Recap / Macy’s “Miami Spice”

September’s Third Thursday cooking demo at Macy’s hosted by Chat Chow TV got extra spice-y as Cascata Grill’s chef de cuisine, Vinny D’Amato, prepared dishes found on the restaurant’s popular Miami Spice menu. Joining D’Amato was a special guest, HGTV’s Design Star Season 8 contestant, Anne Rue, who shared her design tips throughout the evening for the audience.

The first dish of the night that D’Amato prepared was the restaurant’s take on the classic caprese salad. D’Amato sliced burrata cheese and then layered it with roasted tomatoes, marinated artichokes, thinly sliced watermelon, and arugula. He then tossed an assortment of fresh micro greens in a homemade basil oil to top the dish along with shaved pecorino cheese and a balsamic reduction for a nice tart finish.

Between courses, Rue came out to the crowd and showed them quick tips on how to create stylish table settings using an assortment of easy-to-find pieces. For her “date night” themed setting she mixed different metals and textures that allowed for a chic, romantic table arrangement. For her “family night” setting Rue mixed high-end pieces with more rustic pieces that helped give a casual feel to the table.

The next dish D’Amato prepared for the crowd was the turkey meatballs. He first started by making a pomodoro sauce, using the recipe he learned from his grandmother. To make the sauce he sautéed onions and garlic with white wine and basil, once the liquid was reduced he added crushed San Marzano tomatoes and let all the items simmer together. To create the turkey balls he combined ground white and dark meat turkey with sautéed onions, oregano, eggs and Italian breadcrumbs. While mixing the combination together by hand, he added water to help keep the turkey balls moist and emphasized to the crowd to not to over mix the ingredients or the meat will come out tough. He rolled the balls out in to four ounce servings and placed in a glass baking pan and baked for 25 minutes until cooked through.

The final dish of the night D’Amato created was lasagna rolls filled with roasted duck and topped with a mushroom cream sauce. To make the lasagna rolls, he cooked lasagna sheets until they were a little under al dente, then filled them with a mixture of ricotta, Romano cheese, basil and duck, and rolled them up and placed them in a pan seam side down. To make the sauce, D’Amanto sautéed mushrooms with garlic, port wine, heavy cream and mascarpone cheese and let the sauce simmer until it was thick enough to coat the back of a spoon. He poured the sauce over the lasagna rolls and then baked for 15 minutes until browned and bubbly. He told the audience that sauce he used is versatile and would work for any meat or pasta dish.

To end the night, the audience moved upstairs to the furniture department where they learned how to easily spruce up a living room and bedroom with design tips from Rue. Guests also got to enjoy a dessert buffet created by the pastry chefs at Cascata Grill, and one lucky audience member won a dinner for two at the restaurant.

With autumn upon us, you won’t want to miss the next Third Thursday Cooking Demonstration on Thursday, October 17 spending the evening with Aniece and Cesar from The Federal. The event is free and open to the public but fills up quickly so make sure to reserve spot on the Macy’s Event page today!

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