26 Andrew Zimmern Recipes You'll Wish You Knew About Sooner

While Andrew Zimmern is an award-winning chef, restaurateur, and cookbook author, most of us know him best as a TV personality and will forever think of him as that man who traveled the world eating such unfamiliar fare as muskrat, moose nose, and equine rectum. Even though "Bizarre Foods" was undoubtedly the show that made him famous, Zimmern to this day is a bit uncomfortable with that name. His mission was never to gross out or shock viewers, but rather to show us that the world is full of foodstuffs we've never dreamed of and that many of them are surprisingly delicious.

When it comes to the recipes Zimmern shares on his website, these really run the gamut. Some are Zimmern family classics, while others are traditional — and not-so-traditional — recipes from around the globe. Here we've selected 25 of his very best creations, dishes you'll surely want to add to your repertoire. In the true Zimmern spirit, though, we've also included an additional bonus recipe that those of us who are slightly less adventurous eaters might not be ready for quite yet.

1. One-pot sticky chicken wings

One of Andrew Zimmern's most popular recipes is a Malaysian-inspired spin on everyone's favorite finger food: the chicken wing. Be sure to have plenty of napkins on hand, though, since Zimmern himself describes these saucy wings as "sticky and fatty" (though in the nicest possible way).

You start these one-pot sticky chicken wings by dry-frying naked flats and drumettes in a hot skillet before adding a little flavoring in the form of fresh minced ginger, dried red chiles, a couple of star anise pods, and a cinnamon stick. Once the spices are toasty and fragrant, you'll add soy sauce, sake, oyster sauce, mirin, sugar, and water to make the sauce, then simmer until the wings are cooked through and glazed in sweet-spicy deliciousness. Top them off with a scattering of snipped scallions — maybe even some cilantro or sesame seeds — and they'll be as photogenic as they are yummy.

2. Rum bread pudding with boozy fruit and rum sauce

Bread pudding can be pretty basic, even verging on bland, if it's made the standard way, but leave it to Andrew Zimmern to dress it up and make it the kind of thing you'd be proud to serve to even your foodiest of friends. This recipe not only enhances the pudding with the addition of dried fruits but also makes creative use of spices. The real selling point, however, is hinted at by the use of the word "boozy" — that's no exaggeration, since half a pint of the hard stuff goes into the pudding, while another half-pint is used in the sauce.

To make this rum bread pudding with boozy fruit and rum sauce, you'll need to start a day in advance by soaking raisins, apricots, and prunes or figs in rum. The next day, you'll whisk together a trio of dairy products –- half and half, milk, and cream -– with white and brown sugar, eggs, and melted butter, then flavor that mix with cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg,  pepper, and vanilla. Stir in chunks of thick, sturdy bread (Zimmern says he favors a mix of challah and country white boule) along with the boozy fruit, then bake until the pudding is a lovely golden brown. Top off this tipsy treat with a sauce made from brown sugar, butter, cream, vanilla, and did we mention rum?

3. Frozen mint-basil lemonade

While Andrew Zimmern isn't averse to boozing up even the most basic of dessert recipes, he hasn't forgotten the teetotalers. One of his most delicious drink recipes is for the perfect summertime mocktail, one that incorporates two different types of fresh herbs.

This frozen mint-basil lemonade pretty much tells you the entire ingredient list right there in the name: you'll be using mint leaves, basil leaves, lemons, sugar, and water in both its liquid and ice cube forms. You'll begin by warming the sugar in the water to make simple syrup, a staple in a great many cocktails (and mocktails). You'll then combine the cooled syrup with all of the other ingredients. Even though Zimmern doesn't suggest any special garnishes for this drink, a slice of lemon and/or springs of basil or mint would look pretty. We also love the thought of using a little green paper parasol.

