Chef Nick Anderer's "abbacchio al forno" on THE Dish

Born in South Bend, Ind., and raised in New York City, chef Nick Anderer was studying art history in Rome when Italian cooking won his heart and gave him a career.

Special section: Food and wine

The chef has a degree in art history from Columbia University, and when he was a senior at the school he started working full time in restaurants. He begged the first chef at Buzzy O’Keeffe’s Water Club to hire him.

Unlike other star chefs, Anderer did not go to culinary school, but he worked with and was mentored by Larry Forgione, Mario Batali, Tom Colicchio and Mike Anthony.

He has also worked with Danny Meyer and continues to so as the current executive chef and partner of Maialino, a traditional Roman trattoria in New York City, which is part of Meyer’s Union Square Hospitality Group.

Anderer’s next venture is to oversee a new outpost of Meyer’s group in the King and Grove Hotel in Manhattan.

Abbacchio al Forno (slow roasted lamb shoulder)

1 small bone-in lamb shoulder (roughly 4-5 lbs)

1/4 cup picked rosemary leaves, rough chopped

1/2 cup halved garlic cloves

1 cup white wine vinegar

1 cup white wine

Juice of 1 lemon

1/2 teaspoon red chili flakes

1 teaspoon sugar

1 bulb fennel, sliced into 1/4 thick slices

2 red onions, sliced into 1/2 inch thick slices

3 cups baby autumn greens, preferably baby kale or baby mustard greens (ruby streaks)

4 tablespoons olive oil

Salt and coarsely ground black pepper to taste


1.  Season the lamb aggressively with salt and pepper

2.  Toss the garlic, rosemary and olive oil together in a small bowl and spread all over the lamb

3.  Place in refrigerator overnight or up to 36 hours

4.  Preheat oven to 300 degrees F

5.  Remove a small handful of rosemary and garlic from the marinating lamb and place in a blender with the vinegar, wine, chili flake, lemon juice and sugar – blend until smooth and set aside

6.  Place onions and fennel in a roasting pan, toss with a small amount of the blended mixture (1/4 cup), salt and pepper, and place the shoulder of lamb on top of the vegetables

7.  Roast in the 300F oven for 3-4 hrs (or until the meat begins to pull away from the shoulder blade), basting continuously (roughly every 20 minutes) with the mixture from the blender.  Stir the vegetables occasionally to ensure that they brown evenly

8.  When finished, transfer the lamb shoulder to a platter and cover with the soft cooked vegetables which have been roasting in the lamb juices - and top with a sprinkling of baby kale or mustard greens

9.  Optionally serve alongside/on top of roasted potatoes or slow-cooked beans (preferably cannellini, borlotti or butter beans)


Delicata Squash in Agrodolce

2 tablespoons maple syrup

2 tablespoons white balsamic vinegar

Juice of 1/2 a  lemon

Zest 1 lemon

Zest of 1/2 an orange

3 tablespoons roughly chopped parsley

4 pieces delicata squash, seeded and cut into 1/2 inch thick slices

2 tablespoons light brown sugar

4 tablespoons olive oil

Salt and pepper to taste


1.  Preheat oven to 400F

2.  Toss squash slices with sugar, olive oil, salt and pepper and place on a roasting tray lined with parchment paper

3.  Roast in the oven for 25-35 minutes, stirring occasionally to evenly brown

4.  While squash is roasting, whisk together the syrup, vinegar, lemon juice, zest and parsley in a large mixing bowl

5.  When the squash is fully roasted, transfer the hot slices immediately to the mixing bowl and toss thoroughly


Roasted Carrots and Pistachios

5 bunches baby carrots or 2 bunches medium size bunch carrots

1/2 cup de-shelled roughly chopped pistachios

3 tablespoons butter

3 tablespoons olive oil

1 lemon cut into quarters

Salt and pepper to taste

1.  Preheat oven to 350F

2.  Toss carrots with olive oil, salt and pepper, and place in oven for 30-40 minutes, stirring every 15 minutes to evenly roast all sides

3.  Once fully cooked, transfer roasting pan to the stove top over medium-high heat and toss in the butter and pistachios

4.  Stir carrots continuously as they sizzle with the butter and pistachios

5.  Once butter turns light brown and pistachios have been toasted, turn off the heat and squeeze fresh lemon juice to taste over the carrots, add additional salt if necessary, and serve


Radicchio and Persimmon Salad

3-4 quarts mixed radiccho leaves

3 persimmons (peeled and sliced into thin wedges)

1 cup Parmigiano Reggiano in bite-sized chunks/shards

Fresh lemon juice and olive oil to taste

Salt and pepper to taste

Drizzle of aged balsamic to taste

1. Toss the radicchio in a large mixing bowl with lemon, olive oil, salt and pepper

2. Arrange on a large platter

3. Sprinkle persimmon slices and parmigiano chunks across the top of the salad

4. Drizzle with aged balsamic to finish


“Donnaiolo”

2 dashes orange bitters

0.5 oz Rabarbaro Zucca (Amaro)

0.5 oz Gran Classico

2 oz gin

Absinthe rinse

Orange twist

1.  Stir bitter, amaro, Gran Classico and gin over ice

2.  Strain into an absinthe rinsed martini or cocktail glass and top with an orange twist


Torta di Cioccolato (chocolate tart)

12 oz dark chocolate (in pieces)

5 eggs

1 C plus 2 T sugar

1/2 pound of butter

2 T butter

1 T of flour for the cake pan

1 C water 

1. Preheat the oven to 300 degrees.

2. Line an 8-inch shallow cake pan 2 inches deep with nonstick baking paper, then grease it with butter and sprinkle with flour.

3. Beat the eggs with 3/4 C of the sugar until the mixture triples in volume (roughly 8 minutes in the kitchen aid).

4. Heat remaining sugar in a saucepan with 1 C water to make a simple syrup. Add the chocolate and the butter and mix well.

5. When smooth, remove from the heat and leave to cool.

6. Pour the mixture over the eggs while it is still slightly warm and continue to beat gently until it is smooth (no more than 20 seconds). Pour the mixture into the prepared cake pan and place the pan in a roasting pan of hot water. The water must come right up to the top of the mold so that the cooking is uniform.

7. Bake for 30 minutes or until set and serve with unsweetened whipped cream

  • Shoshana Davis

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