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Radishes With Crème Fraîche and Furikake

Radishes With Crème Fraîche and Furikake

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This appetizer is a play on radishes and butter with tangy, saucy crème fraîche and a sprinkle of spicy-umami furikake. You can find furikake, the Japanese seasoning and condiment, in many store-bought styles, but this streamlined homemade version has just five ingredients and is equally versatile on fish, steamed rice, popcorn, or roasted vegetables.


  • 1 toasted nori sheet, coarsely torn
  • 1 Tbsp. mild red pepper flakes (such as Aleppo-style, Maras, or gochugaru)
  • 1 Tbsp. toasted sesame seeds
  • 1 tsp. flaky sea salt, plus more
  • 1½ lb. mixed radishes (such as red, watermelon, and/or black), trimmed
  • ¾ cup (or more) crème fraîche

Recipe Preparation

  • Finely grind nori in spice mill; transfer to a small bowl and mix in red pepper flakes, sesame seeds, and 1 tsp. sea salt. Using a Microplane, finely grate zest of lemon half into bowl and use your fingers to work it into nori mixture (this will keep the zest from clumping). Set lemon half aside.

  • Cut radishes into a mix of ¼"-thick rounds and 1"-thick wedges, depending on their size (you just want pieces that are easy to pick up and eat).

  • To serve, spoon crème fraîche onto one side of a platter or large plate and sprinkle furikake over. Pile up radishes on the other side of the platter. Squeeze juice from reserved lemon half over radishes and sprinkle with a bit of sea salt.

Reviews SectionSimple and delicious. I haven't been able to find any watermelon radishes as of late, but regular reds do the trick. A lovely addition to any summer charcuterie set up.Chef_sadgalLos Angeles07/24/20AnonymousLos Angeles05/11/20This was really good. Our radishes were spicy and the creme fraiche really mellowed it. We didn't have furikake so used sukkah... I know totally different flavor profile but it was perfect and used what we had.AnonymousLos Angeles05/11/20Amazing! never thought to put furikake on anything other than asian based dishes, but this one is a go. I eat sliced radishes with fresh salted butter almost every damn day, can't wait to try this one out :)goodbyekissPortland OR04/15/20

Los Angeles: A Hawaiian Picnic At A-Frame

I couldn’t stop eating Roy Choi’s hurricane popcorn. I was over an hour into a late lunch at A-Frame in Culver City and a large mound of his corn pops, dusted with pineapple, bacon and a furikake mixture, was still in front of me, waiting to be conquered.

The dish is classic Choi—fun, inventive and well-executed food that would nicely compliment your Saturday morning wake-and-bake. (I’d just flown in from New York that morning, stopping over for the night in Los Angeles on my way to Australia, so I needed something to shake off the non-THC-induced fog.)

A-Frame is located in an old IHOP, the origins of the namesake design, and outfitted with a crazy expensive sound system that was turned up high and playing Broken Bells and The Shins basically on repeat. Choi is into James Mercer. James Mercer writes good brunching songs. Perfect.

After cracking a Ting the plates started to arrived. Choi, who I’ve met and interviewed a couple times, was in the house and kindly sent out some dishes for us to try. This is the A-Frame afternoon experience.

  • A plate of pickled vegetables (beets, carrots, radishes Asian pears) were short-cured, so still crisp. A creamy dipping sauce, with olive oil and umami-leaning spices, was a nice compliment.
  • The old beer can chicken is classic dude food, but rarely found on any serious restaurant menus. Choi slow cooks his bird for several hours in the kitchen’s rotisserie oven before frying. The half-bird we ordered, arriving with crunchy skin and supremely tender meat, was sided with daikon radish and a salsa verde dipping sauce. It’s like KFC by way of Echo Park.
  • Potato pancakes are done like the kimchi pancakes I cannot stay away from at Woorijip in NYC’s Koreatown—silver dollar-sized and fried to a sogginess (the chef’s intention). Scallop-cut potatoes are mixed with sesame seeds and scallions. A creamy kimchi dipping sauce furthers this Jewish/Korean hookup.
  • Pozole, a soup made with hominy, cilantro and lime, is considered a proven hangover-aid in its native Mexico. Choi’s can likely get the job done. We yanked the tender oxtail meat bobbing in the broth and wrapped it in small tortillas.
  • A crab cake sandwich, made in a classic style with Old Bay seasoning and tomatoes, was incredibly good, especially given the crusty five grain bread and lemongrass crème fraîche.

