Very counterintuitive.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                If so, did the article explain how/why it works? Am curious.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: karykat

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  I haven't used the recipe buttertart mentions, but here's the article with description at the website, if you're curious: http://www.cooksillustrated.com/recip...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: karykat

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Yes, you do. I was very skepical of it as well, but the fries come out very crisp and retain their crispness well - and the oil level in the pan when you're done is only minimally reduced. Strongly recommend you try the method. (They call for Yukon Golds, I used eastern all-purpose potatoes, somewhere between waxy and floury, worked fine.)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: buttertart

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      buttertart - I was asked to make some form of a crispy potato for a Passover dinner in a few weeks - to feed 30. I didn't want to make regular french fries - was thinking of cutting thin potato rounds - was going to bake them, after spraying them with oil and some flavors, but wondering if you think I should use your recipe - or would it be too much trouble for 30 people?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    2. re: karykat

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      The cold-oil method is attributed to Joël Robuchon, and originally popularized in the US (to the extent it was popularized, anyway) by Jeffrey Steingarten. This thread from a couple of uears ago discusses some of the whys and hows, and includes posts from a few hounds thrilled with result: http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/476770

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: buttertart

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        You know, I've always wanted to try these, thanks for reminding me.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      2. I too adore CI recipes, most of my favorites have already been mentioned, from TNBR: classic beef stew, chocolate butter cookies, my meatloaf is legendary and I follow their recipe exactly, the biscuits, pancakes (the ones with sour milk) chewy chocolate chip cookies, the tomato soup is a lot of work- but really good, pot roast (I do it in a slow cooker) and the Boston baked beans. There was a magazine a while back with a sweet potato casserole that is topped with a strudel that's fabulous too.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        7 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: katherineryelle

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          This is the best thread ... every time there are new posts I'm reminded of things of theirs that I use. I second the (sour milk) pancakes and the Boston baked beans. Boiling them for awhile in the stuff you're going to add the bean pot anyway, is genius.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Which meat loaf are you making, by the way? I seem to recall that they've come out with more than one.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: katherineryelle

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Which meatloaf? There seem to be a bunch of them. Tried one a week or so ago with a chili sauce glaze covered with bacon. Didn't love it. It's the one thing that really bugs me about CI, ATK, Country whatever. When people talk about "the" recipe, how does one know which one they're talking about?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: JoanN

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Ditto. And each time it's the "best" roast chicken . . . or whatever. I'm sure they have 6 or 7 "best roast chickens."

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: JoanN

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                What was it about the recipe for meatloaf that you didn't like ... was it the bacon, the chili sauce, the meat mix ...?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: DishDelish

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  If I recall correctly, and frankly I may not, it was both the chili sauce glaze and the texture of the meat loaf. The glaze had a hit of sweet that I didn't care for and the meat mix was too dense.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  The problem with meat loaf and trying new recipes for it is that if you've been cooking for a while, you've probably got your meat loaf bar set. Mine is a Pierre Franey recipe that was published in the Times decades ago. I posted the recipe here: http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/5557... I try other recipes, but this is the one I keep coming back to.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: JoanN

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    It looks delicious! Thanks for the recipe.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            2. Not Cook's Illustrated, but Cook's country, the poached chicken for chicken soft taco's is amazing. Its really chicken breasts that are cooked in a sauce of butter, fresh oj, Lea n Perrins and mustard( along with chipolte and cilantro). Amazing, full of flavor. Fast and easy to make.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. I've never had a bad CI experience. I just with that editor would leave out the hokey, insipid crap on the first page of every issue. I feel like I get hijacked with it every month and I just HATE IT. That said, I make the CI buttermilk pancakes at least once a month in the winter. I made CI lemon bars last night with Meyer lemons they had at Whole Foods, and they were FANTASTIC. The shortbread crust is amazing. And I made the chewy brownies from the current issue this weekend as well (both the brownies and the lemon bars were for a friend recovering from surgery, lest you think I'm a sugar glutton -- which I AM, but I have an excuse this time). They are the best brownies I have ever made. I wish I had greased the foil "sling" in the pan better, because they ARE sticky and they form an almost fudge-like bottom. They are amazing brownies. I, too, use the chicken piccatta recipe regularly. It's one of my favorites. I saw one of the TV shows once, where they demo'd a large omelet for a crowd and finished it in the oven that also works really well for me.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: butterfingers

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  are the lemon bars the same as the lime bars - using animal crackers for the crust?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                2. Crisp-Skin High-Roast Butterflied Chicken with Potatoes

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Nuff said.......

