2014 was a stellar year for recipes here at Serious Eats. We're talking an epic series on waffling...just about everything, ridiculously gorgeous crown roast rack of lamb, and a massive collection of some of the best vegan food you'll ever eat. Out of the hundreds of recipes we brought to you over the course of the year, these are the 10 most clicked. Time to preheat your ovens!
The Best General Tso's Chicken
General Tso's chicken is great in all its myriad forms. But we firmly believe it can be more than a candy-sweet dish that screams greasy take-out. Enter this home-cooked version, which calls for juicy, meaty chicken thighs. Our method delivers a vinegary kick and super-crisp nuggets of chicken flavored with garlic, ginger, and chilies.
Really Awesome Black Bean Burgers
You know that weird, mushy texture most black bean burgers have? Yeah, so do we. Which is why our recipe calls for partially dehydrating canned beans in the oven for a more robust meatiness that even the most devout carnivores will love. Chopped cashews and panko bread crumbs add a satisfying nutty crunch, while onions, poblano peppers, garlic, and a touch of smoky chipotle give these patties their complex, balanced flavor. Oh, and it all comes together in just 25 minutes. Hello dinner!
The Best Egg Salad
It's pretty hard to screw up egg salad. But it's also pretty hard to get it completely, 100%, holy-crap-what-did-you-put-in-this delicious. This recipe isn't fancy; there's nothing crazy going on. But it's beautifully balanced, with bright, lively flavors and a texture that spans from rich and creamy to crisp and crunchy.
Perfect Quick-and-Easy French Toast
This recipe only calls for basic pantry staples—we're talking bread, milk, eggs, cinnamon, sugar, and nutmeg. What makes it a truly superior French toast all boils down to the ratio of egg, milk, and sugar. It's not too wet and soggy, and it's not too firm and eggy. It's simple, it's easy, and it's pretty much just plain perfect.
The Best Slow-Cooked Tomato Sauce
Chicken parm, meatballs, pasta, and beyond: red sauce goes on such a wide variety of foods for a reason. Namely, because it's so damn good. This version is a whole lot better than the stuff you'll find in a jar—it's a rich, hearty tomato sauce that's cooked for hours to develop a deep, naturally sweet flavor. The secret? Cooking it in the oven, allowing the surface to brown while the sauce below slowly concentrates. Make a big batch and freeze it for, well, just about anything.
Quick and Easy Drop Biscuits
Drop biscuits are a godsend for the busy cook. Exhibit A: They call for just five common pantry ingredients (butter, flour, baking powder, salt and milk). Exhibit B: You only need about 25 minutes to make them, and even less if you whip out the food processor. It's pretty much the ideal measure, stir, bake, and serve situation. And the result? Soft, tender, versatile biscuits that will be equally at home on any breakfast, lunch, or dinner table.
5 Minute Fudgy Chocolate Microwave Cake
Wait, a cake in a microwave? Yes. A cake. In a microwave. In five minutes. It can't really get much better than that, right? Especially when the final product is a fudgy, rich, scoopable, pudding-style cake best served warm with a spoon. You don't have to be drunk to make this bad boy, but you definitely can be. Just stir that batter right in the dish, adding lots of chopped chocolate and sprinkle of cocoa and sugar on top. Microwave, eat, repeat.
Easy Pull-Apart Pepperoni Garlic Knots
What could be better than garlic knots, you ask? Why, garlic knots that bake in a cast iron pan and pull apart into glorious, chewy-tender nuggets of delight. These guys pack a major punch thanks to a combo of pepperoni, red pepper flakes, garlic, and two types of cheese. It's the kind of recipe that your guests will demand you make time and time again because they're that damn good. So it's a good thing they're super easy to make.
Slow-Roasted Beef Tenderloin
Whole-roasted beef tenderloin is the perfect celebratory centerpiece. That is, it's perfect if it's done right. The problem? That extra-lean meat dries out and overcooks alarmingly easily. But by slowly roasting at a low temperature and then searing the beef, you'll get that gorgeous edge-to-edge ruby medium-rare cook with a burnished, flavorful crust.
Perfect Steamed Boiled Eggs
Getting a perfectly cooked, easy-to-peel hard-boiled egg is enough to drive some people to madness. Lucky for you, that some people is us, and after some pretty elaborate testing (SCIENCE!), we've got the answer. The CliffNotes version: forget that boiling water and say hello to your friendly neighborhood steamer.