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2021 Retrospective - The Best New-to-You Recipes made in 2021

masha | Dec 26, 202101:37 PM     88

What recipes did you make for the first time during 2021 that were a hit? Links to the recipe and/or to your earlier CH report on it are encouraged. I'll kick off the discussion:

Epicurious's Cheesy Chicken Enchillada Skillet, https://www.epicurious.com/recipes/fo... - I first made this in early 2021, based on mentions on the WMP threads by Truman, LLM, and MonicaMadeIt. It's so delicious and easy to make that it's gone into our regular rotation.

Mexican Rice from the Kitchn, https://www.thekitchn.com/recipe-mexi.... I found this on the web, searching for a side to accompany the Cheesy Chicken Enchilada Skillet. I now make it every time that I make the skillet enchilladas, scaled by 1/2 since there are only 2 of us.

Poached BS Chicken Breasts from the 2019 edition of the Joy of Cooking - I know that poaching chicken is so basic, that it may seem crazy that I'm including this. But, as I never buy rotisserie chicken, I often find myself poaching chicken to make the Epicurious enchilada recipe (or for chicken salad in the summer). Although I've had the 1975 JoC forever, hubby gave me the 2019 edition when it came out. The leftover poaching liquid is so flavorful with this recipe, that I use it when I make rice dishes (e.g., the Mexican rice). (I'll post a paraphrase if anyone requests.)

Marcella Hazan's Chicken Fricassee with Dried Wild Mushrooms from the Classic Italian Cookbook -- I've owned the cookbook for almost 40 years but never made this recipe until Feb 2021. What a hit! Here's a slightly variant version from Marcella's the Essentials, https://sites.google.com/site/couscou..., and a link to my report on the Marcella's Essentials COTM from 2006 & 2013, https://www.chowhound.com/post/essent...

Julia Turschen's recipe from Simply Victories for Caesar Salad Dressing, https://www.dinneralovestory.com/smal... - Thank you SallyT for introducing us to this dressing during our April 2021 DOTM, https://www.chowhound.com/post/caesar.... I used to make Caesar Salad, maybe, twice/ year, as the process of dealing with the raw egg was so fiddly, Using mayo instead is a brillant short-cut. We now have Caesar Salad about 1/week.

Lidia Bastianich's Spaghetti di Tornola, https://lidiasitaly.com/recipes/spagh... -- I "discovered" this recipe during our Lidia COTM in Feb 2021. As there are just 2 of us, I omit the shrimp & scallops, just making it with calamari. The juice from the calamari imparts a delicious flavor to the pasta. See my report & picture on the COTM thread, https://www.chowhound.com/post/februa.... After my first time making the recipe -- when my husband complained of the excessive garlic taste -- I now finely mince the garlic rather than just slicing.

Lidia's Orange, Escarole & Red Onion Salad, https://lidiasitaly.com/recipes/orang... - Another recipe that I 1st made during our Lidia COTM in Feb 2021. It too has entered our rotation, but typically substituting Romaine for the Escarole, and scaling back a bit on the onions. See my report & picture, https://www.chowhound.com/post/februa...

The Smitten Kitchen recipe for Oven-Fried "French Fries," https://smittenkitchen.com/2015/10/ov... - Another shout-out to SallyT for recommending this recipe, which I first made during our October 2021 DOTM and most recently repeated this past Tuesday. See SallyT’s comments in response to my DOTM report for pointers on how to improve on the written recipe, https://www.chowhound.com/post/novemb...

Sam Sifton's recipe for Smothered Pork Chops from NYT Cooking, https://cooking.nytimes.com/recipes/1... - I don't bother with the star anise in the brine so, per Sifton's recommendation, I do add either chili powder or cayenne to the dredging flour. I've only made it with chops of "regular" thickness and it works fine.

Peppered Duck Breast with Red Wine Sauce, https://cooking.nytimes.com/recipes/1.... - I made this for the first time this past week, and it was delicious. Too fancy for the "regular rotation" but it will be added to my "rotation" for special dinners whether with invited company or a deux.

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