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"Improves with age..." Recipes for foods that are actually better after a few days?

What foods do you make ahead of time specifically to enhance the flavor, texture, or general enjoyment? I like lasagna and boeuf bourgignonne better when reheated on day 2. I have seen recipes for honey cake that say "improves with age." Thanks!

asked by Sadassa_Ulna about 5 years ago
18 answers 3939 views
B9b8e1e2 83aa 450a 936e e4d71523af98  lisa
added about 5 years ago

I agree with you about lasagna and beef bourguignon. Along the lines of the latter, try Daniel Boulud's short ribs recipe: http://www.epicurious.com.... I've made this a few times now, one of those times having eaten it the same night (made it that morning). It's not the same. It's so much better the next day as the beef gets the opportunity to absorb the wonderful flavors of the sauce; not to mention that you get to skim the fat off the next day, creating a really velvety sauce. And definitely make the celery root puree with it. Love that.

I also think chili is better the next day, but not the kind with ground beef (personal choice here as I wouldn't turn down a bowl); more like the slow-cooked beef or chicken chili.

19f2e275 c635 488f 8322 530158a23e00  food52
added about 5 years ago

Bourguignon is my favorite dish to make a head of time. Any time I'm braising meat, I let it sit in the refridgerator over night..... even before removing the meat or aromatics from the liquid. I pull the braise out of the oven, cool it down, then put the pan directly into the fridge until the next day. Then I re-heat to liquify and do whatever it was that I had planned.

I must also add Sangria to the list. Always always always let that fruit sit for several hours. I give my sangria recipe to my friends and they tell me that it was horrible when they tried it. I ask if they let it sit and I'm always told "no, I tried it right away". *face palm*.

B0e51b35 a002 4fdd adc2 f06fa947184e  baci1

HalfPint is a trusted home cook.

added about 5 years ago

bolognese sauce

67544da8 1862 4539 8ec8 2d9dfc2601bb  dsc 0122.nef 1
added about 5 years ago

Panzanella.. I made one with roast peaches & was hopping on one foot that the other half would leave some left overs for my breakfast the next day.

1097a5b5 1775 4eec a8ea 7421137b65dc  image 2 apples claire sullivan 2

amysarah is a trusted home cook.

added about 5 years ago

I think most deeply flavored soups and braised dishes - whether to be eaten as a 'stew' or as a pasta sauce - improve over a day or two. Also meatballs, stuffed cabbage...pates that get weighted in the fridge for a couple before eating...gravlax or anything cured, of course....

Also, I often make biscotti to send to my kids, not only because they ship well in terms of breakage, but they also taste better a couple of days post-baking (stored in an airtight container.)

C0d1f1de 4134 43ba 9510 1d7a8caa31f3  scan0004
added about 5 years ago

Lately everything I make tastes better the next day and beyond. I think I've desensitized while I cook.

0dcfb05c 8a90 480f 8cf7 cbc33e9a6b5c  me
added about 5 years ago

Without a doubt, chili. Awesome the first day, better the next day, great the following day, tremendous three days later and you will not believe the wonders awaiting your taste buds after five days!

00c46d23 3575 4258 98ff 95bf01356ea4  stringio
added about 5 years ago

Cheese straws

B4d6b166 1d4b 403c ac3b 320ee1ed1c33  dsc01280
added about 5 years ago

jambalaya, minestrone (yes, the noodles get a bit large, but it's still worth it), cold leftover fried chicken

4798a9c2 4c90 45e5 a5be 81bcb1f69c5c  junechamp

June is a trusted source on General Cooking.

added about 5 years ago

I know a number of folks who call Gumbo "raw" on the day they make it, and they'd NEVER consider serving it that way.

I think any braised dish, and also rice and beans are better the next day. Cole slaw improves with a bit of age, as well.

3274dd01 68df 403c a7b7 dc04541caaf8  dsc 0102 2
added about 5 years ago

Pound cake. Not only does the flavor improve after a day or so, but I find that when well wrapped, the cake is more moist and melt-in-your-mouth tender than it is on day one.

0bc70c8a e153 4431 a735 f23fb20dda68  sarah chef

Sarah is a trusted source on General Cooking.

added about 5 years ago

Curries! Basically anything using braised meat with a spice blend is going to improve after 24 hours or so.

Also - ice cream and custard bases (for crème brûlée, etc) do much better with a 24 hour set in the fridge before spinning / baking.

23b88974 7a89 4ef5 a567 d442bb75da04  avatar

Margie is a trusted home cook immersed in German foodways.

added about 5 years ago

Gingerbread, ginger cookies, Lebkuchen and Springerle (the last two are cookies) improve with age. I think tagines improve with age as well.

D1720f22 7b4e 4949 8b21 37aa5b84a8c3  pic 11 11 01 crop
added about 5 years ago

Braised brisket. Braised shortribs (http://koshercamembert... and http://koshercamembert...). I think pound cake also gets better after a day or two - it's especially good toasted and spread with butter. Finally, gazpacho also gets better with time)

Bb911bcd 2446 4d8f 848f cdc2090e999a  leaf cake
added about 5 years ago

eggplant parm!

012dfbd1 43d9 417a ae27 f5cd7f65b8fe  img 0736
added about 5 years ago

most cakes and quick breads made with fruit or fruit and nuts are better if alllowed to mellow a day or two. texture/flavor improves.

23b88974 7a89 4ef5 a567 d442bb75da04  avatar

Margie is a trusted home cook immersed in German foodways.

added about 5 years ago

Add cakes that contain alcohol, such as a bourbon cake, to the list as well. And fruitcake!

671b6c39 4898 435f 92c5 89cd9b925088  img 3788
added about 5 years ago

In the summer, gazpacho! It is much better day 2 or 3.

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