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Three Square Meals: Cook Around the Clock with the Barneys Chefs

Shopping requires sustenance. In a pinch, a granola bar will do, but on most occasions, we advocate a proper meal—one that involves cutlery and advisably, a cloth napkin.

If there’s anyone that knows how to satisfy a shopper’s appetite, it’s the chefs at the Barneys restaurants: Fred’s in New York and Chicago and Barney Greengrass in Beverly Hills. Take one look at the breakfast, lunch and dinner (yes, open for a restorative evening bite) recipes they’ve shared below and you won’t need further convincing.

Illustrations by Jen Wong

Banana Pancakes with Ricotta, Caramel and Pecans
from the kitchen of Barney Greengrass Beverly Hills

6 oz caramel
3/4 cup light whipping cream
1/3 cup chopped pecan
1 tbsp coconut flakes
1 tbsp rum (or brandy)
1 cup smooth ricotta cheese
4 tbsp confectioner’s sugar
2 tbsp orange juice
3/4 tsp orange zest
1 cup plain flour
2 tsp baking powder
12 tsp baking soda
1 pinch salt
10 oz buttermilk
2 tbsp butter
2 large egg whites (yolks separated)
1/2 tsp vanilla
1 tbsp superfine caster sugar
2 bananas, peeled and sliced

For ricotta cream: Mix ricotta cheese, sugar, orange juice and zest in a bowl.Whisk until combined, then refrigerate.

For caramel pecan sauce: In a small pan, melt caramel with the ricotta cream, stirring until blended. Add pecans and flaked coconut and stir. Then remove from heat.

For banana pancakes: Sift the flour, baking powder, bicarbonate of soda and salt into a bowl. Place buttermilk in a 2-cup glass-measuring cup and add butter. Microwave for 2 minutes. Beat yolks, then whisk with buttermilk and butter mixture.

Add vanilla essence and fine sugar and stir until dissolved. Add buttermilk mixture to flour, whisk together until thick. Beat egg whites until stiff. Fold whites into batter until mixed. Add the sliced bananas. Brush a pan with butter. For each pancake, pour 1 ½ cup batter into pan, and swirl around. Cook until bubbles begin to appear on the surface. When pancakes are lightly browned on the bottom (about two minutes), flip over and cook other side. Transfer to a plate

Pour warm caramel pecan sauce over pancake, and top with ricotta cream.

For reservations at Barney Greengrass in Beverly Hills, call 310.777.5877 or click here.

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Fred’s Spaghetti
from the kitchen of Fred’s New York

2 tbsp plus 1 teaspoon kosher salt, or more to taste
8 oz green beans, trimmed
1⁄4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
2 garlic cloves, sliced
12 oz shiitake mushrooms (about 2 dozen mushrooms) stems removed and discarded, caps cut into julienne
1 pound spaghetti alla chitarra or store-bought dried spaghetti alla chitarra (preferably Setaro brand) or dried semolina spaghetti
1⁄2 cup pesto
1⁄2 cup freshly grated Pecorino Romano cheese
12 fresh basil leaves

Fill a 3-quart saucepan with water and bring to a boil. Add 1 teaspoon of the salt and the green beans and cook for 3 minutes. Drain and set aside. When the green beans are cool, use a sharp paring knife to halve them lengthwise.

Place a 12-inch skillet over medium heat, and when it is hot, add the olive oil. Add the garlic and cook until golden, about 1 minute. Add the mushrooms and sauté until soft and deep brown, about 5 minutes. Add the green beans, reduce the heat, and cook until heated through, 2 minutes. Remove from the heat. Set aside.

Meanwhile, fill a 10-quart pot with water and bring to a boil. Add the remaining 2 tablespoons kosher salt and the pasta.

While the pasta is cooking, add the pesto to the skillet with the vegetables and stir well. Taste and season with more salt if necessary. (Beware: some sun-dried tomatoes are very salty.)

When the pasta is cooked (usually 8 minutes, less for fresh pasta), reserve 1⁄2 cup of the cooking water and drain the pasta. Add the pasta to the skillet and toss to combine. If the pasta looks dry, add the reserved pasta cooking water 1 tablespoon at a time, tossing to combine between additions. Garnish with the cheese and fresh basil leaves and serve immediately.

This dish is a luncheon favorite at Fred’s, where Chardonnay is a popular, and appropriate, accompaniment.

For reservations at Fred’s at Barneys New York, call 212.833.2200 or click here.

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Tuscan Pot Roast
from the kitchen of Fred’s Chicago

1 brisket (about 5 to 6 pounds), trimmed of excess fat
1 tbsp kosher salt or more to taste
1⁄2 tsp freshly ground black pepper, or more to taste
2 tbsp olive oil
2 carrots, diced
2 celery stalks, diced
1 onion, diced
3 garlic cloves, minced
3 chicken livers, membranes removed and cut into 1⁄2-inch (1.3-cm) pieces (optional)
1 bottle dry red wine
3 cups chicken stock or canned low-sodium organic canned chicken broth
1 cup canned Italian plum tomatoes, preferably San Marzano, lightly crushed
1 bay leaf
3 tablespoons chopped fresh rosemary
2 tablespoons chopped fresh Italian parsley

Set a rack in the middle of the oven and preheat the oven to 325 degrees (165˚C). Season the brisket liberally with the salt and pepper. Set aside.

In a 7- to 8-quart Dutch oven with a tight-fitting lid, heat the olive oil over medium-high heat. Add the brisket and brown well on both sides, about 10 minutes. Remove to a plate and set aside.

Add the carrots, celery, onion, and garlic to the pot, reduce the heat to medium, and cook, scraping up any browned bits, until all the vegetables are almost soft and the onion is golden, about 5 minutes. Add the chicken livers, if using, and cook, stirring, until they begin to firm, about 2 minutes. Add the wine, stock, tomatoes, bay leaf, and rosemary, then add the brisket and any reserved juices, raise the heat to medium-high, and bring to a simmer.

Cover the pot and place in the middle of the oven. Cook, turning the meat once, until it is fork-tender, 3 to 3 1⁄2 hours. Transfer the brisket to a cutting board and lightly cover with aluminum foil. Let stand for 15 minutes.

Meanwhile, spoon off the accumulated fat from the surface of the sauce. Use an immersion blender to puree the sauce right in the pot. Or transfer to a blender or food processor to puree, and return to the pot. Season with salt and pepper, and stir in the parsley.

Slice the meat and serve with the warm sauce on the side. (Alternatively, slice the meat, return it to the pot, and refrigerate overnight. Remove any solidified fat from the surface of the sauce and reheat, covered, in a 300-degree [150˚C] oven until piping hot.

For wine, a great accompaniment would be a Rosso di Montalcino, which is like a baby Brunello, an everyday table wine but with a touch of greatness.

For reservations at Fred’s Chicago, call 312.596.1111 or click here.

Main image of Fred’s courtesy of Barneys New York.

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