Chef Rick BaylessThis past weekend, Chef Rick Bayless of the Macy’s Culinary Council (MCC) demonstrated his favorite holiday recipes at Macy’s in NorthPark Center. The Macy’s Culinary Council is a national culinary authority comprising some of the nation’s leading culinary masters. Launched in 2003, MCC’s team of distinguished chefs serves to inspire the way Macy’s customers shop, cook and eat at home like a master chef. 😉

First off, no holiday party starts off right without a delicious dip, and one of Dallas Food Nerd’s is the guacamole. If you’re looking for a unique snack for your holiday party, Chef Rick Bayless has created “Guacamole with Toasted Walnuts and Pomegranate.”
Guacamole with Toasted Walnuts and Pomegranate

1 fresh poblano chile
¾ cup walnuts
3 ripe, medium-large avocados
½ white onion, chopped into pieces no larger than ¼ inch (1/3 cup)
2 Tbsp chopped flat-leaf parsley leaves
2 Tbsp fresh lime juice
Seeds from ½ pomegranate, removed from pith

Roast the poblano over an open flame or 4 inches below a broiler, turning regularly until blackened all over, about 5 minutes for an open flame, 10 minutes for the broiler. Place in a bowl, cover with a kitchen towel and let cool until handleable. Rub the blackened skin off the chile and pull out the stem and seed pod. Rinse to remove bits of skin and seed. Roughly chop and scoop into a mortar.

While the chile is cooling, heat the oven to 325-degrees, then spread the walnuts on a baking sheet and bake them until toasty-aromatic, 8 to 10 minutes. Cool. Scrape about 2/3 of the walnuts in with the poblanos; set aside the remainder for garnish. Use the pestle to crush the walnuts and poblanos together to a coarse puree. Scrape the mixture into a large bowl.

Mash the avocado flesh with the poblano and walnut: Cut the avocados in half. Remove the pit, then scoop the flesh from each half. With an old-fashioned potato masher, large fork or back of a large spoon, coarsely mash the avocado with the poblano-walnut mixture.

Scoop the onion into a strainer, rinse under cold water, shake off the excess and add to the avocado along with parsley and lime. Stir to combine, then taste and season with salt, usually about 1 tsp. Cover with plastic wrap directly on the surface of the guacamole and refrigerate until you’re ready to serve. When that moment arrives, scrape the guacamole into a serving dish and sprinkle with the pomegranate seeds.

Next, what festive meal would not include a fun drink?! Chef Bayless created “Blood Orange Margarita.” It makes 9 (12-oz cocktails). This margarita perfects a sweet-tart orange juice with the stunning color and satisfying deep red flavor—of bing cherries.
Blood Orange Margarita

2/3 cup fresh lime juice
1/4 cup sugar
1 cup 100% agave silver tequila
1/2 cup Cointreau (This (not Triple Sec) is a necessary here, focusing the orange flavor in just the right way.)
2 cups fresh blood orange juice (you’ll need about 6 juicy blood oranges)
A lime half for moistening the glass rims
Coarse (Kosher) salt
Ice cubes (you’ll need about 6 cups—small ones are best)

To make the margarita base, stir together the lime juice, sugar and 3/4 cup water until the sugar has dissolved in a large pitcher. Add the tequila, Cointreau and blood orange juice. Cover and refrigerate until chilled, about 1 hour.

Shake and serve, like a martini. Chef Bayless HIGHLY RECOMMENDS OXO Cocktail Shaker since the lid is also a jigger. Moisten the rims of three 6-ounce martini glasses with the cut side of a lime half. Spread coarse salt on a small plate, then upend the glasses into the salt to crust the rims. Fill a cocktail shaker about 3/4 full of ice and measure in 1 1/2 cups of the margarita for 3 drinks. Cover and shake for about 15 seconds to thoroughly chill the mixture. Strain into the prepared glasses and hand to your guests. When you’re ready, finish the remaining margaritas in the same way.

Disclaimer: Everywhere compensated me for my attendance to this event. All of the opinions expressed in this post belong to DallasFoodNerd contributors.

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