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. Thanks so much for all the great insights above. I often buy CI to read, but have not really tried all that many of the recipes. I now have an on-line subscription and am looking forward to trying many of the suggested here

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    I did try the Classic Bread Pudding from the current issue yesterday. My husband, who really does not like bread pudding at all, called it "marvelous stuff'". I used homemade Challah and pretty much followed the recipe exactly, except did one half, and it really was wonderful, served slightly warm, as suggested. It was OK, chilled the next day, but not so great, a bit too firm, I think.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. What a great thread. Bittersweet Chocolate Sauce. Coconut Macaroons. Great Hot Cocoa. Oatmeal Worth Eating. Pate A Choux. A very early version of Macaroni & Cheese. And, oddly, it's where I learned to successfully panfry a steak.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. I have an online subscription and a couple of their cookbooks ( The New Best Recipe and American Classics). I'm an engineer and I usually can't resist tinkering so I'm not sure I have followed any of their recipes exactly but I have learned a lot.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Their web site and their books explain why they are doing things (just what an an engineer wants!).

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        I have learned to pan sear or pan fry to a point and then throw it in the oven to finish cooking.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        I just love their taste tests and their equipment reviews. I just cracked up to find out they couldn't tell the difference between iodized table salt and Morton kosher sale in a taste test. They had pastry chefs try to identify good vanilla extract from imitation vanilla extract and they couldn't do it! They sometimes recommend a cheap pan or knife rather than an expensive one and will do so because the expensive item just wasn't as a god a performer to justify the additional cost.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        That takes guts for professional chefs to publish something like that.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        I recently saw a recipe for "Sunday gravy" (an italian red meat sauce). I'm not a big fan of red sauce but that recipe sounded really good! I hope to try it soon.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        3 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: tonka11_99

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Not too long ago, they switched the order of operations on pan-searing. Cook it in the oven until it's almost up to temperature, then take it out and sear it. That way it's the temperature you want throughout with a nice crust on it. Searing a roast first leads to having a gray ring around otherwise red meat.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: JK Grence the Cosmic Jester

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            It works (the reverse pan searing). I tried it. It's a little "weird" doing it that way, but it does work. No gray ring.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          2. re: tonka11_99

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            I just saw the recipe for the gravy as well and can't wait to give it a try. I have made the one from the Sopranos family cookbook and loved it.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          3. Sugar Cookies from the Cook's Illustrated Best Light Recipe cookbook. They are light, fluffy and use less butter. These are really good.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. Have you noticed 3-4 dishes that keep being recommended?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Chicken piccata
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Shrimp Scampi
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              no knead bread
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              meat balls
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Chocolate chip cookies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Chicken tikka massala

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              No offense to the other recipes submitted but these were submitted multiple times. makes you want to be sure to try them.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. I just made the Indoor Pulled Pork from the Jan/Feb 2010 issue, and it's wonderful! My husband, who after a bad case of stomach flu has been feeling nauseated at most everything, took one bite, and said, "I want this for dinner."

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: DebL

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  He didn't want to start out with a little soup? Well at least it wasn't fire house chili.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: DebL

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Sounds like my husband. I grew up in a family who believes in eating light and fairly bland foods when recovering but not my husband! lol.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  2. I don't have my cook books handy, but I mainly cook out of the America's Test Kitchen Family Cookbook. Out of that book come most of our staple meals. I love their all American beef chili, ranch chili, tacos, meatloaf, chicken piccata, and so on. I love Cooks Illustrated, I really learned to cook from them. If not for them, I would be relying on convenience foods still.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: pegasus1

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Isn't the chili wonderful? My fav. homemade chili so far! I always serve with tortilla chips rimming the bowl, and crushed beneath the chili, chopped green onions, grated cheese, sliced avocado, sour cream and lime wedges. Yum!!!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    2. Great thread. My favorites include the buttermilk pancakes (the ones made with buttermilk and sour cream--have tried probably two dozen pancake recipes and this one is the best of them all); the peach cobbler (makes even mealy peaches taste good); the blueberry cobbler (great biscuit topping with cornmeal) and blueberry pie (although I make my own crust for the pie); and the mashed potatoes (the one where you boil russets in their jackets). There is also a simple spaghetti sauce using canned crushed tomatoes that I really like (can't remember what it's called exactly). There is also a low-fat fettucine Alfredo recipe from Cook's Country that I like. In general, I have good luck with the CI pasta dishes. The CI chocolate chip cookies are really good too.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: Sunny Days

