By Rebecca Cahilly
City & Shore Magazine
There’s always that one special dish at that one special restaurant. Five local chefs here share stories and recipes behind their signature dishes.
Chef Louie Bossi
LOUIE BOSSI’S RISTORANTE
“One of my fondest food memories as a child was cooking with my grandmother. This was especially true when my grandfather, Dominic, would bring home fresh clams. After a day of clamming on Long Island, he would announce his arrival with, ‘Rosie, I got a load for the pasta,’ and my grandmother would rush to get the dripping bag into a pot before there was sea water all over her favorite rug! We would spend the rest of the day rolling and cutting fresh linguini by hand for the classic Linguine con Vongole.
“The dish was a sure bet for our Louie Bossi menu and had to be included. Some restaurants overdo the sauce, which, traditionally, is sparse. The saltiness of the clams and the slicked olive oil noodles make it a cook’s nemesis to produce, as the timing is everything. But when done right it is simply perfect. It remains one of my favorite dishes to cook and to eat – family-style of course. Use the best olive oil you can find for finishing, and slivers of fresh Fresno peppers give it a bite as well as a bit of color.”
Linguine con Vongole
5 oz fresh linguine pasta
10 each little neck clams (100 ct)
3 tsp large peeled California garlic
¼ tsp oregano leaves, chopped
1½ tsp parsley
4 oz clam juice
2 oz Spanish jumbo onions 50#, minced
3 tsp Fresno peppers
2 oz extra virgin olive oil
2 oz chardonnay wine
Bring 3 quarts water to a boil in a large pot. Season with salt (until the water tastes like the ocean). Add pasta and cook, until about 2 minutes before tender. Drain, reserving 1/2 cup of the water that the pasta cooked in.
Heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add garlic and cook, swirling pan often, until just golden. Add minced onions, oregano leaves chopped and red pepper. Add wine and clam juice, then clams; increase heat to high. Cover pan, cook until clams pop open. Take clams out and set aside. Add some of reserved pasta water to pan, return to boil. Add pasta to pan. Cook over high heat, stirring and tossing constantly with tongs to emulsify sauce and water, (It’s important that the not-quite-cooked pasta finishes cooking in the sauce and absorbs some of the sauce for flavor.) Add contents of pan to bowl with clams and finish with chopped parsley and a swirl of olive oil.
Louie Bossi’s Ristorante Bar Pizzeria, 1032 E. Las Olas Blvd., Fort Lauderdale, 954-356-6699, louiebossi.com.
HIMMARSHEE PUBLIC HOUSE
“Our Bell & Evans Chicken is one of my favorite dishes on the Himmarshee Public House menu. It’s something I grew up eating, and I love to recreate it by incorporating our own Public House twist. It’s a classic American comfort food dish. We thought it would be a perfect way to give our guests a taste of home.”
Bell & Evans Chicken
Brine chicken (24 hours)
1 whole Bell & Evans Chicken
2 bay leaves
1 oz parsley
¼ oz thyme
1 oz honey
1 oz garlic
¼ oz ground black pepper
2 oz kosher salt
½ gallon water
Combine ingredients in large stock pot and bring to boil. Fill 5-gallon Lexan container halfway with ice and strain hot mixture into the ice. Cool before brining.
2 oz fresh oregano
6 oz roasted garlic
1 oz lemon juice
10 oz garlic oil
½ T ground black pepper
1 T kosher salt
1 portion brined
Combine all ingredients and blend in blender. Pour over chicken and mix until chicken is well coated.
Roast chicken and serve
Pan sear chicken with skin in a sauté pan until golden brown. Place chicken in oven and roast 15-20 minutes at 350 degrees. Add 4 oz chicken stock to pan. Reduce by half and add 2 oz compound butter. Remove chicken from oven, place atop bed of mashed potatoes and sautéed vegetables. Drizzle with pan jus
Himmarshee Public House, 201 SW Second St., Fort Lauderdale, 954-616-5275, publichouseftl.com.
Chef/Owner Angelo Elia
“I love pasta. I remember eating the pappardelle as a child. At Casa D’Angelo I wanted to include on the menu my favorite dishes that remind me of home for everyone to enjoy. It has always been a passion of mine to create wonderful, simple food that lets the fresh ingredients speak for themselves.”
½ c extra virgin olive oil, divided
1 lb fresh porcini mushrooms, trimmed and sliced, divided
4 garlic cloves, peeled and lightly crushed, divided
Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
2 T unsalted butter (optional)
3 T Italian parsley, chopped
¾ c chicken stock
1 lb DeCecco pappardelle
½ c grated Parmigiano-Reggiano, divided
Bring 6 quarts of salted water to boil for pasta. In a large skillet, heat 2 tablespoons of oil. Add half the mushrooms and half the garlic, season to taste, and sauté until mushrooms are lightly browned on both sides. Do not stir the porcini or they will break. Turn them gently with a spatula.
