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 pot roast with potatoes and vegetables on a decorative platter with a serving fork on the platter and a napkin on the side.

Easy Pot Roast, Potatoes, and Vegetables

This classic, hearty, homey dish—just like something your grandma used to make—is the perfect one-pot meat and potatoes meal. Includes oven as well as slow cooker instructions.

  • 30 M
  • 4 H
  • 21
A white bowl filled with carrot ginger soup, with a spoon resting inside and a plate of carrots beside it.

Carrot Ginger Soup

Easy, healthy, simple, vegan, and done in an hour. And, most importantly, absolutely scrumptious.

  • Quick Glance
  • 15 M
  • 1 H
  • 0
A bowl of chashu pork ramen, filled with braised pork, soba noodles, bean sprouts, peas, and bok choy, with a pair of chopsticks resting on top.

Chashu Pork Ramen

An oh-so-satisfying bowl of tender braised sweetly salty pork, soba noodles, and vegetables. Eminently slurpable.

  • Quick Glance
  • 45 M
  • 5 H, 30 M
  • 0
Two Philly cheesesteak sandwiches cut in half on a foil wrapper with a glass of beer in the background.

Philly Cheesesteak

This is the sandwich from South Philly that’s had everyone talking for years. Here’s how to make it at home.

  • 15 M
  • 1 H
  • 4
A cast-iron skillet with four cooked chicken apple sausages inside.

Chicken Apple Sausage

Seriously, it’s so easy to make your own sausage. Insanely easy. And holy heck, does it taste phenomenal. No meat grinder required.

  • 25 M
  • 45 M
  • 17
A hot dog in a white bun with a squiggle of mustard on a wooden board.

The Best Hot Dog

Grilling. Boiling. Microwaving. Roasting. Campfiring. We’ve got the best ways to cook wieners right here, folks.

  • 5 M
  • 5 M
  • 20
A glass of Vietnamese iced coffee, made with layers of sweetened condensed milk, coffee, and ice cubes with a coffee drip over it.

Vietnamese Iced Coffee | Ca Phe Sua Da

A simple, satiating, summery Vietnamese tradition known as ca phe sua da, this seductive classic is simply coffee, ice, and sweet, sweet, sweetened condensed milk. Here’s how to succumb at home.

  • 5 M
  • 15 M
  • 28
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
  • 3
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.