The Best Recipe by Cook's Illustrated Magazine

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Notes about this book

  • Eat Your Books

    2000 James Beard Award Nominee

  • Sarah_C on January 23, 2016


  • Kiyah on August 07, 2010

    My most used cookbook. Chicken stock, meat stew, pizza dough, muffins, banana bread and the meatloaf recipe that turned me into a born again meatloaf believer and the brined Thanksgiving turkey recipe are some of the recipes that make me grab it off the shelf. Can't recommend it highly enough.

  • NancyN on January 01, 2010

    I love anything Cook s Illustrated does

  • Jane on March 19, 2009

    Great for really well tested standard recipes.

Notes about Recipes in this book

  • Braised lamb shoulder chops with figs and North African spices

    • Jane on February 03, 2010

      A great weeknight dinner - all the ingredients apart from the lamb and parsley are store-cupboard. It's quick, easy and best all of all, really tasty. I served it with couscous and steamed green beans.

  • Sautéed pork tenderloin medallions with orange, fennel, and green olives

    • Cheri on August 16, 2011

      This was good. Prep time to table about 30 minutes. We liked the flavor combo, sauce a little dry, used 1/2 c chick broth should have increased. Served with fresh green beans and harvest grains from TJ - nice with this main dish.

  • French-style potato salad with tarragon vinaigrette

    • Cheri on July 30, 2011

      Wow. This was excellent. I added diced shallots to dressing (to mellow them) and minced tarragon. When potatoes were still pretty warm, I dressed, cooled and refrigerated. Then I added a bunch of chopped celery leaves (thank you Farmers Market) about 30 minutes before serving. Also subbed tarragon vinegar for the white wine vinegar. Served with grilled skirt steak with a bit of chive compound butter and sliced heirloom tomatoes. Truly perfect. Really nice for a no-mayo potato salad.

  • Rich bread pudding with crisp cinnamon-sugar topping

    • Cheri on March 19, 2011

      Used Cinnamon Swirl Raisin bread. Very Good

  • Snickerdoodles

    • vickster on August 03, 2013

      My favorite Snickerdoodles recipe! Of course, I haven't tried any other others. But should I really mess with perfection?

  • Meat loaf with brown sugar-ketchup glaze

    • vickster on June 20, 2016

      Best meatloaf I ever made! I used 2 lbs. beef and 1 lb. pork. I made it in meatloaf pan with perforated bottom but next time will bake freeform. (Too much drippings stayed in pan). Cooked onions are a great idea!

    • anya_sf on January 20, 2021

      I used a mixture of ground round, veal, and pork, fresh breadcrumbs, and omitted the bacon. Baked as a free-form loaf in a 9"x13" pan. The meatloaf took an extra 20 minutes to reach 160 F. It was moist and flavorful.

    • jenburkholder on February 05, 2022

      This is a really good meatloaf. I never do the bacon and always do freeform. Now that I am gluten-free, I sub in potato flakes for the saltines - works great.

  • Chicken and rice with saffron and peas

    • vickster on February 14, 2016

      Very good version of classic chicken and Spanish-type rice. I put in about a full teaspoon of saffron.

  • Master recipe for grilled corn

  • Blackberry jam cake

    • sgump on April 21, 2013

      Note that this recipe is simply for a sponge cake layered with blackberry jam--not a jam cake in the Southern (USA) sense, where the blackberry jam or preserves are mixed in to the spice-laden (with raisins and nuts) buttermilk-and-brown sugar batter (and ultimately frosted with caramel icing).

  • Classic red table salsa

    • blisstone on December 19, 2011

      I love this one. It makes a quart, looks great in my classico spaghetti jars. I have made this so many times that I just can't imagine buying salsa ever again. It's really easy to adapt as well, depending on how much lime or salt you like. But the freshness of the cilantro is key (oh and the tomatoes too I guess). I use it with eggs, chicken, you name it. And unless you rarely eat salsa it won't last long enough to go bad. Makes weeknight cooking easy to "zing" up.

  • Steamed asparagus with ginger-hoisin vinaigrette

    • lorloff on April 01, 2021

      This vinaigrette was delicious. Was perfect with the asparagus. Instead of steaming the asparagus I tossed the asparagus with ½ the vinaigrette and roasted it in the oven at 450. Then served it with additional vinaigrette. Quick discharge with great taste especially with really good hoisin sauce. I ought the one recommended by Grace Young.

