Marcia Kiesel loves the numbing heat of Sichuan peppercorns. Inspired by dan dan, the Sichuan noodle dish, she seasons flank steaks with a simple but potent blend of the peppercorns and store-bought Chinese black beangarlic paste.
Pairing: Peppery, berry-rich Washington Syrah: 2008 Substance
Instead of deep-frying chicken in a vat of oil, Angie Mosier prefers pan-frying, which creates delightfully crunchy and moist chicken without requiring quite so much oil. "For a covered-dish dinner, there's nothing better than a tray of drumsticks, which are easy to eat standing up," she says.
Pairing: A Chardonnay from California's Santa Lucia Highlands
Chicago shoppers are in luck: Takashi Yagihashi (an F&W Best New Chef 2000) has opened a Japanese-style noodle shop in the Macy's on State Street. On his menu is this pork fried rice, his favorite childhood after-school snack.
Pastry chef Jennifer McCoy of Craft in New York City bristles when other people offer to bring dessert to parties. "What are they thinking?" she says. "That's mine!" McCoy often brings this raspberry tart, with its creamy filling and pistachio-studded crust. She packs the components separately and assembles the tart just before serving.