SAVEUR Editors' Favorite Eye-Opener Recipes

Eye-Opener Recipes

Feta Tart (Alevropita)

Feta Tart
The addictive alevropita from our Greece issue took me by surprise. I didn't think it would be anything special since it was just a plain egg and flour batter dotted with feta cheese. But it's so thin that when it's baked in the 500° oven, it becomes this deep-golden caramelized cracker. Along with the salty feta, it overwhelms me with a desire to eat the entire pan ... and I did just that after one test. So good! -- Ben Mims, Associate Food Editor See the recipe for Alevropita » Back to SAVEUR Editors' Most Eye-Opening Recipe Experiences »James Oseland

Banoffee Pie

Banoffee Pie
One of our kitchen interns, Jo Keohane, made a classic Banoffee Pie as a going away treat for another kitchen intern. It knocked my socks off, and I was shocked at how easy it is -- a bit of bashing, a little stirring, a smidge of whipping, and poof! you've got a sweet that turns everyone into a grinning British schoolchild. It's like a banana pudding on a bed of gooey toffee. And if you've got a hot cup of milky tea, you're aces. Why isn't everyone as obsessed with it as I am? -- Ganda Suthivarakom, Website Director See the recipe for Banoffee Pie » Back to SAVEUR Editors' Most Eye-Opening Recipe Experiences »Maxime Iattoni

Kale and Avocado Salad

Kale and Avocado Salad
I've never liked cooked kale all that much; I find it bitter and slimy. But the fresh kale salad with avocado from the LA issue was a total revelation to me. Now I love kale! -- Betsy Andrews, Deputy Editor See the recipe for Kale and Avocado Salad » Back to SAVEUR Editors' Most Eye-Opening Recipe Experiences »Ariana Lindquist

Alabama-Style Chicken with White Sauce

Alabama-Style Chicken with White Sauce
When the SAVEUR staff gathered around the conference table to taste all the food for our barbecue issue, I piled my plate with this chicken -- but not the sauce. I'll admit it: I don't actually like horseradish, not one little bit, and I've been avoiding it since childhood. But everyone else's rapturous noises over the creamy, spicy white sauce eventually won me over and I went in for a tiny drop. And then another. And then a couple spoonfuls. Turns out horseradish is actually amazing. Who knew?! --Helen Rosner, Website Editor See the recipe for Alabama-Style Chicken with White Sauce » Back to SAVEUR Editors' Most Eye-Opening Recipe Experiences »Todd Coleman

Tsukudani

Tsukudani
Nori (dried seaweed) and sour cream are two ingredients that I'm never without, but I'd never put them in the same dish before. When Toshio Suzuki visited Saveur's test kitchen late last year to demonstrate some recipes for our October 2010 story on nori, one of the first things he made was tsukudani, a black, slippery pickle made from nori marinated in soy sauce, sugar, and mirin. My first taste of it was on top of a water cracker with a blob of sour cream. It couldn't have been a simpler dish, but I found it stunningly harmonious: the thick, lightly tart sour cream was a perfect counterpoint to the melt-away salty-sweet-briney tsukudani. -- Karen Shimizu, Associate Editor See the recipe for Tsukudani » Back to SAVEUR Editors' Most Eye-Opening Recipe Experiences »Todd Coleman

Memphis-Style Dry Ribs

Memphis-Style Dry Ribs
I don't get a chance to do full-on barbecue very often, so when I do, I don't experiment: I cook what I know my family loves to eat. But I was intrigued by the idea of serving barbecued ribs without sauce, so I left my ketchup and vinegar in the cabinet and fired up the smoker for this recipe. Being a skeptic, I grilled a couple of steaks to serve as the main course in case the ribs were a fail. As soon as I bit into the ribs -- the spicy bark had trapped all the juices and left the meat perfectly succulent -- I knew nobody would miss the sauce, and we'd be eating leftover steak sandwiches later that week. -- Greg Ferro, Managing Editor See the recipe for Memphis-Style Dry Ribs » Back to SAVEUR Editors' Most Eye-Opening Recipe Experiences »Todd Coleman

Blender Hollandaise

Blender Hollandaise
When I was a kid I thought the thick, creamy hollandaise sauce that came on the eggs Benedict I liked to order when my family dined out for breakfast was made with cheese. Once I started cooking for myself and learned what this sauce was actually made of (raw eggs?! Requires constant whisking?!) I was totally intimidated by the idea. But then I discovered Julia Child's recipe, and her headnote swearing that it's "within the capabilities of an 8-year-old child" to make hollandaise in a blender. Sure enough, this recipe has never failed me. --Anna Stockwell, Website Assistant Editor See the recipe for Blender Hollandaise » Back to SAVEUR Editors' Most Eye-Opening Recipe Experiences »Andre Baranowski

Cincinnati Chili

Cincinnati Chili
I made this Cincinnati Chili last winter and thought it was going to be ridiculous and weird, but it was comforting and delicious! -- Caraline Bianchetto Chase, Test Kitchen Intern See the recipe for Cincinnati Chili » Back to SAVEUR Editors' Most Eye-Opening Recipe Experiences »James Oseland

Speķa Pīrāgi (Bacon Turnovers)

Bacon Turnovers
The bacon pies from my Riga story were foolproof and simple (if you have a standing mixer), and a mad crowd pleaser. I thought it would be a pain because a) it's yeast dough, and b) it's dough! And so many little individual pies! But I would make them again, it wasn't a huge deal at all, and was rather rewarding. --Gabriella Gershenson, Senior Editor See the recipe for Speķa Pīrāgi (Bacon Turnovers) » Back to SAVEUR Editors' Most Eye-Opening Recipe Experiences »Landon Nordeman

Mock Apple Pie

Mock Apple Pie
All my life I'd been intrigued by -- and maybe a little scared of -- the recipe for mock apple pie on the back of the Ritz cracker box. How could it possibly be good? But in researching the origins of the pie for our April 2008 issue and baking up a few of my own, I discovered that this ersatz dessert is truly delicious: salty-sweet, lemony, and a little spicy. So maybe you wouldn't actually mistake it for a real apple pie. So what? It's a delicious thing in its own right, and an ingenious use for crackers and other ingredients perpetually on hand in the cupboard. --Beth Kracklauer, Deputy Editor See the recipe for Mock Apple Pie » Back to SAVEUR Editors' Most Eye-Opening Recipe Experiences »Andre Baranowski