Cheryl’s Cuisine: Dec. 2016

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A pastry table under the direction of Borgata Executive Pastry Chef Thaddeus Dubois featured an array of delights including Apple Cheesecake Layer Parfait, Milk Chocolate Mousse Roasted Apple Compote, Chocolate Streusel Cake, Mason Jar Butterscotch Pudding, Salted Caramel Macaroon, and Marzipan Almond Apple Petit Four. The table was just one of the highlights during the recent Savor Borgata 2016 at the hotel and casino in Atlantic City.

By Cheryl Radkiewicz

The holidays are a wonderful time to add new dishes to your traditional menu.  Recently I spent a weekend at Savor Borgata where this year’s theme paid homage to celebrating the flavors of New York City.  The massive Events Center was filled with chefs featuring their specialty dishes along with wineries and brewing companies from the New York area, as well as wines imported from Italy, Spain and New Zealand.

To begin, let me tell you a little about the chefs: Thomas Biglan, Executive Chef of Borgata Hotel, Casino and Spa oversees The Metropolitan, Borgata Buffet, Bread and Butter and Noodles of the World, among others; Thaddeus Dubois,  Executive Pastry Chef at Borgata and former White House Executive Pastry Chef; Wolfgang Puck, Chef/Partner of Wolfgang Puck American Grille, in addition to over 30 more restaurants throughout the country;  Michael Symon, co-host of ABC’s, “The Chew”, who will open his first Atlantic City venue, Angeline, next year at Borgata; Geoffrey Zakarian, culinary lifestyle consultant of the Water Club at Borgata, who also appears on Food Network’s “Iron Chef America”, “Chopped”, and “The Kitchen.”;  Michael Schulson, Chef/Partner of Izakaya Modern Japanese Pub; and Greg and Marc Sherry, restaurateurs, who, along with Executive Chef Romeo DiBona, have brought great steaks and sauces to the Old Homestead Steak House at Borgata.

Dishes offered  for the main event were:  

Wolfgang Puck, Wagyu Pastrami Reubens and wines from his new venture, Wolfgang Puck Wines offering Reserve Chardonnay, Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon, Sauvignon Blanc and Red Blend; Executive Pastry Chef, Thaddeus Dubois, assorted holiday pastries; Bobby Flay Steak, Gato Steamed Halibut, Sicilian Olives, Anchovy, Saffron-Tomato Broth and Couscous;  Izakaya, Tuna, Yellowtail Salmon and Vegetable Handrolls; Sati’, Manchego Cheese Bunelo with Spanish Romesco Sauce; Union Square, Artisanal Cheese, Fresh Juice, Greens and Grains;  Letie’s Culinaria, Shrimp and Scallop Quenelle, Miso Viniagrette, Tomato Tartare;  Meat District Grill, Dry Aged Skirt Steak wiith Chimichurri, Fermented Shoestring Potatoes and B2 Sauce;  NOW Eatery, Shrimp Bacon Roll with Wasabi and Dark Vinegar;  Marketplace Eatery, Tamarind BBQ Glazed Duck Leg, Purple Potatoes, Watercress Green Sauce;  Angeline, Arancini with Mozzarella;  Soco, Extra Crispy Pork Belly, Cheesy Grits/ Braised Collards, Hot Pepper Jam;  Zico, flavored coconut waters;  Cuisine de Marche, Chicken Breast Coq au Vin Style, Cremini Mushrooms, Fingerling Potatoes;  Old Homestead, Dagwood Sandwich of Prime Short Rib, Vermont Goat Cheese, Pickled Radish with Poblano Cream;  Geoffrey Zakarian, Water Club, Steak Tartare over Horseradish Cream;  The Marketplace, Antipasto Skewer, Red Pepper Coulis with Balsamic Drizzle;  and Antonio’s, Braciole with Cavatelli Pasta.