4. Thai grilled beef salad

If what you really want is a nice, juicy grilled steak but you feel you ought to stick to a salad instead, Thai beef salad is a crave-worthy compromise where nobody loses. Andrew Zimmern prepares his steak on an outdoor grill. He also uses 4 different beef cuts, and his video for this recipe includes handy tips on doing your own butchering should you be so inclined. If you'd prefer a less labor-intensive dish and/or are making the salad in the middle of winter, it will be just as good if you fry your steak in a pan.

Zimmern calls for making his Thai grilled beef salad with "the best aged beef you can get your hands on," but you may have to settle for the best you can afford. The steak is cooked until rare, then tossed with a dressing made from chiles, fresh ginger, garlic, pepper, sugar, fish sauce, and lime juice. The rest of the salad is made up of onions (both red and green), tomatoes, cucumbers, and 3 kinds of fresh herbs: mint, cilantro, and Thai basil. Butter lettuce leaves serve as a bed for all this fresh and spicy goodness.

5. Mother's Day shakshuka

Shakshuka is a North African dish that has become pretty trendy of late, appearing as a staple on brunch menus across the country (via Restaurant Business Online). We have no problem with that. Usually, foods become trendy for good reason, and in the case of shakshuka, it's because the dish not only tastes amazing but also, as Andrew Zimmern says, manages to be sufficiently "impressive but foolproof" to wow any last-minute guests you might accidentally invite over. The best part about shakshuka is that it works as a morning or midday meal, but can also make for a light, yet satisfying, dinner if you pair it with a simple salad and perhaps a glass of wine.

Zimmern's Mother's Day shakshuka starts with a tomato sauce that he flavors with chiles, roasted red peppers, garlic, shallots, and red wine as well as dried spices including cumin, coriander, and paprika. He poaches the eggs in the sauce, then sprinkles them with feta and bakes the dish until the eggs are set. A sprinkling of chopped cilantro finishes things off nicely and makes for a dish that's as colorful as it is flavorful.

6. Peruvian-style roasted chicken

If you think Costco's rotisserie chicken is the last word in poultry preparation, perhaps you've yet to make the acquaintance of Peruvian roast chicken. It's crispy-skinned, tender-fleshed, and spicy in the "flavored with a tasty mix of spices" rather than "give you heartburn for days" sense of the word. What really makes the Peruvian preparation style stand out, however, is the lemon juice that adds a little tang.

Andrew Zimmern begins his Peruvian-style roasted chicken by making a spice rub from a mixture of paprika, cumin, oregano, fresh garlic, salt, and pepper blended with ghee, lemon juice, and white vinegar. He favors using a whole bird cut into pieces, coating it with the rub before roasting it atop a bed of bell peppers, garlic, onions, and sweet potatoes. Zimmern uses a fairly high-heat roasting method with the oven set at 425 Fahrenheit, meaning that 4 pounds' worth of chicken should be cooked in just 45 minutes.

7. Karaage

Fried chicken is a food that's popular world-wide, and for good reason. As long as it's cooked correctly, it's one of the best-tasting meals on this or any planet. In fact, should the aliens ever land, we wouldn't be bit surprised if they insisted we take them directly to a Popeye's or KFC. If the aliens are fans of Andrew Zimmern's cooking shows, though, they'll know they can do better than fast-food chicken. In fact, they may head straight to Japan — or perhaps to Zimmern's house — so they can get a taste of the Japanese-style fried chicken known as karaage. As Zimmern admits, "It's seriously the best fried chicken I make."

Karaage is not that difficult to cook as fried chicken goes, perhaps because it starts with chunks of chicken thigh rather than using entire breasts, legs, wings, etc. Zimmern begins his karaage chicken by marinating these chicken chunks in ginger, garlic, sake, sesame oil, and soy sauce. He then dips the marinated chicken first into flour and then into potato starch, after which he fries the pieces in hot oil and sprinkles them with a mixture of cumin, salt, and ground Szechuan peppercorns. The karaage is yummy straight out of the fryer but is even better with a dab of Kewpie mayo, a squirt of lemon juice, and/or a sprinkling of togarashi.

