Last-minute holiday party appetizers with Dean and The Chopping Block
Dean Richards was around town at The Chopping Block, located at 4747 N. Lincoln Ave., to cook some last-minute holiday party appetizers. Chef and owner Shelley Young demonstrated easy updated recipes for classic savory dishes and Dean even made some dips of his own!
Yia-Yia’s Pimento Dip
One 8-ounce package cream cheese.
Full to 3/4 10 oz. jar of Spanish Olives with Pimento, diced small.
1/4 cup (or to taste) walnut or pecan chips.
2. If dip is too thick for your liking, add some of the olive juice.
3. Form into a ball. Sprinkle with more chopped nuts.
4. Serve with Ritz Crackers and/or veggies.
Gruyere Cheese Fondue
4 cups (1 pound) Gruyere cheese, grated
2 tablespoons cornstarch
3/4 cup white wine
1/2 cup apple cider
1 to 2 teaspoons kirsch
Pepper and nutmeg to taste
French bread cubes
Yield: 4-6 servings as an appetizer Active time: 25 minutes
Start to finish: 25 minutes
- In a large bowl, toss together the cheese and cornstarch.
- Bring the wine and cider to a simmer in a large pot. Keeping the heat low, gradually stir in thecheese until melted. Add the kirsch, and season to taste with pepper and nutmeg.
- Transfer to a fondue pot and serve with bread cubes and apple slices.
Potato and Celery Root Gratin with Gruyere Cheese
1 1/2 cups heavy cream
5 roasted garlic cloves, minced (see note, below)
1 tablespoon fresh thyme, rough chopped
2 medium-sized russet potatoes, peeled and cut into thin slices
1 large or 2 small celery root, peeled and cut into thin slices
Salt and pepper to taste
3 cups Gruyere cheese, grated
Yield: 6-8 servings
Active time: 35 minutes
Start to finish: 1 hour, 30 minutes
- Preheat the oven to 375 degrees, and line a sheet tray with parchment paper.
- Heat together the cream, roasted garlic and thyme in a saucepan until steaming. Set aside whilepreparing the vegetables.
- Lightly butter a baking or pie dish. Place a layer of sliced potatoes on the bottom of the dish in a concentric circle. Season with salt and pepper to taste, ladle about 1/4 cup of the infused garlic cream on top, and top with a sprinkling of Gruyere cheese.
- Arrange the next layer using celery root, and continue in this fashion, alternating potatoes and celery root, until the baking dish is full.
- Top the gratin with Gruyere cheese and cover with foil. Bake on the prepared sheet tray for 40 minutes.
- Uncover the baking dish, and continue to cook until the potatoes and celery root are knife- tender and the cheese is golden brown and bubbly.
- Allow to cool for 10 minutes, cut into slices and serve.
- These can be made individually in ramekins, which will take half the time to bake.
- To roast garlic, slice the top off a whole head of garlic to expose the cloves. Place it in a small oven-proof dish, drizzle with a tablespoon of olive oil and cover with foil. Bake at 350 degrees for 40 to 50 minutes, until the cloves are soft and a light golden color.
Roasted Beef Tenderloin with Crumbled Blue Cheese and Red Wine Reduction
One 2-to 2 1/2 -pound beef tenderloin, trimmed of any excess fat and silver skin
2 tablespoons grapeseed oil
Your favorite salt blend and pepper to taste
2 tablespoons butter
2 shallots, thinly sliced
1 cup red wine
2 cups beef stock
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
2 sprigs fresh thyme
1 bay leaf
2 tablespoons cold butter, diced
2 tablespoons fresh parsley, rough chopped
Salt and pepper to taste
1/2 cup blue cheese, crumbled
Yield: 4-5 servings
Active time: 30 minutes Start to finish: 50 minutes
- Preheat the oven to 350°.
- Season the beef with the salt blend and pepper to taste.
- Heat a large sauté pan over medium heat, and add the grapeseed oil. Sear the beef on all sides until well caramelized. Transfer the beef to a roasting rack set in a roasting pan.
- Roast the beef until it reaches 125° on a meat thermometer. This is ideal for medium-rare.
- While the beef roasts, prepare the red wine reduction.
- In the same pan the beef was seared in, melt the butter over medium heat. Add the shallots, and gently sauté until lightly caramelized around the edges, about 1 minute.
- Deglaze the pan with red wine, scraping free any bits of fond from the bottom of the pan. Simmer until the wine has reduced to about 1/4 cup.
- Whisk in the beef stock, mustard, thyme and bay leaf. Simmer until reduced by half of its original volume.