Alton Brown visits cache of recipes in new cookbook

Alton Brown visits cache of recipes in new cookbook

Alton Brown hasn’t been redoing old “Good Eats” recipes in recent years because they were bad. Well, not all of them anyway. There’s that slow cooker lasagna recipe — which is one of the “most hated” in his repertoire, he says — but more on that later.

Brown decided to revisit his cache to reflect on how the food world has changed since his signature Food Network show launched more than 20 years ago. At the time, sous vide was done by only a few anointed in the fine-dining world. Now anyone can get a decent immersion circulator shipped to their door overnight for around $100. Accessibility of ingredients has exploded. Today, even mainstream grocers stock spices like sumac and Aleppo pepper.

And, most importantly, people’s attitudes about cooking have changed. They are more adventurous, more willing to spend time learning by trying in the kitchen.

“If I had published a recipe 10 years ago that mentioned Gochujang, people would have thought I was crazy,” says Brown, 59.

© 2022 by BrainFood Industries

He’s not worried about including the Korean fermented red chili paste in his latest cookbook, “Good Eats: The Final Years” (Abrams, 432 pp., out now). In true Alton Brown fashion, he explains what the spice is and how it’s made, and he uses it in a recipe (the dolsot bibimbap looks great).

“Understanding equals power,” he says. “You have power over your fears, so you have confidence when you know what’s going on.”

“Good Eats: The Final Years” is arranged chronologically according to seasons of “Good Eats: Reloaded” and “Good Eats: The Return” because “I couldn’t think of a better way to organize them,” Brown writes.

In his new cookbook “Good Eats: The Final Years,” Alton Brown serves up his recipe for the ultimate brownies, one of nearly 150 recipes. “This is brownie version 2.0 – a change in the baking procedure produces an ooey-gooey brownie that is very different from the original,” he writes.|

© 2022 by BrainFood Industries

With approximately 150 recipes, the pages are packed with the history and science of food and sprinkled with Brown’s wit and sardonic wit. In a breakout section about plain roasted chicken, Brown complains about glass spice racks on the counter (“I’d wipe those off planet Earth if I could,” he tells us. “I’d go out into the world and dump those in a landfill.” .”) While improving his chicken parmesan recipe, Brown writes that he learned the hard way that older Pyrex casserole dishes were made with borosilicate glass, which could withstand rapid temperature changes under a grill, while the newer formula uses soda lime glass, what not .

In the “Lost Season” section, which focuses on the never-aired “Reloaded” season 3, Brown offers his response to his much-maligned slow cooker lasagna recipe. For those unfamiliar, the slow cooker recipe uses layers of noodles, vegetables, and meat along with goat’s milk powder and requires a propane burner to brown the cheese topping.

“It’s not a good dish,” Brown says. “Smart isn’t always smart.”

His new version, which spans several pages and ends with “The Final Lasagna,” is the most fun-packed lasagna out there, he says. He recommends taking a break between making the ragù alla bolognese and putting together the final dish, as it’s “quite a bit of work.”

“I’m done with lasagna,” Brown says. †[This] is the way to do it. I can run away. I have done penance.”

Brown is doing a book tour of a dozen cities. As you go, you might hear someone ask about his famous tips — like adding mayonnaise to get creamy scrambled eggs or starting pasta in cold water. But what’s his top tip, which he says is the biggest thing you can do to improve your cooking?

“Read the recipe,” he says. ‘Sit down and read it. Don’t cook. Don’t start collecting pots and pans. Make notes if necessary. … That’s not very exciting, but it’s absolutely true.”

“Good Eats: The Final Years” isn’t just the fourth installment in the franchise’s cookbook series: it’s the last. Brown says he’s done with the iconic show — at least for now — and won’t be shooting season 3 of “Good Eats: Reloaded.”

But just before fans melt faster than Gruyere in fondue, that doesn’t mean he’s done with entertainment.

Long-loved for putting chefs in a head-to-head, unpredictable competition, ‘Iron Chef’ is getting a reboot on Netflix on June 15.

Brown returns as host alongside newcomer Kristen Kish, who you may remember as the season 10 “Top Chef” winner. And of course, no “Iron Chef” show would be complete without Mark Dacascos, who will reprise his role as “The Chairman”.

Here’s Alton Brown’s oven-baked asagna recipe:

You too can make this delicious lasagna from the oven if you follow Alton Brown's recipe.|

You too can make this delicious lasagna from the oven if you follow Alton Brown’s recipe.|

© 2022 by BrainFood Industries

The last lasagna

Yield: One 9×13-inch pan (6 to 8 servings)


  • 1 pound (454 g) dry lasagna noodles
  • 1 pound (454 g) fresh mozzarella, sliced ​​1/4 inch thick
  • 2 cups (335 g) Ricotta cheese (homemade, opposite)
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 cup (100 g) freshly grated Parmesan cheese
  • 8 cups Ragù alla Bolognese (opposite)
  • a 9×13-inch baking dish
  • a ladle of 4 ounces


1. Preheat oven to 400F with oven rack on the center position.

2. Place the noodles in a 9 #13-inch baking dish and pour enough hot water over them to cover. Set aside until pliable, 20 to 30 minutes. Drain the noodles, separate and set aside. Dry the baking dish.

3. Place the mozzarella between double-thick layers of kitchen paper and let it beckon for 20 minutes. Then tear into bite-sized pieces and set aside.

4. Stir together the ricotta, cream, salt and pepper in a medium bowl.

5. Use a large (4-ounce) ladle to measure out and spread 1/2 cup of Bolognese sauce in the bottom of the baking dish. Cover with a layer of noodles, then divide 1/3 cup of the ricotta mixture over the noodles. Sprinkle with 1/2 cup mozzarella and sprinkle with 2 1/2 tablespoons Parmesan cheese.

6. For the next layer, start with about 1 cup of sauce, spread with the bottom of the ladle, followed by noodles, ricotta, mozzarella and Parmesan. When the last layer of noodles is applied, sprinkle generously with sauce, then remaining mozzarella and Parmesan.

7. Lightly spray a 15 x 20 inch piece of aluminum foil with nonstick cooking spray. Cover the lasagna tightly with foil, grease-side down, and place the baking sheet on half a baking pan. Transfer to oven and bake until sauce is bubbling and center of lasagna is about 150F, 30 to 45 minutes. Remove the foil and continue baking until the top is deeply browned and crisp, 20 to 30 minutes more.

8. Remove the lasagna and let it cool on a wire rack 20 minutes before serving.

Comments from Alton Brown:

I would say maximum benefit is reached after about 3 days in the fridge.

Seriously, this is it. Don’t even call me someone else.

Recipe excerpt from the new book Good Eats: The Final Years by Alton Brown, published by Abrams. Text copyright © 2022 by Alton Brown.

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