Melissa Maedgen, Recipe Tester

A list of all the recipes Melissa Maedgen has tested.

Melissa Maedgen

Melissa Maedgen owes her passion for cooking and gardening to her parents. Like her mom and dad, she’s fond of improvisational cooking with a focus on fresh produce from her garden or from local farmers. She enjoys cooking outdoors, sometimes in a particularly rustic manner—she once roasted a goat on a spit (actually just a piece of rebar) over a fire in a field in Texas. Maedgen was raised to be a DIYer, so she often makes her own tofu or beer. She’s been following Leite’s Culinaria since 2001, when she was studying Portuguese and developed an interest in Brazilian and Portuguese food. She became a tester in 2009 and loves that she gets to cook foods she might not otherwise make.

A white bowl with a little bit of stovetop fruit pie filling in the bottom and a spoon resting inside.

Stovetop Fruit Pie Filling

Our go-to approach for slightly-less-than-stellar fruit when we want exponentially-better-than-average results.

  • Quick Glance
  • 20 M
  • 1 H, 30 M
  • 0
Blue pot of chunks of pork, authentic carnitas, with a bay leaf and wooden spoon on top

Carnitas ~ Mexican Braised Pork

This Mexican carnitas recipe is authentic braised and fried pork that makes for conversation-stopping, fall-apart-tender awesomeness.

  • (33)
  • 20 M
  • 2 H
  • 131
Six sections of cauliflower and kimchi sandwiches cut to show the filling.

Cauliflower and Kimchi Sandwiches

Grown-up grilled cheese to the nth degree. That’s our impression of this really rather regal approach to downing your vegetables.

  • Quick Glance
  • 15 M
  • 1 H, 15 M
  • 2
A small white bowl filled with homemade ketchup.

Homemade Ketchup

Our recipe for fabulous ketchup made at home. Oh yes, you can. And it’ll have a flavor unlike anything you can find at the store.

  • (2)
  • 30 M
  • 2 H
  • 41
Skewers of thinly sliced Thai-style grilled pork skewers on a metal tray in a street food vendor's cart

Thai-Style Grilled Pork Skewers ~ Moo Yang

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

  • (5)
  • 10 M
  • 1 H, 40 M
  • 19
A white plate topped with beet salad with goat cheese and honey and watercress leaves.

Beet Salad With Goat Cheese and Honey

Roast beets until sweet enough to be considered dirt candy. Plonk on a place with tangy goat cheese, peppery greens, and a generous drizzle of honey. Lunch is done.

  • (1)
  • 30 M
  • 1 H, 30 M
  • 2
A bowl of five spice chicken wings.

Five-Spice Chicken Wings

Whatever the occasion, whether game day or late-night craving, these unconventionally spiced wings will handle your hankering.

  • (2)
  • 15 M
  • 40 M
  • 4
Three and a half quick dill pickles, dill seed, and a sprig of dill on a decorative white plate.

Quick Dill Pickles

Or, as we like to say, quickles. And we mean quick not just in terms of how little time they take to make. But also in terms of how quickly they’ll disappear as you’re blissing out on them.

  • (2)
  • 30 M
  • 1 D
  • 10
A mason jar filled with iced coffee, a straw, and a leftover coffee ice cube sticking out the top.

Leftover Coffee Ice Cubes

Got leftover coffee in that pot? Don’t toss it in the sink. Pour it into ice cube trays, freeze, and simple as that, no more watered down iced coffee EVER.

  • (2)
  • 1 M
  • 1 M
  • 6