2011 Best New Chefs' Simplest Recipes
Crisp-Skinned Porchetta with Lemon and Chile
Porchetta, a traditional Italian street food, is a moist and fatty fresh ham covered with skin that's heavily seasoned with salty garlic, rosemary, fennel and lemon. Chef James Lewis of Bettola in Birmingham, Alabama, adds some heat to his version with crushed red pepper.
Warm Mushroom Salad with Bacon Vinaigrette
At Farmhaus in St. Louis, chef Kevin Willmann likes using the mushrooms his local cultivators bring in: for this salad, he says, "Oyster mushrooms are the awesomest." To roast them, he makes a delicious garlic oil; save leftover oil for other uses.
Spicy Grilled Shrimp with Yuzu Kosho Pesto
Yuzu kosho is a hot, spicy and aromatic Japanese condiment made from hot chiles and ultra-citrusy yuzu zest. It's the key to this supersimple and utterly delicious recipe from chef Ricardo Zarate of Mo-Chica in Los Angeles.
Grilled Brassicas with Mixed Grains and Bonito Broth
At San Francisco's Saison, chef Joshua Skenes slowly roasts various brassicas (plants in the mustard family, like broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage and rutabaga). He serves them with cabbage and cauliflower chips, toasted puffed grains, foie gras fat, slow-cooked quail eggs and a broth—as well as an emulsion—made from bonito (dried smoked fish) and local seaweeds. This streamlined version from Skenes showcases the brassicas and toasted grains in a delightfully frothy bonito-kombu (seaweed) broth.
Grilled Carrot Salad with Brown Butter Vinaigrette
Grilling concentrates the sweet flavor of fresh baby carrots. (Bagged "baby" carrots will never taste the same.) Bryce Gilmore marinates them, then tosses them with a wonderful and unusual dressing he makes by cooking butter until brown, then pureeing it with marcona almonds and sherry vinegar.
Sea Urchin Linguine
In this simple dish, New York City chef Carlo Miararchi of Roberta's showcases an ingredient that helped him get into cooking. He shares, "My mom is from Panama and my dad is from Italy, and both sides of my family were really serious about food and going to markets. Every August when I was growing up, we'd go to Calabria, Italy. We'd go diving for sea urchin, we'd spear-fish, then we'd eat all day. We'd crack open the sea urchin right on the beach and eat them. And take a lot of naps."
Ten-Minute Salt Cod with Corn and Littleneck Clams
Instead of using salt cod, a classic Portuguese ingredient that takes days to soak, New York City chef George Mendes of Aldea quick-cures fresh cod by standing it in kosher salt for only 10 minutes. He says cod is naturally soft and flaky ("as well as bland," he adds), so salting gives it a firmer texture and a more pronounced flavor.
Kohlrabi, Fennel and Blueberry Salad
Kohlrabi tastes a lot like a broccoli stem, but it's milder and sweeter and the texture is crisper. Chef Stephanie Izard of Chicago's Girl & The Goat thinks it's an underappreciated vegetable, so she makes it the star of her delicious salad, served raw in very thin slices. In fact, she likes the dish so much that she takes some home to eat on the couch after service a few times a week.
Pea Porridge with Fresh Cheese and Ham
Chefs Bowman Brown and Viet Pham of Salt Lake City's Forage make this creamy, tangy porridge from sweet peas and yogurt.
Chilled Peach Soup with Fresh Goat Cheese
Chef Jason Franey of Seattle's Canlis makes this sweet and tangy summer soup by marinating fresh peaches overnight with dried apricots, honey, vinegar and olive oil and then pureeing the mixture. Since peaches can vary in flavor, Franey suggests seasoning with vinegar to taste as you puree.