And back to that kettle corn, made with a complex (much tested) mix of Hawaiian flavors: dried pineapple, smoked bacon, shiso, cayenne and the furikake spice mixture (fish flakes, sesame, seaweed). As Choi describes it, the mixture is stocked at the AMC theaters in Honolulu and the locals can’t get enough of it. Now I can’t either.

Los Angeles Hot Spot

At the tender age of 25, chef Miles Thompson is already revolutionizing the Los Angeles dining scene with his intriguing spin on avant-garde comfort food. Originally a pop-up concept, Thompson&rsquos build-your-own-tasting-menu experience has matured into a sought-after restaurant offering progressive haute cuisine.

  • Hors d'Oeuvre
    • Crudités with Nori, Yogurt, and Buttermilk
    • Potato Chips with Smoked Whitefish, Persian Cucumbers, and Chives
    • Torpedo Onion Panisse with Meyer Lemon Mustard, Hibiscus Onions, and Cilantro
    • Potato Salad with Furikake Aïoli, Parmigiano-Reggiano, and Katsuobushi
    • White Americano Cocktails with CapRock Bitters and Blackberries
    • Kampachi with Palm Sugar Vinaigrette, Caper Salt, Bordelaise Cracker, Green Strawberries, and Cherry Tomatoes
    • Weingut Niklas Schiava 2011
    • Uni with Pistachio Panna Cotta, Pickled Grapes, Yuasa Shoyu, Spring Onions, and Radishes
    • La Marea Albariño 2011
    • Lamb Belly with Tsume, Fermented-and-Burnt Brassicas, Grenache Vinegar Marshmallow, and White Soy Watercress
    • Les Rocher des Violettes Cabernet Franc 2011
    • Pork Trotter Dashi with Egg Yolk, Farfallini, Lemon Zest, Hazelnuts, Kinome, and White Pepper
    • Cismontane Brewing Company Deciduous X.P.A.
    • Cucumber&ndashCondensed Milk Ice Cream with Quince Vinegar, Juniper Meringue, Chamomile Crème Fraîche, and Milk Chocolate&ndashChicory Feuillitine
    • Orchard Sour with CapRock Peach Brandy and Chamomile

    Tickets to events held at the James Beard House cover the cost of food and a unique dining experience. Dinners are prepared by culinary masters from all regions of the United States and around the world. All alcoholic beverages are provided on a complimentary basis and are not included in the ticket price.

    5 Saves

    2 Saves

    Japanese Pickles

    Pickles, known as tsukemono in Japanese, are a popular side dish, bar snack, and garnish. Traditionally, pickling was a technique implemented to preserve vegetables for weeks and months after picking. Nowadays Japanese pickles are an important part of Japanese cuisine.

    Here in the UK, the word 'pickles' evokes memories of tiny pickled onions and gherkins at cocktail parties, childhood sandwiches filled with cheese and pickle relish, or sides of pickled red cabbage for enjoying with sausages and mashed potatoes. All of these pickles are notorious for their strong and often very sour flavour. Japanese pickles, on the other hand, tend to boast a more subtle taste that varies in strength and distinction of flavour depending on the vegetable/s and the composition of the pickling solution used.

