Some of Detroit’s best chefs dish on the recipes you should be making at home this winter

At home

Some of Detroit’s best chefs dish on the recipes you should be making at home this winter

We love eating out. This whole issue is basically dedicated to that idea. But the vast majority of meals we’ll consume this year will be served at home. There are quite literally endless venues to find a new recipe or an upgrade on an old classic, but very few of those will be taken from the menus and home kitchens of the folks delighting you across Detroit’s glorious dining scene. Which is why we asked them to share some of their favorites with you. There are 10, because 10 is a nice round number and that’s all we had room for. Bon appétit.


Luckily for Venezuelan cooks like Zoraida Gutierrez at El Rey de las Arepas, in the 1950s an engineer invented a precooked corn flour, marketing it with the slogan "No more pounding!" (of raw corn in a mortar). PAN flour is available at Amazon or Walmart online. Here's Zoraida's recipe.


2 1/2 cups water

2 cups PAN flour

1 teaspoon salt

Pour water into a container. Add salt and PAN flour gradually. Knead until a smooth dough is formed and let rest for 3 minutes.

Separate dough into 10 portions. Shape one portion into a ball, then press it with your palms to form a large patty 3 1/2 inches in diameter. Place onto a griddle or frying pan over medium heat. Brown on each side for 5 minutes. Split the arepa sideways (like an English muffin) and stuff it with the filling you desire. Serve hot.


This dish from Chris Franz, the executive chef at the Rattlesnake Club in Detroit, is one of his favorites. It's vegetarian, but not vegan (it calls for butter). Brussels sprouts, a long vilified veggie, has made a recent resurgence in the culinary world. And according to Franz, they aren't difficult to make. "Brussels sprouts always go over well with those keeping a vegetarian diet," he said. "They are delicious and very easy to prepare."


1/4 cup canola oil

2 1/4 pounds Brussels sprouts, trimmed & halved lengthwise

1 stick (4 ounces) unsalted butter, softened and cut into tablespoons

2 tablespoons light brown sugar

1/4 cup pure (Michigan-made) maple syrup

1 tablespoon Harissa paste

1 1/2 tablespoons cider vinegar

1 cup vacuum-packed roasted chestnuts, coarsely chopped (toasted walnuts make a good substitute)

1 tablespoon walnut oil

Salt and freshly ground pepper

Heat the canola oil in a very large skillet until shimmering. Add the Brussels sprouts and season with salt and pepper. Cook over high heat without stirring until they are browned, about 2 minutes.

Turn the heat down to medium-high. Add the unsalted butter and brown sugar and cook, stirring occasionally, until the brown sugar is melted. Add the maple syrup and harissa, stirring occasionally, until the Brussels sprouts are just crisp-tender, about 7 minutes.

Stir in the cider vinegar and the chestnuts and cook until heated through. Drizzle with walnut oil and toss mixture gently.

Using a slotted spoon, transfer the Brussels sprouts and chestnuts to a bowl. Bring the remaining liquid to a boil over high heat and cook until thickened slightly, about 2 minutes. Pour the sauce over the Brussels sprouts and serve. Serves 8.


Local Kitchen and Bar's Jared Bobkin says, "This is a recipe that has been on our menu for a while, and we've gotten some great feedback from it from both the vegetarian and vegan crowd, as well as meat eaters. I love it because it's pretty easy to make for cooks at any level, and it's delicious. It's a great dish for people who want to serve a meatless dish, but don't want to settle for just a salad."


4 cups cooked quinoa

2 teaspoons celeriac, diced small

2 teaspoons butternut squash, diced small

2 teaspoons shiitake mushrooms, julienned

2 ounces white wine

1 tablespoons golden beet puree

1 tablespoons charmoula

1 teaspoon cranberry relish

Golden Beet Puree

2 pounds cooked golden beets

2 ounces white balsamic vinegar

(Purée in a blender until smooth. Season with salt.)


1 bunch parsley

1 bunch cilantro

1 tablespoon toasted cumin seeds

1 cup olive oil

1/3 cup lime juice

(Add all into a blender except the olive oil, turn on high speed, and slowly drizzle in oil; season with salt.)

Cranberry Relish

2 pounds fresh cranberries

1 orange zested

1 cinnamon stick

1/4 cup sugar

1/2 cup red wine vinegar

(In a sauce pot add all ingredients and cook until cranberries burst and it creates a jam-like relish consistency.)

