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Cook's Country Magazine

Our Test Cooks' Favorite Recipes from the June/July 2023 Issue of Cook’s Country

Cool down and chill out with our brand-new Cook’s Country recipes.
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Published May 12, 2023.

Do you have a go-to rotation of recipes that is maybe getting a little bit . . . old? Are you sick of cooking the same meals every week, and finding yourself in a culinary rut? Luckily, Cook’s Country’s latest issue has all the newest and most exciting recipes, guaranteed to reinvigorate your cooking and give your dinner that much-wanted pizzazz.

Here are a few of our test cooks’ and editors’ favorites.

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10 ingredients. 45 minutes. Quick, easy, and fresh weeknight recipes.

Garlic Scape Pesto

My favorite recipe from this issue also happens to be one of the simplest. It’s our Garlic Scape Pesto. If you’re not familiar with them, garlic scapes are the stems that sprout from hardneck garlic. They have a milder flavor than garlic does. While they can be cooked, we left them raw for the pesto and pulsed them in the food processor with pine nuts, olive oil, salt, and pepper flakes. The end result is a bright, garlicky spread that can be used in all the ways you’d use basil pesto: slathered on crostini, tossed with pasta, stirred into soups, and so on. I like to serve it with grilled vegetables, burrata, and crostini, as part of a grilled vegetable board. —Megan Ginsberg, Deputy Editor

Recipe

Garlic Scape Pesto

A simple recipe showcases the flavor of this farmers' market find.
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Brown Sugar–Black Pepper Homemade Bacon

I am, admittedly, not a big fan of DIY food projects; I just don’t have the patience. I am, however, a huge fan of bacon. So if you’re like me and you’re at all daunted by making your own, I’m here to tell you that making our recipe for Brown Sugar–Black Pepper Homemade Bacon is absolutely worth it. Our step-by-step guide lays out the surprisingly simple process for you, making it failproof. Sure, it takes some time, but what could be more rewarding than stacks of rich, smoky, crispy, sweet, and peppery homemade bacon? It will level up your breakfasts, BLTs, and burgers all summer long. —Matthew Fairman, Senior Editor

Recipe

Brown Sugar–Black Pepper Homemade Bacon

Curing bacon takes a while, but the wait is worth it.
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S’Mores Pie

When I saw a photo of Morgan Bolling’s S’Mores Pie during development, I begged for a chance to cross-test it at home. I had wildly high expectations for this pie and it met every one: The crunchy graham base, the decadently fudgy brownie layer, the ganache providing just the right level of goo, and the toasty swoops of fluffy meringue all come together to taste like a s’more turned up to 11. I’ll be making it on repeat all summer long to bring to every cookout, party, and potluck I can. Pro tip: Bring it out and torch the topping in front of your guests for a built-in party trick. —Jessica Rudolph, Senior Editor

Recipe

S'Mores Pie

The familiar campfire treat reimagined as a party-worthy pie.
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Summer Squash Tart

It's no surprise that I love a "Dinner Tonight” recipe card—our selection of weeknight recipes (developed by the incomparable Jessica Rudolph) in each issue. The Summer Squash Tart is precisely the kind of meal I want to make on a warm summer evening. The tart uses a premade pie crust (which I always have on hand) and flavor-packed Boursin Garlic and Fine Herbs Cheese for a quick dinner. The cheese's mild garlic and herb flavors perfectly harmonize with the delicate flavor of summer squash. Tossing the squash with salt and allowing it to sit for 10 minutes allows it to soften slightly and release any excess water that would sog out the crust (trust me, don’t skip this step). Serve with lightly dressed arugula and enjoy with a refreshing glass of white wine. —Amanda Luchtel, Test Cook

Recipe

Summer Squash Tart

Boursin adds richness and flavor to this squash-packed summer tart.
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All-American Hot Dogs

It was 2016 at an infamous Dollar Dog Night at Citizens Bank Park in the heart of South Philly. I had just taken the last bite of my seventh hot dog and was considering my eighth. I called it a night after seven, but I think it’s safe to say I proved my love of hot dogs that night. I’ve always loved hot dogs. They’re quick, convenient, affordable, easy, and an iconic American food.

Jessica Rudolph’s All-American Hot Dog spread in the magazine displays just how versatile and beloved the frankfurter is in America. From the steamy Chicago dog with mustard, neon green relish, onions, tomato, a whole pickle spear, spicy pickled sport peppers, and celery salt on a poppy seed bun to the griddled, butterflied dogs, schmeared with cream cheese and sautéed onions from Seattle, hot dogs are an iconic food of the people and tell the stories of the places they’re from. Won’t you embark on a culinary road trip with us and make one (or seven) of these? —Mark Huxsoll, Test Cook

Recipe

Sonoran Hot Dogs

A celebratory culinary tour of the country in four bunfuls.
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Stone Fruit Shrub

A shrub is a sweet-tart combination of fruit juice, sugar, and vinegar. Shrubs were invented when people didn’t have refrigerators to give fruit a longer shelf life. But they’ve been having more of a “moment” to give tangy fruity flavor to both nonalcoholic drinks and cocktails. I love this recipe because it is a new-to-me creative way to enjoy summer produce. You can make it with plums or peaches that are on the verge of being overripe to avoid food waste. And shrubs last a while, meaning I can make a big batch and keep fun cocktails such as plum revivers flowing for a month! —Morgan Bolling, Executive Editor of Creative Content

Recipe

Fresh Peach Shrub Syrup

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Burrata Salad with Grated Tomato and Anchovies

Nicole Konstantinakos’ recipe for Burrata Salad with Grated Tomato and Anchovies takes burrata over the top. Simple, fresh, and bright, it is everything you want in a summer salad. Tender Bibb lettuce cradles the creamy halves of burrata cheese. For the all-too-simple dressing, a vine-ripened tomato is halved and grated to extract its sweet, flavorful pulp. The tomato and some premium olive oil are combined and drizzled over the cheese. And then an anchovy fillet is added like the proverbial cherry on top. A little marjoram and flaky sea salt is sprinkled on top for even more flavor. This recipe just reminds me of summer.—Lawman Johnson, Senior Photo Test Cook

Recipe

Burrata Salad with Grated Tomato And Anchovies

This Catalan-inspired preparation elevates creamy burrata.
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Taco Rice

Few things beat tucking into a meaty taco after a long day. I specifically love the old school kind of taco, the type I ate as a kid—ground beef cooked with packaged taco seasoning, topped with bright shredded cheese, crisp iceberg lettuce, and jarred salsa. Matthew Fairman’s Taco Rice takes this nostalgic meal to the next level, while breaking it down in a bowl for maximum spoonability. Taco rice hails from Okinawa, and the Japanese influences are both abundant and delicious here. Ingredients like soy sauce and instant dashi (a seafood stock powder akin to chicken bouillon) boost the beef with a smoky-savory flavor, while mirin and ketchup add a pleasingly sweet balance. Topped with Monterey Jack cheese, lettuce, avocado, and salsa, this comforting bowl hits just the right notes of those after-school cravings and then some. —Kelly Song, Test Cook

Recipe

Okinawan Taco Rice

How one Okinawan created an enduring take on a Tex-Mex classic—and why you should be making it at home.
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