america’s test kitchen

Pan-seared Salmon with Cilantro-mint Chutney

Pan-seared Salmon with Cilantro-mint Chutney

Pan-seared Salmon with Cilantro-mint Chutney, Photography by America’s Test Kitchen

Spices: You probably have a cabinet full of them, but do you know how to make the most of them? Spiced opens up the world of possibility hidden in your own pantry, with six chapters, each of which shares a way to use spices to amp up the flavour of your cooking, along with foolproof recipes that put these simple techniques to work.

Sprinkle a finishing salt you make from sea salt and herbs on seared white fish fillets to make them special. Make a different roast chicken every week by applying a different rub. Learn the best spices to use in curries–and when to add them for fragrant (not dusty) results.

Add flavour—and texture—with homemade blends (you’ll eat your spinach when it’s topped with pistachio dukkah). Infuse condiments with spices (try chipotle ketchup on a burger). With the following six simple techniques, plus vibrant recipes, you’ll find yourself not only spooning chilli powder into the chilli pot but making the chilli powder yourself, or flavouring desserts with saffron or cardamom rather than just cinnamon.

  1. Season smarter with salt and pepper. You’ll learn about brining, using peppercorns of all colours, and making finishers like sriracha salt.
  2. Give meat and vegetables a rub. We’ll provide blends that you can put to use in our recipes (try juniper and fennel on salmon) or your own.
  3. Bloom and toast. Bring out ground spices’ complexity by cooking them in oil; unlock dried chiles’ fruity or nutty flavours by toasting them.
  4. Finish foods with flair. Spice-and-nut/seed blends likes shichimi togarashi (a mix of spices, orange zest, and sesame seeds) add texture, too.
  5. Let spices steep. Infuse spices into condiments like pickled fennel that punches up chicken salad or rosemary oil to drizzle over bruschetta.
  6. Bake with spices. Go beyond vanilla by rolling doughnuts in strawberry-black pepper sugar. Make your own rose water and add it to pistachio baklava.

Spiced: Unlock the Power of Spices to Transform Your Cooking, America's Test Kitchen

Spiced: Unlock the Power of Spices to Transform Your Cooking, is available at Amazon.com and Amazon.ca

 

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Edamame and Spicy Peanut Noodle Bowls

Edamame and Spicy Peanut Noodle Bowls

Photography by America’s Test Kitchen

We’re all looking for interesting, achievable ways to enjoy vegetables more often. This must-have addition to your cookbook shelf has more than 700 kitchen-tested recipes that hit that mark. Sure, you’ll learn nearly 40 ways to cook potatoes and 30 ways with broccoli. But you’ll also learn how to make a salad with roasted radishes and their peppery leaves; how to char avocados in a skillet to use in Crispy Skillet Turkey Burgers; and how to turn sunchokes into a chowder and kale into a Super Slaw for Salmon Tacos. Every chapter, from Artichokes to Zucchini, includes shopping, storage, seasonality, and prep pointers and techniques, including hundreds of step-by-step photographs and illustrations, gorgeous watercolour illustrations, and full-colour recipe photography.

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The best thing I ate this month – February 2016

lemon_pudding_cake

Photograph by Carl Tremblay – America’s Test Kitchen

A two layer cake with one batter? Lemon pudding cakes are a desert that should be beset with any number of issues. Yet during baking, the egg whites miraculously rise to the top in soufflé fashion, while the lemon pudding skillfully sinks to the bottom—just like magic! But how is this achieved? Carefully and with expert guidance from the fine folks at America’s Test Kitchen.

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Celebratory Mousse

My employees get to keep their jobs. Thank you Baby Jesus! They made it through the months-long job cutting process and were ultimately retained. Our long national nightmare is over. I made chocolate mousse to celebrate. I whipped it up the night before the big reveal so this could just as well have been angry-dejected-soak-up-their-tears-throw-it-in-my-face mousse. Thankfully it was stoked-they-get-to-keep-their-job-so-they-can-continue-paying-their-bills-I’m-pumped-they’ll-be-sticking-around-cause-I-love-these-people mousse. Or as Cook’s Illustrated likes to call it, Dark Chocolate Mousse.