July 30, 2008

Best Recipes

If you're looking for a good cookbook that has a little bit of everything, then you can't go wrong with The New Best Recipe cookbook by the editors of Cook's Illustrated Magazine. Not only does this book have detailed explanations on the hows and whys of every single recipe, but it also contains product reviews for cooking gadgets, tools and ingredients.

I wish I'd purchased this book instead of Mark Bittman's How to Cook Everything, since Bittman has some bizarre food preferences (I recall a pasta recipe where he clearly states his dislike of cheese on top of pasta) and he gives sparse prep instructions. The Best Recipe folks might have slightly more demanding recipes, but at least they give you really good reasons why you should do it their way! I may not be learning all the chemistry involved in making muffins, but at least I understand why I'm adding sour cream to them.

Speaking of muffins, these photos are of some blueberry raspberry muffins I made recently after berry-picking on Sauvie Island, here in Portland. I doubled the recipe so I had some muffin mini-loaves and a mini-bundt cake, which all turned out thick, dense and amazing!


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