Fire-Roasted Bloody Mary with Chorizo-Scallop Garnish

It’s great to be able to predict your hangover and make the morning go just a smidge easier by whipping up the Bloody Mary mix a day ahead. Not only will you just need to add vodka and some ice, but the flavors of the mix will intensify overnight and really give you an eye-opening hit of umami, spice and heat.

Sour Grapes Shrub Cocktail

Preservation nation. Steeping fruit, especially fruit that’s on its way out, with vinegar and sugar isn’t just about thrift. The result is a slightly fizzy, incredibly refreshing elixir that gained popularity during Colonial American times as a way to cool off workers in the field, though people had been sipping sweetened vinegar in hot climates for centuries before that. We like the unique flavor it lends to cocktails, savory and sweet at the same time. Try it with any fruit in season to create your own array of funk.

Gouda Apple Pie

In every great cook’s arsenal there is pie. And if you’ve never made one, the one to master is apple. It’s the standard by which all American desserts are measured: flaky, buttery and salty on the outside and simultaneously tart and ever so sweet on the inside. Like a visit with Grandma, it covers the spectrum of emotions. The first step is how to make a killer crust. Our twist is using grated aged Gouda. It’s like wrapping the best of fall in a cheesy biscuit and serving it for dessert. Or breakfast, if you have leftovers.

Craft Beer and Salumi Pairing

Meat + beer. You don’t need much more to call it a party. Add cured meat to the mix and it you only make it better. These are three of our favorite Volpi meats paired with three types of craft beers that are particularly popular in the Fall. Guaranteed to make your big game watching or swanky soirees a little more pleasurable.

Baked Asian Chicken Wings

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We all know about the hot wings from Buffalo. These aren’t those. These wings are a sticky, garlicky, sweet soy and ginger-drenched cousin.

Chimichurri Deviled Eggs

The notion of seasoning eggs with spicy sauces has been a genius idea since the days of the Roman Empire. Hard-cooked, stuffed eggs didn’t get their “deviled” designation until the 1700s when it became fashionable to call any culinary concoction spiked with cayenne, mustard and paprika “deviled,” most likely a reference to the fallen angel and his incendiary domain. Since then, the bounty of variations has topped the thousands. This one leans on the tangy, spicy, herbalicious sauce from Argentina, chimichurri. It’s acidity and intense garlicky flavor cut through the rich yolk of the egg like it’s a steak. Bring these to a tailgate, brunch or cocktail party and they’ll be gone before you hang up your coat.

Triple Play: 3-in-1 Roast Chicken

Here’s a dish that will resolve that pesky question about what to make for dinner forever. It’s classy, versatile, and if you’re not feeding 3 hungry teenagers (or roommates), you just might have enough leftovers for lunch to make your co-workers jealous. Oh, and did we mention it’s simple? The best food always is. That’s what we call a triple play: Make a main and two sides at the same time. This roasted chicken is made with prosciutto and sage stuffed under the skin. It’s roasted on a bed of root vegetables, and we make a vinaigrette for a salad with the drippings to round out the meal. So roll up your sleeves and get ready to hear the praise.

Grilled Greens Fall Salad with Citrus dressing

Sometimes Bitter is Better. Lamenting the biting cold weather? Take it out on your salad. Grilling bitter greens brings out their sweetness, and when paired with a tender, salty, cured meat, it becomes something else entirely. This citrus dressing, or citronette, makes more than you’ll need for this recipe, but it stores nicely for tomorrow night’s salad.

The Volpi G&T

Drinking for medicinal purposes? We can drink to that. Brits living in India back in the 1800s needed protection against malaria, and quinine, found in tonic, did the trick. Because the taste was so appalling, they added gin. Genius! Know what else is genius? Making a celery simple syrup and adding grassy sweetness instead of the artificially sweet taste of tonic. So the fizz comes from plain ole seltzer. Take two and call us in the morning.

Affogato with Candied Sopressa

Keep afloat. Don’t drown. That’s what the name of this drink translates to. Though it would be a good way to go, melting into a strong shot of espresso, chewing on a few candied salame bits. Enjoyed as a dessert or afternoon pick-me-up, it is transcendental either way. Where’s that ice cream scoop?

Eggplant Parmigiana

Eggplants made their first appearance in southern Italy centuries ago, about the time that the popularity of tomatoes was on the rise. So this dish quickly evolved into a standard, and easily made the jump to the vast Italian-American repertoire. We give ours extra crunch with panko breadcrumbs, a no-fail way to keep the eggplant crispy. It’s a delicious history lesson.

Baked Goat Cheese Wrapped in Grape Leaves

Stuffing grape leaves with all sorts of tasty bits is as old as old can get. It’s first-century Mediterranean fare that was (and still is) part of a mezze assortment. We borrowed that idea to bake up some sinfully soft cheese to serve with an assortment of our salami. Good things never go out of style.

Cioppino

Legend has it that Italian fisherman created San Francisco’s famous seafood stew by making dinner with what they had left at the end of a long day at sea. A rich, rustic, warming meal, it’s meant to be shared with friends on a cool, foggy night. Because what was in the nets determined what went in the pot each night, there are many different versions. Ours calls for fennel and tons of shellfish, but use four pounds of whatever fish makes you happy. Tradition dictates a chunk of sourdough to sop up the broth after the seafood is cleared. That’s fine, but this broth is so good you’re likely to just pick up the bowl and chug it. Go for it.

Peruvian Roast Chicken and Aji Sauce

Because this spiced roast chicken is consumed by millions of Peruvians daily, Peru’s cultural institute has declared it part of the country’s national heritage. Makes sense to us. Crispy spiced skin, juicy meat that flavors potato wedges, a kicky sauce on the side … we’d be happy to eat it daily as well, it’s that addictive. Save us a drumstick!

Schiacciata con l’uva (Tuscan Grape Focaccia)

In September, Italy turns its undivided attention to the grape harvest (vendemmia). Well, it’s not totally undivided. They always spend some time baking this bread, which means “flattened” or “squashed.” Wine grapes are sweeter, juicier and less seedy than table grapes. They go in the bread. Walnuts are harvested at the same time, so they go in the bread. It’s very rustic, and it shouldn’t be fussed over. It’s lovely with aged or runny cheeses, vin santo and some prosciutto. Harvest heist.

Harvest Pickles

Though food preservation techniques have existed since the beginning of time, we can take advantage of more refined techniques and variety of ingredients to make superb pickles in our time. And guess what. Pickles go really well with cured meats. They can add heat, cut the fat and complement flavors without you even knowing it because the match is so elemental. Power to the pickle.

Caponata

Eggplant is a polarizing food – you either love it or you hate it. It’s the unsung hero of the harvest season and it’s the star of this dish. The other ingredients are important too, bringing their own flair. Because there are so many players, there’s a fair amount of prep, but all that chopping is worth it. You have a versatile sweet-and-sour condiment that represents sun and Summer in a delicious way. Typically an antipasto, it works well on crusty baguette slices. Toss leftovers with pasta for a quick dinner, or spoon it on top of a bed of greens for a light lunch. Whatever you decide, enjoy it with a rich glass of red and soak in the last rays of the season.

Prosciutto and Arugula Pizza

Everyone knows pizza-making is fun. But it’s also fantastically satisfying. With this classic recipe, you’ll have great dough nailed in no time. Here, two sheep’s milk cheeses paired with arugula and prosciutto is a show-stopper. And fresh chile oil? That’s what makes it clear that you’re serious. Making pizza is best as a group activity. So call the gang over and tell the cousins to bring their friends. Or put your kids to work. And save us a slice.

Shaved Root Vegetable Salad

When it comes to vegetables, roots are kind of an anonymous workhorse. They aren’t trendy like kale, and they can’t compete with the sexy sweetness of a tomato. But they’re there for us in cold storage all winter. Roasting is the general way to dispatch them, and that’s fine. But there’s a moment when they are young and exciting. Look for red and purple carrots, and the newest of the crop of watermelon radishes. They are colorful, packed with flavor and begging for a moment of stardom. One taste, and you’ll be begging for their moment of stardom, too.

Pasta alla Gricia

The best part of looking at a map of Italy is that it can be like reading a menu. Zoom in on the Lazio region in Central Italy. You’ll see a town called Amatrice, which gave us the popular Amatriciana, the tomato-based sauce featuring cured pork jowl. Just up the road, you’ll see the town of Grisciano. In that mountainous area, they also use that jowl – guanciale – but they don’t bother with the tomato. They do pile on pecorino, the cheese delivered by the sheep that are prevalent in the region. Pasta alla Gricia isn’t as well known as it’s neighbor, but it’s ancient, it’s simple, and it’s dinner without much effort.

Pickled Fig and Prosciutto Crostini

Every fruit has its secret. That’s what D.H. Lawrence said when he wrote an epic poem celebrating the virtues of the fig. Their symbols, their sensuality, their secrets. Figs are indeed one incredibly beautiful fruit, and we pay homage in two ways — leaving some in their pristine glory and giving others a pickle bath. Sure, they’re addictive on their own, but when paired with oozing cheese and a slip of prosciutto, the secret is revealed.

The Best Chocolate Chip Cookies

Exquisitely thin yet still packed with chocolate. We didn’t reinvent the wheel, we just figured out how to cram so much chocolate into a cookie so thin – seriously, we’re talkin’ thin – and crisp that it’ll quickly become your go-to when the rainy days come or unexpected guests pop by. It’s the simple things in life that matter.

Capocolla, Lettuce and Tomato

This is an homage to the most basic but heroic of sandwiches. An ideal summer lunch, hangover cure or miraculously simple yet satisfying snack. The reliable combination of crisped cured meat, summer’s best tomato, cool crunchy lettuce and creamy mayo can’t be beat. Except when you substitute the new king of sandwich meats, capocolla, for the bacon. AND make your own damn mayo. Which you should do, because it’s embarrassingly easy.

Fried Chicken with Pancetta Cream Gravy

Perhaps you’ve noticed by now, we have no problem taking an already gluttonous dish and making more so. That’s goes with the territory when you have so much pancetta lying around. But once you toss a few chunks of it in this gravy, you might grab a spoon and forget about the chicken it’s meant to adorn. But do not forget about that chicken, because when you use our method, it’s so crispy that your grandma is going to demand you tell her your secret.

Ahi Poke

Though it may be trendy now, poke (po-KAY), the Hawaiian dish of seasoned cubed fish, has had a long history on the islands. And it’s no wonder, given the abundance of fresh seafood and the Asian influences to the cuisine. The dish is as popular at family picnics as it is in fine dining establishments. And preparations and ingredients are as variable as one’s imagination. We keep our seasonings basic to highlight the pristine fish. Paradise, found.

New England Clam Chowder

There may be no better example of a food that defines the heart and soul of a region the way New England clam chowder does. Born of rugged surroundings and raised in simplicity, it’s a bowl of heft, community and culture. (Not to mention tender clams and salty, fatty pork bits.) One ladle of the briny, creamy broth and you’ll be booking a trip to the rocky northern coast in no time.

