Vinny Dotolo found inspiration for this elegant dish by thinking about New Year's Eve classics. Both Champagne and caviar flavor the butter sauce that he spoons over seared scallops set on mini potato pancakes.
Verjus, a cooking liquid pressed from unripe grapes, is a staple of classic French cooking; chefs love it today for its pleasant tang, which is much milder than vinegar. David Page uses verjus two ways here: to help baste the lobster as it roasts and to brighten a jalapeño-and-tarragon-inflected vinaigrette served over the sweet meat.
At Lilette in New Orleans, chef John Harris uses coriander seeds to make a simple, citrusy crust for his French-influenced rack of lamb. Behroush Sharifi's coriander seeds are small, so they cling to the meat; other coriander seeds tend to be larger, so they need to be coarsely ground before they are packed on.
For the regaland expensivepork crown roast, F&W Test Kitchen Associate Melissa Rubel Jacobson replaced the run-of-the-mill garlic-herb coating with a smoky harissa version. "I love the way it turns from a paste to a crispy crust," she says.
Crunchy Almond-Crusted Duck Breasts with Chanterelle Salad
Duck is often paired with something sweet, as in canard à l'orange. Jean-Georges Vongerichten tops it here with chopped sugar-coated almonds. The sugar burns slightly as the meat is broiled to form a bittersweet crust that pairs beautifully with the juicy richness of the duck.
2008 Domaine Leflaive Puligny-Montrachet Les Folatières 1er Cru
Burgundy fanatics love to argue about all things Burgundian. But one thing that's universally agreed is that Domaine Leflaive is one of the region's greatest white wine producers. This $220 premier cru bottling, with its round, almost honeyed density and seductive spice notes, is spectacular.
At Edi & The Wolf, chefs Eduard Frauneder and Wolfgang Ban serve goat-cheese-stuffed veal in individual-size portions. Prepared as a whole roast, as in the recipe here, it's a great way to feed a group. To give the braising liquid an even richer flavor, substitute 1 cup of veal demiglace for 1 cup of the beef stock.