What's the one quality that makes a Food & Wine recipe different from any other recipe? I'd have to say it's accessible creativity. At the magazine, we specialize in giving delicious twists to the classics everybody loves and craves. And that's what the F&W book Reinventing the Classics is all about: exciting new ideas for the tried-and-true. Perfected by our Test Kitchen and paired with wines in our Tasting Room, the recipes are ideal for the novice who wants to confidently impress as well as the accomplished cook looking to add to an already formidable repertoire.
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F&W's latest cookbook gives a delicious twist to dozens and dozens of the recipes America loves best. For more information and to buy the book, visit foodandwine.com/books.
Reinventing the Classics: Starters & Soups
Inspired by Turkey's rice-stuffed grape leaves (dolmas), star chef Mehmet Gürs ingeniously wraps goat cheese in the briny leaves, then quickly grills the little packages to melt the cheese.
In this modern minestrone, chef Mark Peel replaces cannellini beans with an earthy mix of kidney beans and black-eyed peas. And instead of the usual small pasta, he boils penne, slices it into rings and sautés them in olive oil so they're crispy-chewy.
Reinventing the Classics: Pasta & Grains
For this supereasy lasagna spin-off, F&W's Grace Parisi skips pasta sheets and layers pocketless pita bread or naan from the grocery with store-bought marinara sauce, hot Italian sausage and ricotta and mozzarella cheeses.
For this shockingly pink risotto, sparkling rosé, with its own depth and richness, is perfect. Try the NV Domaine Carneros Cuvée de la Pompadour Brut Rosé or the 2006 Schramsberg Brut Rosé.
Reinventing the Classics: Fish & Seafood
Moving on from bread crumbs, chefs are playing with pretzel crumbs, creating dishes like pretzel-coated chicken, lamb chops and even squid. Here, Boston chef Stephanie Sokolove uses crushed pretzels to bind and crust chunky crab cakes.
In her modern take on the quintessential ladies' luncheon dish, F&W's Melissa Rubel Jacobson sears the salmon to give it a crispy crust and makes a wonderfully citrusy salad dressing by whisking fresh lemon and orange juices with a little mayonnaise and olive oil.
Reinventing the Classics: Poultry
F&W's Grace Parisi puts an Asian spin on the classic American snack, replacing red hot sauce with green and adding fish sauce, cilantro and Thai green curry paste.
Cooks in Mexico's Yucatán use deep red annatto (achiote) paste to season chicken, pork and fish. F&W's Marcia Kiesel replaces the ground annatto seeds with paprika; it's easier to find, and she thinks it tastes better, too. She then adds fresh citrus juices, cumin, ancho chile powder and 20 cloves of garlic to make a terrifically spicy rub for whole roast chicken.
Reinventing the Classics: Meat
F&W's Marcia Kiesel made sure the ingredients for this recipe were easy to find in a U.S. supermarket: In place of Korean hot peppers and sweet Korean pickles, the stew gets tanginess and heat from jalapeños and sour dill pickles.
To give his simple chili some flavor complexity, butcher Tom Mylan uses three kinds of dried chiles: fruity guajillos, smoky anchos and a New Mexico chile.
Reinventing the Classics: Salads & Vegetables
In this creative remix, F&W's Melissa Rubel Jacobson pan-fries tofu cubes until they become crisp and crouton-like. She also blends soft tofu with olive oil, lemon juice and an anchovy to make a terrific Caesar-style dressing without the standard raw egg yolks.
In this clever potato salad remake, F&W's Grace Parisi uses yogurt and hummus to make one great and very speedy dressing.
Reinventing the Classics: Breakfast & Brunch
Chef Neal Fraser updates classic blueberry pancakes by adding fresh ricotta and beaten egg whites to the batter. They make the pancakes incredibly moist and light.
Most bakers spice their crumb cakes with cinnamon; for a more exotic flavor, F&W's Kate Heddings tops her moist cake with a generous layer of cardamom-accented, pecan-dotted crumbs.
Reinventing the Classics: Desserts
Capturing the flavors of apple pie in a snack bar is a fantastic idea; the bars here have a nutty, streusel-like topping and a crisp shortbread bottom.
Pastry chef Jessica Sullivan combines two dessert basics—nutty chocolate chip cookies and silky chocolate ganache—into one heavenly sandwich cookie. Sullivan likes hers stuffed (not merely spread) with ganache.