In the Press

America’s Test Kitchen’s Bishop lists cooking essentials

America’s Test Kitchen’s latest book, “100 Recipes: The Absolute Best Ways to Make the True Essentials,” came out in October. With thousands of recipes to choose from, I asked Bishop if there were any recipes, like favorite children, that he lamented leaving out of this new tome.

“No,” he said without hesitation. That’s because he not only had final say about this collection of lists, but Bishop personally chose each and every recipe himself. Talk about editorial control.

— The Tennessean, December 29, 2015

Blueberry Cornmeal Pancakes

The back cover of this book says something like, if you master 20 of these recipes you can consider yourself a great cook. I loved that! Mastering 20 of them is on my goal list for 2016. Who wants to join me?

I let my four-year-old thumb through the book and pick whatever recipe he wanted to make for today’s post. He’s the one who picked the Blueberry Cornmeal Pancake recipe and I’m so glad he did. He made the pancakes with me, we had a nice brunch together while the baby slept, and he even held the syrup bottle for the “pouring” pictures. It was so much fun to work with him and have his help.

— Bless This Mess, December 18, 2015

Books for cooks: 7 sure-fire picks for food lovers

“100 Recipes: The Absolute Best Ways to Make the True Essentials”

Who to buy for: Novice cooks and those with families.

Inside: This handy compendium is divided into three sections: the Absolute Essentials (includes recipes for making perfect scrambled eggs, classic pesto and roast chicken); the Surprising Essentials (includes recipes for braising potatoes and the ultimate banana bread), and the Global Essentials (learn the keys to making potstickers, creamy risotto and grilled Thai beef salad).

Why we love it: Each recipe offers a minute-by-minute time line, essential tools needed, and substitutions and variations.

Detroit Free Press, December 16, 2015

Orange-Cardamom Latin Flan

Yesterday, [my mother] and I gathered in the kitchen again to make a flan, almost exactly two decades and much more kitchen experience since our first-ever attempt. With our candy thermometer out, our ramekins at the ready, and America’s Test Kitchen’s new 100 Recipes: The Absolute Best Ways to Make the True Essentials book flopped open on the counter, we began. And after exactly one hour, we popped the thermometer into one of the ramekins that lay in a towel-lined water bath and promptly removed them from the oven when it registered an exact 180 degrees F. There was no guesswork, no clueless mother-daughter flan improvisations. The warm-spiced orange and cardamom custard wiggled, jiggled and was just the right kind of sweet and silky smooth.

In just that one recipe, this book has already proved its worth. I’ve now redeemed myself from my original fourth grade flan semi-failure. But there are so many more recipes to pull from, to learn from.

— Chocolate + Marrow, December 15, 2015

Sweet and savory treats for the epicurean on your Christmas list

Is your foodie a sucker for those “you’re doing it wrong” click-bait tutorials? Nobody’s better at getting it right than America’s Test Kitchen. When they tell you that roasting a chicken can be easy and fast, it can be. Sure, everyone knows how to make grilled cheese. But everyone can always make it better, too. This will help anyone master everything from scrambled eggs to pots de crème.

— Lexington Herald-Leader, December 15, 2015

The best cookbooks of 2015

Tablets, smartphones and television all offer countless resources for expanding culinary knowledge. But still, there is nothing like a cookbook. Here are our Top 10 picks for 2015.

Chris Kimball and the folks at America’s Test Kitchen have been at it since 1993, exhaustively testing recipes to be featured in Cook’s Illustrated and Cook’s Country magazines or on the PBS show “America’s Test Kitchen.” But perfection is a moving target and the unavoidable result of all this research is that even the sagest advice evolves over time. In “100 Recipes: The Absolute Best Ways to Make the True Essentials” (America’s Test Kitchen, $40), the editors select 100 recipes that are well-nigh foolproof, from scrambled eggs to roast beef, risotto to tandoor chicken. “Make twenty recipes in this book,” it concludes, “and you will have earned the right to call yourself a great cook.”

— Newsday, December 14, 2015

Modern Beef Burgundy

This year, the crux of fall coincided with a book in the mail: the inimitable America’s Test Kitchen’s latest, 100 Recipes: The Absolute Best Way to Make the True Essentials. It’s such a useful book, both for the novice cook (the best way to scramble eggs and poach chicken) and the more experienced (adding gelatin to meatballs for improved texture). The recipes are beyond well tested.

