Warm Castelfranco with Vincotto and Blu di Bufala
This simple and magical combination of ingredients from Carlo Mirarchi includes Castelfranco (a mild radicchio), vincotto (aged vinegar) and the superb blue cheese blu di bufala. It's a very Italian dish, but the Roberta’s and Blanco chef gives it a personal imprint by adding fish sauce to the dressing.
Grilled Vegetable Sandwiches
Layman's Rye Bread
Grilled Lemon Pound Cake with Peaches and Cream
Bryan Calvert, chef and co-owner of James, loves the versatility of his supermoist lemon pound cake: He uses it to make everything from French toast to a stuffing for baked apples. At this time of year, he grills it until crisp and toasty, then tops it with warm, tender grilled peaches and whipped cream.
Chile-Spiced Skirt Steak Tacos
Chocolate-Malt Stump de Noël
Matt Lewis and Renato Poliafito worked together to create this stupendous holiday dessert, a twist on the classic, elegant French buche de Noel (so called because it looks like a log, or buche). To make their version, the Baked duo roll up frosted cake strips to form an enormous round, then set the dessert on its side to look like a huge tree stump. It's much tastier than a traditional buche, because the layers are made with less egg so they're less spongy. The cake is covered with a dark chocolate frosting; the filling is infused with Baked's signature flavor, malt (both malt powder and crushed malted milk balls).
"When you have leftover pickle juice, isn't it a waste not to use it to make chicken taste delicious?" asks Frank Falcinelli of Frankies Spuntino and Prime Meats. He brines chicken breast in dill-pickle juice to flavor it and keep it moist in the oven, then serves it on top of supertender leg meat he's shredded and mixed with sautéed chard.
Roasted Red Peppers with Tonnato Sauce
Tonnato sauce—a smooth puree of olive oil–packed tuna, mayonnaise, capers and anchovies—is traditionally served in Piedmont with slices of roasted veal. At franny's, chef Andrew Feinberg spoons the sauce onto a plate then tops it with a layer of wood oven–roasted peppers.
Garlicky Caesar Salad
Frank Falcinelli created his take on this classic about 20 years ago: romaine with a pungent dressing made from anchovy, Worcestershire, Tabasco and, irreverently, jarred mayonnaise. The recipe is now a cornerstone of the Frankies Spuntino menu.
Spaghetti with Clams and Garlic
This exquisite, supersimple version of linguine alle vongole by Frank Castronovo and Frank Falcinelli of Frankies Spuntino and Prime Meats is packed with garlic and a judicious amount of crushed red pepper. If you prefer, shell the clams before tossing them with their juices in the pasta.
Red-Wine-Braised Beef Brisket
Both Frank Falcinelli and Frank Castronovo had early experiences with sauerbraten, the German braised brisket. Castronovo sampled it on trips to Germany; Falcinelli had it at the German deli where he worked as a teenager. The terrific recipe they ultimately perfected is both very sweet and very sour, made with raisins, apples, red wine vinegar and red wine.
Frankies co-owner Frank Castronovo's wife, Heike, a talented home baker, created Prime Meats' outstanding jam tart with cocoa-flavored pastry. "If she entered it in a country fair in her hometown in Germany, she'd win a blue ribbon," says Frank Falcinelli. "But she has an unfair advantage, since her father is a professional baker in Freiburg, Germany."
Chopped Greek Salad with Shallot Vinaigrette
"You've got to love pan-roasted halibut," says Polo Dobkin of Meadowsweet. "It's beautifully firm and it gets so nicely golden when you sear it." Although he doesn’t usually make a lot of rich sauces, he adores this tangy lemon-butter sauce with fish: "The lemon brightens up the halibut," Dobkin says.
Raw and Fried Tuscan Kale and Brussels Sprout Salad
Grilled Swordfish with Cilantro-Chile Vinaigrette
Potato Gnocchi with Pastrami Ragù
Ombré Potato and Root Vegetable Gratin
Rather than make conventional tomato sauce, Missy Robbins, chef at Lilia, uses her preserving skills to marinate tomatoes in a mix of garlic, spices, citrus and olive oil. The result is a supple, incredibly flavorful coating for the thick, tubular paccheri pasta. It's also versatile enough to match with red or white wine. Robbins loves the high-toned aromatics of La Miraja's Le Masche Barbera d'Asti, but the generous fruit of Manni Nossing's Kerner, a white from Alto Adige, plays equally well with the preserved tomatoes.
Angry Pig Fried Rice
Summer Vegetable and Potato Salad with Anchovy Dressing
This colorful salad of green and yellow beans and waxy potatoes reminds Lincoln Ristorante chef Jonathan Benno of his brief stint in the kitchen at Al Di La. His friend Anna Klinger, the chef and co-owner, taught him how to make this deliciously tangy dressing, a mix of anchovies, poached garlic and olive oil.
Scallop Ceviche with Aguachile
Aguachile (chile water) is a vibrant sauce made with fresh chiles, herbs and cucumbers that's fantastic on any type of fish or shellfish. At Gran Electrica, chef David Goody serves aguachile with thinly sliced scallops that have been just cured in fresh lime juice.
"I do love breakfast for dinner--for the record, I highly recommend it," says Noah Bernamoff, chef-owner of Mile End. For now, he serves this mishmash only until noon. But this dish of scrambled eggs with strips of house-cured fried salami and watercress will appear in a sandwich on the all-day menu at Mile End Sandwich, the place he's opening in Manhattan by the end of the year.
Glazed Korean Rice Cake Skewers with Spam
Frozen Peach Negroni
At The Brooklyn Star in Williamsburg, bartender Carlos Victoria created a frothy, peach-infused riff on the Negroni for their popular slushy machine. Before pureeing fresh summer peaches, Victoria throws them on the grill to concentrate flavors and caramelize the natural sugars, adding depth and a hint of smokiness. The drink is only available during peak peach season, but for a year-round shortcut, you could use frozen peaches in this blender adaption. Gin-phobic? Victoria suggests bourbon. "It works particularly well with the smoky grilled peaches," he says.
Salted Caramel Apple Pie
Melissa and Emily Elsen of Four & Twenty Blackbirds use a blend of sweet apples and tart apples - an easy combination is Granny Smith and Golden Delicious; however if you are sourcing from a local orchard, ask them to recommend a sweet softer apple and a tart firmer apple.