The folks behind America's Test Kitchen have just released a new book called America's Best Lost Recipes. It's a collection of heirloom recipes that could have easily gone missing forever if it wasn't for this collection.
Recently we had a chance to ask editor Christopher Kimball — the one with the bow tie — a few questions. He chatted about the new book, what goes on at the test kitchen, and why you should quit trying to be a chef, and start trying to be a great cook instead. Here's what he had to say:
YumSugar: What brought about the Lost Recipes collection?
Christopher Kimball: I am a huge fan of old cookbooks and old recipes but have wondered for years where all of these great old recipes went. But I wasn't interested in recipes that were purely historical or anthropological in nature — I wanted tried-and-true recipes that still resonated today. That is, one would really want to make and eat them. So, we started with a nationwide recipe contest for "lost" recipes and received 2,800 responses, selected 300 that seemed the most interesting, cooked them all, and finally whittled the list down to 121 recipes that were interesting, delicious, and also still, I hope, relevant for modern cooks.
YS: What was the most unexpected thing to come out of this collection?
CK: Oh, all of those cooking techniques that I had never heard of before. Baking a pound cake in an oven that is cold when you put the pan in. Or, making a chocolate cake with no eggs, milk, or butter. Or, and this was our winning recipe, putting peeled peaches around a pie plate, placing an upside down ramekin in the middle, drizzling a caramel sauce over them, topping with pie pastry, baking, and then, when baked, turning the whole thing upside down and all the juices have been sucked up into the ramekin. Now there is a magic trick for you!
To read the rest of part one of our interview with Chris, read more