Grilled Eggplant with Creamy Spiced Yogurt & Herbs

Whatever shape, size or color you’re looking for, there’s an eggplant to fit it. You can pick one to match your menu, mood or decor. There are minis that need to be skewered or sautéed, and small green Thai globes that work well sauced. Medium-sized varieties come in white, lavender or pink, often with streaks or speckles. And then there’s the deep purple of the classic Italian and Japanese workhorses. This time of year, you really can’t go wrong. Just pick one and get your grill on before it starts raining. Of course, then you can go inside and roast them instead. You win either way.

Grilled Potato Packets

Ah, the great outdoors. The patio umbrella is up, the beers are cold and you’re stuck in the kitchen making sides to go with the grilled entree. Um, no. We’ve got you covered with these slick, savory potato packets. They’re versatile, so fill them with whatever the gardens are giving up. And bonus: no clean up! Give yourself a pat on the back and take all the credit. Summer just got cooler.

Grilled Seafood Paella

Rice, redefined. Paella, the comforting Valencian rice dish of humble origins, is both the name of the recipe and the pan in which it’s prepared: a round, flat-bottomed pan to give the rice maximum surface contact. Traditionally, paella is cooked over an open fire, and there are still many shops in Spain that cook over wood. We like the smoky flavor it imparts to the seafood in our version as well. And we love any excuse to light a fire.

Grilled Sardines

Kick the can. Fresh sardines are having their day and shaking off a bad reputation. In Portugal, where an astonishing number of these little guys are consumed, they are often simply grilled and finished with lemon juice. No less complementary than butter to bread or salt to tomatoes, the combination of lemon and sardines is perfect for its simplicity. And don’t fear the bones. After grilling, they’ll pull off the flesh fairly easily.

Trio of Bruschetta

Those Ancient Romans. What would we have done without their culinary curiosity? From the Italian verb bruciare — “to roast over coals” or “to burn” — bruschetta (brew-SKET-tah) is simply that, grilled bread. Legends say it was made originally by ancient Romans and Etruscans, it has evolved over time from its most simple form: toasted bread rubbed with garlic, salt and drizzled with oil, called fett’unta, to a vehicle to showcase exquisite toppings. From sauteed mushrooms to the ripest of tomatoes to slices of cured lard or salame, the toppings vary, but hold in common their simplicity and quality. And don’t be caught calling the toppings bruschetta. Remember it’s the bread that’s burnt. All hail.

Pasta alla Norma with 3 Cheeses

Few things will make you feel more like a Sicilian nonna than cooking up this gorgeous, tomato-rich pasta dish on a hot summer day. A simple shallow pan-fry turns cubes of hearty eggplant into tender bites of goodness, while drawing out toasted caramel notes. A mix of cow and sheep’s milk cheeses gives the sauce a savory, punchy creaminess. Set out a bowl of Castelvetrano olives — a sweet, mild variety that also hails from Sicily — and a salame plate for you and your guests to snack on while the sauce cooks. Mild and sweet sorts, like sopressata, capocolla and fuet are great with this dish.

Grilled Fish Tacos with Fresh Corn Relish & Chipotle Cream

Fish tacos come from Baja where it’s beachy and balmy all year ’round and the seafood goes straight from the ocean to the grill. Ours are a bit of a mash-up, adding smoky chipotle and some porky goodness. A relish of ripe tomatoes and sweet summer corn brings it together for a perfect meal. Mix up a pitcher of margaritas, call some friends and fire up the grill. Everyone will thank you.

Cantaloupe Agua Fresca

Beat the heat. “Fresh water” fruit drinks are an everyday accompaniment to meals in Mexico. Using local fruits of the season, they make a refreshing sipper to wash away the dry, dusty days. Ours is a little more elaborate, sweetening with an infused simple syrup, topping off with seltzer and adding a fresh garnish. We like to be fancy. Sometimes.

The Volpi Lobster Roll

Purists, beware. We are well aware of the fervor with which one will defend one’s preparation of a lobster roll. And there are abominations out there: deep-fried, as a grilled cheese, on brioche with avocado — gack. We didn’t want to mess with perfection (lightly toasted top-loading hot dog bun, minimal mayo, small piece of lettuce), but we did want to find a way to slip our tasty pancetta into the mix. A little cured pork can make most anything taste better, right? So we crisped up just a little, melted butter in the fat to toast the buns, and sprinkled the crunchy bits on top. Lobster love with pork belly. What could go wrong?

Honeydew and Midori Granita

Ice, ice, baby. Say you and the fam are visiting Rome. In the summer. And it’s hot. Really hot. You’re thinking, how will we survive? Granita! It’s a the go-to summer pick-me-up at the coffee shop instead of a coffee. While granita di caffe reigns, there is also the brightly colored granita di frutta, made with fruit juice and sugar. We’re mad for melons in the summer, and the retro drink Midori Melonball (c’mon, admit you’ve had one — or more) gave us our inspiration. Instant chill.

Smoked Ribs

Now we’re smokin’. Nothing says summer like a backyard barbeque and a pile of slow-cooked, wood-smoked, tender ribs to tear into. This one’s going to take a while, so get your chair, a book, a sun hat and a beer, and while you’re tending the grill, put your feet up and enjoy the smell of summer.

Caprese Salad with Prosciutto

The tomato days of summer. This is less a recipe and more like a blueprint of how to assemble the most beautiful, the most seductive, summery flavors in one splendid dish. Slice tomatoes when still warm from the August sun, cue up Frankie crooning “Isle of Capri,” pour a sparkling rosé and feast under the stars. Man, this livin’ is easy.

Stuffed Squash Blossoms

Oh yes we did. We made a mortadella mousse. Why? To fill these beautiful squash blossoms, of course. Nonna may not have used such a fancy filling back in the day, but she taught us the value of eating every edible part of a plant lest it go to waste. Extremely perishable, these blossoms are hard to come by. Which is why Nonna shopped in her own garden. Time to take her lead.

Grilled Chicken and Genoa Sandwich

This sandwich starts with a gorgeously ripe summer tomato. We adore them. And we especially adore them piled on a sandwich of simple but tasty grilled chicken and spicy cherry pepper mayo ... lots of it! Grilled genoa (yes, we grilled it) adds meaty crunch. Blissful spicy synergy. This is going to be a new favorite summer sandwich.

Mezcal-Hibiscus Slushie

Relax. You’re not going to have to eat a worm or suffer a massive hangover. This is not the cheap tequila binge of your youth. Mezcal, a distilled spirit made from 30 kinds of agave (tequila is technically a mezcal but is only made from the blue agave), is having it’s day. It’s artisanally made, smoky, nuanced. Combined with fresh ginger, tangy hibiscus and bitter-sweet Aperol, we think we’ve come up with a pretty sophisticated slushie. It's pink and its potent. No need for shots.

Grilled Mexican Corn

Street eats. That’s the provenance of this Mexican corn on the cob. It’s grilled to a sweet char, then slathered with mayo, lime, chile and cheese. If you’ve had it, you know exactly how good it is. If you haven’t, you can’t even imagine. So don’t imagine. Make it! We improve on perfection by adding shards of crisped coppa. Prepare to make a mess of your chin, but don’t let that slow you down. That’s why there are napkins.

Summer Tomato Peach Mint Salad

Mother Nature is pretty smart. She knows what she’s doing, and it pays to listen. When two crops are prevalent at the farmers market at the same time, it’s smart to assume they might go well together. So when you see the big display of tomatoes and the big display of peaches, think about ways to make them dance together. You won’t need much else — a little acid, a little salty cheese. You’re dressing up something that’s already perfect, so keep it simple.

Summer Cucumber Salad

Peek inside the fridge of most Scandinavians on any given summer day and you’ll likely find a bowl of cucumber salad. Whether made with sour cream or vinegar, as in our version, it’s a refreshing accompaniment to almost anything. It’s a midsummer’s dream.

Brigadeiros (Brazilian Fudge Balls)

They say a way to a man’s heart is through his stomach. Enthusiastic women supporters of a handsome Brazilian general running for president in 1945 knew this well. They made these addictive little fudge balls to hand out at fundraisers. The treats remain one of the country’s most recognized and beloved sweets. The general lost the election, but the sweet he inspired won in a landslide.

The Tilted Plum

The great American poet William Carlos Williams would probably be forgiven for eating the delicious plum from his friend’s icebox if he had grilled it and muddled it with bourbon. The heat softens the fruit and intensifies its sweetness and mixes just right with the booze. The lemon juice is like using salt — without it you’d notice something is off. And lavender bitters, well, we like to be classy every once in awhile. Bottom’s up. (For a nibble, bresaola is lovely with this.)

Pickled Blackberries, Smoked Mozzarella and Plums

Transformation nation. It takes just a little bit of smoke and some flavored vinegar to turn three ingredients into something special. Cold smoking — a way of preserving food without heat — imparts, well, smoky flavor to the cheese and plums, adding interest on a salame platter. Blackberries take a plunge in seasoned vinegar to add a sweet-tart note. Without much effort, your friends will think you’re a genius. They’re right.

Gazpacho

Drink your salad. Hailing from the Spanish region of Andalusia, gazpacho originally was made from garlic, olive oil, almonds and stale bread. But over time and geographical shifts, it morphed into the tomato-based summer vegetable soup we can’t get enough of when the garden is bursting and the nights are warm. For the best flavor, let it chill for several hours or up to a day or two. If you’re impatient and must serve it immediately, throw a couple of ice cubes into the blender along with the gazpacho. It’s sort of cheating, but when it’s hot outside, you do what you have to do. A little toasted garlic-rubbed crusty bread turns this into a light meal.

Grilled Pepperoni Pizza

Sure, your grill is a great way to cook a hunk of meat. But it can do so much more. Grilled pizzas are fun, fast and completely customizable for a crowd. This cracker-thin crust is the perfect vehicle for whatever genius combination you come up with. Experiment with different salami and cheeses, peppers or herbs. Or follow our lead. Pizza perfect. At least we think so.

White Wine Peach Sangria

Get your punch on. Sangria, when not an overly sweet tourist drink in it’s homeland of Spain, is meant to get a crowd drunk fast and cheap. While we understand this concept in theory, we prefer to mix up a batch of something a little more suave. The moscato wine sings with the tart and sweet peaches and the herbaceous tarragon-infused simple syrup. The tourists won’t recognize this drink, which is proof you’re on the right track.

Summer Peach Ice Cream with Basil and Candied Coppa

We took that eating-a-perfect-summer-peach-over-the-sink-to-catch-the-drips feeling and turned it into a sophisticated summer treat you won't forget. Fresh basil, another harbinger of midsummer, delicately flavors the peaches before they're churned into a creamy, rich ice cream base. What could make this better? The crispy candied coppa garnish. Yep, peaches and cream with candied cured pork. It’s your new tradition.

Salame, Italian White Wine and Melon Pairing

Beat the heat with juicy summer melons and chilled whites for an al fresco snack with salame.

Charred Cauliflower with Olives and Pancetta

Wrap it up. Foil pouches filled with all sorts of tasty things and tossed on the grill are your new best friend. They are low maintenance, a great sidekick and fun to personalize. Think about vegetables that taste good roasted in the oven. Those are what you want to cook in packets like this. Throw in a smattering of spices, umami-rich ingredients like pancetta or olives and you’ve got a side dish that will challenge your entree for attention.

