Cook's Country February - March 2017

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

H ERE AT COOK’S COUNTRY, we focus on American food. But what is American food, anyway? There are many ways to answer that question, none of them definitive and all of them complicated. Consider Killed Salad (page 12). It’s an endemically Appalachian dish, traditionally made with ingredients foraged from the mountain woodlands, and it’s wholly American. But is it any more or less American than Hearty Beef Lasagna (page 4), which has clear roots in Italy? And what about Queso Fundido (page 18) or Mongolian Beef (page 11)? Sure, they take inspiration from the cuisines of other nations, but each is probably more common in the States than in Mexico or China. The fact is, American cuisine is defined by its dynamic, flexible, adaptive nature. As soon as you attempt to nail it down…

ask cook’s country

Boiling with Curiosity Why do recipes call for water to be at a rolling boil before dropping in the pasta? Why can’t I just start it in cold water? Elizabeth McCarthy, Albany, N.Y. Most pasta aficionados believe there is only one way to properly cook pasta—in a large pot of boiling salted water. But is that really true? To find out, we cooked spaghetti, penne, and elbow macaroni, starting them all in cold water, and tasted them alongside batches cooked the traditional way. When drained, the pastas weighed the same, meaning that they had absorbed the same amount of water during cooking. Also, tasters could not detect a textural difference between the pastas. We then made two batches of our Spaghetti with Pecorino Romano and Black Pepper (Cacio e Pepe), which calls for…

kitchen shortcuts

COOL IDEA Guac to Go Jeremy Henderson, Birmingham, Ala. My family loves guacamole. To make it convenient to eat at the beach, on a picnic, or while camping, I place peeled and pitted ripe avocados in a 1-gallon zipper-lock bag. Then I add lime juice, garlic, and salt and pepper and seal the bag, using my hands to smush the ingredients to the desired consistency (my 6-year-old son loves to do that part). I shape the bag into a neat, flat package that easily fits in my cooler. To serve, I just snip off the corner of the bag and squeeze the guacamole into a paper bowl. GOOD THINKING Rice Is Nice Amy Robbins, Fort Wayne, Ind. I’m superbusy during the week, and getting dinner on the table is a challenge. To make life easier, I make…

hearty beef lasagna

I EXPECT A LOT from lasagna. I want a crusty-topped, towering stack of noodles that tastes meaty, creamy, and cheesy all at once. I want there to be a lot more meat than tomatoes. And I don’t want it to take all day or require every dish in the cupboard. With these clear goals in mind, I hit the kitchen. At first I thought that sausage packed with Italian spices was the key to a flavorful lasagna. But after my initial tests, I found that sausage flavors varied widely from one package to the next, and I wanted more control over the spice. I tried a few combinations of ground pork and veal but ultimately committed to an all-beef lasagna. We all loved the bold and familiar flavor as well as…

south texas breakfast tacos

TEXANS, ESPECIALLY SOUTH Texans, love their breakfast tacos. In the Austin area alone, hundreds of spots sell these plump, egg-filled treats. And they’re cheap—you can buy one for $1 or $2 at your local gas station (just one of the reasons that college students love them). Inherent to all tacos is the tortilla— specifically a flour tortilla, the traditional choice for breakfast tacos. It should be tender and chewy yet sturdy enough to hold the substantive fillings, with a clean, slightly wheaty flavor. Unfortunately, most packaged versions fall flat of this ideal. Homemade flour tortillas are simpler to make than you might think, and they require no special equipment. They’re just a basic blend of flour, water, salt, and lard or shortening that is kneaded together, allowed to rest, shaped into flat…

early morning, san antonio

San Antonio is obsessed with breakfast tacos, but don’t trip on the name. “Breakfast” merely denotes the time of day and doesn’t necessarily confine you to an eggy filling. Stewed or grilled meat, sausage, beans, vegetables, and yes, if you insist, eggs can legitimately appear in a warmed flour tortilla. And every San Antonian has an opinion about where to find the best ones. Someone even tried to sell me on gas station tacos. I’m an early riser with little love for traditional breakfast fare, so it was a happy coincidence that I came upon a stout stucco cantina during a 7 a.m. stroll around downtown San Antonio. Had it not been for a fellow hauling produce from a pickup through the back door of a kitchen, I might not have…