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David T. Cole

America's Test Kitchen

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3 minutes ago, Kohola3 said:

Wow, that's pretty cool!  How did you get into that?  Did you apply?  I'd love to do something like that.

Just go to their web site. You might find a link there. I subscribe to all their on-line content, and I think I might have gotten an email looking for volunteers.

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I made the CC Alfredo that is just cheese, butter and pasta water and quite liked it. Much lighter than other Alfredo rescinds but still rich.

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On 10/27/2018 at 7:20 PM, chessiegal said:

One method they use is to have home cooks test their recipes. I'm a volunteer recipe tester for Cook's Country. They send you a recipe to test, ask you to make it as written, then fill out a survey.

They mentioned this in a recent episode.  They said the home testers love to substitute ingredients, and in a nod to that, they were making turkey meatloaf because you can't just substitute turkey for beef--it needs a lot of modifying to get the turkey to work right.

That said, the turkey concoction, before cooking, looked like vomit.  Literally.  It was kind of pink-ish, with chunks of things in it.  I couldn't believe my eyes.  It cooked up a little more pleasingly, but still looked kind of gross to me.  I'm not a huge fan of meat loaf to begin with, and this turkey version may have turned me away from loaves of animal products for good.

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57 minutes ago, StatisticalOutlier said:

I'm not a huge fan of meat loaf to begin with, and this turkey version may have turned me away from loaves of animal products for good.

Right there with you. I love turkey but no way I'd make that dubious looking concoction.  Ugh,

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On 10/20/2018 at 7:43 PM, BigBingerBro said:

I totally forgot to mention that!  Her hair constantly distracts me.  I can't say that it looks bad, but like you said, at first glance, it appears as if it's all long and just sprayed back and put into a bun or french twist, but then you realize it's short in the back!  She's had multiple variations of the same style over the years, so it must be her "thing".  I keep wondering if she's trying to hide something as I knew a lady who though her ears were ugly so she always wore the same style with slight variation for 30+ years.  Yes it's totally shallow, but you can't help but notice when they do constant 5 second reaction shots.  Bridget has very pretty hair and it's nice when she changes it up rather than just wearing the standard ponytail.  

Julia just wrapped up a live guest appearance on QVC's In the Kitchen With David.  She was hawking ATK's dutch oven cookbook.  Her hair was the same length all the way around, going just past her shoulders (no short bangs).  I've had both kinds of hairstyles and it looks to me she simply grew out the shorter cut.  I thought it looked good.

The advantage of the shorter cut that she had is that it naturally gives more volume, especially if your hair is fine.

Edited by letusprocrastinate

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Is it just me or do the recipes on CC seem to be getting more and more basic as of late?  Today I caught the one where they basically made a dumbed-down version of Fettucini Alfredo (but titled Cheese & Butter Pasta, I think) to which Bridget exclaimed, "I can't believe this doesn't have any dairy!"  even though it had 4 cups of Parmesan cheese and half a stick of butter.....  Is there now a new definition for "dairy"?   Anyway, I know the CC recipes were always more basic that ATK, but this stuff is pretty much cooking 101.  The highlight of the segment seemed to be the brilliant idea of warming their plates in the oven prior to serving.

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4 minutes ago, BigBingerBro said:

Is it just me or do the recipes on CC seem to be getting more and more basic as of late?  Today I caught the one where they basically made a dumbed-down version of Fettucini Alfredo (but titled Cheese & Butter Pasta, I think) to which Bridget exclaimed, "I can't believe this doesn't have any dairy!"  even though it had 4 cups of Parmesan cheese and half a stick of butter.....  Is there now a new definition for "dairy"?   Anyway, I know the CC recipes were always more basic that ATK, but this stuff is pretty much cooking 101.  The highlight of the segment seemed to be the brilliant idea of warming their plates in the oven prior to serving.

I saw that episode and my take was they were emphasizing that you didn't need cream or to make a béchamel, it was a simple recipe that tasted as good as a more complicated recipe. I'd like to try it.

