Persian rice gets its extraordinary crust, or tah dig, as it slow-cooks in a thin layer of oil. The crust is bolstered here by crunchy triangles of pita bread. Tehran-born Alireza Sadeghzadeh, a software developer, learned the technique from his mother. "My mother did most of the cooking, and my father was her favorite critic," he recalls. It definitely made eating together interesting as the two battled over the exact amount of salt or debated about whether the rice was over- or under-cooked.
Coffee and prime rib seem like unlikely partners, but Ryan Farr's recipe reveals they both have an earthy quality that makes them a natural match. Just be sure to scrape off any excess coffee rub from the meat before serving.
"I love knowing that I have leftovers in the refrigerator," says Shelley Lindgren. She'll often make pasta during the day—like this rich, pancetta-studded bucatini that's tossed with plenty of freshly ground black pepper and Pecorino—and then reheat a big bowl of it when she comes home from work late at night.
This six-pound bird yields a lot of meat. But if you want even more, get a capon (a castrated rooster). They're quite huge: nine to 11 pounds. (You'll have to increase the amount of ingredients relative to the size of the bird, which will also take longer to cook.)
White beans substitute for the usual potatoes in this chowder, made with sweet butternut squash, briny littleneck clams and smoky bacon. Rancho Gordo cellini beans give the soup a buttery richness, but Great Northern beans are terrific as well.
Ground pork and Chinese sausage flavor this slightly sweet and supersavory hot pot of chewy rice noodles with ground pork, shiitake mushrooms, pea shoots and pickled mustard greens. A just-cooked poached egg tops it all off, adding richness to the sauce, which Zak Pelaccio compares to an Italian Bolognese.
Simple, fun icebox cake is made by layering wafers with whipped cream and refrigerating them until the wafers soften into a cakelike texture. Kim Schwenke creates a dazzling version by alternating a creamy mix of mascarpone and Marsala with layers of homemade chocolate-graham wafers. The finishing touch is fluffy espresso meringue.
Austin's food trailer has become famous for its Hot-and-Crunchy Cones: fried chicken coated in an ingenious mix of cornflakes, slivered almonds and sesame seeds, then wrapped in a tortilla with a mango-jalapeño slaw and a spicy ancho "paint."
The rice vermicelli soup pho is a staple all over Vietnam and this spicy beef version is the specialty of Hanoi. At home in Connecticut, Marcia Kiesel often eats it for breakfast, as the Vietnamese do. "It's a perfect meal and an invigorating way to start the day," she says. She's tried innumerable phos but considers the recipe from Binh Duong, her co-author on Simple Art of Vietnamese Cooking, to be the best.