European Michelin Chefs
Pistachio-Crusted Rack of Lamb with Pancetta
Something as conventional as rack of lamb would never, ever find its way into Ferran Adrià’s ultra-experimental kitchen. But in his book Cocinar en Casa, he converts it into an unexpected, wonderful dish that anyone can make. Who else would think to coat a rack of lamb with a pistachio pesto, then wrap it in pancetta to keep it nicely moist and make it even richer as it roasts?
Joël Robuchon ingeniously softens spongy eggplant by steaming it instead of sautéing it in oil. "Usually, cooked eggplant absorbs so much oil and becomes full of fat," he says.
Coronation Chicken Salad with Mangoes and Almonds
This sweet-tangy curried chicken salad, tossed with mango and crunchy toasted almonds, was invented to honor the crowning of Queen Elizabeth II in 1953, and served at her coronation luncheon. While chef Tom Aikens follows the original recipe closely, he brightens the dressing with minced hot chiles and chunks of sweet mango.
Milk-Braised Pork Tenderloin with Spinach and Strawberry Salad
This pork tenderloin by Juan Mari and Elena Arzak gets its lovely silkiness from braising with milk; the milk itself takes on a delicious, savory caramel flavor. The milk will gently curdle as the meat cooks, forming small lumps; pureeing it with an immersion mixer will smooth it out again.
Toasted Spaghetti with Clams
Ferran Adrià credits the idea for this dish to one of his acolytes, Moreno Cedroni, the hyper-creative Italian chef. The method is very similar to risotto, but spaghetti fills in for the arborio rice: Adrià toasts it in a pan with a little oil, then adds hot clam juice until the pasta is fully cooked and loaded with briny flavor.
Fruit Meringue Kebabs
Fantastical "lollipops," often in outlandish flavors like black truffle, are a signature at El Bulli. "Chupa Chups Julio Verne" or "Jules Verne Lollipops" is what Ferran Adrià calls these fun and easy meringue-coated fruit skewers, presumably because they resemble something from an old-fashioned science fiction movie.
Roasted Bananas with Spiced Syrup and Candied Nuts
"We didn't have much in the way of spices growing up, but you can't tie everything to terroir," Michel Bras says about the ingredients available to him in the Aubrac mountains. Here the chef uses an international array of ingredients, studding bananas with cinnamon sticks, vanilla beans and coffee beans, then serving them, roasted, with a cinnamony syrup scented with the Moroccan spice blend ras el hanout.
Italian Meatballs in Caper-Tomato Sauce
Milk-soaked bread helps make chef Massimiliano Alajmo's beef-and-pork meatballs incredibly light; bits of chopped olive make them extra-flavorful. The thick tomato sauce coats the meatballs nicely and doubles as an excellent pasta sauce.
Chicken Tagine with Artichoke Hearts and Peas
To give this Moroccan stew flavor without much fat, chef Joël Robuchon simmers it in a spiced broth. Artichoke hearts add a lovely spring flavor; they're also one of the best vegetable sources of antioxidants.
Caramelized Apple Clafoutis
This lightly sweet pastry, studded with caramelized apple, is one component of an elaborate dish by Pierre Gagnaire entitled Brillat-Savarin. Its major ingredients—apples, crème fraîche, Calvados and the Brillat-Savarin cheese—all come from Normandy in France.