Thai Zucchini Salad

Get to know thy neighbor. At least the one growing zucchini in their garden. They’ll be looking to give away the surplus from their crop, and you’re going to want to make this salad as often as they leave the fruit on your doorstep. Inspired by a Thai papaya salad, it’s the perfect antidote to a hot summer night when cooking is out of the question.

Blackberry Vodka Cooler

When blackberries are in season, we may or may not trot out to the bushes in the back yard in our barefeet and PJs and pick them right into our cereal bowl. OK, we definitely do that. We also definitely make this pitcher drink when we feel a little more civilized and get dressed for company. It’s a delightfully fruity summer quaff that will sneak up on you as you tell your tall tales on the porch into the fading summer light.

Grilled Lobster with Chorizo-Lime Butter

Lobster and butter. Think this godsend of a culinary match can't get better? We put chorizo in the butter, baby. You’ll probably want to make extra and slather it on everything. It’s that good. Get crackin’.

Super Simple Summer Salad Trio (for Salame Platter)

This is it folks. Do we even need to remind you that now is the time to eat these gifts of summer gardens? Use only the best, freshest vegetables and they will reward you with superior taste, needing only a few accompanying flavors for interest and color. Pair with some salame, throw in some bread and chilled wine, and you’ve got the best summer meal on your hands. Savor the moment. Simplicity reigns.

Chilled Cucumber, Herb and Buttermilk Soup

Chilled cucumber soup is a rite of fancified summer lunches. Packed full of herb-y greenness and the refreshing coolness of cucumber, there’s also a hint of serrano chile, just enough to give you a kick and command your attention.

The Volpi Wedge

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Everything old is new again. The good ol’ iceberg wedge salad has had its ups and downs. It fell out of favor when fancy greens graced salad bowls in the ’80s, but luckily some people (like steakhouses) didn’t let the wedge die out. It has since been reconstructed, deconstructed and prettied up in all sorts of ways. Our homage to this American classic showcases a lighter dressing while keeping close to the traditional toppings. It’ll still put a crunch in your step.

The Volpi Muffaletta

Take it easy. We’ve got a big sandwich — huge in fact — coming your way. It’s all thanks to the immigrant Sicilian farmers in early 1900s New Orleans. They wanted a lunch they could easily eat on their laps while sitting outside of Central Grocery where they bought their deli meats, cheese, olive salad and bread. It was too messy to eat separately, so the owner put it together as a sandwich. And it’s now forever etched into the canon of New Orleans cuisine. Invite some friends over. Pop open some brews. Grab the chips. And let the good times roll.

Steak Fiorentina with Gremolata (Bistecca Fiorentina)

Meat matters. Especially in Tuscany, where the local and tender Chianina beef, cut into thick slabs on the bone and simply grilled over a hardwood fire, are a thing of ageless beauty. We’ve tip-toed from tradition ever so tastefully by serving our fine steaks with a bright tangle of herbs and, yep, minced salame. Dante would approve.

Tortellini Salad with Sun-Dried Tomato Romesco, Sugar Snap Peas, Ricotta Salata and Coppa

Most pasta salads are awful. Sad representations of someone's honest effort that instead evokes a sad ‘80s buffet. They’re drippy, overcooked or tasteless. But it’s summer and they’re easy, and we have potlucks and cookouts to go to. They’re expected! Here’s one we’re proud to call our own, and you’ll be proud to say you brought it. The trick is to forgo the vinegary dressing (it breaks down the pasta), and instead lightly coat the pasta with an intensely flavored sauce. Keep it simple, then graciously accept your neighbors’ compliments.

Scallop and Coppa Carpaccio

First date was promising. Second date even better. Third date, you’re making dinner at your place. Now what? Don’t worry, we’ve got your back. Impress that special someone with this carpaccio. It’s simple yet elegant, beautiful and fresh. This dish is the stuff of romance. A real looker on the plate. (And hopefully not the only looker in the room.)

Blueberry Buckle

We’re all about family traditions, especially when they involve one of our favorite summer berries — blueberries. For instance, we know a family in New Jersey headed by a formidable grandmother. As the story goes, in her heyday, this matriarch could clear an entire bush of blueberries in under one minute. Her trick? She’d tie a coffee can around her waist (to keep both hands free) and strip the berries off the branches right into the can. She would bring home 20 pounds of berry bliss almost every time, and most of them would end up in her famous buckle. No matter where you get your berries, you’ll probably come home with less, but you’ll want to make the buckle anyway.

Pitcher o’ Pimm’s

We love a good mystery. Like the ingredients in the British liqueur called Pimm’s No. 1, which is the signature ingredient in one of the summer’s most refreshing cocktails. So storied is it that it’s a favorite of the stiff-upper-lipped crowds at Wimbledon. And in the end, it’s one of those mysteries best left unsolved. It’s cold, goes down easy, hits you hard and tastes jolly good. Game, set, match.

Torched Tiki Cocktail

The end of prohibition ushered in the rise of tiki culture in America. The fruity, boozy drinks came from the mind of one man, Don the Beachcomber, who traveled the world and discovered the nuanced rums of the tropical islands. His eponymous bar in Hollywood poured then-unusual drinks like Mai Tais and Zombies for a well-heeled crowd, and eventually tiki drinks made their way across the country. Here we pay tribute in our own way to this creative soul. Paper umbrella and Hawaiian shirts are optional, but highly encouraged. It's how it's done.

Cold Sesame Noodle with Coppa

The beach just got better. Change up your picnic fare with a mayo-free, pasta-based salad that can be eaten with chopsticks or a fork, cold or at room temperature. Feel free to add some hot sauce or fresh chiles if your crowd can take the heat.

Root Beer Float Ice Pops

Every kid — heck, every adult — should know the pleasure of sitting on the stoop after dinner, the concrete still warm from the afternoon sun, and licking an ice pop without losing any drips. That last part is a fantasy, of course. But maybe it’s part of the beauty. Have you ever seen a kid with ice cream all over his face? Pure. Joy. We’ve got the best of both worlds in our pops — creamy ice cream and root beer flavor — that will get the nostalgia going for drive-up restaurants, diners and outdoor movies.

Chorizo and Jack Stuffed Burger

Build a better burger. Stuff it with smoky chorizo and gooey cheese and watch the crowd swoon with joy. You’ll be the go-to burgermeister for all the neighborhood cookouts, which basically means you can order people to get your beers for you while you tend the grill. Win-win.

Watermelon Margarita

Kick back. It's Summer. If a refreshingly cool margarita glistening in the sun with a salty rim is your traditional diversion, may we recommend utilizing the season’s gorgeous gift of sweet watermelon to your margarita mixers. If you’ll be spending time outside with friends, whip up a pitcher to share. Friends not around? Whip up a pitcher and make some more.

Strawberry Shortcakes with Limoncello Cream

Strawberry season coincides with Fourth of July celebrations in many areas of the country. This can’t be an accident. Perfectly fluffy biscuits topped with juicy red berries have been featured on Independence Day menus going back at least a century. Clearly Mother Nature was quite the patriot at heart, arranging it so that we can laze by the lake, romp in green fields or watch fireworks from the porch, all fortified with cake and fruit.

Mustard BBQ Chicken

It’s no secret that the myriad of barbecue styles can incite even the most laid-back person to stand on a chair to declare their favorite ’cue to be the best. We’re not trying to get into any arguments here; they all have their place in the barbecue bible. This recipe represents the mid-South Carolina region, where the influence of German immigrants and their love for mustard with pork swayed the sauce to yellow. Pitmasters there smoke the whole hog, then break it down into parts and smother with the tangy mustard sauce. Since smoking a pig in your backyard might be more than you want to do for your Fourth of July party, the sauce works great with chicken as well, and the kids won’t be as terrified.

Pepperoni Cornbread

Like a reliable wingman, cornbread is always a welcome addition to a cookout. It tastes great hot or cold, goes well with the usual suspects on the picnic table (think baked beans or grilled chicken) and transports easily. It seems like it would be impossible to improve, right? Then we went and added pepperoni. You’re welcome.

Green Bean Salad with Eggs

Salad envy. Sound unlikely? Wait till you see this salad. And it’s portable, too! How many times have you offered to take a salad to the picnic, then panicked? What if it sogs up? What if it wilts? Here’s our delicious solution to that conundrum. Make the marjoram dressing in a jar, platter up the crisp beans, watercress and soft-cooked eggs, and then drizzle with the dressing when you get to the park. No sog; pure salad. Just gorgeousness.

Sideline Snack

Whether you’re cheering in the stands or killing it on the field, this is your source for superstar energy. It’s an easy, high-protein snack that travels well too, so stash some in your bag. Serious fitness is often about whole, natural foods, so look for dried fruit that has absolutely nothing added – no sugar, no nasty sulfites. Or don’t; we won’t tell. If you’re really hardcore, you can dry the fruit yourself. But that’s another story.

Chorizo and Pinto Tostado

Don’t be afraid to eat your plate. It’s totally acceptable when you have a tostada, a deep-fried corn tortilla piled high with beans, meat, cheese, salsa and ... the possibilities are limitless. It’s a delightful mess to eat (not first-date material unless you’re with someone really cool) and probably best done by breaking off shards of crispy tortilla (the “plate”) to scoop up the creamy beans and oh-so-tasty chorizo. You’ll be dancing in the streets.

Roasted Beet and Goat Cheese Salad

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Beets are the hidden gem of the kitchen. They come in looking rough and ragged. It’s hard to imagine coaxing anything delicious — or even worthwhile — from that rugged root. But with little more effort than throwing them in the oven for an hour, there’s an exquisite transformation. They’re suddenly sweet and delicate, and drop-dead gorgeous inside. Serve them with a fresh burst of orange juice and mint, and they no longer bear any resemblance to the sad, canned, crinkle-cut horrors of your salad bar nightmares. They’re the reigning jewels of Summer.

Eggs All’Amatriciana

Last night’s dinner party was a hit, or so you assume as you tackle the mess in the kitchen and sneak seven empty bottles of wine to the recycling. Which is fine, because even though Amatriciana sauce often is made with wine, our version skips it. We’ve also swapped out the traditional guanciale for pancetta (use whichever one you’ve got on hand). We know it’s sometimes blasphemous to substitute, but when it comes to making eggs this good for breakfast, trust us.

Chorizo Party Mix

Who doesn’t love a snack? Yet sometimes it’s hard to choose between salty and sweet. Luckily, we’ve got a spicy mix of salame sticks, chips, pretzels and nuts for the salt and dried mangoes for the sweet. It’s not often you get it both ways.

Skirt Steak with Chimichurri Sauce

Flavor, fast. If you’re looking for a full-on beef hit, the skirt is where it’s at. Cut from the underbelly of the cow (the diaphragm) it’s a muscle that works hard. Which means you don’t have to — at least when searing it in a rippin’ hot cast-iron skillet — because it’s laced with juicy, flavorful fat, it will cook up nice and tender and juicy in just a few minutes. You’ll barely have time to salivate before it’s on your plate. Serve with chimichurri, the traditional garlicky, slightly tart and spicy, herbaceous Argentine sauce for grilled meats.

