For all the years that we've closely read food magazines, we've always wondered how many of the recipes in any given issue are really worth making.
Yes, magazines have test kitchens. But that doesn't mean that everything that ends up in the issue is perfect. Mistakes happen. Errors occur. Some dishes just aren't that great.
With this year's Cover to Cover project, we get a glimpse into that very question for Bon Appetit's September issue.
When our reader-chefs submitted their recipes, we also asked them to answer a simple question: Would you make this dish again? And we gave three options: yes, no, and maybe (with some changes).
Quiz time! Thirty-eight recipes later, how many reader-chefs said they'd make their dish again?
The answer surprised us, in that it was far higher than we expected. Our very scientific poll of the reader-chefs revealed the following:
54% of reader chefs said yes, they would absolutely make their dish again.
33% said they might make the dish again, with some alterations.
And just 13% said no, they wouldn't make their dish again.
Considering that we randomly assigned the recipes, we think this issue of Bon Appetit fared extremely well with our reader-chefs in the Cover to Cover project.
So what were the most successful dishes?
Hands down, the winner is ... Fat Rice! All eight readers who made the dish said they'd make it again. We love that Fat Rice was so popular. Being so complicated, we were afraid it wouldn't stack up to the effort required.
[UPDATE: October 4.] A few readers rightly pointed out that we made a huge omission here. There are actually two winners. Fat Rice must share the crown with another hands-down winner: Skate Wing Schnitzel! All 8 readers who made the dish raved about it, putting it on par with Fat Rice. Here's reader-chef Pat's version of the dish:
Two other of the most popular dishes were Orecchiette Carbonara with Charred Brussels Sprouts and Carrot and Beet Slaw with Pistachios and Raisins.
We're adding all three to our must-make list!
And the least successful dishes?
Seaweed and Tofu Beignets with Lime Mayonnaise was the hands-down least favorite dish. It got the most "no's" of any of the dishes.
We're not so surprised by the Seaweed and Tofu Beignets (really, that's a bit out there for anyone). But we are surprised by the creamed corn and potted pork. We expected both of those dishes to be hands-down winners.
How'd the other dishes do?
If you want to see how other dishes stacked up, here's the full list.
So we all have to make Fat Rice now?
That seems to be the moral of this story.
We'll be back this week with a tiny bit more wrap-up from Cover to Cover, then we'll resume our regularly scheduled programming.
See you Wednesday!
Photos above from reader-chefs Claudia, Katie and Rhonda, Jenny and Chloe.