Apparently there's something about the closing of the year that kindles a need to make lists noting events in that year. Every time I've watched a news broadcast in the last few days I've seen one of those montages of famous people who died in 2008 or a retrospective of key political moments from the year (and, yes, I am still moved to tears everytime I get to the part where Barack Obama's win is made official). I can't pick up a newspaper or magazine without finding lists of best books, best movies, worst movies, best television shows, best inventions, best fashion moments, worst fashion moments, right down to top celebrity weddings of 2008. No subject goes un-listed.
Not to be left out, this is my third annual list of best recipe collections from newspapers and magazines. I'm always drawn to these lists because of my enduring belief that every recipe is a kind of crap shoot, you might end up with something you love, or you might end up with disappointment. It seems to me that recipes that have been vetted by food editors or the readers of food pages have a higher chance of success.
As I compiled this list I couldn't help but wonder how much longer many of these newspaper food sections will continue. If you pay any attention to the news at all you're aware that newspapers are struggling mightily to remain profitable. As newspapers have cut back, one of the major casualties have been newspaper food departments. Enjoy them while we can.
The Baltimore Sun's favorite recipes of 2008 which are headlined as being "affordable and delicious."
The Washington Post's top 10 most-viewed recipes.
Picks from the San Antonio Express-News.
Most clicked recipes from the Dallas Morning News' website
The Atlantic Journal Constitution's 2008 Golden Whisk Award winners.
2008 staff favorites from Cooking Light
Food and Wine didn't publish an end of year list of their favorite recipes, but they published several lists for the magazine's 30th anniversary this past September. There's a list of editor's favorites from the past 30 years, 30 best fast recipes, the most frequently saved recipes from Food and Wine's online archives, and recipes that were voted on by readers as their favorites.
At this time of year, a lot of food bloggers have also taken to posting favorite recipes or posts for the year. I'm jumping on that bandwagon too, although in a small way. Instead of a top ten list, or even a top five list I'm going with just one big favorite: The Red Cat Restaurant's Quick Sauté of Zucchini with Toasted Almonds and Pecorino. It has all the earmarks of a perfect recipe: It uses a combination of ingredients that I wouldn't have come up with on my own, the three simple ingredients create a sum that is greater than its parts, it's fast, it's easy, and it's something I look forward to eating again and again. Last summer I found myself eating this for breakfast sometimes. I'm looking forward to the return of summer when I'll be able to make it again.
And here's to 2009 and success in the kitchen! Happy New Year!