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Top Rated Test Kitchen Recipes
Roasted chicken with vegetables doesn’t get any easier than this. Coated with McCormick® ONE Seasoning Mix – a savory blend of herbs, onions and bell peppers – it comes together on one sheet pan for easy cleanup.Recipe courtesy of McCormick
Treat your crew to a skillet meal inspired by the warm and sunny flavors of the Mediterranean. With notes of oregano, sun-dried tomato and lemon, McCormick® ONE Seasoning Mix brings chicken, beans, tomatoes and spinach to life in just 20 minutes.Recipe courtesy of McCormick
We Tested 4 Famous Lasagna Recipes and the Winner Blew Us Away
When I was growing up, I remember requesting lasagna for dinner more than any other dish. My mom’s recipe came from the back of the Prince dry lasagna noodles box, a brand that was (and still is!) a staple in New England homes. I’m not sure why, but instead of keeping the cutout recipe in her recipe box, she taped it neatly to the back of one of our kitchen cabinets. Every time I’d open that cabinet door, I’d see the bright-blue cardboard cutout and instantly crave the dish. It was hardly a fancy affair — just jarred sauce enhanced with ground beef, layers of ricotta, and shredded mozzarella — but it didn’t matter, because lasagna is pure comfort food.
With such fond childhood memories, I was eager to find the ultimate lasagna recipe to make for my own family. It needed to be hearty but also silky and decadent, with layers that melted into each other without overpowering one another. To find my perfect lasagna, I battled off four of the most well-loved recipes in a side-by-side taste test Garfield would most definitely approve of. Not only did I come away with a recipe I’ve now indoctrinated into my family, but I also learned some surprising tips and tricks along the way.
Homemade Cheese Straws
America's Test Kitchen and its other publications like Cooks Illustrated and Cook's Country are my most trusted sources for recipes. ATK prides itself on testing and retesting its recipes and cooking methods until it has achieved perfection. Though most of ATK's recipes are only available through subscription (totally worth it, BTW), you can get a free taste through the following recipes. Once you've tried them yourselves, prepare to become an ATK follower for life. Enjoy!
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Creamy white bean soup with lemony yogurt and crispy leek (page 5)
From The Best of America's Test Kitchen 2021: Best Recipes, Equipment Reviews, and Tastings The Best of America's Test Kitchen 2021
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- Categories: Sauces, general Soups
- Ingredients: celery thyme ground cayenne pepper canned Great Northern beans Parmesan cheese chicken broth leeks Greek yogurt lemons
Celebrate a Year of Cooking Excellence
Learn from the Kitchen Experts
Go behind the recipes and learn firsthand what went into the development of each recipe with introductory essays written by the test cooks who perfected them.
Streamlined Techniques and Hacks
Step-by-step tutorials walk you through our favorite techniques for everything from Weaving a Lattice Top and Making Crepes to Butter Basting and beyond.
Get the inside scoop on our favorite ingredients and kitchen equipment. From our top-rated cornmeal and coffee maker to our winning toaster oven and fontina cheese, our ratings will help you find the best products for kitchen success.
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Slow-Cooker Chicken & Turkey Meals
Slow-Cooker Penne with Chicken and Broccolini
With its enticing combination of moist chicken, fresh broccolini, and sweet red bell pepper, this rich sauce pairs perfectly with whole-wheat penne.
Slow-Cooker 15-Bean Soup with Chicken Sausage and Spinach
With 15-bean soup mix as our inspiration, we set out to make an easy bean soup with meaty undertones, a bright flavor, and an appealingly chunky texture.
Slow-Cooker Greek-Style Chicken with Warm Tabbouleh
Attempting to cook whole grains in a slow cooker along with a lean chicken breast is a tall order.
Slow-Cooker Chicken with “Roasted” Garlic Sauce
It's often the very simplest meals that are the hardest to re-create in the slow cooker tender, perfectly cooked bone-in chicken with a garlicky gravy is no exception.
Slow-Cooker Curried Chicken Thighs with Acorn Squash
Meaty chicken thighs are a perfect match for the slow cooker as they become meltingly tender in its moist heat environment and the risk of overcooking is slim.
