Los Angeles Fine Catering  |  Taste of Pace

Our Holiday Favorites!

Holiday, Lifestyle, RecipesMegan BaylonComment

We can't believe it's nearly December already! This gorgeous and gloomy Los Angeles weather has only amplified our excitement for the Holidays. All of us at Taste of Pace are so excited about the upcoming season that we had to share Chef Pace's favorite holiday treats!

Best Cocktail for the Holidays

We are all about champagne cocktails during the holidays! Our go-to holiday cocktail has to be Aperol, shaken, with whiskey and topped with a champagne float and lemon twist. Serve in a champagne flute and voilà! 

Our Holiday Playlist!

Chef Pace grew up on an eclectic mix of Holiday Music- we hope you enjoy our playlist!

Pace's Favorite Holiday Comfort Food

  • Tamales! You can not go wrong with tamales during the winter- especially pork tamales with salsa verde!
  • Oxtail ragu with semolina gnocchi and ricotta salata. Basically a big bowl of warmth and decadence.
  • Two words: Polenta fries. I like to think of this dish as an Italian version of Chili Cheese Fries, or better yet- poutine. And what would the Holidays be without sharing? Check out our recipe below! 
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Polenta Fries with Pecorino Mornay and Shallot Agro Dolce 

Ingredients

  • 4 cups whole milk
  • 1 cup water
  • 2 1/4 cups polenta
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh thyme
  • All purpose flour for dredging
  • 2 quarts frying oil
  • salt and pepper to taste

Preparation

Lightly oil 13 x 9-inch metal baking pan. Bring milk and water to boil in heavy large saucepan. Gradually whisk in polenta. Reduce heat to low and cook until polenta is very thick and starts to pull away from sides of pan, stirring often, about 8 minutes. Remove from heat. Stir in basil and thyme.  Season to taste with salt and pepper. Immediately transfer polenta to prepared baking pan, spreading evenly to cover. Refrigerate until cool and firm, about 1 hour. (Can be prepared 1 day ahead. Cover and keep refrigerated.)

Invert polenta onto a cutting board.  Cut polenta lengthwise into three 3-inch-wide rectangles. Cut each rectangle crosswise into 1/2-inch-wide strips, or whichever width will match the height of the polenta so that it is more or less a perfect rectangular prism. Set polenta strips aside.

Preheat oven to 200°F. Heat oil in heavy large saucepan over medium-high heat and insert a candy thermometer to measure temperature.   350 degrees is the ideal frying temperature.  Place flour in shallow dish. Lightly coat polenta strips with flour; shake off excess. Working in batches, fry polenta strips until golden brown on all sides, adding more oil if necessary, about 5 minutes. Using a spider, transfer fries to paper towels and drain. Place fries on baking sheet and keep warm in oven while cooking remaining batches.   

Mornay Sauce

Ingredients

  • 1.5 oz. butter
  • 2 oz. flour
  • 4 cups whole milk
  • 1 bay leaf
  • pinch of fresh grated nutmeg
  • 8 oz. pecorino cheese, grated
  • salt and pepper to taste

Method

Make a roux with the butter and flour by melting the butter and cooking the flour in the butter for a few minutes on medium heat. Slowly whisk in the milk and add bay leaf and nutmeg.  When sauce reaches a thick consistency, remove from heat and add 6 oz of pecorino cheese.  Stir through and set aside. Sauce can be made one day ahead.

Shallot Agro Dolce

Ingredients

  • 4 shallots, thinly sliced in rings
  • 4 oz. balsamic vinegar
  • 3 oz. sugar

Method

In a medium saucepan, combine all ingredient and cook on low until sauce has thickened and shallots are cooked all the way through.

To serve family style pour mornay sauce on a platter and spread out a bit with a spatula or wooden spoon.  Plate fries on top of sauce.  Sprinkle remaining two ounces of pecorino cheese on top of fries and garnish with shallot agro dolce. Serve warm!