Food & Wine
Cook's Illustrated

Cook's Illustrated January/February 2019

At Cook's Illustrated, our test cooks are dedicated to testing and retesting recipes 20, 30, sometimes 50 times until we come up with a recipe that will come out right the first time -- and every time -- you make it. And each issue of Cook's Illustrated is 100% ADVERTISING FREE, so you get unbiased and objective information on every page. As we like to say at Cook's Illustrated, "We make the mistakes so you don't have to."

United States
Boston Common Press, LP
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$10.67(Incl. tax)
$30.68(Incl. tax)
6 Issues

in this issue

2 min.
comfort food

You can’t talk about Korean food without talking about jangs,” Seong shouted over his shoulder at me as he carefully diced a carrot into ¼-inch cubes. I was a couple of weeks into culinary school, and Seong, a student from Seoul, South Korea, had taken it upon himself to teach me about the food he grew up eating. Between precision knife cuts, he explained that jangs—intensely savory fermented sauces and pastes made from soybeans and chiles—were the backbone of the cuisine. I had little experience with Korean food. I peppered him with questions. One night after class, Seong cooked his grandmother’s recipes for a group of us at my apartment. Along with many other dishes, he made bulgogi, thinly sliced marinated rib eye that he stir-fried in a hot skillet. He…

4 min.
quick tips

“Exfoliate” Root Veggies Dawn Provenncher of Questa, N.M., has a new way to speedily clean the grime from root vegetables such as potatoes and carrots: She soaks the vegetables briefly in warm water and then dons a clean bath exfoliating glove and rubs away the dirt with her gloved hand. Make a Plastic Wrap Pull Tab To make a plastic-wrapped sandwich easy to unwrap, Anne Hender–son of Blenheim, Ontario, places the sandwich at a slight angle on a piece of plastic wrap and then rolls up the sandwich until she’s left with a little piece of extra plastic that can be twisted to form a tab. When she’s ready to eat, she can quickly find the tab and pull it to unwrap the food. Traveling Tool Kit Noreen McGovern of Biddeford, Maine, likes to make…

1 min.
double the fond, double the flavor

In our ragu bianco, two rounds of fond development ensure plenty of rich flavor. First, we simmer pancetta to extract its juices and fat and let that liquid turn into a deeply savory fond. Then, as the pork shoulder simmers in the oven, juices and fat spatter onto the sides of the pot, creating a second layer of fond. To loosen the fond on the sides, we simply cover the pot for a few minutes so that steam can soften it.…

7 min.
the original ragu

Mention the word “ragu,” and a rich, meaty, tomato-laced sauce typically comes to mind. But sauces containing tomato are a relatively recent addition to the Italian culinary repertoire, not appearing until the early 1800s. Long before then, ragu bianco (a simple, not-too-saucy mixture of any number of chopped or shredded meats, aromatics, and often white wine—but never tomato) was on the menu. Ragu bianco started out as fare for nobility. Beef, pork, or game was stewed, and the deeply savory cooking liquid was used to dress pasta as one course. Meanwhile, the meat was carved and arranged on a platter for a subsequent course. Eventually, this style of eating was copied by the gentry, who used smaller, less expensive cuts. By the late 17th century, the practice had trickled down to…

1 min.
understanding al dente

Pasta recipes almost always call for cooking noodles al dente, meaning they are tender but still firm. But what exactly happens to dried pasta as it cooks? It helps to know that dried pasta is a complex network of starch granules held together by protein. When pasta is boiled, the starch granules on the surface of the pasta absorb water and swell, and some eventually burst, releasing starch into the cooking water. The granules just beneath the pasta’s surface don’t become as hydrated and merely swell without bursting. Finally, the starch at the very center of the pasta becomes only partially hydrated, so the center retains a slightly firm bite and a faint white core.…

1 min.
punch up your pantry with these korean staples

KIMCHI: In Korea, this accompaniment is on the table at breakfast, lunch, and dinner. There are hundreds of variations, but the best-known type, which is tangy and spicy, is made of salted fermented napa cabbage and seasoned with chili powder, garlic, ginger, and scallions. Add it to grain bowls, stir-fries, scrambled eggs, burgers, hot dogs, or grilled cheese. GOCHUJANG: This thick, sweet, savory, and spicy paste is made from gochugaru (Korean chile flakes), dried fermented soybean powder, sweet rice powder, salt, and sometimes sugar. Use it in Korean Fried Chicken, marinades, or dipping sauces or to pep up soups, stews, and even deviled eggs. DOENJANG: Fermented soybeans give this coarse-textured, miso-like, salty, rich paste a slight sourness. Use as a replacement for miso in soups, stews, and dressings or as a coating…