Anchovies don't get enough respect. I like to incorporate them in my sauce to add depth with a little bit of saltiness. They're great to work with in Italian dishes.
Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives
2. Arborio Rice
I grind Arborio rice and use it instead of breadcrumbs on most of my fried foods. It has a higher sugar content than wheat, so it caramelizes faster, which helps prevent fish or delicate vegetables from overcooking.
Easy Entertaining with Michael Chiarello
3. Balsamic Vinegar
Balsamic aged for seven years or more adds tang to sauces, makes a wonderful steak sauce (with equal parts maple syrup) and rocks with chocolate and berry desserts.
Nadia G's Bitchin' Kitchen
4. Bay Leaves
A single leaf can add rich flavor to soups and stews. For more intensity, I toast and grind fresh bay leaves to add to cucumber-yogurt sauce.
Kefi and FISHTAG, New York City
5. Brown Butter
I baste meat with brown butter — it insulates the meat and gives it a nutty flavor.
Juni, New York City
6. Cane Syrup
I use this purest form of sweetness whenever possible. It's incredible in coffee drinks.
Cotton Row and Pane e Vino Pizzeria, Huntsville, AL
I shave celery into parsley salad and serve it with anything fried to cut the grease.
Michael's Genuine Food & Drink, Miami
8. Chili-Lime Rub
I rub a whole chicken with chili-lime powder and roast it. It's one of my favorite chicken recipes.
Mexican Made Easy
Try using cilantro instead of basil in pesto, then toss with pasta or drizzle over grilled fish.
It's common in both sweet and savory Mexican foods. We use it to add depth to braised meats, like short ribs, and to add complexity to stews, mole and other sauces.
Rosa Mexicano, multiple locations
50 Secret Ingredients
Great chefs tell Food Network Magazine what makes their dishes pop.