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.

Two white bowls filled with red posole with pieces of tortilla and lime wedges on the side.

Red Chicken Posole

In Nahuatl, pozole means “make a big batch of this on the weekend and reheat during the week after soccer practice.” (Not really.)

A frozen gin fizz in a martini glass with an orange stir stick and a little piece of lemon on the rim.

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.

Two grilled zucchini halves on a white plate, topped with mint salsa.

Grilled Zucchini with Mint Salsa

This healthy, low-carb side dish of grilled zucchini topped with punchy mint salsa verde makes excellent use of an abundance of summer zucchini.

Three bottles filled with homemade Sriracha sauce.

Homemade Sriracha Sauce

This traditional and incendiary Thai condiment has incited quite the following. Here’s how to save yourself a trip to your local Asian market.

Four scoops of blueberry frozen yogurt in a wooden bowl with a spoon resting beside it.

Blueberry Frozen Yogurt

No sugar. No creepy preservatives. Nothing but blueberries, plain yogurt, honey, lemon juice, purple smiles, and requests for seconds.

A white bowl filled with sun-dried tomato pasta and pine nuts with a fork resting inside and a block of parmesan on a plate beside it.

Sun-Dried Tomato Pasta

For this easy weeknight meal, angel hair pasta is tossed in a no-cook sauce of sun-dried tomatoes, fresh mint, oil, vinegar, and garlic.

Two ground chicken meatballs on slider buns with a toothpick skewered through them.

Ground Chicken Meatballs

These subtly flavored, relatively healthful (shhhh!) sliders are the sleeper hit at The Meatball Shop. Not hard to understand why.

A sidecar cocktail, ice cubes and a dried cherry garnish, in a highball glass with a sugared rim.

Sidecar Cocktail

Created during Prohibition, this collision of Cognac, orange liqueur, and lemon isn’t for the faint of heart—nor for the slight of tolerance.

Three bowls of fennel potato soup, one with a soup spoon, beside a small bowl of salt.

Fennel and Potato Soup

A spectacular riff on the classic French potato and leek soup known as Vichyssoise, this is astoundingly good. So much so you may just find yourself raising the bowl to your lips.

Two corn tortillas topped with slow cooker shredded pork, cheese, and cilantro on a wooden board with some lime wedges beside.

Slow Cooker Shredded Pork

Pull out your slow cooker and sate yourself with this tender, sweetly spiced, subtly smoky shredded pork. And with nary any effort.

A chocolate salted caramel truffle with a bite taken out of it, on a white saucer, beside a bowl of truffles.

Chocolate Salted Caramel Truffles

An uber chocolatey truffle made with salted caramel might sound like something for expert chocolatiers but fear not. This recipe is nearly foolproof.

Apple spiced bourbon toddies on a tray in front of an outdoor fire, one being poured from a thermos in a gloved hand.

Apple Spiced Bourbon Toddies

Infinitely more complex than the toddy of yore, this little number owes its lure to apple-y cider spiked with a hint of star anise and quite an indecent glug of bourbon.

Roasted tzimmes on a large sheet pan.

Roasted Tzimmes

This is not the sweet, gooey tzimmes of your childhood. Nope. So don’t be surprised when that old familiar flavor pales in comparison.

Avocado chutney in a bowl with a large spoon, beside half an avocado, chilies, and garlic.

Avocado Chutney

Avocado chutney, like guacamole with an Indian-style upgrade, is a terrific little snack or even breakfast. Just spicy enough for everybody to enjoy.

Roasted cauliflower curry on a plate with a hand holding a fork, beside a large pot filled with curry and a small bowl of curry sauce.

Roasted Cauliflower Curry

A big vegan dinner of roasted cauliflower and chickpeas, flavored with coconut milk and warming spices for big impact. It’s mostly hands-off and tastes incredible.

Cauliflower bacon gratin in a large green rectangular baking dish with melted cheese.

Cauliflower-Bacon Gratin

This cauliflower gratin recipe from Dorie Greenspan is French comfort food, yet it wouldn’t be out of place on a distinctly American Thanksgiving table.