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Sunday, December 22, 2013 - Page updated at 06:22 p.m.

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14 holiday dishes from some of Seattle's best chefs

For a menu to remember, Seattle-area chefs offer up their best dishes that you can make at home. From nuts to soup, dessert and everything in between.

By Nancy Leson and Providence Cicero

The Seattle Times

Food interactive

Ken Lambert / The Seattle Times

Renee Erickson dishes up two scrumptious sides at The Whale Wins, in Wallingford. On the left is Roasted Rabe with Pimenton Fingerlings. On the right, Braised Collard Greens with Toasted Hazelnuts.

Home for the holidays? Cooking for company? Wishing you had a knockout dish that will wow your friends and family? Look no further. Our holiday recipe collection has dinner covered from butternut squash soup to spiced nuts, from a scallop ceviche appetizer to boozy chocolate shakes for dessert. Why not try roasted lamb shoulder instead of prime rib this year, or swap sturgeon for salmon? Maybe ditch those green beans and roast broccoli rabe instead?

We asked some of our favorite Seattle chefs to choose something from their menus for your holiday entertaining. We hope their recipes (tested by Seattle Times staff) will tempt you to try a dish or two — in your home during this festive season or at their restaurants. Happy Holidays!

Our contributing chefs


Meeru Dhalwala, Shanik Print recipe

Spiced Roasted Nuts

Ken Lambert / The Seattle Times

Cashews are ready for roasting with fragrant Indian spices that include, from bottom left, cloves, cumin and cardamom (for homemade garam masala), cayenne pepper and cinnamon sticks.

Ken Lambert / The Seattle Times

Meeru Dhalwala of Shanik, in South Lake Union, makes her spiced roasted cashews on the stove. At home, you can make them in the oven.

Makes 1 pound

  • 1 pound whole raw almonds or cashews
  • 2 tablespoons canola oil
  • 1 tablespoon kosher salt
  • ½ tablespoon mango powder (amchur)*
  • 1 tablespoon garam masala (see note)
  • ½ tablespoon ground cayenne pepper

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. In a large bowl, thoroughly combine the nuts, oil, salt, mango powder, garam masala and cayenne. Spread the coated nuts on a baking tray and bake 5 to 8 minutes for almonds (4 to 5 minutes for cashews). Remove from the oven and lightly toss the nuts to distribute the spices evenly and ensure they don't burn.
  2. Return the pan to the oven for 5 to 8 minutes more for almonds (4 to 5 minutes for cashews), until slightly darker. (If they turn dark brown at the edges, they are about to burn.) Remove the nuts from the oven and allow to cool completely, 45 minutes to 1 hour, before serving.
  3. The nuts will keep for up to a month in an airtight container in a cool, dry place.

* Available at World Spice or any Indian or Pakistani grocery.

Note: If you don't have garam masala you can substitute ground cumin. It will have a slightly different flavor. Shanik sells roasted and ground spices in a box that includes garam masala.

Maria Hines, Tilth Print recipe

Dungeness Crab Salad with Candied Cranberries

Ken Lambert / The Seattle Times

Toasted hazelnuts and fried shallots top Maria Hines' Dungeness Crab Salad.

Serves 6

For the salad

  • 1 pound Dungeness crabmeat
  • 1 tablespoon Italian parsley, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh tarragon
  • 1 tablespoon minced shallot
  • 1 lemon, zested and juiced
  • 1 tablespoon mayonnaise
  • Salt and ground white pepper to taste
  • ¼ cup toasted hazelnuts, chopped

For the fried shallots

  • 2 to 4 large shallots (peeled and thinly sliced into rings) to make 2 cups
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • ¼ teaspoon fresh ground pepper
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 2 cups canola oil for frying

For the candied cranberries

  • 1 cup fresh cranberries
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 cup water
  • Fine (baker's) sugar for finishing

Ken Lambert / The Seattle Times

This crab may look mean but it plays well with others in the Dungeness Crab Salad.

  1. To candy the cranberries: Put the water and sugar in a medium saucepan and bring to a low simmer. Remove from the heat and add the cranberries. Cover and cool (may be refrigerated until ready to use).
  2. To fry the shallots: Put the flour, salt and pepper in a zip-top bag, add the shallots and shake to coat. Put the buttermilk in a bowl, dip the floured shallots in the buttermilk, then return to the flour mixture and shake again. Fill a deep 2-quart saucepan with the oil and heat to 375 degrees. In two batches, gently dip the coated shallots into the pan and fry to a golden brown (about 5 minutes). Remove with a slotted spoon and set aside on paper towels.
  3. To prepare the salad: In a large bowl, toss together the crab, parsley, tarragon, minced shallot, lemon juice, zest and mayonnaise. Add salt and white pepper to taste.
  4. To assemble: Mound the crab salad on individual plates; garnish with the hazelnuts, cranberries and fried shallots.

