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.

Shrimp Risotto

Shrimp Risotto

Super-size-me shrimp stud this creamylicious risotto which takes its astoundingly complex taste from simple shrimp shells.

  • 1 H, 15 M
  • 1 H, 45 M
  • 24
A white plate with cavatelli past topped with a roasted tomato sauce, fork on the side

Roasted Tomato Sauce and Pasta

Sugo con pomodorini gratinati alla Calabrese. That’s how you say the proper title of this recipe in Italian. Uh. We’ll just say “More pasta, please.” Because you’re definitely to be requesting second helpings.

  • Quick Glance
  • 30 M
  • 35 M
  • 2
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
Pasta alla Norma

Pasta alla Norma

We’ve tested a lot of pasta alla Norma recipes in our day, and we gotta say, after trying this one, we’re calling it quits on our search for the perfect pasta alla Norma. This is it.

  • 25 M
  • 1 H
  • 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
A slab of deeply smoked barbecue beef brisket being sliced on a cutting board

Barbecue Beef Brisket

Meat. Fire. Smoke. It’s been a holy trinity since man first put meat to heat—understandably so. Behold, the best BBQ beef brisket.

  • Quick Glance
  • 30 M
  • 16 H
  • 6
Bowl of onion dip topped with caramelized onions, nearby carrots, radishes, cucumbers on a cutting board

Onion Dip

“The onion dip to end all onion dips.” “Sublime.” “Light years beyond those soup packets.” That’s what folks are saying about this creamy dip that puts to shame all other onion dips you’ve ever dipped, dunked, or otherwise devoured.

  • 15 M
  • 1 H
  • 4
Frozen Gin Fizz

Frozen Gin Fizz

We know, we know. Blender drinks are for sissies–or so you may think. If that’s the case, take a sip of this stiff riff on the gin and tonic. Then get back to us.

  • 5 M
  • 5 M
  • 10
A white bowl of sweet pickle relish with a spoon with a wooden handle in it

Sweet Pickle Relish

So long, Vlasic. Once you try your hand at making your own sweet relish, you can cross one more condiment off your shopping list.

  • 45 M
  • 1 D
  • 2
Bowl of batter-covered fried pickles with a jar of dipping sauce nearby

Easy Fried Pickles

Even non-pickle eaters have been wooed by these buttermilk-soaked, hot sauce-spiked, fried-until-crisp little lovelies.

  • Quick Glance
  • 15 M
  • 15 M
  • 0
Confetti Quick Pickles

Refrigerator Pickles

These kaleidoscopic little lovelies don’t require the typical processing and patience that classic pickles demand. Woohoo!

  • Quick Glance
  • 25 M
  • 1 D
  • 0
Spaghetti with Raw Tomatoes

Spaghetti with Raw Tomatoes

Summer at its simplest, not to mention it’s most splendid, seeing as how five minutes of effort yields a meal that rivals round-trip tickets to Italy.

  • 20 M
  • 50 M
  • 31
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
Best Dill Pickles

Quick Dill Pickles

Quick dill pickles. Or, as we like to say, quickles. Not just in terms of how short a time it takes between making them and crunch your way to bliss but also regarding how quickly they disappear.

  • Quick Glance
  • 30 M
  • 1 D
  • 6