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Chefs' Christmas recipes

Chef Daisy Martinez

Chef Daisy Martinez

Coquito and “Choquito”
From Daisy’s Holiday Cooking by Daisy Martinez (published by Atria Books, 2010)
Makes about 8 cups
2 jumbo eggs
3 jumbo egg yolks
One 14-ounce can sweetened condensed milk
One 15-ounce can cream of coconut (Coco López or other)
One 12-ounce can evaporated milk
1 cup heavy cream
¾ to 1 cup light rum
Ground cinnamon, for serving
1. Put the eggs and yolks in a blender jar. Blend at high speed until the eggs are pale yellow and very light. With the motor running, add the condensed milk, cream of coconut, and evaporated milk, one at a time and each in a very thin stream. Blend for a minute or so, then add the heavy cream in a slow, steady stream. Blend just until incorporated. If your blender jar becomes too full, simply pour some of the coquito-in-progress out into a serving pitcher and continue adding the milk/cream to what's left in the blender. When finished, pour what’s in the blender jar into the serving pitcher and stir all together. Stir in the rum.

2. Chill for at least 2 hours or up to 6 hours. Serve in little coffee or tea cups and sprinkle a little cinnamon over the coquito before serving.

Roasted Capon with Mushroom-Truffle Stuffing
From Avec Eric: A Culinary Journey with Eric Ripert by Eric Ripert (published by Wiley, 2010) reprinted with permission from the publisher
Makes 6 servings
A capon is a large bird with tender meat. My grandmother used to make a stuffed capon for special family meals, such as holidays or birthdays. This recipe pays homage to my grandmother and integrates some luxurious ingredients, such as truffles and foie gras.

One 6-pound capon
1 cup 1/2-inch cubes fresh white bread
1/3 cup whole milk
6 ounces chopped chicken liver
1/2 pound mixed fresh mushrooms, such as chanterelles, porcini and cremini, cleaned and diced
1 ounce black truffles, diced
1 large egg, lightly beaten
2 tablespoons chopped fresh Italian parsley
2 tablespoons diced shallot
11/2 tablespoons minced garlic
1 tablespoon duck fat or unsalted butter, melted
1/2 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves
Fine sea salt and freshly ground white pepper
2 cups chicken stock
Special Equipment
– kitchen string
– trussing needle

1. Preheat the oven to 400°F. Rinse the capon and pat dry. Remove the wings and reserve.

2. Soak the bread in the milk in a bowl until the milk is absorbed. Squeeze out the excess milk from the bread and place the bread in a large bowl. Mix in the chicken liver, mushrooms, truffles, egg, parsley, shallot, garlic, duck fat, thyme and season to taste with salt and pepper. Season the cavity of the capon with salt and pepper and fill with the stuffing.

3. Thread a trussing needle with a piece of kitchen string that is at least 18 inches long. Sew the opening of the capon closed by starting at one side of the top of the cavity opening and crossing the string down through the opposite side, pulling the string tight and repeating on the other side of the opening to crisscross the string. Finally, thread the string through the top of the opening and pass the needle through the bottom of the opening, pulling tight and closing the cavity completely. Tie the legs together. Season the capon on the outside with salt and pepper.

4. Put the reserved wings in a roasting pan and place the capon on top of the wings. Roast for 90 minutes, or until the juices run clear when the leg is pierced and the stuffing reaches 150°F. Transfer the capon to a platter and let it rest for at least 10 minutes.

5. Place the roasting pan over high heat and add the chicken stock to deglaze the pan and stir the browned bits from the bottom of the pan. Bring the stock to a boil, then remove the pan from the heat. Strain the pan juices into a small saucepan. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

6. Carve the capon by removing the leg and thigh at the joint, then run the carving knife down one side of the breast bone. Continue by following the rib cage, lifting the breast meat away from the bone. Repeat on the other side of the breast bone, removing the second breast. Slice the breast meat and leg meat.

7. Place 2 slices each of breast and leg meat on each plate and spoon some of the stuffing alongside. Spoon some of the pan sauce over and pass the extra pan sauce at the table. Serve immediately.

