The Dish: Las Vegas restaurateur Elizabeth Blau

Restauranteur Elizabeth Blau was a pivotal figure in the transformation of Las Vegas, from a whiskey-and-steakhouse gambling town to the world-class dining city it is today.

Blau grew up in Connecticut, worked in restaurants all through college and mastered the business under famed New York restaurateur Sirio Maccioni, best known for Le Cirque. She caught the eye of hotel magnate Steve Wynn and rose rapidly in his organization before founding Blau + Associates, a restaurant development company.

She co-owns several restaurants with her husband, Chef Kim Canteenwalla, the latest being Andiron Steak & Sea, a fine-dining location in suburban Las Vegas.

Here are some of Blau's signature recipes: Biloxi buttermilk fried chicken sandwich, Elizabeth's caesar salad, roasted baby beet salad, honey salt grain power, honey salt donuts and peach pie

Biloxi buttermilk fried chicken sandwich

Creamy slaw, house-made Durkee's style dressing, brioche roll

Yields 4 servings

Ingredients

Chicken brine

1 cup water

1 ½ tbsp kosher salt

1/2 tbsp sugar

1/2 tbsp molasses

1/2 sprigs thyme sprig

1/2 ea bay leaf

4 large chicken legs, detach drums

or 4 large chicken thighs, boneless, skin-on

1 cup buttermilk

Canola oil, for frying

Salt and pepper to taste

Chicken flour

1/2 cup all-purpose flour

1/4 tsp paprika

1/4 tsp onion powder

1/4 tsp garlic powder

1/4 tsp black pepper

1/4 tsp kosher salt

House-made Durkee-style dressing

½ cup cold water

4 tbsp cornstarch

½ cup plus 2 tbsp malt vinegar

1 ½ tbsp salt

½ cup sugar

1 egg

1/4 cup yellow mustard

1 oz whole grain mustard

¼ cup butter, cut fine

4 Brioche buns, split, toasted

Garnish: Bread and butter pickles

Coleslaw

1 head green cabbage, julienned

4 oz carrot, julienned

1 oz shallot, sliced

¼ cup mayonnaise

2 tbsp whole grain mustard

1/2 tsp cider vinegar

2 tbsp sugar

Salt & black pepper, to taste

Directions

Brining seasons the chicken to the bone and keeps the meat moist. The additional soaking in buttermilk tenderizes the chicken, resulting in a delicious moist piece of chicken.

1. In a large bowl, stir together the ice water and brine ingredients. Add the chicken to the brine, cover and soak in the refrigerator overnight.

2. Place the buttermilk in a large bowl, Remove the chicken from the brine and add to the buttermilk, cover and refrigerate, for at least 4 hours. Combine all of the chicken flour ingredients together and place in a shallow bowl, set aside.

3. Prepare the Durkee's style dressing; put all of the ingredients except the butter into a blender bowl. Blend until the mixture is smooth. Transfer the dressing to top of a double boiler or metal bowl placed over a pot of simmering water. Stir in the butter and cook stirring often until mixture is thick, about 10-12 minutes. Remove and let the mixture cool. You can keep covered and refrigerated up to 1 month.

4. Remove the chicken from the buttermilk; dredge the chicken in the flour mixture. Transfer the chicken to a rimmed baking pan.

5. Heat a large heavy bottomed pot filled halfway with oil over medium heat until it reaches 3500F or the oil starts to shimmer. Fry the chicken in small batches until golden brown and the internal temperature reaches 1600F, about 8-10 minutes. Season the fried chicken with salt.

6. In a large bowl combine the sliced cabbage, carrot and diced shallots together. In a separate bowl combine the mayonnaise, mustard, vinegar and sugar together. Adjust the dressing seasoning with salt and pepper to taste. Add dressing to cabbage mixture and toss to combine.

7. To assemble, serve fried chicken on toasted brioche bun spread with Durkee's dressing and a mound of Coleslaw. Serve with a side of bread and butter pickles.

Elizabeth's caesar salad

Tuscan kale & romaine, black garlic dressing, Parmesan

Yields 4 entrée sized servings/6 side salad servings

Ingredients

3 ¾ cups Romaine Lettuce, washed, chopped

3 ¾ cups kale, washed, chopped

1 ¼ cups Parmesan cheese

Coarse Ground Pepper mix, to taste

Roasted garlic

3 tsp garlic cloves

3 tsp blended oil

¼ small sprig thyme

1/8 bay leaf

Salt and pepper, to taste

Black garlic dressing

1 egg yolk

2 tsp Dijon Mustard

4 tsp lemon juice

2 anchovies, soaked in milk

½ tsp Worcestershire sauceâ

4 tsp red wine vinegar

1 tsp black garlic

1 tsp capers, minced

3 ½ tbsp oil, infused with 1/4 tsp roasted garlic

1 cup blended extra virgin olive oil

1/3 cup Parmesan, grated

Salt & Black Pepper, to taste

Croutons

1/4 loaf Whole Wheat/Fillone Bread, cut into ½ inch cubes

1/4 cup oil infused with 1/2 tsp roasted garlic

1/2 tbsp Paprika

Salt and Pepper, to taste

Serving Suggestion:

