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Web Exclusive: Recipes from 2008's Best New Restaurants

Chefs from this year's top dining spots share their kitchen secrets.

December 2008

Read more about the chefs and restaurateurs behind these recipes in "Best New Restaurants."

Beatrice and Woodsley
Peppered Chicken Breast, with Spiced Pumpkin Broth and Apple-Cabbage Braise

Peppered Chicken

  • 4 free-range or natural, skin-on, chicken breasts, rinsed and dried
  • 2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 teaspoons freshly ground pink pepper
  • 2 teaspoons freshly ground Sezchuan pepper
  • Salt to taste
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil

Combine three peppers. Season chicken with salt and pepper blend. Let chicken sit for 30 to 45 minutes.

Preheat oven to 400˚.

In a hot pan, heat equal parts butter and olive oil. Add chicken skin side down, and sauté. When the skin is browned, transfer the chicken to a roasting pan, and bake for 20 minutes, or until the internal registers 180˚. Remove the chicken, and let it rest for 7 to 10 minutes. Slice against the grain.

Pumpkin Broth

  • 1 medium pumpkin, quartered and seeded
  • Pumpkin seed oil
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Sugar to taste
  • 1 Honeycrisp apple, peeled, cored, and sliced
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1 tablespoon oil
  • 1 medium onion, sliced
  • 1 1-inch piece fresh ginger, peeled and crushed
  • 2 tablespoons five-spice powder
  • 2 cups apple juice
  • 2 cups water

Preheat oven to 300˚.

Toss pumpkin in a bowl with five-spice powder, pumpkin seed oil, salt, pepper, and a pinch of sugar. Place pumpkin on a baking sheet and roast for 30 minutes, or until fork tender. Cool pumpkin until it can be handled. Peel the skin, and cut into 1-inch pieces.

In a large saucepan, heat butter and oil over medium-high heat. Add onion, ginger, and apple, sautéing until tender. Mix in pumpkin, apple juice, and water. Reduce heat to medium-low and cook slowly until the pumpkin starts to break down. Check the seasoning, and add more five-spice, salt, and pepper, if desired. Puree and strain the broth; it should be thick enough to hold to a plate.

Apple, Savoy Cabbage Braise

  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 small savoy or napa cabbage, cored and sliced
  • 4 or 5 Honeycrisp apples, peeled, cored, and sliced
  • ½ cup golden raisins
  • 1 teaspoon caraway seeds
  • 1 cup cider vinegar
  • 1 cup Chardonnay
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Sugar to taste

In a large skillet, melt butter over medium-high heat. Add the cabbage, apples, raisins, and caraway, sautéing until tender. Pour in cider vinegar and Chardonnay, and stir any browned bits off the sides of the pan. Season with salt, pepper, and sugar. Cover, and reduce heat to medium-low, cooking until the liquid is almost gone.

To plate, spoon broth over the bottom of serving dish, covering about half the plate's surface. Top broth with ½ cup apple-cabbage braise, and finally the chicken. Garnish with pumpkin seed oil and fresh chives. This recipe can also be presented as small plates—serve each diner half a chicken breast.

Bistro One
Steak Frites (Serves 4)

Tarragon butter

  • 32 tablespoons (4 sticks) plugrá or European butter
  • ¼ cup tarragon, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons roasted garlic, chopped
  • A dash of Tabasco
  • 1 teaspoon red wine vinegar

Steak and potatoes

  • 4 8-ounce sirloin or flat iron steaks
  • 4 large russet potatoes, cut into thin French-fry sticks
  • Canola oil

Place butter in the mixing bowl of an electric mixer. With the paddle attachment, whip butter until it changes color from yellow to white. Add the remaining ingredients, and mix thoroughly.

Fire up the grill to medium-high heat. Season the steaks with salt and pepper, and cook to preferred doneness. Top with large dollop of plain butter. Hint: For a better sear and juicier steak, use a broken-in grill, and don't oil the steaks.

To make the frites, fill a large saucepan halfway full with canola oil. Heat oil to 275˚. Blanch potatoes in oil until limp, about 3 to 5 minutes. Remove potatoes, and cool on cookie sheet. Reheat oil to 375˚, and fry potatoes until crisp, about 2 to 3 minutes. Remove from heat, place fries in a metal bowl, and toss with salt and tarragon butter.

D Bar Desserts
Pumpkin Bourbon Cheesecake with Graham Pecan Crust

Crust

  • 3 ounces (5 whole crackers) graham crackers
  • ½ cup pecans, chopped 3 tablespoons sugar
  • ½ teaspoon ground ginger
  • ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cloves
  • 4 tablespoon butter, melted

Preheat oven to 325˚.

Spray 9-inch springform pan with nonstick cooking spray. Process crackers, sugar, and spices in food processor, until evenly ground. Transfer to a medium bowl, and drizzle with melted butter. Mix until evenly combined and spread crumbs in an even layer on the base of the pan. Bake until brown, about 15 minutes. Let cool 30 minutes. Wrap springform pan in heavy-duty tin foil, and place in roasting pan.

