As a Christmas gift to readers, Kitchen Window has compiled some of the most popular stories of the year for another look. As always, you were interested in a variety of subjects, from the simple procedure to the leap of faith, and showed an interest in trending topics — like gluten-free and DIY.
You liked Susie Chang's story on the many uses of buttermilk — biscuits, fried chicken, waffles, pork chops, cornbread, ice cream, panna cotta, okra — as well as her story praising the humble lentil in soup, with rice, in hot stews and cold salads.
Many of you also liked Chang's piece on Brussels sprouts, with its recipes for sprouts sauteed with spinach, roasted with balsamic vinegar and braised with cream.
You also were taken with Chang's story on how to make and use preserved lemons, including a recipe for chicken with preserved lemons and green olives that she says is their best-known use.
Nicole Spiridakis apparently made a convincing case for making your own yogurt, with recipes for plain and Greek-style, and for using homemade yogurt in a fruit-and-almond cake, banana-cocoa bread and a pasta sauce.
Readers also liked Spiridakis' story about flourless baking for the one out of 133 people in the U.S. who cut out gluten because of celiac disease — and others who avoid gluten for various reasons. She suggests substituting flours made from nuts, seeds, legumes and rice, corn millet and quinoa.
Peter Ogburn's account of preparing a Thanksgiving meal without a single can grabbed a lot of readers. No cream of mushroom soup for the green bean casserole or canned pumpkin puree for the pie. "Fresh just tastes better," he writes.
Rina Rapuano's story about the resurgent interest in butterscotch enticed readers with recipes for a multilayered banana crepe cake, butterscotch ice cream, a butterscotch chiffon tart and a savory dish of butterscotch and black pepper carrots. Yes, of course there's a recipe for butterscotch pudding.
Doreen McCallister took Girl Scout cookies to the next level, creating savory (as well as sweet) recipes with them. There's lemon fish (using Chalet Cremes), cookie stuffing (Dulce de Leche cookies), Thin Mints popcorn and even a dessert pizza.
What could be a better way to reprise the year's Kitchen Window stories during the holiday season than to take another look at Eve Turow's "post-holiday detox" recipes. "As baked brie, gingerbread cookies and rich stews settle onto my hips," she writes, "a detox becomes ever more alluring." She offers recipes for sweet potatoes with ginger and lemon, yellow split peas with coconut, ginger-tamarind fish soup, and a ginger-lamb coconut curry.
We hope you enjoy these the second time around. Merry Christmas.
Kitchen Window editor and Weekend Edition food commentator Bonny Wolf is the managing editor of American Food Roots.