5 Dishes by Local Chefs to Make Over the Holidays

5 Dishes by Local Chefs to Make Over the Holidays

Home recipes by Durham chefs you should test in your own kitchen this holiday season!

bleu-olive-beet-soupChilled Beet and Goat Cheese Soup with Beet, Fennel and Pistachio Relish

By Bleu Olive‘s Sam Papanikas

7 red beets, cleaned and trimmed
1 yellow onion, chopped
1 leek, washed and chopped
2 carrots, peeled and chopped
½ bunch celery, chopped
8 garlic cloves
1 tsp. fresh thyme leaves
4 cups vegetable stock
1 fennel bulb split, half chopped and half minced
6 oz. goat cheese, divided
5 Tbsp. olive oil, divided
5 Tbsp. red wine vinegar, divided
Kosher salt and black pepper to taste
1 small shallot, minced
2 Tbsp. pistachios, chopped

In a stockpot, add beets, onion, leek, carrots, celery, garlic, thyme, vegetable stock and the chopped half of the fennel bulb. Bring to a boil and cook until beets are tender. Turn off heat and remove beets to cool. Peel beets, chop 6 beets and return to stockpot, reserving 1 beet for relish. Ladle half of the soup mixture in blender. Add 3 oz. goat cheese, 2 Tbsp. olive oil, 2 Tbsp. red wine vinegar, salt and black pepper to taste. Blend until smooth. Pour into a deep pan able to fit in refrigerator.

Repeat with remaining soup mix, goat cheese, 2 Tbsp. oil, 2 Tbsp. vinegar, salt and pepper. Pour remaining soup into deep pan and chill in refrigerator.

While soup chills, mince remaining beet. Place in bowl with minced fennel, shallot and pistachio. Add 1 Tbsp. olive oil, 1 Tbsp. red wine vinegar, salt and pepper to taste and mix well.

Ladle soup into 4 bowls, and garnish with relish.

nanas-cornbreadNana’s Skillet Cornbread

By Nana’s Restaurant‘s Scott Howell

1¼ cups coarse stone-ground yellow cornmeal
¾ cup all-purpose flour
2 Tbsp. sugar
2 tsp. baking powder
¼ tsp. baking soda
1¼ tsp. salt
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
⅔ cup milk
⅔ cup buttermilk
1 Tbsp. unsalted butter, melted
2 Tbsp. rendered bacon fat

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Heat a 9-inch cast- iron skillet in the oven for 5 minutes. Meanwhile, in a medium bowl, whisk the cornmeal with the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Stir in eggs, milk and buttermilk until blended; then stir in melted butter.

Pour bacon fat into the hot skillet and swirl it around until the skillet is evenly greased. Pour the batter into the skillet and bake for 20 minutes, or until the cornbread is golden brown and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Let cool in the skillet for 5 minutes, then turn the cornbread out on a cutting board. Cut into wedges and serve warm.

catering-works-carrot-latkesCarrot Latkes with Ginger and Spicy Apple Salsa

By Catering Works‘ Jill Santa Lucia

5 cups carrots, shredded
6 oz. parsnips, grated
6 Tbsp. all-purpose flour
1½ tsp. iodized salt
¾ tsp. baking powder
½ tsp. cracked black pepper
1 Tbsp. fresh ginger, grated
3 eggs, beaten
4 oz. vegetable oil

Place carrots and parsnips in a large strainer and press with paper towels to squeeze out any moisture. In another bowl, whisk the flour, salt, baking powder and pepper to blend. Mix in the carrots, parsnips and grated ginger, and then the eggs. Mix well.

Pour enough oil into heavy large skillet to cover bottom and heat over medium heat. Working in batches and adding more oil as needed, drop carrot-parsnip mixture by ¼ cupfuls into the skillet and spread each to 3½-inch rounds. Fry until golden, about 5 minutes per side.

Transfer latkes to a rimmed baking sheet. The latkes can be made up to 6 hours ahead. Let them stand at room temperature and then rewarm in oven until crisp.

