IE 11 is not supported. For an optimal experience visit our site on another browser.

Go wild with this pan-roasted pheasant dish

Try this new twist on an old favorite — from chef Michael Schwartz, of Afterglo in Miami Beach — in your home kitchen.

In this special weekly feature, “Today” food editor Phil Lempert brings you recipes “stolen” (with permission) from notable restaurants across America. See how much fun you can have (and money you can save) by cooking these dishes at home.

THIS WEEK: Pan-Roasted Breast of Wild Pheasant (with marinated wild mushrooms, pistachio bread, raw chocolate molé sauce and chipotle oil) 

It’s holiday season, and that means lots of cooking for some of us. If you're looking for something different and exotic to try out on your visiting relatives and friends, or even for Christmas Eve dinner, check out this recipe for Pan-Roasted Breast of Wild Pheasant from South Beach restaurant Afterglo. Molé is a Mexican spicy chocolate sauce (not a dessert sauce) that is served with chicken, turkey or, in this case, wild pheasant.  Remember, you can always substitute chicken for the wild pheasant if you like. 

014Netdvision

Conceived by South Beach restaurateur Tim Hogle, beauty cuisine hinges upon three key ideas: scientific parameters, a strict food sourcing plan and inventive yet gentle cooking techniques. For Schwartz and Hogle, fashioning the concept into beautifying and appetizing entrées required careful experimentation and study into the identification of foods that contained beautifying elements, such as anti-inflammatory foods, and enzymes and antioxidants that regenerate cells, increase brain power, help digestion and promote radiant beauty.

While uncovering each food’s beautifying elements posed a formidable challenge for the two, locating the ingredients in their most pristine form proved even more daunting."We are featuring meats from wild game that thrive on their natural diet because they contain a higher level of Omega-3 essential fatty acids, vitamins and minerals than domesticated product,” Schwartz said. “We are emphasizing fresh and locally grown organic ingredients, rather than shipping ingredients in from across the country.”

Schwartz has had to develop inventive techniques to obtain the maximum flavor and retain the beautifying nutrients of the wild seafood and game and organic vegetable dishes, which are often destroyed through conventional cooking. For Schwartz, a chef who has served as owner and chef of South Beach restaurants Nemo, Big Pink and Shoji Sushi, this culinary venture is distinctly different from anything he has ever attempted before. “Beauty cuisine extends beyond the four walls of this restaurant,” Schwartz said. “We haven’t just created a restaurant, we’re establishing a lifestyle.”

Pan Roasted Breast of Wild Pheasant is served at Afterglo for $35.00. This recipe is meant to serve 6.

6 pheasant breasts

Molé Sauce Ingredients1 dried guajillo chile1 dried chipotle2 large medjool dates1-1/2 ounces raisins1 small roma tomato1 large shallot2 teaspoons raw almond butter5 ounces chocolate almond fudge (see recipe)1 clove garlic1/4 cup carrot juice1 tablespoon lemon juice1/2 teaspoon ground cuminPinch ground cardamom1 teaspoon celtic salt1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Chipotle Oil Ingredients
2 dried chipotle1 cup grape seed oil                              

Chocolate Almond Fudge Ingredients
1 cup almond butter1/2 cup maple syrup1/2 cup cocoa powder1-1/2 teaspoons nama shoyu (raw soy sauce)1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

Marinated Wild Mushrooms Ingredients1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil2 tablespoons lemon juice2 tablespoons champagne vinegar1 tablespoon agave syrup1 tablespoon minced shallots1 pound assorted wild mushrooms cut into 1/4-inch piecesCeltic salt and freshly ground black pepperPistachio Bread Ingredients1 pound raw pistachio6 large medjool datesPlating IngredientArugula leaves

Steal This Recipe® Step-by-step Instructions

Chocolate Almond Fudge in Molé Sauce Instructions
1) Combine all ingredients in a food processor and process until smooth

Molé Sauce Instructions
1) In a stainless steel bowl combine dried chile, dates and raisins, cover with warm water and soak for 2 to 3 hours.2) Drain the water and place the mixture in a high speed blender.3) Add remaining ingredients and process until smooth.4) Set aside.

Chipotle Oil Instructions
1) Soak the chipotle in warm water for 2 to 3 hours.2) Drain and pat dry with a paper towel.3) In a high speed blender, combine the oil and chile and process for 1 minute.4) Strain through cheesecloth.

Marinated Wild Mushrooms Instructions
1) Wisk together all the ingredients, except for the mushrooms, in a small bowl.2) Season with salt and pepper to taste.3) Place the wild mushrooms in another bowl and pour the marinade over the top.4) Marinate for 1 hour.

Pistachio Bread Instructions
1) Soak the pistachios in water for 4 to 6 hours.2) In a food processor, combine the nuts and dates and process until smooth.3) Spread the mixture evenly on two nonstick drying sheets.4) Cover with plastic wrap and roll evenly with a rolling pin about 1/8-inch thick. 5) Place in a dehydrator at 115 degrees for 2 to 3 hours.6) With a pizza cutter, cut into 1-inch by 4-inch rectangles.7) Keep at room temperature.

Assembly Instructions
1) Heat a large sauté pan over medium heat.2) Season the pheasant breasts with salt and pepper, and sauté skin-side down in grape seed oil over medium heat for 4 to 5 minutes.3) Turn breasts over and continue cooking for an additional 4 to 5 minutes.4) Remove from pan and allow the pheasant to rest while plating the other components.5) Arrange the pistachio bread on the center of 6 plates.6) Arrange the mushrooms, arugula and molé sauce on plates.7) Slice the pheasant breasts and place on top of the pistachio bread.8) Drizzle chipotle oil for garnish.

Afterglo1200 Washington AvenueMiami Beach,FL 33139305-695-1717www.afterglo-restaurant.com

Want to nominate your favorite restaurant dish for a "Steal This Recipe" feature? Just e-mail Phil at (or use the mail box below) with the name of the restaurant, city and state, and the dish you would like to have re-created. Want to know more about Phil and food? Visit his Web site at .