Helen Doberstein, Recipe Tester

A list of all the recipes Helen Doberstein has tested.

Helen Doberstein, Leite's Culinaria Recipe Tester

Helen was born in Toronto, Ontario, Canada, and has lived in the “GTA” (Greater Toronto Area) all her life. Her earliest memories of food are 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 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 Smoked Salmon Pizza. 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 Churchill, Ontario, a quiet village an hour north of Toronto. They have three grown children, an 8-year-old granddaughter, 2-year-old grandson and a 4 legged furry rescue who had decided she is not a dog but a princess. Helen has worked for three of the major Canadian banks, as well as with her husband at his business in Toronto, and is currently an 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 partially covered Dutch oven filled with cooked Parmesan potato gratin.

Parmesan Potato Gratin

We used to get our gratins and scalloped potatoes confused. But then we tried this gratin. Guess which one is now our favorite?!

A whole smoked turkey in a metal serving dish on a bed of fresh herbs and cranberries.

Smoked Turkey

It’s not just about how lovely a turkey imbued with smoke would be. It’s also about how lovely more space in the oven on Thanksgiving would be.

A couple slices of plum-blueberry upside-down cake on a white plate with a knife resting on the edge of the plate.

Plum-Blueberry Upside-Down Cake

This purple-stained cake—er, what’s left of it—calls for just old-fashioned goodness and the season’s most compelling fruits. Got milk?

A fried boneless chicken thigh drizzle with honey on a white plate with a fork next to it.

Fried Boneless Chicken Thighs

For years, Egg Shop’s fried chicken has been the talk of New York City. It’s crunchy, juicy, salty, spicy, honey-drizzled fried chicken amazingness. And here’s how you can make it.

A white plate topped with crispy smashed potato salad sprinkled with pancetta and chives and topped with a creamy dressing.

Crispy Smashed Potato Salad

Smashed potatoes, crispy pancetta, charred scallions, and a creamy yogurt and mayo dressing get tossed together in this easy side dish that you’ll keep coming back to.

A skillet on a wooden board with a piece of salmon teriyaki in it and a metal spatula and two plates with salmon teriyaki and greens on the side.

Salmon Teriyaki

Teriyaki has become synonymous with an overly sweet and sticky sauce. That’s a shame. This easy salmon teriyaki recipe keeps things perfectly in balance.

Two air fryer hasselback potatoes on a white plate with a person squeezing lemon over the top.

Air Fryer Hasselback Potatoes

These Hasselback potatoes are crispy on the outside, creamy on the inside, and conveniently made in the air fryer. Sounds like a perfect potato to us.

A stack of four ground turkey sliders plus one resting on its side with lemon wedges on a cutting board.

Ground Turkey Sliders

If ever there was an unabashedly, unapologetically girlie burger, this is it. Still, we’ve seen guys polish them off without complaint.

Three scoops of watermelon sorbet in a white serving dish.

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.

A plate containing a halved air fryer Scotch egg, with a dollop of chutney on the side and in a bowl nearby.

Air Fryer Scotch Eggs

These Scotch eggs give you the irresistible combination of tender boiled egg, sausage, and crispy coating minus the mess of deep frying.

A large white plate full of turmeric shrimp linguine with a serving spoon resting in it.

Turmeric Shrimp Linguine

This easy weeknight pasta dish of linguine, seared shrimp, arugula, and tomatoes in a creamy yogurt sauce gets an extra health boost from the addition of turmeric.

A white porcelain bowl filled with creamy red potato salad, topped with sliced scallions and a serving spoon resting inside

Creamy Red Potato Salad

This make-ahead, tangy, lightened-up version of the classic is going to be on repeat all summer long.

Different shapes of homemade animal crackers lying on a chalkboard background.

Homemade Animal Crackers

Made from scratch with natural ingredients, these are gonna remake all your memories of stale, bland animal crackers in the circus box.

Seven strips of air fryer pecan praline candied bacon in a white plate

Air Fryer Pecan Praline Candied Bacon

People often say that bacon is all you need but we put it to you that embellished bacon is that much better. Especially when it’s spicy brown sugar and pecans coating that crispy strip.

Slices of baked chicken drizzled with cinnamon butter, green salad, and lemon wedge.

Baked Chicken with Cinnamon Butter

This understated hen owes its curious lure to a simple, subtle blend of butter and unexpected spice. Appallingly easy and enthrallingly enticing.