Best New Chefs' Easiest Recipes
Panko-Coated Chicken Schnitzel
Thomas Keller (BNC '88) of the French Laundry in Yountville, California uses panko bread crumbs to give chicken a crunchy crust. "Pounding chicken breasts to a uniform thickness cuts down on cooking time," he says.
Warm Bacon-and-Egg Salad
"I like a fried egg," says April Bloomfield (BNC '07) about the topping on her arugula salad. "Especially when it's fried in bacon fat." She likes to use rich duck eggs when she has them.
This spectacular torta (Mexican sandwich) is Kogi chef Roy Choi (BNC '10)'s gift to Los Angeles's late-night partiers. The over-the-top combination of fried eggs, spinach, pork belly and roasted jalapeños is a little Mexican and a little Asian—a uniquely Choi hybrid.
Beet-and-Red Sorrel Salad with Pistachio
Sorrel is a leafy green that gives dishes a tart, almost sour flavor. For this salad, Paul Liebrandt (BNC '09) likes using red ribbon sorrel—a European variety with bright green leaves and intense red veins—because it's so pretty with the beets and because its tang is so nice with the nutty pistachio sauce.
Smoked Salmon Crisps
These salmon cornets (tuiles shaped into tiny cones and topped with crème fraîche and fresh salmon) by Thomas Keller (BNC '88) are a famous kickoff to his luxe and whimsical meals at the French Laundry in Napa Valley.
Natchitoches Meat Pies with Spicy Buttermilk Dip
Natchitoches, Louisiana, is renowned for its meat pies. Kelly English (BNC '09) serves his mini version with a dipping sauce that combines two quintessential Southern ingredients: buttermilk and hot sauce.
Superfast Salt-and-Sugar Pickles
In Japan, salt pickles are a staple. David Chang (BNC'06) serves his right after seasoning, while they're still vibrant and crunchy.
A staple at Todd English’s (BNC '90) Olives restaurants is his much-lauded house-made flatbread, topped with sticky-sweet fig jam, pungent Gorgonzola cheese and salty prosciutto.
Gnocchi with Pastrami Ragù
Rich Torrisi and Mario Carbone (BNC '12) put a clever twist on their gnocchi recipe by using deli pastrami in the sauce. Feel free to use it on any kind of pasta.
Tangy Roasted Chicken Thighs with Artichoke Panzanella
Panzanella, the Italian salad, is typically made with tomatoes, onions and chunks of bread. In her smart version, Koren Grieveson (BNC '08) combines grilled bread and sweet broiled tomatoes with marinated baby artichokes before dressing the warm salad with a lemony vinaigrette. It's fabulous served alongside crisp chicken.
Chilled Spring Pea Soup
This deliciously light and clean-tasting soup—a mix of sweet peas, favas, pea shoots, snap peas and snow peas— from Daniel Boulud (BNC '88) is on the menu each spring at his Café Boulud in New York City.
Smoky Pork Pappardelle
For the luscious meat sauce here, Gerard Craft (BNC '08) braises pork with apples and honey, which adds some unexpected sweetness. Another surprise: He finishes the pasta with a sprinkling of smoked salt.
Gingered Green Beans
Scott Conant (BNC '04) makes his crisp-tender beans with ground ginger, since freshly grated ginger invariably creates unappealing little chunks.
Farfalle with Tomatoes and Green Vegetables
The night before a long bike ride, Laurent Gras (BNC '02) carbo-loads by eating pasta tossed with a variety of vegetables for dinner; here, he combines green tomatoes, zucchini, asparagus and vitamin A-rich spinach. "I make this dish often in the early summer, when green vegetables are just coming into the market," he says. "You can eat a lot of it and still feel good about yourself. It doesn't make you tired like other, heavier pasta dishes can."
Mussels with Speck, Lemon and Oregano
Ethan Stowell (BNC '08) loves mussels all year round, but he's particularly fond of the plump summer ones from Washington's Puget Sound. Here he flavors the briny mussels with lemon juice, fresh herbs and speck, the salty cured ham.
Lizzie's Roasted Chicken
Garlic, bay leaves and thyme impart rustic flavor to Michael Symon's (BNC '98) superb roast chicken. Lemon adds a zippy tang.
Zucchini Carpaccio with Salt-Broiled Shrimp
In this clever recipe, Jason Stratton (BNC '10) of Seattle's Spinasse makes a simple, creamy sauce by simmering toasted pine nuts with lemon zest and chicken stock, then pureeing them. His other smart trick: cooking shrimp on a superhot bed of coarse salt flavored with bay leaves and lemon zest.
August Chopped Salad
At his flagship New Orleans restaurant, August, John Besh (BNC '99) makes his chopped salad with 21 different kinds of vegetables and herbs.
Gale Gand's Sugar-Dusted Vanilla Ricotta Fritters
Gale Gand got this recipe from her mother-in-law, Vita Seidita; the fritters are also good sprinkled with cinnamon sugar or dipped in jelly.
Spaghettini with Shrimp, Tomatoes and Chile Crumbs
Dan Kluger (BNC '12) adds crunch to this delicious shrimp and summer tomato pasta with crisp lemon-chile crumbs.
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 (BNC '11) of Bettola in Birmingham, Alabama, adds some heat to his version with crushed red pepper.
Grilled Oysters with Spiced Tequila Butter
Blaine Wetzel (BNC '12) grills oysters, then drizzles them with butter flavored with sage, oregano, lemon juice and tequila. He prefers oysters from Samish Bay in the northern Puget Sound, where some food historians say the first Pacific oysters grew in 1919.
Summer Radishes with Chèvre, Nori and Smoked Salt
In this very simple appetizer, Jeremy Fox (BNC '08) combines slivers of nori with bits of goat cheese—a clever, tantalizing mix of salty and creamy—then serves the dish with radishes and a sprinkle of smoked salt.
Blueberry-Almond Shortcakes with Crème Fraîche
Almond flour gives these not-too-sweet biscuits a subtle nutty flavor; cornmeal adds a bit of crunch. Instead of whipped cream, Barry Maiden (BNC '09) serves the biscuits with two sweet-tangy accompaniments: whipped crème fraîche and blueberry sauce.