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.
It’s time for my favorite annual tradition: resurrecting the 10 least popular Genius Recipes of the year—then theorizing how I misled you with a bad headline or ill-planned timing, and singing their praises once more.
They’re the ones that proved not to be as attention-grabbing as 10-minute pasta and Nigella sheet-pan chicken (really, what can be?), but all have their own life-brightening charms—allow me to point them out one more time.
Why you didn’t care: This no-churn dessert looks and sounds so fancy (gelato cake? ooh la la), you couldn’t have known how simple it is. Also, it ran in early August with a photo that looked like a fancy winter party at midnight.
Why you should: Wow, this thing is easy and delicious. Plus, Nigella found it tucked away in a surprising place and translated it from Italian (and from obscure Italian booze) just for us. Let's show her some gratitude.
Why you didn’t care: I thought seeing "hot water cornbread" would excite the Southerners who already know about it, and intrigue the rest of you. I may have overestimated on both counts.
Why you should: Using hot water and crisping in a pan instead of baking means you get cornbread faster—plus Todd Richards puts popcorn in almost all of his cornbread recipes and has very compelling reasons why.
Why you didn’t care: Too many things you love in one place—processing error?
Why you should: It's not like you're actually making all three different dishes, but grabbing the best parts of each to layer into one simple summer salad (and their Venn diagram is already mostly overlapping, anyway).
Why you didn’t care: Either I was being too vague with “frozen treat” or you were onto me that frozen treats inevitably take more than 10 minutes to freeze (even if they only take 10 minutes to get into the freezer).
Why you should: Kulfi—a dense, creamy Indian frozen treat—is soothing and delicious, and Meera Sodha's recipe is the lickety-split version.
Why you didn’t care: This went up May 16, when you were already over spring and ready for tomato season.
Why you should: Nigel Slater includes a handy DIY chicken stock that's deeply flavored fast (thanks, roasted chicken wings!) and pulls smart moves you could use to brighten any soup. Don't even worry about the wilted lettuce—it's great.
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].
The Genius Desserts cookbook is here! With more than 100 of the most beloved and talked-about desserts of our time (and the hidden gems soon to join their ranks) this book will make you a local legend, and a smarter baker to boot.
I'm an ex-economist, ex-Californian who moved to New York to work in food media in 2007. 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."