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Grated Potato Latkes
By Kim Canteenwalla of Honey Salt and Andiron Steak & Sea

One of Chef Kim Canteenwalla’s favorite holiday dishes is latkes. His version is a flavorful adaptation to the traditional Hanukkah dish, and is perfect for serving with your favorite condiments like caviar and crème fraiche, smoked salmon, applesauce or horseradish cream.

Ingredients
2 lbs russet potatoes, roughly grated
2 medium Spanish onions, roughly grated
Salt and pepper
Vegetable oil
1 -2 cups egg whites
2 egg yolks

Kitchen items
Cheese cloth or clean towel
Mixing bowl
Large cast iron skillet

Directions
Wrap the grated potatoes in cheese cloth or towel and place over a bowl, twist and press to remove all liquid.

In a clean bowl, measure egg whites equal to the approximate amount of liquid squeezed from the potatoes (about 1-2 cups).

Fold in potatoes, onions, yolks, and season with salt and pepper.

Heat cast iron skillet on high, add oil until shimmers and hot, reduce heat to medium. Cook latkes until golden brown and crispy approximately 5 minutes per side. Transfer cooked latkes to a rack set over a cookie tray.

If needed finish in a 425 degree oven until super crispy.

Serve with your favorite condiments: caviar and crème fraiche with chive, smoked salmon, applesauce, horseradish cream, whatever you prefer.

carlos-bakery-gingerbread-plate

Gingerbread Cookies
By Buddy Valastro of Carlo’s Bakery

Buddy V’s gingerbread cookies are addictively crafted with sweet hints of ginger and cinnamon that will bring you right back to your childhood holiday memories.

Ingredients
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon ground ginger
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
3/4 stick unsalted butter
1 cup dark brown sugar
1 large egg
1/2 cup molasses
1 teaspoon vanilla

Directions
1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
2. In a small bowl, whisk flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, ginger, cinnamon, and cloves until incorporated.
3. In a large bowl on medium speed beat     butter, brown sugar, and egg until combined.
4. Into the large bowl add molasses and vanilla and continue to mix until fully combined.
5. From the small bowl stir in the dry ingredients until smooth.
6. Divide dough in half and wrap each half in plastic wrap and place in fridge for at least 2 hours (or up to 1 day).
7. Remove half the dough from the fridge and let sit at room temp for a few minutes.
8. Place 1 portion of the dough on a lightly floured surface.
9. Sprinkle flour over dough and rolling pin, and apply to surface of counter.
10. Roll out dough to 1/4-inch thick.
11. Cut out cookies with gingerbread cutter
12. Space cookies about 2 inches apart (if the dough feels very soft, refrigerate the cookies on the baking sheet for 10-15 minutes.
13. Bake the cookies for 12-15 minutes.
14. Remove cookie sheet from oven and let cookies cool on baking sheet. Once cool, move to wire rack.
15. Decorate with Royal Icing as desired.

Royal Icing

Ingredients
2 large egg whites
2 teaspoons lemon juice
3 cups powdered sugar, sifted

Directions
1. In the bowl of an electric mixer beat the egg whites with lemon juice.
2. Add the powdered sugar and beat on low speed until smooth. Should be thick and
emulsified (should take around 5 minutes).
3. Add more powdered sugar or water depending on the consistency desired.
4. Pipe icing onto cookie.

The icing may take 2-4 hours to dry.

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Red Velvet Cheesecake
By Chef Keris Kuwana of Yardbird Southern Table & Bar

Adapted from her grandmother’s recipe, Chef Keris Kuwana’s Red Velvet Cheesecake is a decadent end to any holiday meal.

Ingredients
Cheesecake
1lb cream cheese, room temperature
2 eggs
1/2  cup sugar
2 tablespoons cream
1 teaspoon vanilla
Pinch of salt
1 tablespoon cocoa powder
2 teaspoons red food coloring

Crust
15 Oreo cookies
1/2 stick of butter

Directions Cheesecake
1. In a mixer, using the paddle attachment, paddle room temp cream cheese and sugar.
2. Add eggs to the cream cheese and sugar mixture, beating well after each addition.
3. In a separate bowl combine vanilla, cream and red food coloring together, add to mixing bowl and stir to combine.
4. Scrape down bowl and finish mix on a low speed adding cocoa powder and salt, set aside.