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        There are some salads I forgot to mention: the BBQ Macaroni Salad from Cook's Country and the potato salad (called All American Potato Salad, or something like that) from Cook's Country (CI has a similar recipe, but I like the CC one better, just a good, basic potato salad). Also one I just tried: the Antipasto Pasta Salad from America's Test Kitchen (I couldn't find it on the CI Web site, so I'm not sure if it was ever published in a CI magazine)--very yummy, although a bit heavy on the meat and also a bit time-consuming laying out all the pepperoni/salami on paper towels--but worth it.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: Sunny Days

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          The BBQ Macaroni Salad is outstanding

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      2. I made the meat lasagna this weekend, just amazing. I absolutely love the Teriyaki Chicken Lo Mein. It is absolutely delicious and easy.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. I just made the rustic dinner rolls( Nov/Dec 08 and free at Americastestkitchen.com). They were really effing good. Very crusty and flavorful.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: Calipoutine

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Strictly from the magazine, I have found too many things that i like to list.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            I constantly use the vodka pie crust and the margarita pizza dough. Both get an A+ from me!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          2. From the Best Recipe book, the deep dish apple pie. I take this to all family holiday parties. Family members fight each other for a piece of pie. Certain people have been known to sneak into the kitchen and cut a piece of pie before dinner and then hide it so they can be sure to get a slice of pie. If I was a nicer person I would bake two pies.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. Indoor pulled pork has to be my all time favorite, thouhg actully it's the only thing I make from them.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. Free-form meatloaf & chicken piccata. Love CI but its so expensive...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. I think Cook's Illustrated is best for more rustic cooking and I always enjoy their different takes on braised, stews and soups.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  I just made recently one of their lamb stews with green beans, tomatoes and basil which was excellent.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Some photos of the different steps:

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: honkman

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    That sounds amazing. Too bad I will already be making lamb this upcoming week but I'm going to bookmark this and try it out later this summer. Thanks!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  2. What a great thread! Thanks for all the advice -- been meaning to try several of the general faves, including Chicken Tikka Masala and Beef Strogonoff. I'm adding brown sugar cookies to the list (maybe even tonight).

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    My picks from the magazine:
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    lime cheesecake bars
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    butternut squash risotto

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    From the Cook's Bible:
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    buttermilk waffles
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    The fast pizza method, which makes pizza doable on a weeknight (although the crust is better if it rises longer). The no-cook sauce is fantastic and the concept -- brush crust with herb-infused olive oil, sprinkle with salt, add sauce and bake about 7 minutes before adding anything heavy like cheese -- makes for a beautifully crispy, chewy, bubbly crust.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    The Yellow Farmhouse Cookbook (not America's Test Kitchen, but Chris Kimball solo) has a great thick garlicky mustard viniagrette that's designed to top fat wedges of quick-steamed cabbage and will convince skeptics that cooked cabbage is delicious.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    On the other hand, I think it was their strawberry ice cream that I did not like.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. The Thick and Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookies are some of the best I've had!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      I also like like:

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      - Easy Tarte Tatin (it really is a cinch)
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      - Thai-Style Chicken with Basil
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      - Cilantro-Mint Chutney
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      - Chinese Barbecued Pork

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. Cooks Illustrated Recipe: Boiled Water

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        It's good, but kind of watery. ;-)

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: Antilope

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          ROFL!! Thanks for the laugh this is priceless!!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        2. Indoor Clambake. Hands down.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          You have to join to view it on their website, but it's so easy you don't need their specific recipe. Here's my version for a crowd:

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          (Layered in a 16qt stock pot, from bottom to top:)
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          - sliced kielbasa, covering the bottom in one layer
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          - 2-4 lbs manila clams, wrapped in cheesecloth for easy removal
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          - 2-4 lbs mussels, also in cheesecloth
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          - a layer of small red potatoes
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          - a layer of half-sized corn on the cob
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          - as many (2-5?) lobsters as will fit with the lid still able to cover the pot

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Cover and cook on stovetop over medium high for 30 - 40 minutes. Potatoes will take the longest, so check their doneness by threading a skewer down between the lobsters and corn. Done potatoes = done dish.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Take apart the lobsters and arrange on a large platter, cracking open the main pieces to make it easy on your diners. Divide other ingredients into several serving dishes and spread everything out family style on the table with flavored melted butters (orange, ginger, bleu cheese are favorites), lemon halves, shell bowls, sour cream (for the potatoes), etc. Makes a great presentation, and I love when I get to use all my fun and quirky serving vessels! It also makes a big mess so be prepared.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          No seasonings, herbs, or liquid necessary. The shellfish give everything a briny perfume. It produces a lot of broth so serve that up too, with crusty bread.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Note: While the resultant broth prevents the kielbasa slices from burning on the bottom, they have left little circular impressions on the bottom of some stainless steel stock pots I've used over the years. I have been able to remove these by scrubbing with a scrubbing pad or wire brush (held with tongs) while boiling an inch of water in the pot.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: riceandeggs

