Monday April 21, 2014SUBSCRIBE
New Jersey Monthly Magazine

Feature Stories

Fattoush

"Having an affinity for chickpeas and an Israeli cultural background, I love this riff on a traditional Mediterranean salad,” says Robyn Reiss, chef de cuisine of A Toute Heure, a Cranford BYO esteemed for its exciting New American food. “It’s based on a late-night snack that executive chef Kara Decker and I often enjoy at the end of a long service."

Flan

“Flan is incredibly easy to prepare, yet extremely enjoyable,” says Jim Muir, chef of Órale Mexican Kitchen in Jersey City. “The one caveat is don’t overcook—it will become hard and unpleasant. I always have flan with a dollop of whipped cream and some dulce de leche.”

Dinosaurio (Marinated Short Ribs)

“Being from Argentina, where we grill short ribs for four hours, I was surprised that in this country short ribs are usually just braised,” says James Muir, executive chef of Órale Mexican Kitchen in Jersey City. “I often find that restaurants serve ribs overcooked. Roasting in the oven will give you the same tender texture I achieve on the grill.”

Guacamole

“Guacamole, a staple of Mexican cuisine, is the perfect starter for any party,” says James Muir, chef of Órale Mexican Kitchen in Jersey City. “Mastering this recipe will make you a cocktail party idol.”

Queso Flameado Camionero

"Melted cheese dishes are a traditional Mexican snack," says James Muir, chef of Órale Mexican Kitchen in Jersey City. "There are many variations, incorporating accent ingredients. We offer four versions, including this one, with potatoes and chorizo, which makes a simple yet satisfying meal."

Precision Cocktails

“I find cocktails made at home almost never taste as good as at a bar or restaurant,” says Bill Zucosky, executive chef of Strip House in Livingston. “Why? People don’t measure every single ingredient precisely. That’s the trick, the only trick. Here are two of our most popular. Don’t guesstimate! Measure accurately.”

Caramelized Vidalia Onion and Sweet Potato Latkes

"With so many farms around us, it was easy to gather the ingredients for this dish honoring Thanksgiving and Hanukkah," says Timothy Fischer, executive chef of Crystal Springs Resort in Hardyston. "I like to use very few ingredients and let them speak for themselves, as autumn speaks to us. If you miss this opportunity to combine the two holidays, you won't get another chance for 78,000 years."

Double Crack Bacon

“Everyone loves bacon, but the grail of bacon is the kind you make yourself,” says Matthew Ridgway, chef/co-owner of The Pass in Rosemont. “You have to build a kind of contraption, and it takes seven days, but the results are worth it.”

Chicken Bonne Mamman

“This simple, rustic dish can be made at home,” says Matthew Ridgway, chef/co-owner of The Pass in Rosemont. “It was one of the first dishes I learned to make when started at the Fountain Room at the Four Seasons in Philadelphia 17-odd years ago.”

Can't-Resist Potatoes

“What goes best with steak?” asks Bill Zucosky, executive chef of Strip House, the steak house in Livingston’s Westminster Hotel. “Spuds are number one! Here are two recipes that start with baked potatoes, then go in different directions. Both are hugely popular at Strip House, so it comes down to your preference: fried and crispy, or rich and cheesy?”

Crispy Chicken Livers

“I love these crisp chicken livers,” says Matthew Ridgway, chef of The Pass in Rosemont, “because it is like fried chicken—but when made with offal it becomes an interesting take on a French classic.”

Grill The Perfect Steak

“Throwing a steak on the grill seems like the easiest thing in the world,” says Bill Zucosky, executive chef of Strip House, the fine steak house in the Westminster Hotel in Livingston. “Actually, what’s easy is doing it wrong and ruining a great piece of meat. Here’s how to grill the perfect steak every time.”

Brown Butter Cake with Buttermilk Ice Cream

"Browned butter gives this cake its special nutty sweetness," says Ben Nerenhausen, executive chef of Mistral in Princeton. "It's a customer favorite. It's easy to make and it lends itself to seasonal variations. The buttermilk ice cream makes a nice variant from classic vanilla."