Do you think what I think? We’ve all cooked a little more at home over the past couple of years, and we might be ready to go beyond roast turkey or warmed ham for this year’s holiday meal. Consider a classic Vegas-themed menu that features samples from some of our most legendary restaurants. It could be a fun way to add sparkle and flavor to your table.
prime rib by Golden Steer 308 Sahara Ave West, 702-384-4470, goldensteerlasvegas.com.
Vegas doesn’t get any more classic than the Steer, where you can still order the exact meal Frank Sinatra used to enjoy after a show. And there’s no centerpiece of a more holiday-appropriate dish than a perfect prime rib ready to be sliced at the table. Fortunately, you can pick up a copy of the Golden Steer Steakhouse book at the restaurant, full of recipes and stories from the past, which details the preparation of its famous prime rib.
This kitchen works with a 20-pound nine-rib roast that serves nine to 14. Coat your beef with coarse salt for a thicker, more flavorful crust, place in a roasting pan with the fat side up, and cook at 300 degrees for two hours. This should result in cuts that are medium well at the ends and sparse in the middle. Serve with a horseradish gravy and cream sauce for a special Golden Steer touch.
mashed potatoes (mashed potatoes) by Joel Robuchon MGM Grand, 702-891-7925, mgmgrand.com.
If you haven’t upgraded your mashies to the Robuchon for a family meal at home, you can still join the club. The secret has been out for a while now: Use way too much butter. Boil a pound of potatoes (we like Yukon Gold), mash them with a potato masher, then return them to a pot with half a pound of unsalted butter and mix well. Add a few splashes of milk, season with salt and pepper (we also love rosemary) and you’re ready to impress four or more people with the most indulgent “mashed potatoes” they’ve ever tasted.
Chicken Carciofi from Piero 355 convention center promenade, 702-369-2305, pieroscuisine.com.
Make a superior poultry decision with this brilliant, simple and versatile dish from Chef Chris Conlon, who has added modern, savory touches to one of the city’s most celebrated Italian restaurant menus. For each serving, you will need a diced chicken breast and some artichoke hearts (also chopped), along with fresh garlic, white wine, lemon juice, butter, parsley, Wondra flour, salt, pepper and olive oil.
Start by seasoning the chicken and tossing it in the Wondra, then heat up a sauté pan and add your olive oil. Sauté the chicken until golden brown, add the artichokes and minced garlic and continue cooking until the garlic is toasted. Deglaze with the wine and add the butter, then reduce until the sauce thickens to your liking. Finish with a good squeeze of lemon and chopped parsley.
Braised mushrooms in wine from the top of the world The Strat, 702-380-7711, thestrat.com.
Umami-wrapped sautéed mushrooms aren’t getting enough recognition as a holiday dish that goes with just about anything. “It’s often hard to find a side to go with a variety of main dishes, but this one can stand tall alongside all of your holiday favorites,” says World’s Best Chef Chad Castanino. “Plus, there’s nothing better than creating a bit of luxury for your guests.”
Melt the butter over high heat in a large saucepan, add the sliced cremini mushrooms and salt and stir and cook until the mushrooms are golden brown and all the liquid has evaporated. When the pan is almost dry, add the diced shallots and the garlic confit and cook for five minutes. Add small amounts of red wine vinegar, Burgundy cooking wine, thyme and sugar and bring to a boil, then reduce the heat and cook until the sauce is thick and shiny.
Emeril’s Banana Cream Pie by Delmonico Venetian, 702-414-3737, venetian.com.
Name an iconic dessert that a) suits any occasion, b) makes something simple, and c) satisfies kids and adults alike. Emeril Lagasse’s Banana Cream Pie is the right choice for any holiday meal – creamy and smooth and wrapped in a graham cracker crust. This one is a bit more complicated, so visit emerils.com if you need more details.
Combine 2 cups cream, 1.5 cups whole milk, 1/2 cup sugar and 1 vanilla pod (split and scraped with seeds) in a large heavy-bottomed saucepan over medium heat. Bring to a boil while whisking, then remove from heat. Combine 3 egg yolks, 2 eggs, 1/2 cup cornstarch and 1 cup sugar in a bowl, and whisk until the color is pale yellow.
Whisk 1 cup of the hot cream mixture into the egg yolk mixture. Gradually add egg mixture to hot cream mixture, whisking constantly. Bring to a boil, stirring constantly to cook the cornstarch and thicken for about 5 minutes. (If it separates, remove from heat and beat with an electric mixer until thick and smooth.) Strain through a fine-mesh strainer and cover with plastic wrap, pressing against the surface. Chill in the fridge for about 4 hours.
To assemble, spread half a cup of custard over the bottom of the prepared crust, smoothing with the back of a large spoon or rubber spatula. Arrange the banana slices in a tight pattern over the custard, pressing down to pack them tightly. Repeat to build a second layer, using 3/4 cup custard and enough bananas to cover. For the third layer, spread 3/4 cup pastry cream over the bananas and top with the remaining bananas, starting 1 inch from the outer edge and working toward the center. Spread 1 cup custard evenly over bananas to prevent discoloration. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 4 hours or overnight.
Serve topped with whipped cream, caramel and chocolate sauces, chocolate shavings and fresh mint, if you want to be fancy like Emeril.