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Olive Oil–Poached Shrimp with Cucumber and Radish Salad

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DIFFICULTY: 2 of 5 (5 being hardest)

This dish works best as an hors d’oeuvre, but it could be a light lunch too. It’s incredibly beautiful to look at and it can be made ahead in stages, so it’s perfect for entertaining. The shrimp are essentially confited, which in French cooking means that they are poached and temporarily preserved in fat. Here the fat is

Sage-Battered Mushrooms with Cheddar Funduta

DIFFICULTY: 3 of 5 (5 being hardest)

This dish just works. Oyster mushrooms are great fried because they stay nice and firm. To keep the mushrooms from getting greasy, I use a thin, tempura-style batter that fries up fast and super-crisp. For something creamy, the fonduta acts like a classier version of ranch dip (it’s always good to have something creamy with fried

Oven Roasted Chicken

DIFFICULTY: 1 of 5 (5 being hardest)

A roasted chicken can be incredibly satisfying when it’s done the right way. It can be equally disappointing when it’s done poorly. My goal is to make sure the bird, come hell or high water, stays juicy and flavorful. So I separate the skin from the meat and slather it with flavored butter. I like

Closed-on-Sunday Chicken Sandwich

DIFFICULTY: 2 of 5 (5 being hardest)

The fast-food chain Chick-fil-A is based here in Atlanta. They’re closed on Sunday for religious reasons. I respect that. But why is it that I crave a Chick-fil-A chicken sandwich almost exclusively on Sundays? Like most food companies, they guard their secret recipe. But it’s a breaded fried chicken breast on a bun with pickles. I figured I could come up with something pretty close.

Grilled Pork Steak with KC-Style Barbecue Sauce

DIFFICULTY: 1 of 5 (5 being hardest)

Pork steak is basically a bisected shoulder blade that still has the bones. It has a ton of different muscle groups, and they’re all connected by little pieces of fat and connective tissue. The fat and connective tissue melt as the steak cooks, so a pork steak is essentially self-basting. It’s one of the most idiot-proof cuts you could ever throw over a fire.