The Perfect Recipe: lowest Getting it right online every time online

The Perfect Recipe: lowest Getting it right online every time online

The Perfect Recipe: lowest Getting it right online every time online

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Which comes first when mashing potatoes--the butter or the milk? How do you roast a turkey so the breast is as moist and juicy as the legs? Is it possible to create a fudgy, cakey, chewy brownie all in one? Pam Anderson, executive editor of the highly successful magazine COOK''S ILLUSTRATED, painstakingly conducted test after test to arrive at not only the best recipe but frequently the most convenient and sensible one.

Amazon.com Review

Have you ever felt a little besieged by recipes? Ever opened up the newspaper to the food page and found yet more recipes that may or may not taste like anything you might want to have in your mouth? Ever longed for simplicity, for that one recipe you know is going to work time and time again? And not a recipe for some weird combination of foods that don''t belong together on a plate, but for the kind of dishes you put on your table over and over again? Ever wondered what cookbook to send off to college with your child, the one who has been eating you out of house and home but for whom cooking is pouring milk on cold cereal? Pam Anderson, executive editor of Cook''s Illustrated, has your answer.

"I wanted a stir-fry formula that I could commit to memory and make with meat, vegetables, and flavorings I had on hand, and a number of different sauces," Anderson writes. "I wanted a chicken pot pie that I''d actually have time to get on the table on weeknights, and macaroni and cheese that both my kids and I would eat. I wanted foolproof coleslaw and potato salads that would go with all sorts of dishes.... I wanted answers to questions that had been dogging me for years. Which cut of beef is best for stew? When mashing potatoes, which comes first: the butter or the milk?"

The Perfect Recipe answers these and many, many more questions. Anderson sets herself the task of finding the perfect recipes for, say, chicken stock, and explains how she got to her result. You end up learning a little bit about the science and chemistry of cooking. Then she gives you several delicious, and perfect, recipes for chicken soup. Or clam chowder. Or beef onion soup. She walks you through chicken and, after having roasted 40 turkeys, she shows you how to get perfect results every time. Her brownies are every bit as fudgy, chewy, and cakey as she claims. Her muffins are divine.

While most of these recipes are for everyday foods (and what could be more important?), there are a number of recipes dedicated to entertaining--how to cook the perfect prime rib even though you only do it once a year, for example. Anderson truly delivers the building blocks of good, sound, flavorful cooking--the kind of cooking you can always count on. --Schuyler Ingle

From Publishers Weekly

Anderson, executive editor of Cook''s Illustrated, follows in the footsteps of Christopher Kimball, CI''s editor/publisher and author of The Cook''s Bible, and Shirley O. Corriher, author of 1997 James Beard Award-winning CookWise. All detail their efforts through trial and error to find the best way to prepare specific recipes and rightfully claim considerable authority. Anderson''s quest began as a personal mission to find the best way to cook "dishes I prepared frequently." Starting with 34 recipes for favorite American foods, from chicken soup and meat loaf to potato salad and strawberry shortcake, she recounts her attempts at perfection and then offers her tested variations of some 150 recipes. She is generous in paying credit to cooks from whom she learnedAe.g., Corriher, Edna Lewis, Betty FussellAand imparts valuable tips along with her own conclusions. Low-fat yogurt used as a moistener adds a nice tang to Meat Loaf. Brining brings out the best in Oven-Roasted Turkey with Giblet Pan Sauce. To achieve lush, large Muffins that rise right and overhang their cups, triple the recipe. For a non-weeping Lemon Meringue Pie, reheat the filling before piling on the beaten egg whites. While covering territory mapped by others, Anderson offers distinctive guidelines on her route to reliable, speedy kitchen success. Line drawings by Judy Love. BOMC Good Cook selection; author tour.
Copyright 1998 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From Library Journal

Anderson is executive editor of Cook''s Illustrated, whose editor, Christopher Kimball, presented his take on "the best of American home cooking" in The Cook''s Bible (LJ 10/15/96). Here she offers her absolute favorite recipes for about three dozen standards, from Macaroni and Cheese and Memorable Meat Loaf to Strawberry Shortcake. Her approach is that of the magazine, testing and retesting, trying a variety of kitchen experiments before settling on a foolproof satisfying recipe. Most of the final recipes are accompanied by several variations; there are boxes on ingredients and culinary discoveries along the way, and the detailed testing notes describe the process involved. For fans of the magazine and others seeking a reliable collection of recipes for all-American favorites.
Copyright 1998 Reed Business Information, Inc.

