ready in about 50 minutes; serves 8
You might need to buy:
  • egg yolk
  • Tbs. very cold water
  • vanilla extract
  • unbleached all-purpose flour
  • sugar
  • salt

You can melt chocolate in a double boiler or in a microwave. If using a double boiler, be sure the water in the bottom pan does not touch the base of the top pan and that it never boils. Any moisture, including steam, that comes in contact with the chocolate could cause it to seize into a lumpy mass. (To save seized chocolate, whisk in vegetable oil or solid vegetable shortening, 1 tsp. at a time, until smooth.) If microwaving the chocolate, check it every 30 seconds to avoid scorching. When the chocolate is shiny and soft, remove it and stir until smooth.

ready in about 35 minutes; serves 12
You might need to buy:
  • Tbs. light corn syrup
  • raspberry jam
  • raspberries

The origin of the madeleine, the shell-shaped sponge cake eaten as a cookie, is disputed, although most food scholars believe it originated in the Lorraine city of Commercy. It traveled first to the court of Louis XV at Versailles and then on to Paris, gaining converts at each stop. Today, the p√Ętissiers of Commercy are still considered Frances premier makers of madeleines, and boxes of madeleines de Commercy are sold throughout the country. You will need a madeleine pan, made of tinned steel and with a dozen molds, to bake these little cakes.

ready in about 20 minutes; serves 12
You might need to buy:
  • eggs
  • granulated sugar
  • salt
  • vanilla extract
  • almond extract
  • grated lemon zest
  • and cooled

A wonderful sign of spring, asparagus is at its best between March and May. Choose spears with bright green stalks and purple-tinted tips. If you do not plan to cook the asparagus immediately, stand the spears upright in a pan filled with 1 inch of water and refrigerate.

ready in about 10 minutes; serves 8
You might need to buy:
  • asparagus
  • extra-virgin olive oil
  • Zest of 1 lemon

Be sure to use a rubber spatula when stirring in the cheese mixture. A whisk will break up the cheese, causing the fondue to turn bluish-gray.

ready in about 15 minutes; serves 6
You might need to buy:
  • cornstarch
  • dry white wine
  • minced fresh thyme
  • heavy cream
  • cayenne pepper
  • cracked black pepper
Acidic ingredients, such as citrus juice, tomatoes, vinegar, wine and many vegetables, will react with certain metals, including aluminum or cast iron. Although the reaction is harmless, it may turn a mixture gray or leave behind a metallic aftertaste. The same reaction occurs when eggs are cooked in aluminum or cast-iron pans. Therefore, recipes that include these ingredients, such as lemon curd and pastry cream, call for the use of nonaluminum pans. Stainless-steel and enamel-lined pans are excellent choices.
ready in about an hour; serves 8
You might need to buy:
  • sugar
  • Tbs. finely grated lemon zest
  • Sweetened whipped cream for piping

The classic cocktail known as a Greyhound combines vodka and grapefruit juice. Weve added a unique twist by stirring in fresh pineapple juice as well. Preparing your own fresh juice ensures an exceptionally delicious drink.

ready in about 5 minutes; serves 1
You might need to buy:
  • Ice cubes as needed
  • fl. oz. vodka
  • fl. oz. fresh pineapple juice
  • fl. oz. fresh pink grapefruit juice
  • half-moon grapefruit slices

Filled with fresh ricotta cheese and topped with a variety of berries, these crepes are perfect for a weekend brunch.

ready in about 10 minutes; serves 4
You might need to buy:
  • milk
  • egg
  • Tbs. all-purpose flour
  • salt
  • canola oil
  • orange zest or 1 tsp. lemon zest
  • blueberries
  • raspberries
  • fresh lemon juice
  • whole-milk ricotta cheese
  • unsalted butter
  • Confectioners' sugar for dusting

Love potato pancakes but hate the tedious steps of peeling, shredding, and squeezing excess moisture from the potatoes? The Cook’s Country team discovered that frozen shredded hash-brown potatoes are a surprisingly effective shortcut. Don’t want to fry potato pancakes on the stovetop? A preheated oiled baking sheet delivers almost as much crispness, with far less mess.

ready in about 35 minutes; serves 4
You might need to buy:
  • vegetable oil
  • frozen shredded hash-brown potatoes
  • unsalted butter
  • large egg
  • cornstarch
  • salt
  • pepper

The cooking time will vary depending on the size of the potatoes. Large potatoes (about 2 1/2 inches in diameter will require the full 18 minutes; potatoes that are less than 1 inch in diameter may be done in just 8 minutes.

ready in about 25 minutes; serves 2
You might need to buy:
  • unsalted butter
  • Table salt and ground black pepper