  • Pasta with arugula pesto

    • bernalgirl on May 24, 2012

      Absolutely delicious with almonds. A big hit with kiddos, too.

  • Sautéed tender greens with Asian flavors

    • bernalgirl on November 13, 2011

      Good flavors but chard was overcooked to our tastes by the time the liquid burned off and the end result was a bit soupy. Next time I wil do the wilt with the lid ajar, and halve the sauce ingredients. I halved the sugar, it would be too sweet for us with the full amount.

  • "Baked" macaroni and cheese

    • Thredbende on August 25, 2011

      This is my go to macaroni and cheese recipe. It is really great. Since I use powdered milk for drinking milk (freeze dried not instant) I tried mixing up double strength milk to substitute for the evaporated milk. It worked perfectly! Try this recipe with powdered milk if you have it on hand. The cooking and baking of the pasta completely hydrolyzes the milk proteins and you won't know if you used powdered milk, evaporated milk or cream. Life is good.

  • Garlic-studded roast loin of prk

    • pixelland on January 14, 2012

      use much less salt!

  • Master recipe for American sandwich bread

    • spharo00 on February 17, 2013

      I've made this recipe twice so far, once as directed and once substituting maple syrup for the honey. The loaves were light and fluffy on the inside with a nice crust on the outside.

    • anya_sf on August 31, 2020

      SAF instant yeast worked fine. I rotated the pan halfway through baking for more even browning; it was done in exactly 40 minutes. This is the quintessential white sandwich bread - a perfect, high-rising loaf.

  • Streamlined chicken Parmesan

    • spharo00 on November 12, 2012

      I soaked my chicken in a brine for 30 minutes before cooking. The chicken was moist and very flavorful and the tomato sauce was the best I've made. I did add more salt and sugar than the recipe called for, to cut through some of the acidity of the tomatoes. I served this with homemade spaghetti noodles and Caesar salad.

  • Balsamic vinaigrette

    • spharo00 on April 04, 2012

      Sweet and tart, not overpowering. I served this on a salad of butter lettuce, navel oranges, and toasted almonds.

  • Master recipe for boiled corn

    • spharo00 on June 20, 2012

      This is a basic recipe for boiling perfect corn. The corn tasted great and cooked quickly. This is an easy explanation for those who haven't made boiled corn before.

  • Master recipe for chicken stock

    • spharo00 on March 12, 2012

      This is the most flavorful chicken broth I've made. I put half in the freezer and used the other half (along with the meat of the chicken) to make chicken and rice soup.

  • Chicken noodle soup

    • spharo00 on March 12, 2012

      I substituted rice for the noodles to make chicken and rice soup. Very delicious.

  • Pan-seared, oven-roasted thick-cut pork chops

    • spharo00 on July 03, 2012

      These turned out very dry, but I believe it had more to do with my meat thermometer than the recipe itself. The brine smelled sweet and spicy and gave a good flavor to the meat. I bought a new thermometer so I'll be trying these again to see if they are any better.

  • Basic brownies

    • spharo00 on December 02, 2012

      These brownies were basic, just as the recipe says. They weren't over the top good, but they tasted just as you would expect a brownie to taste. An average brownie. Also, these took probably five to ten minutes longer to bake in my oven than the recipe suggested.

  • Simple stove-top rice pudding

    • spharo00 on November 22, 2012

      This is exactly what rice pudding should be. Barely sweet, creamy, with just a hint of vanilla. I have tried several versions of rice pudding, and this one is by far the best. I was low on half and half so I substituted some heavy cream for what I was missing, probably about a cup. I also did not have medium grain white rice so I used jasmine rice instead. It was everything I was craving and more. Next time I may try adding some dried fruit, possibly cherries. It makes a large pot, so be prepared to share.

  • Strawberry cobbler with butter cookie dough or flaky pie pastry topping

    • Ledlund on June 18, 2018

      Strawberries needed more than 1 Tablespoon flour. Mine turned out quite soupy.

  • Almost-as-good-as-buttermilk waffles

    • kateastoria on March 10, 2019

      Little bland even with added vanilla. Not as crispy as yeasted recipes, maybe due to lack of sugar ingredient.

