March 11, 2006

Cook’s Illustrated

Y’all may remember me mentioning in my White Turkey Chili post that I am currently subscribing to seven—yes seven—cooking magazines! I started with three, and then my mom got so excited about my new “food blogging” life that she ordered me four more!

This past week I received the first of my Cook’s Illustrated magazines, which was one of the magazines given to me by my mom. This was my first time to read it, and let me tell y’all, this is a fabulous magazine!

Cook’s Illustrated is a bi-monthly magazine with no ads, and it is a continuation of America's Test Kitchen, as seen on PBS. The magazine I received this week only has about nine or ten recipes, but the difference is that the recipes they provide go into great detail about why they chose to prepare the dish the way they did. In fact, each recipe is actually a mini-article.

The recipes are tested numerous times to ensure that they are providing their readers with the best method. In the process, they share with us how they reached the final preparation. I think to be a truly good cook, you need to have a good understanding of how food works, and so that is why I love this magazine so much.

For example, the first recipe/article I read was how to best make a pepper-crusted filet mignon. The write-up explains the challenges—browning the meat appropriately while it is covered with pepper and keeping the pepper taste from overpowering the meat. It then goes into how the cooks first tried making this dish and the faults with their original methods. They then take us through the entire thought process of the various methods they try until we reach the final preparation that they found was the best.

Cook’s Illustrated also includes some articles about the best kitchen products too use (they can conduct their reviews truthfully since that do not accept ads!), which I found very useful. For example, in this issue they have a review of the best beef broths, small nonstick saucepans, and bakeware dishes that they recommend. In doing so, they also factor in the price which I really appreciate as well.

One thing to note with this magazine is that you will not find all the pretty photographs that you find in other magazines such as Gourmet and Bon Appetit. This magazine is all black and white photos. The focus here is not to make you ooh and awe. They assume you already do that with out the pictures. The focus here is the content.

So if you are looking for a good resource to help you learn more about cooking, I do recommend this magazine!



Blogger Cate said...

I agree, great magazine. I love the "no ads" feature.

4:20 PM  
Blogger Alanna said...

Isn't it great? I love to sit down and sloooowly read Chris Kimball's essay at the front. And I recommend the foolproof oven-baked brown rice which they gave permission to share ...

9:34 AM  

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