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Cook's Country

October/November 2021

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.

Country:
United States
Language:
English
Publisher:
Boston Common Press, LP
Frequency:
Bimonthly
$8.45
$28.41
6 Issues

in this issue

3 min
letter from the editor

AT A TIME when searching for recipes is as easy as typing the names of a few ingredients into an internet browser, I still find comfort in cookbooks. I rely upon cooks from around the world to do more than just provide me with ideas for cooking up whatever needs to be used up in the refrigerator. I consult cookbook authors to hear a word of encouragement, for inspiration and advice, for their storytelling. As I wrote in my James Beard Award–winning book The Jemima Code: Two Centuries of African American Cookbooks (2015), “A cookbook is rarely purely utilitarian. An author lures the reader into the kitchen through all sorts of tools: portraits, poetry, culinary authority, and the promise of delicious food.” Cookbooks tell stories that preserve history, memories, celebrations, and…

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1 min
kids in the kitchen

1 Holiday cooking often means lots of prep work—and kids want to help! Older children can help peel and chop vegetables, grate cheese, mash potatoes and squash, and whip cream for dessert. Younger kids can stem herbs, tear bread for stuffing, or put together plates of cheese and crackers. 2 Let kids choose a dessert just for them (and let them make it themselves)—giving them ownership instills a sense of pride in their final dish. Our ATK Kids recipe for Apple Crisp is a great place to start: AmericasTestKitchen.com/kids/recipes/apple-crisp. 3 Don’t designate a kids’ table! It’s so rare to have all your friends and family together at once around a single table, so let the kids fully participate and enjoy the special day (and use the good plates). 4 If your family eats…

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4 min
quick bites:

VESSEL FOR RISING DOUGH We’ve found a nice trick to help gauge a dough’s size as it rises and cut down on plastic waste. Rather than placing the dough in a bowl covered with plastic wrap to rise (many recipes call for a doubling in size), we like to put the dough in a clear plastic container with volume measurements on the side and a lid (such as the Cambro 4-Quart Square Storage Container or something similar). The measurements come in handy while monitoring rising, and the lid means that you don’t have to use plastic wrap. These containers are also great for brining. –M.H. Q: WHAT’S THE BEST WAY TO BRINE A TURKEY, AND HOW LONG WILL IT TAKE? A: Ideally, you should plan to brine your turkey at least one day in…

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2 min
the best chocolate cake mix

AS A FORMER professional baker, I’ve made many cakes from scratch, but I understand the appeal of boxed cake mixes: They are reliable and convenient. For this tasting, I set out to find a chocolate version that yielded a cake with a flavor and texture close to those of a homemade cake. I bought nationally available mixes from eight brands, baked the cakes according to the packages’ directions, and tasted them plain with the help of a few chocolate-loving friends. Some of the products weren’t all that speedy to make. Four required hauling out either a stand mixer or a handheld mixer; the rest could be whisked by hand. All the mixes called for eggs, but two called for additional refrigerated ingredients: milk and butter. We preferred the mixes that required…

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2 min
turkey’s time to shine

The tradition of barbecued turkey is woven into American history. There is evidence that turkeys were roasted; stewed; and indeed, barbecued in the American Southeast, with archaeological finds dating back thousands of years. Dr. Heather Lapham, research archaeologist at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, noted that turkey meat was dried over hot coals and dipped in bear or nut oil to make a portable meal. Fast-forward to the early 1900s, when Samuel Greenberg, a Jewish community leader, started smoking turkey in Tyler, Texas, to fill a need for kosher barbecue. The demand grew as smoked turkeys became “the rage of the moment,” according to the Fort Worth Star-Telegram in 1939. The Greenberg family started shipping turkeys around the country by packing the smoked birds in candy-store crates. Daniel…

6 min
holiday smoked turkey

SMOKING A TURKEY for the holidays is a pro move. Why? Since you cook it outside, it’s one less dish that has to compete for precious oven space. Slowly smoking the turkey cooks it gently, helping the relatively lean meat stay moist and juicy. The smoke and seasonings add a lot of flavor to the mild bird. And barbecuing is an activity that brings people together as they are drawn to the sights, sounds, and smells of the grill. Someone who understands the beauty of a smoked turkey better than anyone is James Beard Award–winning pit master and restaurateur Rodney Scott. While Scott’s barbecue restaurants in Charleston, South Carolina; Birmingham, Alabama; and Atlanta, Georgia, are famous for whole-hog barbecue, his new book, Rodney Scott’s World of BBQ (2021), includes a holiday…

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