Cook's Country August - September 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

WHEN YOU’RE STARING up from your chaise at the palm fronds waving lazily in the tropical breeze, it’s hard to imagine you’re in the same country as the gray, noisy, traffic-clogged metropolis you may have left behind. But you are. This is Hawaii, our 50th state, and while its natural charms are the stuff of fantasy, it’s relatively underappreciated when it comes to food. Tourists know the luau staples—kalua pork, poi, mai tais—and they have their charms. But the more common (and, frankly, more satisfying) tradition is the omnipresent “plate lunch,” often served in a to-go container and including some sort of protein (pork, perhaps, but just as often braised or fried chicken), two scoops of rice, and one scoop of macaroni salad. Sound filling? It is, but then all that…

ask cook’s country

Sheet Shifting Does it really matter if I switch and rotate my cookie sheets while baking? Lucy Sammer, Rye, N.Y. Most of our recipes for cookies, pies, cakes, and tarts call for rotating the baking sheet or pan halfway through baking to ensure even cooking and browning. But we love challenging assumptions, even our own, so to answer your question, we baked our Chewy Sugar Cookies and Thick and Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookies both with and without rotating the sheets. Sure enough, the cookies on the sheets that weren’t rotated baked a bit unevenly, with certain cookies darker due to oven hot spots. The difference was minor but noticeable. Since our recipes are designed with that step, which requires opening the oven door and losing heat, the cookies we did not rotate also…

kitchen shortcuts

SMART TIP Dust Your Knife Barbara Blakeson, Annapolis, Md. My kids love your recipe for Seven-Layer Bars, and I make it at least 10 times a year. I found one trick that makes cutting these sticky treats a bit easier: Once I’ve removed the uncut bars from the pan using the foil sling, I score the bars to mark where to cut. Then I dust my chef’s knife with confectioners’ sugar; the sugar adheres to the now-sticky knife. This way the bars don’t stick to the knife when I cut them into squares. DOUBLE DUTY Strain It Joseph McConkey, Oak Park, Ill. I love poached eggs, but I hate messy whites, both in the water and on my plate. Thanks to one of your tips, I’ve learned to crack the eggs into a fine-mesh strainer…

smoked fresh ham

THE USUAL GO-TO cut of pork for backyard barbecue is the pork shoulder, but in certain corners of the Carolinas, many pitmasters swear by ham (see “On the Road”). I don’t mean the smoked, sliced ham you’ll find on a holiday table but rather “fresh ham” or “green ham,” which is bought uncooked and, with care and attention, can be transformed into a remarkably savory, deeply flavored filling for a summertime sandwich. Fresh ham, cut from the hindquarters of the hog and sold unsmoked and unseasoned, is leaner than traditional barbecue cuts like shoulder. Cooking it takes a little know-how, but if it’s done properly, the payoff is big. The meat is less soft, more chunky, and best of all, the crisp, bacon-like bits of skin are chopped and mixed into…

in south carolina, a lesson in old and new

It’s a few minutes before 5 a.m., still dark and bitterly cold, when I pull up to a long cinder-block smokehouse in West Columbia, South Carolina. A faint light from inside illuminates a massive pile of split logs that sits in the yard. As I approach the building, a large cargo door slides open and the silhouettes of a man and his dog appear beneath a struggling fluorescent bulb. His breath hangs in the frigid air as he extends a hand and welcomes me to Hite’s Bar-B-Que. David Hite has been on the graveyard shift since 7 p.m. the previous evening, burning fat logs of oak and hickory down to red-hot coals in a weathered brick fireplace and shoveling them under the 25-foot-long barbecue pit where whole hogs, racks of ribs,…

grilled citrus chicken

BONELESS, SKINLESS CHICKEN breasts are often tagged as a boring, easily overcooked substitute for more-flavorful thighs. I disagree. Call me Pollyanna (it wouldn’t be the first time), but I think of this lean, mild meat as a blank canvas just waiting for a creative boost. I love citrus juices—lemon, lime, and orange—but when they’re used in a marinade, their acidity can toughen meat. I needed another way to bring these flavors to grilled chicken. Years of testing have taught us that marinades do most of their work on the surface of the meat, while a solution of salt and water deeply seasons meat and helps keep it moist. By combining the two into a salty marinade, or “brinerade,” we season the meat throughout while also adding flavor to the exterior. I assembled a…