At La Casa del Abuelo, a tiny taberna in Madrid that's been around for more than a hundred years, the gambas al ajillo (shrimp with garlic) are cooked in individual earthenware cazuelitas and served with plenty of bread to dip into the garlicky oil once the shrimp have been eaten. This dish can also be prepared in a skillet.
Pressed and released in time for the holidays, "new oil" olive oil—called olio novello or olio nuovo in Italian—is vibrantly green and incredibly fresh-tasting. Its pronounced flavors transform this simple recipe, which can be served as an antipasto or as a sauce with fish or chicken.
Tim Cushman is a master at preparing raw fish. Here he dresses salmon with a little citrus-soy dressing, then tops it with fresh ginger and chives before bathing it in a hot sesame-oil mixture. The heat from the oil cooks the salmon just slightly, creating a luxurious texture and fragrance.
Charles Phan recalls eating numerous versions of this slightly sweet and pleasantly tangy fish soup while growing up in Vietnam. Some included only chopped tomato while others were made with a colorful mix of vegetables. Here, he adds freshly squeezed lime juice for a hit of sourness instead of the more traditional tamarind pulp. He adds bean sprouts to the soup for a refreshing crunch.
The rice vermicelli soup pho is a staple all over Vietnam and this spicy beef version is the specialty of Hanoi. At home in Connecticut, Marcia Kiesel often eats it for breakfast, as the Vietnamese do. "It's a perfect meal and an invigorating way to start the day," she says. She's tried innumerable phos but considers the recipe from Binh Duong, her co-author on Simple Art of Vietnamese Cooking, to be the best. Inspired by the pho served at Ana Mandara and the Hideaway, she tweaks Duong's recipe by adding an escarole garnish.
Chef Gabriel Kreuther of The Modern serves this silky olive oil-poached salmon with a hot, fragrant horseradish broth. To balance the lush and earthy flavors, wine director Stephane Colling likes to pour a classic Alsace Riesling—a dry but intensely flavored, medium-bodied white. Colling suggests either the profound Domaine Marcel Deiss Altenberg de Bergheim Grand Cru or the fresh, evocative Domaine Zind-Humbrecht Brand. A more widely available and still delicious bottling is the white peach-inflected Hugel & Fils.
A brine made with olives, lemons and a slew of bay leaves does most of the work of flavoring this dish. "I like to use fresh bay leaves whenever possible," chef Paul Virant says. "They have a more fragrant, floral pungency." To add an extra layer of smokiness, Virant brushes the chicken legs and the sweet onions that accompany them with a quick pimentón-infused oil.
Because Neil Perry has a passion for wine, he uses Sauternes in every component of this dessert, from the cake to the sauce. He also adds olive oil to the batter, which creates a delightfully moist crumb.
The original recipe for Ryan Hardy's delicious citrusy, nutty and dense cake comes from London's River Café restaurant. He substitutes olive oil for some of the butter and insists that it be served with tangy crème fraîche and an espresso.