8. Aunt Suzanne's caramel pecan bars

Andrew Zimmern isn't the only cook in his family. He seems to come by his culinary skills naturally, as his relatives also know their way around a kitchen. Case in point: these simple, yet stupendously good, salty-sweet bar cookies that come to us courtesy of his Aunt Suzanne.

Aunt Suzanne's caramel pecan bars start with a simple brown sugar shortbread base — do use salted butter, as this will enhance the taste. The bottom crust is topped with chopped pecans, then with a caramel syrup made by melting butter with more brown sugar. With a sprinkling of flaky sea salt, the bars are ready for the oven. If you're into gilding the lily, and/or you really like chocolate, you can scatter some chocolate chips over the bars when they're still warm from the oven. The only problem we have with this recipe is that you're supposed to let the cookies cool for 3 hours before you eat them. Sorry, Aunt Suzanne, but we seriously doubt we're going to be able to wait that long.

9. Mexican-style grilled cheese

Comfort food is the big trend of the current era, according to NBC News. A basic grilled cheese sandwich is the height of comfort food, and it isn't much more difficult to throw together than a PB&J or a bowl of cereal. Unlike those 2 easy meal alternatives, however, grilled cheese sandwiches are almost infinitely customizable. Who knew they'd be so good with kimchi or apples or fig jam? Undoubtedly Andrew Zimmern knew — after all, he's spent most of his life experimenting with new and unusual food combos. One of his go-to grilled cheese recipes is for a sandwich with south-of-the-border flair. Not only is it spicy and delicious, but it allows the thrifty Zimmern, no fan of food waste, to repurpose any leftover carnitas he has on hand.

Zimmern's Mexican-style grilled cheese is made via the standard grilled cheese technique of frying butter-coated bread in a skillet. It's the ingredients, though, that set it apart. For the cheese, Zimmern eschews sliced American or even cheddar in favor of Oaxaca, which he then tops with the carnitas and a few slices of red onion. When the cheese is done grilling, he serves the sandwich, not with a bowl of tomato soup, but with a zippy tomatillo salsa (recipe also included).

10. One-eyed salad with greens & brown sugar-bacon vinaigrette

While a one-eyed salad might sound like something involving globs of green jello with sliced olive orbs that you'd whip up for a Halloween-themed buffet, the "eye" here is actually just a simple poached egg. The real pièce de résistance of this salad is the candied bacon that not only adds some crunch but also forms the basis for a scrumptious warm dressing. Andrew Zimmern says he created this recipe while working at a French bistro in Minneapolis, and it soon became the restaurant's top seller at brunch. The reason, according to Zimmern, is that "It's hard to beat the contrasting combination of salty and sweet, hot and cold, soft and crunchy," a statement with which we heartily concur.

Making the one-eyed salad with greens & brown sugar-bacon vinaigrette won't take too much longer than the time required to type out its extra-long name. You first fry the bacon, then spoon off most (but not all) of the fat. Sauté some onions, then stir in sherry vinegar, mustard, and brown sugar. Set the candied bacon and its pan juices aside while you poach the eggs (Zimmern gives detailed directions), then make a salad from watercress, baby greens, and frisée. Top the greens with the bacon and pan juices, now repurposed as salad dressing, and finish off your creation with a poached egg and a fresh herb garnish.

11. Zimmern family noodle kugel

Another one of Andrew Zimmern's traditional family recipes is this one for a noodle kugel that plays an important role in their holiday celebrations. Kugels are usually associated with Passover, but can also be eaten for Hanukkah and often show up in other festive meals as well. While Zimmern admits that each family thinks their own kugel is the very best, he puts forth a pretty strong claim for his family's recipe. Those of us who don't have family kugel traditions of our own will be glad to adopt it as our own, too (does this make us honorary Zimmerns? Please say yes, Andrew).

The noodles used to make the famous Zimmern family noodle kugel are egg ones, which are boiled and then mixed into a rich batter of cottage cheese, milk, butter, sugar, eggs, and sour cream. In order to add a little color and contrast, dried raisins and apricots are also stirred in, and the kugel is topped off with brown sugar, cinnamon, and sliced almonds.