Note: This dish is also available on the Maria Hines catering menu for the holidays.

Charles Walpole, Blind Pig Bistro Print recipe

Scallop Ceviche with Avocado and Lime Ice

Ken Lambert / The Seattle Times

Tart green apple and savory green onions play counterpoint to sweet scallops in Charles Walpole's ceviche.

Ken Lambert / The Seattle Times

Walpole serves a refreshing Scallop Ceviche over avocado purée at his Eastlake joint, Blind Pig Bistro.

Serves 8

  • 1 pound fresh sea scallops
  • 6 limes, finely zested then juiced
  • 2 ripe avocados
  • 1 green apple
  • 1 bunch scallions, trimmed
  • 2 serrano chilies
  • 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • Kosher salt

  1. Chill 8 small plates. Slice the scallops crosswise into discs about ⅛ inch thick and place in a nonreactive bowl. Combine with lime zest and juice. Marinate, refrigerated, for 45 minutes.
  2. While the scallops are marinating, peel and pit the avocados and purée the flesh in a food processor (or blender) until smooth. Season to taste with salt. Cover purée tightly with plastic wrap to prevent oxidation; refrigerate.
  3. Peel and cut the apple into ¼-inch dice. Thinly slice the scallions crosswise, using the green parts only. Cut the serranos in half lengthwise, remove seeds and mince the peppers. (Important! Use gloves or wash hands to prevent burning.)
  4. After 45 minutes, drain the juice from the marinated scallops into a pie plate or quarter sheet pan and place the pan in the freezer until frozen, about 20 minutes. Meanwhile, in a separate bowl, combine the scallops, apple, scallion, serranos and olive oil. Salt to taste.
  5. To serve: In the center of each plate place a dollop of avocado purée. Arrange the scallop mixture on the purée. Using the tines of a fork, scrape the frozen lime marinade and sprinkle over the scallops.
Ethan Stowell, Staple & Fancy Mercantile Print recipe

Butternut Squash Soup with Poached Duck Eggs

Ken Lambert / The Seattle Times

Ethan Stowell's Butternut Squash Soup gets an elegant finish: a poached duck egg, a splash of pumpkin seed oil and toasted pumpkin seeds.

Ken Lambert / The Seattle Times

Ethan Stowell prepares Butternut Squash Soup at Staple & Fancy in Ballard.

Serves 8

For the soup

  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 small yellow onion, finely chopped
  • 2 small to medium butternut squash (about 2½ pounds), peeled, seeded and diced
  • 4 cups water
  • ½ cup cream
  • 8 duck eggs (can substitute chicken eggs)

For the garnish

  • 4 tablespoons chives, minced
  • ½ cup toasted pumpkin seeds
  • 8 teaspoons pumpkin seed oil or extra-virgin olive oil
  • Kosher salt and fresh cracked pepper to taste

  1. Heat the butter in a saute pan, add the onion and a pinch of salt. Sauté until the onions are just soft and clear, not browned. Add the squash and water, along with another pinch of salt. Increase the heat to high and bring to a boil. Decrease the heat to a simmer and cook just until the squash is tender, 8 to 10 minutes.
  2. Purée the soup in batches in a blender, taking care not to fill the blender more than half full and covering the top with a kitchen towel to avoid splatters. When all the soup is puréed, strain through a chinois or fine sieve into a large bowl. Stir in the cream and season to taste with salt and pepper. If not serving the soup immediately, place the bowl in an ice-water bath and chill until cold, then refrigerate.
  3. Poach the eggs, retrieve each with a slotted spoon and place on a warm plate layered with paper towels to drain.
  4. To serve, reheat the soup if necessary. Divide the chives among 8 shallow bowls, sprinkling them on the bottom to provide a bed for the egg. Gently place an egg on top of the chives. Carefully spoon the soup around each egg. Gloss the egg with a teaspoon of pumpkin seed oil and sprinkle with kosher salt and cracked pepper. Sprinkle the pumpkin seeds around the soup and serve immediately.

