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A Chicagoist Holiday Dinner

By Chuck Sudo in Food on Dec 24, 2008 5:03PM


Our annual Thanksgiving recipe posts are among our favorites to write. Judging from soem of the responses received in our inboxes, you like them, as well. This year, we wanted to add a new twist to the theme for the holidays.

We reached out to some of the best chefs in the city to compile some recipe ideas for the season. It was short notice, but the chefs that did respond came through like gangbusters with submissions that are sure to keep you warm and full over the winter. We'd like to thank Dirk Flanigan of the Gage, Chris Pandel of the Bristol, and Mohammed Islam and Malika Ameen of Aigre Doux. Recipes are after the jump.

From Mohammed Islam and Malika Ameen of Aigre Doux:

Spiced Chai

Serves 4

4 Cups Water
1 2" Piece Fresh Ginger, sliced thin
3 Black Tea Bags
3 Whole green cardamom pods
½ Cup condensed milk

In a small saucepan bring water and ginger to a boil. Add tea bags and cardamom. Simmer for 1 minute. Add milk and turn heat to low. Cook 4-5 minutes. Strain and serve immediately.

Basmati Saffron Pilaf

Serves 4

1 Cup Basmati rice
4 Tbsp unsalted butter
¾ Cup finely diced shallot or onion
¼ tsp Saffron threads, crushed by hand
½ Cup Blanched sliced almonds
½ tsp Kosher salt
3 whole cloves
¼ Cup currants or black raisins
2-¼ Cup low sodium chicken stock or water

Place rice in a bowl with 3 cups cold water and let stand for 15 minutes. Meanwhile in a saucepan melt butter and add shallots. Add the saffron threads and sauté on medium low heat until shallots are tender. Stain rice to remove the water. Add rice and almonds and sauté for 3-4 minutes on medium heat. Add chicken broth, salt , and currants. Bring to a boil and then reduce heat to low. Cover and cook for app. 20 minutes until rice is tender. Let stand for 5 minutes. Fluff with a fork. Remove cloves and serve.

Puff Pastry Samosas

1 lb lean ground beef
3 TBSP Olive oil
2 tsp fresh grated ginger
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp smoked paprika
1 tsp Jalapeno, de-seeded and chopped
Kosher salt to taste
Black pepper
2 whole cloves
4 tsp fresh lemon juice
¼ Cup finely chopped red onion
2 TBSP fresh chopped cilantro
1 14oz Package puff pastry
Egg wash: One egg beaten with 1 tsp water and a pinch of salt

Heat oil on medium heat in a saucepan. Add ginger and sauté until light brown. Turn heat to high and immediately add ground beef , cumin, paprika, jalepeno and cloves. Season with salt and pepper. Brown meat and reduce heat to cook for 10-12 minutes until ground beef is done. Add onions, lemon juice and cilantro. Cover immediately with a lid and let stand until onions are softened. Chill.

Defrost puff pastry. Open and cut lengthwise along the seams. You should have six rectangles. On a lightly floured work surface, gently roll out puff pastry to a 12 by 16 rectangle about ¼ inch thick. Cut the pastry into twelve four inch squares. Brush the edges with egg wash. Spoon 2 tablespoons of thr meat filling into each square. Fold over from one corner to the opposite corner into a triangle. Crimp edges decoratively with a fork. With a paring knife cut 3 small slits at the top of each samosa. Chill. At this point samosas can be frozen.

Preheat oven to 375. Egg wash each samosa and place on a baking sheet. Bake until golden brown approx. 18-20 minutes. Serve.

From Dirk Flanigan of the Gage:

Wild Boar and Truffle Sausage

1lb Wild Boar
1/2 lb. fat back
1 cup Veal Glace
2 TBSP. Fresh Thyme
2 Black Truffles Chopped
Salt and Pepper

Marinate for 24 hrs. Grind, Paddle, Test for seasoning.

Onion Rosemary Marmalade

3 Spanish onions sliced thin
zest of 2 oranges
1 Tsp chopped Rosemary
4 TBSP Red Wine Vinegar

Caramelize onions. Allow to cool, then fold in all other ingredients.

Cranberry Mustard

1lb. Cranberry
1/2 lb Dry Mustard Seed
3 cups Reisling
1/2 cup Sherry Vinegar
4 TBSP Dry Mustard
Black pepper

Bring cranberries, Reisling, Sherry vinegar to boil, cook for 5 minutes. Remove from heat, add Mustard and pepper. Cool.

From Chris Pandel of The Bristol:

Pork Liver Pate

2 pork shoulder
1 fat back
1/2 lb. pork Liver
10 oz. guanciale
5 clove smashed garlic
4 minced shallots
3 oz. brandy
3 oz. white wine
4 allspice pods
1-½ cup capers
2 eggs

Cut the pork shoulder, guanciale, and fat back into 1" cubes. Place in a mixing bowl and marinate with the garlic, shallot, brandy, white wine, and ground allspice over night in the cooler.
Grind the pork through a medium die, along with the pork liver. Crack the eggs into the bowl and mix by hand until everything is incorporated. Add the capers and fold in. Line a terrine mold with bacon and parchment paper strips. Place the mixture into the mold. Fold the bacon and parchment to the top of the pate. Knock the mold on the table a few times to allow air bubbles to release. Chill for at least six hours wrapped in plastic. Wrap the pate in foil before baking.

Bake in a water bath at 325 degrees until the pate reaches 160 degrees, roughly 90 minutes. Remove the pate and allow to cool, place a weight on top of the pate as it cools. Chill overnight and serve.

Pickled Cherries

2lbs sour cherries
1-1/2 cup sugar
4-1/2 cups champagne vinegar
4 whole cloves
6 whole peppercorns

Bring sugar, vinegar, cloves, and peppercorns to a boil. Cover cherries with warm liquid and allow to cool to room temp. Keep refrigerated for two days before eating.