Berkshire chefs show their best holiday sides


If you're looking to go local this holiday season, look no further: Local restaurant chefs have graciously agreed to share some of their favorite side dish recipes with The Eagle this year. Here's the first installment, with more to come next week:


Serves 4

From Chef-owner Dan Smith, John Andrews Farmhouse Restaurant, Egremont

4 - 12-oz. Pigasso Farms pork chops

Sea salt

Black pepper

4 Tbs. extra-virgin olive oil

2 sweet potatoes

4 strips Pigasso Farm bacon

8 oz. pearl onions

1 cup white wine

1 2 cup water

1 1 2 cups rich chicken stock

1 cup apple cider cinegar

3 tbs. Turner Farms maple syrup

1 4 cup dijon mustard

2 tbs. grain mustard

For the pork chops:

Using a paper towel, pat dry the pork chops. Generously season the pork chops with salt and black pepper and brush with 2 tbs. of olive oil. Grill the chops over hot coals for 4 to 5 minutes per side. Allow the chops to rest 10 minutes.

For the sweet potato hash:

Peel and cut sweet potatoes into 1 2-inch dice. Using a sauce-pan with 2 quarts of boiling water, blanche diced sweet potatoes for about 5 minutes. Drain and allow the sweet potatoes to cool on a sheet tray. Cut bacon crosswise into 1 2 inch pieces and cook in a frying pan until crisp. Drain bacon fat and reserve. Cut a small amount off both ends of the pearl onions, leaving skin intact. Using a saucepan with 2 quarts of boiling water, blanche pearl onions for 1 minute. Allow onions to cool slightly and peel. Place the peeled onions in a saucepan and add white wine and 1 2 cup water. Cover sauce-pan and simmer over medium heat until tender. Once the onions are tender, remove lid and reduce any remaining liquid. Remove the onions from the pan and reserve.

The sweet potatoes, bacon and pearl onions may be prepared up to one day in advance.

Place a 10-12-inch sauté pan over medium-high heat. Once the pan is hot, add 2 tbsp. of olive oil, add diced sweet potatoes and season with a pinch of sea salt. Reduce heat to medium and cook sweet potatoes until brown. Add pearl onions, bacon, 1 2 cup chicken stock and continue to cook until hot and chicken stock is reduced to glaze the hash.

For the maple mostardo: Place a small saucepan over medium-high heat, add vinegar and reduce to 1 4 cup. Add chicken stock and reduce vinegar and stock to 1 4 cup. Pour vinegar and stock mixture into a small mixing bowl, add maple syrup and mustards and mix until incorporated. Allow to cool.

To serve: Serve pork chops over sweet potato hash and glaze with maple Mostardo. Serves four.


Serves 8

From Chef-owner Dan Smith, John Andrews Farmhouse Restaurant, Egremont

For the hazelnut praline:

3 4 cup hazelnuts

1 1 2 cups sugar

1 4 cup water

For the ice cream:

2 1 4 cups High Lawn Farm whole milk

2 1 4 cups High Lawn Farm heavy cream

8 egg yolks

3 4 cup + 2 tbsp. sugar

For the pudding:

8 oz. peeled and diced taft farm hubbard squash

3 oz. unsalted butter

1 oz. High Lawn Farm heavy cream

4 tbsp. Turner Farms maple syrup

2 eggs, at room temperature

1 tbsp. sugar

Additional sugar for coating ramekins

For the maple butter:

1 2 cup Turner Farms maple syrup

1 4 cup sweet butter


8 4-oz. ramekins; electric mixer; blender; ice cream maker; spatula; whisk; baking sheet; silt pad; mixing bowl; saucepan; fine-mesh strainer; food processor

For the hazelnut praline: Toast and peel hazelnuts. Place hazelnuts on a sheet tray lined with a silt pad or a lightly oiled sheet tray. In a small heavy saucepan, combine water and sugar and bring to boil over medium heat until sugar dissolves. Increase heat to high and boil undisturbed until the sugar caramelizes. It will look like dark corn syrup, characteristic of burnt sugar. Immediately pour the caramel over the nuts.

Allow to cool and harden completely (30 to 40 minutes.) Remove from the sheet and break into pieces. Grind in a food processor on pulse into smallish pieces, but not a powder. Makes approximately 2 1 2 cups.