12. Pumpkin Hand Pies

While pumpkin pies are a delicious dessert that we'd gladly eat at any time of year, the one thing they aren't, being traditionally top crust-free, is particularly portable. Andrew Zimmern's pumpkin hand pie recipe changes all that. He calls these "modernist turnovers," and says that they are so easy to make his 9-year-old helps him with the crust. Perhaps the best part, besides the flavor, is that you can freeze them before you fry them and keep them stashed away for when you get a pumpkin pie craving in the middle of summer. (Well, unless Costco's rushing the fall season again, that is.)

These pumpkin hand pies a la Zimmern begin with a lightly sweetened crust made with shortening, egg, and evaporated milk. The filling combines canned pumpkin with egg, half-and-half, and both brown and white sugars. It is flavored with pumpkin pie spice, but also includes the less-standard ingredient of molasses for a bigger, bolder flavor. To assemble the pies, you roll the crust out into rounds, then fill each one with pumpkiny goodness. Fry the pies in hot oil, then sprinkle them with cinnamon sugar and serve them nice and warm. Feel free to grab one and take it with you for later, though, since they're also good when they cool down.

13. Bang bang tater tots

What, exactly, does "bang bang" mean when it's used as a culinary term? There doesn't seem to be any real consensus, as the term was first popularized by Bonefish Grill and now seems to be applied to a number of similar dishes topped with or dipped in a dressing that incorporates Thai sweet chili sauce. Andrew Zimmern's take on the bang bang phenomenon is made with tater tots. Zimmern says he first ate chili-sauced tots in a restaurant in Portland, but he's now put his own spin on the dish and feels that his bang bang tater tots may be one of the most crave-worthy dishes he's ever cooked up.

Zimmern lets you off the hook for the tater tots component of this dish, as he allows you to start with the frozen variety. You'll fry these in peanut oil, then toss them with a sauce that incorporates a classic Thai combination of flavors: sweet, sour, spicy, and salty. To be a bit more specific, you'll be using sugar and fresh mint for the first flavor component; lime juice for the second; ginger, chile flakes, chili sauce, and a jalapeno for the third; and fish sauce and crushed peanuts for the fourth. The saucy tots are then sprinkled with additional peanuts, mint, and scallions for some added color and crunch.

14. Fresh ricotta with red chile and honey

Making your own cheese sounds like it would take a lot of training and dedication, not to mention a kitchen full of expensive equipment. While this may be true if you dream of crafting your own artisanal cheddar, DIY ricotta is a whole lot easier. In order to make this cheese, basically all you need to do is simmer up some milk and maybe some cream and then add something acidic like lemon juice or vinegar to induce the milk to curdle. In this case, curdled milk is a good thing since the curds it forms then turn into cheese. Andrew Zimmern doesn't make just plain old ricotta, though. Instead, he likes to dress up his cheese with a little extra flavor.

Zimmern makes his fresh ricotta with red chile and honey from a half-gallon of milk and a cup of cream. He lightly salts the mixture and simmers it until it reaches 175 F — yes, a candy/frying thermometer is necessary to make this dish. At this point, he switches off the heat, adds a bit of plain white vinegar, then waits until the curds separate from the whey. (He doesn't mention any tuffet-sitting or spider visits.) The soft curds are then drained and chilled. As a final step, Zimmerman adds his own special touch, mixing the ricotta with a little honey and a minced red chile to give it an irresistible sweet/spicy flavor.

15. Frozen strawberry custard with lemon curd swirl

If you're not from the Midwest, you may never have been initiated into the cult of frozen custard. Let Minnesota native Andrew Zimmern show you what you've been missing. While he's a fan of Culver's custard, we think his homemade version might be even better. For the perfect summertime treat, you absolutely could not ask for anything better than strawberry custard with a tangy lemon swirl.

