A perfect poutine is a trifecta of the best of its three ingredients—fries with a crisp exterior and soft interior, fresh and soft squeaky cheese curds, and a beefy brown gravy that's just flavorful enough without overwhelming the fries or curds. Getting each piece of the puzzle together for an ultimate version like this takes some time, but once complete, the reward is so good you'll go gaga even if you're totally sober.
These fried chive cakes are insanely chewy inside with a crisp, golden shell. Flavored with garlicky Chinese chives, they're a snack that, once you've tried them, you won't be able to live without.
We're not going to lie: Potato gnocchi can be a little tricky and require some practice to get right. But if you know a few basic rules, it's really not that hard to make ones that are light and tender, not leaden and gummy. This recipe walks you through those steps, starting with choosing a gnocchi-friendly potato and cooking it the right way; then we leave it up to you whether to add egg yolk or not (yolks make a dough that's easier to work with, but also firmer); and finally we add just enough flour to make a cohesive dough while being careful not to overwork it to the point of gumminess. The result are lovely little gnocchi in a sage-butter sauce that will prove that good gnocchi aren't out of reach.
Long before ships brought native crops from the Americas to Europe, Italy was a land without red sauce, corn polenta, or potato gnocchi. But even without the potato, gnocchi still existed, such as in the form of the classic gnocchi alla Romana, this custardy oven-baked version made with semolina, egg, cheese, and butter. You could say these are the OG: the original gnocchi.
Japanese-style gyoza are related to their Chinese counterparts but tend to be more subtle in flavor, stuffed with juicy pork and cabbage lightly seasoned with garlic, scallions, ginger, white pepper, salt, and sugar. The key to cooking them is a three-stage crisp-steam-crisp process.
Gan bian si ji—Sichuan-style dry-fried green beans with chilies and pickles—are one of the best and most mistranslated vegetable dishes in the world. Today that dish and I are on a road trip back to authenticity, and we're going to be driving that minibus over some uncharted territory.
This easy bean appetizer takes only five minutes to prepare, but it does rely on some high quality ingredients for optimal flavor. Tender, creamy giant lima beans are worth the splurge when you're coating them with your best extra-virgin olive oil, sherry vinegar, and a pinch of smoked paprika. Celery, shallots, and garlic round out the flavor profile and add crunchy texture.
Every year, families celebrate the Chinese Lunar New Year with an impressive feast called Reunion Dinner, and among the many plates on the table is abalone in a rich sauce with dried oysters, shiitakes, and an algae called black moss. Inspired by that dish, this recipe is a vegetarian take with easier-to-find ingredients, like tofu and both fresh and dried mushrooms. Even without the seafood it still delivers on the richness and flavor of the original.
Studded with Chinese sausage, Chinese bacon, and shiitake mushrooms, this steamed (and then, optionally, pan-fried) daikon radish-based snack is a classic at both the Chinese New Year, and also on dim sum tables year-round.
Caponata, the Sicilian dish of eggplant and other vegetables sautéed in a sweet and sour sauce can be shockingly flavorful the first time you try it. And I'm not using the word shockingly lightly here. Packed with extra-virgin olive oil, raisins, pine nuts, herbs, vinegar, sugar, and a slew of other ingredients, it's the kind of dish you have to recalibrate your whole mouth for in order to really appreciate it. But once that recalibration is done, man oh man is it great stuff.
Tamales are delicious, but forming them is a small pain in the culo. This baked tamale pie, know as a cazuela de tamal in Mexico, is the solution: all the joys of tamales with not nearly as much work.
Ful mudammas, stewed fava beans, is a staple dish all over the Levant. Some versions are mild mannered and comforting. This one, loaded with olive oil, lemon, garlic, cumin, and a kick of chili powder, is anything but. Serve it as a bean stew or mash up the beans and use it as a high octane dip.
Hummus is fine, but the real power legume of the Middle East is the fava bean. Ful mudammas is the Egyptian breakfast dish of favas stewed with tahini and seasoned with garlic, cumin, and lemon. This creamy, comforting version is much like what you'll find around the streets of Cairo.
Mixing mayonnaise into chicken salad is the most common way to add moisture, but it's not the only way. Vinaigrette works well too, like this tangy Korean-inspired rendition with kimchi, pine nuts, and lots of fresh ginger.
Breaded, melty cheese is something that crosses cultures—from deep-fried mozzarella sticks at state fairs to queso frito in Latin America. Inspired by those foods, we've taken squares of cheese are breaded and "fried" them in the waffle iron for just a minute, until their outsides gturnet golden brown and crunchy and their insides become perfectly melted and gooey.
Sweet potatoes, carrots, and acorn squash form a natural partnership--their flavors are complementary, but with enough variation to promise something a little more interesting than your typical root vegetable latke. Freshly grated ginger delivers a bright heat that cuts right through the vegetable base, which is rounded out with smoky paprika, a pinch of cumin, and some floral coriander.
Zucchini make a great latke base, but they also have a very delicate flavor that can easily be overwhelmed. Chopped basil and lemon zest help that light, grassy quality shine, while pine nuts and Parmesan cheese give it a pesto-inspired twist. These latkes are especially tender and refreshingly light.
These beet, potato, and onion latkes are studded with walnuts and garlic. A spoonful of horseradish sour cream cuts through the sweetness for a well-balanced finish.
In Cortney Burns and Nicholaus Balla's new cookbook, Bar Tartine: Techniques and Recipes, they share the recipe for their Smoked Potatoes with Ramp Mayonnaise. This dish has been obsessed over and blogged about, and has a permanent place on their ever-changing menu. There's a lot going on with these spuds: The potatoes themselves are roasted and smoked, then smashed and deep-fried. They're tossed with herbs and a mushroom-infused black garlic vinaigrette—earthy, sweet, and tangy. The crowning glory is the bright and rich mayonnaise. Individually, each component is brilliant; together, they make you think you've died and gone to umami heaven.
The Louisiana meal of red beans and rice is typically made with pork: smoked, salted, roasted, or pickled. Those all work well in this recipe (a pound of sliced and browned andouille sausage would be our choice), but the beans also shine with smoked turkey.