Tastemaker Tips for Flawless Holiday Entertaining

With the holidays upon us, it seems the stress of party planning is on everyone's mind. No need to freak out as we have plucked the industry's top professionals to make sure you are the hostess with the mostess. Read on for all the inside secrets to make sure your guests will eat, drink, and be more than merry. Cheers!

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November 5, 2013 12:00 AM
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Chef Roblé - Celebrity Chef

Ruling New York with his Bravo TV Show Chef Roblé and Co. as well as serving up dishes for notable individuals like President Obama and Leonardo DiCaprio, Chef Roblé always puts his innovative twist on our favorite holiday dishes.

"I have always been a fan of mac and cheese, especially as a caterer because it's a fun meal that both adults and kids love, says Roblé.

Tip #1: A smoked duck mac and cheese recipe is my special take on the classic dish, which is always sure to be a favorite around the holidays. I guarantee it."

Chef Roblé's Smoked Duck Mac and Cheese (serves 12)

Ingredients:
1 lb – Ditalini pasta
3 Tbsp – Sea or kosher salt
8 oz – Smoked duck breast, skin removed (and reserved), cut into small dice
Reserved duck skin, cut into 1/2 inch pieces
1 ea – Garlic clove, sliced in half
1 ea – Thyme sprig
1 tsp – Olive oil
2 Tbsp – Italian parsley, chopped

Ingredients for cheese sauce:
1 ea – 12 oz can of whole evaporated milk
½ C – Whole milk
¾ C – Goat’s cheese
2 C – Sharp yellow cheddar cheese, grated
2 C - Smoked Gouda cheese, grated
2 C – Gruyere cheese, grated
1 ½ C – Parmigano Reggiano cheese, grated
1 tsp – Hot sauce
½ tsp – Worcestershire sauce

Method:
Add the duck skin, garlic clove, thyme and olive oil to a small pan over low heat. Allow the fat to render out of the skin until it is crispy, about 20-25 minutes, stirring every five minutes or so. As the skin cooks, fill a large pot with water, cover and bring to a boil on high heat. While the water heats, add the evaporated milk and whole milk to a medium sized heavy bottom pot and set on medium heat. When the milk is warmed, add the goat’s cheese and mix continuously with a whisk or emersion blender. Once the goat’s cheese melts, add in all the other cheeses one cup at a time, making sure each round of cheese melts completely before adding the next until all the cheese has been incorporated. Add the hot sauce and Worcestershire. Turn the heat down to it’s lowest setting to keep warm without burning. Remove the crispy duck skin from the pan with a slotted spoon and cool on paper towels to absorb excess oil. Add salt to the boiling water then add in the pasta. Stir the pasta and allow to boil, slightly covered until the pasta is just cooked through, about 8-9 minutes. Drain the pasta in a colander and add back into the pot. Stir in the diced duck meat and 4 cup of the warm cheese sauce to incorporate. Serve immediately in small bowls, garnishing with the crispy duck skin and chopped parsley.

*Note: There will be about two cups of sauce left. Some people want even more cheese in their mac n’ cheese. Feel free to add remaining cheese sauce if desired or store refrigerated in a sealed container for up to two weeks. The portions are smaller due to the richness of the dish.