Berry Smoothie

The next time you go hard, reward yourself with this creamy, restorative treat. It’s loaded with nutrients, antioxidants and a sweetness that tastes more like something for cheat day than core day. It’s actually good for you and you can dial things up or down for flavor and nutrition. If you want less concentrated sugar, use fewer dates or substitute ripe banana. If you’re looking for more minerals, add spinach or baby kale (as long as you don’t mind it turning from purple to brown). Almonds are powerhouses, and the sprouted version has even more nutritional value because it’s easier for the body to absorb. The chia seeds will thicken as this sits, so drink it quickly or grab a spoon and call it pudding.

Jerk Chicken

There are as many jerk recipes as there are moms in Jamaica, but everyone uses allspice, nutmeg and aromatics. We use chicken thighs because they have a higher fat content that makes them tender and tasty. In Jamaica, jerked meats are smoked over allspice wood (they call it pimento) because it’s plentiful there. If you don’t have access to the wood, you can smoke it with allspice berries and finish off over high heat on the grill, like we do here. If there’s anything that will invigorate the monotony of backyard barbecue fare, it’s this dish. The peppery spices will dance on your tongue long after the last of this tender, smoky chicken has been consumed.

Lomito Completo (Steak Sandwich)

Argentina knows beef. And Argentines know how to make it more delicious than it has a right to be. This ravishing beast of a sandwich is their go-to street snack (yes, it’s a snack), but feel free to serve it as a proper meal. Then plan on a siesta.

Chorizo Tacos al Pastor

Simply utter the word “taco” and most people we know will get that crazed look in their eye. A look that evokes both panic (Where? Where are they? Are there enough?) and dreamy nostalgia (Remember the taco we had in L.A.? Oh, what about the ones with the chicharrón, woah were they good). The bewitching combination of sweet, salt, fat, acid, crunch, soft — not to mention handheld convenience — has entranced people for centuries. This one, like all the notable tacos that weave their way into one’s memory, takes a little time to prepare, but the results are predictably and satisfyingly delicious. Race you to the cart.

Salame and Argentine Red Wine Pairing

See how our salames dance with Argentinian red wines in these 3 pairings.

Shrimp and Chorizo Skewers

We’ll let you in on a secret: You don't have to cook dad a steak on Father's Day. Sure he’ll love it, but probably not as much as something that breaks the monotonous cliche of holiday meals. Replace his steak dinner with these surf-and-turf skewers. The lightly charred Spanish-style chorizo pairs well with the zesty marinated shrimp, while the pineapple caramelizes and sweetens from the heat. Pair it with a cocktail or a beer and Dad will break out the vinyl records and reminisce about his rebellious youth. It’ll be like you gave yourself a present.

Pao de Quiejo (Brazilian Cheese Bread)

Pao de Quiejo are gougere-like little buns, ubiquitous in Brazil, where they’re sold as snacks. Crisp and light on the outside and cheesy and chewy on the inside, they can be found in a variety of addictive flavors. Ours are studded with minced salame, parsley and Parmigiano cheese. Made with sour manioc starch and tapioca flour, which give them their characteristic chew, they’re ideal for those who are gluten-intolerant. Even better: they’re easy. Which is good, because you’re not going to stop eating them. The sour manioc starch is fermented and makes a big difference in the success of this dish. It can be found in a Brazilian grocery or online. For more information on these flours, see our Cook’s Note below.

Crab Cakes with Pancetta

Cue up the crustaceans. There are two little surprises inside these crab cakes — bits of crispy pancetta for, what else, flavor, and pureed scallops as a clever binder. Cooked until golden brown, the cakes are served with a dollop of caper mayonnaise that delivers a creamy, briny finish.

‘Harissa’ Spiced Olives

Normally found as a paste, harissa is a fiery condiment from North African made from ground hot chile peppers, garlic and various spices. We took the ingredients that you would find in harissa and used them to wake up some olives for a robust salame platter.

Caipirinha

The star of Brazil’s national cocktail, cachaça (kah-sha-sa), is a potent alcohol distilled from fermented sugarcane juice. By law, it must be produced in Brazil and contain 38 to 48 percent alcohol by volume. The cocktail is simple — just booze, sugar and lime juice — but it’s no shrinking violet. After a couple of these you might find yourself in the middle of the dance floor as the self-appointed samba king.

Cheesy Pepperoni Bread

This is the snack of a lifetime, all the savory cravings the human spirit desires spiraled into a crispy, cheesy, doughy, meaty package. It’s filled with the flavors we’ve come to adore: fontina cheese, pepperoni, chile flakes, garlic and oregano. With cold beer, this will be your new favorite when watching the game. With a glass of wine, it could be a seductive late-night snack.

Strawberry Goat Cheese Salad with Pickled Onions

Just-ripe strawberries and soft, creamy goat cheese are the stars here, so use the best you can find. Farmers’ markets are beautiful this time of year and may have them both waiting just for this dish. If not, check fancy cheese stores or use our hack and lighten a regular log of goat cheese with a little milk or cream. Either way, the pickled onions will stand out and try to steal the show. See Cook’s Note on goat cheese tips.

Shrimp and Grits

Shrimp and grits is one of those comforting homestyle dishes that everyone in Low country has their own special way of making. And when you eat it with fresh-caught shrimp, you'll instantly know why. Ingredients and techniques may vary from place to place and family to family, but everyone agrees it’s great for breakfast, lunch, dinner, whatever. Save the shrimp shells to make stock for an extra layer of flavor, you won't be disappointed. The right way to cook grits is also a matter of taste. We like ours creamy, but feel free to stop whenever yours looks done. Top it off with fresh scallions, parsley and a Southern dose of Tabasco.

Blueberry Galette

There’s a time for fancy and a time not to bother with perfection. A galette is perfectly imperfect. The filling is enclosed by the dough in a haphazard sort of way – no crimping, no cutting off the ragged edges – and baked free-form on the pan. It’s rustic. Humble. Relaxed. It won't let you down.

Volpi Burger

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Burger fans unite. If you are in the camp of juicy burgers piled high with toppings, pay attention. This burger is one you will want to sink your teeth into. Made with high-quality ground beef (this is the definitive ingredient in a burger, so use the best you can get), we mix in pancetta for extra flavor. Because we can. And we top it with crispy fried mortadella. Because why not? Then we add zippy pickled onions and radishes, creamy guacamole and the usual suspects of tomatoes, lettuce and jalapeños. Because that’s just how we are. Deliciousness awaits, and it might get a little messy. We use a skillet to cook the burgers, but feel free to take these outside to the grill if the weather permits. They work either way.

Pesto Potato Salad with Peas and Salame

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This potato salad is inspired by the traditional Ligurian pasta dish, Trennete with pesto, potatoes and green beans. While they both boast potatoes and pesto, that's where they part. Our potato salad is studded with salame, fresh peas and chives. You probably aren’t going to be having a picnic on the banks in Genoa this afternoon, but this salad could make you feel like you are.

All-Occasion Vanilla Cupcakes

We all need a basic vanilla cupcake recipe. For birthdays, showers, bake sales, life. Like the white disco suit from “Saturday Night Fever,” you can bedazzle these as much or as little as you want. This recipe is all about changing it up – try swapping out the neutral oil for a more flavorful one (think walnut, almond or a fruity olive) or substituting a different extract for the vanilla in the cake recipe. Same goes for the frosting – change out the milk for coffee, orange juice, maple syrup or rum. You’re welcome.

Mortadella Musubi

Hawaii is known for many things. Stunning beauty. Fresh fish. And a certain canned meat that’s definitely not Italian. Hawaiians consume about 5 million pounds of it annually. And one of the ways is in musubi, a snack found in gas stations and fine dining rooms alike. It mimics onigiri, but uses a thick slab of this particular canned meat on a rectangle of rice. But what if we gave it an upgrade? A big upgrade. Mortadella big. One bite and you're swept away to a radiant Hawaiian beach with the sweet notes of Verdi echoing in the wind. Eat them immediately or wrap them up and bring them on picnics, hikes, or to the beach, with or without Verdi.

Tabbouleh

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Tabbouleh is all about the parsley. It is not a bulgur salad with some parsley to flavor and freshen it up. It’s a parsley salad. Fresh, grassy, flat-leafed parsley chopped lovingly in zen bliss (or frenetically to heavy metal if that's your jam) by hand. And a lot of it. So much that it’s a commitment. All that’s required is a sharp knife. Fine bulgur is traditionally used and requires less soaking time, but it’s not that easy to find. If you have a Middle Eastern market close by or want to order online, go for it, but we use the more accessible medium-grind bulgur.

Crespelle with Kale and Guanciale

Crespelle – the Italian word for crepes – are delicate little things that suddenly become rich and decadent when you stuff them with a guanciale-kale filling and cover them with bechamel. If you're over kale, we hear you, swap sauteed mushrooms or roasted vegetables instead. Either way, it's a stunning veggie-centric dish that has just enough porkiness to impress the meat eater in your world.

Honey and Butter Braised Radishes

You didn’t know there was a radish season, did you? It’s OK to admit. Those sad little bags that are in the grocery store all year make it easy to forget they can be special. And they’re special right now. When you see a colorful bunch at the farmers market, those aren’t the same thing. They’re superior and worth celebrating. Grab a bunch, or several, and eat a couple with butter and salt as soon as you get home, because you shouldn’t have to wait any longer. But with the rest, try this braise, which opens a new window on their flavor profile. You’ll start looking forward to radish season every spring.

Carta di Musica

The Sardinians have been baking these crackery flatbreads for centuries on their ruggedly beautiful island off the west coast of Italy in the middle of the sparkling Mediterranean Sea. As with most Italian nomenclature, there is poetry in the name. After a few minutes in the oven, they curl and crisp and resemble the parchment paper used to write sacred music. Unlike those scrolls, though, these are delicious with a salume platter.

Soba Noodles with Celery and Mortadella

At the heart of this dish, we’re pairing the fanciest cold noodles with the fanciest cold cuts. Cool! The best part is that it totally makes sense. Soba noodles, made from nutrient-dense buckwheat flour, are most commonly eaten cold in Japanese cuisine. As the weather warms up, we want more cold noodle salads for lunch or dinner. This one is satisfyingly savory and portable to boot. We toss the chilled noodles and crunchy veg in a light, ginger-soy dressing, with tender mortadella strips as an unexpected twist.

Whole Baked Trout with Orange and Pancetta

Yep. We approve of this porkification of fish. It only improves this already tasty (and pretty) dish. Baked trout is so simple you'll wonder why you don't make it more often. The cumin and oregano seasons the fish simply without overwhelming it’s delicate flavor. Topped with roasted onions, torn pieces of pancetta, cilantro and chiles, this makes for an elegant dinner with almost no work.

