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Cook's Illustrated January/February 2021

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."

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Country:
United States
Language:
English
Publisher:
Boston Common Press, LP
Frequency:
Bimonthly
£5.05
£14.53
6 Issues

in this issue

2 min
the trees for the forest

I never thought much about trees. Sure, I’d notice the big stuff—leaves dramatically changing color in the fall, the time Hurricane Gloria toppled a huge specimen that knocked out our power for days. But for most of my life, trees were ubiquitous, ignorable. Then I learned about a tree whose heart-shaped leaves emit a cotton candy–like aroma as they change from green to yellow in October. It’s called a katsura tree, and when I smelled it firsthand, I realized just how much I was missing. That experience jump-started a passionate curiosity, and I’ve been studying and appreciating trees ever since. (Another favorite of mine is the sweet birch. Snap a small branch; breathe deep; and you’ll be hit with the smell of a freshly opened can of root beer, thanks to…

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5 min
quick tips

Keeping Cookie Dough Round Leslie Saltsman of Potomac, Md., uses cardboard paper towel rolls to store her cookie dough in the refrigerator. Once she’s formed the dough into a log, she rolls it in plastic wrap and slides the dough inside the cardboard (slit lengthwise) to protect it in the fridge and keep it perfectly round. Slow-Flow Oil A drizzle of deeply flavorful truffle oil or toasted sesame oil can add character and complexity to a dish, but if too much accidentally gushes from the bottle, it can also ruin the dish. To prevent this, Ning Zhou of Brooklyn, N.Y., holds a chopstick across the bottle opening with its tip pointed toward the food as she pours—the oil travels along the length of the chopstick in a thin stream, making it easier to…

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9 min
light and tender gnudi

Italian cooks came by gnudi the way other cooks in that part of the world came by panzanella and pappa al pomodoro—which is to say by necessity more than by design. They patched together the soft, fresh cheese and greens (usually chard or spinach) that were abundant in pastoral pockets of Tuscany, binding them up with egg, flour and/or bread crumbs, grated Parmesan or pecorino, and seasonings. When the dough was adequately cohesive, they molded small portions into round or cylindrical dumplings; gently poached them in salty water; and sauced them with something simple, such as tomato sugo or browned butter. This was cucina povera at its best: a couple of naturally paired provisions deftly worked into something substantial and satisfying. And while the name of the dish suggests a certain…

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10 min
my favorite egg sandwich

Just down the promenade from our office is an outpost of Joanne Chang’s Flour Bakery, whose offerings have inspired a number of recipes for this magazine, including Andrea Geary’s Chocolate-Espresso Dacquoise (November/December 2012) and my Best Lemon Bars (March/April 2018). But my favorite item on the menu, my go-to lunch when I can’t scavenge something from the test kitchen, has always been the egg sandwich. What makes it so special? Instead of a runny fried egg that drips and oozes with every bite, a scramble that tumbles out from between the bread, or—the worst scenario—a microwaved slab that’s rubbery and dense, it features an “egg souffle.” While the food nerd in me isn’t quite on board with this term (there’s no air beaten into the egg mixture), I love everything else…

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5 min
skordalia is for garlic lovers

Most countries along the Mediterranean enjoy a robust garlic sauce as part of their cuisine. The French and Spanish have aioli and allioli, respectively; the Lebanese have toum; and the Turks, tarator. But of all the great garlic sauces throughout Western cultures, the Greek contribution to this lineup, skordalia, might be the most versatile. It’s cobbled together from the simplest of ingredients: Start with a starchy base of riced boiled potatoes or day-old bread soaked in liquid (ground nuts are sometimes added, too). Add fresh lemon juice (or wine vinegar) and a liberal amount of minced raw garlic, and then vigorously whisk in extra-virgin olive oil until an emulsion forms. The resulting blend, with a heady aroma and fresh acidity, is used in myriad ways (see “Sauce, Dip, or Spread?”), making…

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7 min
ultracomforting chicken and gravy

When I roast a whole chicken, the accompaniment I always yearn for is a generous pour of gravy. You know, the rich, deeply flavorful kind that gives off the soul-soothing vibes of a Thanksgiving feast. Yet what often stops me is that great gravy typically begins with pan drippings, which means that you need to wait until the bird is finished roasting to make it. The best gravy also requires homemade stock, a time-consuming production unto itself. If I could find a way to prepare juicy, crispy-skinned chicken and savory gravy in tandem, I’d have my dream dinner without too much fuss. I suspected that a mash-up of two classics from my colleague Lan Lam—One-Hour Broiled Chicken and Pan Sauce (March/April 2017) and Our Favorite Turkey Gravy (November/December 2018)—would deliver. The chicken…

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