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5 minutes ago, chessiegal said:

I saw that episode and my take was they were emphasizing that you didn't need cream or to make a béchamel,

 

Yes, she had already said that exact thing when Ashley listed out the ingredients, so the false "no dairy" comment was completely unnecessary.   I'm also going to try it.

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16 hours ago, chessiegal said:

I saw that episode and my take was they were emphasizing that you didn't need cream or to make a béchamel, it was a simple recipe that tasted as good as a more complicated recipe. I'd like to try it.

I made it and enjoyed it. It was definitely lighter than other Alfredos but delicious and rich.

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I had an ATK recipe fail for the first time. I tried to make the chocolate frosting recipe that was basically milk chocolate, heavy cream and butter. The taste was okay but the frosting kept hardening up to the point where it was almost a fudge-like consistency. No amount of whisking helped, as they said.

Edited by emma675

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19 hours ago, chessiegal said:

I saw that episode and my take was they were emphasizing that you didn't need cream or to make a béchamel, it was a simple recipe that tasted as good as a more complicated recipe. I'd like to try it.

Its a great recipe, and actually is very close to how "Alfredo" made it originally.  This recipe is pretty much how my mom always made it growing up, she ate it in Italy at the resturant where it originated, and made it at home the same way.  And this is how I always make it as well. I dont personally like cream sauces on pasta, so alfredo in the US, the way it is most often presented, is not enticing to me.

Edited by Kelly
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22 hours ago, chessiegal said:

I saw that episode and my take was they were emphasizing that you didn't need cream or to make a béchamel,

That is how I took it also. They are not the first ones to pare down this classic pasta sauce back to the essentials and bring it closer to the initial version; the addition of cream, milk or flour over the decades has sometimes resulted in a over-heavy concoction. Martha Stewart also has a very basic version of this, with butter, cheese, and perhaps a bit of pasta water as I recall (plus salt and pepper of course). Which does not preclude cooks from adding garnishes such as pancetta or prosciutto, or even an egg to enrich it without making it too heavy.

But it was an awkwardly worded comment since butter is indubtitably a dairy product.

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15 hours ago, Florinaldo said:

But it was an awkwardly worded comment since butter is indubtitably a dairy product.

Oh no doubt...

Both Julia and Bridget say such dumb things all the time.  I really wish they would do away with one person cooking, and the other person asking stupid questions or inserting stupid contrived comments.  It's still very 'forced' IMO. 

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I really wish they would do away with one person cooking, and the other person asking stupid questions or inserting stupid contrived comments. 

and miss Julia's   Ohhhhh Ho Ho Ho Hoooooo    or   ooooooohs!?

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8 hours ago, Kelly said:

Both Julia and Bridget say such dumb things all the time.  I really wish they would do away with one person cooking, and the other person asking stupid questions or inserting stupid contrived comments.  It's still very 'forced' IMO. 

I find that the sidekick cook's comments, whoever is playing the role in any particular segment, fall in one of two categories: either useful technical or complementary info from a professional's point of view, or standing in for us rube viewers who are assumed not to know much about cooking. There used to be more of the latter in their two shows' first Kimball-free seasons, as they were tweaking their new dynamics, but that dairy one squarely falls in that slot.

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On 11/10/2018 at 8:38 PM, chessiegal said:

I saw that episode and my take was they were emphasizing that you didn't need cream or to make a béchamel, it was a simple recipe that tasted as good as a more complicated recipe. I'd

Like others, this is how I saw it. There's no gloppy, overrich sauce. I'm going to use this recipe as a base for a quick turkey tetrazzini after Thanksgiving.

Serious Eats almost always recommends boiling pasta in about half the water the package suggests. For one thing, it cooks faster, and for another, you do get that really starchy pasta water.

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Has anyone tried the baking powder and oil paste on their turkey?  I love crispy skin but that seemed a little, I don't know, out there!

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2 hours ago, Kohola3 said:

Has anyone tried the baking powder and oil paste on their turkey?  I love crispy skin but that seemed a little, I don't know, out there!

