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February 09, 2006

Feb. Reviews

Now that my January/February Cook's Illustrated has finally arrived (bizarely, a couple weeks after my March copy), I'm going to backtrack and take a look at it. And since Bon Appétit send their issues out a full month early, I'm going to look at the March issue and catch up with that too.

Cook's Illustrated

Skillet Chicken Pot Pie - The Guy loves chicken pot pie, and if this is really an easier way to make it, I can't wait! How to cook rice and grains is great to know, the coaching on how different sized pieces of butter affects the flakiness of crusts is fascinating, and a piece about perfecting chocolate mouse is, of course, right up my ally.
Don't Like:
Despite my sometimes obsession with fast, I'm not really one for pesizzled bacon, and I'm definitely not a refried beans person.
Pot pie anyone? Maybe with a side of biscuits and a little chocolate mousse for dessert?

Bon Appétit

More biscuits, and these are supposed to be great; the "Naturalist" chopsticks in Starters are beautiful; Party Improv actually looks kind of inspiring; the article on parsnips is great, because I never know what to do with them and I'd like to try; most of the things in Bon Vivant are beautiful, especially the bowl, the earthenware pottery, and the chocolate-covered crispy rice; and the article on Oregon truffles is fascinating.
Don't Like:
The idea of an article on mozzarella recipes looked good, but the recipes are dissapointing, and the article on bringing steakhouse recipes home left me cold for some reason
Cornmeal and cheddar biscuits, arugula salad and oranges slices with Grand Marnier for dessert, Parsnip and Hazelnut Gratin with Bacon, Sautéed Chichen with Parsnip, Apple and Sherry Pan Sauce, Pear and Dried-Cherry Custard Crisp, Upside-Down Butterscotch Apple Sour Cream Cake, and Linguine Avgolemono with Artichoke Hearts and Green Beans.

As for the recipe testing, this week I managed to eschew the many sugary desserts littering the pages of my magazines and stick to the entrees and vegetables (the only upside to my fight with a head-cold). This week was a Bon Appétit week with recipes from both issues. Our favorites were the Green-Onion Risotto and the Thyme-Roasted Carrots from Feb, which we ate together. The risotto was lovely. The unexpected, bright flavor of the orange zest and the fresh green onion added a lovely conterpoint to the rich, comfort-food flavor of the rice. The carrots were also wonderful. Rediculously easy to make, they were mellow enough that the flavor of the thyme really shined through even though it wasn't as visible as I had expected. I accidentally let some of them char a little on the edges, but the flavor actually added to the dish's wonderful taste and drew focus to the carrots' carmelized sugars. Both recipes left us wanting seconds, and I would readily make both for guests.

The Sautéed Chichen with Parsnip, Apple and Sherry Pan Sauce, from the March issue, was not as much of a success. The chicken was fine, and the dish was very edible, but if this was the only way to cook parsnips I would never buy them again. Fine for one night, but no something I'll ever make again.

Posted by georgia to Kitchen and Cooking , Reviews on February 9, 2006 09:42 PM | permalink | Email this post

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I tried the Linguine Avgolemono with Artichoke Hearts and Green Beans and it was delicious and very fast and easy. I used over half of the cooking water to thin the sauce and also added some extra fresh ground pepper and a little lemon zest. My daughter and I both love lemons. We ate it with some large shrimp and cocktail sauce. Whe often buy the cooked shrimp at the seafood counter for an easy lunch or dinner. And this linguinne dish went well with them.

Posted by: Pennie at February 13, 2006 11:51 AM

Good to know!

Posted by: Georgia at February 14, 2006 07:08 PM

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