Quick cooking from Cook's Illustrated?
Below are some quotes from the current issue of Cook’s Illustrated, my absolute favorite cooking periodical. I used to flip through this when my mom subscribed, thinking how complicated and gross everything looked. Maybe she’ll prove me wrong on this point, but it seems that Cook’s has gone the way of every other food magazine out there: quick, easy meals. There’s fast, easy, fresh at Bon Appétit, Quick Kitchen at Gourmet, and of course, Martha Stewart’s Everyday Food. Everything has to be fast and painless these days, even in Cook’s:
After spending just 10 minutes at the stove, I had a flavorful broccoli dish with bright green florets and toasty-brown stems…
“Better Pan-Roasted Broccoli” by Sandra Wu
My goal was to find a way to take advantage of the convenience of thin boneless pork chops yet still have a pronounced sear and a moist, juicy interior. Most important, I wanted the chops on the table in about 30 minutes.
“Great Glazed Pork Chops” by Nina West
Unfortunately, complexity of flavor means lots of time in the kitchen, which is in short supply on a Tuesday night. My goal was to produce a multidimensional sauce in less than an hour, starting the clock the moment I entered the kitchen and stopping it when dinner was on the table.
“Steamlining Marinara” by David Pazmiño
I don’t really care about mainstream magazines having a quick cooking section, but something about Cook’s buying in to this trend just seems perverted to me. Are there people reading this who are obsessed with getting dinner on the table in thirty minutes? Cook’s is an expensive, advertisement-free, and beautifully designed magazine with a farmer for an editor. I cherish every issue and try to make all of the recipes. But if, in the first paragraph, I find out that I only need a few minutes to make the dish, I probably won’t continue reading the article, and I will certainly forget about the recipe altogether.
Cooking quickly is great. I do it several times a week, and I’d rather see my friends do that than order in all the time. It just seems so out of place in a magazine as obsessed with being in the kitchen as Cook’s Illustrated. They exist to simplify things, but not, in my opinion, to encourage laziness.
Do any of you read the magazine and agree or disagree with me? I’m a relatively new subscriber, but I will look at the archives at work and see if there has been a distinct shift, which I suspect there has.