Kombucha – The Art of Fermenting Tea

Kombucha is a sweet, fermented tea. It’s one of those healthy live foods that make you sure you’re doing the right thing with every sip. It’s light, refreshing and better for you than soda (though it does contain sugar, caffeine and a small amount of alcohol). If you haven’t tried it yet, buy a bottle and see if you like its bright not-too-sweetness. If the answer is yes, you may soon find yourself spending more than you’d like on fancy bottles of “booch.” When that happens, take the next step and brew your own. It’s easier than you think.

Genoa Mac and Cheese

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Homemade mac and cheese is better — by far — than any frozen or boxed version. Does anyone want to argue that? No? That’s because you’d lose. Ours is super creamy, using a blend of mild and sharp cheese, with a welcome surprise of salame bits in each bite. Pure comfort. Plus a crunchy topping. Could you want anything more? You’ll never go back to the box.

Scallion and Guanciale Waffles

Love scallion pancakes? Obsessed with waffles? Yep, we did it. We combined the two and paired them with a dipping sauce you can't say no to. Scallion pancakes are not difficult, but they can be, shall we say, a bit involved. We came up with a fun and quick — let’s just call it genius — recipe with a guanciale bonus. (Guanciale makes everything better. It’s a proven fact.) We know you don't use your waffle maker enough. You know you don't use your waffle maker enough. Here’s a great reason to break it out.

Bresaola, Asparagus and Fresh Mozzarella Sandwich

Here’s a pretty sandwich that works for a picnic or a midnight snack (with leftovers). And all the effort is in the shopping — it's that easy. We like the contrast between the crunchy crust and the soft, fresh cheese, and between the salty bresaola and the smoky asparagus. Wrap these up and bring them along on a picnic. You'll be a hero.

Croque Monsieur

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Traditionally, sliced ham and gruyere make up this elegant version of a grilled cheese, a staple in Parisian cafes. Some versions boost the creamy component with bechamel and broil it to a bubbling knife-and-fork sandwich. We nod to Italy with ours, obviously, cooking it “in carrozza”-style (in a carriage), subbing in mortadella and fontina and hitting it with a little powdered sugar at the end. This is one grilled cheese you’ll never forget.

Mint Julep

We love any occasion that calls for a specific drink to celebrate. You don’t just want a cocktail, it’s a defining element. Like, the event is somehow lesser without it. There’s history behind it. There’s a reason. We’re allowed. The julep has been filling frosty silver mugs during the Kentucky Derby since the late 1800s, perhaps as a way to lubricate an otherwise reticent gambler. But gambler or not, we’ll bet this refreshing, boozy, ice-cold beverage will knock your socks off. Sip slowly and enjoy the buzz.

Crepes with Prosciutto and Hazelnut-Chocolate Spread

Get out of bed already and make Mom these crepes! Whatever you’ve ever done to disappoint her — whether it happened when you were 3 or last week — she’ll totally forget about it when she takes a sweet-salty bite of these babies. Don’t worry if you mess up the first crepe – that happens to everyone. After a couple of crepes, you’ll get into a rhythm. You can use an offset spatula, but your fingertips will likely toughen up from the heat by the time you’re done and you might not need it — a true merit badge.

Mini Kentucky Race Day Chocolate Bourbon Pecan Pies with Pancetta Crust

Due to copyright issues, we cannot call these chocolate bourbon pecan pies Which-Must-Not-Be-Named after that famous Kentucky horse race where attendees wear fabulous hats while imbibing mint juleps. We’ve added a pancetta-studded crust to these two-biters to offset the sweetness. And when pouring the filling into the pastry cups, try not to get drips around the edges of the pastry or the pies will stick to the pan and be very difficult to unmold.

Stuffed Artichokes

When fresh artichokes appear, grab them and don't look back. They're a fleeting whisper of spring at its finest. Elegant and brutal at once, adorned with thistle-topped leaves, they are delicious and like no other vegetable (except for cardoons, their cousin). They look like a million bucks on the plate, and they'll make you work for the pleasure of enjoying them. Indulge and take the time to prep them. They'll be gone by summer.

Asparagus and Pancetta Risotto

When spring asparagus shows up at the markets, we go a bit mad for the emerald green shoots, throwing them in just about anything, including this creamy risotto studded with jewel-like pancetta.

Horseradish Vodka

Known as khrenovukha or hrenovuha in Russia (and they know vodka), it’s not for the faint of heart. This horseradish-infused vodka is part of a drinking ceremony involving lots of toasts such as za vashe zdorov'e! (to your health) after which there are lots of ice-cold shots, and lots of salame. For hours. Eating is just as important as drinking. That’s a ritual we’re down with.

Lamb Loin Chops with Moroccan Breadcrumbs

With its sultry scents, this dish becomes a weeknight trip to Morocco. We use a quick-cooking, tender and often overlooked cut of lamb, the loin chop. Think of them as little lamb porterhouse steaks, as luxurious and flavorful as their big beef equivalent. We broil to keep it easy, but you can sear them stove top or throw them on the grill. It’s a tender cut, so don’t overcook them. They’re piled with a toasty, crunchy, panko breadcrumb topping mixed with the scents and flavors of Morocco like mint, cilantro, orange, pistachio and olive. Keep the recipe for the topping handy: You’ll want to sprinkle it on chicken, pork, fish, even roasted vegetables. It’s like a trip to Tangier on any Tuesday.

Pork Loin Roast with Roasted Potatoes, Fennel and Red Onions

We’re doing a play on porchetta, using the same flavors. We’re skipping the pork belly, though, and adding mortadella to bring some juiciness to the lean loin. This is a showstopper of a dish, so make sure there are plenty of people there to tell you how amazing you are when you carve into it. Get your butcher to butterfly the pork loin. There are two ways to butterfly the loin, either opening it as a book, or unrolling it like a roll of paper towels. We’re using the unrolling method to get that very cool swirly effect when it’s sliced. If the butcher has no idea what you’re talking about, don’t let him touch it. Take it home and do it yourself with the easy instructions here. Then find a new butcher.

Potato and Salame Pierogies with Caramelized Onions

These little guys have survived the test of time since their birth in 13th-century Poland and have a place as one of the great stuffed dumplings of the world. And no wonder. Tender discs of dough filled with just about anything tasty, fried in butter (our favorite way) and served with caramelized onions, they are the best kind of addiction.

Okra with Salame and Tomatoes

We love okra. Some people say it’s slimy and refuse to consider it. We say this dish could convert them. By charring the okra whole (no goo oozing out from slices) in a wicked-hot pan, you get crisp-tender pods. Don’t relegate okra to a gumbo limbo. Our salame-tomato sauce is surprisingly sweet, tart and savory all at once, so it’s really makes okra the perfect side dish for almost anything.

Fresh Spring Herb Salad with Prosciutto

Color is the great mood-lifter of spring. Trees are budding and brightening the horizon. Flowers are blooming, brightening the landscape. Herb boxes are turning green, and they can brighten your salad in ways you never imagined. Fresh herbs are supercharged with flavor and pack a punch that lettuce just can't muster. (Sorry, lettuce.) Don’t fret if you can’t get the exact greens we call for in this salad. Stroll through the farmer’s market and pick any young, tender greens that look fresh and delicious. Make your own mix.

Smoked Whitefish Rillettes

Smoked whitefish, the somewhat forgotten hero of Eastern European cuisine, often plays second fiddle to the sexier, smoother, more popular lox (smoked salmon). Rich, savory and satisfying with smoky overtones that acquiesce when mixed with cream and herbs, it’s a wonder it ever falls out of favor. Here, smoked whitefish asserts it’s place at the table of deliciousness, edging it’s way back in the form of a rillette — ready to impress the masses once again.

Clam Dip

Thick-sliced, salty potato chips are the traditional pairing with this classic American dip, and we highly recommend them, but crudite will do fine if that’s the kind of mood you’re in. While this dip can be eaten right away, it benefits from chilling in the fridge and allowing the flavors to meld. And once they do, watch out: This may become your new favorite dip.

Chicken, Olive and Preserved Lemon Tagine with Herbed Couscous

This dish is sure to make the rounds at dinner parties or Sunday suppers once you try it. Braised chicken thighs succumb to the olives and preserved lemons and bask in a succulent sauce, begging for couscous. While a tagine is a beautiful piece of useful crockery to display, a large skillet or braiser with a tight-fitting lid, or even a Dutch oven, will work just as well. Jarred preserved lemons can be found at gourmet shops and Middle Eastern grocers. They're also easy to make at home but require a bit of time to cure. You can't go wrong with this dish.

Fresh Ricotta, Fava Bean & Prosciutto Tartine

Now you can add cheesemaker to your list of culinary achievements. Really. It’s not hard. And homemade ricotta is far superior to store-bought, even if it comes from a fancy cheese shop. And tartine? Just a fancy way of saying open-faced sandwich. This is our ode to spring, with the fresh cheese topped by grassy favas and prosciutto laced with lemon atop the most delicious bread you can find.

Spring Quick Pickles

Funky Fridays: We're all about keeping it funky, especially when the seasons flip from one to the other. Quick refrigerator pickles let you savor the winter produce that's on its way out (such as romanesco) and preserve tender new crops (radishes!) in a spiced brine. By heating the brine for a short period of time, pouring it over the veg, then letting the brine do it’s magic in the fridge, we can safely produce pucker-worthy pickles.

The Volpi Dog

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Baseball fans unite. If you believe in gilding the lily, this dog is for you. The snap of a good dog in a squishy bun is already a thing of beauty. But we take it further, wrapping the dog in mortadella AND pancetta, crisping it up, then melting some cheese on the bun and topping with zingy giardiniera in place of traditional relish. This knocks other dogs out of the park.

Pasta with sardines (Pasta con le Sarde)

Umami, uncomplicated: We have Palermo, Sicily, to thank for the inspiration for our version of this ancient dish, traditionally made with fresh-caught sardines and fresh-picked wild fennel. We make it pantry-friendly by using tinned sardines and other shelf-stable ingredients, such as capers and pepperoncini, to give this pasta a punch of briny umami. So forgo the box of mac and cheese or the canned soup and reach for pantry ingredients you bought ages ago that are just begging to wake up your palette. This dish will make you think you're a genius for having them on hand.

Diamond Vol au Vents (Puff Pastry Shell)

It’s high brow meets low brow. If you’re a fan of soup in a bread bowl, you’ll dig this throwback fancy diamond-shaped puff pastry vessel filled with any kind of stew for a savory application, or filled with sweet, macerated fruit and topped with whipped cream. It’s a fun thing to make to impress your friends, your boss or, well, anyone. Use one of your favorite store-bought stews for the filling, or even better, try one of ours. (See our Beef Stew, Vegetable Curry Stew, or Skillet Chicken Pot Pie stew).

The Best Shio Ramen with Pork and Guanciale

The luxury and complexity – and rampant popularity – of ramen belie the reality that it is, at its essence, a humble bowl of noodles. It seems easy, but can you imagine making this at home? Of course you can. Sure it takes time, but most of that time doesn’t require you to pay any attention, so feel free to queue up something to binge watch. Once the stock is made and the eggs are marinated, a weeknight bowl only requires a little assembly. Shio means ‘salt’ in Japanese, but don’t worry; it’s not salty. The term refers to the clear soup that originated from Chinese immigrants that settled in Western Japan. The add-ons you top the ramen with are what personalize it. Pick and choose from our carefully curated list, or look in your fridge and create your own hodgepodge, from leafy vegetables to sliced mushrooms to roast chicken or firm tofu.

