Hopefully you're already making your way through Eric Wilson, Mickey Boardman and Rachel Zoe's recipes for tasty holiday appetizers and side dishes. Next up: entrees. Although, as we noted earlier, either these folks like to load up on apps as a meal or order a pre-cooked gourmet main dish (fashion people, just like us!), because the entree recipe selection is on the petite side. Let's just call it a capsule collection. But a delicious capsule collection, nonetheless.
Enjoy! And stay tuned for the best finale: dessert.
Michael Maccari's Family Recipe for Puttanesca Sauce
The Perry Ellis creative director likes a big family style meal for, well, family time. "One of my favorite sauces is Puttanesca, 'sauce of the whores,'" he explains via email. "It is a simple 'peasant' dish that is very easy to make (for most Italians). It's a tangy, spicy red sauce served over any type of pasta — from spaghetti to my favorite, penne rigate. It's a typical southern dish and family recipe — one I've watched being prepared since I was a little mamma's boy in the kitchen with my grandmother Rosie, my mother and my aunt."
1 small can of anchovies
1 1/2 tablespoon of anchovy paste
Extra virgin olive oil — the stronger, cloudier, greener the better — cover the pan with an abundant amount of this.
2 to 3 cloves garlic, smashed
1 pint of fresh, pitted calamata olives from the barrel
Black pepper to taste
2 to 3 small peperoncino/crushed red pepper chilis
3 1/2 tablespoons of drained capers
1 can crushed tomatoes
1 can whole peeled tomatoes
1 small can tomato paste
5 to 10+ nice sized leaves of fresh basil
1 pound of pasta (whatever shape you decide)
Red wine, splash to taste
Pecorino romano grated cheese
*Optional 10 or so cherry tomatoes
Begin by heating the oil and crushed garlic ... like any good sauce. As the garlic mixes with the oil and becomes translucent, add in the anchovy paste and stir in to mix with the oil. Lower the heat.
Add the tomato paste, stirring frequently. This should create a thick base. Then add the crushed and whole tomatoes and cook it down covered. The whole tomatoes will soften and start to break apart — help them along with a wooden spoon.
Add the rest of the ingredients once the sauce cooks for about 10 to 15 minutes. Cut the cherry tomatoes in half and throw in ten minutes before serving.
As any sauce cooks, the ingredients will infuse over time, so don't rush it! If it cooks for an hour, it will be great, but the next day it will be even better!
Cook your pasta in water with a teaspoon of olive oil (no salt necessary) and don't overcook it (7 to 9 minutes on average). Retain a small amount of pasta water in a large bowl and after draining, toss in the pasta, and ladle on the sauce! Serve in large bowls, garnish with extra basil leaves, and grate some fresh pecorino romano on top to taste.
It's a spicy tangy dish that leans toward the salty side so each time you make it, you will customize it to your preference. I serve it with fresh hot bread and a full bodied red!
Ramy Brook's Poached Lemon Chicken with Quinoa
Ramy Sharp, the brand's creative director, keeps her holiday meal healthy and delicious.
1 1/2 pounds boneless chicken breast
6 cups water
2 to 3 lemons
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 medium carrot, peeled, chopped
2 celery stalks, chopped
1 medium onion, chopped
1 garlic clove, chopped
1 tablespoon tomato paste
1/2 cup dry white wine
6 3/4 cups low sodium chicken broth
2 sprigs fresh thyme, four sprigs fresh parsley
1 teaspoon chopped fresh dill
1 1/2cups quinoa
8 stalks asparagus, medium size (almost a cup when cooked, sliced)
8 cherry tomatoes, quartered
Chopped fresh parsley
Kosher salt and fresh pepper
Hot sauce (optional)
Heat olive oil in a medium saucepan on medium low. Add carrot, celery, onion, garlic and sauté 8 to 10 minutes. Add tomato paste, sauté 5 minutes until it starts to brown slightly on bottom of pan. Add wine, simmer until reduced by half. Add 4 cups chicken broth, juice from one lemon, thyme and parsley sprigs, fresh dill, increase heat until boils, then reduce to steady simmer, for 30 minutes. Strain broth. Season to taste with pepper and salt (a little hot sauce optional). Squeeze in remaining 1/2 lemon if desired.
While making broth, bring 6 cups water in a small pot to a boil, reduce to a low simmer. Squeeze half a lemon into water and put squeezed lemon in the water. Add chicken breast, partially cover and gently simmer for 10-12 minutes. Remove chicken, cool and shred very well. Moisten shredded chicken with some of the finished broth, set aside covered. Increase heat until water boils, trim asparagus and add to water for 1 minute, then shock in ice cold water. Slice asparagus on the bias in small pieces.
While making the broth, boil 2 3/4 cups chicken broth in a medium saucepan, add 1 tablespoon olive oil and quinoa. Reduce to low simmer, cover, cook approximately 15 minutes until done. Remove from heat, season to taste with salt and pepper, stir in asparagus.
Pack approximately 3/4 cup quinoa firmly in a round mold, flat. Place quinoa in the middle of four shallow bowls. Gently mound 4 to 5 ounces of the shredded chicken on top of the quinoa in each bowl, push together as it’s placed on so it stays on top and high. Add three tomato pieces on top of the chicken, put five additional in each bowl. Gently ladle approximately 1/2 cup of chicken broth around quinoa, reserve remainder. Sprinkle with fresh parsley, serve with a lemon slice garnish.