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The Chef Is Impressed

Bobby Flay brought his own version of the dishes the anchors prepared for him last week, giving us some insight as to how he takes a good recipe and turns into something truly fantastic.

Flay says he was truly impressed by the recipes that were prepared for him by The Early Show's Julie Chen, Harry Smith, Hannah Storm, Rene Syler and Dave Price, as well as by The Saturday Early Show co-anchor Gretchen Carlson.

Rene Syler made delicious fish tacos. Flay would use red snapper instead of tilapia. He thinks red snapper has more flavor. He also marinates the fish.

Harry Smith simply took garlic and inserted it in a roast to add flavor. Flay suggests that, if you have time, roast garlic, then puree it, and create a marinade with pureed roasted garlic along with rosemary and salt. This additional step can add a little bit more "oomph" to your roast.

For Hannah Storm, Flay talked about preparing brisket, which can be tricky because cooking it for a long time will result in a more tender meat, but if it's not done properly, the meat will be dry. Also, if you want to add a little more flavor, he suggests using chicken stock instead of plain water.

In her recipe, Julie Chen used roma tomatoes, which are not in season. Flay suggested using cherry tomatoes (which add color and a tart taste) and red pepper flakes, which spice things up a little.

As for Dave Price and his lasagna, Flay said he would make the tomato sauce more spicy, use a sheep's milk ricotta for a little tartness, create a basil pesto to offset the tomato sauce, and he would use shredded mozzarella inside the lasagna to hold it together better; and then simply garnish with fresh mozzarella.

Here are Flay's recipes.

Roasted Filet Mignon
(Harry)
Serves: 6

8 cloves roasted garlic
3 tablespoons chopped fresh rosemary
2 teaspoons kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon coarsely ground black pepper
3 tablespoons olive oil
3 lb filet mignon
2 cups dry red wine
1 tablespoons cold unsalted butter

Method:

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Place garlic, rosemary, salt, pepper, and oil in a mini food processor and process until smooth.
  2. Rub the entire filet with the garlic mixture. Heat a large ovenproof sauté pan over medium-high heat. Place the filet in the pan and sear on all sides until golden brown. Transfer to the oven and cook for 10-12 minutes for medium-rare doneness. Remove filet to a plate, loosely cover with foil and let rest while making the pan sauce.
  3. Place the pan with the pan drippings on the stove over high heat. Add the wine and cook until reduced to half a cup. Swirl in the butter and season with salt and pepper to taste.
Vegetarian Lasagna
(Dave)
Serves: 6

Ingredients:
Spicy Tomato Sauce
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 large Spanish onion, finely chopped
3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
Two 32-ounce cans plum tomatoes, pureed until smooth
1 can tomato paste
1 cup water
1 Cubano chile
1 bay leaf
8 sprigs fresh parsley
8 basil leaves

Method

  1. Heat oil in a large saucepan over medium heat.
  2. Add the onions and cook until soft.
  3. Add the garlic and cook for 1 minute.
  4. Stir in the tomato puree and tomato paste.
  5. Fill the can of tomato paste with water 2 times and add the pan.
  6. Add the pepper and herbs and bring to a boil.
  7. Reduce the heat to medium and cook until thickened, stirring occasionally, about 45 minutes.
Lasagna

3 cups sheep's milk ricotta
1 large egg, lightly beaten
3 tablespoons freshly grated parmesan cheese
2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/2 cup basil pesto

Spicy Tomato Sauce
1 lb fresh lasagna sheets, cooked al dente and drained well
2 cups coarsely grated mozzarella
1/4 cup chopped fresh basil, plus basil leaves for garnish
1 lb fresh mozzarella, sliced into 1/4-inch thick slices

Method

  1. Place ricotta in a fine mesh strainer set over a bowl and let sit in the refrigerator for 30 minutes to drain the excess liquid.
  2. Transfer the drained ricotta to a medium bowl.
  3. Add the egg, parmesan, parsley, salt and pepper and stir to combine. Fold in the basil pesto.
  4. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
  5. Spread 3/4 cup of the spicy tomato sauce in a large baking dish. Top with 1/3 of the noodles. Top the first layer of noodles with half of the ricotta mixture and half of the grated mozzarella and half of the chopped basil. Spread 1 1/2 cups of the sauce over the layer. Repeat with a second layer and finish with the remaining pasta sheets.
  6. Spread 2 cups of the sauce on the pasta and top with the sliced fresh mozzarella and a fresh fresh basil leaves.
  7. Place the baking dish on a baking sheet and bake it until the lasagna is bubbly and the cheese on the top is lightly golden brown, 35-40 minutes.
  8. Remove from the oven and let rest 15 minutes before serving.
Fresh Pasta with Cherry Tomatoes and Ricotta Salata
(Julie)
Serves: 4