Schnitzel and Pancetta Sandwich with Sauerkraut

Funky Fridays: Crunch and funk go hand in hand here, with a crispy coating hiding a slip of prosciutto wrapped around the pork, then topped with a pile of pungent caraway-flecked sauerkraut on a pretzel or kaiser roll with a schmear of mustard. Austrians and Italians both say they were the first to pound tough meat cutlets, dredge and fry them, rendering them tender and edibly delicious. Variations abound, ranging from the original veal to chicken to even – gasp! – vegetarian attempts. The common denominator is the quest a juicy, tender bite inside a crunchy coating. This incarnation will make our ancestors proud.

Cheese Fondue

Moody Mondays: when the weekend wasn’t long enough, we can be a bit moodier than usual. This fondue will snap you out of it. It is melted cheese after all! How its reputation became so entrenched with the tacky ’70s is another story, but don’t let its sketchy historical association sway you from enjoying this classic European dish. The kirsch is optional, but it adds authenticity. Any cooked veg will do for dipping, so try your favorites. Then again, it’s going to get cloaked in delicious warm cheese, so even your not-so-favorites will become stellar. Adjust the heat on the Sterno as you go along — a little crusty cheese on the bottom is fine, but it’s no good if it burns. Since this is so rich, make a salad of bitter greens with a bracing vinaigrette to balance out all the fat.

Basil, Mint & Melon Martini

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Sweet melon puree spiked with fresh basil and mint, then mixed with vodka – how’s that for putting some zing in your spring? The Italians like their sweet-and-salty combos, and the garnish of melon balls wrapped with prosciutto harks to one of their more famous appetizers – prosciutto e melone.

Rice Pudding with Mango and Pistachio

Rich, creamy and laced with warming spices, this dessert is like a mini vacation from the strains of your day. We like it hot, but it’s also great served straight from the fridge. Have this anytime: There’s no reason to push this treat to the back of your repertoire as your coat gets pushed deeper and deeper into the closet. It hits the spot no matter what the weather’s like.

Skillet Chicken Pot Pie

Moody Monday's: Desperately seeking comfort? We can serve it up it in a single skillet. Homemade chicken pot pie is head and shoulders over the frozen stuff we grew up with. Our luscious creamy chicken stew includes the inexplicably underused fresh tarragon and nutmeg. It’s not hard to make, but have some hacks that save some time and work: store-bought rotisserie chicken, pre-sliced mushrooms and frozen puff pastry. Cleanup is kept to a minimum by baking the pot pie in the skillet you use to cook the filling. And if you really want a fast weekday meal, make the filling ahead of time, then top with pastry when you want to bake it. It’s as easy as, well, chicken pot pie.

The Shepherd’s Cottage Pie

If a shepherd were to make a cottage pie, it might look something like this. Technically, in a proper shepherd’s pie, lamb is the star, for obvious reasons. If you use beef, it’s a cottage pie. But we like a mix of the two in our meaty confection. As the bluster blows out winter and rushes in the spring, this is the dish you want to have greet you when you come back inside. It’s warm. It’s comforting. It’s perfect.

Chocolate Bunny Fondue

Are you saying you never have half-eaten chocolate bunnies laying about? A foot here, an ear there? Do a little triage of the aftermath of the Easter morning rampage and turn the parts into a unified bowl of sweet fondue. Any kind of chocolate will work, mix it up with what’s in the basket. The kids will like it, too.

Double Chocolate Brownies

Some people get very excited about a pan of brownies. Us included. Especially when it takes just two bowls to make them. No machine. We’re partial to the fudgy kind versus the cakey versions — though it’s not like there’s a kind we’d turn down. It requires patience, but let these set before cutting into them, as they need time to firm up. Don’t worry, the inside will still be chocolatey and gooey.

Garlicky Almond & Potato Skordalia

If hummus is too humdrum for your crudité platter, veer off course a little and try skordalia. Skordalia is both a condiment and a dip in Greek cuisine. It’s usually served as a condiment with fried fish or veggies, or as a dip with pita. It combines the comfort of mashed potatoes with the nuttiness of toasted almonds, the tang of lemon and the bite of garlic. It can be served once it cools to room temp, but the flavors meld so much nicer the following day. Disclaimer: Do not plan on kissing anyone after eating this. Unless they love garlic as much as you, it will not go well. You’ve been warned.

Clam and Daikon Radish Restorative Soup

Moody Mondays: March is a tricky month. She teases us with milder days, only to turn arctic again the next. You may want to put away the puffer jacket, but don't put away this soup recipe. Most cultures have a soup that’s widely accepted to have the power to restore body and soul, and usually most of the magic is credited to grandmas. The Chinese have been simmering soothing soups for centuries, utilizing the same ingredients found in their ancient medicines. Things like goji berries, ginger and daikon radish are believed to strengthen the immune system and battle what ails you. The goji berries are also rich in beta carotene and antioxidants. This version is a Taiwanese healing soup, with a touch of brine from the clams, and it’s pretty traditional. Well, until we added coppa, but come on! It’s perfect with the clams! You can put this together in almost no time on any weeknight you’re dragging.

The Best Easter Cassata

A labor of love. Start at least a day before you want to serve it, but it isn’t a bad idea to do the parts over three or four days, if you have the time to plan it out. You’ll be rewarded with a magnificent sponge cake filled with a citron-chocolate cannoli cream and topped with jewel-like glazed fruits. There’s a reason the cassata is the famed Easter cake in Sicily.

Rack of Lamb with Honey-Rosemary Glaze

Sure, rack of lamb is pricey, but its amazing combination of simple and spectacular make it a star for a small dinner party. This honey glaze takes but a minute to throw together. If you want to double the recipe, use two large skillets. Only own one large skillet? Sear the racks individually in the pan and lay the racks, meaty side up, on a foil-lined sheet pan to roast. Make sure you have your exhaust fan on as this can get smoky.

Spring Vegetables with Orange Sauce

By the time spring hits the parts of the U.S. with the roughest winter, we are desperate for color on the plate. Jump on the first vegetables out of the ground — and it’s OK to pick them up at the supermarket if they aren’t actually in season where you are yet. Bathe them in a buttery orange sweet-and-sour sauce. Think about this dish if you want to shake up the Easter table.

Scalloped Potatoes with Mortadella

Ham and potatoes go together like Pooh and Piglet. They can manage quite well on their own, but when they’re teamed up, they rule the world.

Creamy Vegetable Curry

Moody Mondays: When the view out of the window is of a bleak frozen tundra (be it urban or suburban), and has been seemingly forever, it's time for a warming curry. Creamy, coconut-y and as spicy as you want it to be, this rich curry leans on an Indian spice blend and is packed with easy-to-find vegetables that cook down into a lush stew. It’s bright and colorful and looks as good as it tastes spooned over steamed basmati rice. Dial the heat up or down depending on how moody you are, and turn up the tunes. This is a moment you'll want to curate. Just be careful with the turmeric; it’s loaded with health benefits but stains everything it touches a bright, fluorescent yellow.

Roasted Pear, Culatello and Watercress Salad with Candied Pecans

Sweet with salty. Cool with warm. Crunchy with tender. This winter salad hits every note to make it a player in your rotation all year long. The candied pecans are so irresistible that the recipe makes more than you’ll need for the salad, a fact you’ll appreciate when you can’t stop noshing on them as you put everything else together. Feel free to make a double batch to keep on hand for unexpected guests.

Coppa and Cabbage Potato Bites

These festive hors d’oeuvres are an Italian-Irish take on classic cured meat and cabbage. We just sub in coppa for the traditional corned beef. It’s deliciously cute and satisfyingly messy. Keep plenty of napkins nearby while you gobble these up.

Leek and Potato Soup with Frizzled Coppa

Nothing humble about this soup, though it begins modestly enough with onions and potatoes, the humblest members of the veg kingdom. First we coax deep flavor from the tops of the leeks for the stock. Then we transform cold, hard potatoes into a velvety, buttery puree. Cream is optional, but the frizzled coppa is not. Enjoy this soup warm on a cool spring day, or serve it chilled as the weather warms. Just call it vichyssoise.

Hot Toddy

The base of a hot toddy is booze, sugar and hot water. That’s it. Variations on the theme abound, of course, but when 17th-century Irish folks concocted this for the first time, they did so because they were cold. The local booze was a standard pantry item and sugar helped the medicine go down. Make no mistake: The toddy’s main value has always been medicinal. And you can write your own prescription.

Irish Soda Bread

Embrace the Emerald Isle. While all the amateurs are running around with green beer, make something that actually speaks of Ireland. As bread recipes go, this recipe is insanely easy. It gets its rise from the chemical reaction of baking soda and buttermilk. The raisins can be a point of contention among the Irish diaspora, so know your audience before you omit them. We love the sweetness they impart. An Irish-American tradition for St. Patty’s Day, this loaf is made year-round in Ireland for any reason at all. Be sure to purchase good Irish butter to slather on top. Very lucky, indeed.

Pasta Al Forno

You’ve got time. Pasta al forno reigns as the ultimate comfort food in many parts of Italy. Essentially translating to “baked pasta” or “pasta in the oven” it can refer to lasagne, stuffed pasta or a baked casserole of lovingly sauced noodles mixed with mini meatballs or even hard-boiled eggs. Our version offers little gold mines of cubed sopressata along with a rich and creamy tomato-besciamella-ricotta based sauce. This may take awhile to prepare and assemble, but for something this good, make the time.

Maple Bundt Cake with Pancetta Streusel

Bundt Cakes. Those gorgeous, dense, buttery cakes made in the instantly recognizable molded pan. They're easy to make and impressive to serve, usually topped with a drippy glaze or powdered sugar. We take it to the next level, stuffing and topping it with a maple-pancetta streusel. We don’t know why no one ever thought of that before, either.

Chicken Liver Pâté

Aside from fancy cheese, there’s no easier and faster way to class up a joint than to put some pâté out with all of it’s usual accompaniments. It’s amazing that such a rich, buttery, unctuous spread can come from a humble plastic tub of organ meat. This is a must-know recipe in any cook’s repertoire.

St-Junmai (Sake Cocktail)

So chic! A fashionable cocktail for the fashion set. Junmai is pure rice sake, meaning nothing else is used to produce it except rice, water and a mold that converts starch into fermentable sugars. Because of this, junmai sake typically has a fuller flavor and a higher acidity that plays well with the grapefruit juice and floral flavors of the oh-so-chic St-Germain. An adornment of crisped, caramelized bresaola gives this drink an unexpected sweet-salty touch and makes this pinkish drink the perfect accessory to any fashionable soirée. The vodka is optional — adding it obviously increases the booziness — but since sake is already high in alcohol, you can skip it for a somewhat tamer drink.

Classic Beef Stew

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Moody Monday: There are a few recipes you should have in your wheelhouse. Beef stew is one of them. Why? Because it uses up the bits and pieces in your veg bin, it perfumes the house on a cold winter’s day (really the only time you need to think about it), and it tastes amazing today, tomorrow or three days from now. In fact, it’s even better when the flavors have a chance to really hang out.

