America's Test Kitchen

Discussion in 'Now Playing - TV Show Talk' started by Havana Brown, May 9, 2006.

  1. May 9, 2006 #1 of 68
    Havana Brown

    Havana Brown Ring Turner

    Feb 3, 2005


    This is one of my favorite cooking shows. I've tried only a few of their recipes because some of them scare me and they look time consuming. I"ve made the sticky buns and they turned out great. This weekend I made the pork tenderloin and it was great. This is a great show. Anyone else watch it?
  2. May 9, 2006 #2 of 68

    jsmeeker Notable Member TCF Club

    Apr 2, 2001

    been watching it for a few years now. It's generally my "go to" source (along with the magazine Cook's Illustrated) for cooking and baking.
  3. May 9, 2006 #3 of 68


    Jan 27, 2005
    I love it! I've subscribed to the magazine for probably 5-6 years now. I rarely make anything, but every time I do, it's excellent!
  4. May 9, 2006 #4 of 68
    Dennis Wilkinson

    Dennis Wilkinson Active Member

    Sep 24, 2001
    Been watching it for several years. This and "Good Eats" are two of the best cooking shows on the air right now, IMHO. Alton, from what I've read, considers Kimball & co. to be a little "persnickety".

    I've got a few of their cookbooks and subscribe to "Cook's Illustrated", as well, although I admit to having problems with at least one of their recipes. I followed a flourless chocolate cake recipe from "The Best Recipe" where the instructions for removing from the pan called for two inversions. I thought "gee, this cake looks too delicate to survive two inversions, but they've never steered me wrong", but as it turns out, cooked to the described doneness, it was indeed too delicate, and burst open on the second. No biggie -- tasted just a good doled out into a few ramekins and set with just a few more minutes baking time.)
  5. May 9, 2006 #5 of 68
    Havana Brown

    Havana Brown Ring Turner

    Feb 3, 2005


    Oh, I've also made the beef n' broccoli and it tastes better than any take out.
  6. May 9, 2006 #6 of 68

    kaszeta $nullstring TCF Club

    Jun 11, 2004
    Grantham, NH
    It's one of the few cooking shows I watch regularly, and I enjoy it (as well as their Cooks Illustrated magazine). It's one of the most reliable sources I have for recipes; they aren't always exciting, but they always turn out as expected.

    One caveat: don't ever order anything from them mailorder, since next thing you now you'll be getting all sorts of cookbooks from them Columbia-House style (in which they send the postcard asking if you to send it back if you don't want the order, although they helpfully mail the postcards after the item is already in transit), and have difficulty getting off their list.
  7. Bob Coxner

    Bob Coxner Active Member

    Dec 1, 2004
    For me it's the best cooking show on tv. I've made many of the recipes and they've always been excellent. The taste tests and Equipment Corner are also good.
  8. jon777

    jon777 Well-Known Member

    May 30, 2002
    Jupiter, FL

    Have a wish list for the show (it's on a couple of different channels here), have "the Best Recipe" book, and recently have taken to buying the bound version of Cooks Illustrated. At the end of the year, they put the 6 issues into a hard bound book. This year they ran a special that if you bought 2005, they gave you 2004 for free. (I think it was something like $25 for both).

    I haven't tried any of the other "Best Recipe" books -- have friends who like the "Soups and Stews" as will as the "Best Light Recipes", which I may get...

    I find the books and TV show great for education and techniques.
  9. cheerdude

    cheerdude Reed & Juliet's CPA

    Feb 27, 2001
    Las Vegas, NV
    I've had a SP for them off-and-on; not sure why I just don't keep them. Mainly its the "persnickity" as mentioned above.

    Having said that, I've got just about every GE SUID'd though I haven't watched them all... and the fact that I don't cook. Of course, with my new place being a Gas Stove; I might either
    a) be inclined to start experimenting, or
    b) be more inclined to not "waste" gas :D

    What's the difference between Cook's Illustrated & Cook's Country?
  10. Havana Brown

    Havana Brown Ring Turner

    Feb 3, 2005

    When I was looking to buy my house I would only look at places that had gas heat and gas cooking. I love cooking with gas. It's fun doing the whole flambe thing. :)
  11. Zen98031

    Zen98031 New Member

    Sep 29, 2005
    I need to remember to set up a season pass for this show. I have enjoyed all the ones I have seen so far.

    Wonder how many people now are hoping to get invited to Havana's for dinner?


  12. Havana Brown

    Havana Brown Ring Turner

    Feb 3, 2005

    Sure, on New Year's Eve. I even got a couple marriage proposals last year. ;)

    New Year's Eve food
  13. kaszeta

    kaszeta $nullstring TCF Club

    Jun 11, 2004
    Grantham, NH
    Quite the spread. I'll have to make sure I'm in the area next New Year's.
  14. MassD

    MassD New Member

    Sep 18, 2002
    Leominster, Ma
    I made the pasta with chicken and broccoli... Tasty stuff. The only thing I would change is to buy loose, "dry" sun-dried tomatoes, rather than those packed in oil... the spices and the oil overpowered the tomatoes and didn't work in the dish.

    Otherwise extremely tasty and the sauce came out quite good... extremely light and flavorful.
  15. Havana Brown

    Havana Brown Ring Turner

    Feb 3, 2005
    I should have used their dough recipe to make pizza last week, but it still came out good. Their tip about using cornmeal on the pizza stone really made a difference. The dough didn't stick to the stone at all.

    I watched their b-day cake show this past weekend and I think I will try to make one.
  16. tem

    tem Well-Known Member

    Oct 6, 2003
    what's hilarious about the show is all the inadvertant (?) sexual innuendo.

