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78 Reviews
5 star:
 (58)
4 star:
 (10)
3 star:
 (5)
2 star:
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86 of 89 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent book. However....
This is virtually the same book as "The Best Recipe" by the editors of Cooks Illustrated. I think that "The Best Recipe" is more comprehensive. "The Perfect Recipe" does seem to be laid out in a manner that would be easier to follow as you cook. You don't need both, in any case. The recipes are the SAME!
Published on August 18, 2000

versus
12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Get the "Best Recipe" instead from Cooks Illustrated.
Pam Anderson was the editor at Cook's Illustrated for years. Her 1998 book, while it won the Julia Child Award, has identical recipes in "The New Best Recipe" and also in "The Best Recipe", printed in 2004, both by Cooks's Illustrated, with WAY more recipes than Pam's book.

Get the "New Best Recipe" instead from Cooks Illustrated, with over 1000 tested...
Published on November 22, 2006 by I. Seligman


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86 of 89 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent book. However...., August 18, 2000
By A Customer
This is virtually the same book as "The Best Recipe" by the editors of Cooks Illustrated. I think that "The Best Recipe" is more comprehensive. "The Perfect Recipe" does seem to be laid out in a manner that would be easier to follow as you cook. You don't need both, in any case. The recipes are the SAME!
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37 of 37 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent Cookbook, June 9, 1999
By 
Thriller Lover (Las Vegas, Nevada) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)   
This is an excellent cookbook for someone who wants to get their recipes "just right." As a novice cook, I learned a great deal from this book, which explains in detail the processes the author went through in trying to create the "perfect recipe" for staple dishes such as prime rib, fried chicken, meatloaf, apple pie, and muffins.
This cookbook, like all cookbooks, isn't perfect (despite the title). In fact the worst thing about this book is the title, becuase it creates impossibly high expectations for all the recipes. For example, the meat loaf recipe is decent, but hardly "perfect." On the other hand, the basic muffin recipe is marvelous and is indeed the best recipe for muffins I have ever tried. The pancake and brownie recipes are similarly magnificent.
So, on the whole, an excellent cookbook written by a chef who knows her stuff. Just lower your expectations and try more than one recipe before giving up.
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27 of 28 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Problem-solving comfort foods, September 22, 2000
By A Customer
Having cooked for a family for the last 30 years, I have several cookbooks as well as recipes I've printed off the web in my cooking library. It was refreshing to see that in this book I could now find the answer to some age-old problems I've encountered with basic comfort foods, like roast turkey (getting MOIST white AND dark meat), (evenly-cooked) prime rib and (crisp, not weepy and soggy) lemon meringue pie. I also found it interesting to read about the processes performed to find the "perfect" recipe. This book is a find for the new or beginner cook. As a more experienced cook, I was thrilled to find solutions to those cooking "nightmares."
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20 of 21 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars You only need one or the other, February 9, 2000
By A Customer
Having gotten "The Best Recipe," (The other latest cookbook from the editors of Cook's Illustrated" and loving it, I thought I'd buy this as well, and was somewhat dissappointed because they seemed to have overlapped. They are both WONDERFUL books, however, I think you only need one.
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20 of 21 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Dinner Party Winners, December 6, 1999
Whenever we entertain and want to make a dish that dazzles people, I turn to one of four cookbooks and this is one of them. The recipes are so clear and they work every time. Not only does the food taste great, this cookbook tells the reader what works, what doesn't, and why. I have complete faith in The Perfect Recipe. The meals also make for special dinners with your spouse.
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15 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Comfort Food at its Finest, November 10, 1999
By A Customer
I have been a gourmet cook for over ten years and have mastered the exciting, pretty dishes. But after having kids, I realized the need for "comfort" food recipes. The recipes in this cookbook are easy to prepare and a hit with the kids. For those who complain about the high fat content, try adding a salad and some veggies with your main dish...just like Grandma.
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19 of 20 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Throw away your other cookbooks!, April 17, 2000
I owned at least fifty cookbooks. This one is the best! I am a full time working mom and my family thinks I am the best cook. I have tried at least ten of the recipes and they are all good. This book is a must for anyone who hates to cook or just doesn't have the time.
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18 of 19 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars With Pam Anderson, you get it "Right", November 13, 2002
By 
zzzbc "attybc" (Houston, TX United States) - See all my reviews
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: The Perfect Recipe (Hardcover)
Excellent Book. Each recipe explains what elements were tested (e.g., cooking temperature, cooking time, ingredient mix, what seasonings how much and when, correct cooking methods). I consider myself, at the least, an experienced cook, even if I can not claim to be an excellent one. Pam's research easily improved my technique on several classic favorites.
Sorry ...no glossy photos...don't be put off by that...it is wonderful, concise, and easy reading.
Ok Let's get serious: Chicken Soup, Clam Chowder, Beef Soup, Stir Fry, Macaroni and Cheese,Pizza, Chicken, Fried Chicken, Chicken Pot Pie, Hamburger*, Meat Loaf*, Beef Stew**, Special Dinners: Roast Turkey, Cornish Hen, Prime Rib, Pork Roast, Lobster. Side Dishes: Cole Slaw, Greens, Corn-on-the-cob, Potato Salad, Mashed Potatoes. Breads: Bread, Corn Bread, Muffins, Pancakes. Desserts: Various Cobblers, Strawberry Shortcake, Apple Pie, Lemon Meringue, Cream Pie, Cheese Cake (various textures), Brownies, Rolled Cookies. That's It. She has done her homework and you will be a better cook for having bought the book. I have not read "Cook's Illustrated" so I can't comment.
Brian
P.S. For 5 stars, you got to have those glossy photos. Am I right?
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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars good recipes & a joy to read, August 19, 2001
By 
This review is from: The Perfect Recipe (Hardcover)
I have a growing collection of cookbooks, & after cooking from them for several years, I've found that I return to a couple of the cookbooks again & again. "The perfect recipe" is one of these books. It's always better to have a "basic" recipe for, say, muffins or brownies or whatever...& then to work from there, adding ingredients & finding interesting variations. Following a recipe from a book that I don't trust never produces the results I want, & leaves me disappointed. That's why I turn to this book, or "How to eat" by Nigella Lawson (& some others) just to be sure I'm doing it right...What I do is---I start off with one of these recipes, & then adjust some of the ingredients to have the result of a different recipe that I'm following. I've found this method works well for me.
All the recipes I've tried so far from "The perfect recipe" work fine. The muffins & brownies are wonderful, much better than most other recipes I'd tried before. The actual reading of the book is very good too. I tend to prefer cookbooks that almost read like...fiction!! What I mean is, I prefer to know how & why the author cooked this, or the story behind the meal, or the memories the food brings, or whatever: I hate it when cookbooks just give a "dry" recipe, not explaining anything, just telling you to follow instructions. In this respect "the perfect recipe" is almost...perfect.
My only complaint is first, the total lack of photos, & secondly the fact that most recipes in the book are high fat. Apart from that, I recommend this to any person who loves cooking & also loves reading about cooking.
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16 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars BRAVO, PAM! I'M GETTING RAVES!, November 22, 1999
By 
Susan Hickok (Glendale, Arizona) - See all my reviews
I have a number of cook books gathering dust in my kitchen because I'm always turning to "The Perfect Recipe." Though some may find all of Pam's research unnecessary, I have found it fascinating to finally find out why so many methods I've used in the past haven't been successful. I made the mocha cheesecake for a party, and it was the best everyone had ever tasted. The muffins, the brownies, and the cobblers are unbeatable too.
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The Perfect Recipe
The Perfect Recipe by Pam Anderson (Hardcover - April 25, 2001)
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