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.”

Skillet with three pickle juice-brined pork chops

Pickle Juice-Brined Pork Chops

Pickle juice-brined pork chops. Yes, you read that correctly. And yes, we know what you’re thinking. Why didn’t we think of brining pork chops in dill pickle juice? It’s easy, ingenious, and, natch, delicious.

  • Quick Glance
  • 15 M
  • 3 H, 30 M
  • 0
Cheesy Fish Crackers

Cheesy Fish Crackers

No preservatives. No artificial coloring. Just real, honest-to-goodness ingredients—and maybe a little goldfish giddiness.

  • Quick Glance
  • 25 M
  • 45 M
  • 12
Apple Cider Vinaigrette

Apple Cider Vinaigrette

This slightly sweet, subtly tangy, entirely apple-y vinaigrette recipe is going to come in far more handy than you can ever imagine.

  • 5 M
  • 5 M
  • 6
White plate of tomato and green bean salad with feta, red onion, parsley, and mint

Tomato and Green Bean Salad

You don’t have to be Greek for this amalgam of tomatoes, green beans, red onion, and feta to taste like home.

  • 30 M
  • 30 M
  • 9
Two cardboard cups filled with lemon ice, one with a wooden spoon with of heap of ice on it

Lemon Ice

Much as we love ice cream, sometimes it’s just too darn hot and humid for something so sweet and sticky. Enter the lemon icey.

  • Quick Glance
  • 10 M
  • 7 H, 30 M
  • 10
Zucchini Salad

Shaved Zucchini Salad

A jumble of raw shaved vegetables that comes together easily, tastes magnificent, and doesn’t even require you to turn on the stove. Sounds like a summer staple to us.

  • Quick Glance
  • 15 M
  • 20 M
  • 0
Watermelon Sorbet

Watermelon Sorbet

No ice cream maker required. Just watermelon, citrus, sweetness, mint, and a little time in the deep freeze. Vodka optional. Then all you do is scoop it up and plop it in a pretty bowl.

  • 20 M
  • 20 M
  • 17
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.

Bacon Jam

Bacon Jam

Maybe what the world needs is a single currency. Like jars of this sweet, rich, intense bacon jam that makes everything better.

  • 15 M
  • 1 H, 45 M
  • 94
How to Freeze Basil

How to Freeze Herbs

When life hands you an abundance of herbal loveliness, pull out your ice cube tray, add some olive oil, and save the loveliness for another day.

  • Quick Glance
  • 5 M
  • 6 H
  • 0
Skewers of thinly sliced Thai grilled pork or Moo Yang, on a metal tray in a street food vendor's cart

Thai Grilled Pork | Moo Yang

We can certainly understand why street food has catapulted into trendiness. Assuming, that is, it all tastes as soulful as these skewers that are hawked on seemingly every street in Thailand.

  • Quick Glance
  • 10 M
  • 1 H, 40 M
  • 13
A deeply browned grilled rack on lamb sitting on a black surface

Grilled Rack of Lamb

Intoxicating. Easy. Perfect. Gratifying. That’s what folks are saying about this unexpected but uncommonly good grilling recipe that’ll elevate any meal to magnificent.

  • Quick Glance
  • 15 M
  • 45 M
  • 0
Blue pot of chunks of pork, authentic carnitas, with a bay leaf and wooden spoon on top

Authentic Carnitas

This Mexican carnitas recipe is authentic braised and fried pork that’s fall-apart-tender pork goodness ready for tacos.