Tangy tamarind, creamy coconut milk and a homemade spice paste give this grouper and vegetable curry many layers of deep flavor. If you're feeling particularly adventurous, follow Zak Pelaccio's lead and ask your fishmonger to give you a fish head or two to add to the pot.
Beer-Braised Baby Back Ribs with Orange-Tamarind Sauce
"I started making my Abilene sauce 20 years ago, and every year I tweak it or add something," says Olivia chef James Holmes of his signature barbecue sauce. Despite its spicy intensity, the pork and beer flavors come straight through.
"I made up this dish to have one thing on my menu that wasn't spicy," says Chris Yeo. He marinates cubes of beef tenderloin in a sesame-oil mixture so it's even more tender, then adds flavor to the mild beef by searing the pieces in shallot-infused oil. The crispy shallots fried beforehand in the oil make a terrific garnish for the beef.
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.
Zak Pelaccio uses local squid and tamarind to make this at Fatty Crab St. John, but the flavors are primarily Asian. Yuzu kosho, a spicy Japanese condiment made from yuzu zest and chile peppers, adds fragrant citrus notes and heat, while the Indonesian soy sauce known as kecap manis gives the sauce a touch of saltiness and sweetness.
Slow-Roasted Salmon with Tamarind, Ginger and Chipotle
Top Chef Masters winner Floyd Cardoz reveals his secrets to slow-roasting salmon. Here, he flavors the fish with spicy ginger, sweet maple syrup, tangy tamarind and smoky chipotles. Cooking salmon at a low temperature (300?) prevents it from drying out and mellows the flavor.