Cook's Country December 2017 - January 2018

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

THE HOLIDAY SEASON represents the best opportunity all year for a home cook to show off. The guest lists are long and the stakes high. Roasts are grand, side dishes are special, desserts are exciting. It’s a wonderful time to surprise and delight family and friends with a festive feast. But let’s face it: It’s also the best opportunity all year for a home cook to fall flat. Get distracted for a moment and that roast can overcook, that side dish can go south, that cake can collapse. It’s a high-wire act, wobbly and uncertain. At Cook’s Country, we believe the answer is balance. Construct your holiday menu not just with an eye to how the food will taste but with a strict eye to how you’ll achieve it. Be realistic. Don’t shy…

parsley 101

Are curly- and flat-leaf parsleys interchangeable in recipes? Carina Sorenson, Ada, Mich. In the test kitchen, we almost always call for flat-leaf parsley because we prefer its flavor to that of curly-leaf parsley. A bonus is that it’s easier to chop than its curly-leafed cousin. But we’re never content to rest on our laurels, so we decided to revisit this preference with a series of blind taste tests. We bought multiple bunches of both flat-leaf and curly-leaf parsley, chopped them fine so there was no visual difference, and used both in three of our recipes: Real Tabbouleh, Salsa Verde, and Herbed Croutons. Tasters were asked to try both versions of each side by side. The crouton recipe calls for just a small amount of parsley, and tasters couldn’t tell a difference between the…

cracking the cream code

Can I whip light cream instead of heavy cream to avoid excess fat? Barbara Blakelock, Missoula, Mont. With so many options in the dairy aisle, it’s hard to keep all the creams straight. At its most basic, cream is the fat-rich layer skimmed off the top of unhomogenized milk. From there, creams are categorized based on their milk fat content: Light cream is 18 to 30 percent milk fat, whipping cream is 30 to 36 percent milk fat, and heavy cream is 36 to 40 percent milk fat. Half-and-half, which weighs in between 10.5 and 18 percent milk fat, is a combination of cream and milk (whole milk is 3.5 percent milk fat). To see how the creams compare, we first tried whipping each. Since cream needs to be 30 percent milk fat…

reheating rice

I often have leftover white rice in the refrigerator. What’s the best way to reheat it? Sylvia Ahmet, Alpharetta, Ga. Reheating white rice can be a tricky proposition—especially if you want it to be as light and fluffy as freshly cooked rice. To find the best method, we made a batch of white rice and also ordered in rice from a local take-out spot. We let both rices cool completely and then tried reviving them using a few different techniques. Reheating the rice in a covered baking dish in the oven for 25 minutes or in a saucepan on the stovetop for nearly 15 minutes took too long. And both methods required adding significant amounts of water to avoid burning the grains, which caused some of them to become soggy. We next turned our…

freezing ricotta

Ricotta spoils quickly. Can I freeze it if I don’t use the whole tub? Amy Carrera, Springfield, Mo. To see how fresh ricotta cheese would fare once frozen and thawed, we bought a couple of tubs and froze the cheese two ways: directly in the tub and in a zipper-lock bag with the air pressed out. A week later, we thawed the samples and tried both, along with a sample of fresh ricotta, plain and in our recipes for Simple Lasagna with Hearty Tomato Meat Sauce and Ricotta Crostini with Cherry Tomatoes and Basil. Tasters noticed visual differences in the plain samples right away. The frozen batches looked separated, with a pool of milky liquid surrounding gritty cheese specks (freezing ruptures cell walls in the cheese, causing the liquid and fat to separate).…

kitchen shortcuts

Ice Is Nice Bill Wall, Hawkinsville, Ga. I use a rasp grater a lot for grating citrus zest, hard cheese, garlic, and ginger. But often food clings to the back of the blade even after I’ve tapped it and wiped it out. I found that grating a large ice cube pushes out any stuck-on bits. All I need to do after that is give the grater a quick blast under the faucet. All Bundled Up Regan Langley, Chino, Calif. Following your advice, I store fresh chives rolled in a damp paper towel in the crisper drawer of my refrigerator—this really does keep them fresh for longer. I realized that the paper towel, when peeled back a bit, can also be a great help while chopping. It helps secure the long strands and keeps them in…