Let me come right out and say that I am obsessed with America’s Test Kitchen. Their show has taught me so much, and I feel confident using their recipes because I know they’ve been tested exhaustively. I mean, these people used over a thousand eggs perfecting their soft-boiled cooking technique. They mean business. So when I saw The Complete America’s Test Kitchen TV Show Cookbook: 2001-2016, I was beside myself. Over a thousand recipes from 16 seasons, perfectly crafted to ensure success in everything from Classic Shrimp Fra Diavolo (who knew I could flambé?!) to a Flourless Chocolate Cake that has earned my husband the adoration of my coworkers. And there’s more to the recipes than being easy to follow; Chris Kimball and his gang fully explain the science behind every single one, so you understand why it works, not just that it does. For example, did you know that you’re supposed to add the butter to your mashed potatoes before you add the milk? The fat molecules in the butter coat the starch molecules in the potatoes, preventing them from bonding too much with the water in the milk and creating a gluey texture. I don’t know about you, but this kind of stuff is fascinating to me. Their Gadget Corner is also incredibly helpful, recommending everything from the best charcoal grill to the most efficient potato ricer, all with the home chef’s budget in mind. I’ve got dozens of cookbooks at home, but none of them compare. This year, it’s the perfect way to try something new!
Recommended by Riley Johnson