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.”

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 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
  • 51
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
Two bowls of ginger miso soup with tofu, turnip greens, and miso broth

Ginger Miso Soup

Straight-shooting, simple, and soothing, this light and simple soup is going to be your new best friend come cold season.

  • Quick Glance
  • 20 M
  • 30 M
  • 0
A platter of shish taouk or Middle Eastern grilled chicken and thighs slathered with a pomegranate-tamarind sauce

Shish Taouk | Middle Eastern Grilled Chicken

Spectacularly exotic yet still surprisingly familiar. That’s what folks are saying about this shish taouk or middle Eastern grilled chicken with sumac and a tart pomegranate-tamarind sauce.

  • Quick Glance
  • 30 M
  • 1 H, 30 M
  • 0
A black oval pot with five veal Rosso buck, carrots, and tomato sauce

Veal Osso Bucco

Comfort food from Alex Guarnaschelli. We don’t think we really need to say anything else.

  • Quick Glance
  • 1 H
  • 3 H
  • 0
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.

  • 15 M
  • 3 H, 30 M
  • 4
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