Michael Symon defines himself as a “porketarian,” saying he can’t get enough of the meat. For his luscious chili, he uses incredibly flavorful and succulent pork cheeks, an unusual cut worth seeking out. If pork cheeks aren’t available, pork shoulder (cut into 2-inch pieces) can be substituted. Serve with toasted cornmeal corn bread.
Instead of combining vodka with flavored Jell-O mix, Michael Symon concocts a refreshing mojito and stirs unflavored gelatin into the mint-and-lime-spiced rum drink to mold a fun and sophisticated version of the lowbrow shot.
These crispy chicken wings get their heat from Sriracha, the Thai hot sauce that chef Michael Symon says is his favorite in the world. “We always have a couple of extra bottles at home, because my stepson blows right through the stuff.”
Most crab dips are full of mayonnaise, but Michael Symon’s lighter version is more like a salsa since it’s prepared without mayo and laced with flecks of shallot, cilantro, jalapeño and red bell pepper. “Although I love mayo,” he says, “I’m not a fan of it with crab, since it tends to muddle the flavor. If I’m spending big bucks on crab, I want it to be the star.”
To jazz up arugula salad and give it a slightly Greek twist, Michael Symon tosses it with chopped fresh dill, briny Greek feta cheese and kalamata olives. He finishes the salad with extra-virgin Greek olive oil, which he says has a pure flavor and is generally more affordable than olive oil from Italy.
This dessert, created by pastry chef Cory Barrett, is an ode to Michael Symon’s father, Dennis, who loves beer, pretzels and chocolate. The ice cream has a strong, malty Guinness flavor that goes supremely well with the salty, milk chocolate-covered pretzels. If you don’t want to make the chocolate-covered pretzels, they’re easy enough to buy.