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            This recipe intrigues me. I'm a midwesterner and don't have experience with clam bakes. Without added liquid, what makes the broth?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: lesliedm3

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Oops! So sorry I never saw your reply! Hopefully by now you've figured out that all of the broth comes from the shellfish plus some fat from the kielbasa. Friends have tried adding wine or various herbs and spices, and it's fine, but I really prefer the natural taste of these ingredients cooked together like this. And it's just so easy. If you haven't tried making this yet, I highly re-recommend it. It's probably pretty easy to make a scaled down version too, since this recipe can be really expensive, but I only do it once every couple of years so I like to go all out. Made it a month ago and fell in love all over again.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          2. We've had a subscription to the magazine for a few years and have made many recipies from it.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Love the marinade for the Chicken Fajitas, but instead of grilling, we throw everything in a skillet.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Also really like (off the top of my head):
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Penne ala Vodka
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Chicken Kiev
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Fettuccini Alfredo
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Parmesan Crusted Chicken
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Margarita Pizza

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: Indy_Foodie

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              I say you can not go wrong with the recipe for thier flakiest ever pie crust, which comes together with vodka, not water...It does indeed make the flakiest, most managable, no brainer pie crust ever...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: Bunnyfood

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Second the vodka pie crust. My crust is usually tough or completely falls apart no matter how many videos I watch, but the vodka crust works really well.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            2. I'm mining this thread for ideas! I have TNBR, and that whole heavy tome is worth it if only for the Creme Caramel, which I believe one person mentioned upthread. It is DIVINELY creamy, silky, and rich but delicate. I will never use another creme caramel/flan recipe as long as I live. The Cream Scone recipe can't possibly be improved upon, either - simple to make, and so tender, flaky, and light it might make you cry, if you're the kind of person who sheds tears over superlative baked goods.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              The Blue Cheese Dressing, Tartar Sauce, and the soy/sesame glaze they suggest for grilled salmon are all excellent. Skip the mustard glaze for salmon, though.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. I love:

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Beef Bolognese Sauce with Pancetta and Red Wine
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Carbonnade a la Flammande
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Country-Style Pot Roast with Gravy (the gravy is addicting)
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Skillet Beef Pot Pie (the crust is AMAZING & so easy!!!)
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Skillet Meaty Lasagna (quick and tasty!)
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Parmesan-Crusted Chicken Cutlets
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Slow-Cooker Chicken Pot Pie with Biscuit Topping (yummy!)
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Un-Stuffed Chicken Breasts with Dijon, Ham, and Gruyère
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Smoky Scalloped Potatoes (TO DIE FOR)
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Chocolate-Hazelnut Cake
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Lemon Layer Cake
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                The Best Banana Bread
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Ultimate Chocolate Cupcakes with Ganache Filling

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: sahm2three

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  The Pots de Creme (cooked chocolate custard) recipe is easy and superb, and blows everyone away. This is my go-to dessert.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                2. I just made their "Authentic Beef Enchiladas" this weekend. Seriously, they were the best enchiladas I have ever made. Only problem was the filling yielded me a few less enchiladas than promised.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: mels

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Parmesan-crusted chicken cutlet was outstanding. Very good flavor, but kind of funny without a sauce to further enhance it. I now omit the fresh chives (mixed into the egg whites), and plate some Francese sauce underneath the chicken. The manicotti is always a hit at my house, using the Barilla 'no bake' pasta. Why couldn't I have thought of this preparation? It's a pretty simple method.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: chefdaddyo

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      It is really simple to make you own crepe noodles for manicotti ... like making pancakes. It really doesn't make much extra time and the flavor is definitely worth it. Would you like a recipe? I use the one from the Sopranos family cookbook.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    2. re: mels

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      I've been looking for a great enchilada recipe. Thank you for the tip!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    3. Can't remember if this has been mentioned already, but the Split Pea Soup with Ham is one of the best soups I've ever eaten. Filling and pretty healthy, too. I think the use of the picnic ham is what makes it so great...I wouldn't substitute.


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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: girlwonder88

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        the jan/feb 2011 issue of the magazine has a recipe for split pea/ham soup. made it last night with virtually no significant modifications. we both agreed that it was the BEST split pea soup we've ever had or made.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        for those inclined, add a shot of sherry or some hot sauce to the soup - though this recipe doesn't need either.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: justanotherpenguin

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          ATK also has a Split Pea and Ham soup recipe ... it's on the agenda for this weekend:

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          http://www.americastestkitchen.com/re... (have to be registered or give your email to get it)