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Cook’s Illustrated raked over the coals

Brookline-based Cook’s Illustrated magazine gets skewered in a new report ranking the unhealthiest cookbooks of 2011. A group called Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine says “The Cook’s Illustrated Cookbook: 2,000 Recipes From 20 Years of America’s Most Trusted Cooking Magazine’’ is excellent - if you’re looking for fatty, potentially cancer-causing recipes. Yum! The clean-living clinicians group says that Christopher Kimball (inset), the bow-tied editor and founder of Cook’s Illustrated, is one of the top five offenders, joining a list of cookbook authors that includes Jamie Oliver, Guy Fieri, Paula Deen, and Patrick and Gina Neely. “The high-fat meals in these cookbooks are real recipes for disaster,’’ says Susan Levin, PCRM’s nutrition education director. Of “The Cook’s Illustrated Cookbook,’’ the group has a few unsavory words: “The book devotes more than 50 pages of recipes to grilled meats, from ‘Well-Done Bacon Cheeseburgers’ to ‘Grilled Chicken Breast Stuffed with Prosciutto and Fontina.’ Heterocyclic amines (HCAs), a family of mutagenic and cancer-causing compounds, are produced during the grilling of many animal products, including chicken, beef, pork, and fish.’’ A call to Kimball, who presides over the “Best Recipe’’ cookbooks and the PBS show “America’s Test Kitchen’’ in addition to “Cook’s Illustrated,’’ was not returned yesterday.

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