Our Favorite Recipes of 2016
Brown Butter Lobster Roll
More: Best Lobster Recipes
It’s no longer a secret that the other Portland has as much of a killer food scene as the one in Oregon. And a big part of that renaissance can be credited to chefs Andrew Taylor and Mike Wiley and their restaurants, Eventide Oyster Co. and The Honey Paw. Lucky for us, the duo was gracious enough to lend us their recipe for Eventide’s signature brown butter lobster roll, which subs out the typical split-top roll for a pillowy steam bun. Along with fellow Portland restaurant Pai Men Miyake’s paitan ramen and a growler or two from Oxbow Brewing, it’s a must-order indulgence on any Maine excursion. And now you can have one any time, right in your own home.
- Recipe: Brown Butter Lobster Rolls
Lulu's Winter Gumbo
Between the laundry list of ingredients and the tedium of whisking together a proper roux, I’ve never exactly considered gumbo “fun,” per se. But there’s just something infectious about the mellow, no-fuss approach of gumbo guru Lucy “Lulu” Buffett. Not a fan of filé? Meh, leave it out. Have some leftover duck in the fridge? Toss it in. Do yourself a favor and watch her Facebook Live as she makes this recipe and discusses her “gumbo love” philosophy. You’ll see what I’m talking about.
- Recipe: Lulu’s Winter Gumbo
Smoky Uni Carbonara
I think Katie Barreira (our test kitchen director and the creator of this recipe), said it best: uni is the foie gras of the sea. These indulgent, custardy lobes of sea urchin can ramp up the umami on anything. But that’s particularly true when you add it to the egg yolks and parmesan (we suggest Grana Padano) standard in carbonara. After trying this, I swear you’ll be scouring for uni at your fishmonger’s as often as you do shrimp and salmon.
- Recipe: Smoky Uni Carbonara
Barton's Texas BBQ Oysters
For our second annual food issue, we sent our contributing seafood editor, Barton Seaver, to the coast of Galveston, Texas, to go fishing for red snapper with sustainable seafood icon, Buddy Guindon. New friendships were forged as some of the Gulf’s most important seafood champions came out for a beachside feast. There was a host of great snapper dishes, but the recipe I’ve returned to most are these grilled Prestige oysters dusted with fresh herbs, chilies, and pecorino Romano cheese.
- Recipe: Texas BBQ Oysters
Turkey and Gravy Egg Sandwich
It’s amazing. You mention Thanksgiving, and most people start talking about the next day’s turkey and cranberry sandwich more so than the main event. Not me! I much prefer the crispy, just-pulled-from-the-oven stuffing and some warm thigh meat slathered in gravy. But test kitchen chef Robby Melvin has made me a leftover convert thanks to this sweet-savory breakfast sandwich that partners day-old turkey, a sunny-side up egg, and two herb-laden waffles into a perfect post-Thanksgiving meal.
- Recipe: Turkey and Gravy Egg Sandwich
Horchata Icebox Cake with Spiced Mango
When creating a menu for our December Florida issue, shrimp was the first ingredient that came to mind. But we also wanted to evoke a sense of escape. Hence the Latin flavors of tomatillo, avocado, chorizo, and one of my favorite desserts, horchata. Even better, we added those nutty, cinnamon-y notes to an icebox cake topped with ancho chili-flecked mango—for a little extra kick to balance all that sweetness.
Crispy Duck a l'Orange with Lime Scallion Pancakes
I’m not Jewish, but having lived in Brookline (just outside of Boston) for the last five years, I’ve started to associate the holidays with Chinese-American food. It reminds me of Tim Whatley (played by Bryan Cranston) on Seinfeld converting to Judaism “for the jokes.” I’ve just picked up the Christmas Chinese food habit because I was tired of Thanksgiving dinner redux. So, for our citrus-themed holiday feature, I knew I wanted to include some variation on crispy duck. Ours became a mash-up of two iconic duck dishes: duck a l’orange and the Chinese takeout classic. And instead of serving typical Peking duck pancakes as an accompaniment, we developed a chewy scallion pancake infused with lime zest. Because we could all use a little refresher when it comes to our approach to dining and entertaining this holiday season.
Stone Crab Stir-Fry
I certainly can’t fault anyone for serving stone crab with a simple side of drawn butter or Joe Weiss’s famous mustard-based sauce, which he developed at Joe’s Stone Crab in Miami. But Contributing Seafood Editor Barton Seaver really boosted the possibilities of this hyper-seasonal ingredient with his Asian stir-fry. The results speak for themselves: succulent claw meat lacquered in soy, fish sauce, ginger, garlic, and chilies. Serve as a shareable starter, or make it a meal with a bowl of rice vermicelli.
- Recipe: Stone Crab Stir-Fry
Clam Chowder Fritters
How to choose between salty carnival fare like corn dogs and soft pretzels? I admit, it was an impossible task as I combed through our “Boardwalk Bites” feature—one of my favorite food stories of 2016. Ultimately, I opted for these ingenious clam chowder fritters that remain moist and fluffy due to the additions of clam juice and buttermilk.
- Recipe: Clam Chowder Fritters
Farro, Heirloom Tomato, and Peach Salad
More: Grain Salads
A quick midweek staple at my house is a grain bowl layered with garlic sautéed greens, basil pesto, and Trader Joe’s 10-Minute Farro. But come summertime, when heirloom tomatoes start populating my local farmers market, I get a bit more ambitious thanks to this recipe. Peak season stone fruit, ricotta salata, and fresh herbs are layered along with all those Cherokee Purple and Caspian Pink wedges (or any heirloom variety), and then tossed in our versatile white balsamic vinaigrette.
Barton's Crawfish Boil
New England has the clambake. The Chesapeake Bay area has blue crab boils. I grew up in Houston, which loves a good crawfish boil as much as its Crescent City neighbors. Those outside of the Gulf Coast tend to point to the scrawny amount of tail and claw meat on our beloved crustacean. But I like to think that its diminutive size only ensures that each bite is saturated in spice. And with additions such as fresh jalapeño and fennel, Barton’s recipe trumps the dozens of backyard boils I’ve been lucky enough to attend over the years.
- Recipe: Crawfish Boil
Salmon Ceviche with Coconut and Basil
Ceviche is defined by its simplicity. The key is to purchase the best possible ingredients, then let the citric acid do its work. Any fresh fish can benefit from golden rule, but I particularly like this Thai-inspired version which gets its crunch from red onion and halved cherry tomatoes; its pop from a Thai basil and coconut milk marinade; and an extra strata of umami from salmon roe.