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The America's Test Kitchen Menu…
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The America's Test Kitchen Menu Cookbook: Your Guide to Hosting…

by America's Test Kitchen

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This is a beautiful book as well as helpful by America's Test Kitchen. The beginning of the book lists items you may need for a well stocked kitchen. They explain how the kitchen items are used. They have a section on quick tips that make your food preparation easier. Also there is an emergency substitution list which is wonderful for the items you may have forgotten to pick up at the store. The rest of the book is full of menus divided up by the season. Each menu includes at least one picture which I find extremely helpful in a cookbook. Each recipe includes a small paragraph on why the recipe works. I love the little explanations. They are both helpful and informative.

My daughter and I chose a Fall menu, Farmhouse Chicken Dinner. We chose this one as we thought it was one of the easier menus in the book. Our menu consisted of Rustic Breaded Chicken with Brussels Sprouts, Honeyed Goat Cheese with Spice Walnuts and Figs, Herbed Barley Pilaf, and Autumn Pear Crumble. We found the chicken, the goat cheese and the pear crumble to be delicious and fairly easy to prepare. We had to substitute apples for the figs in the goat cheese recipe which was a suggestion made by the cookbook if figs were not available. We thought the pilaf could have been more flavorful if chicken stock had been used in the cooking process instead of water. The chicken was soaked in a brine which I had never done before and was very tender and juicy! I will be using that recipe again! The recipes in the menu were a nice compliment to each other.

I am not a beginner cook. I would say I am a everyday household cook. The menu took us all afternoon to prepare, a good 5 hours. The recipes all have several steps. There are some things that could be done a day ahead of time which they have been kind enough to point out in the book. I do wish there had been a timeline in the book telling me what I should be working on and in what order. The recipes are just listed and not necessarily in the order of how you should prepare them. At one point I had two things in the oven and needed to put a third item in there at a different temperature. The recipes were lovely but if I had been making this for a dinner party, I would have missed all the fun. These are recipes that will keep you in the kitchen. They are very involved. There are many other recipes I wish to try out of this cookbook but I don't think I would tackle a full menu again. I was exhausted after making a full menu.

I enjoyed many of the recipes in this book and all the helpful tips. If you love being in the kitchen for hours on end, you may like this cookbook. I think this is a cookbook for the serious entertainer or advanced home chef. ( )
  bookaholicmom | Nov 5, 2011 |
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Presents forty seasonal menus and holiday menus along with cooking tips, last-minute recipes, and information on equipment.

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