The editors and cooks of Cooks Illustrated Magazine tested thousands of recipes in their test kitchen to come up with what they believe are the best recipes for each of 700 classic mostly American standards in their 550 page book – The Best Recipe (see the latest edition – The New Best Recipe). This book not only gives you great recipes but explains a lot of the process of testing different variations of recipes in order to get to the best one. Not only do they explain what you should do, but also why it’s important. Techniques are illustrated and sometimes the chemistry of different aspects of cooking is explained. Consideration is given to the overall cooking time and the cost, acknowledging that modern day home chefs not only budget their money but their time as well.
I got this book as a present for my dad, who learned how to cook by watching my mother who rarely uses recipes. Dad on the other hand is perenially on a quest for the best recipes for everything, so he is quite delighted with the book.