Talk Takeaway: Cooking with Chef Michael Fiorelli

Posted on Dec 3, 2012 10:45am

Michael Fiorelli is Executive Sous Chef at Terranea Resort, in nearby Rancho Palos Verdes, overseeing Terranea's 8 restaurants and cafes including the resort's signature restaurant mar'sel. He shows us traditional holiday meals with a twist.

Personalize your stuffing. 
When it comes to making stuffing, don't feel boggled down by what the recipe calls for. The great thing about stuffing is that you can make it work with anything you enjoy eating.  If you love mushrooms, add mushrooms.  If you love celery, add celery.  If you love meat, add that in too. Just use a basic recipe and add the ingredients your palate is in the mood for. It will be added to your roast to enhance the flavor.
Cover bones with aluminum foil.
When you cook the roast, the bones get direct heat from the oven. So remember to cover the bones with aluminum foil because it prevents the meat from burning.
Store chard in moistened paper towels.  
Before cooking this dish, rinse and store chard in moistened paper towels in a plastic bag with a few pinholes to allow air to circulate in the refrigerator for two or three days.
Crown Roast of Lamb
2 frenched lamb racks; 6-8 bones each (approximately 2 lbs) 
Kosher salt
Fresh cracked black pepper
Olive oil, as needed
Directions to prepare roast
Lay the lamb racks on a cutting board and with the fat side up and bones facing away from you. 
Make very shallow (about ¼ inch deep) incisions half way between each bone running from the bottom to the top of the meat. 
Stand the lamb racks up on a cutting board with the bones up and the fat sides facing out. 
Wrap kitchen twine loosely around the middle of the racks. 
Bend the racks to make a circle.
Tighten the twine. 
Tie a tight knot and cut off long ends.
Wrap the bottom portion of the racks with twine. 
Pull twine tight to draw in the bottom of the roast and force the bones apart at the top. 
Tighten the twine and tie a tight knot. 
Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
Pat the meat dry with a kitchen towel. 
Rub the roast with olive oil and season liberally with kosher salt and fresh cracked black pepper. 
Place the crown roast in a roasting pan. 
Spoon the mushroom stuffing into the center of the roast. 
Wrap the ends of the bones with aluminum foil to prevent burning. 
Roast for about 1.5 hours or until the internal temperature reached 125-130 degrees (medium rare).
Let rest for 15 minutes before slicing.
Wild Mushroom Stuffing
Wild mushroom stuffing 
1/2 cup chopped bacon
4 garlic cloves minced
3 shallots minced
1 pound wild mushrooms (cremini, chanterelle, or whatever you have available) chopped
4 tablespoons fresh toasted bread crumbs 
1/2cup chopped Italian parsley
2 table spoons extra virgin olive oil
Kosher salt
Fresh cracked black pepper 
Heat the olive oil in a large sauté pan over medium heat. 
Add bacon and render until crisp. 
Add the shallots and sauté until soft and translucent. 
Add mushrooms and roast until soft. 
Add garlic and cook, stirring for two minutes. 
Turn off heat and stir in parsley and breadcrumbs. 
Season to taste with salt and pepper. 
Set aside and allow cooling. 
Creamed Swiss Chard with Parmesan Cheese and Toasted Bread Crumbs 
2 pounds Swiss chard, washed, remove stems and rough chop
2 ounces butter
¾ cup sliced shallots
12 cloves garlic sliced
3/4 cup heavy cream
½ Mascarpone cheese
½ cup Parmesan cheese, grated (plus 2 tablespoons for garnish)
Pinch kosher salt
½ tsp red chili flakes
Tsp cracked black pepper
¼ cup toasted bread crumbs
Melt the butter over medium heat in a large sauté pan. 
Sauté shallots and garlic until soft and translucent.  
Add chard and cook until just wilted.  Remove the chard, garlic and shallots to a colander to drain. 
Add the cream to the pan and reduce by half. 
In a food processor, puree the drained chard with garlic and shallots, ½ cup parmesan, mascarpone and cream until just smooth. 
Season with salt, black pepper and chili flakes. 
Refrigerate and reheat later or transfer back in the pan to re warm and place in a serving dish topped with bread crumbs and remaining parmesan cheese.
Panettone Bread Pudding

1 whole panettone, large diced (about 1 pound)
2 cup whole Milk
2 cups heavy Cream
9 large Eggs
1 cup sugar
Pre heat oven to 350 degrees. Butter a 13 x 9 inch baking dish.
In large bowl whisk together milk, cream, eggs and sugar until a smooth consistency. 
Add panettone cubes and let soak for 30 minutes, occasionally tossing the panettone to insure that it is evenly soaked. 
Pour the mixture into the buttered baking dish. 
Bake at 350 degrees for about 45 minutes until golden brown and just set. 
Serve with caramel sauce or a dollop of whipped cream.

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