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.”

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
  • 14
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
A bowl of devil's curry--chunks of chicken thighs, potatoes, and curry paste with naan bread on the side

Devil’s Curry

Don’t let the name of this Malaysian classic terrify you. Whether you love sweat-inducing, throat-tickling, gasping-for-water heat or prefer something milder, you’ll find what you want here, tailoring the chiles to whatever your fancy.

  • Quick Glance
  • 30 M
  • 1 H, 30 M
  • 0
Mixed Citrus Marmalade

Mixed Citrus Marmalade

Made with oranges, mandarins, and limes, this lovely fruit jam is essentially citrus on a spoon. Simple to make. Tastes complex as heck.

  • Quick Glance
  • 45 M
  • 3 H, 25 M
  • 14
Slow Cooker Chicken Stock

Slow Cooker Chicken Stock

Making stock from scratch was never difficult. And it just became even easier thanks to this simple yet perfect slow cooker approach.

  • 15 M
  • 12 H
  • 35
A cut satsuma orange cake in a round baking sheet

Clementine Cake

Looks like upside-down cake. Tastes like upside-down cake. Yet this sticky citrusy dessert couldn’t be more right-side up.

  • 30 M
  • 1 H, 30 M
  • 60
A cooked pork loin roast, tied and salted, set on a wire rack in a baking sheet

Pork Loin Roast

Just like what your grandma would put on the table for Sunday night supper.

  • 10 M
  • 1 H, 35 M
  • 43
Glazed Ham with Maple and Mustard

Glazed Ham with Mustard

This simple glazed ham has got a sweet and spicy thing going on that’s simultaneously subtle and super impressive.

  • Quick Glance
  • 25 M
  • 3 H
  • 4
A braided cheese danish on a piece of parchment paper in a rimmed baking sheet

Cheese Danish

Startlingly spectacular made-from-scratch cheese Danish that are going to forever change your notion of what a cheese Danish ought to be.

  • 30 M
  • 1 H
  • 4
Three white bowls of pork and pinto beans chili on a metal tray with cornbread in a skillet

Pressure Cooker Pork and Pinto Bean Chili

Ladies and gentlemen, this is why we have pressure cookers. Because they render an inexpensive cut of pork and plain old pinto beans into a smoky, soulful, put-your-spoon-down-and-sigh bowl of chili in a fraction of the usual time.

  • Quick Glance
  • 45 M
  • 1 H, 45 M
  • 0