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.
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 chicagotribune.com/food) 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 firstname.lastname@example.org. 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.