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The Cook's Illustrated Cookbook: 2000 Recipes from 20 Years of America's Most Trusted Food Magazine (Englisch) Gebundene Ausgabe – Oktober 2011

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1.021 von 1.032 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
Gives you more and less 17. November 2011
Von Rob T - Veröffentlicht auf
Format: Gebundene Ausgabe Vine Kundenrezension eines kostenfreien Produkts ( Was ist das? )
I've been a big fan of Cook's Illustrated for a while and I own a bunch of their cookbooks. Here's the scoop on this one.

It offers more recipes than any other book they've got.
Many of the recipes appear in other books.
This one offers a short "Why it works" intro to each recipe, but unlike Cook's Illustrated "Best Recipe" book, it doesn't give a detailed explanation of all the things they tried on the way to the final recipe.

Should you buy this? Here's a little decision tree:

Do you already own Cook's Illustrated Best Recipe cookbook?
-- If yes, then don't buy this -- too much duplication.
-- If no, then are you interested in the the recipe development process?
---- If so, then buy Cook's Illustrated's Best Recipe cookbook.
---- If not, then buy this book (The Cook's Illustrated Cookbook) -- it's more complete.
143 von 148 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
The Ultimate and NO Internet Connection Needed! 8. Oktober 2011
Von HJ - Veröffentlicht auf
Format: Gebundene Ausgabe
I love Cooks Illustrated and have given America's Test Kitchens (ATK) Family Cookbook The America's Test Kitchen Family Cookbook [AMER TEST KITCHEN FAMILY CKBK] at every wedding shower I have attended since it was printed, probably 20 copies. Now, for all those couples (and sometimes singles) who told me they learned to cook with the Family Cookbook, I have a Christmas gift! Every one of my favorite Cook's Illustrated magazine recipes is here, in one place, without needing an internet connection. From Roasted Broccoli to Chewy Brownies to Vodka Penne to French Onion Soup to Brown Sugar Cookies to Chicken Marsala to Pan Seared Scallops and on and on ..... every one of them "to die for...."), I don't think I have ever produced a real failure caused by one of these recipes. I have to say that thanks to Cook's Illustrated and ATK I have the reputation for being the best cook in the family, hands down. I am the go-to-one for all the family events with "important" cooking (Christmas "Perfect Prime Rib", Thanksgiving "Creamy Corn Pudding" and mid-July's family re-union fresh sour cherry pie with Foolproof Pie crusts. All those great recipes and many, many more came from Cook's Illustrated magazines, and now from this one single (albeit BIG) reference.
309 von 337 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
My New Favorite Cookbook 2. Oktober 2011
Von Robert - Veröffentlicht auf
Format: Gebundene Ausgabe Verifizierter Kauf
Summary - A Great cookbook for someone who wants to cook, not look at pictures of someone else's cooking.

For those of you unfamiliar with Cook's Illustrated, it is this great magazine dedicated to making it easier to cook great food. This cookbook keeps up that tradition by compiling and modernizing recipes from the magazine without loosing the informative method of presenting not only the recipe but the background about why something works, what to use to get the best result, and what tools work the best. This is not a cookbook full of glossy pictures of professionally photographed prepared dishes, it is the cook's cookbook, with the necessary illustrations (done as line drawings) to get the job done. Those of you familiar with the magazine will feel right at home, since the cookbook is done in the exact same style. Typical sidebars include:

Illustrated guides to complete a task (i.e. - Trimming a chuck-eye roast, Folding Bread Dough, Slicing a Soft Cake so it looks perfect, etc.)
Test Kitchen Tips (i.e. - Key Tips to perfect Pasta, Buying Scallops, etc.)
Why A Recipe Works (i.e. - Why the recipe is structured a certain way to get the best result)

Index - The book is adequately indexed, but indexes never quite think the way you do, so a little logic is still required to find what you are looking for (i.e. - Coffee Cakes is under Cakes and nor cross-referenced under Coffee and Cakes themselves are sub-grouped in the index (Cakes, Cakes - Chocolate, Cakes - Savory).

Negatives - The book's pages could be of a heavier weight for my liking. I understand that this is a big book already with so many recipes, but the paper feels fragile in my hand. Also, the binding seems thin and only time will tell if this binding will hold up to the heavy use I plan on putting it through. Lastly, I really it when cookbooks include bookmarking ribbons to allow me to quickly flip through multiple recipes quickly when I am preparing a couple of recipes simultaneously. For these reasons, I subtracted a star.

Value - This is a great value even with my few negatives.

Ideas for Making it Better - In the way of improvement, I wonder why a book like this is not offered digitally. I have a Pad Computer and a Kitchen Computer, both of which I use while cooking, so having a cookbook that offers me the ability to thumb through for recipes digitally would be nice. I would like to see companies offer both, similar to what they do now with textbooks, so you can have the paper and the digital at one lower combined price.

