Friday, January 1, 2021

2020 Top 10 Recipes #bestof2020 #top10recipes #2020InReview #faverecipes

Before turning my attention to creating new tasty eats for 2021, I want to take a moment today to recap The Weekend Gourmet's 2020 in food. Because we all spent more time at home last year -- myself included -- there was a lot more cooking and baking going on in our kitchens. I tried to provide lots of comforting recipes last year. That's because most of you seemed to crave simple, comforting meals designed to be enjoyed with your close circle of loved ones. Here are the 10 recipes that YOU viewed most in 2020:

(10) Loaded Tex-Mex Chile Con Queso: This over-the-top cheese dip features spicy crumbled chorizo, a shot of tequila...and a chunky avocado salsa topping. Add tortilla chips for perfect game day noshing!

(9) Churro Cheesecake Turnovers: With just FIVE ingredients -- including frozen puff pastry -- this is a fabulous snack or brunch recipe to have on hand. If you love cinnamon sugar, these need to be on your "must make" list for 2021!

(8) Kitchen Sink Potato Chowder: This slow cooker soup is homey and comforting...perfect for Winter weeknight meals. With smoked sausage, potatoes, veggies...and plenty of cheese? This complete meal-in-a-bowl filling and delicious. As a bonus? Leftovers freeze great too!

(7) Sparkling Limonada: Are you taking part in Dry January after some holiday indulging...or are you looking for an alternative to sodas? This sparkling, citrusy limeade is a perfect fizzy mocktail...and it's a snap to whip up a pitcher! It tastes great and can easily be stored in your fridge.

(6) Triple Cheese-Fig Flatbread: Perfect for showcasing in-season Summer figs, this flatbread features a great combinations of flavors and textures. The flatbread starts with a convenient naan base; ricotta, provolone, and goat cheese; sliced figs; prosciutto; and thin slices of red onion. Just before serving, honey is drizzled on top of the warm flatbread. Heavenly!

(5) Bucatini all'Amatriciana: This recipe is from Barbuto restaurant...and it's definitely a restaurant-quality meal that can be made at home using only a few key ingredient. This dish features guanciale, a fatty salt- and spice-cured pork jowl or cheek. It's similar to bacon, but it's not smoked. Guanciale can be a challenge to locate in the U.S., but domestically produced guanciale can be purchased online. That said? Guanciale really makes the finished dish authentic!

(4) Smoky Grilled Lemon-Basil Salmon: This dish is an ideal al fresco Summer dinner for those at-home date nights! Salmon fillets are flavored with a citrusy marinade. The marinated salmon is rubbed with a lemony compound butter and seasoned with a flavorful spice rub. Next, the salmon is smoked on an outdoor grilled. Before serving, each piece is topped with a slice of lemon and garden-fresh basil leaves. Every bite is a pure explosion of Summer garden flavor!

(3) Spicy Cheese-Stuffed Shrimp with Andouille Rice Pilaf: It's no secret that I love seafood...and grilling! This fantastic recipe is perfect for warm-weather weekends. It features jumbo Texas Gulf shrimp stuffed with cheese and grilled. After a quick trip to the grill, the cooked shrimp are lightly smoky...and the cheese is melted and gooey. The shrimp are brushed with seasoned butter and served atop a delicious Cajun-inspired rice pilaf flecked with spicy andouille sausage.

(2) Garlicky Yukon Gold Potato Salad: I love potato salad, so I'm always looking for new flavor variations to try. Last Summer, I created a garlic-infused potato salad made with buttery Yukon Gold potatoes. With crunch from celery and green onions, boiled eggs, and a creamy garlic has a flavor that's familiar, but different enough to catch your taste buds off guard!

....and the #1 most popular recipe shared on The Weekend Gourmet this year was: Mardi Gras Noodle Bowl. This hearty soup bowl features the spicy flavors typically seen in Louisiana dishes like jambalaya -- in a hearty noodle bowl form! This hearty recipe is a complete one-dish meal that contains shrimp, chicken, smoked sausage, aromatic veggies...and a generous amount of seasonings and hot sauce. Best of all? It's ready to eat in less than 30 minutes...making it a perfect quick dinner on chilly Winter nights.

Mardi Gras Noodle Bowl
a Weekend Gourmet Original
Ingredients (makes 2 generous servings):
  • 8-ounce package refrigerated flavored Udon Noodles [NOTE: I used Fortune Chicken Udon Noodles]
  • 1 1/2 cups water
  • 1 cup frozen Seasoning Blend Vegetables: onion, celery, and bell pepper
  • 1 Tbs. olive oil
  • 2 tsp. Creole seasoning
  • 1/2 cup chopped chicken breast
  • 1/2 cup medium shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • 1/2 cup diced andouille sausage [NOTE: use smoked kielbasa if andouille isn't available]
  • 1 Tbs. hot sauce [NOTE: I use Crystal brand]
  • 2 thinly sliced green onions
Step 1: Heat 1 tsp. of the olive oil in a medium saucepan over med-high heat. Add the Seasoning Blend Vegetables and sautè until the vegetables begin to brown. Add 1 tsp. of the Creole seasoning and stir to combine with the vegetables.

Step 2: Add the second tsp. of olive oil to the saucepan. Then, add the andouille or kielbasa sausage and cook until it starts to brown. Add the chicken and shrimp, along with the second tsp. of Creole seasoning; stir to combine the seasoning with the meats and vegetables. Cook until the meats are cooked -- approximately 5 minutes.

Step 3: Add the water, seasoning packet, and noodles from the package of Udon noodles. Bring to a boil and carefully stir to separate the noodles. Reduce heat to med-low and simmer the soup for 10 minutes. Add the hot sauce and divide the soup evenly between two deep bowls. Just before serving, add sliced green onions to each noodle bowl.
This soup is so popular with y'all for good reason: it's incredibly good! It's hard to believe a soup that's ready to eat in about 30 minutes has such a rich depth of flavor. The Udon noodles cook up thick and a bit chewy...and they provide a perfect base for these flavorful noodle bowls! Not a huge fan of spicy food? Feel free to use less hot sauce than the recipe calls for to adjust the spice level to your preferred level.

There you have it...The Weekend Gourmet's Top 10 recipes for selected by my readers. What types of recipes would you like to see me feature here in 2021? Leave me a comment below -- or e-mail me at with your ideas and suggestions!

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