Simplest Chicken-and-Leek Stew
Before cooking the chicken for his lovely stew, Jamie Oliver lightly coats the pieces in flour. Not only does that help the meat brown, it also thickens the tangy mustard sauce.
Pairing: 2009 Bota Box Chardonnay
Hot-and-Crunchy Chicken Cones
Keep the crunch but omit the chile "paint," instead upping the amount of jalapeños in the slaw.
Pairing: 2010 Crucero Chardonnay
Cherry Tomato Tart with Basil
This savory tart leaves the marble-like tomatoes intact, creating a recipe that is as stunning as it is delicious.
Pairing: 2009 Wineberry Château du Chatelard Bourgogne Blanc
Sautéed German Sausages with Bacon and Apple Sauerkraut
In Germany's Pfalz region, cooks braise sauerkraut with onions, apples, seasonings, a touch of sugar and a little of the region's Riesling wine, creating an addictive accompaniment for juicy weisswurst or bratwurst.
Pairing: 2008 Würtz Riesling Trocken
Rack of Lamb with Coconut-Mint Sauce and Glazed Peas
The vibrant coconut milk-based sauce Jeff Smith serves with this simple roasted lamb is a great example of his homespun Mediterranean-Asian cuisine. Substituting brown sugar for white when glazing vegetables is a trick Smith discovered during a cooking experiment: "It adds a deeper kind of sweet note."
Pairing: 2008 Bandit Cabernet Sauvignon California
Braised Pork Belly with Pickled Radishes
Richard Blais crashed in the final moments of Top Chef Season 4 when his pressure-cooked pork belly did not turn out to be as delicious, or nearly as tender, as he had hoped: He didn't leave the meat in long enough. Gail Simmons chooses to stick with a more classic cooking method, marinating the pork overnight and braising it in a savory soy-and-mirin broth.
Pairing: 2010 Domaine le Garrigon Côtes-du-Rhône
Vaca Frita: Crispy Beef
This recipe for vaca frita ("fried cow") is a close cousin of Cuba's famous ropa vieja, stewed shredded beef in tomato sauce. The beef for vaca frita, however, is marinated in lime, garlic and salt, then seared until crispy. The key to achieving the perfect texture is to cook the beef in small batches, so it sautés rather than steams.
Pairing: 2008 Andes Peaks Cabernet Sauvignon
Chorizo Poached in Red Wine
This smoky Spanish sausage with garlic is cooked gently in red wine until it's plump and juicy.
Pairing: 2008 Powers Cabernet Sauvignon Washington State