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Cook's Country

Cook's Country August/September 2019

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
Erscheinungsweise:
Bimonthly
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2 Min.
letter from the editor

IN JUST THE past 12 months, our executive food editor, Bryan Roof, and our staff photographer, Steve Klise, have traveled to New Mexico, Mississippi, the Bronx, Seattle, and Philadelphia looking for great recipes. They’ve been doing this for years, making trips to Tennessee, Kentucky, North and South Carolina, Florida, Alabama, California, Wisconsin, Chicago, Detroit, Pittsburgh, and Texas. These journeys take tons of planning: researching regional traditions, telephoning local cooks, and corresponding with journalists on the ground. Bryan and Steve create extensive and detailed itineraries to make the most of their time on the road. But they’re still surprised on every trip. Take, for example, a recent visit to Ohio. At a small strip mall restaurant outside Cleveland, they came across an unexpected take on an otherwise predictable dish—eggplant Parmesan. Flavorful and satisfying…

5 Min.
ask cook’s country

Whip Correctly, Fold Gently When I cut into my round of sponge cake, it was dense and gummy on the bottom half but not on the top half. Why did this happen? Ellie Bergeron, Tempe, Ariz. Delicate sponge and chiff on cakes call for whipped egg whites as a leavener; the air trapped in the whipped whites expands in the oven, giving the cakes lift. However, both the texture of the whipped egg whites and how they’re folded into the batter can impact the overall texture and height of a cake. To illustrate this, we baked several versions of our Lemon Chiff on Layer Cake recipe, which calls for whipping egg whites to soft peaks and then folding them into the batter. At soft peaks, the whites have nearly reached their fullest volume, and…

1 Min.
kitchen shortcuts

No Lid, No Problem Pamela Navo, Charlevoix, Mich. My husband and I were having leftover Chinese food for dinner, but we’d eaten all the rice the night before. Without thinking, I pulled out my smallest saucepan—which doesn’t have a lid—to make a little batch of rice. Looking around for something to cover the pan, I found the perfect thing: a clear, heat-resistant Pyrex mixing bowl, which is made of tempered glass. To my delight, it fit snugly over both my small and large saucepans. Now I use it every time I make rice or steam vegetables. Removing Baked-On Gunk Ingrid Haun, Louisville, Tenn. Lasagna and other baked foods containing cheese or eggs can leave stubborn residue in baking dishes—and this residue ends up embedded in your sponge or brush after washing. So after soaking a…

3 Min.
one brand of macaroni elbowed its way to the top

PRODUCT TASTING YOU CAN USE elbow macaroni in recipes from pasta salads to casseroles, but its claim to fame is, of course, its use in macaroni and cheese. To determine which macaroni is best, we selected five widely available products and tasted each one plain (tossed with canola oil) and in our Classic Macaroni and Cheese The size of the macaroni was a big factor in our preferences. Once cooked, the macaroni ranged in length from roughly 0.5 inches to almost a full inch long. We liked larger elbows because they were easier to spear with a fork; our favorite macaroni was the longest, averaging 0.88 inches once cooked. Another deciding factor was the texture of the cooked macaroni. Most of the products in our lineup had a satisfactory springy quality, but our favorite…

2 Min.
family style

ALBERT GUERRA MAKES the gordita dough in a giant stain-less-steel bowl. He eyeballs a good pour of masa harina and follows it up with generous amounts of salt and grated yellow cheddar. Next, he props the bowl precariously on the edge of the sink and adds warm tap water before he aggressively kneads the mixture into a cohesive mass. People ask him for the recipe all the time, but it’s all done by feel and sight. “I don’t know. I just do it,” he says. Albert and his family operate Saenz Gorditas, a restaurant located in Las Cruces, New Mexico, housed in what used to be a drive-up burger joint. Cars park out front under a corrugated tin awning, and you half expect to see waitresses on roller skates handing off…

5 Min.
gorditas

WHEN OUR EXECUTIVE food editor, Bryan Roof, returned from a trip to Las Cruces, New Mexico, he spoke enthusiastically about the gorditas he had eaten at Saenz Gorditas (see “Family Style”). There, the gorditas (Spanish for “little fat ones”) are plump corn cakes with crisp exteriors and tender interiors that are split open like pitas and stuffed with ground beef picadillo. They bear almost no resemblance to the fast-food item that shares their name. The dough rounds—made with corn flour (masa harina), water, and sometimes cheese—are often fried in a hot pan (without fat) to form a crust and develop toasted-corn flavor. At Saenz, the cooks skip the pan and the griddle and go straight to the deep-fryer to make gorditas with soft and moist interiors, exteriors with crunch, extra savoriness…