Marcus Samuelsson's Fall Gourmet Comfort Foods

Marcus Samuelsson is not only one of President Obama's favorite chefs - he's prepared two state dinners for Mr. Obama -- he's the winner of the second season of "Top Chef Masters."

Marcus is also only weeks away from opening his new Harlem restaurant, Red Rooster.

On "The Early Show" Wednesday, he cooked up some great gourmet comfort foods for fall, using the season's freshest ingredients, such as potatoes, sweet potatoes, and apples.

For the main course, Marcus made Beer-Braised Short Ribs.

"Early Show" recipes galore!

He explained that the key to this dish is preparing it low and slow -- as it is with all braising. A low temperature (300 degrees here) for a long cook time (at least three hours in the oven). Also, braising is a great thing for fall, since it works well for stews, lamb, beef, you name it.

One ingredient called for in the recipe, mirin, is basically a rice wine vinegar. It's pretty easy to find. But if you can't find it, any rice wine vinegar or sake will do. There's also an ingredient listed that is a combo of honey and soy sauce. That simply makes the soy sweeter and thicker, which the sauce needs in order to be served topping the ribs.


Latkes with Apple-Horseradish Sauce

Makes 18 pancakes

1 pound Idaho potatoes, peeled
1 pound Yukon gold potatoes, peeled
2 red onions, peeled
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
3/4 cup all purpose flour
2 tablespoons cornstarch
1 teaspoon paprika
Freshly ground pepper
3/4 cup canola oil

1. Preheat the oven to 350ºF.

2. Grate the potatoes and onions on the large holes of a box grater. Combine the grated potatoes and onions with the garlic, flour, cornstarch and paprika. Season with salt and pepper. Mix well.

3. Working in 3 batches, heat 1/4 cup oil in a large non-stick skillet over medium-high heat. Spoon 1/4 cup of the batter for each latka onto the hot skillet, using a spoon to push the batter down into an even layer if necessary, and cook until latkas are golden on both sides, about 4 minutes per side. Add another 1/4 cup of oil and repeat for each batch. Transfer the latkes to a parchment lined baking sheet, place in the oven and cook for 10 minutes.

Serve with Apple-Horseradish Sauce

Apple-Horseradish Sauce

Makes 1 1/2 cups

4 Granny Smith apples, peeled, cored and roughly chopped
1 1-inch piece of ginger, peeled and roughly chopped
Juice of 1 lime
2 tablespoons cider vinegar
Freshly ground pepper
1 scallion, finely chopped
1 3-inch piece of horseradish, grated
1/2 teaspoon wasabi

1. Combine the apples, ginger, lime juice, cider vinegar, and 1/2 cup water in a large saucepan. Cut a piece of parchment paper to the diameter of the saucepan and place it over the apples and ginger to submerge in the liquid. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low and simmer until the apples are tender, about 15 minutes. Strain and transfer to a blender and puree until smooth. Season with salt and pepper.

2. Stir in the scallions, horseradish and wasabi.

Beer-Braised Short Ribs

6 servings

3 tablespoons chili paste
4 pounds short ribs
1/2 cup soy sauce
4 cups beer, such as Brooklyn Lager
1 teaspoon salt, plus more for seasoning meat
1/2 tablespoon sesame oil
3 tablespoons olive oil
2 red onions, sliced
4 garlic cloves, chopped
1 3-inch piece of ginger, chopped
3 bay leaves
4 cups chicken stock
1/2 cup mirin/rice wine vinegar
2 tablespoons equally mixed honey and soy sauce
1 tablespoon honey
2 scallions, chopped
1 tablespoon unsalted butter

1. Smear the chili paste over the short ribs. Arrange the ribs in a single layer in a baking dish. Mix together 1/4 cup of the soy sauce and 1/2 cup of the beer and pour over the ribs. Turn to coat. Cover and refrigerate for at least 4 hours or overnight.

2. Preheat oven to 300°F. Remove the ribs from the baking dish and pat dry. Season ribs with salt. Heat the sesame oil and olive oil in a large Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Working in batches, add the ribs and brown on all sides. Remove to a separate dish. Add the onion, garlic, ginger and bay leaves and sauté until onions are translucent, about 5 minutes. Add the ribs back into the pot and pour in 3 cups of the beer, the remaining soy sauce, the chicken stock and the mirin/rice wine vinegar. Bring to a simmer, cover and place in the oven. Cook until meat is tender and falling off the bone, about 3 hours. Remove from heat and let cool slightly.

3. Remove the ribs from the pot. Skim fat off the top and reserve 2 cups of the liquid. In a small saucepan combine the reserved cooking liquid, 1 teaspoon salt, the two tablespoons of soy sauce and honey mixture, honey and the remaining 1/2 cup of beer. Bring to a boil. Stir in the scallions and butter and serve over the short ribs.

For Marcus' recipe for Sweet Potato Doughnuts, go to Page 2.