Saute celeriac, butternut squash, celeriac, and mushrooms until tender. Add cooked quinoa and gently heat through. Add wine and cook down until almost completely evaporated. Season with salt. On the plate smear the golden beet puree. On top of the puree, using a ring mold, stuff the quinoa mixture to form a tower. Around the outside edge of the plate drizzle the charmoula. Dollop a small amount of cranberry relish next to one side of the quinoa tower. Garnish with pickled onions and arugula on top of the tower


Dorothy Hernandez and Jake Williams of the pop-up Sarap specialize in Filipino dishes with a twist. This creation was a hit at a recent event.


1/2 pound ground beef

1/2 pound ground pork

1 tablespoon chili powder

2 teaspoons smoked paprika

2 tablespoons soy sauce

1 teaspoon of salt

1 teaspoon of pepper

1 medium onion, diced

3 cloves garlic, minced

2 carrots, small dice

3 scallions, chopped

1 package of spring roll wrappers

Vegetable oil for sautéing and frying

Kosher salt

Sunflower sprouts, for garnish

Sweet and sour sauce or sweet chili sauce for dipping

Pickled vegetables

4 Kirby cucumbers, thinly sliced

2 carrots, julienne

1 cup apple cider or rice wine vinegar

1/2 cup sugar

1 tablespoon salt

1 cup water, plus more, if needed

1 jalapeno, cut into slices

3 cloves garlic, peeled

(Combine vinegar with water, salt, and sugar in a small saucepan. Heat to a boil and then reduce to a simmer and stir to dissolve the sugar. Let simmer for about 5 minutes. Turn off the heat and let cool. Place cucumbers, carrots, jalapeno, and garlic in a clean, dry glass container just large enough to hold everything. Pour brine over vegetables to cover completely. If not submerged, add cold water to cover. Cover; refrigerate at least 1 hour.)

Season the ground beef and pork with chili powder, paprika, soy sauce, salt, and pepper.

Sauté onions in about 1 tablespoon of oil until caramelized. Add the garlic and sauté until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add the meat mixture and brown. Turn off the heat.

Add the diced carrots and scallions to the meat mixture. Let cool.

To roll the lumpia, turn one wrapper so it's in a diamond and one of the corners are facing you. Place a tablespoon of mixture about an inch up away from the corner and shape into a log. Roll up the corner closest to you and over the mixture until you use up half of the wrapper. Fold in the right and left sides. Continue rolling the lumpia until you have a final corner. Using a brush or your fingers, apply water to the corner to seal the lumpia (you can also use an egg wash).

Heat a pot of vegetable oil to 375 degrees. Fry the lumpia, about 4-5 at a time, making sure not to crowd the pot, until golden brown and crispy. Sprinkle with salt while still hot. Makes about 25 lumpia. Serve with sauce and garnish with sunflower sprouts and pickled vegetables.


Corktown Jesse, aka Jesse Knott, has earned fame for his pop-up dining events at Detroit City Distillery and elsewhere. He offers this recipe as an example of a crowd-pleasing dish.


1 medium pie pumpkin

1/2 cup butter (1 stick)

1/2 cup flour

1 quart milk

3/4 cup dry white wine

1/2 pound Taleggio cheese (rind removed)

5 teaspoons fresh lemon juice

5 teaspoons kosher salt

Pinch cayenne pepper

Pinch fresh grated nutmeg

1 clove garlic, minced

1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves, picked from stem

1/4 cup fresh parsley chiffonade

1 tablespoon minced chive

Couscous 3 cups Israeli couscous

2 cups veggie or chicken stock

2 quarts water

(Combine stock and water in a pot and season with a handful of salt. When liquid is at a rolling boil, add couscous and give a stir so that it doesn't stick to the bottom of the pot. Cook couscous al dente, for approximately 4 minutes. Strain

Peel and seed pumpkin and dice into 1/2-inch pieces. Toss with olive oil, and with salt and pepper to taste. Roast pumpkin at 425 degrees until golden brown and soft but not mushy. For the Mornay sauce, create a roux by melting the butter on medium in a saucepan. Add the minced garlic until golden in color and then add in your flour while constantly stirring it in with a whisk. Once your flour is completely incorporated, start pouring the milk in a steady slow stream. Don't stop whisking while bringing sauce to a simmer for 5 minutes. The Mornay sauce should be coming together. Turn the stove down to low heat and pour in the white wine and keep stirring for a few more minutes. Add Taleggio in small batches. Add salt, cayenne, nutmeg, and lastly the lemon juice. Taste the Mornay and make sure seasoning does not need to be adjusted. Add Mornay sauce to hot couscous in a saucepan until completely and luxuriously coated, but not soupy. Gently stir in roasted pumpkin and then herbs. Adjust seasoning if necessary. Serves 4-6 people as a side.