Farmhouse Chorizo Hash Browns
with Baked Eggs

Salty, greasy (in the best way), crispy and soft — all the necessary elements for attacking that hangover. (A little hair of the dog never hurt either). And it looks pretty impressive coming out of the oven, no matter how blurred your reality may be.

Spaghetti alla Carbonara

A classic Roman dish, alla carbonara -- in the style of the coal worker -- has several origin stories, notably turning the copious amounts of ground black pepper to metaphorical flakes of coal. We think of it as the best way to have your bacon and eggs. Here, guanciale, the gift of the pork jowl, ably fills the role of bacon.

Poached Pears & Zabaglione

Pears, already floral and honeyed, soften and turn gem-like in a gentle poach of spiced red wine. Zabaglione — nothing more than the Italian name for a sweet, boozy whipped custard that’s light as air — pools beneath the fruit in the bowl like melted silk. There’s a reason this is a classic dessert.

The Perfect Winter Antipasto Recipe

A beautifully muted palate on this platter of veg, meat and cheese that makes use of winter’s produce. Fennel, usually so bracing in its anise flavor, mellows and softens as it roasts. Grapes, often just plopped as a bunch on the corner of a cheese plate, transform into deeply sweet and satisfying orbs when they spend time in the oven with the fennel. A flavorful and pungent paste of anchovies coats the potatoes, a surprising addition to an antipasto. Rich mortadella, a soft young cheese and some plump olives round it out nicely.

Stir-Fried Mustard Greens with Pancetta

Bitter is Better: People are divided into two camps when it comes to bitter leafy greens. Some like it when a vegetable like broccoli rabe and mustard greens bites back, and the rest are delicate snowflakes who just can’t handle it. If you’re a newbie or in the latter group, give this dish a try over the winter. Frost makes greens and cruciferous vegetables sweeter, and the garlicky oyster sauce is good on practically anything.

Mostarda

Mostarda ranks among the great Italian condiments and is generally made from fresh and dried fruits simmered with vinegar. It’s a celebration of agrodolce, or “sour and sweet.” Cheeses, sandwiches, boiled meats and especially a salumi platter are made all the better from it.

Guanciale and Egg Fried Rice

Chinese roast pork, Spam, Vienna sausages and even hot dog slices have made it into fried rice. Doesn’t it seem like guanciale is at least as good an option? Its salty fatty goodness is a perfectly luxurious foil to the comforting rice. This is not a dish to make often - it’ll kill you.

Hot Cocoa Corretto

In Italy, un bar (coffee shop) isn’t just for a morning cup of joe. It’s a community meeting place and a spot to get a head start on the night’s festivities with a caffe corretto, or corrected coffee -- bolstered with a shot of grappa or brandy in the espresso. For non-coffee drinkers, you can get the same result with this rich, hot cocoa drink instead. Amaretto brings the booze and a complementary almond flavor. That’s one way to get the night started … or get through the snowy play date.

Easy Overnight Waffles

Don’t be afraid to make these on a weekday. A little bit of elbow grease the night before will make your morning much more relaxed, not to mention delicious. These fluffy, puffy waffles will be on the table almost before the coffee has brewed.

Arancini

Hailing from Southern Italy, these stuffed, deep-fried rice balls have been served as street food for centuries. The stuffings vary and can include anything from cheese, cured meats and peas, as below, to meat ragu or eggplant and capers. It’s a great use of leftover rice or risotto. Our version gives a light and crispy crust with a melty center and nuggets of salty meat. Italian teenagers will snack on these while casually leaning against their motorini, scoping out the scene. Grab one of these, and you become cool by association. Get your snack on, and do it while they’re hot.

Mushroom Risotto

This is solid winter fare -- meaty mushrooms, earthy Parmigiano-Reggiano, nutty rice. The egg adds a luxurious element that butter alone can’t achieve. Even if you don’t have an Italian grandmother, you’ll feel like you do when you’re done with this dish. Nonna will have you stirring constantly so the rice doesn’t stick to the pot and absorbs the hot broth as it evaporates. Be sure to open that nice bottle of Nebbiolo, pour yourself a fat glass and keep it handy before you get started. You won’t be able to leave the stove for a while.

Braised Pork Braciole

You’ve Got Time: In Southern Italy, cheap cuts of meat are transformed by a long, slow braise, getting an infusion of flavor and softened to tender in the process. Braciole are part of “Sunday sauce” or “ragu” in some regions, and in others the stuffed meat rolls stand alone. You can ask your butcher to pound the meat for you, but then you’ll miss the cathartic benefits of this dish. After the initial work of pounding, stuffing, rolling and browning, the rolls are happy to be left alone in a wonderful bath of wine, tomatoes and aromatics til they’re good and tender.

Winter Vegetable Fritatta

Winter yields crops of spicy, brassy, vociferous vegetables which turn into sweet talkers when sautéed or roasted. By this point in the season, your fridge may be filled with remnants of a few varieties. In classic frittata style, we use what we have on hand: Any winter vegetables you like or want to use up from the fridge. Just cut them uniformly until you have about 3½ cups. A salad with a vinegary dressing would be a nice accompaniment. Leftovers make a great protein breakfast on the go.

Weekday Pancakes

Memorize it: Looking for a go-to pancake recipe that doesn’t require much thinking to throw together in the morning, when everyone’s hangry, glaring at you, expecting something delicious? In this recipe, you don’t need to count higher than two, for starters. Make it even easier and use 1 cup all-purpose flour and nix the whole wheat.

Negroni

Count Negroni, walks into a bar. No it’s not the start of a bad joke. It was the 1920s in Florence, and the Italian nobleman ordered an Americano (sweet vermouth, Campari and soda), and in a move that would change cocktail history, he swapped in gin instead of soda. The resulting perfect trinity of gin, sweet vermouth and that bitter-but-lovable Campari, chilled with a twist of orange, is an easy, classic, masculine and meaningful way to end a long week. Fennel sausage is a natural complement to the orange and herbaceous flavors going on in the glass. The booze cleanses the palate of the salame’s richness. This could go on all night. Which, of course, is a great idea.

Classic Eclairs

Want to impress someone? Challenge your pastry chops with one of France’s greatest culinary gifts to the world: the elegant eclair. Your hard work will be rewarded with a nice, crisp outside from the fresh pâte à choux and a rich pastry cream that will have you licking your fingers. These are super classic eclairs that will beat store-bought any day. They become a little chewy if left to linger in the fridge, so they’re best eaten the day you make them -- which won’t be a problem. Your own little slice of Paris.

Potato Gnocchi with Pomodoro Sauce

It takes two … there are some tasks in life that are much more enjoyable when shared with someone else, preferably someone you like, even better if the prospect of romance is on the horizon. Cooking is one of them, and cooking Italian food? There's really nothing better. (Watch even a little 1960’s Italian cinema and you’ll understand the magic of the cuisine.) Making gnocchi from scratch can be daunting, but the rewards outweigh all the work. And it can seem effortless -- even delightful -- if you share the task of making it. If you don’t get carried away by the romance of it all, check your pulse.

Baked Stuffed Oysters with Salame Butter

Plain ol’ breadcrumb topping just got an upgrade by swapping in ground taralli instead. They’re those little donut-shaped crackers found in Italian bakeries and markets. The best ones are made with superior olive oil, of course, and produce a crunchy, flaky, deeply satisfying (read: addictive) snack. Taralli are often flavored with fennel seed, so they echo that note in the salami. Put those together on top of oysters in a classic New England-inspired preparation and you’ve got one hell of an appetizer.

Chocolate Pots de Crèmes

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Valentine’s Day. It happens every year, like it or not. No matter your feelings on the subject, we think it’s a pretty good idea to include these dense, deeply chocolaty treats on the menu. It may seem like gilding the lily, but they benefit from the contrast of the soft whipped cream. So whether you’re seeking romance or a place to hide your sorrows, these will do the trick.

Chicken Cutlets with Caper-Lemon Sauce

It’s fine to experiment with unusual ingredients and different cuisines. That’s what makes cooking so fun. But it’s also important to have a grasp of the basics, the classic recipes that built the foundation for such experimentation. It’s just as impressive to serve a perfectly seasoned, well-cooked chicken cutlet in a tangy caper butter sauce as it is some newfangled fad dish. Maybe more so. Like the little black dress, some things never go out of style.

Angels & Devils on Horseback

One of the most important aspects of the ritual that watching the big football game has become is the feasting that goes with it. So why not bring some friendly competition to the snack platter? These appetizers do just that. Angels & Devils are old school, dating back to 19th-century Britain, and divisive right down to their names. The Angels came first, oysters simply wrapped in bacon and fried. Devils followed later, with prunes replacing the oysters. They took the name “Devils” only to counter the angels, not because they were particularly spicy. British palates of that era weren’t so keen on heat. That was then, this is now, and we want a kick. So line ’em up, and feel free to wager on which disappears first.

Michelada

At its most basic, a michelada -- from “mi chela helada,” or my cold beer -- is simply beer, salt and lime over ice. But as people are wont to do over the course of time and across continents, people have finagled the base recipe to make it their own. And it works, so you should too! Ours embraces the spicy, tangy and complex flavors of Mexican seasoning mixes and dresses it up with appropriately poetic garnishes. Pairing salami and jicama sounds peculiar until you try it. Turns out, they’re natural companions. Rich and sultry with crisp and cool: It’s a yin and yang that works every time.

The Best Pulled Pork Hero with
Chorizo & Green Romesco

Things are about to get messy. With this sandwich, that is. The words “pulled pork” call to mind vinegary southern ’cue piled on soft, white hamburger buns and topped with tangy slaw. But this isn’t that. Instead, we take you to Spain with our green version of their classic romesco sauce. Instead of roasted red peppers and almonds, we give jalapenos and pistachios a shot. The pork needs little more than smoked paprika and time to render into smoky, red strands of tender meat. Slide a little of our cured chorizo and some fresh mozzarella on the bottom, and you’ve got one happy hero in your hands.

Fried Oysters with Sweet, Pancetta BBQ Sauce

To oyster lovers who can imagine only slurping these bivalves down cold and raw, we get it. But hear us out: Dunked in a smoky buttermilk bath and tossed with cornmeal, then in and out of hot oil, these guys turn creamy and crunchy all at once. And because three times is the charm, dunk them once again, in a smoky BBQ sauce. It’s totally different, and totally indulgent. You’ve heard that oysters are an aphrodisiac? You ain’t seen nothing yet.

Shrimp Cocktail with Three Sauces

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We know what you’re thinking. Shrimp cocktail? Like those sad, round plastic ring of rubbery shrimp crammed around a pot of way-too-sweet cocktail sauce? Nooooo. Not these guys. This is how you get it done, the right way. Treat your shrimp properly. Don’t just throw them in boiling water and let them get tough and chewy. Delicately flavor the poaching liquid with aromatics (think celery, peppercorns, bay and thyme). Once the liquid is infused and simmering, cut the heat before adding the shrimp. This is no cauldron. This is a slow, warm bath. No stress, no worries. And for that little bit of effort, you get plump, tender shrimp. The way it should be. As for sauces, sure you want a classic cocktail -- just not too sweet. But how about a creamy, herbacious green goddess and retro mustard curry, too? It’s not just classic. It’s classy.

