Cook's Illustrated Annual Edition 2013

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  • Best butterscotch pudding

    • manond on February 04, 2013

      This was sooooo good! I put it in little French dessert cups and used a pastry bag to pipe whipped cream on top. I made it for the children at a dinner party, and more adults than children chose it! Yum!

    • Analyze on March 25, 2017

      HIGHLY RECOMMENDED! I made it side by side with the older "Butterscotch Pudding" published by the same company in the America's Test Kitchen Family Cookbook, and this one was SO much more flavorful. Because you end up cooking the caramel to a deeper color/flavor, it turns out a better pudding with WAY more intense flavors; it also has more rich ingredients (more butter and cream). Mine didn't thicken up in step 4, though, so I had to put it back on the heat like you'd traditionally make pudding. The older ATK recipe (while good) is incredibly mild by comparison (kids might like it better). If you do make this amazing recipe, I'll add that we personally preferred it without the rum, though it's good with the rum too.

    • joanhuguet on March 03, 2015

      The flavor was great, but the texture was thin and grainy. I'll stick with the traditional approach to tempering eggs if I make this again.

  • Foolproof spaghetti carbonara

    • TrishaCP on May 01, 2014

      This definitely isn't foolproof, as we have tried this twice and only once semi-successfully. The first time, my husband didn't stir the sauce thoroughly, which left huge unmelted cheese clumps at the bottom of the pan and watery sauce in our pasta bowls. The second time I did a thorough stirring, only VERY slowly adding the pasta water. (I didn't use the full cup.). This was better, but still more grainy than silky. So...there will not be a third time.

    • Rinshin on February 03, 2015

      This came out perfectly for me. I added pancetta and bacon and the sauce was luscious.

  • Boiled potatoes with black olive tapenade

    • debkellie on August 22, 2015

      I used pre-prepped tapenade , and this was a revelation. Really nice served with salmon.

  • Black olive tapenade vinaigrette

    • jtodes on January 03, 2016

      Wonderful. Very easy to make. Need to make 20 hours in advance.

  • Creamy cauliflower soup

    • Yildiz100 on February 04, 2015

      Ok, but a little bland. The extra steps of cooking some of undercooking some cauliflower and overcooking the rest was definitely not worth it.

  • Braised red potatoes with lemon and chives

    • wittwoman on April 10, 2016

      Interesting technique to cook off the water and then the butter. Fantastic flavor and crispy cut sides.

  • Summer berry trifle

    • ashallen on November 22, 2019

      I loooove trifle-style desserts. This recipe provides a good set of methods for making the basic trifle components (cake, pastry cream, whipped cream, fruit) but I found the recipe as written to have more fruit relative to everything else than I prefer. It's easy to modify the amount and type of fruit (and the alcohol), however, to suit one's taste - I believe I've cut the fruit quantity 30-50%. I've also bumped up the quantity of whipped cream! The recipe as written makes a big dessert (12-16 servings) - cutting it in half has worked fine. My cake often shrinks a bit as it cools after baking, but its texture has always been good in the trifle. Leftovers weep a bit, but I still find them to be absolutely delicious!! [Cross-post for Annual Edition/Magazine.]

  • Modern beef Burgundy

    • ashallen on October 11, 2019

      I used to make the classic Julia Child Boeuf Bourguignon (which we loved) but have since switched over to this recipe. Although I haven't done a side-by-side of the 2 recipes (that would be a lot of beef stew!), based on memory, we like the flavor of this recipe as much as/better than the JC recipe. This recipe's also significantly easier and less messy to cook than the JC version - Cook's Illustrated did a really great job streamlining the technique. It's also possible to skim excess fat from this recipe - I could never seem to find separated fat to skim from the JC recipe. This is a delicious, sumptuous stew - tender beef chunks and a thick, flavorful sauce. I've used homemade dark chicken stock instead of beef stock - it's worked fine. A decent pinot noir has subbed well for Burgundy. Mushrooms should be fully cooked to taste in oven since they don't cook further in the stew. Leftovers are fantastic. Freezes very well. [Cross-post for Annual Edition/Magazine.]

