To start, one should never try to diet at the same time as attempting a throwdown cookoff. Talk about setting oneself up for failure! My goal was 20 out of the 20 best ever and sadly I only made it to 8 out of 20. I did make some additional ones from the online list (best 100 recipes), but I just ran out of time.
Check out the slideshow of the recipes I tried, but you really can’t go wrong with any of the F&W’s best ever recipes. As someone who entertains a lot, I found all the recipes interesting, and if not unique, they were definitely solid recipes you could serve guests and know they'd have some very tasty food.
From the Magazine - 8 of 20
1. Roasted Carrot and Avocado Salad with Citrus Dressing - A bit of a pain to make but one of the more interesting salads I have had of late. Actually made this one twice as we did enjoy it.
2. Chicken Goulash with Biscuit Dumplings - This was my daughter’s favorite and I must say it was pretty awesome. Not sure if I would serve it to guests as it is very casual but it delivers on flavor.
3. Roast Chicken Salad - Ok, didn’t actually make this exact recipe, but I have made the original Judy Roger’s recipe from her book. This is a welcome, simplified version and an AWESOME recipe.
4. Nacho Burgers - Next Giants game these will be served.
5. Sirloin with Piquillo Peppers and Capers - This had to be my favorite in terms of most flavor for the least amount of effort. Confession: did have a dinner guest and good friend do the BBQing (thanks Andrew), but it truly is stress-free dish to prepare.
6. Tuna Ceviche with Avocado and Cilantro - Clean, clean, clean flavors. Great appetizer. Not big flavor here, but lovely to start the evening with this app.
7. Apple Pie Bars - Home run! In fact, I don’t even think I will ever make apple pie again.
8. Double-Chocolate Layer Cake - I ended up making this recipe 4 times. It is pretty frickin’ awesome.
From the top 100
1. Panko-Coated Chicken Schnitzel - Easy-peasy... a perfect weeknight meal.
2. Tuscan Baby Back Ribs - My good friend and chef, Jody Denton, created this recipe and I have made it many, many times over the years. Always a crowd pleaser!
All in all, it was a fun time trying and tasting. At one dinner party over the past month, we all discussed what the parameters for “best ever” are. For the most part we all agreed that our most memorable meals, best-ever, were not so much about the food as the people we shared it with. I would agree, but it is sure nice to have good food and wine accompany fantastic friends!
Angela Camacho, a certified sommelier and author of a best selling wine tool, The Wine Wheel®, shares her obsession with wine and food.