Looking for the perfect holiday menu — from dinner to dessert? Chef Tom Valenti, owner of New York City's Ouest and the recently opened 'Cesca, was invited on "Today" to share his ideas to complete your Christmas table. Here are the recipes:
Brussel Sprouts With BaconTom Valenti
Place the bacon in a sauté pan and cook over medium heat until the bacon browns and some fat has rendered. Add onion and garlic to the pan and cook for about 15 minutes. Add the stock, and season with salt, pepper and pinch of sugar. Cook until the stock is reduced by half, about 7 to 8 minutes. Bring a pot of salted water to a boil. Add the sprouts and cook until tender, but still a bit toothsome, about 2 minutes. Add the sprouts to the bacon-onion-stock mixture and gently simmer until tender, about 15 to 20 minutes.
*If making in advance, this can be cooled, covered and refrigerated for up to 3 days. When ready to proceed, allow to come to room temperature and reheat gently in a sauté pan.
9122995604813477860492brussel spouts3pound3 pounds brussel spoutsveal bacon0.5pound1/2 pound bacon of veal bacon, roughly choppedSpanish onion11 Spanish onion, finely choppedgarlic8clove8 cloves garlic, thinly slicedchicken stock 4cup4 cups chicken stock or low sodium canned chicken brothCoarse saltCoarse saltblack pepperFreshly ground black pepperSugarSugar
Cranberry GraniteTom Valenti
Combine 1 quart water, the sugar, corn syrup and the orange juice, and bring to a boil. Remove from heat; add cranberries, and let steep for 45 minutes. Drain, reserving the liquid.
Puree the cranberries in a food processor, then pass through a mesh sieve to remove any stems and skins. Add puree to the reserved liquid, and pour into a shallow baking pan. Put in freezer, and stir with a fork every 45 minutes until the ice has a grainy consistency, 4 to 6 hours.
9122995604913477827771sugar0.75pound3/4 pound sugarlight corn syrup1cup1 cup light corn syruporange juice0.5cup1/2 cup orange juicecranberries1pound1 pound fresh cranberries
Crème Fraiche Panna Cotta with Cranberry-Walnut CompoteTom Valenti
Heat the milk, cream, sugar and vanilla bean, bring to a slight boil and remove from the heat. Add the gelatin and crème fraiche, stir together and strain. Pour about 6 ounces of the liquid into a see-through serving glass and refrigerate overnight. Add cranberry, orange juice and sugar to a saucepan and cook over a medium flame for 10 minutes, stirring frequently. At this point the cranberries will start to release their liquid.
Turn heat down and let simmer for 15 minutes or until the berries have broken down and thickened. Taste and add sugar to your taste. Remove from heat and let cool in the refrigerator for at least 1 hour. Preheat the oven to 350 F degrees, place walnuts on a baking sheet and roast for 15 minutes. Remove, let cool, and rough-chop. To serve, add chopped walnuts to the cooled cranberry compote; combine. Place a large teaspoonful of compote on top of panna cotta and serve.
91229956049134778606996058127771gelatin leaves1313 gelatin leavesmilk4cup4 cups milkheavy cream6cup6 cups heavy creamsugar0.5cup1-1/2 cups sugarcrème fraiche4cup4 cups crème fraiche (or sour cream)vanilla beans22 vanilla beans, split and seededcranberry24ounce24 ounces fresh cranberryorange juice1cup1 cup orange juice (fresh-squeezed if possible)sugar0.25cup1/4 cup sugarwalnuts2cup2 cups roasted walnuts, chopped