Austrian Roasted Goose Dinner
Chefs Wolfgang Ban and Eduard Frauneder, Seasonal Restaurant & Weinbar
Makes 4-5 Servings

Roasted Austrian Goose
One 10 lb. Goose, trimmed
4 Golden Delicious Apples
2 Oranges
1 tin Chestnuts
4 oz Dried Prunes

1. Preheat the Oven to 400F.

2. To prepare the goose for roasting you rub a mixture of salt, marjoram and garlic very thoroughly onto the skin and the inside of the bird. To roast a goose perfectly, start with the breast side down in the oven, and add approximately two fingers high of water. Turn the goose over after 45 minutes to an hour of roasting. This prevents the breast from getting dry and gently precook the breast before it gets color. Halfway through the cooking time, add apples, oranges, (peeled, cored and cut into fourths), the prunes and the chestnut around the goose in the roasting pan.

3. Roast another 45-60 minutes. When the goose is ready, remove it from the pan and strain the remaining cooking liquid. Add some fresh marjoram to the drippings.

Spiced Red Cabbage

1 head Red Cabbage
2 Golden Delicious Apples
1 cup Red Wine Vinegar
4 oz. Goose Fat
1 cup Brown Sugar
2 Cloves
5 Black Peppercorns
1 tsp Grey Sea Salt
1/2 Cinnamon Stick
1 Bay Leaf

The day before, shred the red cabbage and put in a cast iron pot with the goose fat, brown sugar, peppercorn, cloves, cinnamon, red wine vinegar, apples (peeled, cored and sliced) and sea salt. Mix well and leave over night. Put the pot of red cabbage on a medium heat to simmer for two and a half hours.

Pretzel Bread Dumplings
One (1 lb) Stale Pretzel Loaf, cut into 1 inch cubes
1 cup Milk
2 tbs Butter
2 Eggs
1/2 tsp Salt

1. Mix milk, egg and salt together and soak pretzels for approx. one hour.
2. Lay out the mixture into buttered plastic foil and roll into tubes (1.5 inch diameter). Gently simmer in salted water for approx. 30 minutes. Slice before serving.

To Finish: Serve the goose on a tray with the apples, prunes and chestnuts around it. Serve the cabbage and soufflé on the side.

Besugito a la Espalda (Whole Sea bream Basque-Style)
Chefs Alexandra Raij and Eder Montero, Txikito restaurant NYC
2 Servings
The holidays aren’t complete with out a whole fish in the Basque tradition. A la Espalda is a common technique for whole fish.

1 Whole Porgy 2 lbs scaled and gutted (available at Blue Moon in Union square market),
Substitute Red Bream, new Zealand Snapper or Daurade.
Olive oil
Kosher salt
3 cloves garlic, in thin slices
1/2 dry chile de arbol or similar, crumbled
3 T chopped parsley
1 T sherry or balsamic vinegar*

1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees.

2. Using a sharp heavy knife starting at the tail end of the fish just bellow where the belly was cut, follow the bone to carefully separate the meat from the bone. Open up the fish like a book leaving the two loins attached. Using the heel of the knife cut directly into but not through the head of the fish to complete the butter flying process. Press on the head to splay open.

3. Using two paper towels, pat the fish dry.

4. Season the fish inside and out with salt, brush the skin with a thin coat of olive oil.

5. Heat a cast iron or other oven-proof skillet large enough to accommodate the fish (make sure it’s really hot to almost smoking). Add about 2 tablespoon of oil to the hot pan and place the fish skin side down, shake the pan to make sure it doesn’t stick.

6. Transfer the pan to the oven for approximately 6 minutes.

7. Meanwhile heat 1/2 cup of olive in a separate little pan over low heat with the garlic and stir to get an even golden color on the garlic. Be careful not to burn it. Stir in the chile, parsley and vinegar. Season the mixture with salt.

8. Pour directly over the cooked fish when it comes out of the oven. Serve immediately.


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