Zimmern's frozen strawberry custard with lemon curd swirl is a two-part recipe. First, you make the curd from egg yolks, sugar, lemon juice, and lemon zest. While regular lemons will do the trick, Zimmern says Meyer ones are even better. The curd is a little labor-intensive, as it must be cooked in a bowl over simmering water, then plunged into an ice bath before being refrigerated. As it chills, you can make the custard from fresh strawberries, lemon juice, sugar, cream, milk, and eggs. You'll need to finish off the custard in an ice cream maker if you want the texture to come out just right, and you'll probably need to make it in 2 batches unless you have 2 of these appliances on hand. After the custard has set up a bit, you'll add in the curd, but be sure to do so before it gets too firm to do any swirling.

16. Griddled onion burgers

All great chefs not only come up with recipes off the top of their heads but also play off of genius ideas they borrow from other chefs. One such idea was the griddled onion burger, something Andrew Zimmern says he first experienced courtesy of Michael Symon. He later encountered a slightly different preparation of this burger at a place called Sid's Diner, so he took what he liked best about both burgers and did a little tweaking of his own. Voilà! A beautiful new burger was born.

The Zimmern griddled onion burger starts off with a toasted, buttered bun. Once the buns are done, the onions are sauteed in still more butter, and then the burgers are cooked right atop the onions. Cheese is optional, but not necessary, and the condiments need not be anything more than the standard ketchup, lettuce, and slice of tomato. There's no need to add onions since they're cooked right into the burger.

17. Kielbasa and pea soup (aka Grandma Zimmern's tailgating pot of love)

Besides eating custard, another great Midwestern pastime is tailgating — football games, baseball games, your kids' soccer games, Walmart Black Friday sales, you name it, somebody's going to pull out a grill and start cooking brats (someone else is sure to have a cooler of beer). If you want to up your tailgating game, though, you couldn't do better than to bring along a pot of your granny's recipe for hearty pea soup studded with chunks of kielbasa. You say your grandmother had no such recipe? That's okay, Andrew Zimmern's granny did, and the Zimmern family is always happy to share — the recipe, if not the actual soup.

If you want to tailgate like a Zimmern, Grandma Zimmern's tailgating pot of love starts with a broth made from escarole, carrots, celery, garlic, onion, and an interesting selection of spices: thyme, fennel, and toasted caraway seeds. Add in a ham bone and some dried peas and simmer until the meat falls from the bone and the peas are tender. Thicken the broth by mashing some of the peas, then make the soup nice and meaty with the addition of some sliced, browned kielbasa. Zimmern says that any similar Eastern European sausage will do if you have a selection available to you, which might well be the case if you're in the Midwest. Serve this soup with warm, crusty bread — and, if you're actually tailgating, plenty of ice-cold beer.

18. Sour cream peach pie

Peach pie is a true summer delight. Once warmer weather arrives, fresh peaches can be found throughout much of the country, for which we are truly grateful (via Philly Voice). If there's any way to make a fresh peach pie even better, though, that would be by enhancing it with sour cream as Andrew Zimmern does here.

Zimmern, being the consummate chef that he is, begins his sour cream peach pie recipe with the directions for making a homemade crust. If you want to skip a few steps and use a store-bought one, we'll just let that be our little secret. Jumping straight to the peach part, you peel the fruits and cut them into wedges, then arrange the wedges in a pretty starburst pattern over the bottom of your unbaked pie crust. Sprinkle them with flour, salt, white and brown sugar, and cornstarch, then top them with crème fraïche (or plain old sour cream, if you're being less fancy) before baking the pie. Bonus: no top crust or lattice to mess with.

19. Firecracker shrimp with blue cheese dressing

If you love Buffalo wings and you're also a shellfish fan, your life will not be complete without trying firecracker shrimp. Andrew Zimmern says they are his favorite snack for March Madness, although they'd be equally appropriate for a Super Bowl party, Oscar watch party, or random Netflix binge.

