Friday, July 31, 2009

Referencing Friday (07-31-09 edition)

The Best of America's Test Kitchen: The Year's Best Recipes, Equipment Reviews, and Tastings 2007

This volume represents the best of the best from America’s most famous test kitchen. Every year, our editors and cooks develop nearly 1,000 recipes for our magazines, books, and public television show. The Best of America’s Test Kitchen contains our absolute favorite recipes from the past year. Come share our successes (and learn about some interesting failures) in this book packed with step-by-step photographs, opinionated equipment and ingredient recommendations, and common-sense information that will make you a better cook. Following are just a few things we learned in our test kitchen this year.

A "PUDDING" MIXTURE MAKES THE MOISTEST CAKE. For a layer cake that’s extra-chocolaty and super-moist, add a homemade pudding mix (unsweetened chocolate, cocoa, and sugar cooked with a little water) to the batter.

YES, YOU CAN BUY A DECENT inexpensive STEAK. Our expert tasters sampled 12 inexpensive supermarket cuts and found two that can rival any fancy steak.

GELATIN IS THE SECRET TO GREAT MEAT LOAF. Forget about buying three kinds of ground meat. You can use only beef—and get tender results—by adding a pinch of gelatin.

Sometimes the Cheaper Pan Is The Best Option. Our equipment testers set out to compile a list of must-have pots and pans for any kitchen and in the process learned that the high-priced brands are not always the best.

You’ll find many other equipment tests throughout the book, on everything from hand blenders and deep fryers to vegetable peelers and meat pounders.

For the best chicken ever, poke holes in the skin (so fat can escape) and rub the bird with cornstarch. The result is an extra-crisp coating that’s almost crunchy.

My Thoughts

I'm a big fan of America's Test Kitchen. I mean, these people will spend weeks trying to find how to make the best fried chicken.

I've already made the Roasted Garlic Potatoes (and got rave reviews over them!), and am still waiting to try out some more recipes, like Sugar-Glazed Roasted Carrots, Skillet Baked Ziti, Slow-Cooker Bolognese Sauce, Glazed All-Beef Meatloaf, Roast Pork Tenderloin with Lowfat Apple and Sage Cream Sauce, Crispy Roast Chicken and Potatoes, Creole Crab Cakes with Quick Remoulade Sauce, Baked Cod with Crunchy Lemon-Herb Topping, Lemon Pound Cake and Individual Sticky Toffee Pudding Cakes. But for now, I've only tried out the Roasted Garlic Potatoes. Here's the recipe.

Roasted Garlic Potatoes

2 pounds red potatoes (6 medium), cut into 1-inch wedges

1 tablespoon cornstarch

1/2 teaspoon garlic powder

Salt and pepper

3 tablespoons vegetable oil

1 tablespoon unsalted butter, softened

1 garlic clove, minced

1 teaspoon minced fresh parsley

1/8 teaspoon grated lemon zest
  1. Adjust an oven rack to the highest position, place a rimmed baking sheet on the rack, and heat the oven to 450 degrees.
  2. Toss the potatoes, cornstarch, garlic powder, 3/4 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper together in large bowl. Carefully remove the preheated baking sheet from the oven, add the oil, and tilt to evenly coat with the oil. Place the potatoes cut-side down in a single layer on the baking sheet. Roast until browned around the edges, about 30 minutes.
  3. Meanwhile, mix the butter, garlic, parsley, and zest together in a medium bowl. Remove the baking sheet from the oven and, using a metal spatula, turn the potatoes skin-side down. Roast until the potatoes are crisp and deep golden brown, 10 to 15 minutes.
  4. Transfer the potatoes to the bowl with the butter mixture and toss until evenly coated. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Serve.

Note: Do not be tempted to turn the potatoes more than the recipe indicates-- they will not become crispy or brown properly.

As I said, I got rave reviews, especially from my boyfriend. They were yummy!
  • Publisher: America's Test Kitchen
  • Pub. Date: September 2006
  • ISBN-13: 9781933615097
  • 312pp


Anonymous said...

That looks great. If you need more reviewers for your experiments, you are always welcome at my house!

Staci said...

I would love to look through this one!! However, I think I would rather be a taste tester than the cook!! LOL!

Heidi V said...

Thanks for the gift idea for my sister she just got a new home so this would be a great house warming present!