    Oh ... mmmmm .... oh ... mmmmmm ....
    OH yeah ..... OH YEAH !
  17. Ntombi

    Ntombi New Member

    Mar 17, 2004
    I love that show too, as much as Good Eats, but in a different way.
  18. gchance

    gchance 4 8 15 16 23 42

    Dec 6, 2002
    Olivehurst, CA
    If you love their recipes, buy their companion book that comes out at the end of each season. It's got lots of behind-the-scenes photos of producing the show, lots of funny anecdotes, and best of all, you don't have to write them down. :p

    Great show, but I can't bear to watch since I started watching my weight.

  19. nuke

    nuke Member

    Sep 8, 2003
    I made the curry shrimp with yogurt recipe. It came out very tasty. Will make that one again. You got to watch the show to get the technique down as well as the recipe from the website. Really easy, except for peeling and cleaning the shrimp. I'll buy 'em peeled and deveined next time.

    That and Good Eats are great to watch. Don't tell my wife I'm watching her shows.
  20. Havana Brown

    Havana Brown Ring Turner

    Feb 3, 2005
    You can print out the current season's recipes right off the website, it's free. :)

    Last nite I made the old fashioned b-day cake. I tweaked it a little though, ok, so maybe a lot. I used the whole egg, not just the egg whites. I didn't do the buttercream frosting or raspberry almond filling. I made a very easy ganache frosting instead:


    Classic White Layer Cake with Butter Frosting and Raspberry Almond Filling -- an All-Purpose Birthday Cake
    If you have forgotten to bring the milk and egg white mixture to room temperature, set the bottom of the glass measure containing it in a sink of hot water and stir until the mixture feels cool rather than cold, around 65 degrees. Cake layers can be wrapped and stored for one day; frosting can be covered with plastic wrap and set aside at room temperature for several hours. Once assembled, the cake should be covered with an inverted bowl or cake cover and refrigerated. Under its coat of frosting, it will remain fresh for up to three days. Bring it to room temperature before serving. There is enough frosting to pipe a border around the base and top of the cake. If you want to decorate the cake more elaborately, you should make one and a half times the frosting recipe. You may also substitute lemon curd for the raspberry jam in the filling. If desired, finish the sides of the cake with 1 cup of sliced almonds.

    Serves 12
    Classic White Cake

    Nonstick cooking spray
    2 1/4 cups cake flour (9 ounces), plus more for dusting the pans
    1 cup whole milk , at room temperature
    6 large egg whites (3/4 cup), at room temperature
    2 teaspoons almond extract
    1 teaspoon vanilla extract
    1 3/4 cups granulated sugar (12 1/4 ounces)
    4 teaspoons baking powder
    1 teaspoon table salt
    12 tablespoons unsalted butter (1 1/2 sticks), softened but still cool

    Butter Frosting

    16 tablespoons unsalted butter (2 sticks), softened but still cool
    4 cups confectioners' sugar (1 pound)
    1 tablespoon vanilla extract
    1 tablespoon whole milk
    Pinch table salt

    Raspberry-Almond Filling

    1/2 cup blanched slivered almonds (2 1/2 ounces), toasted and chopped coarse
    1/3 cup raspberry jam (seedless)

    1. For the Cake: Set oven rack in middle position. (If oven is too small to cook both layers on a single rack, set racks in upper-middle and lower-middle positions.) Heat oven to 350 degrees. Spray two 9-inch round cake pans with nonstick cooking spray; line the bottoms with parchment or waxed paper rounds. Spray the paper rounds, dust the pans with flour, and invert pans and rap sharply to remove excess flour.

    2. Pour milk, egg whites, and extracts into 2-cup glass measure, and mix with fork until blended.

    3. Mix cake flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt in bowl of electric mixer at slow speed. Add butter; continue beating at slow speed until mixture resembles moist crumbs, with no powdery streaks remaining.

    4. Add all but 1/2 cup of milk mixture to crumbs and beat at medium speed (or high speed if using handheld mixer) for 1 1/2 minutes. Add remaining 1/2 cup of milk mixture and beat 30 seconds more. Stop mixer and scrape sides of bowl. Return mixer to medium (or high) speed and beat 20 seconds longer.

    5. Divide batter evenly between two prepared cake pans; using rubber spatula, spread batter to pan walls and smooth tops. Arrange pans at least 3 inches from the oven walls and 3 inches apart. (If oven is small, place pans on separate racks in staggered fashion to allow for air circulation.) Bake until thin skewer or toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, 23 to 25 minutes.

    6. Let cakes rest in pans for 3 minutes. Loosen from sides of pans with a knife, if necessary, and invert onto wire racks. Reinvert onto additional wire racks. Let cool completely, about 1 1/2 hours.

    7. For the Frosting: Beat butter, confectionersÂ’ sugar, vanilla, milk, and salt in bowl of electric mixer at slow speed until sugar is moistened. Increase speed to medium-high (high if using handheld mixer); beat, stopping twice to scrape down bowl, until creamy and fluffy, about 1 1/2 minutes. Avoid overbeating, or frosting will be too soft to pipe.

    8. For the Filling: Before assembling cake, set aside 3/4 cup of the frosting for decoration. Spread small dab of frosting in center of cake plate to anchor cake, and set down one cake layer. Combine 1/2 cup of remaining frosting with almonds in small bowl and spread over first layer. Carefully spread jam on top, then cover with second cake layer. Spread frosting over top and sides of assembled cake. Pipe reserved frosting around perimeter of cake at the base and the top. Cut the cake into slices and serve.

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