2 Papadums, broken into six pieces

Note: The roasted garlic acts as an emulsifier and provides a creamier texture; Kale - use Lacinato or dinosaur kale in salads

Directions

1. Preheat the oven to 325°F. In a large ovenproof casserole, toss together the garlic, thyme, and bay leaf. Season the mixture with salt and pepper to taste. Pour in the oil and cover the casserole tightly in foil. Roast the garlic in the oven until it becomes soft. Reserve ½ tsp of roasted garlic to infuse oil for preparing croutons.

2. Prepare the black-garlic dressing: Soak the anchovies in milk for 30 minutes. Place the egg yolk, lemon juice, roasted garlic, mustard , anchovies, Worcestershire sauce, vinegar, roasted garlic and oil in a food processor bowl and pulse to combine. With the motor running, slowly add the olive oil until the mixture emulsifies. Add the parmesan cheese and pulse to combine. Taste and adjust seasoning with salt and pepper. Refrigerate until ready to prepare the salad.

3. Prepare the croutons: Preheat the oven to 400°F. Combine the garic oil, paprika and salt & pepper together in mixing bowl. Add the bread cubes and toss to coat. Transfer the croutons to a rimmed baking pan. Bake in the oven until they turn golden brown, about 8-10 minutes. Remove and let cool. Can be made ahead of time and stored covered in an air tight container for up to 2 days.

4. To plate: In a large mixing bowl, toss together the chopped romaine and kale with the black-garlic dressing. Add the parmesan cheee and croutons, toss to combine.

5. Divide the salad equally among four individual chilled serving bowls and sprinkle with coarse ground pepper mix. Serve the salad with a wedge of papadum.

Roasted baby beet salad

Whipped Goat Cheese, Citrus Apple Cider Vinaigrette

Yields 4 servings

Ingredients

8 oz baby red beets, roasted, diced

8 oz baby yellow beets. roasted, diced

4 oz baby striped beets, raw, shaved

¾ cup olive oil

Feur del sel

¼ cup goat cheese

4 tsp crème fraiche

Citrus apple cider vinaigrette

¼ shallot, chopped

4 tsp orange Juice

4 tsp lemon Juice

2 tsp Cider Vinegar

1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil

Salt and black pepper, to taste

Garnish to finish plate

Orange zest, to taste

2 oz baby arugula

1/2 cup hazelnuts, toasted, crushed

½ cup confit apples, (½ cup diced apples cooked in 1 cup apple cider)

Splash of olive oil

Directions

Preheat the oven to 400°F. Wash and trim the beets. Divide the beets between 3 large sheets of aluminum foil; drizzle with ¾ cup olive oil; and season with fleur de sel. Wrap the packages lightly.

Roast the beets until tender, about 30 minutes. While the beets are still warm, use a towel to remove and peel away their skin, cut into medium dice.

Whip together the goat cheese and crème fraiche in a small bowl. Spread the whipped goat cheese out across the plate.

Whisk the citrus juices, vinegar, and shallot together in a small bowl. Gradually whisk in the oil to emulsify the dressing. Adjust the seasoning with salt and pepper, to taste.

Place the diced beets in a large bowl, season with vinaigrette and place on cheese. Garnish with wedges of confit apples, orange zest, crushed hazel nuts, arugula, and a drizzle of olive oil.

Honey salt grain power

Red & white quinoa, beluga lentils avocado, shaved fennel, radish, and citrus vinaigrette,

Yields 4 servings

Ingredients

2 oz olive oil

¾ cup red/white quinoa

½ shallot, chopped fine

3 sprigs fresh thyme

1¼ cups water

Salt and black pepper, to taste

Cooked lentils

2 oz olive oil

¾ cup Beluga Lentils

½ shallot, chopped fine

3 sprigs fresh thyme

1 ½ cups water

Salt & Black Pepper, to taste

Grilled chicken

4 chicken breasts, boneless, skin-less

3 oz olive oil

Salt and black pepper, to taste

Final assembly

2 cups cooked red quinoa

2 cups cooked white quinoa

2 cups cooked beluga lentils

1 avocado, diced

1 orange, segmented

4 oz fennel, shaved

1 oz fennel fronds

12 fresh mint leaves, torn

2 oz chives, chopped

1 lemon, juiced

3 oz extra virgin olive oil

Salt & Black Pepper, to taste

Directions

1. For the quinoa and lentils: In a large heavy bottomed pot, heat the oil and sweat the shallots until translucent. Add the grain and sweat for one minute. Add the thyme and water. Cover and simmer until tender. Chill and reserve. Can be prepared 1 day ahead.