Side Dishes

Tamara Murphy, Terra Plata Print recipe

Crispy Brussels Sprouts
with Rosemary, Maple and Lemon

Ken Lambert / The Seattle Times

Lemon, rosemary and Serrano ham join the party in Tamara Murphy's Crispy Brussels Sprouts.

Ken Lambert / The Seattle Times

Murphy prepares Crispy Brussels Sprouts, a signature dish at her Terra Plata.

Serves 4

  • 1 pound Brussels sprouts
  • 2 to 4 cups olive or canola oil (or about 3 inches up the side of your pot)
  • 1 (4-inch) sprig rosemary, leaves removed and chopped finely (about ½ tablespoon)
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1 to 2 tablespoons maple syrup
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 2 to 3 slices Serrano ham or prosciutto (optional)

  1. Slice the sprouts in half, remove outer leaves, trim and cut out a V-shaped chunk of the root. (This will encourage the layers to flower when fried. Don't worry about loose leaves; they will fry crispier.)
  2. Add the oil to the deep pot, enough to cover the sprouts, and heat to 350 degrees. Gently add the sprouts. (Don't crowd them. You may need to do this in 2 batches depending on the size of your pot. A 7-inch pot works well; you can also do this in a home fryer.)
  3. Fry the sprouts until crispy, about 1 minute. Remove them with a slotted spoon, drain on paper towels. Toss the sprouts in a bowl with the rosemary, lemon juice and maple syrup. Season with salt, add ham or prosciutto if using.
Renee Erickson, The Whale Wins Print recipe

Roasted Rabe with Pimenton Fingerling Potatoes

Ken Lambert / The Seattle Times

Renee Erickson's Roasted Rabe with Pimenton Fingerling Potatoes gets some extra kick with cured black olives, sherry vinegar and toasted garlic.

Ken Lambert / The Seattle Times

Sliced fingerling potatoes are fried before they're plated with the roasted rabe.

Serves 6

  • ¼ cup plus 6 tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • 1 head of garlic, thinly sliced
  • 1 small bag fingerling potatoes (about 1½ pounds)
  • Kosher salt
  • 3 bunches broccoli rabe (about 3 pounds)
  • 6 tablespoons sherry vinegar, divided
  • 3 tablespoons smoked Spanish paprika (pimenton)
  • Maldon or other flaky sea salt and extra virgin olive oil for finishing
  • ½ cup oil-cured black olives, pitted and roughly chopped

  1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees. In a skillet over medium heat, add ¼ cup olive oil, heat slowly. Turn down oil to low/medium and add the garlic; fry, stirring, until golden. With a slotted spoon, transfer the garlic to a plate lined with a paper towel to absorb excess oil. Set the garlic aside to cool and reserve the oil for the potatoes.
  2. Place the fingerlings in a pot, cover with cold water, add about 1 tablespoon of salt and bring to a simmer. Cook until a fork pierces through easily, about 20 minutes. Drain and set aside to cool.
  3. Trim the ends of the rabe and wash. Pat dry and spread out on a large sheet pan. Drizzle 2 tablespoons of the olive oil over each bunch of rabe and toss to coat evenly. Place on a rack in the upper third of the oven. (One bunch will fill one sheet pan. You can roast more than one bunch at a time on two racks, if you have more pans.) Roast 12-15 minutes or until tender. Remove from oven and drizzle 2 tablespoons of the sherry vinegar over each bunch and toss.
  4. Slice the potatoes into inch-thick coins and fry in one layer in the reserved garlic oil until golden. Flip the potatoes and repeat. Transfer potatoes to a large bowl and, while still hot, sprinkle with the smoked pimenton and a large pinch of sea salt. Toss till evenly coated.
  5. To serve: Place the rabe on individual plates or a large platter, surround with potato coins. Sprinkle with a little more salt and finish with a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil. Garnish with the olives and fried garlic.
Renee Erickson, The Whale Wins Print recipe

Braised Collard Greens with Toasted Hazelnuts

Ken Lambert / The Seattle Times

Nutmeg, lemon, marjoram and a grating of good Parmesan add nuance to Braised Collard Greens with Toasted Hazelnuts from Renee Erickson.

Ken Lambert / The Seattle Times

Erickson's Braised Collard Greens start with fresh leaves, washed, trimmed and chopped.

