The L.A. Times Food section published almost 300 recipes in 2010 — more than most cookbooks. All of them were thoroughly reviewed in our test kitchen, often several times, before they ever saw print. We test and test and test until we're sure the recipe is as good as it can be, and that it's written clearly enough for any cook to understand. It's a lot of work, but in the end it's what gives us recipes that you can rely on.
Still, even though we treat all of our recipes equally, inevitably there are some that we love more than others. Every year at this time, we single those out and bring them back for a curtain call. Readers can think of it either as an end-of-the-year gift or a beginning-of-the-year kitchen jumpstart.
The cream of this year's crop was varied. From Beijing, we had delicate boiled dumplings stuffed with shrimp and ginger. On the other hand, can there be anything more all-American than hash, this one made with chicken, chorizo and green chiles?
And so our year went: a deeply flavored asado from the Mexican state of Zacatecas and cornmeal pancakes from an old edition of "Joy of Cooking." Sticky, crunchy paradise bars and hickory-smoked baby back ribs … made indoors. The amazing reinvented rice pudding from the spanking new Lazy Ox Canteen, and the tried-and-true borscht from old favorite Warszawa. A quickly made midweek dinner of quesadillas stuffed with braised greens and feta cheese, and a luxurious dessert of silken frozen chocolate zabaglione.