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Cook's Country

Cook's Country

June/July 2021
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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.

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

in this issue

3 min.
letter from the editor

THE GREAT JAMES Beard once said, “Food is our common ground, a universal experience.” I love that. There was a time when just about anyone with an interest in food and cooking studied Beard’s wise words and recipes—culinary students, restaurant chefs, writers, and home cooks alike. The man known as the “dean of American cooking” championed simple fare over fancy dishes with French titles. A foundation* and prestigious awards** bear his name. And prior to the pandemic, renowned chefs hosted benefit dinners in his Greenwich Village home. As much as I admire Beard the man for elevating American food, it is his gracious perspective on matters of humanity and his efforts to democratize the food system that I respect most. In 1940, he used his influence to bring attention to one of America’s invisible…

5 min.
ask cook’s country

Q: I HAVE STARTED GETTING KOHLRABI IN MY FARM SHARE, BUT I’VE NEVER EATEN IT. WHAT ARE SOME THINGS I CAN DO WITH IT? –Greg Pruitt, Ames, Iowa A: Kohlrabi—from the German kohl (“cabbage”) and Rübe (“turnip”)—is a cultivated variety of Brassica oleracea and a close relative of broccoli, cauliflower, brussels sprouts, cabbage, and kale (among others). Its defining physical trait is its swollen, almost spherical bulb. The leaves, stems, and bulb (the most commonly eaten part) have a mild flavor like a sweeter broccoli or a more vegetal cauliflower, though kohlrabi is a bit less sulfurous than both. The bulb, which can be eaten either raw or cooked, has two distinct layers of fibrous skin that should be thoroughly peeled away before eating. The texture of the bulb is crisp like a…

1 min.
kitchen shortcuts

Hold the Cream and Sugar Dried mushrooms float, but they don’t rehydrate evenly unless they are submerged in hot liquid. Elizabeth King of Longmont, Colo., conquers the floating shiitake or porcini mushrooms by using her French press. She puts the dried fungi in the press, pours boiling water over them, and depresses the plunger screen to hold the mushrooms down. When the mushrooms have hydrated, she pulls the plunger out and lets them float to the surface, where they’re easy to remove with a fork or tongs (leaving the grit and sand at the bottom of the pot). Makeshift Jar Opener When Sean Hockert of Trenton, N.J., was recently trying to open a stubbornly stuck unopened jar of salsa, he was frustrated at not having a silicone jar opener. He improvised by using…

1 min.
tasting bottled cold-brew coffee

ATK REVIEWS ONCE FOUND ONLY at trendy coffee shops, cold-brew coffee is now widely available in grocery stores and online. Some cold brews are sold as concentrates, while others are sold ready to drink, meaning that they don’t require dilution. We purchased eight—four concentrates and four ready-to-drink products—and tried them plain and with milk. Two were brewed with chicory root, an ingredient commonly found in New Orleans–style coffee. Overall, we preferred the convenience of the ready-to-drink options. The concentrates were weak when we mixed them with water to manufacturer recommendations, so we needed to use more coffee than suggested to get a flavorful cup. This process takes guesswork, which negates any cost savings. In the end, which cold-brew coffee you prefer will depend on how you like to take your coffee. Some of…

1 min.
kansas city–style barbecue ribs

KANSAS CITY BARBECUE is known for its enthusiastic use of sweet, complex barbecue sauce, which is considered an essential part of the experience. Pitmasters marry peppery sauce and rich, smoky meat with a deft touch. Burnt ends are bathed, brisket is slathered, and ribs are glazed. The effect is balanced flavor with peaks and valleys of spice and smoke—and sticky fingers to boot. I spent four days eating my way through the Kansas City barbecue scene, talking to pitmasters about the spirit of Kansas City barbecue. I came away from my trip inspired to make ribs similar to those I found at Harp Barbecue in Raytown, Missouri, 12 miles outside of downtown Kansas City—lacquered, tender to the bone, and assertively spiced.…

5 min.
attitude and smoke

AS I PULL into the gravel parking lot of Crane Brewing in Raytown, Missouri, on a hot Saturday in August, I spy a 375-gallon offset smoker kicking off a faint trickle of smoke. I step inside the brewery and work my way past the bar area and across the production floor and eventually take my place in line with the small crowd gathered in the barrel room, flanked by giant, wooden vats of beer. I was ready for my first taste of Harp Barbecue. Owner Tyler Harp dons an apron and positions himself behind a cutting board, ready to slice ribs and brisket to order. Tyler has been around Kansas City barbecue as far back as he can remember. “My favorite memories of being a child are playing baseball and being…