Kendra Aronson preparing pesto. Photo: Somma Special Designs

Recipe Roundup: Celebrating a Delicious Milestone, Backyard BBQ Style

We’ve got some tasty, tasty news — this week, we’re celebrating 100 million dollars pledged to Food projects on Kickstarter. That’s $100 million from folks who’ve helped innovative cookbooks, new restaurants, food trucks, community spaces, gardens and farms, coffee shops, breweries, and other gourmand dreams come to life.

Let’s revel in the goodness together. Join us as we gather ‘round the table to dig into these festive recipes from successful Kickstarter creators who know firsthand the amazing things that can happen with the help of an enthusiastic community.

Time to get cooking. ❤

Brown Butter Cornbread

From the folks at Field Skillet (, a modern take on the traditional cast-iron skillet, comes this dialed-up variation on classic cornbread that’s a sweet showstopper. The team took inspiration from their pals Melissa Clark, who published the original recipe for the New York Times, and Eric Bolyard, who’s worked in some of the best kitchens in the world. “This recipe is a fusion of what we’ve learned from them,” they say. #Community!

Via Field Skillet


Makes one pan

12 tablespoons (1 ½ sticks) unsalted butter

½ cup Grade B and/or Dark Amber Maple Syrup (more flavor!)

2 ¼ cups buttermilk

3 large eggs

1 ½ cups yellow cornmeal, fine or medium-coarse grind (or mix both — all fine gives a more cake-like consistency)

1 cup all-purpose flour

1 ½ tablespoons baking powder

1 ½ teaspoons Kosher salt

½ teaspoon baking soda


Step 1: Preheat

Preheat oven to 375°F.

Step 2: Brown that butter

In your Field Skillet — or other cast iron pan that measures 10" or more — melt the butter over medium heat. Cook, swirling the butter in the skillet to lightly coat sides and bottom, until the foam subsides and the butter turns a deep nut-brown color. Watch carefully to make sure not to burn the butter. You can always turn up the heat if you start too low. If you prefer the easy route, pick up some Black & Bolyard butter (that’s Eric’s preferred brand!).

Step 3: Mix the batter

Pour the brown butter into a large bowl — if there’s a little left over in the pan, all the better. Whisk the maple syrup into the butter, then whisk in the buttermilk. The mixture should be cool to the touch. If it’s warm, let it cool before whisking in the eggs. Then whisk in the cornmeal, flour, baking powder, salt, and baking soda.

Step 4: Into the oven

If the skillet is no longer hot, reheat it briefly over medium heat on the stove. Scrape the batter back into the skillet. Bake at 375°F until the top starts to become golden brown and a toothpick inserted into it emerges clean, which should take 30–40 minutes. Let it cool for 10 minutes in the skillet before slicing — and feel free to set your Field Skillet on the table with a butter knife for people to help themselves. Cast iron doubles as both cookware and servingware.

12,553 backers pledged $1,633,361 to bring the Field Skillet to life.

Beautiful Beet Hummus

GFF Magazine ( is a beautiful publication dedicated to Good Food Forever (so long as that food is gluten free!). And as a self-proclaimed “small startup,” the team often does food photo shoots at people’s homes, stumbling upon wonderful new dishes—like this vibrant beet hummus from photographer and food stylist Zoe Armbruster—along the way.

Photo: Zoe Armbruster for GFF


Makes a nice bowlful

2 red beets, cleaned

1 ½ cup cooked chickpeas, drained

1 lemon, juice and zest

2 small garlic cloves, minced

2 tablespoons tahini

¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil

½ cup chopped dill

⅓ cup chopped pistachios

Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper


Step 1: Preheat

Preheat oven to 375°F.

Step 2: Prep the beets

Remove stems and roots from the beets. Wrap each beet in foil, adding a small drizzle of olive oil, and roast until tender when pierced with a knife, about 50 minutes or more depending on size.

Step 3: You’re making hummus!

