Perfect Wine Pairings Inspire the Menu at This Fall Dinner Party

Coq au Vin on plate
Photo: Victoria Pearson

Cookware innovator Stanley Cheng and his wife, Helen, share their enthusiasm for great wine at a fall harvest dinner.

01 of 15

Changing Cookware Forever

stanley cheng and wife toasting wine glasses in living room
Victoria Pearson

Stanley Cheng changed your life. You probably just don't know it.

Cheng was studying mechanical engineering at Oregon State in 1971 when inspiration struck. He returned to his native Hong Kong, bachelor's degree in hand and ideas to revolutionize cooking in mind, and converted his family's aluminum manufacturing plant to the production of cookware. In 1985, he introduced the first line of hard-anodized nonstick cookware on the market, Circulon. A second line, Anolon, followed in 1989. Kitchens have never been the same.

Today, his company, Meyer Corporation, U.S., and its brands, including Anolon, Circulon, Ruffoni, Farberware, Ayesha Curry, Rachael Ray, and Bonjour, cover the market with bakeware, barware, and every kind of cookware. Ever the innovator, Stanley's latest ventures include the titanium-based Hestan NanoBond cookware and the app-driven Hestan Cue Smart Cooking System. (Hestan, by the way, is a portmanteau of Helen and Stanley.)

02 of 15

All About Fine Wine

tuscan-inspired dining room with chandelier
Victoria Pearson

Of course, fine cooking is best complemented by fine wine, another longtime love of Stanley and his wife, Helen. In 1996, they pursued that love, purchasing an 80-acre cattle ranch in Napa, California, and transforming it into the award-winning Hestan Vineyards, specializing in varietals of the Bordeaux region of France.

A coveted invitation to dinner at the Chengs' Tuscan-inspired home, which anchors the property, results in an evening of old-world charm, modern culinary technology, artful table setting, and, of course, fine wine. At harvesttime, dinner is extra special.

"This time of year at Hestan is warm and welcoming. It's quiet and comforting," Stanley says. "When people come over, they
really appreciate the beauty of the place."

Planning the meal starts with choosing the wine. "Depending on the company, we'll choose wines that are older and more delicate and pair them with younger vintages," Stanley says. "Then we'll match that to the menu."

03 of 15

Taste Is Always What Matters

culinary director and cheng cooking together in kitchen
Victoria Pearson

Philip Tessier, Hestan Smart Cooking's culinary director, assists in developing the menu. "He's very creative and has a wonderful palate," Helen says. "The meal will not only be beautifully presented, but also very tasty—which is my number one concern, always!"

04 of 15

Formal Settings

stack of delicate chinese porcelain dishes
Victoria Pearson

Beautiful presentation is made much simpler when there's gorgeous tableware from which to choose. The Chengs' collection includes delicate Chinese porcelain, classic sterling flatware Helen likes to mix and match, and an enviable stockpile of "Flora Danica" plates—a one-of-a-kind, hand-painted Danish service produced by Royal Copenhagen. Its unique patterns are based on a botanical compendium created in the 1760s for King Frederick V.

Helen loves the thrill of scouring antiques stores for tableware. She purchased the "Flora Danica" plates at auction. "Having beautiful serveware," she says, "really enhances the dining experience, no? More often than not, it becomes a conversation piece."

For this gathering, the table is set with thoughtful relaxed formality and features a sophisticated combination of texture and quiet color. Linen table runners printed with a green-and-white pattern drape across the table to anchor each place setting. Bleached wood-bead placemats under-score amber glass chargers, which frame the "Flora Danica" dinner plates.

05 of 15

Harvest Celebration

friends gathered on couch for wine party
Victoria Pearson

The evening starts in the living room with champagne, skewers of grilled shrimp and Padrón peppers, and avocado-and-grape bruschetta. An amuse-bouche of caviar on corn cakes begins dinner, followed by an endive and pear salad, brown-butter-laced pumpkin risotto, and a main course of coq au vin, Hasselback potatoes, and glazed carrots. A dense, delicious apple pie finishes the meal.

Altogether, it's a culinary experience made richer by excellent wine and easy conversation—a harvesttime celebration of nature, family, and friends.

06 of 15

Multi-course Fall Dinner Menu

wine and glasses on elegant table
Victoria Pearson

When Stanley and Helen Cheng celebrate the wine harvest, they pull out the stops with an elegant multicourse dinner, naturally accompanied by several wines. This dinner, with recipes by Hestan Cue Smart Cooking's culinary director, chef Philip Tessier, is an homage to the flavors and produce of fall.

