Do you think what I think? We’ve all cooked a little more at home over the past couple of years, and maybe we’re ready to go beyond roast turkey or reheated ham for this year’s holiday meal. Consider a classic Vegas-themed menu that features samples from some of our most legendary restaurants. This could be a fun way to add flash and flavor to your table.
Prime rib by Golden Steer 308 W. Sahara Ave., 702-384-4470, goldensteerlasvegas.com.
Vegas doesn’t get any more classic than the Steer, where you can always order the exact meal Frank Sinatra used to enjoy after a show. And there’s no centerpiece to a more holiday-appropriate dish than a perfect prime rib ready to slice at the table. Fortunately, you can pick up a copy of the Golden Steer Steakhouse at the restaurant, full of recipes and stories from the past, which details the preparation of his 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, flavorful crust, place in a roasting pan with the fat side up and cook over. 300 degrees for two hours. This should result in cuts that are medium-good at the ends and sparse in the middle. Serve with juice and a horseradish cream sauce for that special Golden Steer touch.
Mashed apples (mashed potatoes) by Joël Robuchon MGM Grand, 702-891-7925, mgmgrand.com.
If you haven’t upgraded your Robuchon mashies for a family meal at home, you can still join the club. The secret has been unveiled for a while now: Use too much butter. Boil a pound of potatoes (we love Yukon Gold), mash them using a potato masher, then return them to a saucepan with half a pound of unsalted butter and mix well. Add a few drops of milk, season with salt and pepper (we also love rosemary) and you’re ready to wow four or more with the most indulgent “mashed potato” they’ve ever tasted.
Chicken Carciofi from Piero 355 Convention Center Drive, 702-369-2305, pieroscuisine.com.
Make a premium poultry decision with this bright, simple, and versatile dish from Chef Chris Conlon, which has added modern, flavorful touches to one of the city’s most famous Italian restaurant menus. For each serving you will need a diced chicken breast and a few 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 throwing it in the Wondra, then heat a sauté pan and add your olive oil. Brown the chicken until golden brown, add the artichokes and chopped 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 La Strat, 702-380-7711, thestrat.com.
Umami-filled sautéed mushrooms don’t get enough credit as a holiday dish that goes with almost anything. “It’s often difficult to find a side to go with a variety of main dishes, but this one can stand next to all of your favorite holiday favorites,” says Top of the World chef Chad Castanino. “Plus, there is nothing better than creating a little luxury for your guests.
Melt the butter over high heat in a large skillet, add the sliced cremini mushrooms and salt and stir and cook until the mushrooms are golden and all the liquid has evaporated. When the pan is almost dry, add the diced shallots and candied garlic and cook for five minutes. Add small amounts of red wine vinegar, Burgundy wine, thyme and sugar and bring to a boil, then reduce the heat and cook until the sauce is thick and shiny.
Emerald Banana Cream Pie by Delmonico Venetian, 702-414-3737, venetian.com.
Name an iconic dessert that a) suits any occasion, b) makes something fancy out of something simple, and c) satisfies both 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 of cream, 1.5 cups of whole milk, half a cup of sugar and a vanilla bean (split and scraped off the seeds) in a large, heavy-based saucepan over medium heat. Bring to a boil while whisking, then remove from heat. Combine 3 egg yolks, 2 eggs, half a cup of cornstarch and 1 cup of sugar in a bowl and whisk until pale yellow in color.
Whisk 1 cup of the hot cream mixture into the egg yolk mixture. Gradually add the egg mixture to the hot cream mixture, whisking constantly. Bring to a boil, stirring continuously 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 colander and cover with plastic wrap, pressing against the surface. Chill in the refrigerator for about 4 hours.
To assemble, spread half a cup of custard over the bottom of the prepared crust, smoothing out with the back of a large spoon or rubber spatula. Arrange the banana slices in a tight pattern over the custard, pressing down to firmly pack them. Repeat to build a second layer, using 3/4 cup custard and enough bananas to cover. For the third layer, spread 3/4 cup custard over the bananas and top with the remaining bananas, starting 1 inch from the outside edge and working your way towards the center. Spread 1 cup of custard evenly over the 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.