Cool and quarter the beets, then blend them in a food processor. Add the chickpeas, lemon juice and zest, garlic, tahini, and olive oil, and blend until smooth. Season to taste with salt and pepper, adding extra lemon juice or olive oil if desired.

Step 4: Dress it up

Garnish the hummus with dill and chopped pistachios just before serving.

Editor’s note: Serve with fresh crudités, crackers, or flatbread, being mindful of gluten-free options, of course!

822 backers pledged $94,587 to bring GFF Magazine to life.

Crostini with Sungolds, Padróns, Zucchini, Brebis, and Spicy Pistachio Pesto

Kendra Aronson, the jane of all trades behind the San Luis Obispo Farmers’ Market Cookbook (, is always hungry—for passion projects, creative collaborations, and, of course, delicious local food. This dish was inspired by a summertime Saturday morning market run: freshly baked bread, eye-popping sungold tomatoes, spicy padróns, bright green zucchini, farmstead cheeses, and crunchy nuts. It makes a perfect appetizer for a late afternoon BBQ.

Photo: Kendra Aronson


Serves just about as many as you’d like


Padrón peppers

Flake sea salt


Zucchini, sliced and grilled

Ciabatta, sliced and grilled

Sungold tomatoes, halved

Fresh brebis (or chèvre)

Spicy Pistachio Pesto

⅓ cup spicy roasted pistachios

⅓ cup hard sheep’s milk cheese

2 cups fresh basil leaves

5 cloves of garlic

Red pepper flakes (optional)

½ cup olive oil

Salt and pepper


Step 1: Prep those padróns

Heat up a cast-iron skillet over a medium-high flame. Once hot enough, add some olive oil and throw in the padrón peppers. Blister and blacken the peppers, remove from heat. Sprinkle with flake sea salt.

Step 2: Get the veggies and bread ready

Carefully slice the zucchini on a mandolin to get thin ribbons, drizzle with olive oil, and grill until tender. Once done, remove from heat and set aside for assembly.

Halve the sungold tomatoes and set aside for assembly.

Slice the ciabatta bread (and grill if desired).

Step 3: It’s pesto time

In a food processor, combine the pistachios, cheese, basil, and garlic. Pulse until combined into a paste. Add pinches of salt, pepper, and red pepper flakes. Blend together and slowly drizzle in oil as it forms into a smooth sauce. Taste for seasoning and spiciness, and adjust accordingly.

Step 4: Time to plate

Top half of the crostini with a generous amount of fresh brebis—this French word refers to sheep’s milk, whereas chèvre refers to goat’s milk—and halved sungolds. Top the other half of the crostini with a spoonful of spicy pistachio pesto and the thinly sliced grilled zucchini.

Serve alongside salty padrón peppers, extra whole sungolds, and pistachios in their shells.

418 backers pledged $26,714 to bring the San Luis Obispo Farmers’ Market Cookbook to life.

Twice-Cooked Pork Ribs with BBQ glaze

At her home in New Zealand, Unna Burch of The Forest Cantina ( loves to see folks gathered around the BBQ on her deck, surrounded by aromatic grill smoke as they watch meat—like these ribs—cook.

Unna’s glazed BBQ ribs are twice-cooked: first slow-cooked in the oven in pineapple juice to get them sweet, soft, and falling off the bone, then basted with a spicy-sticky, Memphis-style glaze and added to a hot charcoal BBQ. They’re soft on the inside, sticky and charred on the outside—as Unna says, “Heck yes!”

Photo via Unna Burch


Serves 2–3 (with sides)


3 pounds free-range pork ribs

4 cups pineapple (or apple) juice

1 cup brown sugar

BBQ glaze

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 onion, finely chopped

3 cloves garlic, crushed

1 cup ketchup

3 teaspoons brown sugar

3 teaspoons molasses

1 teaspoon mustard powder

1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar

1 tablespoon Worcester sauce

A dash of your favorite hot sauce

¼–½ teaspoon cayenne pepper (more if you want it really hot!)