Menu and Recipes

  • Shrimp and Padrón Pepper Skewers
  • Avocado and Grape Bruschetta
  • Sterling Caviar with Corn Cakes and Crème Fraîche
  • Warm Endive Salad with Asian Pears; Toasted Hazelnut Vinaigrette
  • Pumpkin Risotto, Toasted Pumpkin Seeds;, Brown Butter
  • Coq au Vin with Hasselback Potatoes and Glazed Carrots
  • Aldana's Apple Pie, Caramel Sauce, Vanilla Ice Cream


  • Hestan NanoBond cookware
  • Hestan Cue Smart Cooking

This menu is quite extensive, and while Stanley enjoys his time at the stove, he doesn't go it alone. The entire menu requires several helping hands and advance preparation. (Note: Some recipes include make-ahead tips.)

However, consider this a collection of easy-to-do recipes. Hosting a celebratory fall dinner or luncheon on your own is completely doable by paring the menu to three or four courses. There are several ways to mix and match. Here are some suggestions:

Dinner for Eight

Caviar with Corn Cakes and Crème Fraîche

Warm Endive Salad with Asian Pears and Toasted Hazelnut Vinaigrette

Coq au Vin

Hasselback Potatoes

Glazed Carrots

Aldana's Apple Pie with Caramel Sauce and Vanilla Ice Cream

Vegetarian-Friendly Dinner

Shrimp and Padrón Pepper Skewers

Warm Endive Salad with Asian Pears; Toasted Hazelnut Vinaigrette

Pumpkin Risotto, Toasted Pumpkin Seeds, Brown Butter*

Glazed Carrots

Aldana's Apple Pie, Caramel Sauce, Vanilla Ice Cream

*Double the recipe

Sunday Luncheon

Avocado and Grape Bruschetta

Warm Endive Salad with Asian Pears and Toasted Hazelnut Vinaigrette**

Hasselback Potatoes

Aldana's Apple Pie with Caramel Sauce and Vanilla Ice Cream

**Double the salad recipe, serve potatoes alongside salad

07 of 15

Shrimp and Padrón Pepper Skewers

Shrimp and Padrón Pepper Skewers
Victoria Pearson

The parsley-lemon juice vinaigrette rounds out the smoky heat from the grilled shrimp and peppers. This fuss-free hors d'oeuvre comes together in 20 minutes.

Hands On: 20 minutes

Total Time: 20 minutes

  • 16 (8-inch) bamboo skewers, soaked 30 minutes in water
  • 1 pound fresh or frozen large shrimp (about 16 to 20 per pound), thawed if frozen, peeled, and deveined
  • 16 Padrón or shishito peppers, stems trimmed
  • 3 tablespoons finely chopped fresh parsley
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 2 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • Fleur de sel (or other sea salt)

For vinaigrette, in medium bowl place shrimp and peppers. In small bowl, combine parsley, lemon juice, garlic, salt, and crushed red pepper. While whisking vigorously, slowly drizzle in olive oil until vinaigrette is emulsified. Add 2 tablespoons vinaigrette to shrimp and peppers; toss to coat. Reserve remaining vinaigrette.

Assemble skewers by spearing shrimp through tail and toward head and spearing one pepper lengthwise.

Place prepared skewers on grill rack directly over medium-high heat. Cover; cook 2 minutes on each side or until shrimp are opaque and pink. Sprinkle with fleur de sel; serve with remaining vinaigrette. Makes 16 skewers.

Make-Ahead Tips:

  • Dressing can be made up to 6 hours in advance and refrigerated.
  • Toss shrimp and peppers in dressing and assemble skewers. Place prepared skewers on 15x10x1-inch baking pan, cover with foil or plastic wrap. Refrigerate up to 3 hours.
08 of 15

Avocado-and-Grape Bruschetta

Avocado-and-Grape Bruschetta
Victoria Pearson

We love the medley of green tones on this delicious bruschetta. If you want a little color contrast, try red grapes, purple basil, or red salt.

