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All-Time Best Recipes Series

All-Time Best Holiday Entertaining


Celebrations—big and small, formal and laid back, traditional and offbeat—all center around one thing: the food. For many, the rich aroma of a hearty stuffing or the practice of readying a holiday turkey conjures instant memories even as new ones take root, weaving these beloved meals into cherished traditions. But before a meal can become tied to nostalgic memories, it needs to impress. During the holidays, the stakes can be high and the pressure intense. Few home cooks tackle a mammoth roast or a spectacular dessert with any regularity, so turning out these project dishes (as well as their necessary accompaniments) can prove intimidating. Enter this collection of recipes, a lifeline making the perfect celebratory feast not only possible, but a promise.

While most home cooks roast a turkey once a year at most, here in the test kitchen, preparing this big bird is an art we have mastered and remastered over decades of rigorous recipe testing. The try-and-try-again treatment we apply to all of our recipes is even more stringent when it comes to holiday-caliber dishes, because when you’re working with a pricey cut of meat or you’re tasked with peeling a mountain of potatoes, you want your labor to be worth it. The 75 recipes compiled here are guaranteed to surpass expectations. While we have an impressive range of turkey recipes to suit all needs, the bird is just the beginning. The Centerpieces chapter showcases the depth of Cook’s Illustrateds repertoire, offering everything from our luscious Onion-Braised Beef Brisket to the heavily spiced, supertender Italian-inspired Porchetta. And we haven’t forgotten our vegetarian guests: With entrées like Fennel, Olive, and Goat Cheese Tarts and a wide array of meatless starters and sides to choose from, you will have little trouble pleasing everyone at the table.

We simplify your planning by dividing the recipes across four chapters—Starters, Centerpieces, Shareable Sides, and Sweet Endings—so whether you’re building a meal around a singular roast or you have been asked to fill in the gaps in a family potluck, you’ll know exactly where to look. No great feast ever materialized in a single afternoon, so many of these recipes fea- ture make-ahead information, allowing you to prep everything from soup to soufflés well before the doorbell rings, and we’ve outlined a rough timeline to make planning even easier.

So before you put on your hosting hat, be our guest: Allow Cook’s Illustrated to show you how to make entertaining an enjoyable, exhilarating experience this year. Your friends and family will thank you later.

On Sale September 26, 2017
ISBN 978-1-940352-99-2
US $22.95 / $29.95 CAN
192 pages, hardcover, four-color throughout
BUY NOW: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | IndieBound | Books-A-Million | ATK Bookstore


Meals that impress All-Time Best Holiday Entertaining

Celebrations call for meals that impress, and with thousands of meticulously tested recipes to our name, guaranteeing that perfect outcome is central to what we do at Cook’s Illustrated. In this definitive collection, we have gathered the absolute best dishes for making your next celebration memorable, stress-free, and, above all, delicious.