"THE Dish": Marcus Samuelsson's ideal meal

"The Early Show on Saturday Morning" debuted a feature sure to delight the culinary part of you.

We're calling it "THE Dish," in which a different famous chef each week will reveal what they would have if they could have just one meal. That's because for us, "THE Dish" is about the moment, the place and the person you would share it with. It's about the emotion behind the food, it's about the conversation and the meal itself. We want to get to know these chefs on a deeper level and hope our viewers will, as well.

Our first "Dish"er was legendary chef Marcus Samuelsson.

Among other prestigious awards, he won the second season of Bravo's "Top Chef Masters."

Marcus sat down with co-anchors Russ Mitchell and Rebeccas Jarvis to dish about Doro We't -- a dish representing his Ethiopian roots, Swedish Meatballs -- a dish representing his Swedish roots, and Nutmeg-infused Bourbon because, at the end of the day, for Marcus, it's all about Harlem right now -- since he's got a new restaurant there, Red Rooster Harlem.

Enjoy all our "Early Show" recipes!


Doro We't

Courtesy of Marcus Samuelsson's "New American Table," Wiley 2009

Makes 4 servings

  • 4 tablespoons olive oil
  • 5 garlic cloves, minced
  • 5 red onions, finely chopped
  • 1 2-inch piece ginger, peeled and minced
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 3 tablespoons berbere
  • 8 skinless chicken legs
  • 1/4 tablespoon cardamom powder
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • 3 tablespoons spiced butter
  • 3 cups chicken stock
  • 1 cup red wine
  • 1 pound collard greens, shredded finely
  • 4 eggs, hard boiled and peeled
  • 1/2 cup cottage cheese

1. Heat the olive oil in a dutch oven over low heat and add garlic, onion and ginger, slowly cook until softened, stirring occasionally about 30 minutes. Add tomato paste and berbere, cook for an additional 15 minutes.

2. Season chicken legs with cardamom powder and salt, add to sauce with spiced butter, chicken stock and wine, bring to a simmer and cook until chicken is cooked through, about 1 hour.

3. In a separate pot, bring salted water to a boil and add collard greens. Cook greens until tender, about 15 minutes. Remove greens from pot with a slotted spoon and transfer to the chicken stew. Serve with hard boiled eggs and cottage cheese on the side.

To get Marcus' recipe for Swedish Meathballs and Nutmeg-Infused Bourbon, go to Page 2.

Swedish Meatballs

From "Aquavit and the New Scandinavian Cuisine," by Marcus Samuelsson

Serves 4 to 6


  • 1/2 cup fine dry bread crumbs
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 medium red onion, finely chopped
  • 1/2 pound ground chuck or sirloin
  • 1/2 pound ground veal
  • 1/2 pound ground pork
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 1 large egg
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter


  • 1 cup chicken stock
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 1/4 cup lingonberry preserves
  • 2 tablespoons juice from Quick Pickled Cucumbers
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper


  • Garlic mashed potatoes
  • Lingonberry preserves
  • Quick Pickled Cucumbers

1. PREPARE THE MEATBALLS: Combine the breadcrumbs and heavy cream in a small bowl, stirring with a fork until all the crumbs are moistened. Set aside.

2. Heat the oil in a small skillet over medium heat. Add the onion and sauté for about five minutes, until softened. Remove from heat.

3. In a large bowl, combine the ground beef, veal, pork, onion, honey, and egg, and mix well with your hands. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Add the bread crumb-cream mixture and mix well. With wet hands (to keep the mixture from sticking), shape the mixture into meatballs the size of a golf ball, placing them on a plate lightly moistened with water. You should have about 24 meatballs.

4. Melt the butter in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the meatballs, in batches if necessary, and cook, turning frequently, for about 7 minutes until browned on all sides and cooked through. Transfer the meatballs to a plate and disregard all but 1 tablespoon of fat from the skillet.

PREPARE THE SAUCE: Return the skillet to the heat, whisk in the stock, cream, preserves, and pickle juice, and bring to a simmer. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Add the meatballs to the sauce, reduce the heat to medium, and simmer for about five minutes, until the sauce thickens slightly and the meatballs are heated through. Serve hot with the mashed potatoes, preserves, and pickled cucumbers.

Quick Pickled Cucumbers

serves 4 to 6 ( makes about 1-1/2 cups)

  • 1 English (hothouse) cucumber
  • 1 tablespoon kosher salt
  • 1 ½ cups water
  • ½ cup white wine vinegar
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 2 allspice berries

1. Slice the cucumber as thin as possible (use a mandoline or other vegetable slicer if you have one). Put the slices in a colander, toss them with the salt, and let stand for about 30 minutes.

2. Meanwhile, combine the water, vinegar, sugar, bay leaf, and allspice in a medium saucepan and bring to a boil. Remove from the heat and let cool.

3. Rinse the salt off the cucumbers, and squeeze out as much moisture as possible. Put the cucumbers in a medium bowl and add the pickling solution; they should be completely covered by the brine. Cover and refrigerate for 3 to 6 hours before serving.

The pickled cucumbers will keep in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.

Nutmeg-Infused Bourbon


  •  2.4 oz Whole nutmeg seeds (about 12)
  •  1 (750-ml) bottle Bourbon


Add both ingredients to a wide-mouthed, airtight container and seal. Let stand for 2 weeks. Strain, and rebottle the liquid.