It looks like we're all watching (and cooking from) our favorite TV show.
We published hundreds of recipes this year, from quick appetizers and snacks to an exploration of Caribbean barbecue, Mexican asadas, cooking with chocolate, and ice cream sundaes. But a few recipes stood out the most, especially for readers who, like us, loved watching The Bear (and cooking recipes from and inspired by the show). These 25 recipes were our most searched recipes of the year, and for good reason. They're packed with flavor and bound to please a crowd. Preheat your oven and scroll down for the biggest recipe stars of the year.
This is the perfect unfussy focaccia recipe, that bakes up into a light bread full of flavor from the oil, salt, and herbs. Catherine Jessee in the Food & Wine Test Kitchen created this bread so it is the perfect thickness for sandwich bread, but is also great for slicing into strips and serving with charcuterie, dips, salads, or pasta.
Tavern-Style Sausage and Giardiniera Pizza
Chicagoans love these cracker-thin pies with square-cut pieces, popularly available in corner bars. This version, topped with sausage and giardiniera, was created by John Carruthers for Crust Fund Pizza, his initiative to raise money for Chicago nonprofit organizations by selling pizza from the alley behind his home. What started as a personal project became the home of one of the best pizzas in Chicago.
French Onion Baked Brie
If that first spoonful of French onion soup — with toasted bread, melted cheese, and savory caramelized onions — is your favorite, then you’ll love associate editorial director Chandra Ram’s appetizer, which is a decadent mash-up of French onion soup and baked Brie. Smear the cheesy snack on slices of toasted baguette.
Italian Tuna Salad
This bright and balanced Roman-style tuna salad by Marianne Williams in the Food & Wine Test Kitchen combines oil-packed jarred tuna, sun-dried tomatoes, red onions, juicy olives, and celery, all tossed in a lemony vinaigrette with Dijon mustard and honey. This recipe is a perfect example of how a handful of pantry ingredients can become a meal that sings in just 20 minutes.
Croque Monsieur (which translates to “Mister Crunchy Bite”) is one of the most iconic French bistro dishes, often served at lunch or as a snack at the bar. For this recipe, Chandra Ram tops thin slices of ham with grated Gruyère and a rich, creamy Mornay sauce. The sauce and gooey cheese make this a knife-and-fork sandwich. If you want to make this sandwich even more decadent, add an egg on top for a Croque Madame.
Julia Levy, one of the recipe developers in the Food & Wine Test Kitchen, used both sharp and mild cheddar to make these scalloped potatoes extra cheesy. Don’t worry if you don’t have both kinds on hand. Use all sharp cheddar, all mild cheddar, or whatever combination you prefer.
Fried Herb Yeast Rolls
Food & Wine food editor Paige Grandjean’s soft, pillowy rolls were the star of many Thanksgiving dinner tables this year. The buttery yeast rolls strewn with flecks of fried herbs and toasted garlic. They have a fluffy crumb that’s so tender it almost melts in your mouth.
A light roux becomes a velvety gravy for serving over biscuits for breakfast or brunch in this recipe from chef Erick Williams of Virtue Restaurant in Chicago. Bake up some biscuits to go with it for a hearty, satisfying breakfast or brunch.
Chandra Ram learned that a club sandwich is greater than the sum of its parts while working as a line cook in a hotel that offered room service. How you layer those ingredients and the care you put into them is integral to the satisfaction it gives. This triple-decker sandwich with turkey, bacon, lettuce, and tomato is a classic for a good reason. Few sandwiches hit the spot so completely and perfectly, filling your stomach as they revive your spirit.
For this French bistro classic, Amelia Rampe steams mussels in white wine, butter, and shallots, and then serves them with Dijon mayonnaise and French fries for an appetizer or light meal.
Strawberry Cheesecake Overnight Oats
Mixed with milk and yogurt and packed with fruit and a graham cracker crust, these creamy, tangy overnight oats by Chandra Ram are a satisfying make-ahead breakfast that tastes like our favorite dessert.
Chocolate-Hazelnut Matzo Cake
Perfect for Passover, this rich matzo cake from pastry chef Rochelle Cooper layers espresso liqueur-soaked matzo with melted chocolate and toasted hazelnuts. Cooper says she used to make this cake with her mother for their Passover Seder, but it is a delicious option any time you want an easy, flavorful, no-bake dessert.
Italian Beef Sandwiches
Topped with bright homemade giardiniera and roasted sweet peppers, these Italian beef sandwiches — a Chicago tradition that was also called out in The Bear — have lots of beefy flavor and a deeply satisfying jus. Liv Dansky of the Food & Wine Test Kitchen tripled down on the beef flavors for this recipe by using the beef roast along with oxtails and then braising everything in beef stock.
