America’s Test Kitchen is known for their recipes. More specifically, they’re known for how comprehensively they test and retest recipes to find the perfect balance of ingredients and cooking methods to turn out some of the best recipes you can find. In their newest book. The America’s Test Kitchen Healthy Family Cookbook, the test kitchen set their sights on making some of their favorite recipes – and your favorite recipes – lighter and healthier. They tried to do this while keeping the recipes flavorful and the finished products as close as possible to their “regular” counterparts – and they did it for hundreds of recipes in this 500+ page book.
The cookbook covers everything from kitchen staples made lighter to main dishes, giving you recipes for Homemade Ranch Dressing and and Oven Fried Chicken. It is also full of baked goods and seemingly indulgent desserts, like a made over New York Style Cheesecake with a third of the fat of the classic recipe! The recipes are detailed and easy to follow along with, and the step-by-step photos that accompany many of them help out a lot! The best part of the book, as with any publication from America’s Test Kitchen, is that they walk you through the development of the recipe, letting you know why they chose the ingredients and cooking methods they did and why they work. True, you might want to make a substitution here and there – maybe adding orange zest to that cheesecake instead of lemon – but you know that it is going to turn out as advertised.
This book is hard cover and spiral bound, so it will lay flat on the kitchen counter while you cook from it and it should hold up to at least a few ingredient spills, as well. There are an incredible amount of notes about ingredients, including recommendations on specific brands to that the Test Kitchen likes to use and definitions of ingredients that you might not be intimately familiar with already. There are also lots of asides about cooking and baking equipment, both in the form of recommendations on what tools you should stock in your kitchen and in the form of reviews that let you know which nonstick pan is better than the others. This is the kind of book that you’ll get a lot of use out of because it has something for every meal and every occasion, and there is an incredible amount to learn from the book (especially, I think, from how the recipes were tested) for even experienced cooks.
I tested the Lighter Everyday Cinnamon Rolls from this cookbook – and stay tuned for the recipe for the lightened New York Style Cheesecake!