Genius Recipes

Your Top 10 Genius Recipes of 2018

Cue the applause (and the recipe-saving).

December 19, 2018

Every week in Genius Recipes—often with your help!—Food52 Creative Director and lifelong Genius-hunter Kristen Miglore is unearthing recipes that will change the way you cook.

Photo by Rocky Luten

This was a big year in Genius-land, thanks to all of you. The Genius Desserts cookbook bounced into the world, a mere two years after I asked you all to tell me all your most-cherished dessert secrets.

We started shooting videos to go with every week's recipe—first, with pretty hands-and-pans videos, as they call them in the biz (like this one). Then we moved on to videos with real live me showing you how I'd cook the recipe, you know, by forgetting steps and stumbling over appliances and still coming out with something pretty great (like the one above!).

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And then there were the recipes. Here are the 10 you loved most, in case you missed them the first time around—a pretty great haul, full of chicken and chocolate and even one salad. Thank you all for being part of this ever-growing Genius sideshow, 7 years and change in. To many more recipes and new adventures in 2019!

Your Top 10 Genius Recipes of 2018

Got a genius recipe to share—from a classic cookbook, an online source, or anywhere, really? Please send it my way (and tell me what's so smart about it) at [email protected].

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From our new podcast network, The Genius Recipe Tapes is lifelong Genius hunter Kristen Miglore’s 10-year-strong column in audio form, featuring all the uncut gems from the weekly column and video series. Subscribe on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, or wherever you get your podcasts so you don’t miss out.

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See what other Food52 readers are saying.

  • Kate
  • Shirley
  • Ellen Taylor
    Ellen Taylor
  • SWL
  • Tyrone
I'm an ex-economist, lifelong-Californian who moved to New York to work in food media in 2007, before returning to the land of Dutch Crunch bread and tri-tip barbecues in 2020. Dodgy career choices aside, I can't help but apply the rational tendencies of my former life to things like: recipe tweaking, digging up obscure facts about pizza, and deciding how many pastries to put in my purse for "later."


Kate December 26, 2018
It depends on the recipe, but I like to cream butter and sugar with a wooden spoon. Although it requires more elbow grease, it's great to not have to scrape the beaters. I find my KitchenAid mixer does a terrible job of creaming butter and sugar. Also, and this sounds weird - but it is what my mother did, so I do to - I usually cream the mixture in a bowl while kneeling on the floor. It puts shoulder and arm at a better angle for the creaming action than does the kitchen counter. I always cream the butter and sugar this way when making Scottish shortbread.
Kristen M. January 2, 2019
I LOVE that kneeling detail, Kate!
Shirley December 24, 2018
I just made your One-Pan Roasted Chicken with Sherry Vinegar Sauce. IT IS TO DIE FOR
Kristen M. January 2, 2019
Oh, wonderful! That's Alexandra Stafford's recipe and she is a genius. Here's the recipe in case anyone else is wondering:
Ellen T. December 19, 2018
Good collection.
Love the Nigella Lawson’s Genius Sheet-Pan Chicken and try it soon.
Dale December 20, 2018
I’ve made this a couple times. My go to easy weeknight supper. I love Nigellas recepies.
Kristen M. January 2, 2019
So glad to hear you like it, Dale. I've been saddened to hear some cooks say they found it bland—I think it's partly a matter of seasoning well with salt, and partly a matter of embracing the subtle flavors of the delicious long-cooked peas and leeks.
SWL December 19, 2018
I use a stiff spatula or wooden spoon in creaming sugar and butter because I am too lazy to take out the mixer and its subsequent cleanup. However, I have never done it when the recipe calls for two stick of butter. That may be the tipping point for me to go the electric mixer method.
Kristen M. January 2, 2019
Great point—it's sort of like trying to whip a pint of cream by hand vs. half a cup. It feels like it takes waaay more than 4x the arm energy and time.
Tyrone December 19, 2018
I've tried a wooden spoon before but thank god for electric mixers!!
Kristen M. January 2, 2019
Hear, hear! It's hard for me to imagine being able to get quite the same fluffiness by hand (but I'd love to see someone prove me wrong!).