Tag: america’s test kitchen

I made this last week from the 2010 America’s Test Kitchen special edition. It is delicious. Thought I’d post this while I’m recovering from this 2-day bug.

Garlicky Shrimp Pasta (from The Best of America’s Test Kitchen 2010)

Marinate the shrimp while you prepare the remaining ingredients.

Serves 4
5 medium garlic cloves , minced or pressed through garlic press (about 5 teaspoons), plus 4 medium cloves, smashed
1 pound large shrimp (21-25), peeled, deveined, each shrimp cut into 3 pieces
3 tablespoons olive oil
Table salt
1 pound pasta in short, tubular shapes, such as fusilli, campanelle, or mezze rigatoni
1/4-1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
2 teaspoons unbleached all-purpose flour
1/2 cup dry vermouth or white wine
3/4 cup clam juice
1/2 cup chopped fresh parsley
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 teaspoon lemon juice plus 1 lemon, cut into wedges
Ground black pepper

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pad thaiI’ve been swamped with the library project all week, so I haven’t cooked anything new and exciting in a while. I did bake 2 cakes yesterday, which I will post more about later. But tonight for dinner I made pad thai, which I’ve been meaning to try my hand at for ages. I switched out the shrimp in the original recipe for chicken.

It was pretty delicious, but I was missing a few ingredients. I had no bean sprouts, no cilantro, and chives instead of green onions. But it still worked just fine. The recipe is from America’s Test Kitchen’s The Best Skillet Recipes.

Pad Thai (adapted from The Best Skillet Recipes)
Serves: 4

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chickenmustarddill-1This recipe was perfectly fine, but it wasn’t my favorite thing to come out of the America’s Test Kitchen 30-Minute Suppers supplement. As usual, I halved all the ingredients to serve 2.

Chicken with Mustard and Dill (adapted from 30-Minute Suppers)
Serves: 4

1/2 cup flour
4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts (about 1.5 lbs)
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 minced shallot
3/4 cup low-sodium chicken broth
1/2 cup white wine
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 tablespoons fresh dill
1 tablespoon whole-grain mustard

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pork cutlets piccataChicken Piccata was one of the first things I learned to cook as a grownup. I always felt fancy making it because it had capers. This seemed exotic and sophisticated to me. I thought I had perfected my recipe over the last 5 or so years, but then I tried this pork version. This was another triumph from America’s Test Kitchen: 30-Minute Suppers. I made it a couple of weeks ago, the first thing I tried in this book. It’s taken me ages to post, but it was phenomenally good so better late than never. Rather than using chicken or veal scaloppine, this uses simple and cheap pork cutlets. The other white meat indeed.

Pork Cutlets Piccata (adapted from America’s Test Kitchen: 30-Minute Suppers)
Serves 4 (I halved everything, once again)

8 thin-cut boneless pork cutlets, 3-4ounces each
Salt and pepper
1/2 cup flour
5 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into pieces
2 tablespoons drained capers
2 minced garlic cloves
1 cup low-sodium chicken broth
1/2 cup white wine
1 tablespoon zest and 3 tablespoons juice from 1 lemon
2 tablespoons finely chopped parsley

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Asian Noodle SoupAmerica’s Test Kitchen:30-Minute Suppers is a special issue with 64 tear-out recipe cards featuring quick dinners. Since I like fast dinners and ATK never steers me wrong, I jumped on it. Tonight I tried the Asian Noodle Soup, a flavorful beef soup reminiscent of Vietnamese pho (so the recipe says). It was a big hit with Adam, and it definitely puts me on the path to learning new cuisines, but I need to get used to fish sauce. The noodles and the beef were delicious, but spoonfuls of the broth were just slightly too overpowering for me. Adam thought it was perfect, so I think it’s just a flavor I need to get used to. I can’t deny that it was easy and delicious (minus a slight aftertaste in the broth).

Asian Noodle Soup
Serves: 4

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chili con carneThis is another America’s Test Kitchen recipe (I’m really not lying about my addiction), this time from The Best of America’s Test Kitchen 2009. It’s perfect for Adam and me, neither of whom like ground beef or beans in our chili. It has great heat, the right amount of spice, and lots of layered flavor. And great chunks of beef, which I prefer to ground beef and beans. Really good on a rainy night.

I actually made the full batch of sauce, but I used half as much meat. I just got lazy when I made this last week, and I kept mistakenly using the full amount of ingredients when I was supposed to cut in half. So my version was saucier, but next time I will just cut the whole thing in half.

I served it with yellow rice, and I sprinkled cilantro and a dollop of sour cream salsa on top.