Serves 6 to 8

  • 1 cup chopped, toasted hazelnuts
  • 2 tablespoons butter, room temperature
  • Pinch of kosher salt
  • 4 to 6 bunches collard greens, about 3 pounds
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 lemon, zested, plus juice of ½ lemon
  • 2 tablespoons fresh marjoram leaves, finely chopped
  • ¼ teaspoon grated nutmeg
  • 1 teaspoon Maldon or other flaky sea salt
  • 1 cup finely grated Parmesan
  • Extra-virgin olive oil for finishing

  1. Toss the hazelnuts with the butter and kosher salt.
  2. Remove and discard the middle stem from the collard greens. Wash, dry and roughly chop the greens.
  3. Heat a large pan or wok to medium high, add the olive oil. Once hot, add the collard greens; sauté for 10 minutes or until bright and tender. Turn off heat. Add the lemon zest, lemon juice, marjoram, nutmeg, salt and toss. Add the buttered hazelnuts and toss again.
  4. To serve: Place the greens on individual plates or a platter, drizzle with extra-virgin olive oil and sprinkle with the Parmesan.

Main Dishes

Dustin Ronspies, Art of the Table; and Derek Ronspies, Le Petit Cochon Print recipe

Roast Pork Belly and Southern Grits
with Shrimpy Goodness

Ken Lambert / The Seattle Times

Roasted pork belly and "shrimpy goodness" rest on dreamy grits for a rich take on étouffée, courtesy of the Ronspies brothers, Dustin of Art of the Table, and Derek of Le Petit Cochon. Shrimpy goodness is their version of the Creole staple shrimp étouffée.

Serves 8

For the shrimpy goodness

  • 5 tablespoons diced butter, divided
  • ¼ cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups diced onion
  • 1 cup diced celery
  • 1 cup diced fennel
  • 2 tablespoons minced garlic
  • 1 cup dry white wine
  • 1 quart shrimp stock (see above)
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 6 thyme sprigs
  • 1 cup diced tomato (canned is OK)
  • ¼ cup chopped Italian parsley
  • Salt and pepper to taste

For the pork belly and brine

  • 5 pounds pork belly
  • 1 gallon water
  • 1 cup kosher salt
  • ½ cup sugar
  • ½ cup olive oil
  • 1½ teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1½ teaspoons ground coriander
  • 1 tablespoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon pepper

For the grits

  • 1 cup grits, soaked in water just to cover, about 15 minutes (don't use instant)
  • 1½ pints whole milk
  • 3 bay leaves
  • 1 tablespoon kosher salt
  • Pinch of sugar
  • ½ stick of butter

Ken Lambert / The Seattle Times

The Ronspies brothers, Dustin, left, and Derek, compete for a pinch of salt while making Roasted Pork Belly with Southern Grits and Shrimpy Goodness at Art of the Table, in Wallingford.

For the stock

  • 2 pounds shrimp (45 to 50 count), peeled (reserve shells for the stock)
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 1 cup carrot, chopped
  • 1 cup celery, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 2 quarts water

  1. To prepare the pork belly: Pour the water into a pot large enough to allow the pork belly to be fully submerged); add the salt and sugar. Heat the water until the salt and sugar are fully dissolved. (You want it to taste salty, but not overwhelming or sweet.) Let the water cool completely before submerging the pork belly in the brine. Place the belly and brine in the refrigerator and let sit overnight.
  2. The next morning, preheat the oven to 275 degrees. Pull the belly out of the brine and pat dry with paper towels. Get some olive oil and lube it up. Sprinkle with the cumin, coriander, salt and pepper and massage your belly! Line a roasting pan with foil. Set the roasting rack in the pan and place the belly on top of the rack. Roast for 2 to 3 hours, until the meat is tender and juicy with a slight chew like a rib-eye steak. Let it rest for at least 30 minutes and up to 2 hours.
  3. Ken Lambert / The Seattle Times

    A bike bell is used when orders are ready at Art of the Table. Here, seasoned shrimp awaits its makers — the Ronspies brothers.

