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Any America's Test Kitchen fans?


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Hey musicians who love to cook! I do a ton of cooking. Occasionally fancy stuff when I have a day, but much more frequently I'm doing workman like recipes for my family that aren't too fussy but have good results.

 

I've been watching America's Test Kitchen for the past couple years and about 6 months ago I paid for a membership to their site. And I have to say, 90% of the stuff I make from there is totally bangin and has changed my go to recipe for stuff.

I'll share a couple of their recipes. Their brussels sprouts in the pan are the best brussels I've been able to make consistently. And their braised chicken thighs and braised short ribs are also regulars.

 

Anyone else a fan?

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Kawai C-60 Grand Piano : Hammond A-100 : Hammond SK2 : Yamaha CP4 : Yamaha Montage 7 : Moog Sub 37

 

My latest album: Funky organ, huge horn section

https://bobbycressey.bandcamp.com/album/cali-native

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Cool stuff!

 

Personally, For relaxation, I watch sports--the more interesting the event the more I like it!

 

HOWEVER, when I want to see WAR, I tune into the Food Channel: Chopped, Guy's Grocery Games, etc get me ready for ACTION! ( kitchen, here I come--mission is to make a Great Meal...)  👍

 

Steve Force,

Durham, North Carolina

--------

My Professional Websites

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America's Test Kitchen is a show on PBS that's been around since the early 2000s I believe. They also have a magazine that's associated with it, Cooks Illustrated. The whole premise of the show is they try making things tons of different ways and tweak and optimize along the way to arrive at a perfectly dialed in and efficient recipe. They other aspect of the show is kind of a consumer reports for all things cooking - they test gear in the kitchen and do roundups of everything from pots and pans to timers and knives and fat separators and sheet pans and talk about their favorites - and they do the same with ingredients. 

 

Anyway all their recipes are great and with their online membership you can watch all the shows and look at all the recipes. I will see if I can post some of my faves.

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Kawai C-60 Grand Piano : Hammond A-100 : Hammond SK2 : Yamaha CP4 : Yamaha Montage 7 : Moog Sub 37

 

My latest album: Funky organ, huge horn section

https://bobbycressey.bandcamp.com/album/cali-native

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I subscribed to Cooks Illustrated for years and by far the most useful section for me was the gear recommendations - I hesitate to use the term GAS with respect to cooking. They turned me on to the Technivorm Moccamaster coffee maker and the world's best pepper mill for starters. I never quite got the hang of the tv version though. Maybe I'll take another look.

Whenever you find yourself on the side of the majority, it is time to pause and reflect.

-Mark Twain

 

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Speaking of Cooks Illustrated...

This recipe is probably the fussiest procedure I'm willing to undertake in the kitchen, but it's also one of the most delicious end results. 

SAUTÉED CHICKEN CUTLETS WITH PORCINI SAUCE

Adapted from Cook’s Illustrated
Serves 3-4

1/2 oz. dried porcini mushrooms (about 3/4 cup)
1 cup low sodium chicken broth
1/4 cup AP flour
1 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. ground black pepper
3 boneless, skinless chicken breasts (6-8 oz. each), halved horizontally and pounded 1/4″ thick
1 Tbsp. olive oil, divided
1 small shallot, minced
1/4 cup dry vermouth
1 tsp. tomato paste
1 tsp. soy sauce
1/2 tsp. sugar
1 Tbsp. unsalted butter
1/2 tsp. thyme, minced
1/2 tsp. lemon juice

Rinse the porcini in a large bowl of cold water, agitating them with hands to release dirt and sand. Allow sand to settle to bottom of bowl.  Pour chicken broth into microwave-safe 2 cup measuring cup, and then then lift porcini from water and transfer to measuring cup.  Submerge porcini beneath the surface of liquid. Microwave 1 minute, until broth is steaming. Let stand 10 minutes. Using tongs, gently lift porcini out of broth and transfer to cutting board, reserving broth. Chop porcini into ¾-inch pieces and transfer to medium bowl.  Strain broth through fine-mesh strainer lined with large coffee filter into bowl with chopped porcini.

Combine flour, salt, and pepper in pie plate.  Dredge chicken in flour, shaking gently to remove excess.  Set chicken aside on plate, and reserve a teaspoon of the flour.

Heat 1/2 Tbsp. oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat until smoking. Place 3 cutlets in skillet and cook without moving until browned, about 1-2 minutes. Flip cutlets and continue to cook until second sides are opaque,15 to 20 seconds.  Transfer to large plate.

Add remaining 1/2 Tbsp. oil to now-empty skillet and repeat to cook remaining cutlets. Tent plate loosely with foil.

Reduce heat to medium.  Add the shallot and cook, stirring often, until softened, about 30 seconds. Add reserved teaspoon flour and cook, whisking constantly, 30 seconds.  Increase heat to medium-high and whisk in vermouth, soaked porcini and their liquid, tomato paste, soy sauce, and sugar.  Simmer until reduced to 1 cup, 3 to 5 minutes.

Transfer cutlets and any accumulated juices to skillet. Cover and simmer until cutlets are heated through, about 1 minute. Remove skillet from heat and transfer cutlets to serving platter. Whisk butter, thyme, and lemon juice into sauce and season with salt and pepper. Spoon sauce over chicken and serve immediately .