My copy is now a ticker tape parade of must makes—pho, focaccia, smoked salmon—but the recipe I was drawn to first was their modernized (read: less finicky) version of boeuf bourguignon. The process has been trimmed, but the results are just as rich and wonderful. And the recipe feeds a crowd, or a family of two for many meals. (It yields 3 quarts or 6 pints, which I portion and freeze, equating roughly to 10 meals for the Frenchman and me.) This is good news in our (new!) apartment.

— The Roaming Kitchen, December 14, 2015

Rita’s recommendation for holiday cookbook giving

I can’t say enough about this book. It should be on everyone’s shelf. I have used it numerous times already. The book truly does contain all the essential recipes you need, and variations on the themes, as well. There are everyday regulars like tomato sauce, pork roast and brownies, along with delicious stews, Asian classics, pies, steaks, seafood, you name it, this book has it. And the recipes are all doable, since they’ve been tested so thoroughly. I can see cooking out of this book through 2016.

— Cincinnati Enquirer, December 14, 2015

These books are for cooks who want to cook better and smarter

Being a good cook has a lot to do with practice. But it also means using a good recipe, which is the premise of the latest volume from America’s Test Kitchen, which goes to great lengths to give readers the hows and whys and what-not-to-do on anything they prepare.

This volume focuses on the cook’s essential recipes, and is organized under the themes of “The Absolute Essentials” (scrambled eggs, breaded pork chops, pot roast, and the like), “The Surprising Essentials” (pulled chicken, cheese soufflé, polenta) and “The Global Essentials” (tandoori chicken, schnitzel, Thai beef salad). The recipes each begin with a lesson that includes why the dish works and how to improve it.

— Minneapolis Star Tribune, December 11, 2015

Making Sweet Memories: Holiday Treats To Remember

If you’re mulling over what sweet treats to offer family and friends this holiday season, help is at hand: Jack Bishop, an expert from America’s Test Kitchen, offers tips for baking the most perfectly delicious holiday treats, and shares his favorite holiday cookie recipe to try out at home.

— The Joy Cardin Show, December 10, 2015

Cook’s Illustrated Chef Jack Bishop Shares Holiday Food and Wine Traditions

There is no other holiday tradition as essential as food and wine. Jack Bishop, Chief Creative Officer of America’s Test Kitchen and Cook’s Illustrated, joins the Federalist Radio Hour to share cooking advice and the dishes being served at his own Christmas dinner.

— The Federalist Radio Hour, December 9, 2015

Books for Cooks: Gift Ideas That Inspire Great Meals

This installment by the most meticulous bunch of cooks in one kitchen provides the final word on preparing everything from basic scrambled eggs to something exotic like tandoori chicken. That’s because Test Kitchen staffers test each recipe 30 to 100 times.

The book also presents “top five” recipe lists that serve as quick guides for the reluctant cook; tired, serious, vegetarian, budget- or health-minded cooks; anyone bored with chicken; and more.

Each recipe comes with an explanation of why it works, making this book fascinating reading as well as a practice resource.

— Honolulu Star-Advertiser, December 9, 2015

100 Recipes Tortilla Soup

I decided to pick up where I had left off with How to Cook a Wolf and that lead me down an extraordinarily deep rabbit hole- cookbooks I own and have never once cooked from. This list includes, but is not limited to: Notes from the Larder, Franny’s: Simple, Seasonal Italian, Root to Leaf, The Nordic Cookbook, A Kitchen in France, and my most recent and most favorite acquisition, 100 Recipes from America’s Test Kitchen. I reasoned that only cooking my own recipes is a form of vanity and that the time had come for some humility, specifically in the form of chicken tortilla soup from 100 Recipes. And that, friends, is how I came to make chicken stock for said chicken soup at 3am.

My stock wasn’t ready until Sunday afternoon. I like to cook it until the joints of the chicken come apart easily, which is a sign that all the goodness holding them together has enriched the liquid. It turns the most beautiful shade of ochre from the onion skins and smells so strongly that I catch whiffs of it all the way at the top of my driveway. At this point, I must confess: my vanity had already gotten the better of me, as the recipe specifically calls for broth and not stock. Let’s try to overlook it, okay? I made the rest of the recipe strictly following instructions (with only one other exception, shame on me) and the first mouthful of this soup of it was a big, huge, mouthful of humility. Humility never tasted so good, so spicy, so perfect. When I finally got some sleep on Sunday night, I dreamed of this stuff.