Review

The Perfect Recipe is Pam Anderson at her best: curious about the whys and hows of cooking and passionate about comparing techniques and ingredients. This is no-nonsense American cooking presented with warmth, humor and Pam''s generous at-your-elbow, down-home style. -- Christopher Kimball, editor and publisher of Cook''s Illustrated and author of The Cook''s Bible

Pam Anderson is not only a wonderful cook, but a genial kitchen companion. She delivers more than 150 surefire recipes that taste great every time you make them-which will be often. Owning The Perfect Recipe is the next best thing to having your own private cooking teacher -- John Willoughby, coauthor of License to Grill and Thrill of the Grill

From the Author

The most satisfying moment of the process comes after the endless testing - after I''ve tinkered with each ingredient, tried every feasible cooking method - and still haven''t found exactly what I''m looking for. Just when I start to think ''the perfect recipe'' exists only in my mind, the answer comes to me through a neighbor''s tip, a grandmother''s secret, or a crucial piece of advice from a colleague (Pam Anderson).

From the Inside Flap

Which comes first when mashing potatoes-the butter or the milk? What grade and grind of meat make the best hamburgers? How do you roast a turkey so the breast meat is as moist and juicy as the legs? For the tenderest muffins, should you use buttermilk, yogurt or milk? At what temperature should you cook prime rib for the most succulent results? Is it possible to create a fudgy, cakey, chewy brownie all in one?

Most of us don''t have time to figure out the answers to questions like these. We need somebody to do the work for us and get our favorite recipes just right. In this book, Pam Anderson, executive editor of the highly successful magazine Cook''s Illustrated, does just that.

Painstakingly conducting test after test, Anderson arrives at not only the best recipe but frequently the most convenient and sensible one:

--A simple formula for a stir-fry that can be varied with different combinations of meat, vegetables and sauces.
--French bread so easy it can be baked every day.
--Chicken pot pie for weeknights, made with chicken breast rather than whole chicken.
--Macaroni and cheese as effortless as boxed, but three times as satisfying.
--Pizza dough that rises in just one hour or throughout the day.
--A cobbler that can be prepared with dozens of different fruits, making it 40 desserts in one.

More than 150 recipes in all, with dozens of step-by-step illustrations of techniques, comparisons of products and useful tips.

About the Author

As the executive editor of Cook''s Illustrated magazine, Pam Anderson has been called a culinary detective. A recipe troubleshooter. A perfectionist cook.

Just like a private eye, a culinary detective has to have an insatiable curiosity. Pam Anderson does. Tired of guessing whether a recipe in a magazine or a cookbook would produce a winner or a dud, Anderson set out to crack the secret of the very best ways to prepare our most beloved foods. THE PERFECT RECIPE: Getting It Right Every Time-Making Our Favorite Dishes the Absolute Best They Can Be is the result of her meticulous testing.

Getting there is half the fun, as Anderson narrates the story of her flops and eventual triumphs. From this book, you''ll not only get infallible recipes, but you''ll learn why they work. Even veteran cooks will learn from Anderson''s conclusions:

--For a perfect burger, poke small holes into the surface with your fingertips and use 100 percent ground chuck.
--For great coleslaw, salt the cabbage briefly to wilt it so it absorbs the dressing better.
--For the smoothest, lightest mashed potatoes, add the milk before the butter.
--For the plumpest lobsters at the most reasonable price, buy them between Mother''s Day and the Fourth of July.
--For moist, full-flavored corn bread, stir boiling water into part of the cornmeal before adding the remaining ingredients.
--For the juiciest turkey, brine it before roasting.

To get her recipes just right, Anderson consulted other cookbooks, chefs, restaurateurs, caterers, industry authorities, food councils, experts and home cooks.

Anderson lives with her husband and their two daughters in New Hope, Pennsylvania.

Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.

Make your mornings special this holiday season with Pam''s Raspberry-Almond Muffins. For more holiday recipes from Houghton Mifflin cookbooks see Bruculinu, America by Vincent Schiavelli, The Complete Italian Vegetarian by Jack Bishop, Garlic, Garlic Garlic, by Linda and Fred Griffith and The Complete Meat Cookbook by Bruce Aidells and Denis Kelly.

