It’s no surprise that one of the most popular parts of the American Culinary Federation’s website is the recipe section. Our professional chefs know what they’re doing. Those in need of some cooking guidance know that sometimes, a blogger’s Pinterest post just isn’t going to cut it. (Plus, who has time to scroll through 800 words about the weekend?)
So we’ve gathered the top ten most popular recipes of all time from the ACF’s site in one place, in case you need something with a professional’s touch and the upvotes of thousands of cooks who came before you.
A great salad is a catalyst for the modern, health-conscious diner, Jonathon Sawyer, chef/owner of The Greenhouse Tavern in Cleveland told the National Culinary Review in 2014. The $7 Super Salad he introduced two years ago consists of kale, orange segments, adzuki beans, quinoa, millet and spelt, fresh blueberries, avocado, granola and this yuzu soy dressing.
As he worked on the classical Central Texas beef brisket recipe for Sizzle Summer 2016, then-Kendall College Culinary Arts student Nate Marsh was impressed with the simplicity of the rub — salt and pepper only. “That’s all you need to make a great crust,” he says. He also saw the importance of making sure the meat is at room temperature going into the smoker to ensure the best smoke penetration and even cooking.
Béarnaise — a classical component of veal Oscar — is Lisa Tower’s favorite sauce. Tower, a culinary student at Keiser University when this recipe appeared in Sizzle’s Summer 2015 issue, enjoys the marriage of flavors and its versatility with food. The sauce works well with starches, vegetables, meat and fish. She prefers béarnaise on the acidic side and stays away from the pudding texture common for the sauce by going easy on the fat. “You don’t want to add more than 6 oz. of oil per yolk or the product will break,” she says.
“An Escoffier recipe, named after Napoleon Bonaparte’s Polish mistress, the recipe set out by Escoffier is all of five lines,” Timmins says. “But in those five lines, he calls out a few of the fundamentals of classical cookery: poach, fumet, Mornay.”
Hot dogs, hamburgers and tacos were pioneers, but today, chefs travel far and wide to bring back from their adventures street foods such as kaya toast, pani puri and mofongo.
“When I travel, street food is all I eat,” says Anthony Lamas, chef/owner of Seviche in Louisville, Ky. “I travel to Latin American countries to get a taste of the authentic flavors. I want to see it and taste it, and then I give it my own twist when I bring it back to Louisville.”
Bouillabaisse is made with an assortment of fish and shellfish, onions, tomatoes, white wine, olive oil, garlic, saffron and herbs, according to the Food Lover’s Companion (Baron’s Educational Series, Inc., 2007). The dish’s name is derived from its cooking method, in which the broth comes to a boil and the seafood is added one variety at a time. In many classic versions the stew is ladled over thick slices of French bread.
Maureen Brandt and Jomae Walo, who both worked on the Royal Caribbean cruise ship Allure of the Seas when this recipe appeared in Sizzle’s Spring 2012 issue, chose to demonstrate Julia Child’s bouillabaisse with rouille because of its flavors and colors, and because it allowed them to bring fresh seafood on the boat to work with and enjoy — a rare treat.
Whether plating desserts like this one in a hotel restaurant or white-tablecloth temple of gastronomy or for a buffet, pastry chefs agree on a few basic tenets to make the most impact. According to Antonio Bachour, executive pastry chef at The St. Regis Bal Harbour Resort, Miami, the first is that dessert must exhibit the “wow” factor. This Lemon Curd, Microwave Pistachio Sponge Cake, Green Apple Sorbet and Greek Yogurt recipe obviously has it, according to our readers.
There’s something tempting about an attractive display of small plates offered at a favorite bar. Whether you sample one as an appetizer to the main meal or a half-dozen as dinner, the nice thing about bar food is there’s usually something for everyone. Like these Thai salad rolls with peanut dipping sauce that appeared in a 2016 issue of the National Culinary Review.
Black Forest cake remains a German tradition and a staple in many restaurants. When Casey Shiller, CEPC, CCE, AAC created a modern version of the classic cake with his former student Maisam Ghannam, they coated the cake in this mirror glaze — a stunning finisher that will turn heads when used on just about any dessert. “To create a modern plated dessert, you need to have a stunning main component,” Shiller says.
One day, Dustin Blackwell thought to make a little something different for employees to snack on at McKinney, Texas-based Hutchins BBQ, where he is co-owner/general manager. He came up with brisket/cream cheese-stuffed jalapeños rolled in thick-cut bacon and smoked. He decided to sell them as appetizers, and went from peddling 40 that weekend less than two years ago to about 2,000 per weekend.
The wild popularity of what are now called Texas Twinkies required hiring two employees to work 10 hours a day each, four days a week, just to prepare the peppers. Because of the labor intensity, the rolls are available Friday through Sunday only.
High-brow cuisine they aren’t, but Texas Twinkies are far and away the most popular recipe on acfchefs.org. It just goes to show that almost everyone can agree on brisket, cream cheese and bacon.