By Kristine Hansen | Photography by Shanna Wolf
When you have guests over, enjoying the company of friends and family is the easy part. Deciding what to serve? That’s when hours of scrolling through recipe inspiration often has us stumped (and stressed).
Chefs are the best people to pose this question to, as their life’s work involves developing recipes and executing plating that inspires guests to whip out their smartphones to capture the beauty.
So, we tapped the brilliant, flavor-driven mind of general manager and chef Gerard Strong of Belfrē Kitchen in Delafield to get his favorite, wow-factor appetizer and marinade recipes you can whip up yourself.
“A lot of inspiration comes from home cooking,” says Strong, “and people are looking for that restaurant experience at home.”
For the appetizer, Strong opted for roasted bone marrow with shallot bacon jam on grilled bread, noting that the bone marrow can be found at most butcher shops.
Another go-to of Strong’s is his “quick, tasty marinade,” which “I put on pretty much anything,” he says. Here, he used it as a marinade for pork chops.
YIELD: SERVES 4
SHALLOT AND BACON JAM:
Loaf of your favorite crusty bread from local bakery
Cut loaf in 1⁄2-inch-thick slices, brush with olive oil, salt and pepper and grill or toast in toaster oven.
If you have a meat grinder, grind bacon with a large die. If not, chop bacon into small pieces. In a heav-bottomed pot over medium heat, render bacon until it starts to crisp, about 12 minutes. Remove bacon from pot, and drain all but 2 tablespoons of bacon fat. Add shallots, brown sugar, vinegar and 3 tablespoons of water. Combine and reduce heat to low and cover. Allow it to cook down for 12 minutes, periodically checking to make sure it is not scorching on the bottom. Remove lid, and reduce liquid until it is thickened and onions have softened. Remove from heat and allow to cool slightly, then stir in herbs and bacon and adjust seasoning with salt and pepper. To balance sweetness, add a splash of vinegar. Warm jam slightly before applying to marrow
Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Season bones with salt and pepper and put on a sheet tray. Roast in oven for 12-15 minutes until internal temp is 155 degrees. Remove from oven, and scoop out the marrow with a small spoon, smearing it and the bacon jam on top of the ciabatta bread.
YIELD: SERVES 4
Place all ingredients in a gallon Ziploc bag. Be sure to mix it all up and work the marinade through the meat. Remove as much air as possible and reserve for two hours or overnight. Remove from bag, and either pan sear or grill, and cook through. As meat cooks, brush with leftover marinade.
The Lakeshore Living publications are published by Nei-Turner Media Group, a full-service agency located in Lake Geneva, WI. Our four publications cover the picturesque lake communities of Lake Geneva, Madison, Lake Country and Northwoods.
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