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30 Flavorful Recipes from Chef and TV Host Andrew Zimmern

The chef and teacher has built his career around sharing recipes and food stories. Try some of the best Andrew Zimmern recipes from our archives, including his famous creamy lemon pasta and Baltimore-style crab cakes.

<p>Cara Cormack</p>

Cara Cormack

While F&W contributor Andrew Zimmern may be most well-known for his work as the creator and host of award-winning television series like the Bizarre Foods franchise and What's Eating America, he is also an accomplished chef who helped to open and run a dozen restaurants in the Twin Cites area before turning to a career in media. From family recipes like crispy potato latkes to dishes inspired by his travels around the world and time in restaurant kitchens, these Andrew Zimmern recipes are ones we love.

Corn, Crab, and Shrimp Chowder

<p>Cara Cormack</p>

Cara Cormack

A simple stock made with corn cobs and shrimp shells is the secret to this seafood chowder's incomparable depth. Starchy potatoes and plenty of butter and heavy cream give the soup a luscious texture and flavor.

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Cold-Poached Salmon with Cumin Yogurt Sauce

<p>Julia Hartbeck</p>

Julia Hartbeck

Zimmern developed this simple and delicious recipe for a cooking class to teach poaching, a basic cooking skill. He simmers a fillet of salmon in water, wine, and aromatics, then lets it sit on a platter to finish cooking. A tangy, herbaceous yogurt sauce comes together quickly while the salmon cooks.

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Crispy Salt and Pepper Soft Shell Crabs

<p>Matt Taylor-Gross / Food Styling by Barrett Washburne</p>

Matt Taylor-Gross / Food Styling by Barrett Washburne

Tender soft shell crabs are coated in a delicate batter that's seasoned simply with salt, pepper, and sugar, then fried until crispy. A flavorful, umami-packed dipping sauce is the perfect complement to the fried crab.

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Cioppino with Mussels

<p>Cara Cormack</p>

Cara Cormack

For this classic Italian-American stew, seafood simmers in a tomato-based broth spiked with white wine. Zimmern packs his version with mussels, shrimp, and chunks of red snapper.

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Hannukah Brisket

<p>Antonis Achilleos / Food Styling by Ruth Blackburn / Prop Styling by Claire Spollen</p>

Antonis Achilleos / Food Styling by Ruth Blackburn / Prop Styling by Claire Spollen

Rubbed with an aromatic blend of thyme, sweet paprika, and sage, this holiday-worthy brisket centerpiece is browned on the stove, then cooked low and slow in the oven alongside onions and fennel bulbs. A rich braising liquid keeps the meat from drying out.

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Cold Cucumber Soup with Yogurt and Dill

<p>Cara Cormack</p>

Cara Cormack

This refreshing cucumber soup comes together in the blender and requires zero cooking. Shallots and fresh herbs perfume the pureed cucumbers while Greek yogurt, lemon juice, and olive oil give the soup a tangy flavor and silky texture.

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Creamy Lemon Pasta

Victor Protasio
Victor Protasio

Zimmern was inspired to create this recipe by a dish at L'Antica Trattoria in Sorrento, Italy, where lemon juice is tossed with just-cooked pasta until absorbed. Here, fettuccine is served with a bright lemon cream sauce and garnished with Meyer lemon supremes for an extra pop of acidity.

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Baltimore-Style Crab Cakes

© Greg DuPree
© Greg DuPree

"This is the best crab cake recipe you will ever find," says Zimmern. "If you don't overmix, and don't pack your mounds too tightly, you will experience pure, unadulterated crab cake heaven." The recipe comes from his best friend's wife, and includes minimal filler ingredients to put the focus on the buttery crab meat.

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Sea Bass Piccata With Fried Capers and Leeks

©Â Fredrika Stjärne
©Â Fredrika Stjärne

Zimmern developed this recipe after his son, Noah, declared the sea bass from their local Italian restaurant to be the best dish he had ever eaten. Fresh sea bass is seared in a skillet, then served with a lemony leek mixture, garlicky arugula, and fried capers for a briny pop.

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Rigatoni with Asparagus-Pistachio Pesto

© Stephanie Meyer
© Stephanie Meyer

This springtime pasta came from the menu of Café Un Deux Trois, an acclaimed French restaurant in Minneapolis where Zimmern was executive chef in the 1990s. Pistachios, pine nuts, bacon, and fresh herbs and vegetables add textural and flavor contrast to the restaurant-worthy dish.

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Killer Potato Latkes

<p>© STEPHANIE MEYER</p>

© STEPHANIE MEYER

"These Jewish potato pancakes are so good that posting the recipe alone is a mitzvah (blessing) of the highest order," says Zimmern, who serves these for Hannukah. The traditional latkes include matzo meal in the batter, yielding extra-crispy pancakes.

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Picadillo Vainica

Photo © Madeleine Hill
Photo © Madeleine Hill

This easy ground beef and asparagus stir-fry was inspired by a trip to Costa Rica, where Zimmern tried the traditional dish at a local restaurant. "The beef and green beans play well together, and the easy elegance of this dish will quite simply blow your mind," he says.

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Roasted Pepper Pissaladière

ZImmern says this version of the Provençal tart is one of his all-time great recipes. He first developed it when he was 15 as an homage to a version he'd shared with his dad in France, and has tweaked it throughout the years. A puff pastry crust is topped with slow-cooked onions, roasted red pepper strips, olives, and anchovies for this stunning appetizer.