Filling

  • 1 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon ground ginger
  • ¼ teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cloves
  • ¼ teaspoon ground allspice
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 15-ounce can pumpkin puree
  • 3 8-ounce packages cream cheese, cut in 1-inch cubes, room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ¼ cup bourbon
  • 5 large eggs, room temperature
  • 1 cup heavy cream

Whisk sugar, spices, and salt in small bowl. Set aside. Dry pumpkin between triple layers of paper towels.

In standing mixer on medium speed, beat cream cheese for about one minute. Scrape bowl. Add 1/3 of sugar mixture, and beat on medium speed for about 1 minute. Scrape bowl. Repeat two more times. Add pumpkin, vanilla, and bourbon at medium speed. Blend for about 45 seconds. Scrape bowl. Add 3 of the eggs. Beat one minute. Scrape bowl. Add remaining 2 eggs. Beat one minute. Scrape bowl. Add heavy cream. Beat one minute. With rubber spatula, scrape bowl and give final stir by hand.

Pour filling into springform pan. Place roasting pan in oven. Add water to roasting pan to create a water bath. Bake until the center of cake is slightly wobbly when the pan is shaken, about 1 ½ hours. Remove springform pan from roasting pan, discard foil and place on wire rack to cool. Chill approximately 4 hours in refrigerator before removing from springform pan.

Fuel
Lentil and Apple Salad

  • 1 cup French lentils
  • 4 cups water
  • 1 apple (Fuji or Braeburn), peeled, cored, and diced
  • 1 tablespoon parsley, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon cilantro, chopped
  • 1 lemon
  • 3 to 4 tablespoons Extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander
  • Pinch of chile flakes
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Place lentils in a medium saucepan and cover with water. Over medium-high heat, bring lentils to a boil. Reduce heat to low, and place lid partially over the saucepan. Simmer gently for 30 to 45 minutes, until lentils are slightly past al dente. Drain, and spread lentils on a baking sheet to cool.

Combine chopped herbs and apples. Squeeze lemon over mixture to prevent browning. Combine apple mixture and lentils, and drizzle with olive oil. Season with cumin, coriander, chile flakes, salt, and pepper.

Consider serving this salad with duck confit and frisée salad, or braised lamb shank.

Marco's Coal-Fired Pizza
Meatballs

  • 2 pounds ground beef
  • 1 ½ pounds ground pork
  • 1 ¼ cups bread crumbs
  • 6 eggs
  • ½ cup Grana Padano or Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, finely grated
  • 1 tablespoon fresh Italian parsley, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon kosher salt
  • 7 cloves garlic, minced
  • 3/4 cup milk

Preheat oven to 325˚.

In a large bowl, mix all ingredients until well combined. Measure out about 2 tablespoons of mix, and roll into a ball. Place meatball in a deep roasting pan. Repeat with remaining mixture, setting meatballs about 1 inch apart. Bake for 25 minutes.

Serve with San Marzano tomato sauce, spaghetti, or on top of pizza.

Masterpiece Delicatessen
Pumpkin Crème Fraîche Quick Bread

  • 14 tablespoons (1 3/4 sticks) butter, room temperature
  • 2 ¼ cups brown sugar
  • 1 ½ teaspoons salt
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • ¾ teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
  • 5 eggs
  • 1 1/3 cup crème fraîche (substitute sour cream or buttermilk)
  • 2 cups pumpkin puree
  • 3 cups flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 ½ baking soda
  • 1 ½ cup dried cranberries
  • 1 ½ cup walnuts, toasted and chopped

Preheat oven to 350˚, and butter three loaf pans.

Sift together flour, baking soda, and baking powder. Set aside. In the large bowl of a standing mixer, cream butter, sugar, salt, cinnamon, and nutmeg, until light in color, about 2 minutes. Add eggs one at a time until completely combined. Slowly mix in crème fraîche and pumpkin puree. Add flour mixture, stirring until just combined. Be careful not to over mix or the bread will be chewy. Fold in cranberries and toasted walnuts. Divide into prepared pans, and bake for 1 hour or until a toothpick comes out clean. Rotate pans halfway through baking.

The Q Worldly Barbeque
Pecan Coconut Dessert Bars

Crust

  • ½ cup sugar
  • 24 tablespoons (3 sticks) butter, room temperature
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 ½ teaspoons vanilla 1 ½ cups flour

Preheat oven to 350˚.

Mix together sugar, butter, eggs, and vanilla. Add flour, and mix until dough comes together. With hands dusted in flour, press dough into the bottom of an 8 x 8 baking pan. Bake crust until golden, about 15 minutes. Cool.

Filling

  • 4 eggs
  • 2 cups brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup bourbon
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • ½ cup flour
  • 1 ½ cups pecans, chopped
  • 1 cup sweetened coconut flakes

Combine eggs, sugar, bourbon, vanilla, and flour. Mix well, and stir in pecans and coconut. Pour filling over crust, and bake for 30 minutes. Cool before cutting into bars.