My Top Ten Indispensable New Recipes in 2013

30 Dec

These are the sleepers, the overlooked, the undervalued. They are, like so many of us, the ones who work hard and are most productive, yet don’t get the recognition they deserve.

The following recipes may not have made the Top Five Most Visited Hot, Cheap & Easy Recipes 2013 List, but these are the new recipes that changed MY life in 2013, the recipes I worked on and modified and perfected and which are now an integral part of my family’s menu. They are all fairly easy and all good enough for everyday or to serve to guests. I post them here because I love and appreciate them and I want to give everyone a second chance to notice them and perhaps give them a try in 2014!

1. Slow Cooker Chipotle-Lime Jerk Chicken

Holy Mother of Pearl. All thanks to Vinny and Carolyn Macchirole for turning me on to this one over the summer. Vinny and I made some modifications to a different recipe whose origins are hazy and I have made it a number of times since. A spicy, complex crowd-pleaser that is so easy (and feeds a crowd and freezes well)…as Carolyn says of the slow cooker, “Set it and forget it.”

Set it and forget it!

Set it and forget it!

2. Vegetable Tian: incredible late summer dish inspired by none other than Martha Stewart and also by beautiful and bountiful vegetables from Restoration Farm and our own tomatoes! Slice them, stack them and pop them in the oven.

Assembly is easy on this vegetable tian

Assembly is easy on this vegetable tian

3. Italian Wedding Soup

This was one of the revelations of Marianne and my Sunday cooking sessions. The stock is everything, so please make an effort to make stock every time you roast a bird or beef with bones…

Madonna, this is good soup!

Madonna, this is good soup!

4. Fish Tacos and Tostadas

Inspired by a dinner out during our yearly camping trip to Montauk Point, these days I often do the fish without the tacos. It’s that tasty and fun!

Tacos, tostadas...it's all good

Tacos, tostadas…it’s all good

5. Zucchini Corn Fritters

I am highlighting the zucchini corn fritters here, but it is really fritters in general that have transformed my life this year. I really like taking leftovers, making a light batter and frying them up for dinner. A recent foray into cod fritters reminded me to try a bit of baking powder more often. Expect to see more of these in 2014!

Light and luscious, the abundant corn kernels make this fun to eat

Light and luscious, the abundant corn kernels make this fun to eat

6. Berry Crisp

Light and beautiful, if you have a good berry source, this is what to do with your abundance.

Summer fruit reminds me of piles of precious gems!

Summer fruit reminds me of piles of precious gems!

7. Zippy Passionfruit Chipotle Grilled Shrimp (can be made in a stovetop grillpan)

Chipotle in Adobo was definitely one of my go-to condiments in 2013 and that is set to continue in 2014. Smoky, deep and spicy, you can add a little or a lot and jazz up your life.

Delicious with avocado

Delicious with avocado

8. Crispy Beer Battered Oysters

Half the excitement of this one is that my dad and I taught ourselves how to shuck oysters (without proper oyster shucking knives which we have since acquired). So we would have been happy regardless of the recipe outcome, but this batter was easy, light and perfect and the whole family knocked them back with gusto.

Fantastically crisp beer battered oysters

Fantastically crisp beer battered oysters

9. White Rice

White rice is a staple of the Caribbean kitchen. My rice was always perfectly cooked, but my dad’s is beyond perfect. You can eat it on its own right out of the pot. So I loomed behind him until I got it.

Light and fluffy white rice

Light and fluffy white rice

10. Sweet and Savory Churrasco (Grilled Skirt Steak)

Admittedly, I had this recipe before, but again, my dad’s recipe is just so good that I had to pester and hound him until I got it. And those of you who have tried it can attest that it is out of this world. Truly.

Churrasco or skirt steak is my favorite cut of all

Churrasco or skirt steak is my favorite cut of all

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6 Responses to “My Top Ten Indispensable New Recipes in 2013”

  1. Beba January 6, 2014 at 11:19 am #

    Querida Natalia,
    Me encanta tu blog! Es fun, instructivo, y, la mayor parte de las recetas son buenísimas. Te felicito.
    Beba

  2. annashortcakes December 30, 2013 at 9:25 am #

    This is a great post idea. I am mostly excited about the jerk chicken. It has so many possibilities.

    • Natalia at Hot, Cheap & Easy December 30, 2013 at 9:27 am #

      Oh my God the jerk chicken. Seriously one of the best dishes I’ve ever made. Let me know if you try it!

  3. Karen December 30, 2013 at 6:46 am #

    I think it is interesting to look back at what we have cooked over the year. You have some terrific meals listed here…I can see why you would cook them often.

    • Natalia at Hot, Cheap & Easy December 30, 2013 at 6:48 am #

      Thank you, Karen. I was actually surprised at how varied our menu became this year. It is heartening, as I thought I was stuck in a rut!

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