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Simple Weeknight Favorites Paperback – March 1, 2012

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Made in America
Made in America by Megan Garrelts
Check out a modern collection of 50 classic recipes passed down by generations. Learn more | See all U.S. cookbooks
$18.98 FREE Shipping on orders over $35. In Stock. Ships from and sold by Gift-wrap available.

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Simple Weeknight Favorites + The Best Simple Recipes + Slow Cooker Revolution
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Cook's Illustrated (March 1, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1936493063
  • ISBN-13: 978-1936493067
  • Product Dimensions: 1 x 7.2 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (102 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #71,871 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

This cookbook has great pictures and a wide variety of recipes.
I use "The Best Simple Recipes" cookbook more often than any other for weeknight dinners.
I've tried a number of recipes in the book, and all but one turned out well.

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

37 of 38 people found the following review helpful By S. D. Fischer VINE VOICE on March 20, 2013
Format: Paperback Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
Unlike some of the other reviewers, I liked the wide variety of ethnic dishes and the flavors they introduce. I also appreciated the sturdy pages and more than 80 full-page, color photos so readers know what the finished dishes should look like.

Readers may appreciate the Smart Shopping tips such as white versus brown mushrooms, matzo meal versus matzo ball mix, grades of crabmeat and for individual produce items (including escarole and poblano peppers) as well as the Quick Prep tips offering insight on topics like half-and-half substitutes, smashing ginger, and reviving crystallized honey). These short tips are included in many recipes, and throughout there are more comprehensive guides (one or two pages) on topics such as All About Asian Ingredients, Indoor Burgers 101, Setting Up Your Grill, Matching Pasta Shapes and Sauces, Buying Pork, Pan-Searing Steaks 101, All About Spices, All About Salmon and All About Salad Greens. The quick side suggestions (such as pico de gallo and easy white rice with the Quick Black Bean Soup) may also be helpful.

What I did not like was the heavy dependence on meat. Even the salad chapter offered only one vegetarian option. I would have preferred to have seen more vegetarian dishes that relied on inexpensive, easy to find sources of protein such as beans and quinoa (to reflect growing interest in Meat-Free Mondays). The chapter on vegetarian dishes is the shortest one in the book.

It would have been helpful to provide calorie counts for each dish, but they were not included.
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47 of 50 people found the following review helpful By Net Admin / Home Chef VINE VOICE on March 24, 2012
Format: Paperback Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
I am a fan of quick and simple recipes which are easy to prepare at home. I am also a long time fan of Cook's Illustrated and America's Test Kitchen, so I was really looking forward to "Simple Weeknight Favorites". I was sure that once I had gone through it, I would find a lot of things I'd want to try and probably even some I might make on a regular basis.

At first glance, it looked good. It's printed on high quality glossy paper with lots of nice, bright color photography of the completed recipes. There is useful general information about ingredients and preparation also with nice color photos. I especially liked "All about Salad Greens" on page 33, "All about Buying Pork" on page 133, and "All about Salmon" on page 177.

All that said, despite going through this book from cover to cover a couple of times, I didn't really find the kind of recipes I was looking for. I thought from the title, "Simple Weeknight Favorites," that I would discover some new variations on familiar standards, but instead I found what seemed to me unusual preparations or combinations of ingrediants which often didn't really appeal to me. Some examples are "Farfalle with Beets, Arugula, and Blue Cheese", "Frisee with Fried-egg Salad and Lentils", and Chicken with Mexican-style Pumpkin Seed Sauce." How about "Squash, Gorgonzola, and Panchetta Pizza?" Kids usually love pizza but I think that recipe, like many in this book, could be a hard sell to the children in a lot of families.

I can imagine that this book could appeal to adults with a sense of gastronomic adventure greater than mine who are in search of new culinary experiences. I like bacon but wouldn't cook it in maple syrup as one recipe suggests. Likewise I wouldn't cook pork chops in cola as does another.
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24 of 25 people found the following review helpful By Waltons Fan on March 10, 2012
Format: Paperback
I'm a longtime fan of ATK cookbooks, and also own "Best Skillet Recipes", "Best Light Recipes", and the 2011 ATK TV show companion cookbook. I was excited to add a new ATK book to my collection.

There are several recipes in SWF that I noticed had appeared in other publications. The same recipe may fall in various categories - it could be a light recipe, it could be made in a skillet, or it could be made in about 30 minutes. So don't be surprised to see an old favorite mixed in with the new.

I have tried four recipes from this book:

Jasmine Rice Cakes with Vegetable Thai Green Curry: This recipe calls for 2 packages of Uncle Ben's Jasmine Ready Rice. When I originally made this recipe in 2010, my grocer did not carry this product, so I made jasmine rice from scratch. This increased the cooking time of the recipe, but sometimes you just have to make do. The flavors, colors, and textures of this dish were a happy surprise. The crispiness of the rice cake, the creaminess of the curry sauce, the beautiful green vegetables against the golden brown rice... Wow. Just be forewarned - you'll need to process some rice in the food processor. Hot coarsely ground rice is sticky!

Orange-Ginger Pork Tenderloin and Carrot Slaw: Beautiful and tasty. The cumin-cinnamon flavored carrot slaw was a happy surprise. To further save time, use pre-shredded carrots. The sauce for the pork called for orange marmalade. I'm not a marmalade fan due to the strips of peel, so I strained the sauce before serving, and it was fine. This dish would be good with roasted broccoli.

Spicy Beef Lettuce Cups (served with suggested side of Sesame-Scallion Noodles): This was really tasty. I bought the suggested Bibb lettuce, although the specimens at my grocer looked rather sad.
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More About the Author

America's Test Kitchen is a 2,500 square foot kitchen located outside of Boston. It is the home of Cook's Illustrated and Cook's Country magazines and is the workday destination for over 3 dozen test cooks, editors and cookware specialists. Our mission is to test recipes until we understand how and why they work and arrive at the best version. We also test kitchen equipment and supermarket ingredients in search of brands that offer the best value and performance. You can watch us work by tuning in to our public television show, America's Test Kitchen.

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