These days, I can’t decide what I love more (my son) homebrewing or cooking? Both hobbies typically yield favorable results but I must say, there is one subscription that is taking my culinary skills to the next level. Cook’s Illustrated is a magazine publication that my inlaws gave me for my birthday over the Summer. It only releases bimonthly but is worth the wait and my level of excitement upon receipt is on par with when I pour a growler of my most recent homebrew creation at our monthly club meeting and receive nods from the members who are opening their own brewery this month. The aforementioned statement is likely a run-on, but belaboring my enthusiasm was necessary.
Cook’s Illustrated doesn’t focus as much on recipes (you can find plenty, gratis via the Google machine) but on techniques and more importantly (for the cooking devotee I’m becoming) why one way is superior to the rest of the alternative methods. This magazine is collated by some of the finest chefs from America’s Test Kitchen and contains no advertising. Better yet, it explains how to take simple tools/objects around the house and repurpose them in the kitchen, to your advantage. Closing out each issue is the “Equipment Corner” section which highlights various cooking products/accessories they do or do not recommend, with good reason, model number and price point. But I digress…
The other night I was paging through my subscription stack to make another (hopefully) soon to be winner in our household. I won’t go through the step by step (but I’m happy to share if you like, so respond to this post via our blog, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc.) but I made their version of a simple, classic Italian-American dish, chicken Marsala. My wife could easily be a vegetarian if I wasn’t in the picture, but she finished her plate almost as quickly as I did. This dish contains a few simple ingredients such as chicken, mushrooms and Marsala wine. But with the astute direction of Cook’s Illustrated, the recipe is magnified for all the right reasons.
So when you’re ready to take your CI (culinary intelligence, not confidential informant) to the next level, look no further. This magazine wields nothing but class and facts. The rest is up to you. Happy cooking!