So, this is a little late but the New York Time’s Food Section published “The Year’s Most-Loved Recipes” in December of 2021. They publish this every year and since there’s no way I could try ALL the recipes they publish in the Food section (which Zeke picks up for me on Wednesdays), this end-of-the-year list of favorites, makes it easy to narrow it down.
Most of the food that was “Most-Loved” last year was Comfort Food, not surprising since readers were dealing with the second year of a world-wide pandemic and we definitely needed comfort. Out of the five recipes I tried, there were two I would make again. One was for scrambled eggs, the other was a soup. But, I actually prefer the Thomas Keller’s (of Per Se fame) recipe for scrambled eggs, so will publish it in a future Foodie in Miami post.
Cold Noodle Salad with Spicy Peanut Sauce by Hetty Mckinnon was the first recipe I tried and made while Lauren was home for Christmas, since she likes Asian food. I liked it and it seemed relatively healthy, although I had to make a special trip to the grocery store to get soba noodles. Soba noodles are made of buckwheat, known as a “high vibration food” and were eaten by Buddhist Monks before going into deep meditations and long fasts. My main problem with this recipe was it made a lot (although it claimed 4 servings) and languished in the fridge until I finally threw it out. So maybe would be good recipe to make for a pot-luck dinner.
I made the Creamy Baked Macaroni and Cheese by Eric Kim when I had Wyatt and Grace over for Cookie Decorating, thereby killing two birds with one stone. (Now that I write this, I realize this saying is no longer politically correct.) Imagine my dismay when they both said they didn’t want Mac ‘N Cheese for dinner, but the Chicken Fingers I’d picked up, to-go. I insisted they try some, but I have to confess, it was a bit one-note and the Velveeta (which I NEVER have on hand) made the cheese stick to the roof of my mouth in a creamy slick I didn’t like at all.
The Crispy Gnocchi with Burst Tomatoes and Mozzarella by Ali Slagle was quite good and combined two recent trends- Cooking from the Pantry and the Burst Tomatoes with Cheese phenomena that blew-up on Tik Tok last year, into one recipe. While I don’t think it’s necessary to use shelf-stable gnocchi (you had to get fresh mozzarella, cherry tomatoes and basil at any rate), crisping the gnocchi in a cast-iron skillet was a revelation. It made them browned and crispy on the outside, while staying creamy on the inside, adding a new dimension to the standard pasta dish.
I really enjoyed the Lemony White Bean Soup with Turkey and Greens by Melissa Clark and it came at a perfect time, as I’d recently gotten a delivery from Empower Farms with a bunch of greens. Although it calls for ground turkey, I think you could substitute turkey chunks, instead of ground turkey, making it a perfect after-Thanksgiving soup. I like to make a pot of soup on Monday and have it on hand for lunches or snacks for the rest of the week and this one is a good soup to have in rotation.
The Extra-Creamy Scrambled Eggs by Kenji-Lopez-Alt was probably the easiest recipe to make and my favorite. It called for potato, tapioca or cornstarch; having only cornstarch on hand, that was what I used. Adding the cornstarch slurry (cornstarch and water mixed together) helps keep the eggs moist and tender. The recipe advises that more vigorous stirring results in finer, softer curds, while less stirring results in larger, fluffier curds, so choose accordingly. I had to think about this for a moment; I decided I like finer and softer.
Extra-Creamy Scrambled EggsCourse: BreakfastCuisine: AmericanDifficulty: Easy
2 teaspoons potato starch, tapioca starch or cornstarch
4 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cut into 1/4 inch cubes
Pinch of kosher salt
- In a medium bowl, whisk together starch with 1 1/2 tablespoons water until no lumps remain. Add half the butter cubes to starch mixture. Add eggs and salt and whisk, breaking up any cubes of butter that have stuck together, until the eggs are frothy and homogenous. (There will still be solid chunks of butter in the eggs.)
- Set your serving plate near the stovetop. Heat 1 tablespoon water in a 10-inch nonstick skillet over medium-high, swirling gently until the water evaporates, leaving behind only a few small droplets. Immediately add the remaining 2 tablespoons butter and swirl vigorously until the butter is mostly melted and foamy but not brown, about 10 seconds.
- Immediately add the egg mixture and cook, pushing and folding the eggs with a spatula, until they are slightly less cooked than you’d like them, about 1 to 2 minutes, depending on doneness. More vigorous stirring will result in finer, softer curds, while more leisurely stirring will result in larger, fluffier curds. Immediately transfer to the serving plate and serve.
- Tip: If cooking fewer eggs or more, adjust pan size accordingly, and note that cooking time in Step 3 can vary significantly, needing as little as 15 to 30 seconds for 2 eggs, or as long as 3 to 4 minutes for 8 eggs.
While I’m glad I made all five of these recipes (I don’t always get around to it) I won’t be running to make any of them again. I’m hoping that this year’s Most-Loved list includes some more exotic and out-of-the box recipes. If I can’t travel anyplace exotic, I’d like to at least experience other cultures that excite my mind and tastebuds in my Miami kitchen.
Up Next: Welcome to my Funeral