Mini Lamb Meatballs with Pomegranate Glaze

Kickoff is just a couple hours away. You let your friends bring the easy stuff on the menu: the chips, the hot dogs, the brownies. No one’s going to be talking about those by halftime, Everyone is going to want to know how you came up with the idea to make meatballs that taste like a sultry stroll through a Moroccan bazaar. These will go fast; Don’t be afraid to double—triple?—this recipe depending on the size of the party or the veracity of your guests.

Fried Cauliflower with Za’atar Yogurt Dipping Sauce

Cauliflower haters, pay attention. We know. This snowy head of bland crunchy stuff is low on your list. Too many plates of sorry steamed mixed veg or pretend pizza crusts have passed your way. But listen: if you like anything fried, this dish is worth the experiment. A quick battered fry in hot oil, sprinkled with salt immediately after, and then dipped in an incredibly flavorful yogurt sauce should be enough to bring you to the other side. And if you’re already a fan … wait, where did you go? Ah, you’re already heating the oil. Good move.

Roast Pork Sandwich with Kimchi Slaw

To properly construct a memorable sandwich, all you really need to do is take a little attitude and surround it with bread. The roast pork gets top billing here, but all the character comes from the kimchi slaw laced with crispy guanciale. Make it and you’ll want to put it on all your sandwiches.

The Martini with Salami Stuffed Olives

The martini, for all its simplicity, fuels more arguments than just about any cocktail. Vermouth or no? Shake or stir? What type of gin? Bitters? Lemon? Olive? Just give me a martini already. But as with everything worthwhile, your cocktail isn’t going to be any better than what you put into it. But with good ingredients and thoughtful preparation, you can’t go wrong. With the martini, it comes down to preference. The best way to make it is the way you like it. Some gins are mellow, some floral, some savory. Try a few and pick your favorite. We like Bombay Dry because of its earthiness and its affinity for the fennel in the salami. And we use vermouth. None of this “wave the bottle over the top” nonsense. Add it in. It smooths out the drink and adds a definitive flavor.

Coq au Vin – Braised Chicken with Red Wine

You’re doing it wrong: Chicken stewed in red wine is a classic. Traditionally, an old rooster was braised for as long as it took to get it tender. Unless you live on a farm and have a surplus, you probably won’t use a rooster. U.S. birds aren’t as gamey as those that this dish was built on, but we have some hacks to coax the most flavor out of what’s available. First, we use organic chickens; they taste better and are better for you. We only use thighs in our stew, because they cook quickly and maximize flavor and richness to stand up to the red wine. Here’s a tip: If you have any chicken necks stashed in your freezer from last month’s whole roasted chicken like we do, throw one into the pot. It will add flavor and help thicken the sauce. This dish comes together with surprising speed once your ingredients are prepped. Serve it with simply boiled potatoes or over egg noodles.

Salame and Whiskey Pairing

Like whisky? Like cured meats? We've got you covered with three alluring pairings.

Grapefruit and Campari Granita

Bitter is better: Feeling bitter about the biting cold weather or the sheer distance between you and the summer sun? Embrace it by piling on more cold and bitterness — grapefruit and Campari — on ice. Granita is one of the easiest desserts you can make. It’s a dessert full of elegance and class, making the laziest of us look good. Most recipes call for scraping the granita several times over several hours. Pffft! Here, it’s unnecessary. Scrape it at the bitter end and it’s still flaky, light and fluffy.

Grilled Cheese with Coppa & Red Onion Pancetta Jam

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This isn’t the grilled cheese of yore. One bite into the toasty bread, the crispy coppa, oozy cheese and that red onion pancetta jam, you’ll know this classic is all grown up. Caramelized onions are one of God’s gifts to the patient cook, and they’re what impart umami goodness here. We start by slowly rendering our pancetta — with zen-like restraint — until it’s crisp and surrenders its fatty goodness to the pan. Then the onions melt into the porkiness. A few ingredients later and you have a condiment with star power. To put it on grilled cheese is practically cheating, but do it anyway.

Pancetta and Shrimp Fried Rice

This dish is a no-brainer for a quick weeknight meal. It can be made with leftover rice, frozen shrimp and vegetables. If you have all three on hand, you really have no excuses. We prefer fragrant and delicate long-grain jasmine rice for fried rice, but short or medium-grain rice can be used instead. Don’t load down your fried rice with too many ingredients or it’ll end up soggy and heavy. Our technique of making a well in the rice and cooking the eggs in the pan with the rice is a bit unorthodox, but we find it works exceptionally well with a cast iron or nonstick pan. And it’s one less pan to clean later.

Cheesy Nachos with Chorizo and Spiced Mangoes

Nachos. There’s not much more that signifies game day, or epitomizes a couch hang-out with a bunch of your closest friends than grabbing at a cheesy, meaty, flavor-filled pile of crunchy tortilla heaven. This recipe uses our smoky chorizo and any leftover meat you’ve got around. You know the rules: There aren’t any! Pile it high and make it good. Our spiced mangos nod to the spicy Mexican street snack called mango enchilado. If you question a fruit’s place on a platter of nachos, you’ve never had mango dolled up with lime, chiles, salt and sugar.

The Best Guacamole with Pomegranate Seed

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Mastering guacamole is a “must” for anyone claiming kitchen chops. Here’s where to start: Take a hint from your favorite Mexican restaurant, where they grind aromatics into a flavorful paste in a molcajete, that cool mortar made of volcanic rock, then fold in chunks of avocado. If you have the arm strength -- or an audience -- use a molcajete or a mortar and pestle. But really, a mini food processor works just as well. We’ve added pomegranate seeds to bring a nice pop of sweetness. For dipping, have plenty of plantain chips or tortillas handy.

Farro with Butternut Squash and Baby Kale

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There’s a moment after the holidays—when the decorations move back to the attic and the last of the baked goods have been consumed—when eating healthier becomes a priority. It’s still Winter, so for most of us, easy, regular access to fresh vegetables is months away. If you’re in a part of the country where the stages of winter are defined by the number of layers of outerwear necessary to leave the house, then pay attention to this dish. It would make a great meatless dinner or a very happy and healthy desk lunch. It’s filling, with wholly nutritious whole-grain farro (an ancient grain thought to have fueled the Roman legions), butternut squash and baby kale—the miniature superfood. Eat this for lunch and you’ll feel like you could conquer a city … or at least your next pitch to the client.

Bresaola Tonnato & Escarole Sandwich

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Add this sandwich to your go-to list of hearty open-faced sandwiches. Joining the ranks of the Tuna Melt, the Tartine and Smorrebrod (Denmark’s not-to-be-missed entry to the category), this beauty is so distinctively satisfying, you’ll forget you’re using a knife and fork. Pairing bresaola, (savory, salted, cured beef) with tonnato sauce is a modern-day twist on the Italian classic “vitello tonnato,” in which a tuna sauce is served over room temperature roasted veal. We top it with a spicy escarole salad dressed with lemon and hot chiles. This sandwich is so exceptional, it just might tide us over until the tomatoes come back again in summer.

Sweet Potato and Tapioca Soup – Chinese style

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Soup for dessert? Categorically, yes. In China, (and other Asian cultures) tapioca is used in both chilled and warm dessert soups. If you’ve never had it, this is a foolproof recipe and a great place to start. We like to serve this one warm, because it adds to the comfort and texture of the dish. Taro can be swapped for the sweet potato, but the color of the sweet potato is too vibrant to pass up.

Curried Red Kuri and Chestnut Soup

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Soup is great comfort food on a cold Winter day, sure, but only if “comfort” doesn’t too quickly become “boring.” Shake up your options with different, gorgeous ingredients. Find a red kuri squash at your farmers market or natural food store. The dense, sweet flesh evokes chestnut, so it makes sense to add more of the seasonal favorite. If you can’t find a red kuri, try a kabocha, butternut or acorn squash instead.

Best Ever Game Time Chili

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When you think fusion, you think of the merging of far-flung cuisines and concepts. But one of the best fusion dishes involves all American elements: Chili melds native North American cuisine, chuck-wagon fare, personal taste and pure circumstance. Loaded with chilies (a.k.a. flavor) and chunky beef, this can be served with cornbread, rice or the snackiest corn chips or tortillas you can find. If you’re a purist, lose the beans and substitute with more meat. Like most stews and braises, this dish develops deeper flavors as it sits, so it’s an ideal dish to make a day or two ahead.

Quinoa Salad with Prosciutto,
Fennel and Fried Eggs

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If something is missing from your salad, it’s probably a fried egg. There’s something about the oozing, warm, rich yolk enrobing all that lies beneath that makes everything better. Quinoa, packed with protein, is always a smart choice for power lunching. If packing this for the office, swap the fried egg for a soft-boiled one and you’re good to go. If the eggs are too much trouble, you can omit them. With the zesty lemon, pimenton and scallions, this salad will still extract you from tedious winter doldrums and have you counting the days to spring.

Southern Cubano Sandwich

This sandwich delivers some of the most revered flavors of American Southern traditions in the style of the world-famous pressed Cubano sandwich. Chow chow is the ultimate pickle in many parts of the South, and usually made at the end of the harvest with whatever’s left on the vines. And pimento cheese is practically a religious experience. Between two pieces of white bread, it’s a legitimate meal. Our Cubano unites these two iconic flavors, then teams them with our mortadella on a soft roll, pressed and toasted into a melty, ridiculously satisfying sandwich. Sandwich lovers, we’ve got your number.

Butter-Baked Salmon with Italian Salsa Verde and Roasted Potatoes

Butter. Who would argue that it’s not one of the world’s most perfect ingredients? It can turn even a meager slice of squishy white bread into an enjoyable snack. (C’mon, own up: You’ve done it). Well, here it does even more. It helps to get that brown, roasted color and flavor onto the potatoes. Oil alone doesn’t do as well; it needs the help. Then the butter bathes the salmon, already buttery in texture, as it bakes. A piquant green sauce pushes the boundary between perfection and sheer opulence.

Blend In – Green Smoothie

Blend-in the New Year. If you’re coming out of a week (or month) of blissful, vice-ridden indulgences and made hasty resolutions for a fresh new take on health and life, we can help. This Green Smoothie isn’t necessarily a passport to better health, but it’s a start, and a pretty delicious one. For a new lifestyle to take hold, it has to be convenient, and you’ve probably got most of this in your fridge. Drink up — and don’t be afraid to look yourself in the mirror today.

Slow Cooker Pork and Sauerkraut

You eat first with your eyes, but maybe make an exception with this dish. What it lacks in looks it makes up for in flavor, and it also delivers a side order of good luck, making it a New Year’s Day staple in German and Pennsylvania Dutch households. Pigs “root forward,” and the idea of that kind of progress is appealing when the calendar is so fresh. Cabbage in any form is a perfect complement to pork, and preserved kraut makes sense in cold months.