Lunchbreak: New Year’s Eve appetizers

Chef Russell Shearer

JW Marriott Chicago
151 W. Adams Street
Chicago
(312) 660-8200
www.marriott.com

JW Marriott Chicago Heirloom Tomato Flatbread

Yield:  4 servings

2 ea        Flatbreads cut into 4” x 11” pieces

1/4 cup    Basil Pesto

3 ea        Fresh Mozzarella Ovolini

1ea         Heirloom Tomato, Medium Dice

1/4 cup    Red Onion, cleaned, shaved and rinsed with cool water

1 tsp      Red Wine Vinegar

1 tsp      Extra Virgin Olive Oil

2 tbsp    Fresh Basil, roughly chopped (right before serving)

1/4 cup    Corn Meal

TT  Salt

TT  Black Pepper

Procedure:

Preheat a pizza stone or cast iron griddle on top shelf oven at 450 degrees. Dust a cutting board large enough to hold the flatbreads with corn meal, place the flatbreads on the cutting board.  Divide the pesto between the two flatbreads and spread to cover.  If the ovolini used was held in water, dry on paper towels after slicing.  Arrange fresh mozzarella atop the pesto, season with salt and pepper.  Switch oven to broil and allow to come up to temperature, use caution when transferring the flatbreads to the pizza stone or griddle as they will be extremely hot.  Use a pizza peel or long spatula to transfer the flatbreads to the oven, bake for 5-7 minutes, or until the cheese has melted and the bread is crisp.  While the flatbreads bake, mix the tomatoes, olive oil, vinegar, and red onion in a non-reactive bowl.  Season with salt and pepper.  Remove flatbreads from oven when done and transfer to cutting board.  Cut into desired sizes and place on serving platter.  Top with heirloom tomato and red onion.  Garnish with chopped basil. Chop basil right before serving to prevent it from turning black.

Antioxidant Smoothie
Yield:  2 servings

1 cup           Coconut Water
1 cup           Pomegranate Juice, unsweetened
1 cup           Frozen Blueberries
1 ea             Banana, peeled
1/2 cup      Greek Yogurt, non-fat

Procedure:

Place all ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth.  This is a great post exercise or hangover smoothie as it is loaded with electrolytes and helps to rehydrate.  It is pretty easy on sensitive stomachs as well.  Want to take it in a different direction, add chia seeds, flax seeds or go to veggies like beets, celery or kale.  If you like a sweeter smoothie, add agave nectar or stevia.

Bloody Mary Mix
Yield:  4 servings

4 cups    Tomato Juice
1/3 cup    Lime Juice, Freshly Squeezed
2 tbsp      Prepared Horseradish
2 tbsp    Sriracha Hot Sauce
1/4 cup    Worcestershire Sauce
2 tbsp    Red Boat Extra Virgin Fish Sauce, Whole Foods
1 tbsp        Sea Salt
TT        Szechuan Peppercorns, Freshly ground
TT        Vodka, Gin, tequila or Spirit of your choice

Procedure:

In a large pitcher mix all ingredients except Spirits.  I like to use fish sauce to season the mix, it not only adds salt but umami.  The mix should never taste fishy; just have a nice depth of flavor.  If the fish sauce is a step too far try soy sauce or miso, other salty umami laden ingredients. Szechuan Peppercorns add a citrus like note with a pleasing sensation in the mouth; feel free to substitute with black pepper if desired.

Fill a high ball glass with ice, add spirit of choice (I will leave this up to you, some like it hot).  Top up with Bloody mix, stir to combine.  I prefer a 2 parts bloody mix to 1 part spirits.  Garnish with whatever you have, I like celery sticks, pepperoncini peppers, cornichons and olives.  Think outside the box, raid the fridge.

Avocado and Lime Hummus
Yield:  3 servings

1 cup    Hummus, Prepared
1 ea    Large Avocado, seeded, peeled and roughly chopped
1 ea    Jalapeno, seeded and small diced
1 tsp     Ground Cumin
2 tbsp     Freshly Squeezed Lime Juice
TT        Salt
TT        Chipotle Chili Powder

Procedure:

Place all ingredients except for hummus in food processor. Process until smooth.  Add hummus and season with salt and chipotle chili powder.  Process until combined.  Add chili powder as desired for level of spiciness.  The chipotle powder will add smoky depth to the hummus as well.

Charred Carrot and Orange Hummus
Yield:  3 servings

1 cup    Hummus, Prepared
1 cup     Carrots, Peeled and large diced
2 tbsp     Extra Virgin Olive Oil
2/3 cup    Yellow onion, small diced
½ tbsp     Ground Coriander
1 tbsp    Fresh Orange Zest
1 ea     Medium Orange, Juiced
1.5 tbsp    Red Wine Vinegar
TT        Salt
TT        Black Pepper

Procedure:

Heat heavy bottom sauté pan over medium high heat, add olive oil.  When oil is hot, add carrots arranging in a single layer.  Allow carrots to cook without stirring for around 3 minutes, they should start to caramelize but not burn.  Begin to stir frequently and allow other sides to brown as well.  Once carrots are caramelized on all sides, around 8 minutes, reduce heat and add diced onion, sweat onions until translucent.  Add vinegar, orange juice, zest and coriander.  Stir to combine all ingredients and pull up any caramelized bits from the pan.  Allow liquid to reduce slightly, remove from heat.  Place carrot mixture in food processor or blender, process until smooth.  Add hummus and mix to combine.  Season with salt and black pepper to taste.

Fig, Bacon and Egg Flatbread
Yield:  4 servings

2 ea    Flatbreads cut into 4” x 11” pieces
¼ cup    Fig Jam, specialty stores or Whole Foods
½ cup      Apple Wood Smoked Bacon, Cooked and Crumbled
½ cup    Shaved Pecorino Romano Cheese
6 ea    Egg Yolks, removed from egg white, but not broken
½ cup     Baby Arugula
1 tsp      Extra Virgin Olive Oil
¼ cup    Corn Meal
TT        Salt
TT        Black Pepper

Procedure:

Preheat a pizza stone or cast iron griddle on top shelf oven at 450 degrees. Dust a cutting board large enough to hold the flatbreads with corn meal, place the flatbreads on the cutting board.  Divide the fig jam between the two flatbreads and spread to cover.  Spread the crumbled bacon over the jam.  Top with shaved Pecorino.  Carefully place three egg yolks on each flatbread.  Switch oven to broil and allow to come up to temperature, Use caution when transferring the flatbreads to the pizza stone or griddle as they will be extremely hot.  Use a pizza peel or long spatula to transfer the flatbreads to the oven, bake for 4-6 minutes, or until the cheese has melted and the bread is crisp.  While the flatbreads bake, mix in a non-reactive bowl the arugula and olive oil.  Season with salt and pepper.  Remove flatbreads from oven when done and transfer to cutting board.  Cut into desired sizes and place on serving platter.  Garnish with the dressed arugula.

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