Ingredients:
3 tablespoons olive oil
3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1 pint cherry tomatoes, halved
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 lb fresh angel hair pasta, drained, 1 cup of the pasta cooking water reserved
3 tablespoons chopped fresh basil
1/4 pound ricotta salata, crumbled
Freshly grated parmesan cheese

Method:

  1. Heat oil in a large sauté pan over medium heat.
  2. Add the garlic and red pepper flakes and cook for 1 minute.
  3. Add the cherry tomatoes and cook until softened, season with salt and pepper.
  4. Add the drained pasta to the pan and toss to combine. If the sauce seems dry, add the reserved pasta water 1/4 cup at a time.
  5. Stir in the ricotta salata and basil, transfer to a bowl and sprinkle with the parmesan cheese.
BBQ Brisket
(Hannah)
Serves: 6-8

Ingredients:
2 tablespoons canola oil
1 brisket, 7 lbs
Salt and freshly ground pepper
2 large onions, peeled and coarsely chopped
3 cloves garlic, peeled
1 quart chicken stock
2 cups BBQ Sauce

Method:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Place a large baking pan over two burners set on high heat.
  3. Add the oil and heat until almost smoking.
  4. Season the brisket on both sides with salt and pepper, place in the pan and cook on both sides until golden brown.
  5. Remove the brisket from the pan and place on a large plate.
  6. Add the onions and garlic to the pan and cook for 3-4 minutes.
  7. Return the brisket to the pan and add the chicken stock. Cover the pan with foil and bake until is tender, about 2 to 2 1/2 hours.
  8. Remove the brisket from the pan and let rest for 15 minutes.
  9. Heat your grill or a large grill pan over high heat.
  10. Brush the brisket with the BBQ sauce on both sides and let cook until slightly charred.
  11. Remove from the grill and let rest 15 minutes.
  12. Cut across the grain into 1/2-inch-thick slices.
Snapper with Citrus Vinaigrette
(Renee)
Serves: 4-6

Ingredients:
2 tablespoons rice wine vinegar
2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
2 tablespoons fresh orange juice
1/4 cup canola oil
1 tablespoon ancho chile powder
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
Salt and freshly ground pepper
1 1/2 lbs white flaky fish, such as red snapper or mahi mahi
Flour tortillas, 6 inches in diameter
Shredded red cabbage
Mexican Crema
Thinly sliced red onion
Chopped cilantro

Method:

  1. Heat grill to high.
  2. Whisk together the first six ingredients in a small bowl.
  3. Place the fish in a medium baking dish and pour the marinade over. Turn to coat the fish and let marinate for 10 minutes.
  4. Remove the fish from the marinade and grill for 3-4 minutes per side, or until just cooked through.
  5. Let rest 5 minutes and flake the fish with a fork and place in a bowl.
  6. Place the tortillas on the grill and grill for approximately 20 seconds per side or until pliable.
  7. Divide the fish among the tortillas and garnish with any or all of the garnishes.
Pureed Tomato-Chile De Arbol Salsa

Ingredients:
2 tablespoons canola oil
1 small red onion, coarsely chopped
4 cloves garlic, coarsely chopped
4 large ripe tomatoes, seeded and chopped
4 whole chile de arbol chiles, stems removed
1 tablespoon oregano, finely chopped
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
3 tablespoons fresh lime juice
1 tablespoon honey
Salt and freshly ground pepper

Method:
Heat oil in medium saucepan, add onions and garlic and cook until soft. Add tomatoes and chile de arbol and cook until tomatoes are soft, about 15-20 minutes. Transfer the mixture to a blender and blend until smooth. Transfer to a bowl and stir in the oregano, cilantro, lime juice and honey and season with salt and pepper to taste.