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Best Recipe You Acquired This Year

Sam D. Dec 10, 2004 02:38 AM

For me it was the recipe for "Balzano Apple Cake" featured in the NY Times 9/22/04. I've made it five or six times already and it has turned out to be one of my best desserts. Of course it also helped that there was a splendid crop of apples this year.

Anyway, just wondering what was your single best recipe that you acquired and used this past year?

  1. b
    Bob Dec 10, 2004 11:40 PM

    Anthony Bourdain's Tomato & Fennel soup from the "Les Halles Cookbook". I included the optional garlic.

    1 Reply
    1. re: Bob
      Carb Lover Dec 11, 2004 12:25 AM

      This is a weird coincidence...I made that very soup tonight (my first try at any recipe in the book). It was fabulous!! A welcome rendition to my soup repertoire.

      Used everything the recipe called for but made a few tweaks: deglazed w/ a bit of dry sherry, added some dried parsley & fennel seed during cooking, swirled in a splash of cream at end, and garnished w/ snipped chives. I can hear Tony B. chiding me now for making it so "fancy"...hehe

      Served it before diving into steamed Dungeness crab...great combo...

      Don't care for recipes much, but THIS wins for my recipe (and cookbook) of the year!

    2. d
      DanaB Dec 10, 2004 02:19 PM

      Two things come to mind. The first is the wonderful pear cake recipe posted by Galley Girl, which can be found here:


      It is as good as it's touted to be, plus really easy to bake. This is a permanent addition to my repetoire.

      The second dish is a recipe for oven-roasted fish that I recently made from Marcella Hazan, in which the fish is cooked over sliced, roasted potatoes. It's a super easy yet very tasty recipe, that is more than the sum of its parts. I've linked my paraphrase of the recipe below.

      This is a great thread, btw! It's really fun to see what others consider the year's best recipes!

      Link: http://www.chowhound.com/topics/show/...

      4 Replies
      1. re: DanaB
        missyme Dec 10, 2004 03:20 PM

        I second the pear cake recipe--so easy and unbelievably delicious. Also, I just discoverd Penzey's lemon bars. MMMM!

        1. re: DanaB
          JoanN Dec 10, 2004 04:19 PM

          Seems as though everyone's been spending some quality time with Marcella this year. Me, too.

          Got a pasta-roller attachment for my Kitchen Aid and tried her Baked Green Lasagne with Meat Sauce, Bolognese Style. It was a revelation, and this year's most requested repeat.

          Another of her fish recipes--simple, simple and just heavenly--is the Grilled Swordfish Steaks, Sicilian Salmoriglio Style.

          1. re: JoanN
            mish Dec 13, 2004 06:41 PM

            ditto for the grilled swordfish steaks. Love them--so easy too.

          2. re: DanaB
            Sam D. Dec 10, 2004 04:45 PM

            The roasted fish recipe is amost identical to the one I have from Colman Andrews book Catalan Cooking. And it is a great way to prepare fish.


          3. e
            Ellen Dec 10, 2004 01:04 PM

            I finally found the cream of mushroom soup recipe I was looking for on Epicurious. This is great and can be simplified to eliminate the foil and blender steps as suggested by iluvfood.

            Link: http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/rec...

            1. z
              Zoey Dec 10, 2004 12:02 PM

              Marcella Hazan's tomato/onion/butter pasta sauce. It really is as good as everyone says.

              1. d
                dillard Dec 10, 2004 11:37 AM

                From Cook's Illustrated:

                Quick and Fluffy Biscuits (not sure which issue this year)

                Sweet Potato Biscuits (from The Quick Recipe Cookbook which is chock full of good stuff).

                Both are just absolutely heavenly.

                Link: http://cooksillustrated.com

                1 Reply
                1. re: dillard
                  Jambalaya Dec 10, 2004 02:36 PM

                  The biscuits are May 1993. I just tried them last weekend with some turkey sausage gravy.

                2. g
                  GreenStreetThrill Dec 10, 2004 09:35 AM

                  The oven-braised ribs from Alton Brown's book (Food + Heat something something). Sadly unable to own a smoker (apartment laws), this recipe made for moist and flavorful, if not smoky, ribs.

                  The outline is:
                  Salt and then rub the ribs (at least a few hours before cooking) in your favorite dry rub (the one I use is brown sugar, chili powder, garlic powder, cayenne and thyme).

                  Wrap the ribs in heavy duty foil, in such a way that a seam is on "top" and one end is easily opened.

