Cookbook editor Daniel Halpern shares cooking shortcuts from the world's top cooks.

Food & Wine
January 01, 2011

In addition to being a renowned poet and the founder and editorial director of Ecco Press, Daniel Halpern edits books by some of the world's top cooks. It's not a bad gig: An avid cook himself ("I test recipes at random in all the books before we publish," he says), he's constantly picking up new cooking shortcuts. Legendary author Claudia Roden, for instance, taught him that when readying tomatoes for soups and stews, grating is quicker and easier than chopping. Chef Zak Pelaccio of New York City's Fatty Crab restaurants showed him how to season even non-Asian dishes with fish sauce. Halpern shared these tricks with F&W's Grace Parisi, inspiring her fast recipes here. Grilled Rib Eyes with Mushrooms and Fish Sauce.

Grilled Rib Eyes with Mushrooms and Fish Sauce

Chef Zak Pelaccio is known for bold Malaysian-inspired recipes at his Fatty Crab restaurants in New York City. They will be included in his yet-untitled book, due out in 2012. He seasons even non-Asian dishes with Asian fish sauce in place of salt, because it adds an extra dimension of flavor—thus inspiring the steak and sautéed-mushroom recipe here. Toasts with Ricotta and Apples

Toasts with Ricotta and Warm Balsamic-Caramel Apples

New York City chef April Bloomfield will publish her memoir and cookbook, tentatively titled A Girl and Her Pig, in 2012. It will feature recipes from her three restaurants, including The Spotted Pig, many of them combining hot and cold ingredients. The chilled ricotta served over warm apples here expresses her style and makes an amazingly fast dessert. Catalan Fish Stew with Pimenton Mayonnaise

Catalan Fish Stew with Pimentón Mayonnaise

Grating plum tomatoes for Catalan fish stew makes an instant puree. Cooking the tomato puree with serrano ham and olives adds layers of flavors to the stew.

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