Start the year off right!
Fork Bites of Recipes
Photography by Christopher Testani
| Credit: Photography by Christopher Testani

The start of the year is the perfect time to shake things up in the kitchen, so Rach and a few of our favorite chefs reveal what they want to learn to cook better in 2017, and why you should, too.

Lighter Than Air Tempura
Credit: Christopher Testani

Dorie Greenspan, author of Dorie's Cookies: "This is the year to start frying fearlessly—and often. The recipe I'm going to master is tempura. It's easy and quick; the ingredients are already in my pantry. Plus, you can tempuraize just about anything!"

Gluten-Free Layer Cake with Jam & Pistachios
Credit: Photography by Christopher Testani

Marcela Valladolid, cohost of The Kitchen on Food Network and author of Mexican Made Easy: "Like so many kids these days, my seventh-grade son's best friend is gluten-sensitive. I'm constantly looking for baked goods I can take to school for celebrations so all the kids can feel included." 

Moroccan Sheet Pan Chicken
Credit: Photography by Christopher Testani

Janet Taylor McCracken, test kitchen director, Rachael Ray Every Day: "In the magazine, we often tell readers to use spices while they're still fresh. I'm going to follow that advice this year by using them up in my own blends. This one is great sprinkled on roasted vegetables, as seasoning in a stew or stirred into rice." 

Classic French Omelet
Credit: Photography by Christopher Testani

J. Kenji Lopez-Alt, author of The Food Lab: Better Home Cooking Through Science:"French omelets are all about technique, because they have so few ingredients. It's really about learning how to roll it right. Once you do, they come together so easily. I get better at it every time."

Try J. Kenji's Classic French Omelet

From-Scratch Red Wine Vinegar
Credit: Photography by Christopher Testani

Scott Conant, chef-partner, the soon-to-open Mora Italian in Phoenix and judge on Chopped on Food Network: "I'm trying to be better about not letting things go to waste this year. If I have leftover wine, I just add it to some basic pantry vinegar and let it sit in a dark place for a few weeks. It's so simple! There's something very heartfelt about having vinegar that you made in your pantry."

Try Scott's Vinegar-Braised Lamb Shanks with From-Scratch Red Wine Vinegar

Homemade Yogurt
Credit: Photography by Christopher Testani

Edward Lee, chef-owner of 610 Magnolia and MilkWood in Louisville, KY, and chef of Succotash in National Harbor, MD: "When I realized how easy it is to make yogurt, I started doing it at home instead of buying it. I love that my three-and-a-half-year-old daughter can help me. The longer you let it ferment, the more tart flavor it picks up, and the longer you strain it, the thicker it will be."

Crispy Biscuits with Sausage Grape Jelly Dijon
Credit: Photography by Christopher Testani

Vivian Howard, chef-owner of Chef & the Farmer and Boiler Room in Kinston, NC, author of Deep Run Roots and host of PBS's A Chef's Life: "I'm making it my mission to let people know there's more to a biscuit than the fluffy, bready midsection. This year, I'm going to shed some light on eastern North Carolina's biscuit science—crispy tops and bottoms and modest middles."

Tuna Poke
Credit: Photography by Christopher Testani

Ken Oringer, chef and co-owner of Little Donkey in Cambridge, MA: "I'm psyched that poke is getting so big now. It's great to make at home because tuna is the least intimidating fish to eat raw. It's easy, it's super nutritious and anything that I can 'cook' that just involves throwing everything in a bowl makes me very happy."

Try Ken's Tuna Poke

Thai Style Beef Jerky
Credit: Photography by Christopher Testani

Dale Talde, chef-partner of Talde in Brooklyn, NY, Jersey City, NJ, and Miami: "With people reducing carbs, jerky is an amazing snack option. Cook it for a few hours in a low oven. The technique tenderizes tougher, leaner cuts of meat and intensifies their flavor. In this recipe, I've added even more flavor with a spicy-sweet Thai-inspired dipping sauce."

Curry Cauliflower Couscous with Lentils & Arugula
Credit: Photography by Christopher Testani

Rachael Ray, host of the Rachael Ray show: "I'm going to push myself as a cook into new disciplines this year. One goal: to focus on cooking more vegetarian, vegan and Paleo food. This cauliflower couscous is my current fave—it's proof that there's more to life than meat!"