The Dish: Chef Kris Morningstar

Chef Kris Morningstar’s interest in food began at an early age. Growing up in California, he watched his father prepare nightly dinners for the family, eventually taking over the culinary reins himself. He left home intending to study marketing, but the lure of the kitchen called him back and he soon traded college for cooking school. 

He eventually opened restaurants of his own, most recently “Terrine,” a Los Angeles brasserie known for its New World California cuisine. He’s now the founder of the recently launched “Morningstar Gastronomy.” 

Here are some of Morningstar’s signature recipes: 

Brine and roasted whole duck with anise 

Ingredients

  • 1 whole duck
  • brine
  • 2 qts water
  • 7 tbs salt
  • 3.5 tbs sugar
  • 4 each star anise
  • 2 tbsp whole black pepper corns
  • 1 tbs whole clove 

Procedure

  1. Heat all ingredients and boil for five minutes and cool down. Pour over duck. Brine for 12 hours. 
  2. Remove duck and pat dry. Place into a preheated 500-degree oven (convection if possible) on a wine rack over a cookie sheet.
  3. Cook to an internal temperature of 185 degrees and make sure the duck is deeply dark golden throughout. The ducks should be turned in the oven once for even cooking. 

Beet salad with blood orange 

Ingredients

  • 4 bunches medium red beets 
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1/2 tbsp salt 
  • 2 each blood orange
  • 3 each cara cara orange
  • 1/3 cup fresh picked mint leaves torn just before assembling
  • 3 tbs whole milk or Greek yogurt
  • 2 tbsp raw Sicilian pistachio or toasted regular shelled if unavailable (if using regular pistachios, roast for five minutes at 400 degrees)
  • 1 each baby golden beet shaved very thinly into rounds on a mandoline

For the vinaigrette - Juice and whisk together 

  • 3 tbs olive oil
  • 1 1/2 tbs rice wine vinegar
  • 1/2 tsp orange blossom water
  • 1/4 tsp salt

Procedure

  1. Toss the red beets with olive oil and salt, roast in a preheated oven at 400 degrees. Place beets in a tight-fitting roasting pan and put 1/2 inch water on the bottom. Cover with foil and roast until tender. Allow to cool, but while warm use a paper towel to remove the outside peel and then allow to cool to room temperature. Slice into rounds from top to bottom 1/4 inch thick.

    Marinate for one half hour in vinaigrette.

  2. Zest all of the citrus and then taking a sharp paring knife remove the outside peel. Squeeze the juice from any trimmings and reserve with the zest. Slice the blood oranges and cara cara oranges into rounds across the fruit. Keep separate until plating so they dont bleed their color.

  3. To assemble - Add 1/2 the mint freshly torn into the beets and arrange on the plate layering with the sliced blood and cara cara oranges. Dollop the yogurt onto the plate and top with the pistachios, the remaining mint freshly torn and the shaved sliced of raw baby golden beets. Serve within five minutes. 

Brussels sprouts with scallion vinaigrette 

Ingredients

  • 2 lbs of brussels sprouts medium size (about 1.2 inches tall) cut in half from top to bottom.

Vinaigrette

  • 2 tbsp ginger chopped fine
  • 2 tbsp garlic chopped fine
  • 2 tbsp shallot chopped fine
  • 1 tbsp chili flakes
  • 4 tbsp scallion whites shaved into thin coins
  • 3 tbsp scallion greens sliced into thin coins
  • 2 oz canola or grapeseed oil
  • 3 tbs good sesame oil
  • 2 tbsp sugar
  • 4 oz good fish sauce (three crabs or red boat brand)

Procedure

  1. Blanch the brussels sprouts for 30 seconds in three quarts of boiling water that has five tbsp salt. Strain and allow to cool to room temperature. 
  2. Add oil to a hot pan.
  3. Add one at a time in order cooking for about a minute each shallot ginger chili flake garlic scallion whites scallion greens. Add salt.
  4. Remove from heat and add other ingredients dissolving the sugar and cool down
  5. In a large hot pan over medium heat with 4 tbsp canola oil Place the brussels sprouts cut side down in a single layer. Cook until the brussels sprouts are evenly golden and then remove to a bowl.  Toss with the vinaigrette. Serve immediately.

Roasted carrots with honey and Worcestershire 

Ingredients

  • 3 lbs baby carrots washed and scrubbed well (or peeled if desired)
  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 1/2 lb Bloomsdale spinach

For the glaze --

  • 3 tbsp honey
  • 3 tbsp good soy sauce
  • 2 tbsp Worcestershire sauce 

Procedure

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. In a large pan over medium heat, add carrots in a single layer. Turn as they carmelize and put into a hot oven for 12 minutes. 
  2. Once tender remove from the oven.  Return to the stove, add the glaze to the pan and cook until the glaze coats the carrots.

  3. Remove from the heat and toss in a bowl with Bloomsdale spinach. Season with sea salt and serve.

Baumkuchen

Ingredients

  • 10.5 oz Marzipan
  • 1 lb butter, room temperature and soft
  • egg yolks
  • 1/2 tsp almond extract
  • 7 oz/ 1.5 cups all-purpose flour
  • 7 oz/ 1 cup + 1 tbsp confectioner’s sugar
  • pinch of salt
  • 12 each egg whites
  • 1 cup sugar

Procedure

  1. In a robotcoupe, process the Marzipan into a crumble. Add the butter in three steps, processing and scraping between each addition to get a smooth paste. No lumps!
  2. Add the egg yolks and almond extract in two steps, processing and scraping in between each addition.
  3. Add the all-purpose flour and confectioner’s sugar and salt, and process until fully incorporated. The batter should be very smooth. Transfer to a large bowl and reserve.
  4. In a stand mixer, fitted with whip attachment, start whipping the egg whites to a foam. Slowly add the sugar in to make a French meringue.
  5. When all the sugar is in and a glossy and medium peak meringue has been reached, take out of the mixer and fold the meringue in three steps into the almond batter.
  6. Prepare a 200 half hotel pan with with parchment paper and spray. Spread 125 grams of the batter on the bottom in a thin layer.
  7. Place under broiler and bake for one to two minutes, until golden brown on top. Do not walk away and do not burn!
  8. Take out the broiler and spread another 125 grams of batter on top.
  9. Repeat process until all batter is used.
  10. Place the whole pan in 325-degree Fahrenheit oven for five minutes to finish baking.
  11. Cool at room temperature and cut into desired pieces.

East India Manhattan

Ingredients

  • 2 oz rye or bourbon 
  • .5 oz sweet Vermouth
  • .5 oz Lustau East India Sherry
  • 2 dashes Angostura bitters
  • 2 dashes orange bitters (Regans is preferred)
  • Tiny pinch sea salt or fleur de sel (it makes the Umami and sherry pop!)