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.

Ten bags of spiced popcorn with assorted flavors

Spiced Popcorn

Movie-watching must. Nostalgic nosh. Low-calorie something to satisfy. Sexy little something to knock back with cocktails as a pre-dinner party teaser. Popcorn has its moods. This recipe fits them all.

  • Quick Glance
  • 10 M
  • 10 M
  • 0
Potato and Chickpea Stew

Potato and Chickpea Stew

Yet another failproof recipe from Deborah Madison that’s hearty and healthy and satisfying beyond words.

  • 45 M
  • 1 H, 15 M
  • 6
A bowl of creamy New England clam chowder with clams, potatoes, leeks, shallots, cream, and chives

New England Clam Chowder

This New England clam chowder recipe, put simply, is a classic. No other way to say it, no other way to make it.

  • 25 M
  • 1 H
  • 17
A bowl of roasted curried cauliflower mixed with onions and topped with cilantro

Roasted Curried Cauliflower

After tasting this richly spiced yet surprisingly nuanced recipe we asked them to try, someone suggested we change our name to “Leite’s Cauliflower.” Hmmm…

  • 35 M
  • 1 H
  • 4
Spicy Snowflake Cookies

Spicy Snowflake Cookies

Christmas cookies that are as dramatic to behold as they are delicious to nosh. Swear. From everyone’s favorite food scientist, Shirley O. Corriher

  • Quick Glance
  • 1 H
  • 1 H, 30 M
  • 0
Apple Cider Glaze

Spicy Apple Cider-Mustard Glaze

Savory, spicy, tangy, and oh so easy, this sticky apple cider glaze is the essence of autumn. Gussies up all manner of chicken and pork.

  • Quick Glance
  • 15 M
  • 3 H
  • 0
A bowl of slow cooker applesauce with two spoons nearby

Slow Cooker Applesauce

This recipe is gonna change your mind about store-bought applesauce. And not just because it lets you use your slow cooker and walk away. Wait’ll you taste it.

  • 15 M
  • 6 H, 15 M
  • 4
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
  • 12
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