Soba Noodles with Dashi, Poached Egg and Scallions
Chef Douglas Keane of Cyrus restaurant in Healdsburg, California, and an F&W Best New Chef 2006, creates a quick but flavorful broth using kombu (a type of seaweed) and dashi powder (an instant Japanese stock made from shaved bonito—tuna flakes). He poaches eggs in the broth and serves them for a protein-rich lunch or even breakfast.
Pasta with Robiola and Truffles
This indulgent first course marries three of Italy's best ingredients: egg pasta, winter truffles and Robiola Rocchetta, a creamy cheese from northern Italy, which forms the base for an incredibly rich sauce.
Rabbit Stew with Olives and Rosemary
"This is one of my favorite things on the planet," says Marco Canora about his savory rabbit stew. He loves sharing the recipe with his students because it's an opportunity to teach them about making battuto (similar to soffrito), a mixture of sautéed onion, celery and carrots that's the base for many Italian dishes.
Caramelized Broccoli with Garlic
Chef David Gingrass swears broccoli haters will love the polarizing green vegetable when it's prepared this way, because it is slowly caramelized to bring out its sweetness, then enlivened with a squeeze of lemon and a pinch of crushed red pepper.
Wild Mushroom Toasts with Ham and Fried Eggs
In the Basque part of Rioja, tapas-like appetizers, such as this dish, are referred to as pintxo (PEEN-show). These toasts topped with runny eggs are perfect for breakfast or brunch.
Grilled Oysters with Spicy Tarragon Butter
Bubba Hiers, brother of TV cook Paula Deen, serves fantastic grilled Gulf Coast oysters smothered in butter and Parmesan cheese at Uncle Bubba's Seafood and Oyster House in Savannah. Bobby Flay modifies the recipe by topping his oysters with a blend of butter, tarragon and hot sauce, then returning them to the grill so the butter melts into little pools in the shells.
Asparagus Soup with Parmesan Shortbread Coins
"I adore savory cheese cookies with creamy asparagus soup," says Carla Hall. "Both are dead simple to make."
Eric Ripert's Surf and Turf
This luxe surf and turf features escolar, a deliciously fatty fish, and extravagantly marbled Kobe or wagyu beef.
Olives Stuffed with Almonds, Anchovies and Peppers
"For me there is no better tapa than a really good stuffed olive," José Andrés says. He strongly recommends homemade stuffed olives over the store-bought kind, which he proclaims are "usually terrible." Plus, if you stuff them yourself, you've got a million options: "If you love almonds, use good marcona almonds. If you love anchovy, use good Spanish anchovies. If you love peppers, use peppers; I like the wood-roasted piquillo peppers from Navarra. Or if you are like me, you use all three."
Wild Mushroom-and-Red Wine Risotto
Pair with an intense, blackberry-scented red from Rosso Conero in Italy's Marches region.
These tender, crumbly, buttery Parmesan coins are a clever twist on sweet slice-and-bake shortbread cookies.
Beef-and-Lamb Burgers with Cheddar and Caper Remoulade
The lamb in this juicy burger adds a complex flavor, but the tangy remoulade created a pairing conundrum for wine educator Marnie Old.
Chef Way Takashi Yagihashi serves a pot of broth with tofu and vegetables, including kombu (a seaweed). Diners pluck out the ingredient they want and dip it in flavorings, including soy, mirin and yuzu.
Healthier Way This dish is already supernutritious; to simplify it, use supermarket ingredients and combine everything in the pot—no dipping required.
Pancetta-Wrapped Asparagus with Citronette
In Mario Batali's riff on the traditional antipasto of prosciutto-wrapped asparagus, he wraps spears in pancetta (which, unlike prosciutto, becomes nicely crispy when cooked) and grills them. Adding a bit of tanginess is the citronette, a marvelously bright-tasting mustardy-orange dressing.
Potato Chips With Nori Salt
Black Cod with Miso
Chef Way This sweet and silky fish dish, which has been cloned at restaurants all over the country, is fairly simple to make, though it's somewhat time-consuming: Nobu Matsuhisa of the Nobu restaurant empire recommends marinating the black cod in a good deal of the sake-miso marinade for 2 to 3 days.
Easy Way Let the fish marinate overnight in just enough sake and miso to coat it.
Scallops with Potato Pancakes and Caviar Sauce
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.
This dish is outstanding because it can be made with less-than-perfect tomatoes.
Grilled Miso Shrimp
When grilling shrimp or scallops, use sticks of lemongrass or sprigs of rosemary as an alternative to metal or bamboo skewers.