Why recreate success – these recipes are great – I’ve tried them- and it’s seems to add a bit of cache to bring the dish to the table as I casually mention, “Oh, I got this recipe from Michael or was it Diane, you know the Minas right?” Or depending on the crowd, I might mumble, “I love this spinach dish from Tyler it’s one of my favorites, Tyler Florence, you know the mega star celebrity chef with the retail store in downtown Mill Valley. And I can’t forget Bradley Ogden’s always-popular holiday cocktail recipe.
Truth is Michael, Tyler or Bradley would never recognize me if I was sitting next to them with a name tag –but having their recipes in my war chest is a lot of fun. And those fleeting glimpses of interaction were big moments for me – although I’ve never met Tyler – I’ve emailed with his people.
According to Michael Mina, if you put the turkey in the refrigerator uncovered for two days before cooking – this will dry out the skin and make it extra crispy.
A few years back I asked three local chefs about their tater tactics –they all preferred to use Yukon Gold.
Robert Price of Buckeye, Bungalow 44 and Bocce says “We use Yukon Gold potatoes —they have the best starch content — unsalted butter, heavy cream and fine sea salt. Once your potatoes have boiled, add the slightly heated heavy cream and butter. Gently fold these in as you mash the potatoes, making sure to not overwork them — otherwise the starch gets released and you will have elastic gummy mashers. Serve right away, with a sprinkle of fresh-cut chives on top. Sam Ramadan, executive chef, Boca Steak, Novato: warns, “If you overboil the potatoes, you will lose a lot of the starch and the body; they become mushy. One of my childhood favorite side dishes was mashed potatoes with salt, white pepper, chives and extra-virgin olive oil, topped with soft-boiled egg and eaten with warm pita bread.” Blake Andros, former chef/owner, of Izzy’s Steaks and Chops, likes to add ingredients such as garlic or wasabi to enhance the flavor of the meat or fish you are serving with the dish.
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My favorite recipe for Thanksgiving came from Diana Stobo…
Ingredients: 1 head cauliflower, chopped or broken 1/2 cup macadamia nut butter 2 tablespoons olive oil 1 teaspoon fresh rosemary, minced 1/2 teaspoon garlic, peeled and grated 1/2 teaspoon sea salt 4 sprigs rosemary for garnish (optional)
Directions: Lightly steam cauliflower, or blanch in hot water for 3 to 5 minutes. Drain and place in food processor fitted with an S-blade. Process the cauliflower until it is grainy or reaches the texture of rice. Add macadamia butter, olive oil, herbs and spices, and process until mixture is light and fluffy, scraping sides frequently. This could take up to 5 minutes for the desired consistency.