Las Vegas Sun

September 22, 2018

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Time for breakfast: Chefs cook and share their recipes for a cause

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Wade Vandervort

Chef Antonio Nunez and Chef Scott Commings prepare Hatch chile and manchego cheese pancakes with Hatch pork chili at Andre’s Bistro & Bar, Thursday, Aug. 9, 2018.

Countless amazing culinary events happen in Las Vegas, but the city’s most ardent food lovers often can’t attend these events because they’re too busy working them.

IF YOU GO

• Where: Andre’s Bar & Bistro, 6115 S. Fort Apache Road

• When: Saturday, August 25; 11 p.m. social hour, midnight breakfast

• Cost: $88/person

• More info: figfarm.com/communeaty

Locals Scott Green and TaChelle Lawson saw a delicious solution to the problem. The chef and brand strategist, respectively, created communEATy, a late-night culinary event specifically scheduled to be accessible to the service industry. CommunEATy spotlights local culinary talent and off-Strip restaurants. The goal is to build a sense of community in the service industry.

The theme of the August 25 communEATy event at Andre’s Bar and Bistro is breakfast. The event begins at 11 p.m. with a cocktail hour and then continues into the night. Each event benefits a different nonprofit partner, and this one is local music organization Notes with a Purpose. CommunEATy is open to all—not just members of the culinary industry—and the $88 admission will include live music, food and cocktails.

The star of the event will be breakfast recipes created specially by a handful of elite local chefs: Sean Rainaldi of Flower Child; Antonio Nunez and Scott Commings of the Stove; Kevin Lopez and Chris Bulen of Andre’s Bistro and Bar; and Scott Green of communEATy. If you feel inspired to create your own breakfast party, try some of their recipes and party tips.

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Chef Kevin Lopez poses for a photo at Andre's Bistro & Bar, Thursday, Aug. 9, 2018.

Tips and tricks for throwing a breakfast party

● “Focus on casual, family-style breakfast dishes—it gives everybody the opportunity to sample everything,” Green says. “And drink mimosas.”

● Always mix pancakes with your hands to avoid over-mixing and preserve the lumps (Antonio Nunez and Scott Commings, The Stove)

● Don’t be afraid to purchase pre-made ingredients to save time—unless you’re a chef, don’t fret over making duck confit when you can purchase it at the store (Kevin Lopez and Chris Bulen, Andre’s Bistro %amp; Bar). Green also suggests purchasing pre-made hollandaise sauce, if you feel intimidated by making it from scratch, or simply don’t want to bother.

● When making buttermilk biscuits, Kevin Lopez of Andre’s suggests using cold butter and grating it with a cheese grater. He also suggests brushing the biscuits with buttermilk and honey several times while it’s in the oven to enhance flavor.

● Scott Commings of The Stove says preparation is the key to breakfast party success. He says that the more you can prepare in advance, the more free you’ll be to have fun at the party.

● Antonio Nunez of The Stove says Hatch chiles are best when they’re in season, which happens to be now. During off-season, Nunez suggests using poblano or pasilla peppers instead.

● CommunEATy co-founder TaChelle Lawson suggests skipping the work and simply hiring a chef. She advises hosts to keep it light and fun so as not to get overloaded with work duties. “Have one or two staple dishes and keep the rest simple,” Lawson says. “Have fresh fruit, really good quality pastries and keep the mimosas flowing.”

 

Roasted Hatch chile and manchego pancakes with green chili braised pork

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Hatch chile and manchego cheese pancakes with Hatch pork chili prepared by Chef Antonio Nunez and Chef Scott Commings is seen here at Andre's Bistro & Bar, Thursday, Aug. 9, 2018.

by Antonio Nunez and Scott Commings, the Stove

The Stove offers a range of pancake options on its regular menu, but the chefs opted for a New Mexico-inspired variation for this unforgettable recipe. The deliciousness begins with warm pancakes filled with shredded manchego cheese and Hatch chiles. Top that with green chili braised pork, crema sauce and a fried egg.

Pancakes

• 2 1/2 cups flour

• 1 tbsp salt

• 1 tbsp sugar

• 2 tsp baking powder

• 1/2 tsp baking soda

• 1 tsp vanilla

• 2 eggs

• 1 1/2 cup whole milk

• 1 lb Hatch chiles, roasted, peeled and diced

• 1 cup manchego cheese, shredded

Instructions: Mix dry ingredients. In a separate bowl, mix wet ingredients. Combine wet and dry ingredients. Using your hands, gently mix the batter until barely incorporated; there should be lumps. Fold in two cups roasted chiles and 1 cup shredded manchego.

Braised Pork

• 1 lb pork butt cut into 1-inch cubes

• 1 lb tomatillos, roasted

• 1 white onion, roasted

• 1 jalapeño, roasted and stemmed

• juice of 2 limes

• 1 bunch cilantro

• 1 tbsp roasted garlic

Instructions: In a sauce pan, add tomatillos, onion, jalapeño and cilantro. Cook until tender and saucy. Puree in a food processor. Add lime juice and season to taste with salt. Season the pork butt with salt and 2 tbsp dried oregano. In a heavy-bottomed sauce pan, sear the pork on high heat to color all sides. Coat with sauce and simmer until tender; 1 to 1 1/2 hours.

Plating: Heat a skillet to medium heat. Coat lightly with butter. Drop batter in to make 4-inch cakes. Cook through. Place on a plate and top with hatch chili pork. Finish with a drizzle of crema and top with a fried egg. Serve.