Raspberry-Almond Muffins Makes 1 dozen large muffins

Vegetable cooking spray 3 cups all-purpose flour 1 tablespoon baking powder 1/2 teaspoon baking soda 1/2 teaspoon salt 10 tablespoons (1 stick plus 2 tablespoons) butter, at room temperature 1 ounce (2 tablespoons) almond paste 1 cup minus 1 tablespoon sugar 2 large eggs 1 1/2 cups plains yogurt 6 tablespoons raspberry jam

1. Adjust oven rack to lower-middle position and preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Coat a 12-cup muffin tin (with standard-size molds that have 1/2 cup capacity) with vegetable cooking spray. 2. Mix flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt in a medium bowl; set aside. 3. Beat butter, almond paste and sugar with an electric mixer at medium speed until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in half of dry ingredients. Beat in one-third if yogurt. Beat in half of remaining dry ingredients, alternating with one-third of remaining yogurt, and repeat until fully incorporated. 4. Spoon half the batter evenly into the muffin cups. Using a small spoon, make a little indention in the batter in each cup and spoon in 1 1/2 teaspoons of jam and fill with remaining batter. Bake until muffins are golden brown, 20 to 25 minutes. Set on a wire rack to cool slightly, about 5 minutes. Remove muffins from tin and serve warm.

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4.5 out of 54.5 out of 5
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Top reviews from the United States

Lemon Magic
4.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
Very nice "entry level" book for potential "Cook''s Illustrated" fans
Reviewed in the United States on February 17, 2007
This book''s style and editorial format has a lot in common with Shirley Corriher''s "CookWise" and the output of the Cook''s Illustrated/America''s Test Kitchen group, which isn''t surprising since Anderson was once affiliated with CI. Anderson brings much of that same chatty,... See more
This book''s style and editorial format has a lot in common with Shirley Corriher''s "CookWise" and the output of the Cook''s Illustrated/America''s Test Kitchen group, which isn''t surprising since Anderson was once affiliated with CI. Anderson brings much of that same chatty, educational style to "The Perfect Recipe"; some people will like it, some people will hate it, depending on what they want from their cookbooks. I happen to really enjoy this kind of cookbook style, so I quite like it.

Other reviewers have mentioned that "Perfect Recipe" is practically a remake of CI''s "The Best Recipe", but has far fewer recipes and represents a lesser value for the reader (although it also costs less). The criticism has merit, but I think this book still has a place if the libraries of some cooks. I am thinking here of novice and middling cooks who find the dense, cluttered potpourri layout of the CI books unappealing or intimidating. There are also cooks who couldn''t care less about ingredient and appliance brand reviews that pad out every variation of CI/ATK books. For these reader, "The Perfect Recipe" offers a contrasting format with a much simpler and easier-to-follow style - even the typeset and margins are larger and any given page is usually only devoted to one variation of a recipe.

A good example of the cookbook''s value is Anderson''s chapter on roasting chicken. She shows how to "butterfly" a chicken for quicker/easier roasting, and gives several variations of the recipe, any one which will yield excellent results. I was basically afraid to try this method before reading this chapter (even after seeing Alton Brown''s excellent show on the subject) , but Anderson''s detailed instructions removed those qualms and left me raring and eager to try it. If a cookbook empowers me to try one new thing, I consider it worth the purchase price...so I am happy with "The Perfect Recipe". I am confident that other readers may well find that Anderson''s style is just the ticket to help them get past their fear of other basic topics in food prep.

Weaknesses: For my taste, the chapter on "Special Occasion" foods (crown roast, Thanksgiving turkey, etc) was both too long and too short. Most of these recipes are of little use for a single bachelor - but if you are going to have them, you need more than just a few standards). But I understand that Anderson was making a judgement call on how to structure her book, and that other people will regard the chapter as a Godsend.

