Eat by Color: Brown Foods
Mushroom Soup with Toasted Bread
Michel Bras purees this lush mushroom soup with bread toasted to a dark brown to thicken the texture and deepen its flavor. He learned the trick from his mother growing up in the Aubrac mountains, one of France's poorest regions. "I used to mix bread crumbs with sugar for a little treat," Bras says. "We were happy with very little."
Baked Potatoes with Wild Mushroom Ragù
Grace Parisi likes using a mix of shiitake, oyster, chanterelle and button mushrooms for this succulent ragù to top baked potatoes, but any combination will work.
Creamy Caramel Pudding
This decadent-seeming pudding is low in fat and a good source of calcium.
Chicken, Wild Mushroom and Roasted-Garlic Sauté
Marcia Kiesel, a self-described mushroom freak, uses porcini to make her delicious, earthy chicken thigh sauté with roasted garlic cloves. She finishes the dish with a sprinkle of chopped tarragon, which adds a light, herbal sweetness.
Braised Pork Shoulder with Chimichurri
Jon Shook and Vinny Dotolo—the guys behind the Food Network show Two Dudes Catering—have a philosophy that guides them, whether they're cooking for the X Games or for their new Los Angeles restaurant, Animal: Use a big cut of meat, preferably pork, and serve it with a killer sauce.
Toasting nuts briefly in the oven makes them crispy but tossing them with falafel mix first makes them even crunchier. You can substitute walnuts in place of the pecans here.
Lamb Rogan Josh
Vikram Sunderam relies on plenty of spices, like cardamom, cloves and cumin, to flavor this succulent lamb stew (the name translates roughly into "red lamb").
Roasted Eggplant and Lentil Soup
Eggplant is a good source of vitamins A and C and is low in calories. It's one of the vegetables Clark Frasier likes to serve during colder months, in hearty dishes such as this soup. "As chefs, we tend to think first of root vegetables, but eggplants are also robust in winter."
Pepper-Crusted Prime Rib Roast with Mushroom-Armagnac Sauce
To keep this prime rib extra juicy, "ask your butcher to leave the fat cap on before tying the beef," says Melissa Perello, an F&W Best New Chef 2004 and executive chef at San Francisco's Fifth Floor. Roasting the prime rib in a bath of butter, a common chef's trick that Perello uses here, also helps.
Milk-Chocolate Cremoso with Espresso Parfait
Although Miamians are assumed to be too bathing-suit conscious to indulge in dessert, this decadent milk-chocolate cremoso (a silky pudding-like dish) drizzled with olive oil is one of the best-sellers at Michael's.