Hands On: 25 minutes

Total Time: 25 minutes

  • 1/2 English cucumber, thinly sliced
  • 5 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 medium avocado, halved, seeded, peeled, and chopped
  • 2 tablespoons thinly sliced fresh basil
  • 1 sourdough baguette, cut into 16 1/2-inch-thick slices
  • 8 to 10 green grapes, cut lengthwise in 1/4-inch-thick slices
  • 16 small fresh basil leaves
  • Fleur de sel (or other sea salt)

For marinated cucumber, in small bowl combine cucumbers, 2 tablespoons olive oil, 1 teaspoon lemon juice, 1/4 teaspoon salt, and freshly ground black pepper.

For avocado spread, in small bowl use fork to mash avocado. Add sliced basil, 1 tablespoon olive oil, remaining 2 teaspoons lemon juice, 1/4 teaspoon salt, and freshly ground black pepper. Mix until well combined.

In large bowl, toss bread slices and remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil. Season lightly with pinch of kosher salt.

Place bread on grill rack directly over medium-high heat. Cover; toast about 2 minutes on each side or until golden brown with charred grill marks.

Spread toasts with avocado spread. Arrange small amount of marinated cucumber on each toast. Garnish with grapes and small basil leaves. Season with fleur de sel and freshly ground black pepper. Makes 16 bruschetta.

Make-Ahead Tips:

  • Bread can be grilled up to 4 hours in advance and set aside.
  • Cucumber and grapes can be sliced up to 3 hours in advance and refrigerated in airtight containers.
  • Avocado spread can be prepared up to 3 hours in advance and refrigerated in an airtight container with a layer of plastic wrap pressed directly onto surface of avocado mixture.
09 of 15

Sterling Caviar with Corn Cakes and Crème Fraîche

Sterling Caviar with Corn Cakes and Crème Fraîche
Victoria Pearson

This is a lovely (and slightly decadent) amuse-bouche before dinner. While an amuse-bouche, which literally means "mouth amuser," is usually presented as one-bite teaser before dinner, the presentation here has been changed to let guests make up their own indulgent versions.

Chef Phil Tessier uses caviar produced by Sterling Caviar. Sterling Caviar is consistently recognized for its sustainable farming practices in regard to protection of the sturgeon species from which caviar comes and its caviar production.

"The Sterling Caviar company has been a pioneer in sustainable caviar farming for three decades and has consistently been the standard-bearer for high-quality caviar," Tessier says. "Sterling is my caviar of choice not only for its quality and consistency, but also because of the people behind the scenes who continually strive to produce the world's best caviar in the most sustainable way."

Start to Finish: 30 minutes

Corn Cakes:

  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup yellow cornmeal
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 7 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
  • Clarified Butter (recipe follows) or ghee
  • Caviar, preferably American sturgeon, sustainably farmed (We'll leave the amount up to you!)
  • Crème fraîche
  • Thinly sliced green onion

Clarified Butter:

  • 1/2 cup butter

In medium bowl, sift together flour, cornmeal, sugar, baking powder, and salt until well incorporated.

In separate bowl, whisk eggs and buttermilk together until well incorporated. Vigorously whisk in melted butter. Gently whisk wet mixture into dry ingredients until smooth, being careful not to overmix.

Heat large skillet or griddle over medium heat. Place small amount of clarified butter in pan. Spread to evenly coat surface. Pour 1 tablespoon portions of batter to form 1-1/2-inch-diameter corn cakes, leaving enough space between each so they don't touch. Cook until golden brown on bottom, 2 minutes. Flip each cake over. Cook until brown on other side, 1 minute. Repeat with remaining batter, adding additional butter as needed. Hold cooked corn cakes warm in 200°F oven until all cakes are cooked, or up to 1 hour.

Serve corn cakes warm with caviar, crème fraîche, and green onion. Makes 8 servings (5 per person).

For Clarified Butter, melt butter over low heat without stirring; cool slightly, about 10 minutes. Skim off milky top layer, if present, and discard. Pour off clear top layer; discard milky bottom layer.

Make-Ahead Tip: Cool the cakes and layer in freezer container between sheets of plastic wrap. Label; freeze up to 3 months. When ready to use, wrap frozen cakes, 10 at a time, between paper towels. Microwave on high (100% power) for 30 seconds to heat through.

10 of 15

Warm Endive Salad with Asian Pears; Toasted Hazelnut Vinaigrette

Warm Endive Salad with Asian Pears; Toasted Hazelnut Vinaigrette
Victoria Pearson

There's an interesting combination in this endive-pear salad. The two main ingredients are prepared in combination two different ways—seared and raw—and then combined again with a light, lemony vinaigrette.

