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Cook's Country

Cook's Country December/January 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.

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

THE MAJOR HOLIDAYS are so much fun. Music, laughter, big meals, celebration, happy times. But I think a lot about the days just before and after the big dates, the ones we tend to overlook. That Wednesday night before Thanksgiving, with the breeze of anticipation (or is it anxiety?) in the air. Or that afternoon the day after Christmas, when you still don’t want to get out of your pj’s but you might scream if you see another cookie. I think those are the days when cooking really shows its power. The glamour shots are always of the tableful of pies you baked or beautiful centerpiece roast you prepared, but think of the beauty in that simple dish you’ll make on a holiday season “off” night. Something warm, restorative, and thoughtful for…

3 Min.
ask cook’s country

Mailing Cookies I want to mail cookies to friends as holiday gifts. Do you have any packing tips that will ensure their safe arrival? –Donna Sayers, Marietta, Ga. To test the best way to mail holiday cookies, we made batches of our New Mexico Biscochitos, Turtle Bars, and Chocolate Brownie Cookies (page 20) and experimented with different methods of packing and mailing to send them off to lucky friends around the country. The recipients then reported back on how the cookies held up through transit. Our hefty Turtle Bars held up the best, followed by the biscochitos. While the Chocolate Brownie Cookies were the most prone to breaking, almost any cookies can be successfully mailed with some care. For delicate cookies and hefty, sticky bar cookies, we recommend making stacks of three or four with…

1 Min.
stay sharp

My favorite chef’s knife has a plastic handle, but the care instructions caution against putting the knife in the dishwasher. Why? –Mick Bornhurst, Oklahoma City, Okla. Although most plastic handles are dishwasher-safe (wooden handles aren’t), sharp knives won’t stay sharp if they go through the dishwasher. Water in the wash cycle can jostle knives, which can cause the blade to bump against the rack or other objects, significantly dulling or chipping the blade. Also, dishwasher detergent can dull and discolor chef’s knives. But the biggest reason to avoid the dishwasher is safety: No matter how you load knives—flat on a rack or standing in the basket—they can shift around, become hidden under other objects, or end up at awkward angles that make them dangerous to unload. THE BOTTOM LINE: Hand-wash your chef’s knives so…

1 Min.
kitchen shortcuts

Boil It Clean –John Fante, Tucson, Ariz. Here’s a simple trick I picked up from my mom: Whenever I have a skillet with a lot of dark bits cooked onto it, I pour in some water and bring it to a boil on the stovetop. The boiling action loosens all the gunk and makes cleaning the pan with soap and a scrubber a breeze. This technique works great with both stainless-steel and cast-iron pans. Easy, Not Greasy –Molly Ball, Lake Waccamaw, N.C. I used to hate poking around with a spoon to skim the excess grease off sauces, stocks, and soups, until a friend of mine shared a trick he learned in culinary school. If you set just one side of a pot over the burner on a flat-top stove, the simmering bubbles will push…

3 Min.
searching for the best spread

Our previous favorite strawberry spread was discontinued, so it was time to find a new one. Strawberry is the nation’s most popular flavor of jams, jellies, and preserves, and this was evident in the number of products we found on the market. Some companies offered multiple options, so we conducted a pretasting of 14 products to narrow down our lineup to one jam, two preserves, and three spreads. We then tasted each of these products plain, in peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, and in Jam Thumbprint Cookies. We found that even if two products had the same name (e.g., preserves), they might have very different flavors and consistencies. Strawberry flavors ranged from subtle to vibrant, and consistencies ran the gamut from “syrupy” and “runny” to “stiff” and “thick.” The runny sample…

4 Min.
holiday roast beef on the cheap

DON’T GET ME wrong; I love beef tenderloins and standing rib roasts as much as the next person. But sometimes you need a less expensive option. I wanted to see if I could create a celebration-worthy beef roast using one of my favorite affordable cuts: chuck-eye roast. Chuck eye has a big, beefy flavor and is easy to find—and it typically rings in at about a third of the cost of beef tenderloin. Chuck-eye roast is cut from the shoulder of the cow—the chuck—so the muscles are hardworking and can be chewy when cooked too quickly. Cooking the meat low and slow helps it become tender. So to start my testing, I seasoned a 5-pound boneless beef chuck-eye roast with salt and pepper and cooked it in a 275-degree oven. I…