Kitchen Capers: Lexington Chefs Share Their Recipes

Kitchen Capers: Lexington Chefs Share Their Recipes


Kitchen Capers
Local Chefs Give The Skinny on the Dinny


From Bistro 147

This was supposed to be a pecan pie, as I wanted to make pecan pies for opening night. As I was making the pie, I realized I had no pecans. As luck would have it, a friend came in with a bag of California almonds. So I had to make do with the almonds. And the brandy got replaced with the amaretto. -Sonny Sizemore

“Pecan” Pie

sonny sizemore at bistro 147
Sonny Sizemore

Pastry for 9 inch one crust pie
2/3 cup sugar
1/3 cup margarine or butter, melted
3/4 cup corn syrup
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup roasted almonds
1/4 amaretto

Heat oven to 375°F
Prepare pastry
Beat sugar, margarine, corn syrup, salt, and eggs with hand beater
Stir in almonds
Pour into pastry-lined pie plate
Bake until set, 40 – 50 minutes
Refrigerate until chilled, at least 2 hours


From Dudley’s

Souffle au Chocolat

John Schweder at Dudleys
John Schweder

30g flour (1 oz.)
30g butter (1 oz.)
120 ml milk (4.25 oz.)
100g bittersweet chocolate, chopped fine (3.5 oz.)
1 T cinnamon
2 egg yolks
10ml dark rum (.33 oz.)
Few drops of vanilla extract
3-4 egg whites
15g sugar (.5 oz.)

1. Preheat oven to 400°F. Prepare souffle molds by coating them with softened butter and then granulated sugar. Refrigerate until needed.
2. Make a beurre manie. Bring Milk to a boil in a russe. Thicken milk with the beurre manie and cook 2-3 minutes; it will be quite thick.
3. Remove the mixture from the heat and add the chocolate.
4. When the chocolate is melted, add the egg yolks, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat the rum and vanilla.
5. Whip the egg white, following the guidelines. Fold (1/4) one quarter of beaten egg whites into the base to lighten it, then fold in the remaining egg whites.
6. Spoon the mixture into the prepared molds. Reduce the oven temperature to 375°F and place the molds on the middle rack. Bake the souffles for 8-15 minutes depending upon the size of the mold. Check for doneness and serve immediately.


From Ed and Fred’s Desert Moon

Necessity truly is the mother of invention when you have 10 minutes to come up with a lunch special. Many of our more popular menu items are the result of my own procrastination. On hand I had the filling for our brie and mushroom empanadas, some chicken stock, shallots, homemade teriyaki, butter, and flour. The result is a brie and wild mushroom sauce which we serve with porcini-stuffed tortellini. –Doug Eifert

Brie and Mushroom Filling

Doug Eifert at Desert Moon
Doug Eifert

1 lb. Brie cheese (wax removed)
2 cups mixed mushrooms (shiitakes, portabellas, domestic, etc)
1/4 cup chopped green onions
2 tsp chopped garlic
1 tsp mexicano oregano
1 tsp kosher salt
1 tsp fresh ground black pepper
1 oz. Peanut oil

Heat oil
Add garlic and mushrooms until rendered
Add green onions and spices
Place brie in mixing bowl, add hot mushroom mixture and blend
Brie and Wild Mushroom Sauce
1/4 cup chopped shallots
2 oz. butter
1/3 cup flour
1 1/2 cup brie filling
1 qt. chicken stock
1/4 cup teriyaki

Cook shallots in butter
Add flour, and brown
Stir in stock, filling, and teriyaki, bring to a boil and simmer
Great on pasta or chicken. You’ll have filling left to stuff wontons or empanadas.


From Emmett’s Restaurant

Pan-seared scallops on celery root puree in an herbal sea nage

18 scallops

Mike Haynes and Graham Waller

Herbal puree

1/4 cup rough chop tarragon
1/4 cup rough chop chervil
1/4 cup rough chop celery
1/4 cup rough chop chives
2 tbsp. Extra virgin olive oil
1/4 cup ice

Blanch herbs in well-salted boiling water for 30 seconds
Shock herbs in ice water
Puree with ice water and extra virgin olive oil in blender until smooth
Reserve, keep chilled

Celery root puree
2 large celery roots
1 qt. heavy cream
Salt and pepperPeel celery knobs, cut into eighths
Boil in cream 15-25 minutes until very tender. Strain.
Put cooked celery root into a food processor, puree until smooth, adding only enough cream to achieve desired consistency.
Season to taste

6 cloves garlic
5 medium shallots
1 cup dry white wine
1 cup clam broth

Slice garlic and shallots, sweat butter until translucent
Add wine, let reduce until dry
Add clam broth, bring to a boil, strain, reserve

To plate
Salt and pepper scallops
Sear on one side in a very hot pan for 30 seconds
Add 1 tbsp butter, place in 450° oven for 1 1/2 minutes
Remove, turn scallops and baste
Warm broth in pan with salt and pepper, 2 tbsps butter, bring to a boil, remove from heat
Add herb puree
Place celery root puree in center of bowl, place scallops on top
Pass broth through a fine mesh strainer into bowl


From Natasha’s Café

This dish takes me back to the mid-90s when I was working at a busy waterfront restaurant in California. This was without question the most popular dish and received many compliments. Even after preparing this dish close to 40,000 times, it’s still one of my favorites. -Gene Willams

Szechwan Steamed green Lip Mussels with Cilantro Pesto


Gene and Natasha Williams at Natasha's Café
Gene and Natasha Williams

2 bunches cilantro
1/2 cup pumpkin seeds
3/4 cup peanut oil
1 oz. fresh ginger
handful of blueberries

In a food processor add washed, rough chopped cilantro, pumpkin seeds, ginger, and blueberries.
Blend 30 sec., slowly add peanut oil until emulsified. Salt and pepper to taste.

1 lb green lip mussels
1 1/2 oz sesame oil
1 3/4 oz rice vinegar
1 oz soy sauce
1 tbs sambal
1/2 oz fresh chopped ginger
1/2 cup fish stock

Heat 1/2 oz sesame oil in pan. When oil is 130° add muscles and sauté 15 sec.
Add vinegar, soy, and the rest of the sesame oil. This should create a deglazing affect.
Add fish stock, steam for 5 min. lastly, add ginger, sambal, and mix thoroughly.
Place in 16 oz bowl with a dollop of cilantro pesto on top.


From Scarborough Fare

Rhonda’s Rice Puddin’

Kate Savage at Scarborough Fare
Kate Savage


Combine in a saucepan:
2 t cornstarch
16 egg yolks
1 1/3 cup sugar
4 cups milk/4 cups half-and-half

Cook until thick and creamy.
Add 3T vanilla essence and 2 cups of dried cherries.
Sir in 4 cups of cooked rice.