2014 in review: recipes

If you believe the analytics, most of you come here for my recipe writeups, aside from one IT-related article that was enormously popular after being featured on both Hacker News and Reddit. So for my second 2014 year-in-review post, I’m taking note of the new recipes that I tried and found to be the most rewarding.

ATK’s Herb-crusted Salmon Fillets has consistently been the most popular food post since it went up. Apparently a lot more people are interested in Cook’s Illustrated‘s recipes than are willing to pay for a subscription to their Web site, and so when they do a search for this recipe, they end up here.
Joanne Chang’s Brioche master recipe and Brioche au chocolat were not nearly as difficult as brioche is often said to be. I’m looking forward to making another batch and trying some of her other treats that are based on brioche dough (although I don’t think my diet will ever allow for the “Sticky sticky buns”).
Emily and Melissa Elsen’s Sweet cherry streusel pie was my first foray into The Four & Twenty Blackbirds Pie Book, and a delicious one at that. With this as a starting point, I ended up baking more pies in 2014 than I had in my entire live heretofore.
SeriousEats’ Fresh corn chowder was a great seasonal soup, and gave me an excuse to buy an immersion blender. This chowder reheats wonderfully, even from the freezer, and makes enough that I had to freeze some of it.
The Elsens’ Salted caramel apple pie taught me that lattice tops are not actually difficult, and there was no reason for me to have avoided them all these years. Also in October, I organized Pumpkin Pie Fest for Columbus Day (aka Canadian Thanksgiving), and baked six of the pies myself — my favorite of which being King Arthur Flour’s Golden pumpkin pie, which has a whole-grain crust and a custard sweetened entirely with honey.
Not every recipe turns out a brilliant success, but I used leftover heavy cream as an excuse to make Alice Medrich’s Extra-bittersweet ganache truffles. It was a light month for baking due to two week-long trips to the West Coast — one for business, in Seattle, and one for pleasure (and Thanksgiving!) in Southern California.
For the holiday season, my baking went back into overdrive, starting with CSAIL Holiday Baking Fest, where I did four items, two for the first time, and my favorite of the new recipes was Joanne Chang’s Bittersweet chocolate truffle tart. (Yes, I do prefer the dark stuff, why do you ask?) For the family Christmas gathering, I did three pies, all of which were good, but two were absolutely superb: Joanne Chang’s caramel-nut tart and the Elsens’ cranberry-sage pie — both of which I will almost certainly do again should the occasion arise.
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