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The 10 Least Popular Genius Recipes of 2016

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You might have seen us trumpeting the most popular Genius Recipes of 2016—if you like boring stuff like crisp, oven-fried chicken and unearthly chocolate cake, that's the article for you.

But if you're into the occasional surprising, challenging, and/or lovable oddball recipe, you're in the right place. In what is now an annual tradition, I've resurrected the ten least popular Genius Recipes of last year below, analyzed my poor headline choices and other ways I may have steered you wrong, and made one last case for why they deserve another look.

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An Infamously Genius Caramel Almond Tart (+ A Call For Your Best-Loved Desserts)
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An Infamously Genius Caramel Almond Tart (+ A Call For Your Best-Loved Desserts)

Why you didn’t care: You must not like infamy—because I know you like caramel.

Why you should: This is my new favorite dessert, despite (and a little because of) its prickly reputation. Also: You have to eat it with your hands.

A Genius, Entirely Inauthentic Risotto Made Out of Sunflower Seeds
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A Genius, Entirely Inauthentic Risotto Made Out of Sunflower Seeds

Why you didn’t care: I showed my hand in the headline … and it was full of sunflower seeds (which means I didn’t get a chance to slowly seduce you with my arguments and James Ransom’s photography).

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Why you should: Sunflower seeds may not be risotto, but they can do creamy, magical things when you soak and blend them (and pile them up with rainbow-colored vegetables).

4 Genius Stir-Fry Tricks You (Probably) Don’t Know Yet
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4 Genius Stir-Fry Tricks You (Probably) Don’t Know Yet

Why you didn’t care: Did I mention that there was a delicious pork and eggplant stir-fry recipe in here? No? Oh!

Why you should: It does contain a delicious recipe—but those tricks! If nothing else, do this: Drop a squashed garlic clove, whole, in at the end of your next stir-fry and cover it, so it just barely wafts through. (Then take out the garlic.) You will feel like a genius.

A Genius Way to Speed Up Time, and Instantly Age Balsamic
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A Genius Way to Speed Up Time, and Instantly Age Balsamic

Why you didn’t care: You weren’t looking for ways to make time hurtle faster than it already is? My mistake.

Why you should: I mad scientist-A/B/C/D tested this hack to prove that, yes, the extra ingredient (port) is worth it. (And that faux fancy balsamic is a valid ice cream topping.)

Crowd the Pan: A Genius, Calmer Way to Cook Mushrooms
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Crowd the Pan: A Genius, Calmer Way to Cook Mushrooms

Why you didn’t care: Crowd the pan isn’t as provocative a statement as I thought. Or maybe it was all the olive oil.

Why you should: Last year, pickle brine-sautéed mushrooms were in your top 10—you should be all over this. And all that garlicky, mushroom-infused olive oil is one hell of a byproduct (for fried eggs, and salad dressings, and steak and and and).

Jacques Pépin’s Genius, Very-Last-Minute Appetizer—Two Ways
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Jacques Pépin’s Genius, Very-Last-Minute Appetizer—Two Ways

Why you didn’t care: Beats me. This is fast, fancy, and full of cheese (and national treasure Jacques Pépin). Maybe you already had the recipe memorized?

Why you should: Let's try this again: Fast, fancy, full of cheese.

A Genius, Soft-Crisp-Crumbly-Cheesy Skillet Shortbread
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A Genius, Soft-Crisp-Crumbly-Cheesy Skillet Shortbread

Why you didn’t care: You were unclear on where this falls on the sweet-savory spectrum.

Why you should: It’s sweet and savory, and the question is almost irrelevant—you should see what happens every time I put a plate of this out.

A Genius 5-Minute Pumpkin Pie Improvement—Comfort in Hot Praline
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A Genius 5-Minute Pumpkin Pie Improvement—Comfort in Hot Praline

Why you didn’t care: This went up the morning after the presidential election. We were preoccupied.

Why you should: I thought this would all be too over-the-top until I tasted it, and realized pumpkin and pecan pies bring out the best in each other. Like Democrats and Republicans, just kidding.

My Grandmother’s Genius Biscuits & Gravy (Starring Pork Belly, Eggs)
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My Grandmother’s Genius Biscuits & Gravy (Starring Pork Belly, Eggs)

Why you didn’t care: Not into nepotism.

Why you should: If you are a biscuits and gravy person, you need to try my grandmother’s. And then lay down for awhile.

The Instant (Genius) Way to Make Your Juices & Booze-Free Drinks Better
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The Instant (Genius) Way to Make Your Juices & Booze-Free Drinks Better

Why you didn’t care: Don’t have a juicer, thanks. (Or, my juices are perfect, thanks!)

Why you should: This is pure watermelon, just a little layered and nuanced with lime, bitters, and fizzy seltzer in the blender (not juicer).