Craig Richards’ Tuscan-Inspired Mushroom Meatballs. Styling by Wendell Brock. (Photo by Chris Hunt/Special)
Photo: Chris Hunt
Photo: Chris Hunt

Golden Whisk Awards: Our favorite recipes of 2017

At the end of every year, we ask The Atlanta Journal-Constitution food writers Wendell Brock, C.W. Cameron and Bob Townsend to tell us their favorite recipes from the stories they’ve written during the past 12 months.

That’s tough, considering all the tasty dishes they bring us each week – be they recipes from Atlanta’s lineup of talented chefs, cookbook authors from across the country or creations perfected for home cooks in their own kitchens.

The winners of the 2017 Golden Whisk Awards include a pair of pleasers from that trendy gadget known as the Instant Pot, recipes that take meatballs and mac-and-cheese to new heights and a handful of other dishes well worth the effort. Enjoy!

– Ligaya Figueras, Food & Dining Editor


Sarah O’Brien’s Lavender-Lemon Sables

These delicious, French-inspired shortbread cookies from the Little Tart Bakeshop owner-chefare easy to put together and will bring a touch of spring to any season. Pro tip: Be sure to bake them until they are quite brown. O’Brien sells this classic French shortbread cookie at both locations of her Little Tart Bakeshop and at Peachtree Road Farmers Market.

Craig Richards’ Tuscan-Inspired Mushroom Meatballs

Traditional meatballs often call for a holy trinity of beef, pork and veal. But St. Cecilia executive chef Craig Richards blends in mushrooms, to terrific results. These are delicious naked or may be added to your favorite tomato sauce and served over pasta.

Craig Richards’ Tuscan-Inspired Mushroom Meatballs. Styling by Wendell Brock. (Photo by Chris Hunt/Special)
Photo: For the AJC

Muss and Turner’s Truffleupagus

Personally, I like my macaroni and cheese baked like a casserole, but this sauced version from Chef Todd Mussman kind of blew my mind.It’s drizzled with white truffle oil, and toasted panko crumbs add crunch.

Muss and Turner’s Truffleupagus. Styling by Wendell Brock. (Photo Chris Hunt/Special)
Photo: For the AJC


Warm Collard Green Dip

Collard greens are one of those vegetables people like to say they either love or hate. But when served this dip, a simple variation of the spinach dip that goes to every party, the “haters” turn to “lovers.”

Warm Collard Green Dip
Photo: For the AJC

Well-Bred Bakery’s Pecan Praline Cookies

Not only are these cookies delicious, but the recipe is worthwhile just for the bakery’s clever way of mixing in the pecan praline. It’s served as inspiration for a number of variations.

Pecan Praline Cookies Photo credit: Well-Bred Bakery
Photo: For the AJC

La Casa Italian Grill’s Spaghetti Squash with Fresh Vegetables and Marinara Sauce

Spaghetti squash comes in my community-supported agriculture box and I think, “What am I going to do with this?” When this recipe arrived, it answered that question delectably. Now I make this regularly.


Instant Pot Sweet Potato, Carrot and Red Lentil Soup

This recipe from Atlanta food stylist and cookbook author Tami Hardeman uses some of the best features of the Instant Pot, including the saute and manual pressure cooking functions, to make a soup that’s quick, delicious and healthy.

Instant Pot Sweet Potato, Carrot and Red Lentil Soup. PHOTO CREDIT: Bob Townsend
Photo: For the AJC

Milk-Braised Pork Shoulder With Fennel, Pecans and Figs

This slow cooker recipe from “The Chef and the Slow Cooker” (Clarkson Potter, $29.99) by James Beard Award-winning chef and cookbook author Hugh Acheson is a favorite because, after a bit of prep, it’s set it and forget it. And not only is it moist and succulent, it gives you an idea of the diversity of Italian food.

Spicy Carrot And Lime Salad

This recipe from “Fiery Ferments” by Kirsten Shockey and Christopher Shockey (Storey Publishing, 24.95) is an easy and delicious intro to the world of fermented foods.Crunchy, with a bright flavor, it’s perfect as a small side salad to accompany many dishes. Make it with Fresno peppers, as they provide a nice heat and the red strips are striking against the bright carrots.

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