    Japan Centre is well stocked with Japanese pickled vegetables, and whether you prefer pickled cucumbers, pickled radishes or pickled garlic, flavoured with anything from miso to honey to matcha green tea, we are sure to have something your taste buds will thank us for. We also have a great collection of Japanese pickle recipes, where you can discover that the secrets to pickling cucumbers, radishes, ginger and other vegetables are not nearly as difficult to master as you may think.

    Importance of Tsukemono

    One important element in Japanese cuisine is harmony where the elements of dishes are counter-balanced against each other. Tsukemono help to balance rich or plain flavours by adding sharpness.

    Colour is also essential for dressing and elevating the plate, and colourful tsukemono pickles are very suited to that job as well.

    Major Varieties of Tsukemono

    A tart pickle normally made from mooli radish, this is commonly used with curries or to accompany side dishes such as onigiri rice balls. Named after the Seven Lucky Gods in Japanese mythology, these pickled radishes are usually bright red or yellow, and deliver a fantastic bitey texture.

    Possibly the most ubiquitous of all Japanese pickles, pickled ginger is usually found accompanying a tray of lunchtime sushi, along with a sachet of soy sauce and a dab of wasabi paste. Light and delicate at first bite, these paper-thin pink slices of ginger soon warm up on the tongue. But they are nowhere near as fiery as when in their raw incarnation.

    These Japanese pickled plums are often attributed to curing hangovers, no doubt due to the intense salty/sour kick they deliver. Should you find yourself ever feeling delicate, one of these pickled plums popped into the mouth will bring you to your senses in no time.

    A pickle made from daikon mooli radish, takuan is one of the most traditional pickles, typically eaten at the end of a meal to aid digestion. Usually yellow in colour, these pickled radishes has a distinctive half-moon shape when sliced, and is a great accompaniment to any savoury Japanese meal.

    Asazuke refers to a pickling method where fresh vegetables are bathed in a vinegar solution for around half an hour. Requiring a shorter fermentation time, this style of pickling allows the vegetables to retain more of their fresh taste and lessen some of the pungency of other pickle varieties. Although any vegetable could be pickled this way, we suggest pickling cucumbers, daikon, aubergines, or Chinese cabbage (hakusai). Crisp and delicious, this is a flavourful way to serve vegetables.

    Made by fermenting vegetables in rice bran, this pickling technique results in pickles that vary in taste from pungent, to sweet, to sour. The process of pickling in rice bran allows nukazuke pickles to remain relatively crisp. Nukazuke pickles are said to help with digestion, and although vegetables like daikon, cabbage, aubergine, and cucumber are most typically pickled in rice bran, people even sometimes pickle meat and fish with this technique.

    Pickle Makers

    Mori has specialised in pickled Japanese products since 1962. Mori are unique among pickle manufacturers in that they frequently utilise a range of different pickling agents and flavourings, including miso, sansho pepper, and matcha. Whether you like your pickles sour or mild, you're sure to find a flavour you love with Mori.


    ShinShin is one of Japan’s most accomplished producers of pickled condiments. Their products include varieties of pickled daikon radish, garlic, and cucumber. Bursting with flavour and freshness, you can expect to have an enjoyable meal with a side dish of ShinShin pickles by your side.

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    Cool and unpretentious, Etch is a casual and intimate space offering fine dining, with two weekly changing tasting menus. The interior features dark blue walls, bold orange leather seats, trendy neon lighting and clothless tables, while staff look the part, dressed in tweed waistcoats, ankle swingers and pin rolls, and brogues. Chef Steven Edwards works with local producers from the surrounding Sussex countryside to pick the freshest seasonal ingredients for their intricate dishes – expect the likes of Sussex Trenchmore beef with charred Hispi cabbage, locally caught scallops with squid crackers, and cherries filled with crème fraîche.