Serve topped with Spicy Apple Salsa (recipe below).

Spicy Apple Salsa

1½ lb. Granny Smith apples, peeled, halved and cored
2 Tbsp. jalapeño, minced
½ cup green onions, minced
½ cup lemon juice
1 Tbsp. lemon zest
2 Tbsp. honey

Combine the apples, jalapeño and green onions. Next add the lemon juice, lemon zest and honey, and mix well. Set aside in the refrigerator until ready to use.

Photo by Sarah Arneson.
Photo by Sarah Arneson.
Heritage Cheshire Pork Belly-Collard Wrap with Collard Stem Slaw, Chowchow and Pomegranate Reduction

By Harvest 18‘s Jason Smith

Collard leaf
Roasted pork belly rub (recipe below)
Collard stem slaw (recipe below)
Chowchow (recipe below)
Pomegranate reduction (recipe below)
Alfalfa sprouts
Goat cheese

For roasted pork belly rub

¼ cup coriander, toasted
¼ cup fennel seeds, toasted
5 bay leaves, toasted
2 Tbsp. mustard seeds, toasted
½ cup black peppercorns, toasted
1 cup garlic cloves
½ cup brown sugar
¼ cup salt
½ cup blended oil
1 pork belly, scored with diagonal hatches on fat side
Salt and pepper
3 lemons

Blend all of the ingredients through the oil in a blender until smooth. Rub the non-fat side of the pork belly with the rub. Flip over and season the fat side aggressively with salt and pepper. Roast at 425 degrees with the fan on for 30 minutes. Squeeze lemon juice over the top. Reduce heat to 300 degrees and cook for 3 hours.

For collard stem slaw

1 cup blanched collard stems, thinly sliced
¼ cup pumpkin seeds
¼ cup red onion, diced
2 Tbsp. mayonnaise
1 tsp. apple cider vinegar
2 tsp. Togarashi
1 pinch of sugar
Salt and pepper to taste

Mix and season.

For chowchow

2 cups apple cider vinegar
1½ cups sugar
1 tsp. turmeric
2½ tsp. ground ginger
2 tsp. celery seeds
2 tsp. mustard seeds
1 qt. cabbage
¼ cup yellow onion
¼ cup red pepper, roasted

Bring the first 7 ingredients to a boil. Thinly shred the cabbage and onions together in a sealable container. Dice the peppers and add to vegetables. Pour the boiling liquid into the container and cover immediately. Store in cooler.

For pomegranate reduction

24 oz. pomegranate juice reduced to a thick syrup


Blanch a collard leaf for 30 seconds and shock in ice water until cold. Lay the collard leaf out and cut into 4 pieces. Combine pork belly, collard stem slaw, alfalfa sprouts and goat cheese into leaf and roll tightly. Top with chowchow and finish with the pomegranate reduction.

basan-pork-with-ginger-sauceSauteed Pork with Ginger Sauce

By Basan‘s Toshio Sakamaki

1 pork loin (8-12 oz.)
Salt and pepper
2 tsp. cornstarch
2 tsp. soy sauce
1 tsp. sake
2 tsp. mirin (sweet rice wine) or substitute 1 tsp. sugar and 2 tsp. water
2 tsp. grated ginger
½ tsp. grated garlic
2 tsp. vegetable oil
¼ yellow onion, sliced
2 tsp. green onion, chopped

Lightly season the pork loin with salt and black pepper, and then coat it with cornstarch.

In a separate bowl, create your ginger sauce by mixing the soy sauce, sake, mirin, ginger and garlic.

Preheat a saute pan with vegetable oil, and then cook the pork loin on both sides until nicely browned. Remove pork loin from pan, and set it on a plate. Put yellow onion and a little more oil into the saute pan. Add the ginger sauce to pan, reducing it a little. Remove and pour over your pork loin. Sprinkle with chopped green onion.

Photography by James Stefiuk