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David T. Cole

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They have been showing the latest season of Cooks Country, season 8, in my area and something seems off about this season.  Bridget seems strange, Julia's new hair is a shock, and now they do the taste-testing in a garage that looks creepy.

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I was trying to think of who would make a good replacement for Chris all week but I daresay he was the lifeblood of ATK and Cook's Country so I couldn't think of anyone, until it suddenly came to me - Alton Brown.  Too bad he's gone over to the dark side at FN now with his stupid "Cutthroat Kitchen" and probably wouldn't be interested.  But he'd get my vote!


They have been showing the latest season of Cooks Country, season 8, in my area and something seems off about this season.  Bridget seems strange, Julia's new hair is a shock, and now they do the taste-testing in a garage that looks creepy.

 

I hear you - It looks like Julia went to Supercuts or a men's barber shop and just said, "Do whatever".  Ugh.  The taste testing looks like it's in a finished basement to me.

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They have been showing the latest season of Cooks Country, season 8, in my area and something seems off about this season.  Bridget seems strange, Julia's new hair is a shock, and now they do the taste-testing in a garage that looks creepy.

 

If you look at the pictures on the website for the house (https://www.homeaway.com/vacation-rental/p3495156), where they used to have the audience sit is a dining room. My guess is that they were always too cramped in that location and maybe they decided to move it to the garage to be able to spread out. I don't think it looks creepy but definitely makes you feel like the audience is being shunted away like a bunch of unwanted pests.

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Made the mujadara yet again. I really love this. Had some extra crispy onions so I made foccacia and folded them in, and used the onion oil rather than olive. Was really good, some of the onions near the top got overdone, but it was an interesting bitterness/onion, not a burned taste.

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I'm sorry, but in the season 16 episode for "Spanish Chicken"  did Julia just repeatedly tell Chris they had a solution for the flabby skin from the braise and then the trick was to remove it and throw it away? Why did they need to tease that multiple times?

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I'm sad to see Chris Kimball go, because he was such a great straight man to the other hosts. However, I'm excited to see Julia and Bridget work together!

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Yeah, what is the point of her/that segment? I feel like Adam Ried could cover the smaller-category gadgets just as well in the Equipment segment.

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I like it! Now if they can just get rid of Lisa the unneeded gadget guru, I'll be totally happy.

 

She needs a makeover in a big way.  Someone needs to introduce her to the NYX ailse at Ulta plus a flat-iron and maybe a more flattering pair of glasses.  And that intro shot of her with the shaker makes Mr. Snarklepuss have thoughts of her he'd rather not ever have.

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I agree that shot in her intro is ill-advised (methinks someone was having a bit of juvenile fun in the editing room), but I like Lisa's gadget segments, and that they're distinct from Adam's equipment-testing segments.  She doesn't go through the results of comparing multiple versions of a gadget, because often there aren't many other versions; she just gives a brief recommendation and demonstration, and I think it's a nice supplement to the show.  I'm not generally one for single-use gadgets, so I like seeing what ATK thinks is worthwhile.

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Has anyone here made the Charleston Shrimp Perloo?  I saw that episode today, and it really looked good.  I've made Shrimp Creole, Shrimp Gumbo and Shrimp Scampi before, but not Perloo.  I can get fresh shrimp for a reasonable price around here, and I should cook with it more often.  And, I love anything that involves rice.

 

(ETA:  I sound like Bubba from 'Forrest Gump', listing my shrimp dishes!  LOL!)

Edited by BooksRule

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Hi Books Rule. I made the Shrimp Perloo a while ago and remember being disappointed. It was an adequate meal but nothing special. I'm sure I added cayenne and jalapeno since I like spicy food, but it was bland. Maybe I didn't use enough salt..

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I caught the last 15 minutes of Cook's Country yesterday.  What is it with these labor intensive recipes they think we want to tackle in our own kitchens (w/o the help of assistants to clean up all the equipment)?  They made huevos rancheros.  It looked delicious when it was done. But first they drained, then spread out the chopped tomatoes onto a rimmed cookie sheet & basically roasted them in a 500 degree oven.  They took them out, poured back some of the drained juice & added some other ingredients & baked that. Then put the eggs on top & baked. When they took the sheet out the eggwhites were still jiggly (ugh) so they tented foil & let it sit for a few minutes & I guess they finished cooking.  I just looked at that cookie sheet & thought there is no way I'm ruining my sheets.

