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Chefs’ Favorite Derby Recipes

It’s Derby time in the Bluegrass once again on Saturday, May 7. If you plan on visiting Louisville for any of the festivities, I hope you will take the opportunity to dine at one of the many nice restaurants. Chef Jim Gerhardt has long been a favorite chef of mine, and his new restaurant Limestone on Hurstbourne Lane continues to showcase his talent and creativity. Chef Anoosh Shariat of Park Place on Main at the Louisville Slugger Field offers diners Shrimp Julep with Pear Salad and a Bison Tenderloin dish that made a fan out of me. Now you can try these gourmet dishes at home.


(Chef Jim Gerhardt—Limestone Restaurant)

12 oz. tenderloin
12 jumbo tiger shrimp
6 strips apple bacon
Juice of 3 lemons
12 bamboo skewers

1/2 cup soy sauce
1/2 cup balsamic vinegar
1 clove garlic, minced
1/2 bunch green onions, minced
1/2 cup olive oil
Juice of one lemon
Grated lemon peel

Mix marinade ingredients in a flat baking dish. Cut bacon slices in half. Bake in 350° oven to par-cook (partially cook for about five minutes) before wrapping. Set aside to cool. Cube tenderloin into 1-ounce squares. Wrap tenderloin with bacon and place on skewer. Wrap a shrimp and add to skewer. Place the brochette in the marinade until grill time. Grill over hot coals until shrimp is pink, approximately 4-6 minutes. When finished cooking, remove from grill to platter, and squeeze lemon juice onto each skewer. Serves 6.


(Chef Anoosh Shariat—Park Place on Main)

4 (6-oz.) bison tenderloins (may substitute beef filet)
1 cup marsala wine (can substitute plum juice)
1/2 cup dried cherries
5 cups veal stock
Salt and pepper to taste
2 bunches asparagus
3 Tablespoons olive oil
2 Tablespoons chopped shallots
2 Tablespoons chopped garlic
1 cup stone-ground grits
2 cups milk
2 Tablespoons fresh rosemary, chopped
1/2 cup smoked Gouda cheese, shredded

Combine grits and milk in a saucepan. Bring to a boil and reduce to simmer. Cook, uncovered, for 25-30 minutes, until soft and milk has been absorbed, stirring constantly to avoid clumping. Stir in rosemary and cheese. Season to taste with salt and pepper. May be made in advance. If reheating, bring 1/2 cup of milk to a simmer, add grits, and stir until hot.

Trim one inch off cut ends of asparagus stalks. Marinate with garlic, olive oil, shallots, and salt for 1-2 hours. Roast in 400° oven for 15 minutes.

Combine wine, cherries, veal stock, salt, and pepper in a heavy saucepan. Heat over medium heat until mixture comes to a boil. Cook until sauce is reduced and coats the back of a spoon. Rub bison with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Place on hot grill and cook to desired temperature. For medium, cook 7 minutes per side. Drizzle reduced sauce over bison and serve each over a mound of grits, with a serving of asparagus.


(Chef Anoosh Shariat—Park Place on Main)

12 jumbo shrimp, shell removed
Salt to season
1 Tablespoon olive oil
1 Tablespoon chopped shallots
1/4 cup bourbon (substitute chicken broth)
2 Tablespoons cane syrup
1 Tablespoon fresh mint, chopped
4 oz. unsalted sweet butter

Heat olive oil. Season shrimp with salt and add to pan and sear. Turn shrimp over; add shallots and sweat for one minute. Remove from heat and add bourbon and cane syrup. Return to heat and add mint. Reduce liquid by 1/2 and swirl in butter.

Pear Salad
2 pears, peeled and julienned
1 red bell pepper, julienned
1 yellow bell pepper, julienned
1 Tablespoon fresh mint, chopped
Juice of 1/2 lemon
2 Tablespoons chopped, fresh chives
Salt to taste

Combine ingredients in bowl and marinate. To serve, divide salad into four servings. Serve each with 1/4 of the Shrimp Julep on top. Serves 4.

Coming Next Month: Using Dry Rubs

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