Questions for Kimball: How Can I Cut a Cook’s Illustrated Recipe?

(Image credit: Apartment Therapy)

Christopher Kimball, the founder and editor of Cook’s Illustrated and Cook’s Country magazines and star of “America’s Test Kitchen” on PBS, asked for questions from Kitchen readers.

This week, we’re posting his replies. Here’s today’s question:

I know that the folks at Cook’s Illustrated emphasize how important it is to follow the letter of the recipe, but I often needing to cook only for myself or for two and I don’t want to make a dish that serves 6 or 8 people. What’s the best way to cut the portion size of a Cook’s Illustrated recipe?

Christopher Kimball’s answer is after the jump …

Good question — we have had a lot of interest in “cooking for two.” I have two answers. Many dishes such as soups or stews freeze well so I
would make the full recipe and then store the rest in the freezer.

If you want to cut a recipe, most soups and stews are easily cut down proportionally (with the exception of the oil required at the outset to saute meat or aromatics — you will only need a little more).

Forget about baking — just make the whole recipe since just about everything can go wrong.

Individual steaks, chops, or chicken part recipes can also be cut down easily. Finally, if you do a bit of planning, you can use leftovers later that week in other recipes. Our Make-Ahead cookbook addressed many of these issues.

– Christopher Kimball