Early in 2015, Oklahoma University's student paper leaked the full contract for Jack White's on-campus performance on the college. The document contained the band's tour rider, which included this gem: a detailed guacamole recipe, credited to White's longtime tour manager, Lalo Medina. The secret? Chunky avocado. Also, keep the seeds.


8 large, ripe Haas avocados

4 vine-ripened tomatoes, diced

1/2 yellow onion, finely chopped

1 full bunch of cilantro, chopped

4 Serrano peppers, de-veined and chopped

1 lime

Salt & pepper to taste

Cut the avocados in half the long way, removed the pits and set them aside. Dice the avocados into large cubes with a butter knife, with 3 or 4 slits down, 3 or 4 across. Scoop out the chunks with a spoon, careful to keep the avocado in fairly large chunks.

Mix all ingredients in a large bowl, careful not to mush the avocados too much. Once properly mixed and tested, add the pits into the guacamole and even out the top with a spoon or spatula. Add a half of lime to the top so the surface can be covered with juice (the pits and lime will keep the guac from browning prematurely.) Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate until served. Serves a tour party of 31.


Chef Sarah Welch had never had a Dutch Baby until she met her boyfriend, chef Cameron Rolka. She and Rolka were working the infamous Sunday brunch at Ann Arbor's Mani Osteria. She says, "Sundays are always the worst days to work in the industry and so we would try to brighten them by having the most badass staff meal of the week. We made waffles, pancakes, sausage, eggs, and when Cameron was asked to helped me, we made Dutch Babies." She credits the dish with bringing her and Rolka together, saying, "Since then, making Dutch Babies has always been a reminder of how recipes and food in general, bring people together."


Apple slices (caramelized lightly in pan with butter till golden)

Apple butter


Dutch Baby batter

Dutch Baby batter

12 eggs

2 cups whole milk

1/2 cup butter, melted

4 teaspoons vanilla

2 cups flour

2 teaspoons salt

(In a mixing bowl whisk eggs and add milk and vanilla. Mix flour and salt in a separate bowl. Slowly incorporate dry mixture into wet mixture, and whisk until smooth. Incorporate butter. Yields about 8 quarts.)

When this batter is made take a small cast-iron pan (or muffin tin) and put into 400-degree oven to preheat for 10 minutes.

Once the mold is hot, pull out, butter, place 3 slices of apple in the bottom. Pour over enough batter to fill the mold 60 percent up the side and immediately put back in oven.

Bake in oven at 400 degrees until doubled in size and popping over the edge (10-15 minutes, depending on size). Pull out of oven and top with cinnamon, apple butter and sliced (preferably caramelized) apples.

Serve immediately. It will fall after 2-3 minutes.


This recipe comes from Reid Shipman at farm-to-table restaurant Gold Cash Gold. He says it's one of his favorite vegetarian preparations for winter vegetables, using a mac-and-cheese-style sauce to evoke warming, comforting feelings. He tells us, "It's a little more filling, which makes it perfect for those colder days."

1 head Cauliflower cleaned

2 tablespoons olive oil

Pinch salt

Swiss Mornay sauce

Swiss Mornay sauce

1/2 cup butter

1/2 cup flour

1 cup whole milk

1/2 cup grated Swiss cheese

1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese

1/4 cup "Italian" bread crumbs

(In a sauce pot whisk butter and flour together. Cook on medium heat until a peanut-butter-like consistency is reached. Slowly whisk in warm milk to avoid lumps and allow to cook at a gentle simmer for 10 minutes. Whisk in Swiss cheese. Reserve.)

Toss cauliflower, olive oil, and salt in a bowl. Then lay cauliflower out on a sheet tray. Roast at 325 degrees for 15 minutes or until tender.

Then, in an oven-safe baking dish, lay the cauliflower in a single (crowded) layer. Drizzle the Swiss Mornay over the cauliflower. Top with just enough Parmesan and bread crumb. Bake at 375 degrees until the cheese and bread crumbs start to get toasted. Serve and enjoy.


Jacques Driscoll was kind enough to share with us this recipe for Japanese pork dumplings, a popular side dish from his Southwest Detroit noodle house.