— Nothing But Delicious, December 7, 2015

Smashed Potatoes with Bacon and Parsley

While there were many recipes that I wanted to try, I thought it would be good to give one a try that could be served at upcoming holiday meals. Potatoes are must with holiday meals and these smashed potatoes with bacon and parsley definitely deserve a place at your next gathering! No dry, tasteless potatoes here! Instead we have creamy, rich potatoes that are mashed just enough to hold together while still leaving chunks of potato. Oh, and there’s bacon. You can’t go wrong adding bacon to potatoes! I also love the freshness that the chopped parsley gives. It helps make a “heavy” dish seem not so heavy.

One of the secrets to the creaminess of these potatoes is the addition of cream cheese. I don’t know if I’ll be able to make smashed potatoes without it now! The cream cheese keeps the potatoes creamy and moist even when you reheat them. A variation of this recipe included garlic and rosemary. Those will be next on the list to try! Along with all of the other pages I’ve already marked to try!

— A Kitchen Addiction, December 2, 2015

Gift Ideas: Books for all sorts of cooks

I’ve just reviewed my weekly cookbook columns from the year thus far. It was a difficult task, but I’ve arrived at a top-five list of national releases. I can’t say one book is better than the others — each is different and delicious in its own way.

No. 1: “100 Recipes: The Absolute Best Ways to Make the True Essentials” by the editors at America’s Test Kitchen; 368 pages, $40. Published by America’s Test Kitchen, 2015.

What’s to love: Get ready to expand your culinary repertoire with this collection of recipes. Each includes a timeline, list of essential tools, and substitutions and variations. Dishes include Scrambled Eggs, Grilled Cheese, Turkey, Beef Burgundy, Fish Tacos, Focaccia and Chocolate Chip Cookies. Culinary desideratum — I don’t know how I lived without it!

— Dayton Daily News, December 1, 2015

Maple-Orange Glazed Ham

This America’s Test Kitchen recipe uses a method that I’d never tried – bringing the ham up to room temperature using a hot water bath, then cooking the ham in a plastic oven bag at low temperature. I was skeptical (cook in an oven bag?), but I decided to give it a try. I liked that the recipe seemed to shave off some cooking time, and this is important on Thanksgiving day when oven space is in serious demand.

The ham was fantastic. There are two glazes in the cookbook, but I used the maple-orange glaze. The method here, though, is the entire reason to make this glazed ham. Any glaze would work fine. The ham turned out beautifully, without those dry, leathery edges that drove me crazy. I’ll never make a glazed ham any other way. At least, not until America’s Test Kitchen comes up with a new genius method for me to try out.

— The Merry Gourmet, November 30, 2015

Creamless Creamy Tomato Soup

America’s Test Kitchen 100 Recipes has countless gorgeous photos and the rationale behind every recipe. The back page says, “Master twenty recipes in this book and you will have earned the right to call yourself a great cook.” I love that. It’s not about novelty or creativity. Just getting in the kitchen and doing it. (And knowing a good recipe when you see one. Or letting ATK take care of that for you.)

When I get a book like this in my hands, I’m always looking out for one thing–something to answer the perennial question of family dinner. For me, that’s got to fit this criteria:

  1. 30-40 minutes
  2. Kid-friendly (thankfully, that’s pretty easy with my kids)
  3. Not a heavy reliance on meat. I tend to use meat more as a flavoring than a main dish, and the more I read, the more I want to eat lower on the food chain.
  4. Bonus if I don’t have to go to the store.

This soup fit the bill. And as it happens, people will be eating at three different times tonight (basketball season is upon us), so something that can be easily heated up is even better.

This soup gets its creamy mouth feel from olive oil and bread that becomes a silken puree in the blender. And the croutons are good, old-fashioned full-of-butter cubes of loveliness which I’ll need to hide so they don’t get devoured without the soup. All it needs is a salad or some grilled cheese sandwiches. Or both, if you don’t have to make six trips to the Boys and Girls Club gym.

— In Praise of Leftovers, November 23, 2015

Jack Bishop, 100 Recipes

Chief Creative Officer of America’s Test Kitchen Jack Bishop talks with Joan about his new cookbook ‘100 Recipes’.