Crust
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
2. Crush 15 Oreo cookies in food processor to create coarse crumbs.
3. In a separate bowl melt butter  the microwave, combine melted butter with crushed Oreos.
4. Press mixture into springform pan bake for 15 minutes .
5. Once crust is out of the oven pour cheese cake mixture onto crust and bake at 300 degrees for 30 minutes.
6. Remove from oven, allow to cool and chill in refrigerator until ready to serve, at least two hours

grand-mas-mule

Grandma’s Mule
By Michael LaPenna of Mandarin Oriental, Las Vegas

A twist on the classic Moscow Mule, this gingery cocktail with a hint of spice is perfect for fall or winter.

Ingredients
2 drops apple bitters
1 1/2 oz Hennessy Black
1/2  oz  Grand Marnier
3/4  oz of house-made cranberry and cinnamon syrup (recipe below)
3/4  oz lime juice, mint
1 1/2 oz  Fever Tree Ginger Beer

Glass
Rocks Glass

Directions
Shake Hennessy Black, Grand Marnier, syrups, and lime; strain over ice. Top with Fever Tree Ginger Beer.

Garnish
Dehydrated hidden rose apple
Mint
Cranberry skewer

Cranberry and Cinnamon Syrup

12 oz fresh cranberries
16 oz sugar
16 oz water
1 cinnamon stick
Let cranberries simmer in syrup until they pop.

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Cioppino Fra Divalo
Rick Moonen of RM Seafood

There are two schools of thought when it comes to the wine that goes into this Italian-American seafood stew: some people say it should be red, and others say it’s got to be white. I’m not going to get involved in the dispute. I use white, but you should let your taste be your guide. The other thing to remember is that cioppino is a stew. No dainty thin soup here. This is a hearty main course. And it will be even better if you make the base the day before.  The pasta is my addition.

Serves 6

Ingredients

Base
1/4 Cup Olive Oil
2 Chopped Onions
2 Chopped Celery Ribs
Handful Parsley Stalks
Tied in a square of cheesecloth for a herbs bouquet
3-4 Thyme Sprigs
1 Small Bay Leaf
1 teaspoon Dried Oregano
1 teaspoon White Peppercorn
5-6 Chopped Garlic Cloves
1 cup Chopped Leeks (white and light green parts)
3/4 lb Sliced Mushrooms
1 cup Dry White Wine
1 cup Canned Tomatoes (Pomi preferred)
Coarse Salt and Ground White Pepper to taste
4 cups Fumet (Fish stock—homemade or store-bought)

Shellfish
12 Littleneck Clams (scrubbed)
1/2 lb Sea Scallops
(remove tough bits)
1/2 lb Medium (31-35) Shrimp, shelled, tails on, and deveined
1 lb Mussels (scrubbed and debearded)
1 lb Lump Crabmeat
1/2 cup Chopped Fresh Parsley

Serving
1 lb Linguine

Method:
FOR THE BASE:

Heat a large heavy pot over medium-high heat. When the pot’s hot, pour in the oil and add the onions, celery, and herb bouquet. Sauté, stirring often, until the onions start to soften, about 5 minutes.

Add the garlic and leeks and sauté until the garlic is fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add the mushrooms, season with salt and white pepper, and sauté until the mushrooms have softened and are starting to release their juices, 3 to 4 minutes. Pour in the wine and bring to a boil. Boil for 2 minutes, to cook off most of the alcohol.

Add the tomatoes and fumet and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer for 15 minutes. Turn off the heat and let the base rest for 30 minutes to 1 hour before proceeding. The cioppino will be even better if you make the base a day ahead and refrigerate it. Either way, take the bouquet out after it’s cooled.

ADD THE SHELLFISH:

Bring the base back to an active simmer over medium-high heat. Add the clams and simmer for 2 minutes. Add the scallops and shrimp, bring back to a simmer, and cook for 1 minute. Stir in the mussels and cook until the mussels open, another minute or so. Stir in the crab meat and parsley.

Meanwhile, put a large pot of salted water up to boil when you start bringing the base back to a simmer. Cook the linguine until al dente.

Drain the pasta and divide among six soup plates. Ladle the cioppino on top and serve right away.