  • Popovers

  • Steamed broccoli with spicy balsamic dressing and black olives

    • AmyS on January 02, 2017

      Same basic recipe (with an extra mysterious 1/2 tsp salt in the steamed broccoli) is available online.

  • Sautéed pork tenderloin medallions with cream, apples, and sage

    • anya_sf on October 30, 2020

      Quick and easy. The pork was definitely still rosy in the center, which was fine with us. The sauce was tasty, but we wanted more.

  • Whole wheat bread with wheat germ and rye

    • anya_sf on June 15, 2021

      Using King Arthur flours, but Cook's Illustrated's weight equivalents of 5.5 oz per cup, the dough mixed up nicely. The 2nd rise took an hour in my 68 F kitchen. The bread was hearty with good wheat flavor, just a bit softer than 100% whole wheat. Very nice.

  • Rustic country bread

    • anya_sf on July 27, 2021

      The recipe warns that the dough will be sticky, but actually it wasn't too bad. I did use a stand mixer as recommended. The sponge sat at room temperature for 7 hours; by that time it had risen a lot, so I refrigerated it after that (overnight) before making the bread. I baked the bread on parchment (on a baking steel) so it was easier to transfer from the peel. It needed to bake 5 extra minutes to reach 210 F. The bread was just wonderful - chewy, hearty, super flavorful. It's a big loaf but won't last long in our house.

  • Browned and braised cauliflower with Indian flavors

    • anya_sf on August 06, 2018

      This was a nice, easy side dish for an Indian meal. I had to add a bit more water for the cauliflower to soften, and also a generous amount of salt to boost the flavor.

  • Sautéed bell peppers with red onion and balsamic vinegar

    • anya_sf on July 11, 2021

      Nice side dish. I used basil for the herb (twice as much), which complemented the other flavors.

  • Green beans with toasted walnuts and tarragon

    • anya_sf on February 04, 2021

      This is more a seasoning idea than a recipe. I boiled frozen green beans to the desired tenderness, then added the toppings, which were very tasty.

  • French toast for sandwich bread

    • anya_sf on September 01, 2020

      A good recipe if you're short on eggs and/or don't like overly moist, custardy French toast. Using bread sliced 1/2" thick, there was enough custard for 7 pieces. Small lumps of flour remained in the custard, but didn't seem to matter once cooked. I added the optional cinnamon and the French toast was quite tasty.

  • Pumpkin pie

    • anya_sf on December 02, 2018

      I used Cook's Illustrated's vodka pie crust recipe instead. The pie turned out great. There is a lot of spice, but pre-cooking it mellows the flavor. I was skeptical about the 25 minute baking time, so I left the pie in the oven an extra 5 minutes with the oven off. The texture was perfectly smooth and set.

  • Lemon bars

    • anya_sf on October 27, 2019

      This recipe is the ideal version of the classic, easy lemon bar recipe. I was in a hurry, so I only chilled the crust 20 minutes. After baking it 20 minutes, it appeared dry but barely browned. I took it out thinking it would brown more later, but it didn't really, so in the future I'll be sure to bake until golden brown.

  • Roast stuffed Cornish hens

    • Skamper on October 28, 2020

      I made the couscous stuffing, which was very tasty (ommitted the currants), but I don't think it benefited from being stuffed in the hen. Much prefer spatchcocking for faster, more even roasting.

  • Quicker turkey burgers

    • Skamper on October 25, 2020

      Good basic recipe. Burgers were nice and juicy.

  • Sautéed pork chops with mustard and capers

    • Skamper on December 30, 2020

      Delicious. I made with a pork tenderloin rather than chops.

  • Chocolate mousse

    • Partyof7 on August 12, 2018

      Delicious. Used the orange liqueur option (curaçao) as my kids can always taste added coffee. Will make often.

  • Southern cornbread

    • locopomtini on June 03, 2020

      Naturally gluten free. Been making this recipe since the book came out. Makes a great crispy edge! I have used mix of corn flour and corn meal or straight corn meal. If using butter, make sure you heat the pan and then add the butter. Otherwise, the butter burns and you have a cold pan.

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  • ISBN 10 0936184388
  • ISBN 13 9780936184388
  • Published Jan 01 1999
  • Format Hardcover
  • Language English
  • Edition annotated edition
  • Countries United States
  • Publisher Boston Common Press

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