Chef John's 13 Greatest Mashup Recipes
If you like to eat, you're familiar with fusion food. Humans of earth are constantly exploring, incorporating new flavors and ingredients into existing food traditions...and building something new. It's the history of cooking, the history of cuisine. So if you're interested in tasting the future, or just love Chef John's inventive recipes, here are some of his best fusion recipes. With these recipes, Chef John is combining ingredients and techniques from more than one culinary tradition or he's mashing together two familiar but unrelated dishes to arrive at something new and exciting. Take a look!
Exotic Chicken and Rice Casserole
Middle Eastern, North African, and South Asian culinary traditions influenced this savory, super-flavorful chicken dish — all presented in the familiar casserole form that Americans love. "This was inspired by many different recipes from many different places--which is why I chose this recipe name," says Chef John. "Sprinkle this with red pepper flakes, if desired."
Chef John's Monte Cristo Benedict
"Imagine the best French toast you've ever had, combined with the best ham and cheese sandwich you've ever had, topped with perfectly poached eggs," says Chef John. Now that you've imagined it, you can make it so, with a little help from Chef John's recipe. "You don't need any Hollandaise because the poached egg yolks are the sauce."
Slow Cooker Red Curry Beef Pot Roast
This comfort food recipe mashes up the flavors of Southeast Asia with the American Midwest. It's a slow cooker pot roast that features a flavor base of red curry paste, cumin, coconut milk, fish sauce, and coriander. To finish, you’ll simmer potatoes and greens in the sauce. Gsalex2 rates it 5 stars and says: "This meal was an awesome mix of various palate pleasing flavors. This tops the list of any flavorful dishes I've ever made."
Coconut Milk Corned Beef and Cabbage
Here Chef John gives traditional corned beef and cabbage a Thai treatment with coconut milk, hot curry paste, and fish sauce. "I was craving corned beef and cabbage recently, but the thought of doing the same old New England boiled dinner had me yawning. I tried to think of some new, interesting braising liquid, and that's when I remembered I've never had something stewed in coconut milk that I didn't like. The coconut milk gave the broth a subtle sweetness and richness that I was really happy with."
Baked Philly Cheesesteak Sliders
This recipe connects simple slider technology to traditional cheesesteak technique. As Chef John explains, "A proper Philly cheesesteak is hard to make at home, as you need a professional meat slicer and a very hot flat top grill. With this baked slider method, your average home cook can achieve something very close to the original. Garnish with chives."
Corned Beef Kimchi Fried Rice
And here's something deliciously different to do with leftover corned beef. "There's nothing quite as deeply and profoundly flavorful as caramelizing fermented foods, which is why you've got to try this kimchi fried rice and top it with 2 poached or fried eggs; the runny yolk will mix into and moisten the rice, taking this to a whole other level," says Chef John.
Chef John's Chicken French
This recipe is not French. Chef John says it's actually from the Rochester area of New York, where it's been a standard dish on virtually every old-school Italian-American restaurant's menu. Adding to the fun, the recipe calls for a generous splash of dry sherry from Spain. "Chicken French has everything I love in a recipe," says Chef John. "It's delicious and easy, frugal, yet fancy, and everyone loves it. Better yet, it has a vague, confusing history and completely preposterous name."
Greek Chicken and Potato Bowl
Chef John's Peanut Curry Chicken
This recipe represents "a simple composite of every peanut curry I've ever come across," says Chef John. "I didn't use coconut milk, as I feel that's a little too sweet and rich for the peanut butter. I loved how this came out, and I can't imagine it being any richer."
Chicago-Inspired Italian Beef Sandwich
For this sandwich, you'll cook beef in chicken broth and a little vinegar with sliced garlic, red pepper flakes, and herbs, serving your tender beef on crusty rolls topped with chopped pickled vegetables (giardiniera) and the garlicky broth on the side. "I tried to combine the traditional Italian beef sandwich with the French dip sandwich with a little nod to the pulled pork sandwich," says Chef John. "Instead of using thinly sliced roast beef, I used stew beef, with apologies to my friends from Chicago."
Samosadilla (Samosa Quesadilla)
Here's another East meets West mashup that's fueled by convenience. "While it's true a perfectly made, expertly fried, and quickly served samosa is superior to this version, that can be a very rare combination of events," says Chef John. "By comparison, this quesadilla approach is almost impossible to mess up, and if you use enough oil in your pan, you should be able to achieve a beautifully browned, crispy crust that rivals something out of a deep fryer."
Corned Beef and Cabbage Shepherd's Pie
Here's another mashup of two Chef John recipes. "This is a combination of my favorite corned beef and cabbage recipe and my favorite shepherd's pie recipe," says Chef John. "It involves a few extra steps when compared to your traditional boiled beef dinner, but the payoff at the end is well worth the extra effort. By layering the ingredients in a casserole dish, each serving has the perfect proportions of beef, cabbage, carrots, and potatoes."
Chef John's City Chicken
Here's something you don't see every day: A pork dish masquerading as chicken. Essentially, it’s a mock chicken drumstick, with a backstory. The recipe is made with chopped pork tenderloin (or pork shoulder), seasoned and breaded, and then formed into the rough shape of a chicken drumstick. Why the subterfuge? "This fascinating pork-on-a-stick recipe is American cuisine in a nutshell," says Chef John. "City cooks, who couldn't get chicken, would take scraps from much cheaper, at the time, pork and build something similar to what you see here. Why this represents the true spirit of American food is that long after chicken became cheap and plentiful, people kept making and eating this anyway. Serve with honey mustard."