Key Ingredient

Our Top Recipes of 2020

By: The Local Palate

2020 was the Year of Comfort Food and Cakes

Whether it was an oh-so-gorgeous coconut cake, the simple Swiss potato pancake, rösti, or the sleeper hit, duck gravy, it’s no surprise that this past year, our readers—that’s you!—spent plenty of time in the kitchen whipping up dishes for pure pleasure. You searched for ways to cook shrimp, use a slow cooker, and make a roast. Meanwhile, you also spent time soaking up new skills. Our most-read articles included how-tos on making rouxcooking greens, and understanding mild peppers. There was also a long-lost recipe involving pine rosin from chef Sean Brock. Take a look back and re-discover all of the favorites from the past year.

Rules of Rösti

Breaking Down the Swiss Staple

The Swiss dish, in essence a grated potato pancake, has just four ingredients (and that’s counting salt and pepper). It’s easy to make and just as easy to mess up, says Brittanny Anderson, a Richmond chef who’s made a name for herself exploring Southern food’s Germanic influences.

Duck Fat Gravy

Fancy Your Fries

The claim to fame of Charleston’s Tattooed Moose, the duck fat gravy is indulged as a dipping sauce for their companion duck fat fries. It adds the perfect creamy component to a crispy, salty french fry.

Roux the Day

Make Roux like a Pro

The soul of gumbo, roux demands respect. It may be a simple marriage of flour and fat, but the classic French technique requires constant attention (read: stirring) and ample time to darken in hue.

Eat Your Greens

How to Kraut Your Collards

This leafy staple of the South is often stewed in large pots with a ham hock and served in its potlikker when collard plants hit peak season. But another preparation, collard kraut, reigns supreme in Eastern North Carolina, where families gather annually to ferment the greens using recipes passed through the generations.

Pine-Rosin Potatoes

Reviving a Nearly-Forgotten Recipe

This method for cooking potatoes calls for boiling them in rosin resulting in moist, fluffy interior. With little written documentation, most accounts of rosin potatoes live in the minds of those who grew up eating them like Nashville chef Sean Brock, who’s forged an identity reviving Southern foods.

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