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Cook's Country

Cook's Country August/September 2018

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.

Land:
United States
Sprache:
English
Verlag:
Boston Common Press, LP
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2 Min.
letter from the editor

I’VE PLAYED TENNIS since I was a kid. I’m not very good at it, but I stick with it because there are always things to learn—how to read your opponent, how to hold your racket, how to position your body, how to win. But whenever a match is going south on me, I inevitably hear the voice of the teacher who gave me my very first tennis lesson out on the public courts: “Keep your eye on the ball.” No kidding, right? So obvious. And yet so easy to forget. There is a similarly simple cooking lesson that I sometimes forget to remember: Set up. (Cooks often use a French term to describe this idea: mise en place.) Setting up means two things. First, reading and understanding your recipe. Second, organizing your work…

4 Min.
ask cook’s country

Quick Picks In your baking recipes, what do you mean by “when a toothpick comes out clean”? –Maggie Lovering, Fort Collins, Colo. Given all the variables of a kitchen—oven temperature accuracy, small differences in ingredients (every egg is different, for example), thickness or materials of baking vessels, etc.—we call for a range of baking times in most of our baking recipes. The visual cues we provide when checking doneness, such as “until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean” (for muffins, cupcakes, and some cakes) and “until toothpick inserted in center comes out with few moist crumbs attached” (for brownies and fudgy cakes), are meant to help determine when to remove a baked good from an oven without having to rely solely on specific timing. To test a cake for doneness with a toothpick,…

1 Min.
freezing peaches

What’s the best way to freeze fresh summer peaches for baking? –Cassandra Cohen, Northampton, Mass. To determine the best way to freeze peaches, we tested freezing sliced peaches peeled and unpeeled, as well as freezing the fruit at different stages of ripeness (very ripe and soft, ripe but firm, and underripe). We thawed the peaches and sampled them plain and in our Peach Cobbler for Two. Whether to peel or not before freezing came down to personal preference; the peels were minimally noticeable in the baked cobbler, and many tasters said they would rather not go through the effort of peeling peaches for baked desserts. The real difference had to do with ripeness. Peaches that had been frozen when very ripe and soft had great flavor but broke down into mush when thawed.…

2 Min.
kitchen shortcuts

Presto: Pesto Recycle –Scott Miraldi, Sandy Hook, Conn. When I’m making pesto, a small but significant amount of the mixture always ends up underneath the food processor blade and in the corners of the workbowl after I’ve emptied it. Rather than spend time scraping it out with a rubber spatula, I add ½ cup more oil to the processor and give it a quick pulse. The oil splashes up into those hard-to-reach spots and drags out the stubborn bits of pesto so I can easily pour it out of the workbowl; I save this pesto-flavored oil in a squeeze bottle in the refrigerator and use it for vinaigrette, as a dipping oil for breads, and for drizzling over grilled meats. Avocado Ice –Adrienne Mendoza, Washington, D.C. I’m a little ashamed to say that my husband…

2 Min.
tasting cottage cheese

COTTAGE CHEESE IS a tasty snack when eaten plain, and it’s also a handy ingredient: We use it in baked pastas because it stays creamy, and we add it to pizzas, dips, and desserts, where it contributes moisture and richness. To find the best one for both snacking and cooking, we selected five top-selling, nationally available full-fat cottage cheeses and sampled them plain and in lasagna. Texture proved critical: Our highly rated cottage cheeses were drier and less liquid-y, while our least favorite products were watery. However, we noticed that wetter products had additives such as xanthan gum, guar gum, and locust bean gum—all meant to bind ingredients and reduce wateriness. Our winner and runner-up had no gums at all and the shortest ingredient lists in the lineup. Dr. Dana Wolle, senior…

3 Min.
pride of chicago’s south side

ROSE GEORGE IS making chop suey when I arrive at Vito & Nick’s on the South Side of Chicago. She tells me to wait a second and then turns to shake my hand. She has a vice-like grip. It’s 11:00 a.m. on a Wednesday, and the bar is already half-filled with regulars drinking beer; Rose has been there since 2:00 a.m., cooking and “taking care of things,” including making chop suey for her employees and some regulars. In the early 1920s, Rose’s grandparents, Vito and Mary Barraco, opened Vito’s Tavern. Mary, who was Sicilian, did most of the cooking, and they sold basic fare such as sandwiches, sausages, meatballs, and spaghetti in Chinese takeout containers. In 1945, Vito’s son Nick joined the business and they began selling pizza. Twenty years later, Nick…