Pages

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Cookbook Review: The Best Skillet Recipes

The Best Skillet Recipes: What's the Best Way to Make Lasagna With Rich, Meaty Flavor, Chunks of Tomato, and Gooey Cheese, Without Ever Turning on the Oven or Boiling a Pot of

America's Test Kitchen is one of my favorite PBS shows to watch. It is always so interesting to hear their take on “the perfect” way to make any dish. Often I have taken their advice and have been able to take simple foods to an entirely new level. Their companion magazine, Cook's Illustrated, is just as much fun to read as the shows are to watch. When I found their book, The Best Skillet Recipes, I wanted to see what goodies they had in store. I was not disappointed.

I think one of my favorite features of any Cook's Illustrated book is their product comparisons. I like to know what most people think is the best brand of chocolate or egg noodle or peanut butter. It doesn't always mean that is the brand I will buy (or can even afford), but at least I know.  You know?

Between the wonderful illustrations and great introductions to each recipe, there is some really great information in this book. Cutting up a whole chicken 101 is on page 51. How to fry and shape your own crispy taco shells is on page 163. Want to make some compound butter for the freezer? It's on page 23. Want to make a beautiful tart tatin? It's on page 324.

This is actually a great basic weeknight, busy life cookbook. Many of the recipes like Baked Ziti, Meatloaf and Ramen with Pork, Scallions and Cabbage are quick and frugal. There are also some recipes for less standard, but still delicious fare like Thai curry, Stir-Fried Glazed Tofu, Fish Tacos, and Pan-Seared Salmon with Lentils and Chard. None of the recipes seemed too involved, all sounded delicious.

I would definitely recommend this book as a gift for a new cook or for an experienced cook who might be wanting to refine some meals that have become boring. There is something for everyone in this one!

Note: I received no compensation for this post and all opinions are mine.

11 comments:

katerina said...

Thanks Kristen for your book reviews. You give all of us Christmas ideas.

Michael Toa said...

This sounds like a great book. I am a cookbook addict and this is now going to my wish-list. Meatloaf and Ramen with pork sounds utterly delicious.
Have a great day Kristen. :)

JillyAn said...

I have had this cookbook for years. I might have even gotten it for a wedding present when I was married to my first husband...I don't remember..LOL Great book though! Hope you and your family had a nice Thanksgiving Kristen.

Melanie L said...

This is one of the best cookbooks I've ever used. I've made Baked Ziti, Shrimp Scampi, Pan Seared Lentils & Chard, Cherry Cobbler, Chipotle-glazed Pork Loin, Macaroni & Cheese with Green Chiles, Southwest Mini-Meatloaves, Potato Rosti, and Chili Mac. I'm probably leaving something out. So many recipes yet to try!

Debbie said...

All of my meals are boring! Maybe I need this book:)

Joy @ Joy Of Desserts said...

Sounds like it would make a great gift for a new cook or a busy person. Thanks for the review.

Joanne said...

I love cookbooks that are both informative AND chock full of good recipes. This sounds like a winner to me!

bookaddict4real said...

Thanks for stopping by my book blog
.OMG ,my daughter and I watch America's Test Kitchen almost every Saturday . I am so glad you reviewed this cookbook.(newest follower)

Beth said...

I love their magazines, but I haven't tried any of their cookbooks. Thanks for the great review!

Claudia said...

I do love their magazines and haven't seen this cookbook. You are right - they often elevate a basic recipe by cooking is perfectly.

Kita said...

I have just picked up three of the small magazine sized supplements from cooks illustrated and am loving them. I reallly hope my hint hints and wink winks will get me some of their cook books this year for the holidays! Thanks for posting this review!

All content in this website including text and pictures is copyrighted and belongs to me. If you need to use it or reproduce it, please ask first. Any unauthorized usage will constitute plagiarism.