The Complete Cookbook for Teen Chefs
Teen-Tested and Teen-Approved Recipes to Cook, Eat, and Share
Inspired by our highly successful New York Times bestselling series for young chefs, America’s Test Kitchen is bringing our rigorous testing, kitchen know-how, and hands-on learning to TEENS in the kitchen. Start with fundamental kitchen techniques and move on to over 70 teen-tested, teen-approved recipes that range from simple breakfasts to family dinners to show-stopping desserts.
Teens who are ready to level up their kitchen game can learn how to make the perfect egg and cheese breakfast sandwich before school and fluffy sticky buns on the weekend. Impress classmates with healthy grain bowls and amped up ramen for lunch—and family with hand-pulled noodles and sliders and french fries for dinner.
Whether looking to make Tik Tok-worthy dishes or simply learn the basic cooking techniques to get started in the kitchen, The Complete Cookbook for Teen Chefs has something for everyone. By empowering teens to enter the kitchen and make their own choices, America’s Test Kitchen is creating a new generation of confident cooks, engaged eaters, and curious experimenters.
Some of what you'll find inside:
Acai Smoothie Bowls
Acai berries taste kind of like blueberries and are about the size of grapes. We use frozen acai puree in this recipe to blend into a vivid purple smoothie bowl base that’s made thick with the help of a food processor. Think of it as a
blank canvas for making your
colorful toppings pop.
This recipe’s sturdy pastry contains the filling—but won’t get soggy. The butter helps the dough bake up tender but crispy, and the egg wash helps with browning. When you reheat your pockets in the microwave, the crust stays crisp!
Crispy Tofu Bowls
One of the best parts of this
bowl is the super crispy tofu.
That texture is all thanks to the
tofu’s cornstarch coating. When
cornstarch comes in contact
with moist tofu, the starch absorbs some of the tofu’s water. When the tofu gets hot enough,
the water evaporates as steam, leaving behind a rigid, crackly
network of starch molecules
that’s perfectly crispy.
Steak Tacos with Charred Corn Salsa
To bring the charred flavor
of grilled steak tacos indoors we
turned to our trusty 12-inch skillet to do triple duty in our recipe. First, we use it to sear the steaks. While the steaks rest, we use the skillet to cook sliced onion and poblano chile. Finally,
we crank up the heat for stage three: making a charred corn
Hung Kao Mun Gati (Thai Coconut Rice)
Rich, creamy coconut milk transforms ordinary steamed rice into something special: hung kao mun gati. Top your rice with chopped toasted peanuts, toasted sesame seeds, fried shallots, and/or pickled chiles.
Skillet Brownie Cookie
Making one giant cookie might actually be easier than making a whole bunch of regular-size cookies. There’s no scooping or rolling dough, and melting the butter right in the skillet has the added benefit of also greasing the pan, preventing our cookie from sticking as it bakes. Cut your Skillet Brownie Cookie into slices and serve with a scoop of ice cream or a dollop of whipped cream.
A comprehensive cookbook designed for and tested by teen cooks.
According to the introduction, not only did thousands of teens test these recipes in their own home kitchens, but each recipe was only included in the book if at least 80% of the testers considered it a keeper. The appeal of breakfast sandwiches, pizza pockets, and cheeseburger sliders may be obvious, but the book, divided into chapters titled “Breakfast,” “Snacks,” “Lunch,” “Dinner,” “Sides,” and “Sweets,” branches out into acai smoothie bowls and blistered shishito peppers and includes food from a wide variety of culinary cultures: Onigiri, shakshuka, congee, arepas, and chana makhani are only some examples. The layout is crisp and clear, starting with ingredients and their prep, with required equipment highlighted for easy visibility. Special techniques, such as how to stem kale, are given in boxed sidebars, sometimes with photographs, and possible ingredient substitutions are both recommended and (where necessary) warned against. The front of the book offers tips on how to get started, covers elements of kitchen safety, and illustrates common techniques and equipment. The recipes themselves are tagged beginner, intermediate, advanced, and vegetarian (but not vegan). Each dish starts from basic, whole ingredients—no canned soup here—and the text often gives suggestions for how cooks can personalize or expand on it. Bright photographs show racially diverse young people and showcase the mouthwatering array of dishes.
Top-notch recipes for junior top chefs. (photo credits, conversions and equivalents, nutritional information, index) (Nonfiction. 12-18)
—Kirkus, starred review, January 2022
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MORE FROM THE COMPLETE COOKBOOK FOR TEEN CHEFS: 3 SECRETS TO SUCCESS
(IN THE KITCHEN)
Cooking isn’t rocket science, but it does require attention to detail. Here are three secrets to becoming a kitchen pro.
SECRET #1: READ CAREFULLY
Whether you’re new in the kitchen or an experienced cook, always start by reading the entire recipe. Check out the key stats: How much food does the recipe make? How long will it take? Then make sure that you have the right ingredients and equipment on hand. The first time you make a recipe, follow the steps as written. You can always improvise once you understand how the recipe works.
SECRET #2: STAY FOCUSED
Just like playing a sport, making a piece of art, or coding an app, cooking requires focus. Incorrect measurements can lead to overseasoned food (too much salt) or flat cakes (too little baking powder). Pay attention to both the visual cues (“cook until well browned”) and the times (“cook for 5 minutes”) in the recipe. If the recipe has a time range, set your timer to the lower number. You can always keep cooking if necessary, but there’s no going back once food is overcooked.
SECRET #3: MISTAKES ARE OK
First things first: Don’t sweat it. Try to figure out what you would do differently next time. Maybe you should have set a timer so that you would remember to check your eggs before they overcook, or maybe you should have double-checked that you actually had enough flour before you started the recipe. And if your food isn’t perfect, don’t worry—a misshapen cookie is still delicious.
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