30 October, 2015
Just the Essentials with John “Doc” Willoughby
Why Italian Almond Cake has become a go-to dessert for the Man on the Street.
In celebration of our latest publication, 100 Recipes—a book which lists, in our estimation, the 100 most essential recipes in the history of the Test Kitchen—our beloved television personalities have each compiled a list of their five favorite recipes from the book. Below, Man on the Street John “
Doc” Willoughby lists his, including a recipe for simple—yet often unheralded—scrambled eggs.
This is probably the single recipe I make most often from the book. I love the fact that it uses a couple of smart but totally simple techniques—starting in a preheated skillet to give the thighs a little head start, then turning off the oven at the end to finish cooking super-gently—to produce a beautifully cooked chicken that’s quick and easy enough for a weeknight dinner.
I have never served this to anyone who has not been amazed. It’s silky smooth, deeply flavored, and everyone thinks it’s got to be chock full of cream, even though it has none. The complex nature of the cauliflower explained in a soup.
Ok, I know, it’s just scrambled eggs. But I make them a lot, and with this hot-then-slow approach, they’re much better than they ever were before. This is the one I turn to when I try to explain why even the simplest dishes turn out better with a good recipe.
Like most cooks, I find searing chunks of meat in batches over high heat a messy, slightly annoying process. What I like about this recipe is that it skips that step and still has deep, complex flavors. Plus, I always make a double batch of the picada, since it has many other uses. (It’s even good sprinkled over gazpacho.)
This has become one of my go-to desserts because it’s easy, delicious, and a little sophisticated (particularly if you make the Orange Crème Fraîche to serve with it). I like to leave the almonds just slightly coarser than commercial flour when I grind them, since this gives the cake a texture I love.
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Source: America’s Test Kitchen.