Slow-Cooker Chicken Pot Pie
With its buttery, flaky topping and tender chicken and vegetables coated in a velvety sauce, chicken pot pie is a sure crowd-pleaser.
Slow-Cooker Glazed Turkey Meatloaf
It might come as a surprise that you can cook meatloaf in a slow cooker, but we've found that the gentle and moist heat is the ideal cooking environment for this comfort food classic.
Slow-Cooker Sweet and Tangy Pulled Chicken
A simple spice mixture and an easy-to-assemble homemade barbecue sauce make it easy to turn slow-cooked bone-in chicken into tangy, silky shredded chicken—perfect for piling onto buns for an easy dinner.
Slow-Cooker Whole “Roast” Chili-Rubbed Chicken with Bean Salad
A fantastic method for making a whole “roast” chicken in the slow cooker comes in handy year-round, but it's especially useful in the summer when turning on the oven is just not an appealing option.
Slow-Cooker Braised Chicken Thighs with Garlicky Spinach for Two
A specialty from the Catalonian region of Spain, sautéed spinach with garlic, raisins, and pine nuts is a simple yet satisfying combination of flavors and textures.
Fresh Meals From A Slow Cooker Healthy Slow Cooker Revolution
200 flavorful, fuss-free recipes featuring leaner cuts of meat, fresh vegetables, and hearty grains. Discover the test kitchen&rsquos easy tricks for building flavor with less fat.
&ldquoIt&rsquos packed with recipes for familiar favorites, but with a more healthful twist. And couldn&rsquot we all stand a little more of that?&rdquo
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"An exhaustive but approachable primer for those looking for a 'flexible' diet. Chock-full of tips, you can dive into the science of plant-based cooking or just sit back and enjoy the 500 recipes."
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Test Kitchen: 5 fab recipes from ཊ
Last year, greens were sprouting up everywhere on the pages of Feast. Soups, salads and stews featured kale, collards, mustard and more as healthful eating continued to dominate the food scene.
The spicy Asian condiment sriracha marched on in popularity and found its way into so many recipes. And then along came farro — an ancient grain with dynamic health properties. Sweeping quinoa to the side, farro took a starring role in salads, soups and even risotto.
And for many Americans, beef became more of a luxury in 2014. Prices continued to rise as the U.S. cattle herd dwindled to its lowest numbers in more than a half-century, thanks in part to the drought out West. Consumers also saw pork prices skyrocket because of an illness that killed nearly 7 million piglets.
And 2014 marked a change for us as the Free Press Test Kitchen began testing recipes at the Great Lakes Culinary Center, a state-of-the-art kitchen facility and event space in Southfield.
So today, as we celebrate the new year, we are sharing five of our favorite recipes from the past year. We hope you cherish these recipes in the years to come.
From our kitchen to yours: Have a happy — and healthy — new year.
Lemony Chicken Noodle Soup with Ginger, Chile and Cilantro
Makes: 8 cups / Preparation time: 15 minutes / Total time: 25 minutes
Grated zest and juice of 1 lemon
1 /3 cup chopped fresh cilantro
2 teaspoons finely grated fresh ginger
2 serrano chiles, stemmed, halved and seeded
6 cups low-sodium, fat-free chicken broth
1 boneless, skinless chicken breast half (about 8 ounces), cut into 1 1 /4-inch-thick slices and then cut in half
6 ounces egg white-only lo mein egg noodles cooked according to package directions
2 baby bok choy, ends removed, sliced crosswise 1 /4-inch thick
In a small bowl, combine the lemon zest, cilantro and ginger. Set aside.
Thinly slice two of the chile halves crosswise.
In a large saucepan, bring the broth to a boil over medium-high heat. Add the lemon juice, fish sauce and the 2 remaining chile halves to the boiling stock. Reduce the heat, cover and simmer the soup about 3 minutes.
Remove the chile halves. Stir in the chicken and chile slices and return to a boil and cook 5 minutes. Stir in the cooked noodles and bok choy slices and cook about 2 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat, making sure the chicken slices are cooked through. Add the sriracha to taste. Ladle into soup bowls and garnish with the cilantro mixture.
Adapted from Soups and Sandwiches 2011 by Fine Cooking (Taunton Press Publishing, $9.99). Tested by Susan Selasky for the Free Press Test Kitchen.