  4. To make the grits: While the pork belly is cooking, grab a medium-sized pot and throw in the milk, bay leaves, salt and a pinch of sugar. Bring the milk to a simmer, careful not to let it boil over. Turn the heat to low, discard the bay leaves, dump in the grits and stir with a whisk. Cook for about 40 minutes, keeping a porridge-like consistency. Stir often and keep the heat on medium-low to avoid scorching. Rehydrate with more water if needed. The grits are done when they have a little bit of bite, but less al dente than pasta. Throw in the butter and stir; season to taste with more salt.
  5. To make the stock: Use best-quality shrimp from your local grocery or fish monger. (We prefer wild white Gulf shrimp or spot prawns from the Northwest.) Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Place the shells flat on a sheet pan and roast for 20 minutes. Once done, scrape them and all the roasted bits into a pot. Add the chopped onion, carrot, celery, tomato paste and water. Simmer for 45 minutes. Strain the stock into a separate bowl; discard solids.
  6. On to the shrimpy goodness: Place a large skillet over medium-high heat. Season the shrimp liberally with salt and pepper and sear 1½ minutes on each side. Remove from the pan and set aside. Lower heat to medium and add 3 tablespoons of butter. Once melted, add ¼ cup of flour and whisk to incorporate. You're making a roux here, so stir frequently to avoid burning. Cook for about 8 minutes or until the color of your roux resembles light peanut butter. Toss in the onion, celery, fennel and garlic. Stir frequently and let cook for about 10 minutes. Add the white wine; stir for 1 to 2 minutes.
  7. Add the shrimp stock, bay leaves and thyme. Cook for about 20 minutes, letting the liquid reduce until you've achieved a nice, sauce-like consistency. Add the cooked shrimp and its juices to the sauce along with the chopped tomato, the remaining butter, and stir to incorporate. Add the chopped parsley and season with salt and pepper to taste.
  8. To serve family style: Get your grandmother's favorite large platter and slather a healthy portion of the grits on the bottom. Ladle shrimpy goodness over the grits. Cut the roasted belly into 8 equal portions and arrange on top.
Jason Wilson, Miller's Guild Print recipe

Roasted Lamb Shoulder
with Bourbon Rosemary Glaze

Ken Lambert / The Seattle Times

Jason Wilson of Crush and Miller's Guild proves that his Roasted Lamb Shoulder with Bourbon Rosemary Glaze, served here with an apple, turnip and date tart, makes a memorable centerpiece for a spectacular holiday meal.

Serves 8

For the lamb shoulder

  • 1 (5- to 6-pound) boneless lamb shoulder roast, tied and trussed
  • 2 tablespoons kosher salt
  • 1 tablespoon black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh rosemary leaves
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh sage leaves
  • 1 teaspoon ground fennel
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1 tablespoon ground cumin
  • 10 cloves garlic, smashed with the flat side of a knife
  • 1 yellow onion, peeled and diced

For the glaze

  • 1 cup good bourbon
  • 1 inch fresh ginger, peeled and minced
  • Peel of 1 orange
  • 2 cups apple cider
  • 2 cups chicken stock
  • 1 (4-inch) sprig rosemary
  • 3 tablespoons whole butter

Ken Lambert / The Seattle Times

Wilson readies a lamb shoulder for roasting.

  1. Place an oven rack on the lowest level and preheat oven to 180 degrees. Mix the salt, pepper, rosemary, sage, fennel, coriander and cumin together in a small bowl and rub evenly all over the roast. Tuck the smashed garlic into the roast. Place the onions on a half sheet or roasting pan; place the roast on a rack, set over the onions and roast 1 hour, 45 minutes. Remove from the oven and scrape the onions and any liquids into a separate saucepan for making the glaze. Allow the roast to rest, tented with foil, in a warm place while you make the glaze. Increase oven temperature to 450 degrees.
  2. To make the glaze: Place the saucepan with the onions over medium-high heat, stir in the bourbon, ginger and orange peel and reduce until ¼ cup is remaining. Add the cider and repeat reduction until ½ cup total liquid remains. Add the chicken stock and the rosemary and repeat reduction until ¾ cup of liquid remains. Strain the sauce into a separate bowl to remove the solids, return the liquid to the saucepan and reduce heat to low, then whisk in the butter.
  3. Brush the roast with the glaze repeatedly so it's thoroughly covered. Return the roast to the oven and cook until it reaches an internal temperature of 145 degrees, about 40 minutes, for medium-rare. Remove from oven and rest 10 minutes. Reglaze the roast, slice and serve.

Note: This recipe was modified on Dec. 22, 2013, to clarify glaze preparation instructions and cooking timing.

Eric Donnelly, RockCreek Print recipe

Peppercorn-crusted Columbia
River Sturgeon "La Grand Veneur"

Ken Lambert / The Seattle Times

Chef Eric Donnelly makes merry with spicy black peppercorns and a sweet, tart cranberry chutney, preparing Peppercorn-Crusted Columbia River Sturgeon "La Grand Veneur" at RockCreek in Fremont.

