We challenged a few of our favorite chefs to make five recipes from WD's archives easier and tastier. Mission accomplished! From a hearty stew to a loaded dessert, you can't go wrong with whipping up one of these transformed dishes.
A best-selling cookbook author, Marcus appears frequently on Chopped and is the head chef and owner of Red Rooster in New York City and London.
This Great Depression dish—also known as hobo stew—was originally a mix of meat, potatoes, and whatever other ingredients could be found. Marcus spiced things up by adding poblano peppers, adobo sauce, and fresh ginger. Letting the meat simmer in a slow cooker means no need to babysit a pot for hours.
Sara is the host of the PBS show Sara's Weeknight Meals, currently in its sixth season, and the author of multiple books, including Home Cooking 101.
In the years after World War II, chefs in big cities began putting this simple yet special buttery chicken dish on their menus to attract the recent influx of Russian and Ukrainian immigrants. Sara marinated the chicken to make it extra tender and flavorful, then revamped the flavors by combining the butter with Gorgonzola cheese and pairing the chicken with a creamy buffalo dipping sauce and a crunchy celery salad.
A reporter for the New York Times food section, Melissa writes the popular column "A Good Appetite" and has written nearly 40 cookbooks.
Thanks to Julia Child, French-influenced food was at its height in the 1960s. This cross between grilled cheese and French toast gained popularity after it debuted at Disneyland. Melissa upgraded from ham and Swiss by using prosciutto, mozzarella, and a lemon-spiked fig jam. Then, instead of dipping it in batter and frying it, she brushed it and baked it for a lighter taste.
Carla is a Top Chef alum, cookbook author, cohost of The Chew, and owner of the restaurant Carla Hall's Southern Kitchen in Brooklyn.
Originally made with canned cream of mushroom soup and topped with potato chips, this casserole was king in the 1950s, when food was all about convenience. Carla's vegetarian version has all the flavor and nostalgia of the classic, but with a homemade cream sauce and new ingredients like seaweed crisps.
Founder and CEO of the Milk Bar bakeries in New York City, where she creates innovative sweets, Christina is also a judge on MasterChef and MasterChef Junior.
Originally made with just wafer cookies and whipped cream, this no-bake cake was created before electric refrigeration became mainstream. Christina's version has fun and unexpected pantry ingredients like the ones found in her signature compost cookies: potato chips, pretzels, graham crackers, oats, and even coffee.