    The Salt Room

    A modern British restaurant on Brighton’s seafront focussed on Josper-grilled fish and meat, and local, sustainable produce. The restaurant has a contemporary, refined look, with a mixture of whitewashed, bare-brick and wood-slatted walls, bistro-style tables, curvy dark-wood Scandi-esque seats and banquettes – in summer, the terrace looking out across the sea is the place to be. The fish main courses are the outstanding reason to come to The Salt Room, including the likes of lemon sole on the bone, with purple-sprouting broccoli, wild garlic, miniature capers and red grapes and tandoori monkfish with roasted cauliflower.

    The Little Fish Market

    With just 20 covers, one-man-band chef Duncan Ray’s diminutive restaurant certainly lives up to its name. But, what it lacks in space, it more than makes up for in quality, which should come as no surprise considering the fact that Duncan’s CV includes a stint at The Fat Duck and time spent working under Marco Pierre White and John Burton-Race. Cooking single-handedly, this might sound like a modest operation but the £69 no-choice five-course tasting menu displays plenty of ambition and talent, with dishes such as monkfish, mussel curry and apple followed by Gigha halibut, celeriac, seaweed potato and Hispi cabbage.

    Cin Cin

    Sit at the counter to watch staff carve smoked speck, Tuscan finocchiona speckled with fragrant fennel seeds, and slice prosecco-smoked pecorino cheese. Seasonal small plates rotate, or c hoose from the bar’s pasta dishes, including black squid-ink pappardelle with little pops of capers, and sturdy gnocchi with Tuscan sausage, crunchy courgette cubes and a light tomato sauce. Italian cocktails are top notch – start with a sbagliato aperitivo, a sparkling prosecco-based negroni drink, and finish with a refreshing sgroppino (lemon sorbet, vodka and prosecco for the perfect cocktail/dessert combo) to set you up for a night on the town.

    The Set

    Colourful art, sackcloth cushions and a large breakfast bar liven up brunch at The Set, as do the spicy bloody marys. Watch chefs prepare seasonal dishes in the open kitchen – heritage tomatoes with salty seaweed pesto, super-crisp pork on squidgy potato waffles, and eggs covered with Marmite hollandaise. The evening menu’s puddings are spot on: cereal milk, milk ice cream, homemade spelt sugar puffs is a comforting bowl that takes you back to childhood. The three-course set menu is £39 and there are a few surprises thrown in (chicken nuggets and ketchup, a bag of poshed-up sweets to take home), making it good value.


    A casual all-day restaurant headed by 64 Degrees chef Michael Bremner on Brighton’s newly restored promenade, serving healthy, modern British plates. Set within the promenade’s newly restored Victorian arches, with several folding doors opening out towards the beach, Murmur has been designed with summertime al fresco dining in mind. The à la carte menu includes the likes of spiced coconut fish soup with toasted garlic focaccia to start, and a main of baked cod, sake butter sauce, cucumber and red dulse while the strong cocktail list features a grapefruit aperitif with yuzu tonic .

    Artist Residence

    Stay at this quirky boutique hotel overlooking the iconic West Pier: each room has its own unique style, plus there’s a cocktail bar hidden in the basement serving up bespoke drinks. Rooms at Artist Residence (where you can tuck into a locally sourced full English at the funky breakfast bar, or enjoy a brew in bed, with sea views) feature bespoke artwork and are decked out with Robert’s radios, mini Smeg fridges and Tunnock’s caramel bars for nostalgic snacking. The hotel also houses The Set restaurant and The Cocktail Shack, so you don’t need to leave the building to enjoy some of Brighton’s best food and drink.

    Flint House, Brighton: restaurant review

    A buzzy, modern small-plates restaurant and cocktail bar in the heart of Brighton’s revamped Lanes.

    Who’s cooking?

    Flint House is the local Gingerman Group’s fifth opening (there are three others in Brighton and Hove, one on the South Downs) led by chef Ben McKellar and his wife and business partner Pamela McKellar.

    What’s the vibe?

