Branzino, a European sea bass, is low in fat but has a wonderful richness when cooked on the bone. Barbara Lynch stuffs the fish with lemons and herbs, then grills it until the skin is browned and crispy to add even more flavor.
Tim Cushman is a master at preparing raw fish. Here he dresses salmon with a little citrus-soy dressing, then tops it with fresh ginger and chives before bathing it in a hot sesame-oil mixture. The heat from the oil cooks the salmon just slightly, creating a luxurious texture and fragrance.
Almond flour gives these not-too-sweet biscuits a subtle nutty flavor; cornmeal adds a bit of crunch. Instead of whipped cream, Barry Maiden serves the biscuits with two sweet-tangy accompaniments: whipped crème fraîche and blueberry sauce.
To fill this sandwich wrap, Ana Sortun coats chicken thighs with a lengthy list of spices that includes allspice and nutmeg, then braises them in beer and garlic. An easier way: Rub chicken thighs with the spice mix and roast them in the oven (no beer necessary).
Inspired by an Italian Caprese salad, this tomato salsa by Tim Cushman is full of calcium-rich cheese. It's so chunky it could be eaten on its own with a fork, but it's also wonderful with shredded chicken.
Ana Sortun's pastry chef, Maura Kilpatrick, adds cinnamon and cocoa nibs to the syrup that soaks her chocolate baklava. An easier way: The baklava is fabulous even with a basic honey syrup; no need for cocoa nibs and cinnamon.
A tablespoon of butter makes this speedy sauce especially luxurious. Michael Schlow of Radius in Boston recommends leaving the butter out if you're planning to freeze the sauce, and adding it during reheating.
Although this Italian standard has suffered at the hands of lesser chefs, Barbara Lynch redeems it. She ably deconstructs what is often a heavy sauce into its vivid components: bright red strips of bell pepper, sweet slices of onion, hot pickled peppers and fresh chopped tomatoes.
Barbara Lynch simmers baby artichokes in an aromatic white wine broth, then stuffs them with a juicy crab salad for a light starter that honors her husband Charlie's family tradition: "His mother made artichokes for every festive occasion. She's no longer around, so I always try to make one dish with artichokes in it for him."