In our most recent issue, they came across an unexpected take on an otherwise predictable dish—eggplant Parmesan—at a strip mall restaurant outside Cleveland, Ohio. Flavorful and satisfying but not overburdened with goopy cheese or cloying sauce, it turned the concept of this dish on its head.
To see what other dishes from this issue made us think about food in a different way, check out our team members’ favorites below. We hope that they’ll become your favorites, too, or at least encourage you to try a new take on something you’re already familiar with.
Cook’s Country MagazineFind foolproof recipes for easy weeknight meals, regional favorites, pull-out recipe cards for 30-minute suppers, and much more.
Grilled Jerk Chicken
The jerk paste on this chicken is so dang good and well-balanced. There’s just enough spice, but it’s not overwhelming. You’ll find a good hit of herbal and grassy notes from the thyme and scallions, and the soy sauce gives the chicken that umami backbone that all good grilled meats need. Confession: I make a batch of this paste to brush on all grilled proteins I come across—from pork steaks to hake fillets. [GET THE RECIPE]
Breville Fresh & FuriousIt’s reasonably quiet and compact, and it combines ingredients efficiently with minimal pauses to scrape down the sides.
South Carolina Barbecue Hash
Le Creuset 7¼ Quart Round Dutch OvenThis perfect, pricey pot is substantial enough to hold and distribute heat evenly without being unbearably heavy.
I love these little three-story cookie bars for their range of sweet-salty flavors and crisp-creamy textures. Pronounced “nuh-NEYE-mo,” they’ve been popular in Canada for years. I always knew I liked Canadians. [GET THE RECIPE]
Cuisinart Custom 14 Cup Food ProcessorOur former favorite aced every test, surprising us time and again by outshining pricier, more feature-filled competitors.
Strawberry-Buttermilk No-Churn Ice Cream
USA Pan Loaf Pan, 1 lb VolumeThis folded metal pan produces tall, picture-perfect pound cake, sandwich bread, and more with crisp corners.
Shashlik-Style Beef Kebabs
Though I love these juicy, charred beef skewers fragrant with heady spices, the yogurt sauce would still be my favorite recipe even without the kebabs. It tastes like French onion dip went on vacation and came back all fancy and sophisticated. I would eat it on anything. [GET THE RECIPE]
Weber Spirit II E-310 Gas GrillThis grill puts a crisp, brown crust on burgers and steaks and delivers tender pulled pork with real smoky flavor.
This Eggplant Pecorino is a definite favorite. In fact, this recipe reminds me of a version my mother used to bring home from a colleague when I was a kid. The genius here is in the simplicity: layer upon layer of thinly sliced, all-but-naked eggplant; enough Pecorino Romano cheese to leave a lasting impression; and an impossibly easy marinara that ties them both together. Throw in a handful of fresh basil leaves and you’ve got reason enough to turn on your oven in the middle of summer. [GET THE RECIPE]
Swissmar Börner Original V-Slicer Plus MandolineThis simple device makes cuts effortlessly with stunningly precise results.
Pineapple Upside-Down Cake
Our recipe maintains the classic charm of this retro cake while seriously ramping up the flavor. This version is fresh-tasting, with a caramel-y topping that isn’t too sweet. I love this cake! [GET THE RECIPE]
Nordic Ware Naturals Nonstick 9" Round Cake PanCake layers shaped up perfectly, no matter how the pan was greased.
Peanut Butter Cup No-Churn Ice Cream
I eat ice cream every single night, and this recipe makes that possible. I just love peanut butter, and the amount called for in this recipe strikes the perfect balance. [GET THE RECIPE]
Zeroll Original Ice Cream ScoopThis scoop’s gently curved oval bowl forms perfectly round orbs that release easily.
Fresh Tomato Galette
This galette is superfresh and easy to make, even though it has a rustic presentation on the dinner table. Some may argue that this recipe is a labor of love since you have to make your own dough, but it yields really tasty results—and that’s what matters most. [GET THE RECIPE]
RSVP International Precision Pierced 5 Qt. ColanderOur longtime favorite colander has a draining performance that remains unmatched.
Fried Ice Cream Cake
This cake is everything you want for dessert: a chewy brownie base, creamy ice cream with crunchy toffee bits throughout, airy whipped cream, a puddle of silky chocolate syrup on top plus crisp, buttery, “fried” sides creatively made by simply crushing up my favorite breakfast cereal, Cinnamon Toast Crunch! [GET THE RECIPE]
KitchenAid Classic Plus Stand MixerTesters praised the "intuitive" controls and "solid" feel.
Hot Buttered Lobster Rolls
Hold the mayo, please! Really, you won’t need it—or crave it—for this New England favorite. The lobster is cooked perfectly: slightly undercooked during its initial simmer to ensure that it’s not overcooked when it comes time to crack it out of the shell. And it’s bathed in melted butter as it finishes cooking in the skillet. To me, this recipe proves that there is beauty in simplicity. [GET THE RECIPE]