Serves 6

For the cranberry chutney

  • 1 stick cinnamon
  • 2 cloves
  • 1 bay leaf
  • Cheesecloth to make a sachet for the spices
  • 2 cups red wine vinegar
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 (12-ounce) bag fresh cranberries, washed

For the Grand Veneur Sauce

  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • 1 tablespoon minced shallots
  • 1 teaspoon fresh thyme
  • ¼ cup brandy
  • ½ cup rich veal stock (can substitute chicken stock)
  • Pinch of salt
  • Pinch of ground black pepper

For the fish

  • Six 5-ounce pieces of sturgeon or other firm white fish, skin removed
  • ¼ to ½ cup coarsely ground black pepper
  • Kosher salt
  • Olive or canola oil
  • Parsley leaves or chopped chives to garnish

Ken Lambert / The Seattle Times

Fish on! says Donnelly, seen in front of a mural of his favorite fishing hole in Rock Creek, Mont. The mural takes center stage at the restaurant.

  1. To make the chutney: Place the cinnamon, cloves and bay leaf on a 6-inch square of cheesecloth, wrap up and tie with kitchen string to make a sachet. In a stainless-steel sauce pot, stir together the vinegar, sugar and spice sachet. Bring to a boil over medium heat. Reduce the mixture until it becomes a light syrup (about 12 minutes).
  2. Add the fresh cranberries and return to a boil. The cranberries will start to pop and release their juices. The natural pectin from the cranberries will thicken the chutney.
  3. Remove the pot from the heat and discard the sachet. Put the chutney in a bowl to chill and set aside. (The mixture will keep in the refrigerator for up to two weeks.)
  4. To make the sauce: In a stainless steel pan, melt the butter over medium heat; stir in the shallots and thyme. Sauté until shallots begin to caramelize (about 1 minute). Deglaze the pan with the brandy.
  5. Add the stock and reduce over medium heat to a sauce consistency, about 2 to 3 minutes. Stir in the chutney and return to a boil. Season with salt and pepper, and remove the pan from the heat.
  6. To cook the fish: Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Dredge one side of the fish in the pepper and sprinkle with salt to taste.
  7. In a large, ovenproof saute pan over high heat, add enough oil to coat the pan. When it begins to smoke, sear the fish on the peppercorn-crusted side (about 1 minute). Place the pan in the oven and bake until the fish is cooked through or reaches an internal temperature of 140 degrees.
  8. To complete the dish, place the sturgeon peppered side up on plates, pour a spoonful of sauce on each fillet, and garnish with parsley or chives.


Autumn Martin, Hot Cakes Molten Chocolate Cakery Print recipe

Apple Cardamom Ginger Pocket Pies

Ken Lambert / The Seattle Times

Autumn Martin's Apple Cardamom Ginger Pocket Pies. Think Pop-Tarts, only a thousand times better.

Ken Lambert / The Seattle Times

Apple filling, fragrant with cardamom, cinnamon and ginger, has all the right stuff(ing) for the pocket pies.

Makes 8 to 10 pocket pies

For the pie dough

  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 2½ sticks very cold unsalted butter, cut into ½-inch cubes
  • ¼ cup ice water

For the apple filling

  • 4 pounds Granny Smith apples, peeled, cored and cut into ⅛-inch-thick slices
  • 2 cups plus 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1½ cups brown sugar, packed
  • ⅓ cup cornstarch
  • 1¼ teaspoons ground cardamom
  • 1¼ teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1 tablespoon finely grated fresh ginger
  • 1¼ teaspoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 egg (for the wash)

Ken Lambert / The Seattle Times

Martin constructs one of her swoony handheld Apple Cardamom Ginger Pocket Pies at her Ballard shop, Hot Cakes Molten Chocolate Cakery.