Transfer cooked porcini to a plate and cook as before with the remaining oil, porcini and garlic. Discard excess oil and return all the porcini to pan. Add butter, if desired, and parsley. Adjust seasoning, add stock and simmer over medium heat about 1 minute.
Add pappardelle to boiling water and cook for 1-1½ minutes. Drain well, add to sauce over low heat. Add 4 tablespoons of the cheese and toss gently. Serve immediately.
Casa D’Angelo Ristorante, 1201 N. Federal Highway, Fort Lauderdale, 954-564-1234,
“The recipe for Grille 401’s Cedar Plank Salmon came to me after reading an article a long time ago about cooking fish on scented woods such as cedar or cherry. I started playing around with cedar and after many versions concluded the mustard butter with the cedar worked well. We consider it a house special because the dish is unique. A lot of our guests come back specifically for this item.”
Cedar Plank Salmon
9 oz salmon filet
3 T cedar plank butter
1 cedar plank
Soak cedar plank in water for a minimum of 30 minutes prior to using. Place 1 tablespoon cedar plank butter on bottom of salmon and spread “coast to coast.” Place 2 tablespoons cedar plank butter on top of salmon and spread “coast to coast.” Place salmon on pre-soaked cedar plank. Preheat oven to 425 degrees and cook 8-10 minutes or until done – internal temperature of 145-150 degrees.
Cedar Plank Butter
2½ c whole grain mustard
2½ lbs salted butter, softened
¾ c Paul Prudhomme’s Seafood Magic
1 oz lemon juice
Place all ingredients in food processer, whip until smooth and fully incorporated. Place in sealed container and refrigerate until ready to use.
Grille 401, 401 E. Las Olas Blvd., Fort Lauderdale, 954-767-0222, grille401.com.
Executive Chef Chris Schaefer
BRANDON’S AT TIDELINE OCEAN RESORT & SPA
Executive Chef Chris Schaefer fondly recalls the Sunday suppers of his childhood – the aroma of his mother’s 10-hour Italian stew and the tradition of the entire family gathering around the dinner table. Schaefer says that those dinners helped in part to inspire him to pursue a culinary career. “I started cooking at 17 or 18. The fact that my mother and grandmother always made sure we had home-cooked family meals inspired me to create experiences through food that led to cherished lifelong memories.”
Schaefer, who earned his degree from the Florida Culinary Institute, began his career at the Ritz-Carlton hotels in Palm Beach and Jupiter before joining the famed 10 Arts Bistro in Philadelphia to work alongside Chef Eric Ripert. Now, as executive chef at Brandon’s Palm Beach, located at the Tideline Ocean Resort & Spa, he oversees a menu described as “New World American,” with modern dishes that feature a variety of vibrant flavors, colors and textures. For an oceanfront restaurant, short ribs have quickly become a signature specialty of the house.
For Schaefer, the process of braising meats is a labor of love. “There is much technique involved in the process and it requires finesse,” he says. “There is elegance in the simplicity of it.” What began as a dinner menu item quickly became an in-house favorite. Brandon’s offers short ribs on the breakfast, brunch and lunch menus. “We now braise short ribs for 2½ to 6 hours a day, seven days a week.” For breakfast, the Short Rib Benedict features two poached eggs and shredded short ribs on a house-made biscuit, while the signature item appears on the lunch menu as Short Rib Grilled Cheese with tomato jam, aged gruyere and caramelized onions.
Red Wine Braised Short Ribs
5 lbs short ribs
3 c Merlot
1½ lbs carrots, peeled and medium diced
1½ lbs yellow onion, peeled and medium diced
1 bunch celery, leaves removed and medium diced
6 cloves garlic, crushed
4 qt chicken stock
6 each thyme sprigs
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Heat large Dutch oven; if one is not available a large sauce pan will work. Season short ribs generously with salt and black pepper. Add blended oil to pan, enough to just coat bottom. Add short ribs without overcrowding the pan (that will reduce heat and no longer will be able to sear). Once all sides are seared remove, drain oil. Reduce temperature of the pan. Once pan has slightly cooled add carrots, onion, celery and garlic cloves. Season with salt and pepper. Sweat until vegetables are translucent, about 30 minutes. Add Merlot and cook until reduced by half. Add chicken stock and bring to a simmer. Add short ribs back into pot or pan and cover with parchment paper then tin foil. Cook at 350 degrees for 2½ hours. Once cooked, let short ribs cool slightly in liquid. Remove the short ribs and strain. Discard vegetables. Reduce braising liquid by half. Serve over aged white cheddar Anson Mills grits with a side of Brussels sprouts.
Brandon’s at Tideline Ocean Resort & Spa, 2842 S. Ocean Blvd., Palm Beach,