Roy's Restaurant adds new dishes to menu

January 3, 2011 9:52:33 AM PST
Roy's Restaurant is ringing in the New Year with some new additions to their menu, including a sweet potato pierogi.

And if eating better is a part of your goal this year, they have some healthy options, too, like a new sushi roll, a sashimi and nigiri platter, and blackened ahi tuna with rice and bok choy.

For a real treat, Chef Rhett Dukes is introducing a sweet potato pierogi. It's inspired by a combination of one of his grandmother's recipes and the exposure to the Hawaiian cuisine at Roy's.

Okinawian Sweet Potato Pierogi
Makes 8 servings.

6 Okinawian sweet potatoes
1 tablespoon garlic, minced
1 tablespoon ginger, minced
2 eggs, beaten
1/4 cup mascarpone
1/4 cup Parmesan, grated
6 leaves shiso
To taste, kosher salt
To taste, black pepper

1 lb. all-purpose flour
1 lb. semolina flour
6 oz. water
6-7 eggs
3/4 oz. kosher salt

1 lb. butter, whole unsalted
1/2 cup macadamia nuts, toasted, chopped
8 oz. heavy cream, reduced by half
2 leaves shiso, chiffonade

1. Put the butter into a heavy-bottom sauce pot and cook on medium heat until the color reaches a dark brown color and you can smell a nutty aroma. Whisk in the heavy cream over low heat until fully incorporated. Be careful not to get too hot or the sauce will break.

2. Bake the potatoes in a 350-degree oven until tender throughout. Let cool. In a saute pan, brown the garlic and ginger and drain all the excess oil off. Peel the potatoes and mash. Add the remaining ingredients in a bowl and mix well.

3. Put all ingredients in a mixer with a dough hook and mix until a ball forms. Take dough and knead it on a floured surface until it is no longer tacky. Let rest for 20 minutes wrapped. Using a rolling pin or pasta machine, roll the dough out to a thickness of 1/16 of an inch. Cut the dough into a circle using a cookie cutter and scoop approximately 1 tablespoon of the filling in the middle. Brush egg wash around the edges and fold over the dough to make a half moon shape and press firmly.

4. Boil the pierogis for 4-5 minutes or until done. Place on dry towel to absorb water. In a saute pan with clarified butter, brown both sides of the pierogis.

5. Arrange three pierogis on a plate nicely. Spoon the brown butter cream sauce over the top. Garnish with toasted macadamia nuts and shiso.

Chef Rhett Dukes' bio

Chef Rhett Dukes was born and raised in Texas. At the age of 16, Rhett had his first taste of the culinary world in a cozy "mom and pop" restaurant in his neighborhood. Instantly, he fell for the rush and pressurized environment that is prominent in the heart of the kitchen. There was the intensity, the articulate repetition and precision, the smells and scents, the heat from the flames and the chill of the freezer?.ahhhh. Home.

After graduating high school there was a choice to be made about the whole cooking thing; career or hobby? Culinary school it was. He attended the Art Institute of Houston for two years while still keeping engaged in the industry. Several different paths were traveled. There were the resorts, the country clubs, the bakery and the hotels. All had their learning experiences and their mentors, but it wasn't until he reached Roy's Restaurant in Chicago that he grasped on to the concept of keeping true at all parameters. It is a balance that Chef Roy himself has lived by and thrived on for over twenty five years. By opening up this balance, Rhett has learned to create food to be a passion from everyone and everything that surrounds him, from the guests to the vendors to his Ohana. With his love of the simplistic and rustic, to the constant evolving of the culinary world, Rhett and his culinary Ohana keep the cuisine seasonal and comforting.

Upon his three year term at Roy's in Chicago, Rhett was given a golden opportunity to take the reins from his mentor at the restaurant, Chef Kevin Dusinski. And as the year of 2011 rolled out, so did the position as Chef Partner for Chef Rhett Dukes.