  1. To make the pie dough: Combine the flour, salt and sugar in the bowl of a stand mixer. Using a whisk or fork, stir until evenly combined. Break up the butter with your fingers and add it to the flour mixture. Using the paddle attachment, mix on slow-medium until the mixture begins to resemble peas. (You can also do this by hand, with a sturdy fork.) Stop the mixer and, with your fingers, break up any large pieces of butter. Resume mixing until the dough just barely begins to stick together, then quickly add the ice water in a steady stream. Mix again until the dough is just beginning to stick to the paddle. (You will be mixing the dough a bit longer than you normally would for a dish pie, as you need to form a little more gluten to create a dough strong enough to withstand the pocket form.)
  2. Form the dough into a ball, making sure to knead out any air pockets. Flatten it into a 1-inch-thick disc, then cover it well with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 3 hours and up to 1 day. While the dough chills, prepare the apple filling.
  3. To make the apple filling: Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. In a large metal bowl, combine the apples, sugar, brown sugar, cornstarch, cardamom, cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, lemon juice, vanilla and salt. Using your hands, mix until everything is well combined. Pour the apple mixture into an 11-by-8-inch glass baking dish and cover with aluminum foil. Bake until the juices are bubbly and the apples are soft, about 1½ hours. Allow the filling to cool completely before making the pies.
  4. About a half-hour before you're ready to assemble the pies, remove the dough from the refrigerator and let it sit on the counter.
  5. To make the pockets: Lightly flour a work surface. With a rolling pin, roll the dough out into a big rectangle about ⅛-inch thick. Using a ruler and knife, cut the dough into rectangles that measure approximately 4½ by 8 inches.
  6. In a small bowl, beat the egg well until it's foamy and smooth.
  7. Line up three dough rectangles in front of you. Using a pastry brush, brush a thin strip (about ½ inch wide) of egg wash onto the edges of the rectangles' long sides. Be sure to avoid getting egg into the middle of the dough, or the pocket will stick together and you won't be able to get any filling in there. Fold the upper half of the rectangle over the bottom half, creating a square. Using the tips of your fingers, firmly press two out of three open edges together, creating a tight seal. One of the edges should be left open making a pocket. Using a fork, crimp the sealed edges, going in about ¾ inch. Repeat with the remaining dough rectangles. Be sure to form all the pockets before you begin to fill them; it takes about 5 minutes for the seal to properly adhere, and waiting will ensure the pies don't leak.
  8. To fill the pockets: Pick one up in the palm of your hand. Working quickly, spoon some filling into the pocket, packing it down gently into the corners and being careful not to get it on the top inside edges, where you will need to create a seal. Leave about 1 inch of room at the top of the pocket. Brush the egg wash along one inside open edge. Firmly press the open edges shut, squeezing out any air as you go along; crimp with a fork.
  9. Once you have finished all the pockets, cut 1 or 2 small diagonal slits on the top and brush egg wash over the top and edges. Refrigerate the pies for at least 1 hour before baking.
  10. To bake your pies: Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Arrange the pies 2 inches apart on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Bake for 30 minutes, or until the pies are golden brown and some of the filling is bubbling from the slits. Cool the pies for at least 20 minutes before devouring.

Note: You can freeze the pies on a baking sheet, making sure they are not touching each other, then transfer them to an airtight container where they will keep for up to 6 months. Do not defrost before baking; just add about 7 minutes to the baking time.

Autumn Martin, Hot Cakes Molten Chocolate Cakery Print recipe

Smoked Chocolate and Scotch Milkshake

Ken Lambert / The Seattle Times

Award-winning chocolatier Autumn Martin's milkshake is a very grown-up way to begin, or end, a holiday party.

Serves 4

  • ½ cup heavy cream
  • ½ cup Hot Cakes Smoked Chocolate Chips*
  • ½ cup scotch (such as Laphroaig)
  • 8 scoops chocolate ice cream

  1. Set the ice cream out for about 10 minutes to soften before using.
  2. To make a ganache: In a small saucepan over medium heat, bring the cream to a boil then immediately remove the pan from the heat and stir in the chocolate chips. Stir until the chips are completely melted and the ganache is smooth. Cool in the refrigerator.
  3. Once the ganache is completely cool, blend the ganache and scotch until smooth. Add the ice cream and blend until just combined. Pour into 6-ounce glasses and enjoy.

* Available at Hot Cakes Molten Chocolate Cakery

William Leaman, Bakery Nouveau Print recipe

Vanilla Bean Bread Pudding

Ken Lambert / The Seattle Times

At Bakery Nouveau, William Leaman's Vanilla Bean Bread Pudding is crowned with luscious caramel whipped cream. At home, regular whip will do just fine.

Ken Lambert / The Seattle Times

Eggs, sugar and fresh vanilla beans enrich Leaman's sweet bread pudding.