 

 

Strawberry pancakes

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Recipe by Sean Rainaldi, Flower Child (7-8 servings)

Flower Child focuses on making food from scratch using fresh ingredients. The restaurant is on a “soul-satisfying mission to radiate positively delicious vibes.” And Rainaldi’s pancake recipe, with fresh strawberries and homemade whipped cream, is no exception.

Ingredients

• 3 cups flour

• 1 oz baking soda

• 1/2 tsp salt

• 4 eggs

• 1/2 quart heavy cream

• 1/2 lb unsalted butter melted

• 1 container fresh strawberries cut into quarters

Whipped Cream

• 1 cup heavy whipping cream

• 2 tbsp confectioners sugar

• 1/2 tsp vanilla extract

Instructions: Mix dry ingredients in a bowl. Mix wet ingredients in a separate bowl. Mix dry and wet ingredients together—the mix should be lumpy. On a hot skillet, cook a few small cakes to test. Pancakes should be golden brown. Adjust flame if needed. Cook dollar size cakes and place in stacks of 3. In a separate bowl add heavy cream and whisk well. Add powdered sugar and vanilla and whisk until soft peaks form. Top the pancakes with fresh whip and strawberries.

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Chef Scott Green poses for a photo at Andre's Bistro & Bar, Thursday, Aug. 9, 2018.

Classic eggs Benedict

Recipe by Scott Green, communEATy (8 servings)

Chef and communEATy co-founder Scott Green loves the versatility of egg benedicts, which can be tweaked into a kaleidoscope of varieties. But for a special event, nothing beats a classic egg benedict with creamy scratch-made hollandaise sauce, fresh poached eggs, English muffins and Canadian bacon, ham or cooked pork loin.

Prep time:15 minutes

Cook time: 5 minutes

Equipment needed: Sauce pot, a double boiler (sauce pot with a bowl on top), whisk, spatula, griddle pan and a towel ring (a damp towel rolled up and place on the counter in the form of a circle)

Ingredients

• 1 lb whole unsalted butter

• 10 whole eggs

• 4 English muffins (can be substituted for thick-sliced round tomatoes)

• 8 slices of Canadian bacon, ham or cooked pork lion

• 1 tbsp lemon juice (fresh squeezed)

• 2 tsp hot sauce (your preference)

• 2 tsp Worcestershire sauce

• Salt and fresh cracked white pepper

Instructions to make Hollandaise: Melt the 1 lb of butter and set aside. Fill the double boiler and bring water to a simmer. Crack 2 egg yolks into the double broiler bowl and reserve the egg white for another time. Add 1 tsp of warm water and the lemon juice to the egg yolks and whisk over the double boiler until the egg yolks begin to froth and thicken. Remove from the heat and place in the towel ring so that the bowl is stable. Slowly pour the warm melted butter into the eggs as you continuously whisk. After about half of the butter is added, also add 1 tbsp of warm water. Continue until all but 10 percent of the butter is mixed into the yolks. Set aside remaining butter aside. Add hot sauce and Worcestershire sauce and season to taste. Set the Hollandaise sauce aside and keep warm (not hot). Note: This can be a complicated process, whole foods and Trader Joe’s make excellent pre-made hollandaise. Heat according to package directions.

Instructions for eggs: Heat the griddle pan to medium-high. Split the English muffins and brush with the remaining butter, heat on the griddle pan until warm and browned. Remove and set onto your serving dish. Cook the meat on the griddle pan until hot. Place the meat on the English muffin and keep warm. Season the water in the double boiler pot and poach the remaining 8 eggs to your desired style, remove from the water and drain on a paper towel. Place the eggs on top of the meat and English muffin. Top liberally with warm hollandaise sauce.

 

Biscuits and gravy

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Biscuits and gravy with duck confit meat prepared by Chef Kevin Lopez, are seen here at Andre's Bistro and Bar, Thursday, Aug. 14, 2018.

by Kevin Lopez and Chris Bulen, Andre’s Bistro and Bar

A traditional Southern comfort food gets a gourmet upgrade with this French-styled recipe by the chefs at Andre’s Bistro and Bar. Homemade honey-buttermilk biscuits are topped with warm duck confit meat and then slathered with foie gras and duck fat gravy in this hearty morning stunner.

Biscuits

• 8 3/4 cups bread flour

• 2 tbsp salt

• 1/3 cup baking powder

• 1 3/4 cups cold butter

• 2 1/3 cups cold buttermilk

• 1 cup buttermilk

• 1/3 cup honey

Instructions: Mix the flour, salt and baking powder. Add in the cold butter (use a cheese grater to shred the butter into the flour mix). Add 2 1/3 cups buttermilk and mix together. Mix 1 cup buttermilk and honey, and set aside at room temperature for brushing the biscuits. Put dough onto table with flour and roll until it’s 1 1/2 inches tall all around and then cut into 3-4 inch squares. Place onto greased baking sheet and very lightly brush with the buttermilk-honey mixture. Bake at 400 degrees F. Cook for six minutes, then rotate, re-brush with buttermilk-honey, and bake for an additional six minutes.

Gravy

• 2 oz foie gras (diced small)

• 3/4 cup all-purpose flour

• 1 tsp salt

• 1 tsp black pepper

• 4 cups milk

• 1/4 cup duck fat

Instructions: Heat a pan, render the foie gras and add duck fat. Mix in the flour to make a roux (this thickens the gravy). Add in seasonings and milk. Mix well and heat until thick.

Duck confit

This is a long and arduous process, so instead, look for duck confit at fine food retailers such as Whole Foods. Once purchased, heat slowly (the meat will already be cooked) and don’t overdo it, otherwise the meat will become chewy and tough.

Plating: Place a halved warm biscuit in the center of your plate. Layer with duck confit. Then smother the plate in gravy. Optional: garnish with fresh parsley.