As the holiday season approaches, thoughts turn to warm gatherings with loved ones and to tables brimming with deliciousness. The bigger the gathering, the more likely we are to spy new dishes mixed in with the traditional favorites. Here, we’ve invited four alumni chefs to share a favorite holiday recipe, and one alumnus mixologist to concoct a couple of UVA-themed drinks just for us. We hope you might add one of them to your festive table—bringing a new Wahoo flavor to the celebration.
Brown Butter Apple and Pear Pie
Courtesy of Polina Chesnakova (Col ’14)
Freelance food writer and recipe developer Polina Chesnakova has worked in everything from traditional restaurants to natural wine bars—even creating food programming for the Tom Tom Founders Festival in Charlottesville. Based in Seattle, she now invests her time developing recipes, with an expertise in Russian and Georgian food, as featured on her blog, Chesnok. “For most American families,” Chesnakova says, “you can’t get more traditional than a classic apple pie, but seeing as I can never help tinkering with recipes, I add my own twist to it here. Apples share the limelight with soft, tender pears (an underrated fruit in my eyes) and the butter is browned to give the filling extra depth and nuttiness.”Print Recipe
- Whisk flour, sugar and salt in a large chilled bowl. Add cubed butter and toss to coat. Use your fingers or a fork to cut butter into flour. Continue until you have butter pieces the size of walnut halves. If you find the butter warming up at any point, refrigerate bowl for a few minutes.
- Mix water with vinegar and drizzle a few tablespoons over flour-butter mixture. Using a rubber spatula, stir water into flour. Continue to add more water, a few tablespoons at a time, until dough is hydrated, but not sticky—when you squeeze the dough into clumps, it shouldn’t fall apart. Press dough together, divide in half and form it into 2 rounds. Wrap in plastic wrap and chill in refrigerator for at least 1 hour before using, or overnight.
- Roll out 1 piece of dough on a lightly floured surface into a ⅛-inch-thick round (about a 12-inch circle). Transfer it to a pie plate and trim it to leave a ½-inch overhang. Refrigerate. Roll out the remaining dough until it is roughly 11 inches in diameter. Transfer to a parchment-lined baking sheet and refrigerate as well.
- Meanwhile, to prepare the filling, melt butter in a small saucepan with a light-colored bottom (to more easily keep track of its browning) over medium heat. Continue cooking at a low simmer, swirling pan occasionally, as color progresses from light yellow to golden brown. Butter is ready when foam subsides and bubbling quiets down, and it smells nutty. Remove from heat and strain into a heat-safe bowl to remove solids. Allow to slightly cool.
- Toss all filling ingredients in a medium bowl until combined. Taste and season with more sugar, lemon juice or salt if needed.
- Remove pie dish from refrigerator and arrange filling into it. Cover with remaining dough (or consider a lattice top, as our food stylist has done in the image above). Press edges gently to seal, trim the excess and then crimp with a fork. Transfer pie to refrigerator and chill for at least 30 minutes to an hour.
- Heat oven to 425°F. Lightly beat egg with milk or water in a small bowl. Cut 4 slits in the top of the crust, if not using a lattice top, and brush with egg wash. Sprinkle with coarse sugar. Bake for 20 minutes. Rotate pie and reduce oven temperature to 375°F; continue baking until juices bubble and crust is deep golden brown, 30-35 minutes longer.
- Transfer pie to a wire rack and cool to room temperature before serving.
Courtesy of Eddie Karoliussen (Com ’98)
Eddie Karoliussen specializes in unique cocktails based on seasonal fresh ingredients and quality spirits. He was the craft cocktail judge for the 2018 Tom Tom Founders Festival and is the owner of Four Corners Real Estate Solutions in Charlottesville. “I love bringing people together over a great cocktail,” Eddie says. “In that moment, strangers become friends; friends become greater friends.” Here are two friendly drinks, one of which Eddie created in honor of UVA’s newly inaugurated president.
Courtesy of Mason Hereford (Col ’08)
Mason Hereford is the owner of Turkey and the Wolf—a sandwich shop in New Orleans named America’s Best New Restaurant by Bon Appétit in 2017. You may remember his Collard Green Melt recipe from Virginia Magazine’s Winter 2017 interview (“UVA Born and Bread”). The Burnt Tomatoes recipe, below, was handed down from Hereford’s grandmother, Ann Hereford, who served it often at Carr’s Hill, where she lived with Mason’s grandfather, Frank Hereford (Col ’43, Grad ’47), UVA president from 1974 to 1985.Print Recipe
- Preheat oven to 325°F. Grease the bottom of a 13 x 9-inch baking dish with softened butter.
- Slice the ends off the tomatoes. Slice each tomato into 3 slices. They should be about ½-inch thick.
- Pour about ½ inch of canola oil into a cast iron skillet. This may be all your oil, depending on the size of your skillet. Heat the oil over medium high heat.
- While the oil is heating, add 1 tablespoon salt and 1 tablespoon freshly ground black pepper to the 3 cups of flour. Dredge each tomato slice in the flour and place in the heated oil so that each slice is not overlapping with another slice.
- Cook each slice so that it is brown on each side, about 3 minutes. If they are taking too long to brown, turn up your heat. When brown, remove the slices, draining off as much excess oil as possible back into the cast iron. Place each browned tomato slice into the buttered baking dish. Repeat this process in batches until a single layer of tomato slices covers the bottom of the dish.
