Hello, Bittens! Happy new year!
We are so excited to start cooking for 2016. But before we do, we want to take a look back at last year, and the best food magazine dishes we ate all year. Here are 11 of our favorites in chronological order. (We couldn't settle on 10, so 11 it is!)
Did you have a favorite dish of the past year? Share it in the comments!
1. Kung Pao Brussels Sprouts
"Even the most ardent Brussels sprouts hater will find it hard not to like this dish. [...] The Brussels sprouts are crisp and plump, with a nice crunch from the peanuts. The sweet-spicy sauce is actually borderline too sweet for us (next time we'll use less sugar), but the heat of the chili paste keeps it in balance."
2. Flank Steak Peperonata
"At the end of each year, we write about our favorite recipes we've made over the previous 12 months. [...] Well, it may only be the beginning of March, but we've already got one dish that is sure to make our year-end list: This Flank Steak Peperonata from Cook's Country. It is, in a word, fantastic."
3. Skillet Turkey Meatballs with Lemony Rice
"When you hear 'meatballs,' what's the dish that comes to mind? We bet it's a pasta dish with meatballs swimming in a red tomato sauce. That's precisely why we earmarked this recipe: The idea of a lemony meatball dish -- one without really any sauce at all -- piqued our interest. And this dish from Cook's Country didn't disappoint."
4. Slow-Roasted, Twice-Fried Porterhouse Steak
"This steak will help you win friends and influence people. This steak had you at hello. This steak completes you. This steak makes you want to be a better man. This steak is the king of the world! (Why can't we think of any movie lines from the past 15 years??) In short, this steak is perfect."
5. Grilled Pork Kebabs with Hoisin and Five-Spice
"Two summers ago, we declared our displeasure with kebabs. And since then, we've stayed pretty Debbie Downer when it comes to skewering our meals. It just seems like a whole lot of work for very little payoff. [...] Then we sat down to eat these kebabs, and we were changed men."
6. Blueberry-Caramel Skillet Cobbler
Food Network Magazine
"We all need a good blueberry cobbler in our lives, and we found it with this Blueberry-Caramel Skillet Cobbler. [...] It's the perfect mix of fruit-to-crust, and the flavor of the berries really shines through. We loved it."
7. Tomato Salad with Tomato Water Granita
Food & Wine
"This dish is pure summer magic. The granita melts in your mouth as you eat it, and has a beautifully concentrated tomato flavor. It's a tomato lover's dream: crazy flavorful, but also delicate, warm and cool at the same time. This is a very cheffy approach to summer produce -- and it would be a stunningly impressive salad to serve guests -- but it's really quite simple if you don't mind planning ahead. This salad is unlike anything we've ever made in our kitchen, and we love that."
8. Grilled Eggplant with Fresh Hot Sauce and Crispy Eggs
"The cilantro and dill give a one-two punch of freshness, while the sunny, slightly runny eggs bring a nice rich heft. The eggplant is smoky, with a great char from the grill. (A stovetop grill pan would work fine here if you don't have an outdoor grill.) And the fresh hot sauce is excellent -- sharp, spicy and piquant."
9. Sautéed Summer Squash with Parsley and Garlic
This dish "instantly became a summer classic for us. [...] We're in love with this take on squash; we've already made it twice in the span of a week."
10. Thyme-Basted Pork Tenderloin with Oyster Mushrooms
Food & Wine
"There's so much going on here -- the sweet seared pork; the earthy musky mushrooms; toasted walnuts, garlic, shallots, thyme, parsley, chives -- and it all works together brilliantly. Each flavor and texture plays beautifully off all the others. But we really need to talk about is this brown butter. It is insanely good, and it gives the whole dish a deep golden rich flavor. You'll want to lap up every drop."
11. Smashed Salt-and-Vinegar Sweet Potatoes
Martha Stewart Living
"The skins, which you leave on, take on this addictive crunchy-chewy texture, and the vinegar and salt play off the potatoes' natural sweetness, making for a delicious treat. Seriously, these eat like candy. (You won't believe there's no added sugar in these when you taste them.) We couldn't stop popping them in our mouths, hot out of the oven."