    Set within its own purpose-built two-storey ‘house’ (the exterior a mixture of bare bricks, cobblestones and a ‘living’ wall the interior featuring dark industrial-style fittings), Flint House has a buzzy vibe, with funky, upbeat music, attentive, cheery staff and prompt service – this is small-plates dining, so the steady flow of dishes is appreciated.

    Portions are ideal for two to share, making this a good date-night option – ask for a stool at the pass, where busy waiting staff and chefs weave and mingle, if you really want to get close to the action.

    What’s the food like?

    The small-plates menu breaks down your options into raw/cured, fried/toast, meats, fish and vegetables – there’s a lot that’s tempting on the menu (while deciding, get the bread with umami-rich, soft-as-whipped-cream miso seaweed butter), so it’s a case of keep ordering two or three at a time until you’ve only got space left for dessert.

    Stand-out dishes included a bream ceviche with sharp lime juice offset by sweet pops of fat golden raisins, chilli slivers and micro coriander crunchy, juicy, peppery radishes that were simply dressed with crème fraîche and seasoned with a sprinkling of intensely savoury, salty furikake (a Japanese seasoning) and braised squid rings (an instant hit of the sea) lifted by rich tomatoes, the vinegar tang of black olives and the deep, lingering heat of ’nduja. Perhaps avoid the rather oily deep-fried pig’s cheek croquettes that came with a slightly cloying burnt apple purée.

    For dessert, opt for the chocolate and peanut butter parfait sandwich (like a Reese’s peanut butter cup in joyous pudding form) with crunchy little jewels of peanut brittle and a fluffy white chocolate mousse alongside.

    And the drinks?

    Go for the refreshing Flint House Fizz, a mixture of sharp rhubarb liqueur and cordial, a tangy dash of red wine vinegar and topped up with sparkling wine, with a sweet, boozy maraschino cherry waiting at the bottom of the glass. The wine menu includes a healthy selection of local Sussex vintages, including a number of Ridgeview sparkling wines and a crisp, pale-white Albourne Estate Bacchus.

    Flint House doesn’t do reservations, so you may have to wait a while on a weekend evening, especially if you’re after a seat at the pass. But no matter when there’s a sleek bar upstairs with an outside terrace, mixing up cocktails the likes of Quartz, a pink, foamy combo of kaffir lime leaf, Aperol, elderflower, lime, sherbet-like egg white and soda and Copper, a subtle yet potent mix of calvados, sour apple and miso. If you’re feeling peckish while you wait, order in some stuffed-to-bursting, sweet and tangy blue-cheese-stuffed dates wrapped in salty pancetta – you’ll want seconds.

    Brown Rice Onigiri or, How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Make My Lunch

    I love cooking. That’s probably quite apparent, what with the food blog and all and it’s even more apparent when you consider that I cook for a living, too.

    So why, then, can I never be bothered to make myself lunch? In the middle of the day, if it takes longer than about two minutes to prepare, it isn’t happening. This from a girl who spends entire days preparing totally-from-scratch meals for others, and loves it dearly.

    Most often, my lunch ends up being a bowl of brown rice and edamame, two things I make sure to always have on hand. If, by some misfortune, there is no cooked brown rice in the fridge, I consider myself ess-oh-el. Much hand-wringing ensues, followed by apples and cereal, or the rare sighting of a fried egg.

    I’ve gotten into the bad habit of only bringing basically a Lärabar and an apple to work, which is simple, delicious, and portable, but it’s not really enough to keep my energy up during a day of cooking. This explains why I sometimes feel exhausted at the end of the day, with only enough left in me to haul myself home and onto the couch. Add beer or wine, and internet. Stir. Serve chilled.

    Trying to come up with a way to reformat my go-to lunch into a work-friendly snack, I had the idea long ago to make onigiri, the famous Japanese comfort food that was designed to be a traveling snack. I knew it was, at its most basic, just a ball of rice, but I had assumed it was made of sushi rice (i.e., seasoned with salt, sugar, and vinegar), so I dismissed the thought. I hadn’t ever had luck with making good brown sushi rice further, neither I nor my hypoglycemic tendencies wanted to resort to white rice, or any kind of rice with sugar.