Contents - The compilers waste no time with long introductions or discussions on what cooking is about. They dive right into recipes, a lot of recipes, and spread the information throughout the book teaching you why something is the way it is when you need to know it. The style of this cookbook is to get you to dive right in and start cooking, not admiring the professionally prepared dishes or reading endless text on how to separate an egg. Organized logically, it includes:

- Appetizers
*Nuts, cheese, and eggs
*Shrimp and Salmon
*Dips, Spreads, and Salsas
*Nachos and Quesadillas
*Bruschetta and Tarts
*Spring Rolls and Dumplings
*Vinaigrette and Dressings
*Green Salads
*Vegetable Salads
*Deli Salads
*Chicken Salads, Tuna Salads and More
*Chicken and Beef Soups
*Vegetable and Bean Soups
*Chowders and More
*Croutons and Other Garnishes
-Chilis, Stews, and Braises
-Curries, Stir-Fries, and Asian Noodles
*Vegetable Stir Fries
*Chicken, Meat and Shrimp Stir Fries
*Fried Rice and Noodles
*Pasta Sauces
*Pasta with Olive Oil or Cream Sauces
*Pasta with Tomato Sauces
*Pasta with Meat Sauces
*Pasta with Chicken or Seafood
*Pasta with Vegetables
*Whole Meat Pasta Dishes
*Fresh Pasta and Filled Pasta
*Manicotti, Lasagna, and other Baked Pasta Dishes
-Rice, Grains, and Beans
*Stuffed Vegetables and Vegetable Mains
*Chicken Cutlets and Breasts
*Bone-in Chicken Parts
*Fried and Stuffed Chicken
*Whole Roast Chicken
*Chicken & Rice Dishes, Pot Pies, and Enchiladas
*Cornish Game Hens and Duck
-Fish and Shellfish
*Pork and Lamb
*Fish and Shellfish
*Barbeque Sauces
-Eggs and Breakfast
*Eggs and Egg Dishes
*French Toast, Pancakes, and waffles
*Oatmeal and Granola
*Bacon and Potatoes
-Quick Breads and Coffee Cakes
*Biscuits, Scones, and Muffins
*Popovers, Doughnuts, and Buns
*Coffee Cakes
*Quick Breads
-Yeast Breads and rolls
-Pizza, Calzones, and Flatbreads
-Cookies, Brownies, and Bars
*Cookie Jar Classics
*Shortbread and Other Butter Cookies
*Madeline, Biscotti, and More
*Brownies, Bar Cookies, and Candy
*Classic Layer, Sheet, and Snack Cakes
Chocolate Cakes and Occasional Cakes
*Cakes with Fruit
Pound Cakes And Bundt Cakes
Angel Food and Chiffon Cakes
*Pudding Cakes
-Pies and Tart Crusts
*Fruit Pies
*Custard and Cream Pies
-Fruit Deserts
*Shortbread, Cobblers, Crisps, and More
*Simple Fruit Desserts
-Puddings, Custards, and Frozen Desserts
*Puddings and Custards
*Ices, Soberts, and Sherberts
*Ice Cream and Frozen Yogurt
*Desert Sauces and Whipped Cream

Recommendation - I would recommend this Cookbook and plan on giving it as a gift to several of my friends.
197 von 224 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
Test Kitchen Cooks...again and again 28. Oktober 2011
Von wogan - Veröffentlicht auf
Format: Gebundene Ausgabe Vine Kundenrezension eines kostenfreien Produkts ( Was ist das? )
First of all, `Cook's Illustrated Cookbook's title is a bit misleading - for those who really like illustrations for their recipes, there are none in here. What is in the book, by way of illustration are the Test Kitchen's very good diagrams that illustrate skills such as; forming a tart shell, carving an herbed roast turkey, chopping onions without tears.
This is a big cookbook with 890 pages. It contains recipes for: appetizers, salads, soups, chilies, stews and braises, curries, stir-fries and Asian noodle dishes, pasta, rice, grains and beans, vegetables, poultry, meat, fish and shellfish, grilling - a really wonderful chapter, since it gives both charcoal and gas grill instructions, eggs and breakfast, quick breads and coffee cakes, yeast breads and rolls, pizza, calzones, and flatbreads, cookies, brownies, and bars, cakes, pies and tarts, fruit desserts, pastry, puddings, custards and frozen desserts and beverages.