Serves 8 generously

  • 2 ounces dark rum (e.g., Myers) or vanilla extract
  • 4 cups crustless white bread (challah, brioche), cut into ½-inch cubes
  • 2 pints heavy cream
  • 3 vanilla-bean pods
  • 8 ounces brown sugar
  • 10 ounces sugar
  • 6 eggs
  • 2 egg yolks

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. In a large bowl, toss the bread cubes while sprinkling in the rum or extract. Set aside to absorb the liquid, and turn occasionally.
  2. Bring the cream just to a boil. Carefully slice the vanilla-bean pods open lengthwise. Using the back of the knife or a spoon edge, scrape the seeds out, and drop in the cream, then whisk briefly to disperse the seeds. Add the pods, if you like, for more vanilla flavor. Set aside to cool and let the vanilla steep, at least 15 minutes.
  3. Mix the brown sugar and sugar together, add the eggs and egg yolk and whisk until a smooth paste forms.
  4. If you added the vanilla pods to the cream, remove them, then whisk the cream into the sugar-egg mix, being sure to scrape the bottom and sides of the bowl. Whisk until this custard mixture is homogeneous.
  5. Pour the custard mix over the bread cubes and turn several times with a spatula to coat. Allow the bread cubes to sit in the custard mix for at least 30 minutes.
  6. Divide the bread cubes and custard evenly between eight 6-ounce ramekins. Press the bread cubes below the surface of the custard in each ramekin.
  7. Place the ramekins in a large, shallow pan filled with water about ¼ inch deep, then bake until firm, about 20-25 minutes.The bread pudding can be served warm or cold, with a dollop of whipped cream.

Note: At the restaurant, this dish is served with a luscious caramel whipped cream, but for home cooks, regular whipped cream will do fine.

Neil Robertson, Crumble & Flake Print recipe

Hot Apple Cider with 4-spice Marshmallows

Ken Lambert / The Seattle Times

Neil Robertson's delicate, spiced-for-the-season marshmallows take Hot Apple Cider to a new level.

Ken Lambert / The Seattle Times

The finished cider from Robertson, of Crumble & Flake.

Serves 8

This recipe is easiest to make with a stand mixer, because you have to whip it for such a long time, but can be done with a hand mixer. Don't attempt to whisk by hand.

  • 3/8 cup water (¼ cup plus 2 tablespoons)
  • 2 envelopes gelatin
  • 1½ cups sugar
  • ⅝ cup corn syrup (½ cup plus 2 tablespoons)
  • ⅛ teaspoon salt
  • ⅜ cup water (¼ cup plus 2 tablespoons)
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon nutmeg
  • ½ teaspoon ground anise seed
  • ⅜ teaspoon dried ginger
  • ½ cup confectioners sugar
  • ½ cup cornstarch
  • Good-quality apple cider

  1. Line an 8x8-inch baking pan with foil and lightly coat with pan spray or vegetable oil.
  2. Put the water into mixer bowl; sprinkle the gelatin evenly over the surface to dissolve.
  3. In a separate bowl, combine the sugar, corn syrup, salt and second amount of water in a small saucepan and stir. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat and boil until candy thermometer registers 235 degrees. Pour the hot syrup into the mixing bowl with the gelatin. Whip with a whisk attachment on medium-high speed until the mixture is light and fluffy and just barely warm. It should be very stiff, not pourable. This will take about 5 to 10 minutes. (Don't under whip or your marshmallows will come out dense and rubbery.)
  4. While the marshmallow is whipping, combine the spices in a small bowl or cup. When the marshmallow is very thick, add the spices and whisk until evenly mixed in. Scrape the marshmallow out of the mixer bowl into the 8x8-inch pan with a rubber spatula. Smooth the top using an offset spatula lightly coated with pan spray or vegetable oil. Lightly spray the surface of the marshmallow with pan spray and cover with plastic wrap. Place in refrigerator to firm and make it easier to cut, preferably overnight.
  5. Sift together confectioners sugar and cornstarch into a medium bowl and set aside.
  6. When the marshmallow is chilled and firm, remove plastic wrap and dust top with some of the cornstarch mixture. Turn out dusted side down onto cutting board. Remove foil. Dust lightly all over with more cornstarch mixture. Cut into desired shapes with a chef's knife, dipping the cut sides into the cornstarch mixture and shaking off excess. Cut marshmallows may be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for several days.
  7. To serve, heat the apple cider in a saucepan, pour into mugs and top with marshmallows.

Reporting by Providence Cicero and Nancy Leson, photos by Ken Lambert, design by Paige Collins / The Seattle Times.

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