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Cooking at Home With America's Test Kitchen Hardcover – November 30, 2005

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Starred Review. 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.)
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 356 pages
  • Publisher: America's Test Kitchen; 1st Printing edition (November 30, 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0936184892
  • ISBN-13: 978-0936184890
  • Product Dimensions: 1 x 8.5 x 9.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.3 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,268,298 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

68 of 70 people found the following review helpful By audrey pierce TOP 500 REVIEWER on November 11, 2005
Format: Hardcover
This companion volume to the 2006 PBS series is presented as 26 chapters that correspond to the individual shows; each includes recipe analysis, equipment recommendations, illustrated techniques and product tests. Christopher Kimball and his rigorous cohorts define their goals, talk to experts, test dozens of recipe variations and then let you know what works and what doesn't. One sample chapter, called Meat and Potatoes, includes Onion-Braised Beef Brisket, Smashed Potatoes (and variations), and sections on electric knives and the science of making tender brisket. Give yourself some extra time to peruse the always informative and entertaining text preceding the recipes.

Chapters include: Eggs for Brunch, Tex-Mex Favorites, South-of-the-Border Soups, Cooking with Squash, Dinner on a Dime, One-Skillet Dinners, American Classics, High-Roast Chicken, Turkey, Pork Chops and Tenderloin, Fish Steaks, Seafood Classics, Italian Classics, Two Curries, Asian Chicken, Paella, Grilled Pizza, Grill-Roasted Pork Loin, Pulled Pork and Cornbread, Barbecued Chicken, Summer Fruit Desserts, Deep-Dish Apple Pie, Cookies, Old-Fashioned Birthday Cake and German Chocolate Cake.

I've tried several recipes so far and they have each come out really well. The America's Test Kitchen cookbooks are terrific, and always a resource I turn to when I am trying something new.

Line illustrations, informative sidebars, conversion tables and a passable index augment the text.
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Sarah Mc Bride on August 9, 2006
Format: Hardcover
I have recently become an enthusiast of America's Test Kitchen and watch the show on a regular basis. The material is not 100% brand spanking new but meant to be a companion to what is done on TV, specifically the 2006 series (no not 2003 like one reviewer wrote).

As it's a companion book, the sections are broken out by episode and not ingredient. There are several pages of explanation with each episode detailing the trials and tribulations undergone by the fabulous Test Kitchen staff. Some many not care that the ATK staff stumbled upon an old Julia Child method to draw moisture out of fish but I was fascinated. There are also lots of honest product reviews which is a refreshing change for those who watch the TV chefs and never get an actual glimpse of the products and brands used.

I made a perfect Fish Meuniere with Browned Butter and Lemon the first time out with a perfect crunchy brown coating. A few other successful recipes was the Seared Tuna, Inexpensive Pan-Seared Steaks, and the Asparagus, Ham, and Gruyere Frittata.

This book helps teach effective methods for better cooking. Not just how to follow directions but how to become a better chef.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful By J. Wastrack on April 23, 2006
Format: Hardcover
I made the "Pan-Seared Oven-Roasted Pork Tenderloin" with the Cherry Port Sauce. I impressed myself with my gourmet results. I even have tried the Cherry Port Sauce on some venison and the results were great.

The book with recipes and reviews follow the programs very closely. The only small suggestion would be for more color pictures. There are some but a few more with the recipes would be better.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By JGC on December 27, 2009
Format: Hardcover
And I mean that in a good way, because I am a huge ATK fan. They are the very best **authentic** cooking show on the airwaves and in print. Every single recipe that I have made has always been excellent. What I love about this book and ATK in general is their entire attention to detail. They don't slop things together, cut corners and claim that measurements can be "eye balled." Nope. They roll up their sleeves and they cook. This is the real Food Network! My favorite among their team of test chefs has always been Julia Collin-Davison because besides being such a great chef, she is always so funny and bubbly and always has a warm smile.

Although the book is a few years old that should not dissuade anyone from getting it. Because, if anything, I would say that's a better reason to get it (because the price is less than the brand-new ones). I use this book several times a week and it's one of my favorite cookbooks that I have ever used.

The book includes more than 3 dozen glossy full page/full color pictures! And that's on top of the pictures that are included on nearly every single page (which are black and white). The book is hard cover and a total of 356 pages long. Each chapter is actually from a specific show. You can get the accompanying Season 6 DVD set (which is very entertaining) but if you're like me, all you need is a comprehensive cookbook and no one is more comprehensive than ATK!

The specific writings in the book are both easy-to-follow and fascinating (if you enjoy the cooking arts). Each recipe-hub (that's a name that I made up for their main recipes for each show) includes a descriptive synopsis on what they liked about the testings and what they changed and why.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Katrina on February 12, 2011
Format: Hardcover
I bought this book directly from PBS a few years ago and it came with free DVDs. I have returned to this book too many times to count. It is a gold mine of good food. As with every ATK recipe, I approach it with confidence, as they've done all the messy legwork and I know my recipe will turn out great, despite my amateur status as a cook.

For my first I-was-in-charge-at-my-house-Thanksgiving, I followed their turkey instructions, ignoring (nervously) the insistence from many guests that I was doing things the wrong way and my turkey would not come out good. I stuck to my ATK guns, though, and it was PERFECT! Even my guests had to admit it was a fab meal!

Another favorite is the tacos. This one is very time consuming (mostly because you fry the shells) but worth every minute. You have not tasted tacos, my friends, until you have tried the ATK way. Holy mackerel. So unbearably good.

I made the tortilla soup for the first time the other night. Prepare yourself for a heavenly experience. If possible it was even better the second night. (I think the flavors got to know each other better overnight.)

The hits are too numerous to mention.... Oh what the heck, I'll mention them.

French potato salad is so tasty! (And this from someone who has always been turned off of potato salad.)
Thai curry - I'm running out of sufficient words, which is probably why I'm not a food critic, but oh-dear-G-d. So tasty! (Just watch your fingers when you cut the hot peppers -- use thin rubber gloves. I didn't and my husband ran out to CVS for burn cream because my fingers were swollen and on fire.)
Indian curry -- easy and delicious!
Fettuccine Alfredo -- I made my friends very happy one night with this dish.
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