I'm planning to try it Thursday and I'll report back.  I'm a little concerned about leaving it in the fridge unwrapped so that it gets leather-dry though....  that kind of put me off.

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1 hour ago, BigBingerBro said:

I'm planning to try it Thursday and I'll report back.  I'm a little concerned about leaving it in the fridge unwrapped so that it gets leather-dry though....  that kind of put me off.

Me, too, which is why I am a little leery of trying it!  But the other way that they have done is in a dutch oven and I would think the skin would be soggy on that one.

A dilemma...

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I'm back to report on my Thanksgiving Turkey.  I followed the ATK method to the T and it turned out to be the best, most juicy turkey I've ever had.   Drying it out in the fridge seemed sooo wrong and it looked really gross, but it worked.   The baking powder/oil "glaze" did seem odd too and I'm not sure exactly how it helped since I don't eat the skin, but it did brown beautifully and was quite crisp.  

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As someone who grew up 30 minutes away from Lenior County and and who’s stepdad lived in that county for most of his life and made a ton of fish stew. Let me tell you. If you’re not a fan of fish or seafood in general, you’re going to be a fan of the stew regardless. Do mine the the bones though if you don’t use a boneless cut of fish.

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On 11/12/2018 at 10:48 AM, bc1795 said:
Quote

I really wish they would do away with one person cooking, and the other person asking stupid questions or inserting stupid contrived comments. 

and miss Julia's   Ohhhhh Ho Ho Ho Hoooooo    or   ooooooohs!?

Ten thousand times this!  I used to really like Julia, but it's getting to the point, because of her constant inane ridiculous comments and especially the chorus of bizarre noises she makes, I can hardly stand her.  Whenever someone else is cooking and trying to explain the recipe, the grunting and other sounds emanating from her flapping piehole are so distracting I find myself yelling, "STFU!" at the TV.

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If I ignored Chris Kimball's quirks to just enjoy the food and information, I can easily do it with Julia's; with her and Bridget, I don't even register them.  Becky's I notice, but they don't distract me enough to bother me.

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I suspect that at least some of that over the top behavior was encouraged by production.

"Ladies, we can't have too much dead air time, or spend too much time focusing on someone browning hamburger.  Be chatty, be animated, be enthusiastic.  Don't be subtle, it doesn't play well on TV.  If you feel like you might be overdoing it, then you're probably not doing it enough."

It was so bad in the first season after Chris left, that I stopped watching.  It's better now, although I still think that sometimes it's too much.

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I was watching the Holiday Special today, and Julia said people stop her in the grocery store to ask her questions. She said one day she found herself in the produce section surrounded by a group of people while she talked about potatoes. Good for her.

Edited by chessiegal
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We started season 19 here. I will definitely be trying the deviled pork chops. Those “oven fries” were way to big for me to consider them fries. 

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I'm finally getting the new season here.  From the window behind them, it looks like a building is being constructed.  Oh well, so much for the view!

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I made their BBQ pulled chicken sandwicjes which I thought were easy fairly quick around 40 minutes start to finish without a lot of active time and very flavorable! Will go into the rotation. Like with more bbq sauce I added more Sirachi than it called for. 

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On 12/12/2018 at 11:02 AM, Zahdii said:

I suspect that at least some of that over the top behavior was encouraged by production.

"Ladies, we can't have too much dead air time, or spend too much time focusing on someone browning hamburger.  Be chatty, be animated, be enthusiastic.  Don't be subtle, it doesn't play well on TV.  If you feel like you might be overdoing it, then you're probably not doing it enough."

It was so bad in the first season after Chris left, that I stopped watching.  It's better now, although I still think that sometimes it's too much.

And this is what bugs me about a lot of these reality shows. They start out ok, but then you notice them starting to behave like show-off kids (e.g., Chip Gaines, Ryan on Maine Cabin Masters, etc). So it's the producers egging them on. Back to ATK: I'm sad to see Julie reduced to her new role as sidekick to edgy Bridget. I haven't seen the new ATK much but are their roles ever reversed in the new CK-less show? 

