'Top Chef' Oscar recipes: Silver Linings Pasta, Zero Dark 'Tinis and more

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Image Credit: Laurie Sparham; Matthias Clamer/Bravo

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New York Strip, Radicchio, Juniper Berry & Blackberry Jus, Inspired by Les Miserables — Lizzie Binder

Les Misérables set against the backdrop of 19th-century France, is an enthralling story of broken dreams and unrequited love, passion, sacrifice and redemption-a timeless testament to the survival of the human spirit. You can taste the all of these feelings with the flavors of bitter and sweet when you eat this dish.

Makes 8

Ingredients:
8 prime New York strip steaks (11/2 inches thick, about 14 to 16 ounces each; the thickness is moreimportant than the weight)
2 sticks unsalted butter
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil8 teaspoons kosher salt & 8 teaspoons cracked black pepper (or Juniper rub – recipe below)

4 heads radicchio – cut into wedges, drizzle with extra virgin olive oil, season and grill.
2 bunch dandelion greens – toss with grilled radicchio to wilt.
1 punnet blackberries
1 qt blackberry jus (recipe below)

Directions:
Melt the butter over medium-high heat and skim the milk solids from the surface. Set aside to cool.

Remove the steaks from the refrigerator about 30 to 40 minutes before cooking. Cover loosely with plastic wrap and allow the steaks to come to room temperature. Before grilling, shape the steaks by gently pushing the sides into the center to create height.

Mix the oil and 1/2 cup of clarified butter on a large serving plate. Put the steaks into the oil-butter mix to coat each side, then lift the steaks to allow the excess oil to drip off. (Make sure that the steaks don’t have too much oil-butter mix on them, as this will create flare-ups on the grill.) Coat each side of the steaks with1 teaspoon of salt and 1 teaspoon of black pepper or rub of your choice (see below).

Place the meat on the hottest part of the grill. If at any time the grill flares up, move the steaks to the outside edge, returning them to the center when the flame dies down. Do not slide the steaks across the grill; gently pick them up with tongs. The key is not to flip them around. Ultimately you want to turn a New York strip steak only three times, cooking each side twice for 3 minutes at a time (for a total cooking time of 12 minutes), to get a rare steak with adequate char.

Telling when a steak is done is not an exact science. One technique is to cut a small slit in the steak to
see the color of the meat. A professional presses the meat and compares its firmness to the softer, fleshy part at the base of his or her own thumb; if it’s the same density, the meat is rare. The firmer center of the palm is like the feel of a well-done steak. (It takes practice.)

An instant-read meat thermometer is most accurate of all; insert it into the center of the steak. Rare is
110 to 115 degrees; medium-rare, 120 degrees; medium, 125 to 130 degrees; medium-well, 130 to 135
degrees; and well, 140 degrees. (Err on the low side, since steaks will continue to cook when removed from the grill.) Allow the meat to rest for 4 – 5 minutes before serving, to allow the juices to emerge from the center

Dress chicories with pan juices from cooking beef. Assemble on plate with roasted/grilled beef, fresh blackberries and blackberry sauce. Finish beef with a sprinkle of smoked sea salt / juniper rub. Serve!

Ingredients for the Juniper rub:
3 tablespoons juniper berries
3 teaspoons black peppercorns
6 bay leaves – chop
2 tablespoons kosher salt

In a spice grinder – grind the peppercorns, juniper berries and chopped bay leaf to a fine grind.
Mix with salt. Sprinkle rub lightly over meat before grilling.

Ingredients for the Juniper & Blackberry Jus:
Makes 1 quart

Part 1:
Veal bones
Beef bones
Bacon scrap
2 onions – rough dice
2 celery sticks – rough dice
2 carrots – peel and rough dice
1 bunch thyme
Parsley stalks
4 quarts meat stock

Roast quail bones and chicken bones to a deep golden brown.
In pot, caramelize vegetables, add bones, herb, bacon scrap. Cover meat stock.
Bring to boil and simmer to reduce by 1/2 then skim.
Strain.

Part 2:
1 bottle Chambord or blackberry liqueur
1 bottle Cabernet Sauvignon
A handful black peppercorns
A handful juniper berries
1 bay leaf
1 pound blackberries

Reduce blackberry liqueur and red wine to au sec. Add 2 quarts strained reinforced stock, and all remaining ingredients.

NEXT: Lincoln

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Pot-au-feu (“pot on the fire”
Les Miserables
New York Strip, Radicchio, Juniper Berry & Blackberry Jus
Lincoln
Grilled Bacon and Cornbread Puree. Stove Pipe Hat Sauce
Django Unchained:
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Zero Dark ThirtyZD30 cocktails

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