So if you are a hardcore cook with 200-300 volumes in your library (including some or all of the "Best Recipe" volumes) you probably won''t need (or want) "The Perfect Recipe". But if you are a newer cook trying to upgrade your recipes to the next level, Anderson may provide you the entry you are looking for.
13 people found this helpful
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D. Burgher
2.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
DON''T REMEMBER WHY I BOUGHT IT
Reviewed in the United States on July 8, 2020
DON''T REMEMBER WHY I BOUGHT IT, ITS A NICE BOOK BUT AFTER 72 YEARS I PRETTY KNOW MOST OF IT+ I HAVE A CULINARY ARTS DEGREE AND THEY TEACH THIS TYPE OF COOKING. I WILL FIND A HOME FOR IT SOMEONE WILL WANT IT
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A. L. Frati
5.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
Perfect Recipe is a cook’s treasure
Reviewed in the United States on January 17, 2021
I love this book. Not only do you get great recipes, but you get a teacher. The author teaches you the why’s and how’s of each recipe so you understand the end result. And the end results are outstanding! You won’t be disappointed.
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cyn
5.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
Love this
Reviewed in the United States on December 13, 2018
Pam Anderson is so good. I''ve purchased so many books in the past but cleared most from my shelf and always go to this one and her book for entertaining.
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Temteacher
5.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
FIVE STARS....HOWEVER
Reviewed in the United States on January 7, 2002
I love the idea of taking basic recipes such as macaron & cheese and trying recipe after recipe until the perfect dish emerges. Not many of us have the time, energy, or incentive to do such a thing on even one dish. I hope Pam Anderson will write a sequel featuring... See more
I love the idea of taking basic recipes such as macaron & cheese and trying recipe after recipe until the perfect dish emerges. Not many of us have the time, energy, or incentive to do such a thing on even one dish. I hope Pam Anderson will write a sequel featuring other dishes. Pam''s chatty style makes the book fun to read. The format is easy to understand and follow. Given the background and experience of Pam Anderson as well as the price of the book, it''s surprising that a major publisher like Houghton-Mifflin would publish such an UGLY book to showcase these recipes. The bound maroon cover would be more suitable for WAR AND PEACE. The few sketches in the book are useful, but this Plain Jane book needs color photos and some fresh ideas to get rid of its dull appearance.
8 people found this helpful
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C. L. Marcase
5.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
Perfectly Interesting
Reviewed in the United States on September 28, 2009
I probably own between 250-300 cookbooks, and am constantly looking through them to find inspiration and ideas. This is truly a great cookbook. If you are a fan of Alton Brown, Food Networks, "Good Eats", Pam Anderson tackles food in a somewhat similar fashion, and... See more
I probably own between 250-300 cookbooks, and am constantly looking through them to find inspiration and ideas. This is truly a great cookbook. If you are a fan of Alton Brown, Food Networks, "Good Eats", Pam Anderson tackles food in a somewhat similar fashion, and experiments with several ways to prepare favorite foods, explaining, and ultimately coming up with the "best" way to prepare many things we all love to eat. You will not be disappointed with this cookbook.
6 people found this helpful
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Curious Cook
4.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
Do you prefer Pam or Cook''s Illustrated? That is the question
Reviewed in the United States on January 8, 2014
They''re both good. They both produce homey, tried and true recipes. You just have to decide if you like her genial style or CI''s more highbrow/scientific approach. I used some of these recipes when I have family over for dinner, and they always work well, so it''s a solid... See more
They''re both good. They both produce homey, tried and true recipes. You just have to decide if you like her genial style or CI''s more highbrow/scientific approach. I used some of these recipes when I have family over for dinner, and they always work well, so it''s a solid buy.
One person found this helpful
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zzzbc
4.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
With Pam Anderson, you get it "Right"
Reviewed in the United States on November 13, 2002
Excellent Book. Each recipe explains what elements were tested (e.g., cooking temperature, cooking time, ingredient mix, what seasonings how much and when, correct cooking methods). I consider myself, at the least, an experienced cook, even if I can not claim to be an... See more
Excellent Book. Each recipe explains what elements were tested (e.g., cooking temperature, cooking time, ingredient mix, what seasonings how much and when, correct cooking methods). I consider myself, at the least, an experienced cook, even if I can not claim to be an excellent one. Pam''s research easily improved my technique on several classic favorites.
Sorry ...no glossy photos...don''t be put off by that...it is wonderful, concise, and easy reading.
Ok Let''s get serious: Chicken Soup, Clam Chowder, Beef Soup, Stir Fry, Macaroni and Cheese,Pizza, Chicken, Fried Chicken, Chicken Pot Pie, Hamburger*, Meat Loaf*, Beef Stew**, Special Dinners: Roast Turkey, Cornish Hen, Prime Rib, Pork Roast, Lobster. Side Dishes: Cole Slaw, Greens, Corn-on-the-cob, Potato Salad, Mashed Potatoes. Breads: Bread, Corn Bread, Muffins, Pancakes. Desserts: Various Cobblers, Strawberry Shortcake, Apple Pie, Lemon Meringue, Cream Pie, Cheese Cake (various textures), Brownies, Rolled Cookies. That''s It. She has done her homework and you will be a better cook for having bought the book. I have not read "Cook''s Illustrated" so I can''t comment.
Brian
P.S. For 5 stars, you got to have those glossy photos. Am I right?
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The Perfect Recipe: lowest Getting it right online every time online

The Perfect Recipe: lowest Getting it right online every time online

The Perfect Recipe: lowest Getting it right online every time online

The Perfect Recipe: lowest Getting it right online every time online

The Perfect Recipe: lowest Getting it right online every time online

The Perfect Recipe: lowest Getting it right online every time online