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Slower is Better!
Something magical happens with certain foods when you slow down the cooking: flavors deepen and become more complex, meat turns meltingly tender, and fruit and vegetables develop a rich, caramelized exterior.
With The Best Slow and Easy Recipes, the cooks at America's Test Kitchen have taken a fresh approach to the classic techniques of oven roasting, braising, slow cookers and stewing, to give you uncomplicated recipes for meals with big flavor that are definitely worth the wait.
A slow approach to cooking has countless benefits—it's a great choice for busy cooks (much of the time is "hands-free," allowing you to turn to other tasks); it's economical (you can take an inexpensive, tough cut of meat and turn it into an unbelievably tender roast); and many recipes can easily be made ahead of time.
You will find recipes for classic slow-cooked dishes such as Roast Turkey, Simple Pot Roast, Braised Short Ribs and Hearty Beef Stew, but we also took ingredients that are usually thought of as quick cooking (like fish) and slowed them down to give you recipes with unexpected flavors and textures.
We also introduce an entirely new chapter for Cooking en Cocotte—a fancy French term for casserole—and if this technique is unfamiliar to you, it won't be for long. Meat is simply placed in a covered pot and left to slowly cook in its own juices at a low oven temperature, resulting in unbelievably tender meat and concentrated flavor. This simple method works with everything from pork, beef, and lamb to chicken and fish.
But it's not all about meat. We've also slowed down the cooking of side dishes, vegetables, and even fruit, making the most of every ingredient by giving the flavors ample time to deepen and concentrate. The result? A variety of richly-flavored recipes to round out your meal—from Baked Risotto with Mushrooms, Savory Bread Pudding with Spinach and Gruyere, and Salt-Baked Potatoes to Honey-Baked Apples with Crème Fraiche and Roasted Pears with Caramel Sauce.
The Best Slow and Easy Recipes will help you:
For the juiciest most flavorful chicken you've ever eaten, simply place a whole chicken in a large Dutch oven (we brown it first for better flavor), throw in a few vegetables, cover and bake. Because no liquid is added, the chicken cooks in its own juices, resulting in ultra-concentrated flavor. The best part is that you simply throw it in the oven and walk away.
A low temperature and long cooking time tenderizes a tough cut of meat. But we also wanted flavor! We cook our Slow-Roasted Garlicky Beef Eye Round at an unusually low temperature, but then we turn off the oven for the last half of hour of roasting- creating incredibly tender meat.
Great side dishes like Risotto and Polenta usually require constant attention and stirring to avoid scorching. But when we decided to replace stirring with the low steady heat of the oven, we achieved the same results- without being chained to the oven.
Featured Recipes include: