Most banana breads are either lacking in flavor or hopelessly dense. This version cooks out some of the water to help reduce the density. The bananas should be VERY ripe, heavily speckled with brown and black. You may use thawed, frozen bananas for the five mashed bananas; because they will exude a lot of liquid when thawing, you can skip the microwaving step and simply put them in the strainer. (Peel them before freezing to prevent the extracted liquid from turning black.) Do not use a frozen banana for the top of the loaf; it will be too soft to slice. Adapted from Cook's Illustrated. http://bit.ly/fBfyCw
A moist-inside, crackly-outside brown sugar cookie. With loads of brown sugar, butter and vanilla, these could also be called "butterscotch cookies." They're quick to make, and do not require a mixer. From ATK 2008.
From _America's Test Kitchen_ episode 908, "Soups of the Day." Salting the COOKING water makes the beans mealy, but salting the SOAKING water makes the skins more tender but also less likely to break. If you skip the soaking, you will need to cook the beans 45-50 minutes longer.
Classic New York-style crumb cake, based on the old German krummelkuchen. It is important to make the crumbs into large, pea-sized lumps to get the right texture. This is NOT a streusel! From "America's Test Kitchen" episode 816, "Old-Fashioned Breakfast Cakes."
From "Cook's Country from America's Test Kitchen," episode 108, "Steakhouse Favorites." ATK recommends top sirloin steak for indoor broiling. If price is no object, they recommend rib-eye or New York strip steaks.
From "Cook's Country from America's Test Kitchen," episode 107, "Easy As Pie." The secret to preserve flakiness (based on rugelach dough) is cream cheese. The cream cheese makes the dough dense enough not to need a filler while blind baking, so no pie weights needed!
I love this soup. I like to have the vegetables cut medium it makes is hardier. But if you prefer smooth you can always chop smaller or puree. I also omit the bay leaf because I don't like bay leaf. I also use a ham hock from left over Easter or Christmas dinner.
From Cook's Illustrated, Dec 2008. Use a chuck eye roast (RZ doesn't recognize this cut). Do not use hot, half-sharp or Spanish paprika; if you can, mail-order your sweet paprika and use a fresh container. Cook's Illustrated prefers The Spice House. The stew can be prepared up to 2 days ahead; do not add the optional sour cream until after reheating. Remove the hardened fat and add water to thin it. (I like to add about 1/2 lb of button mushrooms, quartered, with the carrots and beef, but that wasn't in the original CI recipe.)
To make slicing the pork chop easier, freeze it for 15 minutes. We prefer the distinctive flavor of Chinese black vinegar; look for it in Asian supermarkets. If you can't find it, a combination of red wine vinegar and balsamic vinegar approximates its flavor. This soup is very spicy. For a less spicy soup, omit the chili oil altogether or add only 1 teaspoon. Recipe stolen from the PBS cooking program America's Test Kitchen. This is an excellent soup.
If using a cake pan, you will need one with straight sides that are at least 2 inches high; otherwise, use a springform pan. The cake portion can be made ahead of time, wrapped in a double layer of plastic wrap, and frozen; thaw the frozen cake, unwrapped, at room temperature for about two hours before proceeding with the recipe.
A lighter crust for a traditional pizza from Cook's Illustrated. This is a VERY wet dough! It will not roll, so don't try. Recipe is designed for an 18x13 baking sheet; a smaller pan can be used but will need a longer baking time. If you don't have a pizza stone, set the rack in the lowest position, preheat oven to 500, and bake an additional 3-5 minutes.
From the Cook's Illustrated Website: This recipe does not require a standing mixer, but when making the batter, be sure to whisk vigorously in step 2, then fold carefully in step 3. There should be no large pockets of flour in the finished batter, but small occasional sprays may remain. Do not overmix the batter. These muffins are great unadorned, but for an extra flourish, give them a dip in sugar by following one of the variations.
Makes 12 muffins
This is from The America's Test Kitchen Family Cookbook. Quick and easy to make, and the tacos taste much better than fast food. You can adjust the spices to your liking, if necessary, and top with your favorite garnishes, such as cheese, lettuce, tomato, onions, sour cream, etc. Enjoy!