Salt to taste


Step 1: Get the meat ready

Preheat the oven to 320°F. Line a large roasting tray with baking paper. Put the pork in the lined tray, season with salt, pour in the pineapple juice, and add the sugar to the juice. Cover with foil and bake in the middle of the oven for 2 hours or until the meat is falling off the bone. (Make sure you preheat your BBQ towards the end of this step — Unna’s coal BBQ takes about 20 minutes to come up to temperature.)

Step 2: Make the BBQ sauce

While the meat is cooking, make the BBQ sauce. Heat the oil in a medium pot over medium/high heat. Once hot, add the onions and a good pinch of salt and cook off for a few minutes, until the onion is translucent. Add the garlic and cook until it just starts to color, then add the remaining ingredients. Cook for about 10 minutes until the glaze is nice and thick and glossy. Taste, and season with salt and any extra hot sauce if you want more kick! Set aside.

Step 3: Sauce and char that meat

Once the meat is cooked and falling from the bone, remove the tray from the oven, being really careful to not break the meat apart — it will be quite delicate. Lift it from the pan, glaze generously with the BBQ sauce, and add to a hot charcoal grill. Turn carefully at least twice and baste as you go. The meat is already cooked, so just grill it until you have the amount of stickiness and char that you like on the outside. Unna cooks hers for about 10 minutes, so the meat doesn’t dry out from overcooking.

Alternatively, increase the oven to 400°F fan grill, move the oven rack closer to the grill, and char under the oven grill for 10 minutes or until cooked to your liking.

Serve with plenty of icy-cold refreshments—and napkins!

Editor’s note: Follow @the_forest_cantina on Instagram — gorgeous food pics!

497 backers pledged $55,532 NZD to bring The Forest Cantina cookbook to life.

Carla Hall’s Hot Chicken

“When I go out to eat, the community table idea has always been a thing for me, even before it became a trendy thing,” says Carla Hall, co-host of ABC’s The Chew, repeat finalist on Bravo’s Top Chef, and creator of Carla Hall’s Southern Kitchen (, a neighborhood eatery serving up southern comfort in New York City. This hot chicken recipe is a perfect dish to share with the people you love most.

Photo: Dillon Burke


Makes 8 pieces

Hot Brine

¼ cup habanero hot sauce or another hot sauce

8 boneless chicken thighs with skin

¼ cup Kosher salt

¼ cup sugar

Freshly ground black pepper

Hot Oil

¼ cup canola oil, plus more for frying

1 tablespoon cayenne pepper

½ teaspoon paprika

¼ teaspoon garlic powder

½ teaspoon sugar

2 cups all-purpose flour


Step 1: Brine the chicken

In a large bowl, whisk the water, hot sauce, salt, and sugar until the sugar dissolves. Submerge the chicken in the liquid and refrigerate for at least 1 hour and up to 6 hours.

Step 2: Prep the hot oil

Heat the oil in a small saucepan over medium heat until simmering. Add the cayenne, paprika, garlic powder, sugar, and 1 teaspoon salt. Cook, stirring until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Transfer to a small bowl and reserve.

Step 3: Get the chicken ready

In a large resealable plastic or paper bag, combine the flour with ½ teaspoon salt and 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper. Add the chicken in batches and shake well until all the pieces are evenly coated. Let sit for at least 1 hour.

Step 4. Time to fry!

Add enough oil to a cast-iron or other heavy skillet to come ½ inch up the sides. Heat the oil over medium heat until it reaches 365°F. The oil’s ready when a little flour dropped in bubbles and sizzles steadily.

Step 5: Get cooking

Remove the chicken from the flour, shaking off excess. Carefully place the chicken in the oil, skin side down. Cook in batches. Don’t crowd the pan, and maintain oil at 365°F. Continue cooking and turning to evenly brown each piece until cooked through, about 10 minutes total.

Step 6: Yum

Drain chicken on rack. Repeat with the remaining chicken, replenishing and reheating the oil between batches. Toss chicken with the reserved spicy oil. Serve hot.

1,550 backers pledged $264,703 to bring Carla Hall’s Southern Kitchen to life.

