Five Tops, from Food52

The Food52 Cookbook, by Amanda Hesser and Merrill Stubbs, has been warmly received by the critics, by cookbook users, and perhaps most importantly by the community members of  In case you’ve missed the reviews and media about the cookbook, here are three brief lists (pulled together by the book’s authors) that give you a taste of the kind of genius you’ll find within the pages of The Food52 Cookbook. Amanda and Merrill have recruited quite a community of imaginative and talented home cooks!

Top 5 Ingredients/Trends

  1. Smoked paprika (infuses a dish with the aroma of woodsmoke)
  2. Sriracha (a spicy but friendly hot sauce)
  3. Ricotta (now used as a finishing touch to pasta dishes)
  4. Pernod (splashed in as a final kick of flavor)
  5. Quick-pickling (for onions and other root vegetables)

Top 5 Most Popular Contest Themes (arranged in order from most popular to 5th most popular)

  1. Breakfast Eggs
  2. Beef Stew
  3. Chocolate Cake
  4. Movie Snack
  5. Italian Dessert

Top 5 Recipes That Showed Us Something New

  1. Wishbone Roast Chicken (Dry-brining and air-drying the bird make for an exceptionally well-seasoned and crisp roast chicken.)
  2. Chocolate Bundt Cake (You can beat cake batter for far longer than you think — 4 minutes for this cake!)
  3. Not Barefoot Contessa Fish Pasta (Adding the fish at the beginning makes for a more flavorful sauce.)
  4. Magical Coffee (Cold brewing is so simple and produces a wonderfully smooth coffee.)
  5. Sweet and Spicy Horseradish Dressing (A little horseradish really perks up a creamy salad dressing.)

“The Best Cooks Are Home Cooks.” Accomplished food writers and editors Amanda Hesser and Merrill Stubbs had a mission: to discover and celebrate the best home cooks in the country. Each week for fifty-two weeks, they ran recipe contests on their website,, and the 140 winning recipes make up this book. These recipes prove the truth that great home cooking doesn’t have to be complicated or precious to be memorable. This book captures the community spirit that has made Food52 a success. It features Amanda’s and Merrill’s thoughts and tips on every recipe, plus behind-the-scenes photos, reader comments, and portraits of the contributors—putting you right in the kitchen with America’s most talented cooks.

Buy the Book
5 Responses to “Five Tops, from Food52”
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  5. Ombir says:

    Wow- I have tears running down my chkees. I, too, learned to cook and especially bake – from my dear Italian Grandma, Rose. She died the week I got engaged in 1998. I have spent at least 20 years trying to re-create and then perfect her family-famous Anise cookies. While sitting in a cafe in Italy 10 days ago I burst into tears when our chef brought complimentary Anise cookies to the table just like Grandma Rosie’s! I would give anything to be able to pick up the phone and share exciting news with her. Congratulations to you!

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