  • Best chicken stew

    • ashallen on April 26, 2020

      This is the most flavorful chicken stew I've made to date. The chicken and vegetables were very tender and the sauce was basically a thick, rich, flavorful gravy. I usually prefer the stronger flavors of beef/pork/lamb stews to chicken stew, but this is very good. I did use a flavorful batch of homemade chicken stock. My husband, a big chicken stew fan, says this one is his new favorite and has already requested a repeat for next week. The stew was good after the specified cooking time, but I cooked it for an additional 45-60 minutes since we like the meat and vegetables to be verrrry tender. Recipe says to discard chicken wings after cooking, but the meat on mine was actually very good when picked out and mixed into the gravy with everything else. [Cross-post Cook's Ill. Annual Edition/Magazine.]

  • Thin-crust pizza

    • ashallen on January 19, 2020

      Excellent recipe for homemade pizza! I grew up on New Haven pizza and can be pretty picky. This recipe surprised me - I wasn't expecting to make this good a pizza with a regular oven + baking stone. Crust was nicely chewy with a moist interior, crisp exterior, and great dough bubbles on the rim. I only did a 1-day cold-ferment with the dough this time and will try the 3-day next time. Used King Arthur's organic bread flour which we've also enjoyed in other breads. Good quantity of sauce and cheese relative to crust, though my husband preferred a bit more sauce (+ a whole tin of anchovies!) on his pie. Recipe doesn't mention using semolina flour to dust the peel, but I find it really eases transfer of the pizza from peel to oven. [Cross-post for 2011 & 2013 Annual Edition/2011 & 2013 Magazine/Science of Good Cooking/Cook's Ill. Cookbook.]

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  • ISBN 10 1936493667
  • ISBN 13 9781936493661
  • Published Dec 31 2013
  • Format Hardcover
  • Page Count 52
  • Language English
  • Countries United States
  • Publisher America' Test Kitchen

Publishers Text

As fans of Cook’s Illustrated will tell you (or as you may have already experienced for yourself), issues of the magazine have a way of disappearing. Borrowed copies never seem to return, and others inevitably get splattered with marinara or drizzled with melted chocolate. The Cook’s Illustrated 2013 Annual is the perfect solution—it gathers a year’s worth of kitchen discoveries, foolproof recipes, and unbiased product reviews (that you can trust because we never accept advertising) in one sturdy and handsome cloth-bound edition. We also include an invaluable recipe and article index to help you find it all fast.

Here are just a few of the 120 foolproof recipes, unbiased product reviews, and surprising discoveries inside the Cook’s Illustrated 2013 Annual:

Grilled Glazed Chicken Breasts – Without skin or bone, this lean cut cooks so quickly it’s almost impossible to get it to be both grilled and glazed. An unusual ingredient—milk powder—came to the rescue.

A New Way to Cook Potatoes – Our unlikely source of inspiration for this approach to cooking creamy, tender, browned Red Bliss potatoes: Chinese potstickers.

Deep, Dark, and Decadent – We discovered that the secret to a rich chocolate tart with truffle-like texture and unadulterated chocolate flavor was a low and slow stint in the oven. Top with a glossy dark chocolate ganache and chocolate curls or sea salt and this one’s a showstopper.

Common Cooking Myths, Debunked – Cold eggs will ruin baked goods. Washing mushrooms makes them absorb water. Searing meat seals in juices. We believed some of these myths, too—until our testing proved them wrong.

The Last Mixer Standing – We tested nine stand mixers for two solid months. To our surprise, the least expensive model (price tag: $240) beat out competitors costing two and even three times as much.

The Best Hummus Among Us – Hummus has quickly become the #1 refrigerated dip in the country. Are you buying the best-tasting product? Dig into the results of our blind taste test in your 2013 Annual. More favorite recipes: Garlicky Roasted Shrimp, Stir-Fried Asparagus with Shiitake Mushrooms, Grown-Up Grilled Cheese, Fresh Peach Pie, Best Chicken Parmesan, Modern Beef Burgundy, and Holiday Pork Roast.

More No-Nonsense Product Ratings: Supermarket Bacon, High-End Barbecue Sauces, Chicken Broth, Medium-Roast Coffee, Pressure Cookers, Portable Crock Pots, Dutch Ovens, and Inexpensive Chef’s Knives.