Too Many Cooks: Our Favorite Dishes of 2013

January  3, 2014

You'll be hearing from the staff at Food52 in Too Many Cooks, our group column in which we pool our answers to questions about food, cooking, life, and more. 

2013 was a good year. We worked hard, we aimed high, we cooked our socks off, and we ate well. Really well. So, naturally, we've rounded up our team and asked a very important, very serious question:

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What was the best thing you cooked in 2013?

We want to hear about your favorite dishes, too! Tell us all about them in the comments.

Grilled Fava Beans on Food52

BretteThese grilled favas -- which changed my life and made me a total anchovy freak -- and Jenny's chocolate cookies, which I made a grand total of 4 times in one weekend last February.

Catherine: The Food52 intern dinner of Braised Moroccan Chicken with Olives was pretty tough to beat.

Kenzi: I actually died when Kristen wrote about Diane Kochilas' yogurt pasta. I drove my boyfriend mad with the amount of times I made Zucchini Butter. And the cauliflower steaks -- bless their souls -- are out-shined in my house only by April's salty porridge. And now I am hungry, so tonight I think I will make all of them for dinner.

Christina: We eeked in some killer goose fat oven potatoes with an awfully tasty standing rib roast on New Year's Eve. Bonus addition: Kenzi's Balsamic-Roasted Shallots were quite friendly with the roast. 

Posie: Kenzi's Miso Butternut Squash Soup. I just want to eat it every cold winter day. And this applesauce cake is my undoing. Also this caramelized white chocolate. Often I just make jars of it to have sitting around. Because that seems like a smart thing to do.

Lauren MSautéed Spring Mushrooms, Chiles, and Cilantro in Caramelized Coconut Broth. I had actually never cooked with coconut milk before, and always thought it too sweet to my liking. But this dish was so flavorful, and all the colors were beautiful! I added shrimp, too. Also I served Apple Rye Punch at a party this fall and it was a huge hit.

Rachel: Yogurt Pasta is definitely at the top of my list. And Amanda's almond cake. My mom made it over winter break and lets just say I had it for breakfast more times than I would like to admit.

Lauren LLobster Broth and Clam Risotto!

Karl: Similar to Christina's goose fat potatoes, we threw some diced potatoes into the dripping pan of the smoker as we cooked our Thanksgiving turkey -- they were amazing! I was also really happy to finally make hummus as good as they do at Middle Eastern restaurants -- who knew that adding all that olive oil and being stingy with the tahini was messing everything up!

Amanda: My favorite new thing is the Garlic Anchovy Salad Dressing in the Roberta's cookbook. Oh, and fiveandspice's Cardamom Lemon Sticky Buns! They're so easy and rewarding.

Ryan: I devoured an embarrassing amount of the Four & Twenty Blackbirds' Black Bottom Oatmeal Pie that we made. It tasted spot-on (if not better) to the ones we've had at their bakery. 

Sara HWorld Peace Cookies!! They are the most-requested baked good by my college suitemates and friends. And myself. (Mostly myself.) 

Laura B: I loved these spelt flour cinnamon buns from My New Roots. Sweet, filling, and perfect for Christmas morning.

Merrill: I made this for an early Christmas dinner with my parents, and it reminded me that there's really no reason to consider any other method for roast beef.

Marian: Yogurt pasta, because it's the most perfect thing to make for a dinner party (or just for yourself, really), and it's strangely good all cold and stuck together the next morning, when you're rinsing out your friends' wine glasses and scraping bits of caramelized onion off of your stove. Also genius oatmeal with all of the salt and all of the milk (yolo).

Kristen: Merrill's Chard Salad with Garlic Breadcrumbs and Parmesan topped with a medium-cooked egg, then a bunch of extra garlic breadcrumbs dumped on the egg. (A little like a deep-fried poached egg, without messing around.) 

Sarah Jampel: I made Melissa Clark's tomato crostata this summer and consequently had an out-of-body experience. I've also made the Smitten Kitchen's Fig, Olive Oil, and Sea Salt Challah many, many times this past year and even when my yeast was bad and I over-kneaded the dough, it was still devoured within minutes.

JoyMomofuku's Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Fish Sauce Vinaigrette. I like this recipe so much that I'm weirdly protective of it and don't want to tell anyone about it. So this was hard.  

Lindsay-Jean: +1 on the genius hummus. (And I've clearly been missing out on the yogurt pasta. Putting it on next week's dinner menu.)

Stephanie: It seems like it was forever ago now, but Raspberry Ice Cream Sandwiches. I don't think I'll ever be able to go a summer without making them ever again.

Gabriella M: I also need to try that yogurt pasta! A few friends and I dedicated one of the last warm weekends of 2013 to making pork buns on the grill, and it was well worth it. I also could not get enough of this Avocado and Egg Breakfast Pizza. Oh, and the Roberta's pizza dough recipe was a pizza night game changer.

Maddy: +1 on genius hummus and Momofuku's Brussels sprouts. I now use that fish sauce vinaigrette on everything -- most often broccoli. Also, "Greek" Lamb with Orzo

Tell us: What dishes did you cook over and over in 2013? What recipes changed your life for good? Also: How much do you love yogurt pasta?

See what other Food52 readers are saying.

  • MoRoMo
  • mehrunnisa
  • Lazyretirementgirl
  • MadChef
  • Sarah Jampel
    Sarah Jampel
Writer, Fooder, Blogger. New Yorker turned Cape Coder.


MoRoMo January 7, 2014
I can't wait to try the yogurt pasta! My favorite recipe in 2013 was for another yogurt pasta. Peas, conchiglie, greek yogurt, and spicy pine nuts from the cookbook Jerusalem. Can't stop making it!
mehrunnisa January 6, 2014
the zucchini butter. i made endless batches of it. and i've used the yoghurt pasta as a base for things like spinach. it's excellent!
Lazyretirementgirl January 5, 2014
While we are on technical issues, I tried to share the yogurt pasta on Facebook and the right hand column masked the sharing button and comment.
On a culinary note, ditto the momofuku sprouts. Life altering and crazy delicious.
MadChef January 4, 2014
My favorite recipe from the past year that I have made over and over is
Madhur Jaffrey's Stir-Fried Cabbage with Fennel Seeds. This recipe with the addition of a couple exta spices is something that is so simple and so delicious.
Sarah J. January 4, 2014
Ok, I'm convinced -- I'm making the yogurt pasta tonight.
Brette W. January 4, 2014
Cathy V. January 3, 2014
Thanks! Works now.
Cathy V. January 3, 2014
Can't access Balsamic-Roasted Shallots, the link sends me to the food52 admin page.
Joy B. January 3, 2014
Cathy, thanks for letting me know! It should work now :)