Cook's Country October - November 2015

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


ask cook’s country

Make-Ahead Mashed Potatoes Can I make mashed potatoes ahead of time, freeze them, and then defrost and reheat them right before a big dinner? Selma Clark, Detroit, Mich. In order to find the answer to your question, we made five batches of our Creamy Mashed Potatoes (find the recipe at, which are made with Yukon Gold potatoes, butter, heavy cream, and salt. We froze them and tried reheating them in a water bath, on the stovetop, and in the microwave at different power levels. The most consistently successful technique was to freeze the mashed potatoes, covered with plastic wrap, in a microwave-safe bowl. When you’re ready to reheat them, remove the plastic, cover the bowl with an overturned plate, and microwave the potatoes at 50 percent power, stirring occasionally. With a fully…

kitchen shortcuts

SMART TRICK More Juice Scott Sullivan, Charlestown, Mass. I have one of those hinged lime juicers—the kind where you open it, put in a halved lime, and squeeze it closed—that is a staple of my home bar. I’ve found I get more juice out of each fruit if I quarter, not halve, the limes. This trick is a lifesaver when I’m making margaritas for a crowd. DOUBLE DUTY Chimney Starter Hack Larry Webster, Plano, Texas A few weeks ago I was helping my friend break in his new charcoal grill—turns out he forgot to buy a chimney starter. I spotted one of those big rectangular olive oil cans in his recycling bin and cut out the top and bottom panels of the tin. I made a few vent holes on the sides near the bottom and stuffed…

wisconsin butter burgers

ARE YOU REALLY putting butter on a burger?” Questions like this came at me every time I made a batch of Wisconsin butter burgers in the test kitchen. But the minute the skeptics tried a bite, they were persuaded that the folks over at Solly’s Grille in Glendale (a suburb of Milwaukee) were doing something right. Since 1936, when Kenneth “Solly” Salmon opened the joint, they’ve been serving these burgers at all three meals every day—yep, some patrons even eat these for breakfast (see “On the Road”). The small restaurant consists of two yellow U-shaped counters, an open kitchen, and most important, a wellseasoned flattop grill. Grab a stool and watch the cooks pull the well-done, crispy-edged burgers from the griddle; stack them onto bun bottoms; and top each with a slice…

pork and ricotta meatballs

WHAT’S NOT TO love about meatballs? They are staples in cuisines around the world. And the variations—meats, seasonings, binders—are endless. During a recent perusal of Italian cookbooks, I was reminded of an old trick for extra-tender meatballs: adding ricotta cheese. Most meatball recipes include a mixture of milk and bread. Called a panade, this combination adds moisture to the mix and helps the meatballs stay tender. So why not ricotta cheese instead of milk? And why not all pork instead of a mix of meats? The combination of sweet, mild ground pork and fluffy, creamy ricotta suggested a meatball delicate in flavor and texture. I couldn’t wait to give it a try. I quickly discovered a wealth of existing recipes to use for inspiration. I gathered a handful of these recipes and…

spinach salad with gorgonzola and pear

SPINACH SALAD IS an appealing idea: a deep green, fresh-tasting toss. But often the dressing is too aggressive, overwhelming the delicate, fresh flavor of the spinach—or too wimpy, leaving you with nothing but a mouthful of spinach. I was determined to create a balanced, vibrant salad suitable for the holiday table. Walnuts, blue cheese, and pears were the ingredients I set out, hoping that they’d elevate these humble baby leaves (which we prefer to less-tender curly leaves) into a holiday-worthy dish. The first two ingredients needed very little help: Lightly toasting the walnuts would bring out their flavor, and a nice wedge of Gorgonzola would add creaminess, savoriness, and tang. So I turned my focus to the pears. If your pears aren’t quite ripe, they’ll be mealy. If they are overripe, they’ll…

introducing puffy tacos

RESIDENTS OF SAN Antonio, Texas, have strong feelings about puffy tacos—deep-fried, light, crisp, emphatically cornflavored shells that encase savory meat fillings. They’re a regional take on tacos that deserves a spot on menus, and in home kitchens, everywhere. Many San Antonio fans of the dish cite Diana Barrios-Trevino’s restaurant, Los Barrios, as having the best in the city. So when our executive food editor, Bryan Roof, was in San Antonio last year, he visited Barrios-Trevino to see her technique firsthand. As you might expect, Barrios-Trevino starts with fresh masa de maí, finely ground hominy, to create a moist masa dough. She uses a tortilla press to stamp portions of masa dough into 6-inch tortillas and then drops them one at a time into the deep-fryer. The tortillas puff up with air,…