For the past 48 weeks, Food52.com readers have been voting in weekly showdowns of reader-submitted recipes on a given theme. The winning recipes of each week will end up in Food52's upcoming cookbook, along with bios of the people who submitted them (Food52 explains the process in simple detail here).
This week, Food52 and its co-founders Amanda Hesser and Merrill Stubbs have invited you, fun-loving HuffPost Food readers, to vote on Week 49's finalists.
Week 49's two showdowns are for the best french toast and minestrone/soupe au pistou recipes.
Check the finalists out below, and vote for your favorite in both categories here.
Amanda and Merrill's notes on "Weekend French Toast" at Food52.com: A few well-chosen ingredients go a long way in this simple but gratifying recipe. Cinnamon, nutmeg, vanilla and just a touch of brown sugar are added to the egg and milk, which also happens to be spiked with rum (fineartdaily specifies a "generous dollop," which we took to mean 2-3 tablespoons). Day old slices of French bread go for a swim in this heady custard and are then quickly browned on both sides; the recipe calls for an oiled pan, but we like to add a bit of butter at the end for extra flavor. A couple of pieces of this French toast and a little maple syrup are all you need to start the weekend off right. - A&M View the "Weekend French Toast" recipe here. Vote for this recipe here. (Photo: Sarah Shatz)
Amanda and Merrill's notes on "Bell-less, Whistle-less, Damn Good French Toast" at Food52.com: There's nothing to making this French toast. But there is one thing that makes it exceptional: cream. KayB cuts to the chase, forgoing spices and extracts, and focussing instead on eggs, cream and challah. You whip together the eggs and cream, which form a custardy mixture, then dip the eggy bread into this custard -- make sure to gently squeeze the bread with your fingertips to draw the eggs and cream to the center -- and fry them in butter. Outside is a crisp crepe-like shell. Inside, pudding. What are you waiting for? - A&M View the Bell-less, "Whistle-less, Damn Good French Toast" recipe here. Vote for this recipe here. (Photo: Sarah Shatz)
Amanda and Merrill's notes on Minestrone Soup at Food52.com: This minestrone follows the Italian tradition of relying solely on the vegetables, beans and a scrap of parmesan rind for the flavor of the broth, which is made with a base of water. The beans, cooked from scratch in the soup broth, enrich the soup, napa cabbage sweetens it and a last minute addition of red wine underscores its heartiness. You might want to start with half the pepper called for and add more to taste, but whatever you do, don't forget the final pinch of freshly grated parmesan on top! We also added a cup and a half of water as the soup simmered, to keep it nice and brothy. - A&M View the Minestrone Soup recipe here. Vote for this recipe here. (Photo: Sarah Shatz)
Amanda and Merrill's notes on Smoky Minestrone with Tortellini and Parsley or Basil Pesto" at Food52.com: We love WinnieAb's proclivity for combining delicious, nutritious ingredients (like the many vegetables in this soup) with a touch of the indulgent (bacon, cheese tortellini). The smokiness of the bacon permeates the minestrone, imbuing the tomatoey broth with a depth of flavor it wouldn't have otherwise. The bright, rustic pesto (we used parsley, but basil would be great too) is a superb final addition, adding a garlicky, herbal kick. - A&M View the "Smoky Minestrone with Tortellini and Parsley or Basil Pesto" recipe here. Vote for this recipe here. (Photo: Sarah Shatz)