The Cook’s Illustrated 2015 Annual features 120 foolproof recipes, innovative test kitchen discoveries, clever reader-submitted quick tips, game-changing cooking techniques, and dozens of cookware and ingredient ratings, including:
Better-than Grilled Indoor Flank Steak – While many take to the grill to prepare this beefy, lean steak, we developed a foolproof year-round recipe that relies on a few judicious cuts and an easy oven-to-stove technique. Flavorful mustard-chive butter melts into the steak as it rests.
Best (Roasted) Mushrooms – Meaty-tasting mushrooms are an ideal side dish as they partner well with almost any protein. For the best results, we discovered that roasting beats sautéing for developing deep flavor with minimum effort. Just be sure to brine (yes, brine) the mushrooms first.
More favorite recipes: Slow-Roasted Chicken Parts with Shallot-Garlic Pan Sauce, Tuscan-Style Beef Stew, Quick Sun-Dried Tomato Sauce, Root Vegetable Gratin, Ultimate Flaky Buttermilk Biscuits, Chocolate-Caramel Layer Cake, Thick-Crust Sicilian-Style Pizza, Miso-Marinated Salmon.
Essential Guides - Guide to Freezing Ingredients: Too often, that extra half-can of tomato sauce or handful of chopped onion gets thrown away. We tested dozens of ingredients to see which ones we could freeze for future use. Additional Essential Guides include Making the Burger Lover’s Burger and The Gooey Secrets of Melting Cheese
A Better Cast-Iron Skillet? – Cheap and tough, a cast-iron skillet is a kitchen workhorse, but upkeep makes some cooks balk. Could enamel cast-iron pans, which need no special care, top the classic? We tested ten 12-inch cast-iron skillets and rated them based on browning, sticking, durability, and ease of use.
Dijon that Passes Muster – We tested 10 supermarket Dijon mustards plain and on boiled hot dogs, rating them on spiciness, texture, and overall appeal. The winning brand impressed tasters with its “nasal-clearing heat balanced with tangy, bright flavor.” Thed bottom-rated brand “ruined the hot dog.” More
No-Nonsense Product Ratings: Supermarket Extra-Virgin Olive Oil, Maple Syrup, Multigrain Gluten-Free Sandwich Bread, Supermarket Balsamic Vinegars, Oven Thermometers, Knife Sharpeners (manual and electric), Laundry Stain Removers, Pepper Mills, and New-Generation Kitchen Trash Cans.
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