Helen Doberstein, Recipe Tester

A list of all the recipes Helen Doberstein has tested.

Helen Doberstein

Helen was born in Toronto, Ontario, Canada, and has lived in the “GTA” (Greater Toronto Area) all of her life. Her earliest memories of food were typical of the English/Irish cooking of the day, which in Helen’s words meant “gray vegetables, potatoes, and well-done meats, sometimes with a token salad.” Fancy wasn’t on the menu growing up. Helen’s mom had taught her the basics so she wouldn’t starve, but the kitchen was always her mother’s domain. Intruders were welcome—to do the dishes.

As newlyweds, Helen and her husband became involved in round-robin dinner parties, which encouraged Helen to expand her cooking skills. Her most memorable dinner party involved a chocolate fondue that had so much kirsch in it she had to make coffee as everyone waited for cabs so they could get home safely. No one was given a choice to drive home after that dessert. (Helen deemed the night a huge success.) Not long after that, she started watching Julia Child and Jacques Pépin. In terms of cooking,she was hooked. Around the same time, Helen started collecting cookbooks and trying more and more new recipes and techniques in the kitchen. Soon everything was fair game.

Fortunately, when it comes to food, Helen’s family and friends are happy to try most anything that she’s prepared. The Slow-Roasted Pork Shoulder with Stuffed Squash wowed her husband. Helen’s mother is extremely fond of the Vanilla Bean Ice Cream. The guys at the curling club loved the Duck Prosciutto and Bacon Jam.  And Helen? She’ll tell you that her favorite recipe is the Braised Duck Legs with Leeks and Green Olives. No, it’s the Sunday Roast Beef. Hmmm, it’s probably the Chilaquiles. Actually, like most of us, she’s not able to choose just one.

Helen and her husband now live in Bradford, Ontario, which she will tell you, has the distinction of being the “Vegetable Capital of Canada”. They have three grown children, and one adorable granddaughter. Helen has worked for three of the major Canadian banks, as well as with her husband at his business in Toronto, and is currently office administrator for the Lisbon Group in Bradford. She’s also spent many years teaching ceramics in the evenings, practicing archery, and making jewelry. She previously tested recipes for America’s Test Kitchen, and when her tenure there was done, she discovered Leite’s. “I can’t imagine doing this for anyone else now,” she says. “I love the sense of community here and look forward to many more years of happy testing.”

A juicy grilled lamb burger topped with feta cheese, tzatziki, pickles on a bun

Lamb Burgers

Dare you to try something different from your usual summer grilling routine. These lamb burgers are juicy, tender, and filled with flavor from herbs and spices.

  • 35 M
  • 2 H, 30 M
  • 2
A rimmed baking sheet with fish in parchment and a fish spatula resting beside it.

Fish in Parchment

Drama. Intrigue. Aroma. Ease. These, too, can be part of your weeknight routine with this simple, surprising tactic to cooking fish.

  • 15 M
  • 30 M
  • 4
A rimmed baking sheet spread with a thick layer of homemade tomato paste.

Homemade Tomato Paste

Never again tussle with that teensy tin can that always contains too much or too little paste for your recipe. Nope. Never again. Not with this mellow, caramelized homemade conserva.

Cowboy Steaks

Cowboy Steaks with Guinness Sauce

If you thought steak could get no better than a gorgeous bone in rib eye seared to perfection, you need to try this Guinness pan sauce.

  • Quick Glance
  • 20 M
  • 1 H
  • 14
Three bowls of vegan mango ice cream topped with mango slices.

Vegan Mango Ice Cream

Creamy. Indulgent. Easy. Healthy. Just three ingredients. And no ice cream maker required. (What are you waiting for?!)

  • Quick Glance
  • 10 M
  • 10 M
  • 0
Barbecued Pork Burgers with Slaw

Barbecue Pork Burgers

A weeknight-friendly riff on slow-roasted pulled pork that juxtaposes tangy bbq sauce, succulent pork, and old-fashioned slaw, all in a jiffy.

  • 25 M
  • 30 M
  • 31
A jar of the best kimchi with a spoon standing up inside it

Kimchi

Canadian by birth but Southerner by choice, chef Hugh Acheson makes a mean Korean kimchi. And just wait’ll you learn his ideas for using it.

  • Quick Glance
  • 45 M
  • 3 H, 30 M
  • 10
Strawberry Rhubarb Jam

Strawberry Rhubarb Jam

A small batch of everyone’s fave spring preserves that comes together with ease and melds the intoxicating taste, texture, and fragrance of strawberries mingled with rhubarb. No canning required.

  • 30 M
  • 30 M
  • 2
Homemade Yellow Mustard

Homemade Yellow Mustard

Why make your own mustard? Because you can. And if that’s not reason enough, there’s no comparison between this and the store-bought stuff. Enough said.

  • 1 H, 15 M
  • 1 H, 30 M
  • 50
A vension burger with cheese, pickles, and arugula on a wooden board

Venison Burgers

This ridiculously juicy, superlatively sweet stack will have you hankering for a Bambi burger long after deer season ends.

  • 10 M
  • 20 M
  • 23
Best New York Deli Potato Salad

Best Potato Salad

Best potato salad ever. That’s what folks are saying about this easy and, dare we say, elegant spud salad.

  • Quick Glance
  • 20 M
  • 2 H, 20 M
  • 34