Caribbean Johnny Cakes
These crispy, tender fried cakes are a delicious side from breakfast to dinner. These Johnny Cakes from Jasmine Smith in the Food & Wine Test Kitchen are more like a small fried bread – slightly sweet, light, and crisp on the outside with a tender and airy center. They are often served as a breakfast dish with cheese, as a snack, or alongside saltfish or fish stews.
Buttery Cabbage and Sausage Pasta
If comfort could be a recipe, it would be this satisfying pasta by Anna Theoktisto in the Food & Wine Test Kitchen. She cooks shredded cabbage to melting tenderness in butter and sausage drippings before tossing it with sausage, pasta, and a light, lemony sauce.
A slow-simmered, rich and savory tonkotsu broth is the base to Hugh Amano's ramen. He adapted the recipe from his book, Let’s Make Ramen!, to streamline it for the home cook. Still, the ramen is a labor of love, and you’ll need a couple of days to prepare all the components. But trust us when we say the results are well worth it, with a ramen that is rich from the meltingly tender chashu pork and soft-boiled egg and brightened by the pickled mushrooms.
Pumpkin Praline Bars
Chef Ouita Michel of The Midway Bakery & Cafe and other restaurants in Midway, Kentucky, shared this recipe. She says these pumpkin praline bars mark the start of fall. “That tender and sweetly spicy cake layer, the creamy pecan icing — it’s a whole handful of goodness,” she says.
Pad Krapow (Basil Stir-Fry)
Sichon Domrongchai created this recipe to recall the meals his mother would make for their family; he likes it served with rice and a fried egg on top. He advises using a mortar and pestle to pound the garlic and chiles — he says it is vital to get the freshest and brightest flavors.
Lemon Pound Cake
This bright and buttery lemon pound cake created by Anna Theoktisto in the Food & Wine Test Kitchen has a moist and tender crumb with a golden-domed crunchy crust that’s topped with a lemony glaze that adds an accent of sweetness. A handful of pantry staples come together to create this citrus-infused cake that is perfect for breakfast, tea, dessert, or as a snack.
Wedge Salad with Tahini Green Goddess Dressing
Food & Wine culinary director at large Justin Chapple tops his crunchy and refreshing iceberg wedge salad with a satisfying tahini green goddess dressing instead of the expected blue cheese. It adds depth, nuttiness, and a pleasantly bitter edge to this classic salad.
Coconut Curry Salmon
Eric Adjepong’s recipe combines seared salmon with a sauce made with coconut milk, peppers, thyme, tomato, and onions. Be sure to use full-fat coconut milk for the richest flavor and texture. We love this curry served over cooked rice or coconut rice, alongside the quick hot sauce Adjepong includes in the recipe, which is bright from the vinegar and Scotch bonnet peppers.
Cola-Braised Short Ribs with Risotto
If you love the television show The Bear as much as we do, it’s likely you were also excited about the short ribs Sydney works on perfecting during the entire first season of the show. On television and in real life, nothing is cozier than a Dutch oven filled with braised, fall-off-the-bone tender short ribs served over risotto. Here, per Sydney’s creativity, Marianne Williams in the Food & Wine Test Kitchen gave the classic wine and stock braising liquid a surprising addition with cola, which balances the savory with a touch of complex sweetness to create a smooth, rich sauce.
San Bei Ji (Three-Cup Chicken)
Ginger, garlic, soy sauce, and rock sugar make the chicken in Cathy Erway’s rendition of this classic Taiwanese dish tender and incredibly flavorful. The “three cups” refers to the heady amounts of rice wine, soy sauce, and sesame oil that chicken is braised in for this dish.
'The Bear' Chocolate Cake
The famous chocolate cake from the television show The Bear was created by Chicago pastry chef Sarah Mispagel-Lustbader, who served as the pastry consultant for the show. She and her husband, Ben Lustbader, sell slices of this cake at their bakery cafe, Loaf Lounge. The cake layers an airy chocolate mousse between a fudgy chocolate cake; everything is topped with a rich chocolate frosting.
This cozy dish of rolled meat stuffed with breadcrumbs and cheese and cooked in tomato sauce is a staple at Italian family gatherings. Since this dish has its roots in Italian cuisine, you’ll find braciole at family dinners throughout the Italian diaspora. It has also been featured television shows like The Bear, which inspired this version by Marianne Williams in the Food & Wine Test Kitchen.
For more Food & Wine news, make sure to sign up for our newsletter!
Read the original article on Food & Wine.