Ice cream: Heat the milk and cream in a heavy saucepan over medium heat to a simmer, stirring occasionally. Whisk together the egg yolks and sugar in a mixing bowl. Slowly pour the cream into the egg mixture, whisking as you pour.

Bring a saucepan with about two inches of water to a simmering boil. Place mixing bowl over a saucepan with simmering water and cook custard, stirring with a heat-resistant rubber spatula, until the custard lightly coats the spatula.

Using a fine mesh strainer, strain the custard into a clean mixing bowl. Cool over an ice bath until chilled. Churn in an ice cream machine according to manufacture's instruction and fold in 2 cups of crushed hazelnut praline. (Save remaining praline for plating.) Freeze until firm or overnight. Makes approximately 2 quarts of ice cream. You may cut this part of the recipe in half if you don't want any leftovers.

Hubbard squash pudding: Preheat oven to 325 F. Peel and cut the hubbard squash into pieces, approximately 2 inches by 2 inches. In a covered saucepan inside a mesh strainer, steam squash until tender - the squash should be soft all the way through. In another saucepan, gently warm butter, cream and maple syrup. Separate one of the eggs and set aside egg white. Blend the squash, butter mixture, 1 whole egg and 1 egg yolk until smooth. Pour the squash mixture into a mixing bowl. Whip the egg white with sugar into stiff peaks. Gently fold the whipped egg white into squash mixture.

Butter and sugar the ramekins and place on a sheet tray. (Sprinkle sugar onto the buttered ramekins and move around until the butter is coated with sugar. Toss out any remaining sugar.) Divide the batter between the ramekins. Place in a 325 F oven and bake for approximately 25 to 30 minutes, until the pudding is just set and rises slightly. Remove from oven and cool slightly.

Maple butter: Combine maple syrup and butter in a saucepan and gently warm and whisk together. Keep the maple butter in a warm place.

To serve: Invert ramekin with squash pudding onto plates and remove ramekin. Place a scoop of ice cream onto the top of the pudding, drizzle with maple butter and garnish plate with remaining hazelnut praline. Serve immediately.


From Chef Christophe Jalbert, Route 7 Grill, Great Barrington

1 lb. Chiogga beets (Chioggia are red and white. You can use red beets if not available.)

1 orange

4 tbs. olive oil

Salt and pepper to taste

Scrub and stem raw beets. Thinly slice beets using a mandolin, if possible. Squeeze the juice of a fresh orange and combine with olive oil, salt and pepper. Let marinate for 15 minutes or more and serve. Quick, easy, beautiful, healthy!


Serves 12

From Brian Alberg, executive chef, Red Lion Inn, Stockbridge

1 lb. local rutabaga

1 lb. local carrots

1 lb. local turnips

1 lb. local red beets

1 4 cup olive oil

1 2 tsp. fresh local thyme, minced

1 2 tsp. fresh rosemary, minced

salt and pepper

2 handfuls of baby swiss chard or spinach, washed

Preheat oven to 350ºF. Peel, trim and scrub vegetables. Coarsely cut vegetables into large pieces of approximately equal size (1-2"). Arrange vegetables in large baking pan and brush with oil. Scatter herbs over top. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Place in oven and roast, turning vegetables occasionally, until golden on the edges and tender when pierced with a knife, about 1 hour. Place vegetables in mixing bowl and toss with fresh Swiss chard or spinach. Greens will wilt from the heat. Serve hot.


Makes 12

From Brian Alberg, executive chef, Red Lion Inn, Stockbridge

1 cup flour

1 cup milk

1 1 2 tbsp. minced rosemary

1 1 2 tsp. kosher salt

1 2 tsp. ground black pepper

2 eggs, lightly beaten

3 4 cup rendered goose fat (rendered beef or pork fat, olive oil or blended oil -- can be used as a substitute)

Heat oven to 400°F. Whisk flour, milk, rosemary, salt, pepper and eggs in a bowl. Place 1 Tbs. fat into each of 12 cups of a muffin pan; heat in oven for 20 minutes. Pour 3 Tbs. of batter into each cup; bake until puffed and golden brown, about 30 minutes. Serve hot.


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