Chef Tricks Worth Stealing

© Con Poulos

By F&W Editors Posted June 17, 2016

Borrowing some ingenious chef moves, the F&W test-kitchen team creates extraordinary recipes to make all summer.

There are aha moments almost every day when we're re-creating chef recipes in the F&W Test Kitchen. It might be the smart ingredient a pro uses to baste meat (fresh ginger juice) or the way he or she chooses to add crunch to a salad (savory granola). Here, F&W Test Kitchen cooks Justin Chapple and Kay Chun channel some of their favorite chefs, using tricks and tips gleaned from years of transforming restaurant recipes into crowd-pleasing summer dishes.

"I was so bored of croutons on salads. Then I tasted Justin Smillie's savory granola."
—Justin Chapple

Food & Wine: Heirloom Tomatoes with Ricotta and Savory Granola

© Con Poulos

"Basil browns easily, so I copy Yigit Pura and blanch it in simple syrup to keep it bright green."
—Kay Chun

Food & Wine: Frozen Honeydew Basil Margaritas

© Con Poulos

"Michael Solomonov's secret to insanely tender and caramelized meat: adding onion juice to the marinade."
—Justin

Food & Wine: Peking Style Short Rib Tacos

© Con Poulos

"Fresh goat cheese tends to clump in salads. But not when I use Ori Menashe's method of freezing the cheese before grating it."
—Kay

Food & Wine: Corn and Zucchini Orzo Salad with Goat Cheese

© Con Poulos

"Basting meat with ginger juice is my new favorite way to add flavor. I picked up the idea from F&W contributor Andrew Zimmern."
—Justin

Food & Wine: Ginger and Honey Chicken Wings

© Con Poulos

"Grilling thick slabs of watermelon like Michael Psilakis does imparts a smoky flavor that's outstanding with avocado salsa."
—Justin

Food & Wine: Grilled Watermelon with Avocado, Cucumber and Jalapeno Salsa

© Con Poulos

"Petter Nilsson brines vegetables, so I gave it a try with okra. It added an extra depth of seasoning that's spot-on—and no extra salt required."
—Kay

Food & Wine: Blistered Okra with Dill Coriander Lebneh

© Con Poulos

"So smart: Tyler Florence slow-roasts chicken before frying, so he can use superhot oil for an extra-crispy crust."
—Justin

Food & Wine: Garlic Fried Chicken

© Con Poulos

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