Executive Creative Chef Neal Fraser of Manhattan Beach’s landmark restaurant The Strand House says, “Cranberries are a sweet tart addition to many great dishes and one of the items when I think about when the days start to shorten, along with wild game and the holidays!” Fraser, aka Los Angeles’ first Iron Chef America Champion on TV’s Food Network, notes that cranberries are a key flavor ingredient in his incredibly savory Cranberry and Roasted Chestnut Stuffing, one of his favorite holiday recipes, which he shares below:
Serves 10 people
1 loaf La Bread Bakery Sourdough bread, cut into cubes
1 cup fortified chicken stock
1 yellow onion, peeled and diced
3 ea carrots, peeled and diced
1 bunch celery, washed and diced
2 ea celery root, peeled and diced
2 ea sage leaves, chiffonade
2 ea thyme sprigs, picked and chopped
1 cup dried cranberries
2 cups frozen chestnuts
4 ounces honey
½ lb. butter
kosher salt, to taste
Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees F. Place chestnuts in a pan and mix with 3 ounces of butter, salt and the honey. Cover and bake for 30 minutes. Remove from oven and allow to cool. When cool, chop in 4 pieces per chestnut.
Place the remaining butter in a large sauté pan. Add all of the vegetables and cook over medium heat till they begin to become tender. Add the herbs and the stock. Bring to a boil and remove from heat.
Put the cranberries and chestnuts together in a bowl. Cover with the vegetables and stock mixture, then add the bread and mix thoroughly. Cover and bake in 350-degree oven for 30 minutes. Uncover the stuffing and cook for 15 more minutes or until the stuffing is brown on the top. Serve warm from the stove or in serve ware.
The Strand House is located at 117 Manhattan Beach Boulevard, in Manhattan Beach. For reservations and details, call 310.545.7470. Or go to www.thestrandhousemb.com