    But in recently looking up recipes for furikake to jazz up my plain rice and edamame, I found I had been wrong. Onigiri is, in fact, never made with sushi rice, but rather with plain rice. The sky opened, and angels sang my dream of onigiri was reborn.

    There are ten million different ways to make onigiri, depending on how the rice is seasoned, whether or not it’s filled, what sort of filling, how it’s shaped, and so on. There is but one requirement: short grain rice is mandatory. Long grain rice will never stick together properly, and medium grain is iffy at best. Do not use jasmine, do not use basmati, do not use Uncle Ben’s. Do not use Minute (ever, not just for onigiri). Do not pass GO. Do not collect $200.

    short grain on top, long grain on bottom. see the difference? use the one on top.

    I decided to use the following method to make my onigiri (learned from the delightful Just Hungry) not only because it works particularly well with brown rice, which will always have a harder time sticking together than white rice, but also because it automatically packages the onigiri in the process. It’s ideal for my particular amalgam of laziness and snobbishness.

    This is about 2 cups of cooked short grain brown rice. It will make four smallish onigiri. I want to keep them small, so I can eat one easily and quickly while sautéing or whisking or what-have-you. There is no sitting down or stopping to eat at work.

    did i mention this is short grain rice? use short grain rice.

    It gets mixed with about 1 cup of frozen shelled edamame, which was thawed in the microwave and pulsed a few times in a food processor.

    To season, about 2 tablespoons of black sesame and nori furikake, more or less. This mixture has enough salt in it to adequately season the rice, which can taste a little bland if too little is used.

    Line four small bowls with plastic wrap, or line one bowl four times. Whatever works. Try to press it in evenly, with no big wrinkles.

    Either spray or drizzle in water, just enough to moisten the plastic without pooling. A spray bottle works wonders here this is a cheap one I picked up god-knows-where for no more than a couple of dollars. It’s useful to have around, especially when the cats misbehave.

    A light misting of moisture keeps the rice from sticking to the plastic. I haven’t tried omitting this step maybe it’s unnecessary, but I don’t mind doing it and my rice hasn’t stuck yet.

    Divide the rice evenly between the four bowls.

    Gather up the plastic wrap around the rice.

    Press the rice together and squeeze out as much air as possible. Don’t crush it, but compress it well. Twist the plastic to hold it all together.

    This is basically the end of the process (thanks again to Just Hungry for the technique), but if you want the traditional triangle shape, now’s the time to make it: just squeeze the ball into a triangle shape. These wrapped-up rice balls can be eaten immediately, or after a few hours at room temperature, or refrigerated for a few days. They also freeze beautifully, which is what mine are doing now.

    On my way to work in the morning, I grab a couple and leave them at room temperature. By the time I want to eat them, they’re appropriately thawed. If you’re ambitious, wrap a little nori strip around the bottom, just before serving so it doesn’t get too soft. Mine already have nori in them from the furikake, so I only did this for looks. I do not give my onigiri little nori pants at work.

    Baked Brown Rice for Onigiri
    Adapted from Alton Brown
    Makes about 4 cups cooked rice

    This method has never, ever, ever failed me. It turns out perfect brown rice, every single time. It works for any type of brown rice, but for onigiri, be sure to use short grain rice. Rice labeled as “sushi rice” is ideal. If in doubt, um, look at the grains of rice. If they’re short and round, then you’re good to go. If they’re long and thin, then don’t bother it won’t be starchy enough to hold together in a ball.

    If you like, you can add some seasoning other than salt before cooking the rice, such as bay leaf, cumin, sesame seeds, cloves, turmeric, star anise, dried herbs, furikake (recipe below), or even a garlic clove. It will season the rice deeply and aromatically.

