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Pure elegance: Think dinner party cooking can't be quick and easy? Think again.

Recipes / Wolfgang Puck /

If you've ever hung out in a restaurant kitchen, or been seated close enough to one to witness the chefs in action, you've probably heard the head chef repeatedly calling out the word "Fire!" Rather than sounding any kind of alarm, the command actually means that the time has come for a particular dish to be cooked so that it will be ready to ...Read more

Bake my day: No table should be without these oven-made breadsticks

Recipes / Wolfgang Puck /

After five decades of cooking professionally, one of the most important secrets I've learned for making people feel a meal is memorable -- whether it is eaten in a restaurant or at home -- is to add special little touches. Garnish a pasta dish with fresh herbs, quickly saute fresh fruit compote to serve over ice cream or alongside cake, or offer...Read more

Taste of Italy: Try my easy pasta recipe for a satisfying autumnal meal

Recipes / Wolfgang Puck /

Having grown up in a town in southern Austria that was less than an hour's drive from the Italian border, I sometimes feel like I'm almost as Italian as I am Austrian. That may certainly help explain why I love to include pizzas and pastas on the menus in many of my restaurants, including my flagship Spago and even two Italian-style restaurants ...Read more

When is a schnitzel not a Wiener schnitzel? When you make it Holstein-style!

Recipes / Wolfgang Puck /

Food lovers talk a lot about "secret menus" at their favorite restaurants (usually fast-food places) that clue people in on all sorts of special variations they order -- only if they know about them. But even at fine restaurants, like my original Spago in Beverly Hills, there are secret items that anyone with the inside knowledge can ask for. ...Read more

Fall into apple season: Welcome autumn with my recipe for individual apple pies

Recipes / Wolfgang Puck /

We're just days away from the beginning of autumn on the calendar. (Even though the warm days of Indian summer that arrive with it and often stay through October can sometimes make us feel like the season hasn't changed yet.) Still, I don't usually rely on the calendar or the weather to tell me what season it is. One stroll through the farmers' ...Read more

Food fusion: Asian flavors and Western cooking techniques join forces

Recipes / Wolfgang Puck /

In 1983, after opening my restaurant Chinois on Main in Santa Monica, Calif., I was proud to play a part in the culinary revolution known as Asian fusion. That term refers to combining traditional Asian ingredients, recipes, and cooking techniques with those of other cuisines, particularly western ones. At Chinois, our Asian fusion naturally ...Read more

Back to the table: A sweet, tangy stir-fry is easy on the budget and brings everyone together

Recipes / Wolfgang Puck /

All across the country, people are at a transition point in their dinnertime habits. We've finished summer's easygoing days, when the evening meal might mean grilled burgers and hot dogs or a quick bite out before a movie or maybe the children heading off in different directions for dinner at friends' homes. It sometimes seemed as if the family ...Read more

Chill out: Celebrate the last blast of summer eating homemade ice cream

Recipes / Wolfgang Puck /

Even though autumn is three weeks away, most Americans think of Labor Day weekend as the end of summer. Family vacations are over, children are starting school, and grills are being readied for one more grand meal cooked outdoors.

There's just one problem. Summer doesn't seem ready to go. In many parts of the country, we're only ...Read more

Full steam ahead: The 'dog days' of summer are a perfect time to start thinking about fall fare

Recipes / Wolfgang Puck /

We're now in the middle of a part of summertime known as "the dog days." Although that term began in ancient Rome to signify the time when Sirius, also known as the Dog Star, rose in the night sky, most people today associate it with weather so hot and sultry that dogs and humans alike lie down panting, unable to move.

But autumn is now only a ...Read more

Berry well: Enjoy the final days of strawberry season making this classic shortcake recipe

Recipes / Wolfgang Puck /

We professional chefs can sometimes feel the pressure of having to come up with new, delicious dishes that will get people talking and make them excited about returning to our restaurants. After all, if we served just the same old familiar recipes, their attention might turn elsewhere.

But sometimes, as the saying goes, the oldies are the ...Read more

Building blocks: A 'high-rise' approach to a summertime favorite

Recipes / Wolfgang Puck /

As I often like to say, we eat with our eyes first. Food that looks beautiful without being too fussy starts your mouth watering in anticipation. And, by contrast, if good ingredients have been well prepared only to be presented in a way that looks unexciting, you may get less pleasure from the whole experience.

That explains why I've been ...Read more

Midsummer mania: It's time for the eggplant's turn in the spotlight

Recipes / Wolfgang Puck /

Among summertime's signature vegetables, eggplant sometimes seems like it doesn't get its fair share of attention. Tomatoes are the seasonal superstars, filling farmers' market stalls with all their many-shaped, multicolored variety. Zucchini can dominate through sheer numbers, especially if you grow them yourself. And then there's sweet corn, ...Read more

In the raw: Try a dish that highlights fresh fish at its finest

Recipes / Wolfgang Puck /

In my early years as a chef, one of the most basic, and best, lessons I learned was to taste ingredients raw. Experiencing even a little bit of food in its uncooked state is a perfect way to get a sense of its flavors and textures, so you'll always keep in mind the inherent qualities you want to highlight in the finished dish.

Sometimes, taking...Read more

Summer's bounty: When tomatoes ripen past their prime, try drying them in the oven

Recipes / Wolfgang Puck /

Yes, I have to admit it: I played a part in the great sun-dried tomato craze of the 1980s. Guests at my original Spago location above Hollywood's Sunset Strip could enjoy sun-dried tomatoes on pizzas, in pastas and salads, and as part of the sauces or garnishes for grilled or sauteed foods. From their gemlike, deep-red color to their chewy ...Read more

Easy does it: There's no sufferin' over this simple succotash recipe

Recipes / Wolfgang Puck /

Cooking with the seasons has become a big catchphrase these days. And it's easy to understand why. When you plan meals around what's freshest in the farmers' market, you almost always ensure that the food you put on your table will have the best flavor and texture while also offering the most nutritional benefits -- and all at the greatest ...Read more

Go nuts! Cashew 'cream' sauce is the highlight of this vegan dish

Recipes / Wolfgang Puck /

Most people today understand what it means to be vegetarian, avoiding meats, poultry or seafood in their diets. In fact, the ever-rising popularity of farmers' markets makes it possible for more and more food lovers to consider themselves at least part-time vegetarians, enjoying the pleasures and health benefits of meals without animal proteins ...Read more

From sea to shining sea: Set off culinary fireworks with this fresh, flavorful seafood recipe

Recipes / Wolfgang Puck /

I haven't seen definitive statistics on the matter, but I'd be willing to bet that Independence Day sees more people across America cooking and eating outdoors than any other day of the year. It's a time to enjoy summer in all its glory with family and friends; and food in the open air seems even better when it's bookended first ...Read more

Pizza party: Welcome summer with a new approach to barbecue

Recipes / Wolfgang Puck /

Summer is now officially here, and everyone seems to be craving barbecue. Of course, that word can mean different things to different people, from the slowly smoked meat of the American South or Midwest to the Caribbean- and Mexican-influenced spicy barbacoa of the Southwest to the quickly grilled foods many people think of as barbecue in ...Read more

 

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