Melissa Maedgen, Recipe Tester

A list of all the recipes Melissa Maedgen has tested.

Melissa Maedgen

Melissa Maedgen owes her passion for cooking and gardening to her parents. Like her mom and dad, she’s fond of improvisational cooking with a focus on fresh produce from her garden or from local farmers. She enjoys cooking outdoors, sometimes in a particularly rustic manner—she once roasted a goat on a spit (actually just a piece of rebar) over a fire in a field in Texas. Maedgen was raised to be a DIYer, so she often makes her own tofu or beer. She’s been following Leite’s Culinaria since 2001, when she was studying Portuguese and developed an interest in Brazilian and Portuguese food. She became a tester in 2009 and loves that she gets to cook foods she might not otherwise make.

An apple tart Tatin with a shortcrust pastry bottom, sitting on a piece of parchment paper with drips of caramel

Tarte Tatin

A tarte Tatin is nothing more than a tart turned upside down, nothing less than pastry perfection. It’s a lot of caramely apple goodness atop a buttery crust.

A pile of cheese crackers on an old metal grater.

Cheese Crackers

Yup. We went there. To that homemade Cheez-It place. Go ahead. Admit it. You’re awfully glad that we did.

A plate of zucchini slaw two ways with strips of zucchini, yellow summer squash, bell pepper and two dressings

Zucchini Slaw Two Ways

Never give zucchini away again with these equally tempting yet uniquely different slaws. You get to choose—rich and creamy or tart and sweet.

A jar of pickled watermelon rind on a rack with a dish and spoon beside it.

Pickled Watermelon Rind

A Southern summer tradition that makes a sweet, tangy, and cinnamon spiced pickle. Not too sugary or tart, they make a perfect snack.

An oval platter topped with spaghetti with raw tomatoes and a couple of spoons on the side.

Spaghetti with Raw Tomatoes

Summer at its simplest, not to mention its most splendid. Five minutes of effort yield a meal that rivals round-trip tickets to Italy.

A sliced jerk chicken breast on a round cutting board, with a man's hand holding a cleaver above it

Jerk Chicken

Authentic grilled jerk chicken from Helen Willinsky that’s pretty much exactly like what you’d experience in the Caribbean.

A blue bowl filled with chickpeas, diced tomatoes, ditalini pasta, and parmesan, flanked with a crueset of olive oil and a bowl of Parmesan.

Pasta with Chickpeas and Tomatoes

A simple, rustic, and flavorful vegetarian dinner that only takes a handful of ingredients and 45 minutes. Also, it tastes really fantastic. What’s not to love?

A chicken meatball on a slider bun with a toothpick skewered through it.

Chicken Meatballs

These subtly flavored, relatively healthful (shhhh!) sliders are the sleeper hit at The Meatball Shop. Not hard to understand why.