Our staff is made up of adventurous eaters who love nothing more than discovering new dishes from all over the globe, but in terms of pure comfort and satisfaction, nothing compares to the foods we grew up with. Over the years we’ve tested and featured all kinds of recipes from staffers’ moms, from broccoli and cheddar casserole to strawberry bread to chicken salad, and they’re still some of our favorites. Here are 7 recipes straight from the best cooks we know.
My dad is Japanese, but it was my California-born mom, who lived in Japan for a year while researching her college thesis on sumo wrestling, who taught me how to make these maki rolls, which are stuffed with flaky fish, sweet Japanese omelette, plump shiitake mushrooms, tender
kampyo, or dried squash, and blanched carrots and mizuna. I made these for the reception when I got married, and I like to make them at home for special occasions, like when friends are coming over, or for Mother’s Day. — Karen Shimizu, senior editor
Helen Rosner’s mother-in-law is Palestinian, but over forty years of living in the U.S., her fattoush has evolved into something decidedly (and deliciously) Americanized: crushed pita chips, a dressing of lime juice and dried mint, and crisp, sweet iceberg lettuce.
Get the recipe for New Jersey Fattoush »
Broccoli and cheddar are a classic pair; their mellow flavors marry in this creamy casserole, a weeknight staple from former Saveur editor Kellie Evans’ mother, Patricia.
Get the recipe for Broccoli Casserole »
Calzones don’t always have to be baked—this ham and ricotta version is deep-fried.
My mom, Ellendean, would occasionally surprise me with this creamy chocolate pie when I came home from school, then watch as I devoured a quarter of it while watching “M*A*S*H” reruns.
—Keith Pandolfi Get the recipe for Chocolate Pudding Pie »
As a kid, I wasn’t really into cooking or baking, preferring instead to be outside playing soccer. The one thing that I did enjoy helping my mom make, however, was her strawberry bread: packed with fresh strawberries, I loved to eat it hot out of the oven slathered in butter. It’s so fast and easy, I make it all the time now, with whatever fresh or frozen fruits I have lying around.
—Farideh Sadeghin, test kitchen director Get the recipe for Strawberry Loaf Bread »
My mom’s chicken salad couldn’t be simpler—just a bowl of shredded chicken tossed with mayonnaise, onions, and pickle relish—but it’s famous among my friends. One in particular loved it so much that when we were kids she’d trade any lunch for it; she even pleaded for weeks with her mother to get the recipe so she could have it at home. That friend and I remain close to this day; when she found out my mom’s recipe was being published, she said very seriously, “I’ve been waiting for this my whole life.”
—Laura Sant, associate digital editor