82 calories (24% from fat), 2 grams fat (1 gram sat. fat), 5 grams carbohydrates, 11 grams protein, 342 mg sodium, 24 mg cholesterol, 1 gram fiber.
This brightly flavored farro salad from Luciano DelSignore of Bacco Ristorante in Southfield is a "healthy grain salad and can be done in countless variations," DelSignore said.
Serves: 4 / Preparation time: 15 minutes / Total time: 1 hour 15 minutes
1 cup baby beets, roasted, peeled, quartered
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
2 cups of dry farro grain
1 cup of Roma tomato filets (see instructions) (about 5 tomatoes)
1 cup of chopped green onions
1 /4 cup of fresh lemon juice
1 /2 cup of extra-virgin olive oil
1 /2 cup of shaved Pecorino Toscano or semisoft sheep's milk cheese
Freshly ground black pepper to taste
Bacco Farro Salad with Baby Beets. (Photo: Kathleen Galligan Detroit Free Press)
To prepare the beets: Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Place beets on a baking sheet and lightly coat with vegetable oil. Bake about 45 minutes or until a small knife can pass through beets without any resistance. Remove from oven. When beets are cool enough to handle, but still warm, begin to peel them. Then cut into quarters and set aside.
Meanwhile, prepare the farro. Rinse the farro in cold water. In a large pot, bring to a boil about gallon of water, farro and about 1 tablespoon salt. Reduce heat to a medium simmer, cover and continue cooking the farro for about 30 minutes or until it's cooked through. You should be able to bite through the grain without any resistance. Pour into colander and rinse with cold water until farro is cool. Set aside.
To prepare the tomatoes: Score an "X" on the top of the tomato. Bring a pot of water to a boil. Have ready a bowl of ice water. Add the tomatoes to boiling water and boil about 15 seconds. Using a slotted spoon, remove the tomatoes to the ice water to stop the cooking. The skin should already start coming off, so start to peel the rest of it off using a small knife. Then cut the tomato in half and remove the insides. Once just the flesh remains, cut it into strips and set aside.
Assembly: In a medium mixing bowl, put farro, tomatoes, green onions, lemon juice and olive oil. Mix well. Season with salt and pepper. Spoon a nice size pile onto a cold plate and garnish the top of the salad with the shaved Pecorino and baby beets.
From Luciano DelSignore, chef/owner, Bacco Ristorante, Southfield. Tested by Susan Selasky for the Free Press Test Kitchen. Nutrition information not available.
Seared Sea Scallops with Cara Cara Sauce and Cilantro Pesto
Serves: 4 / Preparation time: 30 minutes / Total time: 1 hour
This recipe serves 4, but can easily be cut in half to serve 2. Adjust the seasoning to taste. The cilantro pesto makes about 3 /4 to 1 cup so you will have leftovers. Place the pesto in a bowl and cover with plastic wrap pressing it directly on the pesto. The pesto will keep a few days. You can serve it with broiled or grilled chicken or fish.
1 1 /2 cups packed cilantro leaves
1 /4 cup Italian parsley leaves
1 /4 cup slivered almonds, toasted
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
Juice of half a Cara Cara orange (about 1 /4 to 1 /3 cup)
2 to 3 tablespoons olive oil
1 /2 avocado, peeled, pitted
2 tablespoons minced shallots
3 /4 cup Cara Cara orange juice (about 2 large oranges) or substitute clementine or tangerine juice
1 dozen large sea scallops, about 1 1 /4 pounds
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
1 tablespoon Meyer lemon juice
Sea Scallops on Cara Cara sauce and cilantro pesto. (Photo: Jessica J. Trevino Detroit Free Press)
To make the pesto: In a food processor or blender, place the cilantro, parsley leaves and almonds. Pulse a few times to chop it. Add the lemon juice, a few tablespoons of the Cara Cara orange juice and 2 tablespoons olive oil pulse a few times. Add the avocado and pulse until the mixture comes together and is smooth and creamy. Add more Cara Cara juice and remaining olive oil to thin the pesto if needed. Season with salt. If not using right away, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate.