— The Joan Hamburg Show, November 24, 2015

Dining Around Italian Test Kitchen

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Today on Dining Around, Joel talks to Jim Etters, from the Yocha Dehe Farm and Ranch Wintun, Lidia Bastianich, author of “Mastering the Art of Italian Cuisine,” Jack Bishop, from America’s Test Kitchen (listen at 38:00), and Leslie Sbrocco, AKA the Thirsty Girl.

— Dining Around, November 7, 2015

Good Food Hour Podcast with Guest Jack Bishop

— KSRO, November 7, 2015

Interview: Chef Dan Souza Talks America’s Test Kitchen

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Cook Dan Souza visited with more on the show and he made their Best Vegetarian Chili for us!

— WCCO, November 5, 2015

America’s test kitchen star in KARE’s kitchen

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— KARE11, November 4, 2015

America’s Test Kitchen Shares Essential Recipes Made Even Better


If you could only have 100 recipes at your disposal, what would they be? In 100 Recipes: The Absolute Best Ways to Make the True Essentials, the editors of America’s Test Kitchen present what they consider the recipes everyone should know how to make—these are the dishes that will give anyone the culinary chops they need to succeed in the kitchen. Jack Bishop, one of the editors, joined us to share two bulletproof recipes that your family will love.

— AM Northwest, KATU, November 3, 2015

Dan Souza from America’s Test Kitchen

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Dan Souza is a chef with America’s Test Kitchen and is in town for a live event happening tonight. But first, he’s with us in the Morning Blend kitchen to whip up just a couple of the 100 recipes available in the new book 100 Recipes: The Absolute Best Ways to Make the True Essentials.

— The Morning Blend, TMJ4, November 3, 2015

A Cheese Soufflé For Fall Entertaining from ATK

I hadn’t obsessed over a cookbook in a long time, but then 100 Recipes: The Absolute Best Ways to Make the True Essentials from America’s Test Kitchen crossed my desk. It is full of recipes for the dishes that my family loves but with new tips and tricks to make them even better. From classic Sunday suppers like roasts and soups to easy weeknight favorites like pastas and salads, this book has earned the front and center spot on my kitchen shelf, and already has the sauce splatters to prove it. Although a cheese soufflé hasn’t made it to “True Essential” status in my home, looking at this photo I think it’s day has come. I can’t wait to try this version from the kitchen that has never let me down, America’s Test Kitchen. Thanks for sharing the full recipe with us ATK!

— Pretty Prudent, October 22, 2015

Lunchbreak: Jack Bishop, America’s Test Kitchen, makes grown-up grilled cheese sandwiches and vegetarian chili

Jack Bishop on Lunch Break

— WGN TV, October 22, 2015

America’s Test Kitchen’s Jack Bishop on the Essential Recipes

Jack Bishop on Chicago Tonight

People love lists. They help us get things done and make mastering a skill easy. With that in mind, the mad scientists at America’s Test Kitchen are out with a new book for cooks looking to sharpen their skills or neophytes looking to get their foot in the kitchen door.

— Chicago Tonight, October 21, 2015

Food for Thought: Learn these easy essentials

If you’re like me, you have a predictable list of staple meals or side dishes you rely on. They’re our “go to” foods, like corn on the cob, chicken soup, roasted potatoes, pasta, stir-fry or even scrambled eggs.

Sometimes we may fall a little short on perfection (I know I do) in turning out these dishes, especially when we’re in a hurry. I’ve even found myself tossing a frozen meal into the microwave (yes, yes, I admit it) or piling a few handfuls of baby greens into a bowl and calling it a salad.

There’s a better way. And it’s not all that hard, nor does it take a lot of time. In fact, the details are packed into a single cookbook, 100 Recipes: The Absolute Best Ways to Make the True Essentials. […] I like this book because it explains why certain methods or ingredients work better than others. Or as celebrity chef Nick Stellino says, you can’t get creative with your food until you understand how it works.

— Santa Cruz Sentinel, October 14, 2015

The 100 essential recipes, tested

“Researched” is too light of a word to describe the recipes that come out of America’s Test Kitchen. They are positively obsessive when it comes to finding the best — and often far different than the established normal — way to create dishes. Cooks in the 2,500-square-foot kitchen just outside of Boston are almost obsessed with finding out the best possible way to prepare a dish. Editors swear they really do test a recipe, 30, 40, 50 or even 100 times before it’s published.

