cover image Cooking at Home with America's Test Kitchen

Cooking at Home with America's Test Kitchen

, . . America's Test Kitchen, $34.95 (356pp) ISBN 978-0-936184-89-0

This excellent companion to PBS's America's Test Kitchen series makes it possible to develop a season's worth of expertise without ever tuning in. On the show, the ATK team works out the science behind popular dishes, eliminating guesswork for the at-home chef. Chapters are broken up by episode, like "Cooking With Squash," which includes recipes for Butternut Squash Risotto and Butternut Squash Soup. While there are ideas for creative variations—a sprinkle of curry or cinnamon croutons to spice up the soup, for instance—it's the hearty, relatively simple classics like Roast Turkey and Blueberry Cobbler that get the most airtime. Indeed, these are exceptional renditions with thorough instruction, though many of these recipes will be familiar to readers of Cook's Illustrated and the Best Recipe cookbooks. Like the magazine and cookbook, this guide includes helpful sidebars and illustrations demonstrating proper techniques (removing the silver skin from tenderloin; cleaning leeks) and choosing the best nutmeg grater or Parmesan. The beauty of the ATK/ Cook's Illustrated franchise is its message that even the fledging chef can succeed with the right tools and know-how—but this book will be indispensable to cooks of all experience levels. 32 full-color photos; 500 b&w photos. (Jan.)