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Yeah, they go back and forth. More and more they have someone else from the kitchen show a dish to one of them..

Edited by chessiegal
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I bet this is the first time Bridget has been described as “edgy”.

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2 hours ago, biakbiak said:

I bet this is the first time Bridget has been described as “edgy”.

Maybe it's just me, but ever since I started watching ATK, I've noticed she slips a little dig into either CK or Julia. She did it on Saturday's show when they were doing the intro for streusal & how if you just breathe over it, it flies all over you. Julia said yes, it ends up all over me and Bridget smirked and said, "So I've noticed". 

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I just watched this episode! I loved how Bridget used air quotes for cooling the coffee cake "two hours," since both she and Julia knew they were going to dive into the cake as soon as the cake wouldn't collapse when cut. Hee.

The peanut butter test was interesting to me because ages ago ATK said Jif was better for baking cookies (I suspect because of the molasses used as the sweetener), but Skippy won the taste test. I'm with Jack and Julia that crunchy is the way to go.

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I don't know if this was an old or new episode as it has been quite some time since I've been able to watch, but the one-hour pizza was interesting; I wonder what that dough tastes like.  It sounded like it had a good crunch on the outside when they bit into it, but it just seems impossible you could make a good pizza dough in such a short amount of time.

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49 minutes ago, Bastet said:

it just seems impossible you could make a good pizza dough in such a short amount of time.

That's why garlic salt and some other seasonings were added to the dough. You have to judge it as a one-hour dough and not compare it to a dough that is given more time to develop. I think I'd buy ready-made dough if I didn't have the time otherwise.

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I've noticed over the years that a lot of chefs & cooks on TV do not use pot holders. They use towels. Why is that? How can towels protect your hands from the intense heat of a roasting pan? Pot holders are much more protective. I wondered at times if they felt pot holders looked uncool. Maybe their kitchen towels are way thicker than the type we buy? They don't look any different to me. ATK chefs use towels (but Ina uses pot holders--sometimes *huge* pot holders!) Just curious + I always worry that the towel users will burn their hands.

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Towels are multitaskers and always around, if held properly they work fine for moving short distances. The only time I use pot holders is of the distance is more than a few feet. 

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Plus you can double up kitchen towels. I use them for short transfers too.

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Yeah, I'm not going to dig out potholders (and never those cumbersome things that fit over your entire hand and arm) unless it's something quite heavy or full that's going to require me moving slowly enough that I'll be holding it for longer than a towel - which is quicker to grab than my potholders, as it's on an exterior decorative hook while they are in a drawer - can protect me.

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I usually use the square potholders because I don't like having to fold over kitchen towels enough to use them in the oven.  I use the mits when taking out heavy items or things that might splash.

I had a friend who wouldn't use potholders.  I don't know why.  If I was around when she was cooking I'd find them and put them next to the oven but she wouldn't use them.  But she wouldn't fold over her kitchen towels enough to either protect her fingers from getting burned sometimes, and she often set her towels on fire taking things out of the oven.  I think 90% of her kitchen towels had scorch marks on them, and she was always buying new ones to replace the ones she had to throw in the sink because they had actually caught fire.

Edited by Zahdii
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I only noticed the ATK chefs using towels in place of potholders when I watched the Yorkshire Pudding episode yesterday and Bridget made a point to say that she was leaving the towels in place as to not forget the pan is scorching hot.  Personally, I'm a pot-holder person.  They are always handy in a drawer right next to the stove.  I also have pot holder "sleeves" to put on a pan handle after it's been in the oven, because I've forgotten one too many times.  I'll admit towels do work well if they are folded correctly, I'm just so used to potholders it seems unnatural to use a towel.  Also, the Yorkshire Pudding episode really put me off of trying to make that dish at home.  Way TOO fussy even just for the meat.  I'd rather go out to a nice restaurant and order it.

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Pot holders for me.  Actually those Ove Gloves are my preference because you have some dexterity in terms of lifting lids and so on.  Towels drop into the pot when you use them to take a lid off and get messy.

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My pot holders are all covered with scorch marks but not my towels lol.

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