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America's Test Kitchen Live!:
The All-New Companion to America's Favorite Public Television Cooking Series

by Cook's Illustrated, John Burgoyne, Daniel J. Van Ackere, Carl Tremblay

There is a reason that "America's Test Kitchen" is the highest-rated cooking series on PBS today. It does so well because it presents ways of preparing favorite foods that maximize the experience of eating them.
      In this, the companion to the 2005 season of the show, Cooks Illustrated editor Christopher Kimball and his test kitchen chefs once again get down to the basics of making everyday food fun and delicious.
     As the books for the previous seasons have been, America’s Test Kitchen Live! presents the recipes for each of the dishes prepared on the series divided by each episode, along with the instructions on how to prepare exactly what you see on television. Each chapter also covers the complete results of the equipment and on-screen food tastings from each specific episode (and I wouldn't want to taste test fish sauce straight either, Chris...thank you for doing it for me...).
     This season's book is also filled with great photos from the production of the popular series, and a look behind the scenes at what it takes to put "America's Test Kitchen" on the air each season.
     My one complaint, and it's a small one, is that the show is a bit obsessed with pasta this season - 13 recipes in the space of just five episodes. And they've also revisited chili for the third season in a row, this time preparing "Cincinnati Chili" (Texas Chili and what Kimball called "Wussy Chili" on the air, a northern variation of the basic chili recipe, were included in past seasons).
     But those quibbles are minor. Once again, America's Test Kitchen has shown everyday cooks the way to making some really delicious meals, and unique ones as well - where else but ATK will you find a recipe for "Chicken Under A Brick"?
     Kudos to America's Test Kitchen for another kitchen library staple. Having experienced making many of the dishes from the first three books in the series, I cannot wait to try the ones from the newest edition. America’s Test Kitchen Live! is a MUST HAVE for any home cookbook collection.
T. Kirkham "The Moonsault Chef" (Boston MA)


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