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My husband, John Radkiewicz, center, chatting with Borgata showgirls during recent Savor Borgata celebration, as I was feverishly working taking notes and interviewing chefs.

Prior to this event, guests were treated to an afternoon presentation by Geoffrey Zakarian, Michael Symon and Mark Sommers where Chefs Geoffrey and Michael were pummeled with questions on preparing Thanksgiving turkey.  Advice from the chefs:  Don’t stuff the turkey as when the turkey is cooked (meat thermometer into thickest part of the thigh registers 155-160), the stuffing isn’t, therefore, most people overcook their turkeys.  

NOTE:  Having been raised with “stuffed” turkeys, this is the first year I cooked the turkey and “dressing” separately for my family.  This proves one never stops learning new ideas and methods.

Here are some recipes to add to your holiday table:

Wolfgang Puck’s Roast Rack of Port with Dried Fruit: 

2 lb. Pork Rack with 4 bones attached
3 Yellow Onions, sliced
2 oz. Olive Oil
4 cups mixed chopped Dried Fruit (Apricots, Cranberries, Raisins, etc.)
1 inch cut fresh Ginger, smashed
1/2 stick Cinnamon
1 star Anise
2 Tbsp. Sage
2 Tbsp. Thyme
2 Tbsp. Rosemary, chopped
3 Tbsp.  Sweet Butter
1/4 cup Apple Cider
Salt and Black Pepper

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  In saute’ pan, sweat the butter lightly and add ginger and spices.  Let cook slowly on medium heat to bring out the flavor and aroma.  Deglaze with apple cider.  Pour mixture over dried fruit in a separate mixing bowl.  Reserve.  Filet the rack of pork next to the bone and open.  Fill with dried fruit mixture, close the rack back up and tie securely with butcher’s twine.  Season roast well with salt and pepper and place on a roasting pan.  Place roast in oven.  Cook at 20 minuter per pound or until internal temperature is 150 degrees F.  Remove from oven and let rest 10 minutes before slicing.

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Izakaya’s Hearts of Palm Salad:

4 oz. fresh Hearts of Palm, julienne
4 oz. fresh Cucumber, julienne
1  Red Radish, shaved thinly
3-5 Jalapeno, thinly sliced
1 Meyer Lemon
1 oz. Green Scallion, sliced finely
2 oz. Grapeseed Oil
1/2 oz. Yuzu Juice
1/2 oz. Rice Wine Vinegar
Salt, to taste

Whisk together the grapeseed oil, yuzu juice and rice wine vinegar in a bowl with a pinch of salt and reserve.  Finely julienne hearts of palm and cucumber.  Slice radish, scallion and jalapeno using a sharp knife or Japanese mandoline.   Gently mix all of the vegetables together in a non-reactive mixing bowl.  Season with a pinch of salt, fresh squeeze of Meyer lemon juice, Meyer lemon zest and a little of the reserved vinaigrette.  Mix thoroughly.  Place salad on desired plate and top with finely sliced scallions and additional Meyer lemon zest.

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Old Homestead’s Crab Cakes:

2 lbs. Crab meat, jumbo lump
2 Eggs
2 cups Mayonnaise
1/2 cup small diced Green Pepper
1/2 cup small diced Red Pepper
2 Tbsp. Old Bay Seasoning
3/4 cup Panko Breadcrumbs
3 oz. Lemon Juice
1/4 cup Dijon Mustard
1/4 cup Olive Oil

Combine all ingredients in large mixing bowl with half the breadcrumbs and mix well (add more breadcrumbs if mixture is too loose).  Mold crab cakes to desired size and coat bottom and top of cakes with remaining bread crumbs.  Heat olive oil in saute’ pan and brown each side of crab cakes.  Place crab cakes on sheet pan and bake in oven at 350 degrees F. until hot (approximately 10 minutes depending on thickness of crab cake).  Remove, serve and enjoy.

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In closing, I wish all of our readers a Merry Christmas and Happy 2017.

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