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Steamed Chicken with Scallions and Ginger

© Kate N.G. Sommers
© Kate N.G. Sommers

Inspired by Hainanese chicken, marinaded whole chickens slowly steam in an aromatic sake and ginger liquid, yielding flavorful, perfectly cooked meat. The carved chicken pieces are served with a delectable scallion-laced dipping sauce.

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Mussels Fra Diavalo

Photo © Madeleine Hill
Photo © Madeleine Hill

For this simple yet irresistible dish, mussels steam in a spicy wine-infused tomato sauce. Serve with crusty bread as an appetizer, or toss with pasta to turn it into a meal.

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Jerk Chicken with Scallion-Pepper Sauce

Christopher Testani
Christopher Testani

While this Caribbean dish is traditionally grilled over pimento wood, Zimmern uses a charcoal grill. Two chickens are spatchcocked so they cook evenly and coated in a fiery, vinegar-packed marinade before grilling.

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Saffron Chicken Tagine

John Kernick
John Kernick

While this North African dish classically cooks in a vessel of the same name, Zimmern's recipe for the deeply-flavored stew is designed for a large cast-iron casserole. Skin-on chicken pieces marinate in a spice-perfumed mixture overnight, then brown in the casserole and simmer with the reserved marinade, chicken broth, carrots, fennel, peas, and green olives.

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Welsh Rarebit

Christopher Testani
Christopher Testani

These classic melted-cheese toasts are a great drinking snack. Using crumbly cheddar in the beer-spiked sauce adds a slightly grainy texture and nutty flavor.

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Passover Matzo Ball Soup

© Stephanie Meyer
© Stephanie Meyer

Zimmern has said he serves this soup as a first course at his Passover Seder, but it's delicious any time of year. He begged his mom's friend for the recipe and swears by the texture of the matzo balls, which are light enough to float but dense enough to be good "sinkers."

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Pasta Carbonara

© Madeleine Hill
© Madeleine Hill

For this classic Italian pasta dish, Zimmern adds chewy rigatoni to a creamy sauce made of guanciale and its rendered fat, eggs, and Pecorino Romano. Adding the egg mixture gradually to the pasta keeps the sauce from turning into scrambled eggs.

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Pork and Asparagus with Chile Garlic Sauce

© Kate N.G. Sommers
© Kate N.G. Sommers

This flavorful dish comes together in just 30 minutes. Zimmern stir-fries ginger, garlic, sugar, dried chiles, and scallions, then adds boneless pork shoulder and asparagus. A cornstarch slurry and toban jgang, a fermented chile-garlic sauce, are the secret to the dish's velvety texture and powerful umami flavor.

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Bread Pudding with Irish Whiskey

© Stephanie Meyer
© Stephanie Meyer

This irresistible bread pudding is soaked in a mixture of milk, eggs, cream, almonds, warm spices, and Irish-whiskey soaked raisins. The reserved soaking whiskey is stirred into a custardy sauce.

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Pasta with Braised Pork, Red Wine, and Pancetta

© Stephanie Meyer
© Stephanie Meyer

Zimmern developed this hearty, warming pasta dish for classes he taught at Cooks of St. Crocus in St. Paul, Minnesota, where he met his wife. Zimmern suggests making this dish with a tubular pasta so the sauce has lots of nooks and crannies to cling to.

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Boiled Pork and Cabbage Dumplings

© Stephanie Meyer
© Stephanie Meyer

These dumplings are easy to make and can be frozen for up to two weeks. Zimmern fills a simple homemade dough with a flavorful mixture of ground pork and steamed cabbage before boiling.

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Skewered Shrimp and Ham with Apple Jelly

© Stephanie Meyer
© Stephanie Meyer

This easy party appetizer hits multiple flavor notes: sweet, salty, and spicy. Shrimp marinated in hot sauce and fresh herbs are wrapped in ham, then glazed with an apple jelly and grilled.

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Apple-Raisin Crumb Cake

© Stephanie Meyer
© Stephanie Meyer

Caramelized apples are folded into the batter for this lightly spiced crumb cake. It's topped with a buttery pecan streusel before baking.

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Hunter's Sausage-and-Sauerkraut Stew

Greg DuPree
Greg DuPree

Zimmern uses lightly smoked bacon, skinless chicken thighs, and kielbasa in his take on Eastern European bigos. Roasted and pureed bell peppers add depth to the tomatoey stew, while tangy sauerkraut cuts through the richness of the meat.

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Strawberry-Champagne Granita

© Kate N.G. Sommers
© Kate N.G. Sommers

For this simple and refreshing treat, Zimmern blends fresh strawberries with sparkling wine, sugar, and fresh lemon juice before freezing overnight. It's the perfect make-ahead dessert for a summer party.

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The Zimmern Family's Chopped Chicken Liver

© Stephanie Meyer
© Stephanie Meyer

Zimmern says his grandmother made this dish for every holiday. Onions and chicken livers are cooked in chicken fat and pulsed in a food processor with chopped eggs, parsley, and more chicken fat.

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Grilled Beef Rolls with Nuoc Cham Dipping Sauce

© Petrina Tinslay
© Petrina Tinslay

These Vietnamese beef rolls are traditionally wrapped in betel leaves, which come from the betel pepper that is cultivated throughout Southeast Asia. For this version, Zimmern wraps ground sirloin in briny grape leaves and serves the rolls with nuoc cham, a classic umami-forward Vietnamese dipping sauce.

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