The Top Ten Alton Brown Recipes
I am a huge Alton Brown fan, and I've seen every episode of Good Eats. He is my go-to guy when it comes to recipes, and I love how scientific and detailed he makes the instructions. I've made over 60 of his applications, and this list is judged by taste (obviously) and ease of making. It is by no way influenced from reviews on Foodnetwork.com. These are my personal tastes!
Knead Not Sourdough Bread
This application deserves top honors because it can't get much easier than flour, water, yeast, salt and time. It takes more than 20 hours, but don't let that detour you - most of that time, the bread is just sitting around! The time it sits allows it to grow in flavor and depth. It may not be on par with the sourdough in San Francisco, but it's as close as you can get without going there! The bread itself isn't too dense, and the crust is quite hard, but it's oh-so delicious. And there's no kneading!
Skirt steak is a bit expensive and hard to find in my area, but this application is worth the trouble. The recipe itself is incredibly easy, and the flavor is phenomenal. And he gets bonus points for creativity. I haven't actually tried his "on the coals" method because I don't have a charcoal grill, however, it works just as well in a white hot cast iron skillet. If skirt steak wasn't so darned expensive, I'd probably eat this every week. I also do a quick saute of veggies like it states in the recipe, but I'm fine eating the skirt steak as is. Oh, also, make sure to save and reduce that marinating sauce to a glaze. AMAZING.
This is along the same lines as the skirt steak. The flank meat is a bit expensive, and the process requires a couple of pieces of "specialized equipment", but it's so easy and so much fun. The hardest part is waiting. The second hardest part is possibly slicing the flank steak into thin pieces. It's best to have a half-frozen steak and a really sharp knife. The last time I purchased store-bought beef jerky (do you realize how expensive it is for what you get?!) it tasted no where near as good as Alton's recipe, and was so much more salty! You could probably make this in a *shivers* food dehydrator, (where's the fun in that?!) but I can't guarantee the same results because most food dehydrators use heat and therefore cook the food. This steak is not cooked at all - just dried. Up to you, though!
Moo-less Chocolate Pie
I was really surprised at this one. It one of the easiest recipes of his that I found, and because it has tofu, I was too curious not to try it out. After I made my first pie, I decided to trick my family for Christmas. I didn't tell anyone that tofu was the main ingredient, and no one was the wiser! The best part is that it's a delicious pie and full of protein! I actually skipped out on making the pie crust and just bought an Oreo pre-made one. I know, bad girl.
Angel Food Cake
I'll admit, this recipe takes a little elbow grease, but once you taste it, you'll never go back to that artificial, chemical-tasting store-bought cake again! I've made it both by separating out egg whites, and just buying a carton of egg whites at the store. To be completely honest, I couldn't tell the difference. It was easier and less wasteful - I didn't know what to do with all those yolks! I love that you can add different extracts to up the flavor anty.
Granola (from the episode "Power Trip")
Okay, we're moving more towards effort, but this Granola recipe has earned me rave reviews from my co-workers. They even paid me to make them a batch! I even decided to change the recipe a bit and turn it into a cereal. It's a very expensive ingredient list however, and I forwent all the fruit to save some dough. Still delicious!
Zabaglione (or Sabayon)
Here's what you can do with all those left over egg yolks from the Angel Food Cake! And unfortunately, it also takes some elbow grease to accomplish, but the end result is worth it! This is one of my favorite non-chocolate desserts. It's got such a unique flavor and texture! I line wine glasses with sliced strawberries and fill 'em up! You can save any leftovers in the fridge and "re-inflate" it by beating it again for a few minutes. It's good warm or cold!
Baked Mac and Cheese
Can you believe I've never in my life had real Mac and Cheese? All my experience came from that little blue box on grocery store shelves. When I finally made this recipe, I was blown away. The flavor was substantial. You could cut it like a cake and it would keep its shape! The panko breadcrumbs make all the difference, trust me. It's worth it to buy some. My family loved it. A must-try for sure.
I hated meatloaf as a kid. The flavors were just all wrong. But when I saw Alton's recipe, I thought "Well, maybe I'm jaded by my parent's cooking. I want to try it again" (because I put all my faith in him, of course!) and I am rarely disappointed! This one takes quite a bit of effort and time, but I just couldn't stop eating it. I actually said to myself "oh my God, I love meatloaf." His idea of shaping the loaf but not cooking it in the loaf pan was ingenious.
Orange-Glazed Chicken Wings
The only reason this is at the bottom of the list is not because of flavor (this is one of the best things I've ever put in my mouth) but the effort it takes to make Alton's idea to stop the oven from smoking while cooking wings is to steam them first, and then dry them in the fridge before you cook them. Which works, by the way, but it's a bit of a hassle. Plus, when you make wings you have to learn a bit of anatomy and be able to separate and cut the joints when you prepare them. But holy-cow, the glaze is packed with flavor. It tastes exactly like the sauce at those Chinese restaurants! But it's also at the bottom of the list because it's counter-part, the buffalo-style wings, disappointed me flavor-wise. They just couldn't compare to the orange-glaze!
It's really hard to choose my all-time favorite recipe. Based on ease alone, it would most definitely be the bread, or possibly the moo-less pie (I love that name), but for flavor? Those chicken wings... that skirt steak... they make my mouth water just thinking about them. If I could choose one and you'd make it, I'd go with the Skirt Steak. The recipe is super simple, the cooking is quick, and trust me, your mouth will thank me!