We cooked a lot this year. The test kitchen developed hundreds of recipes, both sweet and savory, but these are the ones readers loved most. From classics like the patty melt and shrimp and grits to homemade Irish cream and something called the Heaven and Hell cake. Here’s to cooking even more in 2016.
Perfect Brown Rice
Cooking brown rice, or at least cooking it well, is tricky. Here is our technique for making light and fluffy rice.
Homemade Irish Cream
Cream, whiskey, vanilla, and coffee combine with sweetened condensed milk for a silky-smooth alternative to store-bought Irish cream. We love it added to coffee, used to sweeten cake frosting, or just on its own, enjoyed over a little ice.
Greek Pasta Salad
Tangy feta and crunchy veggies get extra body from rotini in this classic Greek-inspired pasta salad. Easy to make and best served chilled or at room temperature, it’s a perfect picnic dish.
In Britain, treacle is a word applied to everything from sticky molasses to golden syrup, which is lighter in character and in color, and an essential component of our beloved treacle tart.
Traditionally made with local olives, oil-cured tuna, and anchovies, this protein-rich salad from Provence has become a staple of brasseries all over France. Get the recipe for Salad Niçoise »
In North Africa, cooks have long relied on this garlicky chile paste to lend depth to cooked meats and vegetables. It’s incredibly dependable in its ability to liven up foods—we use it in all sorts of ways, from serving alongside crudités to rubbing grilled meats to topping falafel. Get the recipe for Harissa »
Traditional baguettes are 24 to 30 inches long and are baked in ovens that produce steam, which delays crust formation so the loaves can fully rise. This recipe reduces the length to fit in home ovens and calls for adding ice cubes to a hot cast-iron skillet to create steam.
Tuscan Bean Soup
Author Nancy Harmon Jenkins uses olive oil three ways in this version of the venerable Italian soup: for sautéing garlic, rubbing on the toasts that accompany the dish, and finishing the soup.
Risotto Cacio e Pepe
Chef Massimo Bottura gave us the recipe for this creamy risotto, a take on the classic Roman pasta dish cacio e pepe that he developed after earthquakes devastated the Emilia-Romagna region of Italy in 2012. Wanting to utilize the nearly 1,000 wheels of Parmigiano Reggiano that were damaged in the disaster, he devised an ingenious technique. First, he simmers parmesan cheese in water, then refrigerates it until it separates into three distinct layers: protein solids on the bottom, a thick broth in the middle, and a parmesan cream on top. The broth is slowly stirred into the risotto, taking the place of chicken stock, while the cream is added toward the end of cooking, giving the risotto a luxurious texture and little need for any additional salt.
Sweet fried garlic mingles with soy sauce and ginger in the sauce for this wok-seared eggplant.
Some say that the patty melt—a griddled sandwich of ground beef, caramelized onions, cheese, and rye bread—isn’t technically a burger, because it has no bun. We love it just the same.