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I just baked Cook's Country's 'Lemon Buttermilk Sheet Cake' and I have to say that it's one of the best lemon cake recipes I've ever tried (I think the recipe is from an older show--2008?).  I followed the recipe exactly (fresh lemon juice, cake flour, etc.) and it turned out great!  Very tender and the tartness of the lemon is balanced a little by the tang of the buttermilk.  I'm going to take it to work tomorrow (minus a piece or two, of course!).  I did use a lot of bowls, measuring cups, etc. but probably no more than any from-scratch cake recipe.  I highly recommend it.

http://www.wgbh.org/fck/userfiles/file/Labor%20Day/CC_LemonCake.pdf

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re: the Lemon Buttermilk Sheet Cake--I forgot to add that I had to bake it about 15 minutes longer than the recipe said (I checked at the minimum time and the middle was still liquidy).  I think I baked it for around 40 minutes.  I recommend checking at minimum time and then check every 5 minutes or so until it is done.  I also had to add a little more buttermilk to the glaze mixture--just about a tablespoon or so.  (It was so thick that I couldn't even stir it.)

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MelsW, you gave us a recipe for pizza dough over a year ago, and made this statement:

Quote

This dough freezes really well.

I need your help desperately!  I have never been able to figure out how to use the frozen dough when I remove it from the freezer.  Am I supposed to leave this out at room temperature and if so, for how long?  Am I supposed to defrost it in the fridge?  It seems as if no matter what I try to do with frozen dough, I end up over proofing the dough with all that sitting time -- at least, I think that's the problem. When I leave dough overnight in the fridge I get such a good flavor, but when I try to defrost dough, I get a very different result. This happens no matter whose dough recipe I use, so please rescue my pizzas! Thanks in advance.

Edited by FineWashables
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I freeze pizza dough (including the ATK recipe) after the first rise, then defrost it at room temperature for about 8 hours.  

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Thank you so much, Quof!  So you don't let it rise overnight in the fridge before freezing -- didn't know that.  I'll give your method a try.  It's so weird that although so many sources urge cooks to freeze extra dough, absolutely no one tells you at what point to freeze it or how to deal with it when it comes out of the freezer.  

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Rise once (an hour or so in warm spot), then freeze. The defrosting and second rise take place in a one stop process - I just leave it on the counter when I go to work, so can't say at what point the defrosting changes to rising.  

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Enough with Bridget and her "go ahead and"s.  She always does it, but today when making cinnamon rolls it seemed like a lot even for her.

So I re-watched and she said "gonna go ahead and..." THIRTEEN TIMES.  Well, actually eleven times; two of those times were "I've gone ahead and..." 

I can't take it.

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Speaking of counting things on ATK, I often count how many bowls, utensils, pots, etc. are used (and, ergo, have to be washed) on screen to make a dish. Usually, it's between 30 and 40, but it's gone as high as 50+. Granted, a lot of it is those little glass bowls that have a pre-measured amount of salt or baking soda or garlic, but still. (And I'm not counting the measuring spoons that get those small amounts of whatever in the glass bowls.) I only do this because I do not have a dishwasher, and the thought of having to handwash all that makes my hands crack and my feet hurt. I've made many of ATK's recipes and even without the decanting mise en place it still looks like Napoleon's army marched through my kitchen.

I shudder to think how many dozens of eggs/pounds of meat/gallons of stock go into the testing of the recipes. And what happens to the test results? Thrown out? Taken home? Some sort of charity?

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But most of the individual bowl stuff is just for presentation. When watching the recipe you can see which items can be collected in one bowl and added to the recipe in one dump.

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12 hours ago, AllAboutMBTV said:

I shudder to think how many dozens of eggs/pounds of meat/gallons of stock go into the testing of the recipes. And what happens to the test results? Thrown out? Taken home? Some sort of charity?

I've wondered that myself, and found the America's Test Kitchen Feed has the answer:

http://www.americastestkitchenfeed.com/test-kitchen-community/2012/08/what-happens-to-the-test-kitchens-leftover-food/

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Oy -- I love making bread, and have made French bread from Julia Child's recipe many times, but I would never go through all the steps that ATK did to make baguettes!  I'd rather spend an hour walking to a bakery than spend it with all the steps and items (not even utensils) that they used to create two baguettes.  All that for *two* baguettes!  And then Julia cut one of them with a knife!  At least Chris knew you need to break it apart, not slice it! 

