Easy as Pie

Even though I have a food website and columns where I get to dish about the incarnation of Steak Diane and the place to buy butter fish in the city, there are still things that I need help with when I get into the kitchen. Simple things that save time like inserting a fork into a lemon half to extract the most juice or when to add salt to a boiling water of pasta have become second nature, but when it comes roasting duck or making chicken tajine, I look to the experts. And while I have read every cookbook and instruction manual, the easiest and most fun to use is Cook's Illustrated magazine, a tool that every cook, novice or home chef should have at their side. Their website is great too, but I like having the pages in front of me while I'm cutting and deboning the fish or trying to get the icing just so. It's like having someone like Jamie Oliver in the kitchen with you. Uh huh. 'Nuff said.

Stephanie Dickison

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