Cook's Country April - May 2016

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.

United States
Boston Common Press, LP
6 期号


letter from the editor

BEFORE TEST COOK Morgan Bolling set to developing her recipe for Derby Biscuits (page 7), we sorted through stacks of ancient recipes, some more than a century old, to find recipes for beaten biscuits. Precursors to the country-style biscuits we all know today, beaten biscuits were leavened not with chemicals but with hardy American muscle. Among the recipes we studied was the above gem from the hard-to-find Depression-era omnibus America Cooks by The Browns—Cora, Rose, and Bob. It’s an elegant little recipe perfectly suited to its time, trusting home cooks of the era to navigate its vague moments (“one-half ice water and one-half milk” is far from exact and would never pass muster with our recipe editors) while giving them an extra hand where required (“beat with a club for 25 minutes”…

ask cook’s country

Reusing Parchment Parchment paper is expensive. Can I reuse sheets for multiple batches of cookies? –Annette Buck, Beacon, N.Y. Parchment paper can run upwards of $7 per roll, so we were intrigued by the idea of reusing it to save some money. To test your question, we made five batches of our Perfect Chocolate Chip Cookies and five batches of sugar cookies, baking each batch on the same sheet of parchment (but using cooled baking sheets for each batch). Even after five rounds in the oven, the parchment held up and the cookies didn’t have any sticking or spreading issues. A little common sense goes a long way: Don’t reuse parchment that is overly messy (from decorating cookies or anything else), as the mess might burn in the oven, imparting off-flavors. Also, while cookie…

kitchen shortcuts

SMART IDEA Instant Thickener Amy Elizabeth, Mendocino, Calif. We eat roast chicken with gravy twice a week. To streamline the gravy-making, I blend together 1 cup of softened butter and 1 cup of all-purpose flour in my food processor until smooth. Then, using a tablespoon measure, I scoop the mixture onto a parchment paper–lined baking sheet and freeze it. When the butter-flour balls are solid, I put them in a zipper-lock bag in the freezer. It takes 2 tablespoons—two frozen balls—whisked into 1 cup of stock or pan drippings to thicken the gravy perfectly. COOL IDEA Strawberry Storage Susan Daffer, Atlanta, Ga. Your tip for storing strawberries properly without crushing or bruising (in a single layer on a paper towel– lined plate) works great, but it takes up a lot of room in my refrigerator. To save…

garlic fried chicken

HOMETOWN RECIPE WHEN OUR EXECUTIVE food editor returned from a recent trip to California, he pulled me aside to show me pictures of some fried chicken that he had eaten in Bakersfield (see “On the Road”). “What’s that all over the chicken?” I asked. “Butter and garlic. Lots of garlic. And it was amazing.” He described moist and tender chicken, permeated with mild garlic flavor, under a crispy coating that was doused with a potent garlic-parsley butter. I’m a huge fan of fried chicken, any fried chicken. But wouldn’t garlic butter sog out the coating? Or mask the flavor of the chicken? But my editor insisted. “You have to figure out how to make this,” he said. “You’re going to love it.” I searched our test kitchen library to find recipes similar to…

basque country cooking—in california

It’s a relentless, searingly sunny 103 degrees in Bakersfield, California, so when I enter the Pyrenees Cafe through its heavy, red door, my eyes need a moment to adjust. When they do, I turn left, where a long bar carries the length of the room. On the right, black leather booths sit beneath windows stubbornly shuttered to keep out the heat. Deeper in, the dining room opens up to reveal the first good clue that this is a gathering place for the city’s Basque community: long communal tables where patrons sit elbow to elbow. Though it might seem out of place, Basque food is as comfortable in California as any other cuisine. Immigrants from the Basque lands—primarily the Pyrenees Mountains separating Spain and France—flooded California during the Gold Rush in the…

basque green beans

IT’S HARD TO imagine a better side dish for garlic fried chicken than the Basque-style green beans served at the Pyrenees Cafe (see “On the Road”). The dish is built on green beans, of course, but finding the perfect texture for them was easier said than done. I wanted fully cooked beans but not mushy beans. I wanted fresh-looking beans but not raw (or even al dente) beans. Twelve minutes with a little liquid in a covered pot over medium heat was the answer. A few tests showed me that water was better than too-savory chicken stock, and ¼ cup of water was the perfect amount to cook the green beans and leave behind just enough moisture for the right level of sauciness. The add-ins were easy to settle on: Smoky bacon was…