                  Pour a cup of liquid (e.g. OJ, lime or lemon juice, beer, margarita mix) into the foil and swish around.

                  Cook at 325 for 45 minutes then 250 for two more hours (you can look inside and tug at the bones to see if it's to your preferred level of doneness - this took a couple of times for me to get right with my oven).

                  When they're cooked, drain the juices from the foil and add to a mixture of honey, ketchup, coffee powder and cayenne (I think that's all). Heat it all up and reduce until it's a delicious and thick BBQ sauce. Then brush it on the ribs and BROIL for a minute or two (it burns quickly) until you get a nice bark (may require a couple of brush-broil cycles).

                  No fewer than four friends have said "best ribs I've ever had." I prefer the smoky ones sometimes, but these are really, really good.

                  In fact, that Alton Brown book is quite good overall - I'd highly recommend it (if you like his schtick). I think he has a new one out too, about baking.

                  And I've posted before about Marcella Hazan's Roast Chicken with Two Lemons. Jeebus.

                  2 Replies
                  1. re: GreenStreetThrill
                    Dale Dec 10, 2004 03:37 PM

                    Although not of this year, an allied (and perhaps even easier) recipe for oven ribs comes from Pino Luongo's book "A Tuscan in the Kitchen".

                    Anoint a slab of baby backs with olive oil and s&p, place in a foil wrapper. Bake at 250F for five or six hours. Unwrap and eat.

                    I've made this dozens of times to hurrahs.

                    1. re: Dale
                      GreenStreetThrill Dec 10, 2004 06:45 PM

                      The specific rub is definitely a matter of taste. I keep meaning to try a simple one like this, but we always have guests so I feel like I need to bring a little spice.

                      As for the temps, I suspect the difference is just Alton getting the liquid to boil quickly, then lowering it to simmer temps. Anyway, that does sound great, and I heartily encourage other city-hounds to discover in-house 'cue if they haven't already.

                  2. r
                    Ray Dec 10, 2004 08:47 AM

                    I tried 2 recipes from the same episode of Tyler Florence's How to Boil Water on The Food Network. One was a pan roasted chicken with prosciutto and a rosemary/lemon reduction. The other was a warm spinach salad with honey and red wine vinegar.

                    My wife just about licked the plate clean.

                    2 Replies
                    1. re: Ray
                      Tracy L. Dec 10, 2004 09:46 PM

                      I'll have to try that recipe. I think that "plate licked" should be a part of some sort of recipe rating system.

                      1. re: Tracy L.
                        Cynthia Dec 11, 2004 12:51 PM

                        Shepardic Lemon Chicken
                        8 to 9 small red potatoes, par-boiled and quartered 3-lbs. chicken, cut-up; marinate for 1 to 24 hours
                        Marinade: 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil, 1/4 cup red wine vinegar, 1 Tbl. minced garlic, 1 Tbl. dill, 1 Tbl. oregano, 1 Tbl. Italian flat-leaf parsley (double amounts if using fresh herbs), 1 tsp. each salt and pepper, juice of one fresh lemon
                        Bake chicken and marinade for 25 minutes at 400°. Add potatoes and continue to bake for an additional 15 minutes.

                    2. s
                      Shaebones Dec 10, 2004 08:26 AM

                      Can you post the apple cake recipe? In your own words, of course.

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: Shaebones
                        Sam D. Dec 10, 2004 01:24 PM


                        I posted it at the link below. It includes brief notes on slight modifications I made to the original recipe after making it a couple times. However, I'd recommend using the original recipe first before altering it.

                        Link: http://www.tstonramp.com/~bluewater/A...

                      2. d
                        Dennis S Dec 10, 2004 07:39 AM

                        3 come to mind in order of appearance:

                        - Finally figuring out how to do Fried chicken easy and right (none of that buttermilk nonsense - just the good old fashioned way) from my grandfather (January)

                        - One of many recipes in a Thai cookbook unfortunately no longer printed that I got for X-mas last year (big hit: Thai basil chicken with the deep fried basil leaves)

                        - Very recently all the different things I've been doing with pork tenderloins. There was a baking recipe using soy sauce, ginger and garlic I got from this board recently that was nice; there was figuring out how to do breaded tenderloin sandwiches; and then there is a great guide through the link below, which is more than a recipe, it's a guide on the factors that go into a great stuffed tenderloin.

                        Link: http://www.poubelle.com/butterpig/arc...

                        1 Reply
                        1. re: Dennis S
                          frustrated mom Dec 10, 2004 01:31 PM

                          What is the name of the thai cookbook?

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