There is a very detailed secondary index listing every recipe and a thorough index giving ingredient, dish name and type. There is also a volume and weight conversion chart. Chilies have several varieties as do pork chops and salmon and several other dishes. Serving sizes are given and 154 kitchen tips are inserted telling you such hints as; how to store cheese, salting - the secret to juicy roasts. Some help is missed in several places, for example in a recipe for coconut icing; they do not tell you how to toast the coconut - strange for a book that usually gives so much guidance. For those who still believe the way to grill is with charcoal - it is a relief to have these instructions included. The recipe for beer can chicken has become a legend in our back yard. The coconut cake has been pronounced almost as good as our fabled grandmother- a minor miracle to say the least. Linguine with garlic cream sauce is wonderful, as is the mushroom lasagna.

In my naivety I assumed with a Cook's label there would be different recipes than the ones in the Test Kitchen cookbooks. With very few exceptions, since I have an extensive collection of Test Kitchen cookbooks, every recipe is in here. For those of you that have several Test Kitchen books it is going to be a repeat of quite a lot of the information. I was really disappointed in that fact; but if you do not, it is a wonderful book. So in a quandary as to what to rank it I've given it a 3, because of the extensive repeats from the Test Kitchen books. I was hoping that the Cook's magazine would have some different material. It would be a good book for even a confident beginner who wants to learn good cooking; but I really resent the constant reprinting of what is already out there with no disclaimer. I feel it leads the purchaser of the book astray.
23 von 26 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
Bound to become my favorite cookbook 27. Oktober 2011
Von Mark Colan - Veröffentlicht auf
Format: Gebundene Ausgabe Vine Kundenrezension eines kostenfreien Produkts ( Was ist das? )
Really, really good recipes
Comprehensive coverage of most types of Western and some international cuisines
Exceptionally well organized, with a thorough table of contents (28 pages) and complete index (78 pages!)
Perfect amount of detail, including some science of why the recipes work
Recipes based on teams testing many ways of cooking the same thing, and selecting the best choice from a taste test

Too big and heavy to carry around (I had to think awhile to find a con)

First, I have to admit I am biased: I have subscribed to Cook's Illustrated and learned a lot, I love their BBQ cookbook, and I think their TV show is the best cooking show I have seen. Chris Kimball has brought some science and scientific testing to cookbooks in exactly the amount it was needed. In getting this book, I already knew what it would be like - and fortunately, it is that, and more.

I was amazed at the size and weight of this cookbook. But to have 2,000 recipes described in the level of detail that we expect from the authors of Cook's Illustrated and America's Test Kitchen, I should not be. With 890 strong pages (actually more, if you include the table of contents etc), which are 10x8.5" in size, it is going to be big and heavy. With 807 pages used for recipes (excluding the index and reference in back), the average recipe takes 40% of one page.

If you have the magazines, you know they are cumbersome to deal with, and sometimes the articles have more detail than you actually want to read when preparing a recipe. This book pares the recipes down to the basic information, while preserving just enough of the science to give you insight to become a better cook. And unlike a collection of magazines, this single volume organizes and index all the recipes for fast and easy use.

In my 39 years of cooking, I have always believed that The Joy of Cooking was the essential reference for all cooks in the US: that if you could have only one cookbook, that should be it. For some, it may be blasphemy to say so, but this book might just be a better choice if you can have only one cookbook - especially if you lean towards modern cuisines. Fortunately, we can have both.

1. Appetizers - 26 pages
2. Salads - 38 pages
3. Soups - 30 pages
4. Chilis, Soups, and Braises - 34 pages
5. Curries, Stir-fries, and Asian Noodle dishes - 30 pages
6. Pasta - 62 pages
7. Rice, Grains, Beans - 20 pages
8. Vegetables - 66 pages
9. Poultry - 64 pages
10. Meat - 62 pages
11. Fish and seafood - 30 pages
12. Grilling - 70 pages
13. Eggs and Breakfast - 26 pages
14. Quick Breads and Coffee Cakes - 26 pages
15. Yeast Breads and Rolls - 20 pages
16. Pizza, Calzones, and Flatbreads - 18 pages
17. Cookies, Brownies, and Bars - 38 pages
18. Cakes - 46 pages
19. Pies and Tarts - 34 pages
20. Fruit Desserts - 20 pages
21. Pastry - 14 pages
22. Puddings, Custards, Frozen Desserts - 26 pages
23. Beverages - 8 pages
Table of Contents - 28 pages, listing ALL recipes by chapter
Index - 78 pages!! Amazing!
Conversions - 2 pages


So far, I have ready many recipes, and made only a few. As an experienced cook, I can tell that the recipes will work, and how they are improved from the way I do things now. I know I will learn a lot by reading the rest of them. I decided to test the cookbook by applying it to Sunday's weekly shopping trip.

