These phenomenal recipes include a Greek salad with feta mousse and gnocchi with wild mushrooms.
Food & Wine
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Jerk Cornish Game Hens
Bradford Thompson's jerk sauce is loosely based on his wife Kerry-Ann's excellent family recipe; the couple is hoping to bottle it and sell it in stores. The mix of fiery Scotch bonnet chiles, scallions and spices creates a complex, deep-flavored paste that's amazing on grilled chicken or game hens.
Andrew Carmellini cooks homemade gnocchi in his own intense mushroom stock, then serves them with porcini butter (blended with garlic, herbs and Parmesan) and white-truffle shavings. In the easy way, store-bought gnocchi and chicken stock fill in for the homemade kinds. The topping: Parmesan cheese and truffle oil.
Andrew Carmellini serves fresh pappardelle with a ragù of house-ground lamb shoulder cooked in lamb stock. He finishes the dish with fresh ricotta and chopped mint. In the easy way, use store-bought pappardelle, ground lamb and chicken stock, then top the dish with fresh ricotta and mint.
Gavin Kaysen's Greek salad has most of the usual ingredients, like tomatoes and olives—but, in an inspired twist, he turns the traditional feta cheese into a creamy, light feta mousse. Kaysen invented the dish to impress his coach when he was training for the prestigious international Bocuse d'Or cooking competition, and he says, "It blew him away."
Andrew Carmellini's sauce uses blood oranges, tangelos, clementines and tangerines. He sautés the shrimp separately. In the easy way, prepare a fast citrus sauce by adding grapefruit juice to the skillet as you cook the shrimp.
Rundown is a classic Caribbean recipe that involves cooking foods like crab, mackerel or lobster in coconut milk. (The word rundown refers to the simmering down of the coconut milk.) Bradford Thompson, who loves the whole crab he eats along Jamaica's southern coast, near the town of Black River, uses chunks of lump crabmeat in this spicy, rich coconut-curry stew.
After blanching peas, snap peas and fingerling potatoes, Andrew Carmellini adds them to a homemade mussel broth along with sea bass, clams, an herb pesto and little seafood meatballs made with shrimp, chorizo and scallops. In the easy way, narrow the ingredient list to the delicious basics—shrimp, sea bass and clams. Use bottled clam broth as a stand-in for mussel broth and flavor it with spicy chorizo.
Christopher Lee's simple grilled tuna and crispy-chewy scallion pancakes are terrific, but what makes the dish so sensational is his kimchi, a version of the traditional Korean pickled-vegetable condiment. Unconventionally sweetened with honey and orange juice, it's utterly original and completely delicious.