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Top 10 recipes of 2012 from The Times' Test Kitchen

January 05, 2013

In the Los Angeles Times Test Kitchen, you never know what the next week might bring. It could be some incredibly complicated construction from one of America's greatest chefs. It could be the latest dish we've uncovered from one of Southern California's myriad ethnic cuisines. Or it could be a simple and delicious dinner that is perfect for feeding a family and friends.

Whatever the case, the one thing that's certain is that every one of the 250 to 300 recipes we run every year will be tested again and again until it is as good as we can make it. Of course, some turn out even better. Every year we select 10 recipes that have surpassed even our high expectations.

The 2012 crop of best recipes, like those from previous years, represents the breadth of what we cover. There are incredibly simple recipes, like the spice pear cake from Euro Pane. And there are projects, like Nancy Silverton's apple borsellini, made with rough puff pastry.

There are familiar flavors done better than you've ever had them, like Thomas Keller's ultra-refined version of creme caramel and Test Kitchen manager Noelle Carter's perfected English muffins. And there are some tastes that are more exotic, like Sang Yoon's galbi jjim, made with bone-in short ribs, daikon, shiitake mushrooms and Korean red dates, and California Cook columnist Russ Parsons' salad made with kale, farro and blue cheese.

And sometimes it's the cooking technique itself that's the most surprising – such as when Michael Cimarusti brines halibut, brushes it with mayonnaise and then grills it to make one of the most luscious pieces of fish you'll ever taste.

You'll find all of these recipes and more below, as well as our five favorite runners-up. You can also view all of the recipes in our photo gallery above.

Top 10:

Apple borsellini

The crème caramel from Bouchon

Tart with grapefruit curd and Campari

Chef Sang Yoon's Korean beef stew Galbi Jjim

Grilled brined halibut wiht vine-ripened tomato salad

Curried lamb filled hand pies

Kale salad with farro

Classic English muffins

Euro Pane's pear spice cake

Karen Hatfield's traditional pumpkin pie with brown-butter streusel and pepitas

Bonus five:

Strawberry shortcake

House of Bread's berry bars

Mardi Gras King Cake with cream cheese and apple filling

Perfect panna cotta

Chilled corn soup

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