Wednesday, 13 June 2012

Back in the kitchen

Written by Melonie Clarke
The hugely successful America's Test Kitchen is back this July for its 11th season next month. And the show's founder Chris Kimball can't wait. He enthused: 'We've been doing this since 2000 and we still love doing it.'

Chris has been in the food industry since 1979 so what he doesn't know about cooking probably isn't worth knowing. And here he reveals his top four tips when it comes to cooking:

1 When you heat up a skillet put a little oil in it and when it starts to smoke its ready to use

2 Make sure you have a sharp knife and a good electric knife sharpener

3 Buy an oven thermometer as most ovens are off 20-50 degrees

4 Before you serve anything taste it. You can add herbs adjustingly at the last minute to change the profile and change it from a mediocre dish into a really good dish

America's Test Kitchen will air exclusively on PBS (Sky channel 166 and Virgin Media channel 243) from Monday 2 July, weekdays at 8.50am and 2.55pm.

Can't wait till then? Here two recipes from Chris for you to try...

Classic Bread Pudding (serves 8 to 10)



• 2 tablespoons light brown sugar

• 3/4 cup (5¼ ounces) plus 1 tablespoon granulated sugar

• 1 (14-ounce) loaf challah bread, cut into 3/4-inch cubes (about 10 cups) (see note)

• 9 large egg yolks

• 4 teaspoons vanilla extract

• ¾ teaspoon table salt

• 2½ cups heavy cream

• 2½ cups milk

• 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted


1. Adjust oven racks to middle and lower-middle positions and heat oven to 325 degrees. Combine brown sugar and 1 tablespoon granulated sugar in small bowl; set aside.

2. Spread bread cubes in single layer on 2 rimmed baking sheets. Bake, tossing occasionally, until just dry, about 15 minutes, switching trays from top to bottom racks halfway through. Cool bread cubes about 15 minutes; set aside 2 cups.

3. Whisk yolks, remaining 3/4 cup sugar, vanilla, and salt together in large bowl. Whisk in cream and milk until combined. Add remaining 8 cups cooled bread cubes and toss to coat. Transfer mixture to 13 by 9-inch baking dish and let stand, occasionally pressing bread cubes into custard, until cubes are thoroughly saturated, about 30 minutes.

4. Spread reserved bread cubes evenly over top of soaked bread mixture and gently press into custard. Using pastry brush, dab melted butter over top of unsoaked bread pieces. Sprinkle brown-sugar mixture evenly over top. Place bread pudding on rimmed baking sheet and bake on middle rack until custard has just set, and pressing centre of pudding with finger reveals no runny liquid, 45 to 50 minutes. (Instant-read thermometer inserted into centre of pudding should read 170 degrees.) Transfer to wire rack and cool until pudding is set and just warm, about 45 minutes. Serve.



Skillet-roasted fish fillets (serves 4)



• 4 skinless white fish fillets, 1 to 1½ inches thick (about 6 to 8 ounces each) (see note)

• Kosher salt and ground black pepper

• ½ teaspoon sugar

• 1 tablespoon vegetable oil

• Lemon wedges


1. Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 425 degrees. Dry the fish thoroughly with paper towels and season with salt and pepper.

2. Sprinkle very light dusting of sugar (about 1/8 teaspoon) evenly over 1 side of each fillet. Heat the oil in large oven safe non-stick skillet over high heat until smoking. Place fillets in skillet, sugared sides down, and press down lightly to ensure even contact with pan.

3. Cook until browned, 1 to 1½ minutes. Using 2 spatulas, flip fillets and transfer skillet to oven. Roast fillets until centres are just opaque and register 135 degrees on instant-read thermometer, 7 to 10 minutes.

4. Immediately transfer to serving plates and serve with lemon wedges.

Forgot your password?
Click to read our digital edition

Boarders Dormitory Master-Mistress
We are looking to appoint a Dormitory Mistress/Master for 5 nights per week, weekday evenings and nights only, term time. (35 weeks). [...]


Housekeeper to Headmaster
We have an opportunity for an experienced live-out housekeeper. You will provide a cleaning and hospitality service for the Headmaster and his guests and help to ensure the household runs efficiently. [...]


Full Time Housekeeper, Nanny
We are looking for a full time, live-out housekeeper/nanny. We are a relaxed young couple living in a large country house, and will have one newborn baby. [...]


Experienced Carer, Companion, Housekeeper needed
Our elderly mother needs a live in carer/companion on a part time basis. Must be warm hearted, calm & compassionate, with a good sense of humour. [...]


Live-in Housekeeper
Our client is looking for a very capable, experienced individual to become the new housekeeper at their 6 bedroom, rural home. [...]




What the stars have in store for you this week.2017

Capricorn Aquarius Pisces Aries Taurus Gemini Cancer Leo Virgo Libra Scorpio Sagittarius

Sign up to receive our weekly newsletter