“Cooking at Home with Bridget & Julia: The TV hosts of America’s Test Kitchen Share Their Favorite Recipes for Feeding Family and Friends” by Bridget Lancaster, Julia Collin Davison and the Editors at America’s Test Kitchen, America’s Test Kitchen, $35, 304 pages, hardcover
If you’ve ever watched America’s Test Kitchen’s two public television shows, you’ve seen Bridget Lancaster and Julia Collin Davison show how to cook foolproof recipes. Now, you can find out what the instructional cooking show hosts cook at home.
In their first cookbook, “Cooking at Home with Bridget & Julia: The TV Hosts of America’s Test Kitchen Share Their Favorite Recipes for Feeding Family and Friends,” the pair share 150 of their favorite test kitchen recipes — 75 from each — they make in their own kitchens. Some are perfect for weeknights while others are for entertaining friends and family. Readers also will learn more about the authors’ lives since their recipe choices are accompanied by personal narratives.
The authors say they’ve "kind of grown up” at America’s Test Kitchen. They were just starting their careers almost 20 years ago when they began cooking and developing recipes during the test kitchen’s early days. Both are original cast members of “America’s Test Kitchen” and “Cook’s Country from America’s Test Kitchen.” Lancaster also is a regular contributor to the public radio program “The Splendid Table.”
The cookbook’s recipes are divided into four chapters: weekend breakfasts, homestyle dinners, casual entertaining and holiday celebrations. Recipes begin with Lancaster’s choice of Dutch Baby and ends with Davison’s selection of Florentine Lace Cookies. In between are such favorites as Chicken Tikka Masala, Arugula Salad with Prosciutto, Figs, and Parmesan; New Orleans Bourbon Bread Pudding with Bourbon Sauce; Stuffed Mushrooms with Boursin and Prosciutto; Huevos Rancheros; Beignets; and Spaghetti with Turkey-Pesto Meatballs.
At the back of the book is info on conversions and equivalents. That’s where the authors emphasize readers "rely on your instincts when making our recipes. Refer to the visual cues provided. If the dough hasn’t 'come together in a ball’ as described, you may need to add more flour — even if the recipes don’t tell you to. You be the judge.”
Recipes are printed in a large, easy-to-read type and each is illustrated with a full-color photograph. I would have liked to see nutritional information, too, but that’s not included.
For a simple and welcome holiday gift from your kitchen, try Davison’s recipe for granola. It comes together quickly, but as I discovered it also overbrowns quickly. Keep a close eye on it and take it out of the oven as soon as it begins to brown lightly.
Cheramie Sonnier is a food writer and columnist. Contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org, and follow her on Twitter, @CheramieSonnier.