Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Best of 2015: Food Recipes

On Monday, I covered the best of Dining Out from 2015, so today, here's the best from Cooking In: 26 of my favorite recipes that I shared on my blog this year.


Crazy Guacamole. A fresh guacamole with a lot of fun mix-ins, inspired by our current favorite New York Mexican restaurant, The Blank Ant.

Salads and Sides

Roasted Celery and Fennel with Peanut Sauce. Celery and fennel are both great with peanuts and taste wonderful roasted together and topped with a spicy Thai-style peanut sauce.

Grilled Caesar Salad. Putting a little fire to this sometimes tired (but totally worthy) classic is a great way to give it new life.

Snap Pea and Bacon Salad with Ricotta and Roasted Chickpeas. I love this salad for its contrasts in flavor and texture.

Manhattan "Chowder" Salad. With this summery recipe, I attempted to reimagine Manhattan chowder but as a salad with fresh tomatoes, salmon and fried-potato "croutons."

Quinoa Salad with Chicken and Vegetables. I frequently share recipes for grain salads or grain bowls. This recipe, inspired by a lunch at Soho New York's Spring Street Natural cafe this year was one of my favorites with its cashews, quick-pickled onion, avocado and fresh mint.

Fennel, Corn and Cherry Tomato Gratin. From the Ottolenghi cookbook, a wonderful way to appreciate a delicious trio of vegetables.

Butter Flaky Biscuits. Rolling and folding buttery biscuit dough is the trick behind these deliciously flaky biscuits.

Deconstructed Sweet Potato Casserole. Skip the gooey Thanksgiving mess and instead make this version with roasted sweet potatoes, bacon, pecans and a maple-bourbon sauce (yes, there are still marshmallows involved).

Main Dishes

Spaghetti with Tomato-Turkey Ragu. Sort of like what mom used to make, a classic comfort recipe that I never tire of.

Kung Pao Chicken. I've been making Kung Pao Chicken for many years, but I changed my approach this year, cutting back on the sugar and adding a more authentic touch with szechuan peppercorns.

Smoky Bacon Macaroni & Cheese. There are a lot of version of this homey classic on my site, but this wonderful version with bacon and three cheeses (cheddar, gruyere, parmigiano-reggiano) is my new favorite.

Fettuccine with Chicken, Sundried Tomatoes and Pesto Cream Sauce. Part of a series of recipes looking back at the '90s, this classic combination still tastes great.

Mediterranean Chickpea Patties with Tzatziki Sauce. Another longtime favorite in our house are these chickpea patties, which are sort of like falafel and pretty easy to make.

Black Bean and Avocado Tacos. One of this year's vegan recipes, further proof of the wonderful versatility of tacos.

Ancho Chile Chicken and Slaw Tacos (Silent Interlude). Speaking of tacos, here's another recipe and a bit of an experiment to see if I could convey a recipe using only photos. It's inspired by the classic dialogue-free "Silent Interlude" issue of the G.I. Joe comic book.

Broiled Salmon with Sautéed Golden Zucchini. For a quick, simple and delicious midweek meal, it doesn't get any better than this, a simply broiled salmon filet topped with the delicious Cajun-style dry rub from Mangia.

Roasted Tomato Yaki Udon. A little east and west fusion went into making this dish, a sort of "Japanese Spaghetti."

Sautéed Chicken Fajitas. Packing the grill away for the summer doesn't mean you can't still enjoy delectable chicken fajitas at home. This was another recipe I revisited often this year.

Marbella-Brined Roast Turkey Breast. The classic Silver Palate Cookbook recipe for Chicken Marbella inspired this delicious turkey recipe, one of my favorites from Thanksgiving this year.


Homemade Granola. This simple recipe for homemade granola, augmented with pecans and dried cranberries, has become a weekend favorite at our house.

Steak, Egg and Smoked Gouda Breakfast Tacos. One of our favorite discoveries during our trip to Austin, Texas this year: breakfast tacos. This was based on our favorite from Taco Joint.


Tres Leches Cake. For years, we've been big admirers of this wonderful Mexican dessert--cake soaked in evaporated and condensed milk and half-n-half topped with whipped cream. This year I made it for Valentine's Day. Dare I say my husband wasn't the only thing in the dining room I was in love with that night.

Classic 1-2-3-4 Yellow Cake with Chocolate Frosting. Part of my "Cook in 101" series to help novice cooks get in the kitchen, this recipe is designed to help you ditch the cake mix and make a simple cake from scratch.

Mocha Baked Alaska. One of my favorite desserts, which I made this year in honor of our Alaskan cruise.

Momofuku Milk Bar Blueberry & Cream Cookies. My favorite cookie this year, made with pastry chef Christina Tosi's inventive "milk crumb" and dried blueberries.

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