To celebrate chocolate in its most delectable guises, we asked some of the best cooks—Julia Child, James Beard, Maida Heatter, and more—to share their favorite chocolate recipes. Craig Claiborne, who was the New York Times restaurant critic and one of the top food journalists at the time, shared his remarkable chocolate mousse, which could be reliably whipped up without tremendous effort. In his original headnote for the recipe, Claiborne says, “once in a rare while, I discover a formula for a dish that seems the ultimate, the definitive, the ne plus ultra. I am convinced that the finest chocolate mousse creation ever whipped up in my kitchen is the one printed here. As if you didn’t know, mousse means foam in French. This mousse is the foamiest.” The key to this recipe is to use the very best semisweet dark chocolate you can find—we like Valrhona. The better the chocolate, the better the mousse.
Of the dozens of apple pie recipes published in the past 40 years, this is hands-down the best. It comes as no surprise that it’s the creative genius of pastry queen Rose Levy Beranbaum, who penned some of the most reliable baking books still on shelves today. This pie gets its intensely apple-y flavor from macerating the apples in sugar for an hour. The liquid drained from the apples is simmered with a hit of butter until a syrup forms. That rich syrup is mixed with the apples, piled into the crust, and baked until tender and delicious. The pie is excellent the day it’s made, but even better the next day. Interestingly, this pie was developed to be “slimmer, trimmer, but just as tasty” as its double-crusted counterpart. “bigger is not necessarily better, and neither is sweeter,” said Beranbaum. Not convinced? Try a slice. You’ll see.
We like the tart heat of Aleppo pepper in this gluten-free spin on shrimp creole. If you can’t find Aleppo pepper, a combination of 1/2 teaspoon of sweet paprika and 1/4 teaspoon of ground cayenne pepper makes a good substitute.
This shrimp creole can be prepared through Step 1 and refrigerated for 3 days. Gently reheat to a simmer before proceeding with the recipe.
In 1989, Binh Duong, a Vietnamese refugee turned chef, owned one of the buzziest Vietnamese restaurants in America, Truc Orient Express in Hartford, Connecticut. Jacques Pépin was a fan. So was F&W’s associate test kitchen director Marcia Kiesel, who wrote that Duong’s dishes had “a balance that appeals to the shyest or most cosmopolitan palate.” Exhibit A: His bánh xèo, crisp and lacy rice crêpes colored with turmeric and studded with caramelized onions, shrimp, pork, and bean sprouts. The Vietnamese name of the dish translates to “sizzling cake”—so called for the sizzling sound the batter makes when it hits the pan.
DirectionsMake the dipping sauce:
Make the pancakes:
Twenty years ago, way before Korean food was mega-trendy, Los Angeles food writers Linda Burum and Linda Merinoff were singing the praises of kalbi, the flanken-cut beef short ribs typical of Korean barbecue. The short ribs are marinated overnight in a simple mix of sake, soy, sugar, garlic, and sesame oil. Cooked quickly on a hot grill, the juicy meat is tender with a satisfying chew. They make a stunning main course served alongside kimchi, lettuce leaves, and steamed rice. For the best results, ask your butcher to slice three or four ribs across the bone into 1/2-inch-thick pieces, and plan to marinate the meat overnight. The marinade is also delicious with chicken or pork.