The new book focuses on the essentials, but even that is a little misleading. It’s broken down to 37 recipes called “The Absolute Essentials” and that includes recipes for rice pilaf, pan-seared chicken breasts, steak, chili and a blueberry pie. Another 32 are categorized as “The Surprising Essentials” — recipes you didn’t know you needed, the editors explain. They run the gamut from pulled chicken, to a cheese souffle, polenta, and apple pie. Finally the remaining 100 are “The Global Essentials,” recipes for items including pot stickers, tandoori chicken , lo mein, and schnitzel.

Such a variety of foods, explained simply puts a cornucopia of worthwhile dishes right at a person’s fingertips. And along the way the home cook gets helpful tips throughout including a better way to make chicken stock, a more effective way to shape bread dough and an easier way to mince garlic.

— The Detroit News, October 7, 2015

Time to hit the cookbooks

100 Recipes: The Absolute Best Ways to Make the True Essentials, due on Oct. 13 from America’s Test Kitchen, simultaneously takes readers on an international tour, with a chapter entitled The Global Essentials, and yet also offers definitive recipes for preparing such familiar favorites as Juicy Pub-Style Burgers, Grown-Up Grilled Cheese Sandwiches, Classic Chicken Noodle Soup, and even scrambled eggs.

The chosen recipes ”not only [cover] the bases in terms of what skills and techniques ought to be at the fingertips of a good home cook,“ write the authors, but ”changed how each of us here at the test kitchen cook at home,“ as they’ve perfected protocols and procedures to ensure success.

America’s Test Kitchen staff, who produce Cook’s Illustrated and Cook’s Country magazines, are noted for their thoroughness. “We really do test a recipe 30 times, 40 times, even 50 up to 100 times,” they write. And the recipes include equipment lists, tips and timelines, and also appropriate substitutions and variations, offering useful guidance to both new and seasoned cooks.

— The Blade, October 6, 2015

Essential recipes for the home cook

For many of us, collecting recipes is addictive. Drawers fill with newspaper clippings, and recipe boxes bulge with hand-written index cards. Even shelves sag under the weight of cookbooks whose ingredient-stained pages hold many memorable dishes.

Now comes “100 Recipes: The Absolute Best Ways to Make the True Essentials” (America’s Test Kitchen, $40) by the editors of America’s Test Kitchen.

The 368-page hardcover book with color photographs throughout presents the recipes the editors believe everyone should know how to prepare to achieve culinary success of a sort.

— Journal Star, September 2, 2015

Cookbook Review

This new collection from the editors at America’s Test Kitchen aims to help readers master three categories of essential recipes selected for utility, inventiveness, and diversity. No-nonsense cooks who want a manageable selection of everyday and special occasion dishes can turn to this book for scrambled eggs, roast chicken, enchiladas, ham, holiday cookies, and more. As the editors point out, searching the Internet for these types of recipes can overwhelm and yield disappointing results. By supplying a limited, foolproof selection, they hope to make cooking for family and friends less stressful and increasingly pleasurable. VERDICT: This title would serve as an excellent gift for college students, young professionals, newlyweds, and anyone who’s learning to cook.

— Library Journal, August 2015

America’s Test Kitchen Goes Small with 100 Essential Recipes

America’s Test Kitchen, home to Cook’s Illustrated and Cook’s Country magazines, is known for its massive, lavishly produced cookbooks, offering definitive takes on subjects like this spring’s The Complete Vegetarian Cookbook with 700 recipes; or last fall’s The New Family Cookbook with 1,100 recipes. Concerned that less is more, particularly when it comes to the repertoire of home cooks, in October the press is going small for 100 Recipes: The Absolute Best Ways to Make the True Essentials. But, the press will still be going big with production values, including a stamped cover with photos from the test kitchen and thick 100-pound stock inside.

Given the ready availability of free recipes online, cookbook publishers have to make their books stand out. As the editors at ATK note in the introduction to 100 Recipes, “In this age of information overload, recipes are a particularly notable example of excess. Google the word ‘recipe’ and you get nearly 50 million results, and that’s just in English.” The editors advocate the less is more approach, particularly when it comes to home cooks. And they claim that what made earlier generations of mothers and grandmothers accomplished cooks was a limited repertoire of dishes, which they repeatedly served until they became second nature.

Publisher’s Weekly, Judith Rosen, May 26, 2015