September 21, 2010

"Best-Ever Recipes" Lives Up to Its Title

Every now and then, along with all the recipes and pictures and reports on the cooking we've been doing, Juli and I are going to be presenting some reviews of things we have found helpful in our cooking adventures.  This is particularly likely on Tuesdays and Wednesdays, when we normally get home way too late to do any cooking.  We might review cooking equipment, or good resources for hard-to-find ingredients, or vendors in our area, or online recipe and cooking-advice sites or - as is the case today - cookbooks.  I should note that we're not being paid to write these reviews.  We write them because we really like the items or resources in question, and want to pass along the good word to others who might be interested. 

So, with that in mind... here's our first review.

Best-Ever Recipes Special Collector's Edition
America's Test Kitchen Special Issue
96 pages, softcover

If you do an Amazon search, you will find there are lots of cookbooks that include the words "Best-Ever Recipes," or some variation of that claim, within their titles.  I've looked at some of those books and have generally been unimpressed, but Best-Ever Recipes actually lives up to its title. 

Best-Ever Recipes is a collection of recipes compiled from the America's Test Kitchen line of products (Cook's Illustrated and Cook's Country magazines, and the ATK cookbooks), representing what the ATK editors consider their very best recipes, and the ideal recipes for those particular dishes.  Having used several of the recipes from this book, I'd have to say that they succeeded in bringing together a true "best-ever" collection.  This book is packed with great recipes. 

The recipes in this book run the gamut.  Main dishes, sides, breakfasts, desserts, meat, pastas, sauces, vegetarian, Indian, Chinese, Latino... they're here, and lots more besides.  Most of the recipes are standard fare - things like fried chicken, pasta primavera, beer-can chicken, beef enchiladas, chicken tikka masala, potato salad, oatmeal cookies, and even nachos - but while the dishes are mostly pretty familiar, the results you'll get from these recipes are anything but ordinary.  I've tried out several of the recipes in this collection, and every single one has been not only a winner, but among the best - and sometimes, yes, the best-ever - example of those dishes we've ever had.  Although Best-Ever Recipes includes a few recipes I'm not likely to ever make, simply due to my personal tastes, I expect I'll eventually make the vast majority of the recipes in this book.  As to the ones I've already made... well, as much as I like trying new and different recipes (and believe me, I don't lack for recipes I haven't tried out yet), I expect I'll be making all of them again sooner rather than later.   In fact, currently I'm considering making one this weekend.

Anyhow, unless you're someone who already has a thorough collection of the America's Test Kitchen cookbooks and magazines (in which case you probably have most or all of these recipes), I really can't recommend this one enough.   You might still be able to find it in stores, but if not, you can order it at the link below.

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