Zimmern's firecracker shrimp with blue cheese dressing begins with large shrimp which are dipped in egg, buttermilk, and cornstarch. They are then fried in hot oil to give them a nice crunchy coating. The fried shrimp get tossed with a classic Buffalo sauce made from Crystal hot sauce (substitute a similar one if you must, but don't tell Zimmern) and butter. Note: they are to be served, as the title makes clear, not with ranch dressing, but with the one true Buffalo wing condiment: blue chees. Don't use the bottled stuff, though. Zimmern provides a recipe for a homemade blue cheese dressing made with mayo, sour cream, red wine vinegar, Worcestershire sauce, snipped dill, and a generous helping of blue cheese crumbles.

20. Apple & cranberry crumble

When we think of fall fruits, there are two that immediately come to mind: apples and cranberries. Okay, pumpkins are technically a fruit as well, but anything in the squash family still seems vegetable-ish. Horticultural quibbles aside, one great thing about both apples and cranberries is how nicely they play with each other, as is the case in this amazingly autumnal (or autumnally amazing) dessert. Andrew Zimmern describes this crumble as something that can be thrown together at the last minute and says the best part about the recipe is that it's sufficiently flexible to allow you to sub in just about any kind of fruit you like.

Zimmern's apple & cranberry crumble follows the basic formula of all fruit crumbles: mix together the fruits, then sprinkle them with sugar and flavorings (here he goes with lemon juice and cinnamon). He tosses them in a little cornstarch, too, so the fruit juices will thicken up as the crumble cooks. Next, you top the fruit with the "crumble" part, which is made from butter, flour, and brown sugar. Zimmern even likes to add some toasted sliced almonds for a little nutty crunch. Bake the crumble and serve it hot or cold, a la mode or just by itself. Sure, it's meant as a dessert, but no one will judge you if you eat the leftovers for breakfast as well.

21. Andrew Zimmern's Canteen dog

Tube steaks are an often-scorned mystery meat, but what differentiates a ho-hum gas station staple from a truly amazing meal is primarily a matter of toppings. Well, okay, it does help if you start off with a decent dog, too. When Zimmern cooks hot dogs, he doesn't use Oscar Meyer's finest, but instead favors ones made with Piedmontese beef.

If you want an exact recreation of Andrew Zimmern's Canteen dog, you'll not only need fancy hot dogs, but you'll also be making your own homemade mustard that uses both brown and yellow seeds as well as mustard powder and a generous amount of beer. The hot dogs themselves can be cooked any old way — steamed, boiled, grilled, whatever — but they should be served up on potato buns and topped with roasted veggie mayo, cabbage slaw, and pickled jalapenos. Yes, Zimmern has recipes for all of these condiments, as well. As a final touch, you sprinkle the hot dog with a spice blend made from celery salt, celery seeds, dried spearmint, fresh ground pepper, and something called piment d'espellette (in a pinch, you can substitute another mild chile powder like paprika for this last ingredient).

22. Kurdish dumplings in yogurt

While you might be able to find street tacos, pad Thai, and chicken tikka masala in even the smallest towns these days, if you want Kurdish food, you'll probably need to be in a major metropolis like New York, Chicago, or Nashville, Tennessee. This last city is where Zimmern partook of an epic 25-course Kurdish feast, and of course he took notes. Luckily for us, he came away with a recipe that will allow those of us who've never tasted Kurdish cuisine to try our hand at making it ourselves. 

Kotulk daw, or, as Zimmern translates it, Kurdish dumplings in yogurt, is a deliciously creamy dumpling soup. It's admittedly somewhat labor-intensive to make, as you start by hand-crafting your dumplings using a dough made from cream of wheat and graham flour. These dumplings are then filled with a mixture of ground beef and lamb along with onions, bell peppers, and celery. The soup itself isn't too difficult to make, though, as it involves blending plain yogurt with chicken stock and flavoring it with lemon juice, mint, dill, and cilantro. The dumplings are cooked by simmering in this soup, and by the time they are done they are soft, plump, and absolutely scrumptious.

