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.”

Spaetzle

Spaetzle

Spaetzle is like homemade pasta but without all that fussy rolling out, which makes it as easy as it is satisfying. Not to mention cheap as can be.

  • Quick Glance
  • 10 M
  • 25 M
  • 2
A fully cooked ham with ginger peach glaze on a carving board

Instant Pot Ham with Ginger Peach Glaze

We love this ham not just for its peachy keen glaze that’s sweet but not too sweet but for the fact that the entire thing can be made in an Instant Pot (or pressure cooker) in less than an hour.

  • Quick Glance
  • 15 M
  • 1 H
  • 0
A whole roast chicken in a roasting pan with halved citrus fruits around it

Roast Chicken with Citrus

The words “orange chicken” used to make us think of gloppy Chinese takeout—until we tried this orange chicken.

  • 40 M
  • 2 H, 40 M
  • 15
An unsliced loaf of brown soda bread with a knife resting beside it

Brown Soda Bread

We guarantee you’re going to feel Irish when you sit down and savor a slice of this brown soda bread. Consider it a borrowed Irish birthright.

  • Quick Glance
  • 10 M
  • 1 H, 30 M
  • 2
Gingerbread Pancakes

Easy Gingerbread Pancakes

This easy gingerbread pancakes recipe is easy to make with sugar, spice, lemon zest, and maple syrup. Perfect for Christmas.

  • Quick Glance
  • 25 M
  • 25 M
  • 2
A baking dish with chicken thighs topped with garlic cloves, red potatoes, and thyme. A silver spoon is nestled in the dish.

Chicken with 40 Cloves of Garlic

Chicken with 40 cloves of garlic is a classic for one reason—it’s damn good. Using chicken thighs ensures the meat remains juicy. Using our trick for quickly peeling garlic makes it hassle free.

  • 45 M
  • 1 H, 45 M
  • 14
A rack of slow cooker ribs on a cutting board with four single ribs cut off

Slow Cooker Ribs

All the scintillating, fall-off-the-bone magnificence of smoked ribs. None of the standing outside in the snow or sleet to tend your grill or smoker.

  • 25 M
  • 6 H, 45 M
  • 31
Three slow cooker French dip sandwiches on a cutting board

Slow Cooker French Dip

Slow cooker roast beef au jus. Perhaps the first slow cooker recipe yet that’ll keep everyone at the table uber satisfied—including the person making and cleaning up after the meal.

  • 30 M
  • 8 H
  • 1
Cutting board and knife with a salt and pepper rib eye steak

Salt and Pepper Rib Eye Steak

Rib eye steak. Salt. Pepper. Flame. And this technique. That’s all it takes to create one of the most superlative suppers known to man.

  • 40 M
  • 1 H, 50 M
  • 16
Two seared duck breasts, one sliced, the other whole on a wood cutting board

Seared Duck Breast

An elegant and easy riff on steak au poivre that’s made with duck breast rubbed with garlic and peppercorns and cooked to a magnificently rosy medium-rare.

  • 30 M
  • 1 H, 40 M
  • 4
A rimmed baking sheet filled with peppery chicken wings

Peppery Chicken Wings

The intensity of the classic buffalo wing is tempered here, usurped by a deliciously, defiantly untraditional blend of beguiling spices.

  • 15 M
  • 2 H, 15 M
  • 9