Signature Sesame Chicken from Octopus
Chicken and marinade:
8 oz sake
16 oz soy sauce
16 oz white sugar
8 oz sesame seeds
2 tsp black pepper
2 oz fresh ginger
6 cloves fresh garlic
2 ea chicken leg and thigh, skin removed, and cut into 1-inch pieces
16 oz tempura powder
16 oz cold water
big pinch salt
oil for frying
spicy teriyaki sauce (mixture to taste of sambal chile and sweet teriyaki)
For chicken and marinade: Whisk all ingredients except chicken together in a bowl. Add chicken and cover, then chill for 3-4 hours.
For tempura batter: Gently mix all ingredients together. Do not over mix or gluten will develop and batter will not be crispy.
To prepare: Preheat deep-fryer filled with oil to 350 degrees. Remove chicken from refrigerator and rinse off marinade. Gently pat dry, then dredge in tempura batter. Deep-fry for about 7 minutes, or until golden brown and cooked through. Remove to a paper towel-lined plate.
Serve chicken with spicy teriyaki sauce.
Cioppino “Dino” (aka Dino’s Seafood Stew) From Executive Chef Dino Ferraro of Capone’s Cucina
3 Tbsp olive oil
1 large fennel bulb, thinly sliced
1 onion, chopped
3 large shallots, chopped
2 tsp salt, plus more to taste
4 large garlic cloves, finely chopped
3/4 tsp crushed red pepper flakes, plus more to taste
1/4 c tomato paste
1 (28-ounce) can diced tomatoes in juice
1-1/2 c dry white wine
5 c fish stock
1 bay leaf
1 lb Manila clams, scrubbed
1 lb mussels, scrubbed
1 lb uncooked large shrimp, peeled and deveined
1-1/2 lbs assorted firm-fleshed fish fillets such as halibut or salmon, cut into 2-inch chunks
1/2 lb large scallops
1 lb calamari, cleaned and cut into 1/2-inch strips
1/2 tsp saffron
grilled ciabatta, sliced
Heat the oil in a very large pot over medium heat. Add the fennel, onion, shallots, and salt and sauté until the onion is translucent, about 10 minutes. Add the garlic and 3/4 teaspoon of red pepper flakes and sauté 2 minutes more. Stir in the tomato paste. Add tomatoes with their juices, wine, fish stock, and bay leaf. Cover and bring to a simmer. Reduce the heat to medium-low. Cover and simmer until the flavors blend, about 30 minutes.
After initial simmer, add the clams and mussels to the broth. Cover and cook until the clams and mussels begin to open, about 5 minutes. Add the shrimp, fish, scallops, and calamari. Add saffron to broth. Simmer and stir gently until the fish and shrimp are just cooked through, and the clams are completely open, about 5 minutes longer. Discard any clams and mussels that do not open. Season the soup to taste with more salt and red pepper flakes. Ladle the soup into bowls and serve with grilled ciabatta bread.
Pistachio Flatiron Steak with Chocolate Mole From Executive Chef Chris Tzorin of Kutsi
2 6oz flatiron steaks
salt and pepper
1/2 c unsalted pistachios
3 Tbsp flour
3 oz mole (premade or store-bought)
2 oz nopal (cactus) relish*
micro-greens, for garnish
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Place a wire rack on top of a baking sheet and coat with cooking spray. Season the steaks with salt and pepper on both sides, pressing the seasoning into the meat with your hands. Combine the pistachios and flour in a food processor and pulse a few times until coarsely chopped.
Spray the steak with cooking spray and then top with the pistachio mixture, pressing it firmly onto the top of the steak. Place the steak on the wire rack and cook in the oven on a low rack for about 20 minutes for medium-rare to medium.
Spread mole on the bottom of 2 plates with a spoon. Remove the steak from the oven and let it rest for at least 5 minutes before placing on top of mole. Spoon relish on top of the steaks and garnish with micro-greens.
*Available in some specialty stores, or can be made using a recipe found online.
Salmon and Scallops en Papillote From Founder/Owner Laurent Halasz Of Fig & Olive
1 bunch chives, roughly chopped
3 sprigs cilantro, roughly chopped
1 sprig dill, roughly chopped
salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 Tbsp olive oil
1 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
2 fennel bulbs, trimmed, cored, and julienned
3 inches fresh ginger root, peeled and julienned
2 spring onions, thinly sliced
1 Tbsp anise liqueur, such as Pernod or Ricard
salt and freshly ground black pepper
8 sea scallops (any size)
1 lb salmon, skinned and pin-boned, cut into 4 pieces
1 grapefruit, segmented
1 orange, segmented
4 cherry tomatoes, cut in half
parchment paper for baking
For the herb emulsion: Blend the herbs with salt, pepper, and olive oil with a mortar and pestle or a blender until smooth.
For the papillotes: Preheat an oven to 400 degrees. In a pot over medium- low heat, add olive oil. Add the fennel, ginger, spring onions, liqueur, salt, and pepper. Cover and gently cook until soft, about 15-20 minutes. Remove from heat and chill.
Cut baking parchment into 4 12-inch squares; divide fennel mixture among pieces of parchment. Season the scallops and salmon with salt and pepper. Place 2 scallops and 1 piece of salmon on each portion. Divide the citrus and tomato halves evenly amongst the parchment squares; add 1 teaspoon herb emulsion to each. Bring the sides of the parchment up over the filling and tie together tightly with butcher’s string, sealing well. Place the papillotes on a rimmed baking sheet and bake for 15-20 minutes.
To serve: Transfer to a platter and open carefully to release the steam in front of your guests.
Sips for the Season
Passionfruit Mojito From Raya Restaurant at the Ritz-Carlton
In a shaker, muddle 5 mint leaves, 1 lime wedge, and 1 sugar cube. Add 1-1/2 ounces Bacardi light rum, 1 ounce passionfruit purée, and 1-1/2 ounces sour mix, and fill with ice to the rim. Shake and pour into a rocks glass. Top with a splash of club soda. Garnish with a lime wedge.
Vojito from Catal Restaurant
In a cocktail shaker, muddle 3-4 blackberries, 3 lime wedges, and 5 mint leaves until lightly crushed. Add 1-1/2 ounces vodka and 1/2 ounce agave nectar. Fill with ice, cover, and shake. Pour into a cocktail glass (do not strain), and top with club soda. Garnish with a lime wedge and serve with a straw.
Raspberry Mojito from the Cliff Restaurant
In a shaker filled with ice, combine 1-1/4 ounces Skyy Raspberry vodka, a squeeze of fresh lime, and 1/2 ounce agave nectar, and shake vigorously. Pour into a rocks glass filled with ice. Top with a splash of Sprite and garnish with a fresh mint sprig and 4-5 fresh raspberries.
Overboard from A&O Kitchen+Bar
In a shaker filled with ice, combine 1-1/2 ounces Beefeater gin, 1/2 ounce St-Germain, 1/2 ounce Domaine de Canton ginger liqueur, 1 ounce lemonade, and 1/2 ounce agave nectar, and shake. Mix 1 tablespoon brown sugar and 1 tablespoon white sugar together on a small plate. Run a lemon wedge around the rim of a stemless Champagne flute to moisten, and dip the rim in the sugars. Strain the gin mixture into the flute. Garnish with 4 cucumber slices and elderflowers if desired.