Pop up some bottles, cause tonight will be the start of a new year; new opportunities and chances for everyone to do the important stuff, like more cooking and more eating. It only seems like a little while ago that I poured this sparkling Cava into a jar of fruit while the sky was still blue (now it’s smoggy) and the weather was still nice (now it’s freaaaking cold).
As study-avoidance (I’ve 7 papers, a test and a big presentation coming up and luckily for me, they’re all in Chinese – the language that I speak/write so fluently now, not.) I’ve made a list of the 10 (+1) best recipes from 2012. I’ve only included recipes that I made for the first time this year, so the fudgy chocolate cake or the sugarbread French toast did, unfortunately, not make the list. The list is extremely objective, especially since I didn’t have any breakfast (i.e. hungry) before I made it and since I’ve been craving a looot of Western (/non-Chinese) food after my four-month stay in Beijing.
Yes, the best thing I cooked this year were meatballs in tomato sauce. But these meatballs are no regular ones, these are the most flavorful bites I’ve ever eaten. With a lot of fragrant spices and some patience – this is not a dish you whip up in ten minutes – you can take meatballs in tomato sauce to a whole new level. Make a bit more than necessary, cause I can promise you that they will even taste better the next day. And I bet that if you follow April Bloomfields instructions to te letter – which I didn’t – they will even be more spectacular.
Do you want a desert that looks so tempting, you would want to smash your face into it and eat it just like that? Do you want a desert that makes you feel like summer with its fresh strawberries and the lemony zing of limomcello? Do you want a desert that will make all the people at the table get tipsy and start giggling more and more while they’re eating their treats? Or do you want to make a desert that you can easily whip up in advance and is incredibly delicious? In any of these cases, make this tiramisu.
I’ve made Bo Ssäm twice and every time it was a huge hit; everyone slaughtered the big cut of slow roasted pork and fought over the last pieces. There’s a bowl of rice in the picture, but no one bothered to stuff their lettuce wrap with it; the more meat, the merrier. My favorite way to eat it is just some meat wrapped in lettuce with a decent splash of garlic sriracha.
I know that for a certain person this salad should’ve been at least in the top 3, but since this is my (objective) list, it ended up on fourth place. This salad screams summer to me. Not only do the fresh ingredients and the vibrant colors make it a feast for the eye, the flavors will also create a party in your mouth when you eat it.
Eating a really good croissant feels like you’re walking on clouds. Eating a really good warm croissant filled with almond cream and topped with shaved almonds feels like you’ve just died and gone to heaven – at least, I hope that’s what dying will feel like.
Not only is this the best brownie ever, this is also by far the ugliest picture ever posted on a foodblog. I understand this pictures does not persuade you to immediately run into your kitchen and start baking this dark and gooey masterpiece, but please, don’t judge this book by its cover. There’s an obscene amount of dark chocolate in this brownie and the best part is – I know, an obscene amount of dark chocolate is not even the best part?! – the addition of dried plums that have been soaking in a decent amount of liquor for three days. Do I need to say more?
7. Lamb ragout
This is my ideal winter comfort food. Lamb bubbling away for hours in a pool of red wine and afterwards being mixed with all dente pasta and of course topped with a generous – and I mean generous – amount of freshly grated Parmesan cheese. Can anyone bring me a plate of this to my cold dorm room, please?
My spelling check wants me to change friands into the word friends and I could actually totally agree with this, since these are indeed very good friends of mine. We’re talking about small chocolate cakes that are incredibly moist when you bite into them and which are topped with a rich layer of shining chocolate ganache. Who wouldn’t want a chocolate friend like that?
After you’ve eaten a whole batch of chocolate friends – I would never do that of course – you might feel a tiny little bit guilty. The perfect solution would be to make yourself shakshuka; a dish full of veggies, packed with flavor and with the help of some eggs made into a complete meal. Even if you haven’t found yourself covered in chocolate and can’t remember what happened to the chocolate cakes you just made, you might still want to eat this dish, cause it’s just so damn good.
Is anyone else also a big fan of sweet and salty deserts? If so, make this ice cream right now. If not, I think our friendship has come to an end right here. Not only does this ice cream have a velvety creamy texture, it is sweet due to the butterscotch and has the saltiness due to the buttered (yes, buttered!) pecans. And if this didn’t convince you then I can tell you that there’s also a splash of whisky mixed into the butterscotch ice cream.
10 (+1). The best spare-ribs I’ve ever had
This might be the best thing I’ve eaten this year, so it’s supposed to be on number 1. The thing with these incredibly delicious and melt-in-your-mouth ribs is that they have been prepared in the same kitchen where and at the same time when I was cooking up some dishes, but I did not make these – so no credits for me.
By the way, it can’t be coincidence that 9 out of 10 (+1) recipes come from my favorite cookbooks.
I hope everyone will have an amazing New Year’s Eve and that 2013 will make all your sweet dreams come true.