2. Grilled chicken: Coat the chicken breasts in olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Grill on a hot grill until internal temperature reaches1650F.

3. Final assembly: Mix all ingredients except for 1/2 the shaved fennel, fennel fronds and orange segments together in a large bowl. Season the mixture with salt and pepper, to taste. Divide and place salad onto four serving plates. Slice the grilled chicken and place on top. Garnish the salad with the remaining shaved fennel, orange segments, and fennel fronds.

Honey salt donuts

Yields 2- 2 ½ dozen donuts

Ingredients

6 1/3 cups all purpose flour

1 ½ cups bread flour

2 tbsp salt

1 ¾ cups plus 2 tbsp sugar

¼ tsp mace

1 cup water

2 tbsp plus 2 tsp yeast

Pinch of sugar

4 eggs

28 oz milk

1 lb butter, melted

Canola oil, for frying

Powdered sugar, for dusting

Directions

1. Combine the flours, salt, sugar, and mace in electric mixing stand bowl with a dough hook.

2. In a separate container, combine the water (just above body temp) with a pinch of sugar and the yeast, let the yeast sit to bloom and rise in a warm area.

3. Meanwhile, start the mixer on the first speed and add in a steady stream the milk and eggs, followed by the bloomed yeast and the melted butter added last.

4. Once all of the ingredients are combined, adjust the speed to the second speed and mix for 20 minutes. The dough will form a ball and have a glossy sheen.

5. Turn the dough into a well-sprayed container and allow the dough to proof at room temperature until it doubles in size.

6. Punch down the dough and turn over on and in to itself. Place the dough back into the well-sprayed container; refrigerate to allow for a second proof.

7. Remove the dough from refrigerator. Roll the dough out to 1/2 -inch thickness, using a floured rolling pin. Cut out the doughnuts using a 3 ½ inch/9cm (#50) doughnut cutter.

8. In a large heavy-bottomed pan heat the oil until it starts to shimmer, about 3400F/1700C. When frying the doughnuts, place them in the oil and allow them to float on one side completely. Turn them only once to finish frying and cook to golden brown in color.

9. Dust donuts liberally in powdered sugar. Serve piping hot.

Peach pie

Yields 1 pie

Ingredients

Dough

2 ¼ cups plus all-purpose flour

½ cup plus 3½ tbsp sugar

1/2 tsp salt

Pinch nutmeg, ground

1 cup plus 4 tsp butter, softened

1 egg yolk and 1 tsp water, beaten

Peach filling

29 oz frozen peaches, thawed, cut bite size

1/4 tsp lemon zest

1 tbsp cornstarch

Spiced sugar

¼ tsp cardamom, ground

Pinch ground cloves

¼ tsp plus 1/8 tsp ground cinnamon

1 tsp salt

1 tbsp plus 2 tsp sugar

2 tbsp brown sugar

½ tsp Honey Bourbon

Directions

1. Prepare the dough: Combine all of the dough ingredients together in a mixing bowl or stand mixer bowl. Using the paddle attachment, mix until the dough starts to form. Remove from the bowl and press it together by hand. Wrap the dough tightly with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 2 hours or overnight.

2. Prepare filling: Mix peaches, lemon zest and cornstarch together in a large bowl. In a separate bowl combine spiced sugar mixture and bourbon and mix until crumbled. Combine crumbled streusel with sliced peaches to coat.

3. Preheat the oven to 355°F

4. Remove the dough from refrigerator. Divide dough in two. Using a floured rolling pin, roll each mound of dough to a large round measuring 2-inch/5 cm larger than your pie plate. Place rolled dough round in the bottom of the pie plate and press gently to fit. Mound the peaches in a big pile in the center of the pie.

5. Make egg wash by whisking egg yolk with the water to make a glaze. Brush the egg wash on edge of dough. Cover the peaches with the other round of dough.

6. Using your fingers, gently press the crusts together, crimping the edges together. Using a sharp knife cut several vents in the top of the dough to let the steam escape. Brush the dough with the remaining egg wash.

7. Bake until golden brown, about 15 minutes, reduce oven to 350°F/180°C, and continue baking until the crust is golden brown and the juices are bubbling, about 45-50 minutes. Remove from the oven and let cool completely.