    2 1/2 cups water
    1 1/2 cups short grain brown rice
    1 teaspoon kosher salt

    1. Turn oven to 375º F. No need to fully preheat, just turn it on. Bring the water to a boil, using whatever method is preferable (microwave, stovetop, whatever me, I use a tea kettle).

    2. While water heats, measure out the rice into a baking dish of suitable size. (Mr. Brown recommends an 8 inch square glass dish, which I happen to have, so that’s what I use. I’m sure ceramic is fine, but maybe not metal, which will heat less evenly and probably crisp the outside edges of the rice.) Add the salt. If your dish doesn’t have a tight-fitting cover, pull out a piece of aluminum foil and fit it to the dish (to make covering it later go quickly and easily), then set the foil aside.

    3. When the water boils, pour it over the rice and salt. Give it a little stir, and cover tightly with the foil. (See? If you hadn’t fitted the foil to the dish already, you’d be handling that over a dish full of boiling water. I care about your hands.) Immediately place the dish in the oven, and bake at 375º F for 1 hour.

    4. Remove the dish from the oven. I like to let it stand for about 10 minutes before uncovering and fluffing the rice with a fork, both to let the dish cool and to give the rice a little extra steaming time. Cooked rice can be stored in the fridge or freezer.

    Black Sesame and Nori Furikake (Rice Seasoning)
    Adapted from The Kitchn
    Makes about 1/2 cup, which will last forever

    Furikake is really anything you sprinkle over plain rice to season it. It’s usually fairly potent, so a little goes a long way. The nori here doesn’t give a seaweed flavor so much as an umami richness with the salt, it has a faint brininess that I particularly love with black sesame. Nori can be found in the “international” section of many grocery stores, but Asian markets will have a wider selection. I found some pre-toasted nori that was already cut into strips, for exactly such an application as this.

    1/4 cup black sesame seeds
    1 teaspoon kosher salt
    1 cup nori (toasted), cut into small strips

    1. Place the sesame seeds and salt in a spice grinder, or mortar and pestle. Pulse or grind a few times until the sesame seeds are lightly ground, with some remaining whole. At this point, you can add the nori and grind it all together, or simply mix the ground sesame-salt in with the strips. Store in an airtight container in the freezer, or in the fridge if you’ll use it all within a few days.

    7 of 10

    Julia Sullivan&mdashHenrietta Red, Nashville

    &ldquoA lot of my cooks ask me how I come up with new dishes. It has to be intuitive&mdash&lsquoThis tastes good with that,&rsquo or &lsquoI really like this texture.&rsquo There&rsquos no wrong way to approach something.&rdquo

    There are foods that whisper, and foods that murmur, and then there are foods that howl mightily into a bullhorn. In the latter category, let&rsquos welcome chef Julia Sullivan&rsquos anchovy butter. It is creamy, salty, and infused with a perfectly excessive volume of pulverized anchovy. It&rsquos strappy and self-assured, intense and even unsubtle in the most satisfying way&mdasha tidy shorthand for exactly what makes her a Best New Chef this year. Sullivan put in time with BNC alum Thomas Keller at Per Se, and now she&rsquos doing her own thing at Henrietta Red back in her hometown of Nashville. Keller liked his caviar spooned over oysters, but Sullivan prefers her roe mixed up with sour cream and spring onions. That&rsquos how she serves it here, like a rococo French onion dip. Oysters show up elsewhere: raw by the pristine piece, roasted with green curry, or stewed with cream and sunchoke in a decadent pan roast. Gulf seafood dominates the menu, but it&rsquos Sullivan&rsquos supercharged pantry that makes it all so memorable: that butter, yes, but also the cured lemons and preserved tomato that light up tender rings of squid and fried polenta and the olives smoked in the belly of a wood-burning hearth and scattered around chunky links of lamb sausage. At Henrietta Red, Sullivan shows her hand as a chef with a feeling for flavors that are big, uncompromising, and entirely her own.

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