Cauliflower - I love the roasted cauliflower recipe, which starts by oven-steaming the oiled and spiced cauliflower, then finishes by roasting it (removing the foil) to carmelize and sweeten the vegetable. Instead of spicing it with curry or chili powder, as suggested, I used Ras el Hanout spice blend. Next time I'll make it plain with one of the two recommended sauces. But there are 17 recipes in total for cauliflower, so maybe I'll try something different.

Broccoli - 32 recipes (not including the recipes for Broccoli Rabe) - roasted, steamed, fried, etc.

Pork shoulder - I was originally thinking pulled pork, but it is cold and wet this week, so maybe carnitas, which I have never made before. The book has four ways of cooking a shoulder, including a great looking recipe for carnitas that I will make this weekend, and an indoor version of pulled pork. I was surprised that it does not include pulled pork in the grilling chapter - but pulled pork is really bbq (slow-cook), not grilling (fast-cook). The Grilling chapter does include some grill-roasting recipes, which is in between slow and fast grill cooking.

Update 11/3/11: I used the recipe for whole pork shoulder slow-roasted in the oven, and served with the recipe for a peach sauce made with the pan drippings. It was terrific! Though I might be tempted to roast it longer, perhaps at a lower temperature, to render more fat. When I slow-cook a shoulder on the outdoor cooker, I normally finish it in the oven at 225F until it reaches 205F or so. This recipe called for 325F until 190F. I would also add more water when checking the temperature, because the "jus" was very concentrated and there was not as much as expected.

Chicken legs - Whereas Chicken Breasts merit their own major heading in the index, chicken legs, my favorite part, is not listed at all. There IS an entry for chicken thighs. So I had to do more searching to find only 10 recipes that call for chicken legs, thighs, or quarters. The authors clearly favor chicken breasts and whole chickens, as there are MANY recipes for these.

Update 11/15/2011: Made the Chicken Cacciatore recipe, which uses chicken thighs, substituting dry chanterelles for the portobello mushrooms, which I did not have. Used an inexpensive but nice Carménère red wine - the recipe needs 1 1/2 cups, so it left some for serving with the meal. I found the result slightly saltier than I prefer, and it reminds me that Cook's Illustrated likes to use salt (for example, brining poultry and pork for bbq). No problem, just reduce the salt.

Pork Chops fared much better with 21 recipes.


The authors hail from the Boston area, and not surprisingly, the recipes reflect modern tastes in fine American cooking, as well as seafood like lobsters) that are available and affordable around Boston. "American tastes" means American classics, including barbecue, but also international flavors. Italian, French, Hungarian, Moroccan, Mexican, Indian, Jamaican, Thai, Vietnamese, Chinese... just scratching the surface of what you'll find, along with *regional* American cuisines.

Like Joy of Cooking, there is a fairly detailed recipe and some variations that are much shorter, as well as sauces or other accompaniments, which also tend to be shorter. Presumably each of these counts as one recipe. While I said that the average for all recipes is 40% of one page, the variations, sauces, etc that go with many recipes mean that the detailed recipe is actually considerably more than 40%, often closer to a page, and sometimes more than a page when you include the variations and sauces. Most major recipes also include an introductory paragraph on "why this recipe works" which gives an overview of some of the techniques or science behind the recipe.

Usually with a cookbook featuring so many recipes, the recipes are pared down to the bare minimum of ingredients and instructions. Not so with this cookbook: the recipes have all the detail I think the beginning to average cook will need to successfully make the dish.

Generally, the recipes do not call for a great deal of time-consuming labor to prep the dish. I think they use the right amount of shortcuts to speed up the work - for example, the use of frozen peaches or cherries when making a sauce. After all, if you are going to cook the fruit anyway, there is not a lot of advantage to using fresh fruit, which requires more time to prepare.

Mixed in with the recipes are 153 boxed hints and tips relevant to the recipes on the page.


For me, this large cookbook is a dream come true. Even though I am a very experienced cook, I know I will learn a lot from it and further improve the quality and range of my cooking. I also think that beginning cooks can use most of what is here, because the recipes are not complicated, and when special techniques are required, they are explained very well.

Fortunately, I don't have to decide whether this will replace Joy of Cooking: I have both, and will continue to use it. But I know I will be using this cookbook a LOT, and I recommend it to anyone seeking a broad overview of what is popular in western cooking - which of course includes some international dishes as well.

This is bound to become one of my favorite and most-used cookbooks. I am disappointed by the bias of chicken breasts vs chicken legs (though honestly, you can subsitute the legs for breast in most cases), and there is more Italian and pasta recipes than I am interested in... for which I might deduct a half a star in total. But I recognize that these things represent mainstream tastes, and the authors have done a fine job of creating a comprehensive cookbook that covers the modern American taste.
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