To make the sauce: In a large skillet, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the shallots and cook about 4 minutes. Add the wine to the skillet (it will sizzle) and cook a few minutes until it's mostly evaporated. Mix together the orange and lemon juices and cornstarch. Add to the skillet and bring to a boil. Cook sauce until thick enough to coat the back of a spoon. Pour sauce into a serving dish and keep warm.
To prepare the scallops: Wipe out the skillet. Pat the scallops dry with paper towel and season them with salt and pepper. Add the butter to the skillet and heat over medium-high heat until it just begins to turn brown or a deep honey color. (Watch it, you don't want the butter to burn.) When the butter is brown, add the scallops to the pan. Cook about 3 minutes or until they are browned and caramelized at least along the edges of one side. Turn the scallops over. Spoon the butter over the top of the scallops. Continue cooking another 2 to 3 minutes on the second side, basting again one more time with the butter. Add the lemon juice to the pan and cook 30 seconds.
To serve: Puddle the warm sauce on a plate. Arrange 3 scallops on the sauce and top each one with about 1 /2 teaspoon of the cilantro pesto. Serve with a side salad.
From and tested by Susan Selasky for the Free Press Test Kitchen.
339 calories (54% from fat), 21 grams fat (6 grams sat. fat), 15 grams carbohydrates, 27 grams protein, 468 mg sodium, 70 mg cholesterol, 3 grams fiber.
Pasta with Farm Fresh Tomatoes and Anchovy Sauce
Serves: 4 (generously) / Preparation time: 15 minutes / Total time: 25 minutes
The juicier the tomatoes, the saucier this dish will be. Serve this hearty dish with a salad of mixed dark, leafy greens and an herb vinaigrette.
12 ounces whole wheat or high-fiber spaghetti or favorite long-strand pasta
4 tablespoons unsalted butter (or use a mix of olive oil and butter)
2 anchovy fillets packed in oil, drained
2 pounds medium ripe tomatoes, quartered
2 to 3 cups coarsely chopped kale
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
Chopped tender herbs (such as flat-leaf parsley, tarragon, and/or chives)
Pasta with tomatoes, kale and anchovy sauce. (Photo: Kathleen Galligan Detroit Free Press)
In a large pot of boiling water, cook the spaghetti drain, reserving 1 /2 cup pasta cooking water.
In a large skillet, heat the butter over medium heat. Add the anchovies and garlic, stirring often, until anchovies are broken down and garlic is soft, about 4 minutes.
Add tomatoes and cook about 5 minutes. Add the kale, season with salt and pepper and cook, stirring occasionally, until tomatoes are falling apart and the kale is tender, about another 5 minutes.
Toss in pasta and reserved pasta cooking liquid cook until sauce coats pasta, about 2 minutes. Toss in herbs. Transfer to a platter or individual plates.
Adapted from Bon Appetite magazine, June 2014. Tested by Susan Selasky for the Free Press Test Kitchen.
360 calories (33% from fat), 13 grams fat (7 grams sat. fat), 51 grams carbohydrates, 10 grams protein, 210 mg sodium, 30 mg cholesterol, 9 grams fiber.
Cabbage and Bok Choy Slaw
Serves: 8 / Preparation time: 15 minutes / Total time: 15 minutes
Raw bok choy has a milder flavor than cabbage and gives this slaw a juicy freshness. Enjoy as a side dish, or top with pan-seared tofu or tempeh for a heartier meal.
3 cups thinly sliced regular or baby bok choy
2 cups thinly sliced cabbage or kohlrabi
1 ripe mango, peeled, pitted and diced
1 jalapeño chile, seeded and finely chopped
3 /4 cup coarsely chopped cilantro
1 tablespoon agave nectar
2 teaspoons toasted sesame oil
1 to 2 teaspoons low-sodium tamari
1 /2 cup smoked almonds, chopped
Cabbage and Bok Choy Slaw. (Photo: Kathleen Galligan Detroit Free Press)
In a large bowl, combine bok choy, carrot, cabbage or kohlrabi, mango, jalapeño and cilantro. In a small bowl, whisk together the lime juice, agave, sesame oil and tamari. Taste and adjust as needed, you should have a good balance of sweet and a hint of salt. Drizzle over slaw and toss to combine. Garnish with smoked almonds.
