EXPLOREMY LIBRARY
Food & Wine
Cook's Country

Cook's Country February/March 2020

Cook's Country magazine is dedicated to honest-to-goodness American home cooking, offering quick, easy and satisfying meals that don't take hours to put on the table. Every recipe we publish has been tested and retested 20, 30, sometimes 50 times until we come up with a recipe that will work the first time and every time you make it. And each issue of Cook's Country is 100% ADVERTISING FREE, so you get unbiased and objective information on every page.

Country:
United States
Language:
English
Publisher:
Boston Common Press, LP
Frequency:
Bimonthly
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6 Issues

in this issue

1 min.
letter from the editor

HOW DO YOU make a sandwich? Seems like an easy enough question to answer. You just grab a couple of pieces of bread and put a slice of cheese and some sort of meat or vegetable between ’em. Right? Well, sure—that would be a sandwich. But a great sandwich can be so much more. If you want evidence, turn to page 5 to learn about our experience creating a recipe for Cuban sandwiches, that popular Florida-born construction of roast pork, ham, salami, Swiss cheese, and pickles stacked onto sliced bread and lightly toasted. Like other truly remarkable sandwiches, it’s really just a pile of ingredients that taste great on their own but, when brought together, create something that’s more than the sum of its parts. Something with a story. Something with a…

4 min.
ask cook’s country

Mushroom Cleaning What’s the best way to clean mushrooms? Is it OK to wash them, or will the water make them soggy? –Emily Scott, Milford, N.H. Many cooks fear that rinsing mushrooms will cause them to soak up water like a sponge, turn soggy, and steam—rather than brown—in the pan. In the test kitchen, we found that rinsing was actually fine for many mushrooms, as long as we rinsed them whole (before chopping). We proved this by weighing whole mushrooms before and after washing. We found that mushrooms without their gills fully exposed (button, cremini, etc.) did not absorb much water while being rinsed in a colander. Just make sure to dry the mushrooms before prepping and cooking—a quick spin in a salad spinner works well—so they’ll be able to brown. However, varieties with…

1 min.
kitchen shortcuts

Don’t Waste Those Wipes –Anne Hsu Gibson, Boulder, Colo. I often use cleaning wipes for my kitchen counters, and I’ve noticed that there’s always extra fluid at the bottom of the canister when the wipes run out. Instead of just tossing the whole thing into the recycling bin, I now stick a couple of paper towels into the canister, shake it up, and eke out a few more “cleaning wipes.” Cork It with a Carrot –Benjamin Musher, Houston, Texas My wife and I opened a bottle of sparkling wine. We didn’t finish the bottle, and we couldn’t fit the original cork back into the bottle’s mouth. In a pinch, we stuck a peeled carrot into the bottle opening to use as a substitute cork. The tapered shape of the carrot provided a surprisingly tight seal,…

1 min.
are all white chips the same?

IN THE TEST kitchen, we love white chocolate chips in all sorts of sweets. According to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, white chocolate must contain at least 20 percent cocoa butter. Many products replace some—or all—of that cocoa butter with refined fats; these products can’t legally be called white chocolate. Instead, they’re labeled white baking chips, morsels, or melting wafers. (For simplicity, we’ve chosen to refer to these products as “white chips.”) We gathered two varieties of white chocolate chips and four varieties of white chips and tasted them plain and in bark; then we pitted the white chocolate chips against our highest-ranking white chips in blondies. Surprisingly, we preferred white chips in both flavor and texture. Some tasters described the white chocolate chips as complex, but others noticed…

2 min.
made in america

IN TAMPA, FLORIDA, the Cuban sandwich is an enduring source of pride, sustenance, and fierce debate. Connoisseurs take strong stands on each element. Cuban sandwiches are derived from mixto sandwiches, which were popular in Cuba more than a century ago. “As the sandwich emigrated from Cuba to Key West and eventually to Tampa, the name evolved from ‘mixto’ to ‘Cubano’ and ‘Cuban,’” says historian Jeff Houck. They were a common lunch for laborers in the cigar factories, made with a variety of meats that could survive in paper sacks at room temperature. No mayonnaise, tomato, or lettuce. CUBAN SANDWICH FESTIVAL The annual Cuban Sandwich Festival, created by Victor Padilla and Jolie Gonzalez-Padilla, has become a massive two-day event that transforms Centennial Park in Tampa’s Ybor City neighborhood with music, performances, and, in 2019,…

2 min.
meanwhile, back in the test kitchen

AFTER EXECUTIVE FOOD Editor Bryan Roof returned from the Cuban Sandwich Festival in Tampa, he set a goal for me: Create a home recipe for Cuban sandwiches that would stand up to the prizewinners he’d tasted. The sandwich is familiar on a basic level: Roasted spiced pork, ham, Swiss cheese, dill pickles, and yellow mustard on soft bread that’s pressed and toasted until golden brown. In Tampa, the sandwich also includes Genoa salami. That’s a fantastic combination any way you look at it, so it’s no surprise that there are as many variations of the sandwich as there are fans of it. I wanted to take it back to its Tampa roots: Yes, there’d be salami on it; yes, I’d follow the traditional, particular order of components and amounts of each; yes,…