Here, the best classic recipes that every cook should master, from juicy roast chicken to rich beef stew.
Food & Wine
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Over-the-Top Mushroom Quiche
This high-rising version, which is adapted from a recipe in Thomas Keller's Bouchon cookbook, just might be the perfect one, and it's well worth the time it takes to prepare. Layering the sautéed mushrooms and shredded cheese ensures that they're nicely distributed throughout the silky egg custard. This is a great recipe for weekend guests.
This classic Provençal seafood stew is loaded with clams, lobster and fish in a broth delicately flavored with fennel and pastis, a licorice-flavored aperitif. "There are no real rules to this dish except to use what's fresh," chef Ethan Stowell says. Make or buy a good fish stock and add different seafood at different times, so nothing is under- or overcooked (clams go in first; snapper and halibut go in last). The rouille, a sauce made with cayenne, garlic, bread crumbs and olive oil, is the perfect finishing touch.
Richard Betts is an avid mushroom forager: "Mushrooms are a great expression of terroir, just like wine is." Using a recipe from Jennifer Biesty, a contestant on Top Chef, he sautés them with garlic to top his plump, intensely potatoey gnocchi.
Naturally tart tamarind keeps the honey-based barbecue sauce from becoming too sweet for the luscious, slow-cooked ribs. Opt for dark, runny tamarind concentrate instead of tamarind pulp, which needs to be soaked and strained before using; it's available at Asian markets.
Chef Laurence Jossel created this stripped-down version of the classic French stew, with creamy white beans, luscious store-bought duck confit, smoky French garlic sausage and slab bacon. Letting the beans rest overnight develops their flavors.
Slow-Roasted Pork Loin with Molasses and Balsamic Glaze
Scott Conant says this recipe is a perfect reflection of his heritage: The molasses harks back to his father's New England background, and the balsamic vinegar is a tribute to his mother's Italian roots. The marinade is a syrupy glaze that Conant slathers over the pork so it can soak up the flavor before roasting.
For this classic beef stew, Jacques Pépin uses a special piece of the shoulder called the flatiron steak. This long, narrow piece is extremely lean, tender and moist, and it makes an ideal stew. He does not use stock, demiglace or even water. He makes his stew strictly with a robust red wine. This is a fantastic winter dish.