Adapted from Vegetarian Times Farmer's Market cookbook ($8.99). Tested by Susan Selasky for the Free Press Test Kitchen. Analysis per 1 cup.
100 calories (45% from fat), 5 grams fat (trace of sat. fat), 13 grams carbohydrates, 3 grams protein, 89 mg sodium, 0 mg cholesterol, 2 grams fiber.
Middle Eastern Garlic Sauce
This recipe for shawarma garlic sauce enjoyed wild popularity on the Web so we thought it worthy to share again.
To make it, you'll need a food processor or blender and some patience. It takes a little time, but it's worth it. The ingredients: a whole bulb of garlic, some fresh lemon juice, salt, about 1 cup of olive or canola oil and egg white. If you're worried about using raw egg white, use pasteurized egg whites sold in pint cartons. You'll need about a quarter cup.
First, remove the individual cloves of garlic and peel them. To quickly separate the papery skin, place the side of a chef's knife on top of the garlic (you can do a few cloves at a time) and press down.
Place the cloves in a blender or food processor and pulse a few times. Scrape down the sides. Sprinkle in a 1 /2 teaspoon of salt and pulse again. Stop the processor and scrape down the sides again. If using, add 1 large egg white. With the machine on (keep it on until the end), slowly add 2 to 3 tablespoons of olive oil in a thin steady stream until the mixture begins to come together. This might take several minutes. With the machine on, add a 1 /2 teaspoon of fresh lemon juice and then continue adding olive oil. Watch carefully, if you add too much lemon juice or oil or add them too quickly, the sauce can break. If it does, you can try adding an ice cube to bring it back together.
If you don't want to make the garlic sauce you can buy it at many Middle Eastern specialty stores (some restaurants sell sides of it) and at some grocery stores. One local brand of garlic sauce is from Teta Foods, based in Clinton Township. They also sell shawarma marinade. Both are good products.
We called on Test Kitchen Product Tester Adam Hickman to put the top-rated food scales on the market to the test. The team rounded up top-rated food scales from brands like KitchenAid, OXO, Amazon Basics, and more. Here are some of the features that each scale was tested for:
- Accuracy/consistency: Was the scale consistently accurate regardless of where food was placed on the scale?
- Readability/functionality: Is the digital display still readable with plates, bowl, and trays? Are there multiple options for measurement units? Is it able to weigh large items without maxing out?
- Cleanup/Storage: How easy is the scale to clean and store?
- Overall value: Is it worth the investment?
Read on for our picks for the best food scales for all your measuring needs. See one you like? Click the link below each description to get your very own.
- 2 slices day old white bread, torn into small pieces or 1/2 cup plain breadcrumbs, preferably homemade
- 1 yellow onion, finely chopped (3/4 cup)
- 1 medium carrot, finely chopped (3/4 cup)
- 1 rib celery, finely chopped (1/2 cup)
- 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh thyme
- 3 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
- 1/4 cup low-sodium chicken broth
- 3/4 cup ketchup
- 2 pounds 85% lean ground chuck
- 1 large egg, lightly beaten
- 1 tablespoon light brown sugar
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Tear bread into pieces pulse in a food processor to make fine crumbs (or use plain breadcrumbs) set aside.
Pulse vegetables in food processor until finely chopped (or do so by hand). Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high. Add vegetables, thyme, and 1 teaspoon kosher salt to skillet cook, stirring occasionally, until vegetables have softened, about 8 minutes. Stir in Worcestershire sauce, broth, and 1/4 cup ketchup. Remove from heat let cool completely.
Prep the Meat and Glaze
: In a small bowl, stir together remaining 1/2 cup ketchup and the brown sugar for glaze set aside. In a large bowl, combine vegetable mixture with ground chuck, egg, 1/2 cup breadcrumbs, 2 teaspoons salt, and 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper. Mix with your hands until well combined.
On a rimmed baking sheet, form meat mixture into a loaf that's 10 inches long, 4 inches wide, and 2 inches high, packing firmly to prevent cracking. Coat top and sides with glaze. Bake until top is caramelized and a thermometer inserted into thickest part registers 165 degrees, 55 to 65 minutes. (If top is browning too quickly, tent with foil.) Let cool at least 25 minutes, then serve with comforting sides, like mashed potatoes. and sauteed broccolini.