Étouffée—from the French word for smother, stew or braise—is a classic Cajun dish of shellfish (or sometimes chicken) served over rice. Grace Parisi uses chicken breast, whole wheat flour and only three ounces of andouille sausage to make the recipe lighter.
Pairing: A cherry-rich Pinot Noir: 2007 Saintsbury Carneros
Neal's Deli serves tender, oversize pork-and-beef meatballs stuffed into a warm hero roll with melted provolone cheese. Although Matt Neal makes his own chunky tomato sauce for the sub, it's fine to substitute six cups of jarred sauce.
"Every Chinese-American restaurant used to serve this soup," Andrea Reusing says. "It's a very 1970s thing to me." While many versions are thickened with cornstarch, she adds an egg to enhance its custardy texture.
Pairing: A creamy, pear-scented Chardonnay: 2007 Landmark Overlook
Castel de Paolis's grilled rib eye is wonderful, but it's the potatoes that make this dish unforgettably good. First parboiled, then roasted with rosemary and a healthy glug of olive oil, the potatoes become marvelously crispy on the outside while remaining light, fluffy and buttery within.
Pairing: A rich, substantial red: 2008 Castel de Paolis Camp Vecchio Rosso or 2008 Casale del Giglio Petit Verdot