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Cook's Illustrated

November/December 2021

At Cook's Illustrated, our test cooks are dedicated to testing and retesting recipes 20, 30, sometimes 50 times until we come up with a recipe that will come out right the first time -- and every time -- you make it. And each issue of Cook's Illustrated is 100% ADVERTISING FREE, so you get unbiased and objective information on every page. As we like to say at Cook's Illustrated, "We make the mistakes so you don't have to."

Country:
United States
Language:
English
Publisher:
Boston Common Press, LP
Frequency:
Bimonthly
R 100,60
R 289,36
6 Issues

in this issue

2 min
butter and brine

My sister and I grabbed a flimsy saucepan from the rental cottage kitchen, hustled across the sandy street to the beach, and made a beeline for the tide pools. We raked handfuls of periwinkles into the pan, topped them off with fresh ocean water, and rushed back up the beach to the cottage. Periwinkles, a type of small snail, are ubiquitous along Maine’s rocky coast, where they anchor themselves near the shoreline. My sister and I would normally ignore them in favor of poking and prodding more interesting sea life—green crabs lurking in rockweed, young lobsters no bigger than cigarette lighters, and hat-like limpets cemented to the rocks—but our dad had told us all about how our grandfather had loved to eat the little periwinkles. We were eager to taste…

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4 min
quick tips

A Cleaner Way to Bottle Used Frying Oil Returning cooled frying oil to its original bottle makes for easy storage or disposal, but the process can get messy. Alex Barunas of Boston, Mass., has found that a funnel and a toothpick make an efficient system: He simply slides the toothpick between the rim of the bottle and the funnel. This creates a gap that provides extra airflow, allowing the oil to flow through the funnel more quickly and smoothly. Stockpile Bread for Stuffing In the months leading up to the holidays, Mary Cusack of Bloomington, Ind., cubes up all her household’s left-over heels of bread and slightly stale rolls, places them in a zipper-lock bag, and freezes them. That way, when it comes time to make her Thanksgiving stuffing, she has a stash…

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8 min
porchetta-style turkey breast

If turkey breast is your holiday centerpiece this year, I’ve got a proposition for you: Trade the roasted turkey crown and brown gravy for the prettiest, most flavor-packed piece of white-meat poultry you’ve ever tasted. I’m talking about turkey porchetta, or turchetta, a preparation that takes its name, shape, and seasonings from the iconic Italian pork roast called porchetta. To make the pork version, home cooks usually slather a boneless loin with a garlicky herb and spice paste; wrap it with the fatty, skin-on belly; and roast the pork low and slow until the skin browns and crisps and the meat is ultratender. Borrowing the approach for turkey breast has become a popular way to deliver bold flavor and an impressive presentation with a typically mild-mannered roast, and it actually offers…

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1 min
a few good reasons to try oysters

“More than any other food, oysters taste like the place they come from.”–Rowan Jacobsen, author and oyster expert STUNNINGLY DIVERSE Like wine grapes, each oyster possesses certain inherent shape and flavor characteristics as well as innumerable delightful nuances determined by exactly where and how it’s been farmed. Even bivalves of the same species raised in neighboring bays can look and taste distinctly different. ENVIRONMENTALLY FRIENDLY Everything oysters need to grow occurs naturally in their habitat, which sets them apart from other seafood cultivated via aquaculture. Plus, oysters are filter feeders that strain out excess nitrogen and micro-particles as they pump water through their bodies, purifying the habitat for marine life around them. SAFE TO EAT Nearly 98 percent of oysters we eat come from aquaculture, an industry that’s scrupulously regulated by federal and…

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3 min
enjoying oysters at home

Everyone remembers their first oyster. I had mine back in 2004, when I was working as a garde-manger at UpStairs on the Square, the iconic azalea-pink dining room that for decades graced the top three floors of a Harvard Square brownstone. When I admitted to my sous chef that I’d never tried a raw oyster, he plucked one from my station, shucked it, and offered it to me. I was unprepared to be transported to the cold, blue waters of Wellfleet, Massachusetts, as the liquor that I tipped from that gently gnarled gray-and-green shell flooded my palate with salt. But as I chewed, that brininess was tempered by the umami-rich, creamy flavors packed in the oyster’s plump body. It was, as author and oyster expert Rowan Jacobsen recently described to…

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1 min
how to shuck

1. Fold dish towel several times into thin, tight roll. Grip towel in fist of hand that will be holding oyster, wrapping 1 end over your thumb and tucking it between your thumb and forefinger. 2. Using your towel-protected thumb, hold oyster in place with hinge facing away from thumb. Insert tip of oyster knife into hinge of oyster. 3. Work tip of knife into hinge using twisting motion. When shells begin to separate, twist knife to pop hinge. 4. Run knife along top shell, scraping abductor muscle from shell to release oyster. Slide knife under oyster to scrape abductor muscle from bottom shell.…

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