- When the bottom of the baking dish is filled with fried tomato slices, dot each tomato with a tiny pat of butter and sprinkle with sugar (about a teaspoon will cover the layer of tomatoes), and a little salt and pepper. Continue frying the tomato slices, placing the next layer of tomatoes on top of the first layer. When the second layer is completed, again dot with butter and sprinkle with sugar, salt and pepper.
- Add a third layer, repeating the process. Add more oil to the skillet as needed, each time waiting for the oil to heat before putting tomatoes in the skillet.
- When the baking pan has three layers, top the third layer of tomatoes with salt, pepper and sugar. Place the pan, uncovered, in the oven and cook for 1 to 2 hours. The length of cooking time can depend on one’s oven and the way the tomatoes fried. If they were loose and falling apart, a longer cooking time is suggested, to better “fuse” them together. The end result should be a rich, dark brown/red pan of soft, caramelized tomatoes.
Dduk Guk (“Korean Rice Cake Soup”)
A traditional Korean celebratory soup, courtesy of Danny Lee (Col ’03)
Rice cakes are a symbol of longevity in Korean culture, according to Danny Lee, who has served up award-winning Korean food at several D.C. restaurants for more than a decade. He is currently co-owner and chef of Mandu, ChiKo and (opening in early 2019) Anju. In 2018, ChiKo was named No. 25 of the 100 best restaurants by Washingtonian magazine. “Our holiday tables are always interesting,” Lee says, “due to the fact that I was born in the U.S., while my parents were immigrants. So my mom … will make traditional holiday foods such as turkey, hams, roasts, etc., but then we’ll also have kimchi, rice, Korean bbq, etc. It’s an amazing feast.”Print Recipe
- Soak the brisket in a pot of cold water for 10 minutes, then strain and rinse.
- Fill a soup pot with 8 cups of water and place on high heat. Place the brisket and kombu in the pot and bring to a boil. Once at a boil, lower heat to medium and simmer for one hour, occasionally skimming the top layer with a fine-mesh strainer.
- Remove kombu and discard. Remove brisket and place on cutting board. Slice brisket against the grain into ⅛- to ¼-inch thick rectangular slices, then set aside. Strain broth into another soup pot and set aside.
- Place a skillet on medium high heat and add a touch of canola (or any neutral) oil. Add garlic and stir until soft, being careful not to burn. Add ground beef and stir to brown the beef. When the beef is almost browned, strain out the fat and place back on heat.
- Add 1 teaspoon of black pepper and 1 teaspoon of soy sauce, and thoroughly mix into beef until beef is cooked through. Set aside in a separate bowl.
- Whisk 2 eggs thoroughly and pass through a mesh strainer into a separate mixing bowl. Take a nonstick pan (8- to 10-inch) and wipe the surface with an oil-soaked paper towel. Place pan on low heat, pour strained egg batter onto the pan and roll pan so the egg evenly covers the entire surface. Once egg starts to cook and becomes firm, flip over and cook the other side just for 10 seconds to cook off any residual egg batter.
- Place the thin omelet onto a cutting board and roll it. Then take a knife and julienne the rolled omelet into strips (roughly ⅛-inch wide) and set aside.
- Add rice cakes and sliced brisket into the broth. Place on high heat and bring to a boil, stirring so the rice cakes do not stick to the bottom of the pot. Add soy sauce, salt and pepper, to taste. Cook for about 3-4 minutes, until the rice cakes become very soft and chewy.
- Ladle the rice cakes evenly into four bowls, and then ladle the broth into the bowls so that the liquid just covers the top of the rice cakes.
- Garnish with the diced scallion, omelet strips, seasoned ground beef and seaweed strips. Sprinkle with a pinch of black pepper.
Cranberry and Roasted Beet Chutney
Courtesy of Tanya Holland (Col ’87)
Executive chef Tanya Holland received formal training in Burgundy, France, and has been featured on numerous national shows, including Top Chef. Her resume is extensive, she’s trained under the best, and her Brown Sugar Kitchen in West Oakland, California, displays her passion for modern soul food. Her chutney dish “may break from the tradition of canned cranberry relish that people are used to,” she says, “plus the beets add an extra savory note.”Print Recipe
- Preheat the oven to 375°F. Place the beet halves on a large piece of aluminum foil. Drizzle with olive oil, then fold the foil over the beets and crimp the sides.
- Roast until tender when pierced with a paring knife, about 45 minutes (beets can take anywhere from 30 to 60 minutes depending upon their size and age, so start checking them after about 30 minutes).
- Remove from the foil, and when cool enough to handle, slip off the skins. Dice the beets and set aside.
- In a saucepan over medium heat, stir together the cranberries, orange zest and juice, grated ginger, sugar, bourbon and cardamom. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer, stirring occasionally, until the cranberries begin to burst, about 8 minutes.
- Stir in the roasted beets and vinegar, if using, and continue to simmer to blend the flavors, 2–3 minutes more.
- Transfer to a serving bowl and let cool completely. Store in the refrigerator until ready to serve. The chutney can be made up to 1 week in advance.
Did you make any of these recipes? We’d love to see! Share your creations on social media using the hashtag #hooscooking.