by Olee Fowler
Side dishes took center stage at the November installment of Third Thursday cooking series hosted by Macy’s and Chat Chow TV. Danny Serfer, executive chef and owner of Blue Collar Miami, taught the crowd how to make three of the restaurant’s most popular sides that are all perfect for a holiday meal.
For the first side Serfer made his take on a mash potatoes with a sweet potato and plantain mash. He began by cutting up the plantains and sweet potatoes into the same size and cooking them in boiling water until tender. He then placed them on a baking sheet and put them in a 400 degree oven for a few minutes to help them dry out. When it was time to mix in the heavy cream and butter he shared with the crowd one of his restaurant secrets: always make sure the heavy cream is warm and the butter is cold when combining them into the potatoes to ensure a great mashed potato.
Next up was the stuffing. In a large pan Serfer sautéed bacon, then added garlic and onions and cooked until tender. While those items were cooking, he tore apart a loaf of brioche bread – although he said any bread would do – into a bowl and added chicken stock and apple juice to form a ‘paste.’ He then combined the paste with roasted pears, dried cherries, sausage and the sautéed items and put them into a baking dish and let bake for about 35 minutes until the top was brown and the inside was no longer ‘jiggly.’
The final item he created was a succotash, which comes as the side for his popular scallop dish at Blue Collar. Beans and corn are the main elements of a succotash, and for Serfer’s version he used extra-large lima beans and fresh corn. He started by searing the lima beans in a hot pan, and once seared added halved brussel sprouts, red peppers, shallots, and corn and cooked until the brussel leaved were wilted and the corn was cooked. He made sure to add the salt at the end, because otherwise it would bring out too much moisture in the vegetables and they wouldn’t sear properly.
Serfer couldn’t let the crowd go home without also trying his infamous butterscotch and heath bar bread pudding, which was an instant hit with everyone in the room. While he didn’t share that recipe, the group was more than happy to taste it.
Miss out on this delicious event? Not to worry, Chat Chow TV hosts a cooking demo every third Thursday of the month at Macy’s Aventura with the December edition on December 20. The events are free and open to the public just make sure RSVP on the Macy’s page. See you there!