Vegan Beer-Battered Habanero Buffalo Wings with Roasted Garlic Ranch Dip

Let’s not forget our vegan friends! In 2010, chef Adam Sobel’s Cinnamon Snail ( rose to prominence as one of the most sought-after food trucks in the country. We’ve heard tell it’s powered by magical unicorn sparkles, like a wizard floating in the mist.

Whether or not the rumor is true, these zesty wings will transform your tofu into a fantastical delight. “I like to form these into smaller nuggets, which gives you a higher ratio of spicy, textured crust on each piece,” says Adam. Yum!

Photo via The Cinnamon Snail/Penguin Random House


Serves 4

Roasted Garlic Ranch Dip

8 garlic cloves

2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

⅔ cup vegan mayonnaise

Grated zest and juice of 1 lemon

2 teaspoons stone-ground mustard

1 tablespoon agave nectar

1 dill pickle, minced

1 minced scallion, light green and white parts

2 tablespoons minced fresh flat-leaf parsley, plus more for garnish

1 tablespoon minced fresh dill

Beer Batter

1 cup vegan beer

¼ cup unsweetened soy milk

1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar

1 teaspoon stone-ground mustard

1 tablespoon evaporated cane juice

1 tablespoon paprika

1 teaspoon dried thyme

1 teaspoon sea salt

1 ⅓ cups all-purpose flour


⅔ cup canola or safflower oil, for frying

One 14-ounce block extra-firm tofu

⅓ cup all-purpose flour

⅓ cup habanero hot sauce, or other thick hot sauce of your choice

2 tablespoons finely minced red onion (optional; for garnish)

3 tablespoons micro radish greens (optional; for garnish)


Step 1: Make the dip

Preheat the oven to 400°F. Line a small rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper.

Toss the garlic cloves in the olive oil in a small bowl, and spread them on the prepared baking sheet. Roast the garlic for 12 to 14 minutes, until golden brown. Place the pan on a wire rack and allow the garlic to cool for 10 minutes. Transfer the garlic and oil to a blender along with the mayonnaise. Blend on high speed for 45 seconds, until smooth. Add the lemon zest and juice, mustard, agave nectar, pickle, scallion, parsley, and dill and pulse a few times to incorporate, just until you have a dip speckled with bits of fresh herbs and pickle throughout. If not using immediately, store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 4 days.

Step 2: Make the beer batter

Whisk the beer, soy milk, vinegar, mustard, evaporated cane juice, paprika, thyme, salt, and flour in a medium bowl until well combined.

Step 3: You guessed it — make the wings

Heat the oil in a large frying pan over medium-high heat. Cut the tofu into about 20 pieces (of whatever shape you like). Gently toss the tofu in a medium bowl with the flour, until all sides are well coated.

Working with 3 or 4 pieces at a time, submerge the tofu in the beer batter, letting the excess drip back into the bowl, and quickly place them into the hot oil. Fry in batches, making sure that the tofu pieces aren’t touching one another while they cook. Once the pieces have turned golden brown on the bottom side, flip them and fry for another 2 to 3 minutes. Remove the tofu pieces and drain on a plate lined with paper towels.

Toss the tofu pieces in a small bowl with the hot sauce (using more or less, depending on your heat tolerance). Serve family-style or on small plates, with the ranch dip in a ramekin on the side, and garnish with chopped parsley. Sprinkle with the minced red onion and microgreens, if desired.

1,625 backers pledged $85,470 to bring the beloved Cinnamon Snail back to life.

To complete this lovely summer menu, perhaps a good local brew, a pitcher of iced coffee, and a platter of something sweet?

Chipotle skirt steak fajitas from a forthcoming book by Unna Burch — find her BBQ pork recipe above. Photo via Unna Burch.

Sid Orlando is Kickstarter’s Managing Editor and totally wants to eat everything in this article.

Special thanks to Terry Hope Romero, Kickstarter’s Food Outreach Lead , and all the wonderful folks who shared recipes and photos.