Easy Chili con Carne (adapted from America’s Test Kitchen)
Serves 6 to 8

1 (14.5 ounce) can diced tomatoes
2 teaspoons minced canned chipotle chile in adobo
4 slices bacon, chopped fine (**NOTE: you’ll be using the bacon fat, so you may also need vegetable oil if you don’t get the full 3 tablespoons of bacon fat required. I didn’t need the oil.)
1 (3.5-4 lb) boneless beef chuck-eye roast, trimmed and cut into 1″ pieces
Salt and pepper
1 onion, chopped fine
1 japalepeno chile, seeded and chopped fine (I forgot to get this ingredient, I used a little extra chili powder and was fine)
3 tablespoons chili powder
1.5 tsp ground cumin
1/2 tsp dried oregano
4 garlic cloves, minced (I bought a garlic press for this, and I love it!)
4 cups water
1 tablespoon brown sugar
2 tablespoons yellow corn muffin mix (you’ll have to buy the book for the explanation of this ingredient, but just trust that it works)

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pasta capreseI have a bunch of recipes stockpiled here that I’ve been meaning to post. So I’ve decided to have Recipe-A-Day week from today through Friday. I’ll be posting some of the recipes I’ve been trying out lately. First up is this great Pasta Caprese.

I know summer isn’t officially here yet, but I tried out this recipe (courtesy of the America’s Test Kitchen TV show) on a hot day a couple of weeks ago. Super easy, vegetarian (I know, rare for me), and delicious. But it’s not a piping hot dish, as the show warns. It’s almost room temperature, so it’s great for a summer dinner when the tomatoes are really fresh and delicious.

Freezing the mozzarella really does make a difference. I love all things ATK because they experiment until they solve everyday cooking problems. I have made pasta dishes with fresh mozzarella before and had it turn gummy and just blob together. Because this dish is really just good tomatoes, good mozzarella, and pasta it’s important that the cheese work. So freezing it is awesome, the cheese warms up just enough to start melting but not enough to turn into a big bubblegum mess.

Pasta Caprese (adapted from America’s Test Kitchen)

Serves 4 to 6

1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil  
2-4 teaspoons fresh lemon juice (see note above) 
1 small garlic clove , minced or pressed through a garlic press (about 1/2 teaspoon) 
1 small shallot , minced fine (about 2 tablespoons) 
 Table salt and ground black pepper  
1 1/2 pounds ripe tomatoes , cored, seeded, and cut into 1/2-inch dice 
12 ounces fresh mozzarella cheese , cut into 1/2-inch cubes (see note above) 
1 pound penne pasta or other short tubular or curly pasta such as fusilli or campanelle 
1/4 cup chopped fresh basil   
1 teaspoon sugar (only if the tomatoes aren’t sweet enough yet. I didn’t use any sugar).

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penne alla vodka

Last Friday I made this recipe, which I’d originally seen on America’s Test Kitchen on PBS, and it was awesome. I just wanted simple, good food and this fit the bill. A great Friday night meal.

I served it with some crusty bread and a really great caprese salad. Whole Foods is starting to get some flavorful tomatoes in again. They always have tomatoes, they just taste better in spring and summer. Really good in summer, but these tomatoes were pretty good. And they always have excellent mozzarella made locally. I used my tangerine balsamic and meyer lemon olive oil from Carter & Cavero. So good, we couldn’t get over how good the caprese is now that spring is here.

capreseAnd then there’s the main event. We used Finlandia vodka because the show suggested using the best quality vodka you have available. The flavor really makes a difference, apparently, and this was delicious.

Penne Alla Vodka (from America’s Test Kitchen)

So that the sauce and pasta finish cooking at the same time, drop the pasta into boiling water just after adding the vodka to the sauce. If possible, use premium vodka; inexpensive brands will taste harsh in this sauce. Pepper vodka imparts a pleasant flavor and can be substituted for plain.

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tunnel of fudge cakeThis is one of the most entertaining things I’ve ever made in the kitchen. It’s a Bundt cake with this crazy fudgy tunnel going through the cake (that dark ring at the bottom). The recipe came from the 2009 Best of America’s Test Kitchen booklet, and it’s based on an old recipe from a Pillsbury baking competition. The confectioners’ sugar is apparently the key. Adam has told me a few times about a cake he used to make as a kid that had a fudgy layer that separated from the batter and dropped down to the bottom when it was baked. It was one of his favorite things to make and eat as a child, so when I saw this recipe I thought it was worth trying out. I’d hoped it would be like the cake Adam ate as a kid, and he said it was.

I didn’t succeed in making the glaze in the recipe. The chocolate overheated and turned into a sludgy mess, so instead I melted my leftover chocolate frosting from the cupcakes and poured it over the cake. Just as awesome.

Tunnel of Fudge Cake
Serves: 12

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crispy garlic chicken cutlets

I bought The Best of America’s Test Kitchen 2009 a while ago. It’s a magazine-sized supplement they put out every year, and of course it has some great new recipes in it. This is the first one I’ve made from it, and these Crispy Garlic Chicken Cutlets were everything they promised to be. I’ve never made chicken this crispy in my life, and it was wonderfully garlicky without warding off vampires for miles around. And it was a pretty quick weeknight dinner with some herbed lemon butter spaghetti. Adam has requsted that this be added to The List, my rotation of really good recipes that require repeat appearances.

Crispy Garlic Chicken Cutlets

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