Whenever you find yourself on the side of the majority, it is time to pause and reflect.

-Mark Twain

 

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Long time fan of ATK, subscriber to Cook’s Illustrated, and member of their online site.  Their gear reviews are VERY helpful.

 

One of the best recipes I learned from them was this:

DUCK FAT-ROASTED POTATOES

3 ½pounds Yukon Gold potatoes, peeled and cut into 1 1/2-inch pieces

Kosher salt and pepper

½ teaspoon baking soda

6 tablespoons duck fat

1 tablespoon chopped fresh rosemary

 

1. Adjust oven rack to top position, place rimmed baking sheet on rack, and heat oven to 475 degrees.
2. Bring 10 cups water to boil in Dutch oven over high heat. Add potatoes, 1/3 cup salt, and baking soda. Return to boil and cook for 1 minute. Drain potatoes. Return potatoes to pot and place over low heat. Cook, shaking pot occasionally, until surface moisture has evaporated, about 2 minutes. Remove from heat. Add 5 tablespoons fat and 1 teaspoon salt; mix with rubber spatula until potatoes are coated with thick paste, about 30 seconds.
3. Remove sheet from oven, transfer potatoes to sheet, and spread into even layer. Roast for 15 minutes.
4. Remove sheet from oven. Using thin, sharp, metal spatula, turn potatoes. Roast until golden brown, 12 to 15 minutes. While potatoes roast, combine rosemary and remaining 1 tablespoon fat in bowl.
5. Remove sheet from oven. Spoon rosemary-fat mixture over potatoes and turn again. Continue to roast until potatoes are well browned and rosemary is fragrant, 3 to 5 minutes. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Serve immediately.


Notes:

 

1. I have never used duck fat- haven’t seen it where I am.  But I have found bacon fat or the drippings from beef are reasonable substitutes.  I have also tried this recipe with vegetable oils, like EVOO.  While the results have been acceptable, they’re not as good as using some form of animal fat.  I don’t know why, it just is.  That said, using EVOO will still get you good enough results that the vegetarians and vegans in your life will be VERY happy with the results.

2.  I have found that if you toss a few packets of San Marzano tomatoes in the leftover fats from tossing the potatoes and give THEM a quick ride in the recently vacated and still hot oven, they come out delicious as well.  Just let them bake until you start to see them show visible signs of cooking: wrinkling as they dehydrate and/or rupture, a little color change, etc.

 

Sturgeon's 2nd Law, a.k.a. Sturgeon's Revelation: âNinety percent of everything is crapâ

 

My FLMS- Murphy's Music in Irving, Tx

 

http://murphysmusictx.com/

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I follow ATM on YouTube and have watched their videos on everything from how to bake a potato to making biscuits. Also plenty of gadget comparison videos. I check them out before buying things for the kitchen.

This post edited for speling.
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Hmmm. Interesting comment about  baking soda. Now I'm curious as well.  What exactly does  baking soda do anyway? So I did some research: 

 

Quote

When used in baking, baking soda acts as a chemical leavener, producing carbon dioxide in reaction to an acid (like vinegar), which produces bubbles that help the cake or cookie rise to tender, moist, and fluffy perfection. 

Quoted from here

 

So, my guess here is rather than using fermentation (like yeast does) to product "Bubbles", baking soda and... ? generate carbon dioxide bubbles instead. 

 

My feeble mind can't figure out what the mystery component is... Any chemists in the crowd? 

 

Steve Force,

Durham, North Carolina

--------

My Professional Websites

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In this recipe, the baking soda in the water roughens up the exposed flesh of the potatoes.  Kind of like sandblasted glass or metal, you get a “matte finish”- it increases the surface area at a microscopic level.  That’s not just for show: as the potatoes cook in the oven, all those tiny nooks and crannies crisp up into a lightly crunchy shell while the potatoes’ interiors remain delightfully creamy.

 

It’s effectively like you breaded and deep fried them; the physics are similar.

 

After YEARS of trying to get results like this and failing, this recipe was a godsend.  I really hate the drying step, but the results are too good for me to skip.

Sturgeon's 2nd Law, a.k.a. Sturgeon's Revelation: âNinety percent of everything is crapâ

 

My FLMS- Murphy's Music in Irving, Tx

 

http://murphysmusictx.com/

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Well, after posting to this thread recently, I just received, for the first time ever, a subscription request from America's Test Kitchen.

Now if I had a suspicious nature...

Whenever you find yourself on the side of the majority, it is time to pause and reflect.

-Mark Twain

 

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Having watched tons of episodes of this show I can say they use baking soda in LOTS of stuff! It's a big time browning agent. They'll use it in situations I had never seen - especially to aid in the browning of certain meats. I know it's really useful for making pretzels for that reason too. It's an alkali.

Kawai C-60 Grand Piano : Hammond A-100 : Hammond SK2 : Yamaha CP4 : Yamaha Montage 7 : Moog Sub 37

 

My latest album: Funky organ, huge horn section

https://bobbycressey.bandcamp.com/album/cali-native

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After Christopher Kimball left Cooks/ATK, he started Milk Street and I love the show. Each episode focuses on 2 recipes from a country, city, or region. Kimball travels to the origin of the dishes to provide color.

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