Most Wanted Recipes
To celebrate the 25th anniversary of F&W’s Best New Chef awards, one of our biggest stars shares one of her most requested recipes.
April Bloomfield, a Best New Chef 2007 at the Spotted Pig, is now also the chef and a co-owner of the John Dory and the Breslin, all in Manhattan. Later this year, she will open Tosca in San Francisco.
At the Spotted Pig, April Bloomfield’s NYC gastropub, the Caesar salad is so popular that a couple actually left the restaurant when they discovered she’d briefly taken it off the menu. She’s been perfecting the recipe— which involves an especially tangy and garlicky dressing, large torn croutons and plenty of grated Parmesan—since she was an 18-year-old line cook at Kensington Place in London. “It’s the first salad I didn’t find boring,” she says. “It has such great texture and a ‘more-ish’ quality; you want to keep eating it.” The dish has evolved over time: “It used to have crushed white pepper; I did away with that.” Now she insists that all the ingredients, and even the bowl, be chilled. “It’s also important to eat this salad with your fingers, if possible,” she adds, “because it’s fun and naughty.” SEE RECIPE »
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I’ve never been a fan of the crisp freeze-dried fruits that line the snack racks at natural food markets and airport convenience shops. I sort of understood them in breakfast cereals when they were first introduced—usually strawberry and raspberry—and they made sense as an alternative when fresh berries were hard to come by. However, there’s a new fruit in the game, recently introduced by Crispy Green, that’s made me a convert: tangerines!
They certainly wouldn’t win any beauty contests—it fact they don’t look very appetizing at all, but don’t let that put you off. They’re loaded with great citrus flavor, with a perfect balance of sweet and tang. They’re light and crunchy and delicious right out of the bag, but I especially like them crumbled into salads (good with smoked duck!), or over ice cream, yogurt or anything else you might want to gussy up with a hit of tangerine flavor as the citrus season fades.
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Tuna Salad with Chickpea Puree; © Johnny Miller
In F&W's April Handbook feature, I tackle one of the healthiest and most common ingredients around—canned fish. For the magazine, I mixed canned tuna with hummus to create a light yet satisfying salad that couldn’t be any simpler to put together. To further transform canned tuna, it can be whipped into a fantastic tonnato sauce.
Combine the tuna and the oil it’s packed in (if it’s in water, drain first), lemon juice, capers, anchovy fillets, olive oil and a touch of mayo (or plain yogurt) in a blender and puree until smooth. Traditionally served on cold sliced veal (vitello tonnato), the sauce is great as a crudité dip, salad dressing on escarole or arugula, or drizzled on grilled chicken breast. Use it as a sandwich spread for turkey sandwiches or as the base for potato salad.
Sardines are particularly rich in omega-3s and minerals like calcium and potassium. Roasted or broiled with lemon and fresh herbs, they’re delicious to top rice or grains. I like stuffing them straight from the container into sandwiches with Dijon mustard, sliced radishes and watercress. Side note: I’ve been known to travel with these fish when camping…nothing beats an open tin of sardines bubbling over a fire.
As grilling season approaches, canned octopus becomes an unexpected pantry essential. Charred, the tentacles take on a fantastic texture and slightly smokey flavor. Toss pieces of the grilled octopus in a simple shallot vinaigrette with some chopped parsley for a fun starter, or use it as a crostini topper. For a full-on seafood salad, add some canned smoked oysters and mussels. And since the grill is already on, make some salmon burgers: simply drain the canned salmon and mix it with eggs, chopped scallions and breadcrumbs to bind the mixture together.
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Andrew Zimmern's Kitchen Adventures
This was all I ever wanted to eat growing up, and I still crave it more than I care to admit. This Eastern European cabbage soup is really more of a schi than a borscht, but why quibble over names? In America in the ’60s, unless you were Russian, this was borscht. Funny how that works. It’s a meal in a bowl to be sure, but small portions are a great starter. I have been making this for decades; it’s a battle-tested classic. SEE RECIPE »
See More of Andrew Zimmern’s Kitchen Adventures