Best recipes from 2009
It has been a year of pork. When we look back on 52 weeks of the Good Eating section, the succulent, flavorful meat pops up again and again.

Year-end, a time for looking back before moving on, always carries with it the difficult task of choosing our favorite recipes of the year. You'll see here that three of the standouts featured pork, but in different guises: a little bacon flavoring a squash risotto, a shoulder braised in whiskey and ham cooked with beer and onions then sliced and piled onto an unctuous sandwich.

But it wasn't all about the pig. No. Our favorites ranged from a twist on turkey burgers to a Portuguese hot sauce featuring piri piri peppers to a pizza set off by the crunch and richness of walnuts. And dessert, of course. We taste-tested several recipes from a slew of new baking books to find the best and share it with you. Yes, another difficult chore.

So here it is, along with the other seven favorites. If you missed them when they first hit print, clip them now (or download them, if you like, at and enjoy them throughout 2010.

Finally, we're interested in hearing about your favorite recipes from the pages of Good Eating in 2009. Send us an e-mail with the recipe name at We'll share them in a coming issue.

Pistachio-encrusted turkey burgers

Prep: 10 minutes Cook: 20 minutes Makes: 4 servings

These burgers start in the skillet but finish in the oven to cook them through without burning the nuts. The recipe is from a January Fast Food column by Joe Gray.

1 pound ground turkey, formed into 4 patties

1/2 teaspoon salt

Freshly ground pepper

1 cup shelled pistachios, coarsely chopped

2 tablespoons vegetable oil

Heat the oven to 325 degrees. Season the burgers with salt and pepper to taste on both sides. Place the pistachios on a plate or in a shallow bowl. Coat the patties with the pistachios on all sides, pressing in gently.

Heat the oil in a large oven-safe skillet over medium-high heat. Place the patties in the skillet; cook until nuts are slightly browned, 3-5 minutes. Flip, cook the other side. Transfer skillet with patties to oven; bake until cooked through and interior of burgers are 165 degrees when measured with an instant-read thermometer, about 10 minutes.

Nutrition information: Per serving: 431 calories, 66% of calories from fat, 32 g fat, 5 g saturated fat, 82 mg cholesterol, 9 g carbohydrates, 29 g protein, 507 mg sodium, 3 g fiber

Smoky butternut and bacon risotto with ginger

Prep: 25 minutes Cook: 40 minutes Makes: 6 servings

For faster preparation, substitute peeled squash sold in bags or plastic containers at some supermarkets and specialty markets such as Trader Joe's. Shredded, cooked duck or chicken turns this hearty dish into company fare.