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I thought I had read that Chris would continue to be the host of the ATK radio podcast, but the most recent episode has Bridget as host and so far no mention of Chris (I haven't finished yet). Guessing the lawsuit had an effect on that as well. Yikes. 

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How TPTB thinks all this ugliness is good for ratings is beyond me. 

The current ATK book with all seasons represented has omitted Chris completely from the both the cover and all inside photos despite the fact that he was in all of the seasons in the book.

Edited by Snarklepuss
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1 hour ago, Snarklepuss said:

How TPTB thinks all this ugliness is good for ratings is beyond me. 

They're not doing this for ratings. It's clear from their statement that they're not happy they have to sue but feel it's necessary. Divorce can be ugly, especially when money is involved.

Edited by dubbel zout
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17 hours ago, dubbel zout said:

They're not doing this for ratings. It's clear from their statement that they're not happy they have to sue but feel it's necessary. Divorce can be ugly, especially when money is involved.

Oh I know that, it was just an expression.  But I would think they would think about ratings before pursuing such action.  It may not be worth it in the long run if the public is turned off to ATK as a result of all the publicly aired bitterness and bad blood.  They claim that Chris is costing them so much but they may be causing themselves even more damage with stuff like I read above.

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13 hours ago, dubbel zout said:

I don't think Chris is coming out smelling like a rose here, either.

No, I agree, but at least so far he hasn't slung the same brand of pointedly nasty mud back at them as far as I know.  I just don't see his new venture being all that popular but who knows?

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I certainly won't be subscribing to anything in his new venture. As an online subscriber to ATK web sites, I would get these "Letters from Vermont" emails written by him. After reading 2 of them, I started deleting them without opening. He came across as insufferably smug and full of himself. Good riddance.

Edited by chessiegal
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On 11/18/2016 at 5:41 AM, chessiegal said:

I certainly won't be subscribing to anything in his new venture. As an online subscriber to ATK web sites, I would get these "Letters from Vermont" emails written by him. After reading 2 of them, I started deleting them without opening. He came across as insufferably smug and full of himself. Good riddance.

Oh, god. The Letters from Vermont. Dude lived in Boston most of the year, summered in a quaint Vermont town, then talked about Vermont as if he'd ever made it through a winter there, or even grew up there. Having a summer country house after you get rich does not make you a country boy.

And yes, the smugness. I was born in Vermont, and Vermonters have a certain pride in their state, but I've never heard [unearned] condescension like Chris's. I'd sooner read Goop than subscribe to his new venture.

If ATK wants to keep customers, they'd do well to streamline their elaborate system of fees for their different products. With Chris leaving, they have an easy scapegoat for their poor past business decisions.

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23 minutes ago, huahaha said:

Oh, god. The Letters from Vermont. Dude lived in Boston most of the year, summered in a quaint Vermont town, then talked about Vermont as if he'd ever made it through a winter there, or even grew up there. Having a summer country house after you get rich does not make you a country boy.

Chris was born and raised in Rye, NY, a rich NYC suburb and he went to Phillips Exeter Academy in New Hampshire.  His family had a summer home in Vermont when he was a kid.  Of course he thought this meant he could say he was a Vermonter.  Until I found this out about him I assumed he was from Vermont!

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Looks like I'm sticking with ATK and CI. Both sides are marketing the crap out of their mags. CK's free premier Milk St. issue didn't cut it for me and I've got old Cook's Magazine issues. Then CI/ATK shows up with a 2 for 1 under $10 offer. And CC sends a free issue and an invoice.  There's a mag sub site that currently offers way-low prices on both CI and CC. So ATK feels like it's going to have a crapload of support behind it. Again, I like Julia and Bridget as cooking instructors. I like Jack Bishop (I recently donated his lasagna cookbook I'd gotten years ago---what?) I won't miss CK's whining and spicy food and, well, a lot of food in general. The letters from Vermont read like a Garrison Keillor wannabe. Chris, I know Garrison Keillor (mostly through his work, mind you) and you're no Garrison Keillor.

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On 11/25/2016 at 1:38 AM, buttersister said:

There's a mag sub site that currently offers way-low prices on both CI and CC.

Oooh, what site is that? I keep buying CC magazine at the grocery store every now and then.

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Just by the by, I turned on my local NPR station this weekend at the time ATK radio had always been on, and instead it was Milk St. Radio starring Mr. Peepers.

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I know Kimbell isn't everyone's cup of tea, though I've never had a problem watching him, but I just can't imagine either Julia or Bridget opening the show dressed up like a chicken or shrimp.

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