60 wonton wrappers (found at better Asian markets)

1 pound ground pork

3 ounces pork belly fat

1 ounce garlic

1 ounce ginger

2 ounces fish sauce

2 ounces soy sauce

3 ounces cabbage

Pinch of salt

Pinch of white pepper

Pinch of Thai chilies

To make the filling, pulse garlic and ginger in a blender or food processer. Remove stems from Thai chili and mince by hand. Finely shred chopped cabbage in food processer, then squeeze cabbage in a towel or cheesecloth to remove all liquid. In a large mixing bowl, combine all the ingredients until well incorporated and there is no standing liquid. Label. Date. Refrigerate.

To make dumplings, lay out wrappers on a full sheet tray with parchment. Fill a pan with room temperature water and set to the side. Note: Don't lay out too many wrappers at one time. The wrappers will begin to dry out.

Place gyoza filling on the center of the wrappers. Wet your finger with the water and use your finger to wet the edge of the wrapper. Note: Do not soak the gyoza; you only need a little water.

Fold the gyoza in half and seal dumpling tightly, leaving no air pockets.

Wet one side of the dumpling and starting about a centimeter in fold the dumpling backward about a 1/2 centimeter. Then move another centimeter in and repeat. Repeat this process until you have five folds.

Once complete, place very lightly damp towels on top of dumplings to prevent them from drying out. Fry until cooked through. Makes 60 gyoza.


This recipe comes from Alvaro Padilla of Southwest Detroit's El Nacimiento Mexican Restaurant. This spicy stew features shredded chicken, tomato, and chipotle peppers, spreading warmth through the winter. Best of all, it can be served in a variety of ways, and can be frozen for as long as a month.


2 medium chicken breasts

1 whole Roma tomato, halved

1 medium Spanish onion

1 bay leaf

1 tablespoon chicken bullion

1 teaspoon salt

4 fresh Roma tomatoes, diced

3 chipotle peppers, diced

2 garlic cloves, diced

1 teaspoon oregano

4 corn tostadas

1 cup of shredded lettuce

1 medium avocado

1/2 cup of sour cream

Bring a medium pot of water to boil, combine 2 medium chicken breasts, 1 whole Roma tomato halved, 1/2 medium Spanish onion, bay leaf, 1 tablespoon chicken bullion, and 1 teaspoon salt and let cook for approximately 30 minutes or until fully cooked. Remove from pot and let cool off for 10 minutes so that you can shred the chicken by hand into small pieces. Save 1 cup of the broth for the next step.

While the chicken is cooking, combine 3 fresh, diced Roma tomatoes, 3 diced chipotle peppers, 1/2 medium diced Spanish onion, 2 diced garlic cloves, 1 teaspoon oregano in another pot to create your sauce.

When your chicken is done boiling, add the broth to the saucepot and let cook on medium heat for 15 minutes. Place the cooked sauce in a blender and blend until you get a chunky consistency. Add 3 tablespoons of olive oil to a medium saucepan at medium heat. Add 1/2 Spanish onion, 1/4 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper to sauté in pan. Add shredded chicken to pan to sear. Add sauce and cook until you evaporate most of the water.

Spread spicy chicken on tostadas, gorditas, flautas, sopes, and chimichangas, then garnish with lettuce, tomatoes, onions, avocado, and sour cream to taste.


From Local Kitchen and Bar's Ben Robison comes this high-end dessert that the more advanced home chef might enjoy tackling.


Rose water panna cotta

Pomegranate molasses gelee

Almond financier


Citrus zest

Pomegranate juice

Pomegranate seeds


Rose water panna cotta

12 grams sheet gelatin

19 ounces cream

5.25 ounces sugar

15 ounces cream

1.5 ounces rose water

(Bloom gelatin in ice water.

Scald first cream and sugar together and whisk in bloomed gelatin. Strain hot cream into second cream measurement and stir in rose water. Divide cream into desired containers and refrigerate until gelatin has set.)

Pomegranate molasses gelee

4 grams sheet gelatin

3.5 ounces pomegranate molasses

4.5 ounces water

1 ounce sugar

(Bloom gelatin in ice water. Bring pomegranate molasses, water, and sugar to a boil and whisk in bloomed gelatin. Allow gelee to cool to room temperature. Portion gelee onto the finished panna cottas and refrigerate until gelatin has set.)

Almond financier

4 ounces butter

5 ounces egg whites

9 ounces sugar

3 ounces AP flour

4 ounces almond flour

(Boil butter over medium high heat whisking constantly until butter and solids are brown. Pour into a cool container and reserve. Whip egg whites until they begin to ribbon, rein in sugar, and continue to whip to stiff peaks. In multiple additions, mix both flours and brown butter into the meringue, beginning with the flours and ending with the butter. Scoop batter into small muffin tins and bake at 350 degrees until done.)

Makes 6 portions.

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