23. Hanukkah toffee matzo

Matzo is one of those traditional foods that nobody gets all that excited about, at least not when it's served all on its lonesome. Nonetheless, this unleavened bread is a must for Passover, and it makes an appearance on other Jewish holidays as well, including Hanukkah. On the latter holiday, it's evidently okay to play with your matzo a little bit, as Zimmern says one of his favorite holiday treats is a cookie/candy hybrid made on a matzo base.

This Hanukkah toffee matzo couldn't be much easier. You start by filling a sheet pan with matzo, breaking it to fit. There's no need to be too neat here since all the matzo bits will be covered up. Melt butter together with brown sugar, cooking until the latter is slightly caramelized, then pour this buttery, sugary deliciousness all over the matzo. Put the pan in a hot oven for a few minutes, then pull it out and immediately sprinkle the toffee with chocolate chips. Let the chips melt from the residual heat, then spread them out to cover everything with a layer of chocolate. Finish things off with a sprinkling of chopped nuts and sea salt, then break the toffee apart before serving. Zimmern says it will keep at room temperature for a few days, but you'll need plenty of willpower for it to last that long.

24. Skordalia (Greek potato dip)

Skordalia may be billed as a potato dip, but this Greek dish gets its flavor from a hefty dose of garlic and a generous helping of lemon juice. The recipe is also a great way to use up a loaf that's starting to go stale, since yes, day-old bread also plays a role in helping to stretch out this dip. This recipe also contains ground almonds. Hmm, we're beginning to wonder if "skordalia" isn't the Greek word for "kitchen sink," but the more ingredients, the better, so bring them on.

Andrew Zimmern's skordalia/Greek potato dip starts with boiled potatoes which are then riced and combined with milk-soaked toasted bread chunks, blanched almonds, and olive oil. For flavoring, you'll blend in crushed garlic and lemon juice, while capers and chopped parsley lend the dish a little extra color. After everything comes together, the skordalia will need to sit in the fridge for a few hours before serving. As this is a dip, you'll also need something for dipping, and Zimmern suggests using a sliced, toasted baguette.

25. Island-style basil cocktail

Whether you're relaxing outdoors in a lawn chair or huddled indoors on a winter daydreaming of beach weather, there's nothing like a luscious tropical cocktail to raise your spirits. Andrew Zimmern created this concoction for a demo he did in the decidedly un-balmy city of Chicago, where it was doubtless very well received. The cocktail uses 3 different fresh herbs: basil, mint, and cilantro. Zimmern explains that the herbal component of the drink helps to offset some of the sweetness from the passion fruit. There's also plenty of tang from the fresh pineapple and lime juice he uses, while serrano peppers and fresh ginger bring a little unexpected heat.

To make this Island-Style basil cocktail, you simply combine the herbs, fruits, and spices in a blender along with some simple syrup and plenty of ice. If you want a boozed-up version, you can also add rum, but it would work just as well as a delightfully refreshing mocktail.

26. Wok-tossed crickets in black bean sauce

If your first thought upon encountering a recipe for crickets is "yuck! that's got to be a joke," you might be surprised to learn that crickets are the most widely-eaten insect in the world. Andrew Zimmern says he thinks more Americans ought to give them a try, and says we might be surprised how good they can taste if you cook them just right. If you're willing to expand your culinary horizons a bit, he suggests stir-frying them in a wok with fermented black beans.

Zimmern's video for his wok-tossed crickets in black bean sauce recipe reveals that you need to start with live crickets, euthanizing them via a 10-minute sojourn in the freezer. While this may seem a little uncomfortable, it's no worse than cooking live shellfish.  The crickets are then tossed in a hot wok with a bit of peanut oil and flavored with garlic, ginger, shallots, and a little brown sugar along with some salted Chinese black beans. The dish is finished off with soy sauce, sesame oil, and snipped chives as well as a chile-spiked fermented bean paste known as toban djan.