Start to Finish: 20 minutes

  • 10 heads white endive
  • 4 heads red endive
  • 2 Asian pears or other pear variety
  • 6 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • Salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 shallots, finely chopped
  • 2 teaspoons lemon zest
  • 3 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped fresh parsley
  • 3 tablespoons toasted hazelnuts, chopped or crushed*
  • Fresh parsley leaves

For seared endive, trim small amount of root end off 8 white endive heads, leaving leaves attached. Remove any discolored outer leaves. Split each head in half lengthwise. Cut notch into base of endive to remove tough center. Set aside.

For remaining two white endive and four red endive, trim 1/2-inch piece from root end. Remove any discolored outer leaves. Remove individual leaves. Split each one lengthwise. (You may need to trim more root end away to separate leaves as you move toward inner layers.) Place split endive leaves in medium mixing bowl; set aside.

Finely chop one Asian pear; set aside. Slice remaining pear into thin slices or wedges. Add sliced pears to bowl with split endive leaves.

Place 12-inch skillet over medium-high heat. When hot, add 1 tablespoon olive oil, tilting skillet to coat evenly. Add half of halved endive, cut side down. Sear until golden brown, about 3 minutes. Turn; sear 1-1/2 minutes on other side. Transfer to serving tray. Keep warm. Repeat with remaining endive, adding 1 tablespoon additional olive oil. Season seared endive to taste with salt and pepper.

Wipe skillet. Place over medium heat. When hot, add 3 tablespoons olive oil. Add chopped pears and shallots to skillet. Cook until slightly softened, 1 to 2 minutes. Add 1 teaspoon lemon zest, 2 tablespoons lemon juice, and honey; stir to combine. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Remove from heat.

Dress sliced pear and raw endive with remaining 1 tablespoon lemon juice, remaining 1 teaspoon lemon zest, remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil, chopped parsley, and salt and pepper to taste. Toss to coat; set aside.

To serve, combine seared endive and seared pears with raw endive-pear mixture and toasted hazelnuts. Makes 8 servings.

*Tip: To roast hazelnuts, place nuts on rimmed baking sheet in 350°F oven. Toast 8 to 12 minutes until skins crack and nuts are fragrant. Allow nuts to cool. Transfer to a clean kitchen towel. Wrap nuts and roll towel on counter to remove skins.

Chopping hazelnuts can be a messy job—they tend to scatter and roll. You can lightly crush hazelnuts by placing them on a rimmed baking pan and crushing them the bottom of a cast iron or heavy skillet.

11 of 15

Pumpkin Risotto, Toasted Pumpkin Seeds, Brown Butter

Pumpkin Risotto, Toasted Pumpkin Seeds, Brown Butter
Victoria Pearson

This seasonal version of risotto can be served as a second course or doubled and served as a main course. It's rich, cheesy, and super-savory with a slick of brown butter to finish it off.

Hands On: 1 hour 30 minutes

Total Time: 2 hours 10 minutes

Pumpkin Risotto:

  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 small onion, finely chopped
  • 2 cups Arborio rice
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine
  • 2-1/2 cups warm water
  • 1 tablespoon kosher salt
  • 2 cups warm vegetable stock
  • 1 cup Roasted Pumpkin Purée (recipe follows)
  • 1 cup finely shredded Parmesan cheese
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, sliced
  • Pumpkin Seed Brown Butter (recipe follows)

Roasted Pumpkin Purée:

  • 1 small Musquee de Provence pumpkin or other cooking pumpkin (about 7 pounds), halved and seeded
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 2 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 1 cup unsalted butter
  • 1 cup heavy cream, at room temperature

Pumpkin Seed Brown Butter:

  • Reserved brown butter
  • 4 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons pumpkin seeds (pepitas), toasted
  • Kosher salt

For Pumpkin Risotto, in medium sauteuse,* saucepan, or small stockpot, heat oil over medium heat. Add onion. Cook 6 to 8 minutes, or until translucent. Stir in rice. Cook 2 minutes. Add garlic. Cook 30 seconds; add wine. Cook until wine has been absorbed, being sure mixture does not stick to bottom of pan.

Add water and salt. Bring to simmer, stirring constantly. Cook until liquid is absorbed, 6 to 8 minutes. Add 1 cup vegetable stock; return to simmer. Cook, stirring constantly, until liquid is absorbed, 6 to 8 minutes.

Add remaining stock. Cook until liquid is mostly absorbed and rice is al dente, 6 to 8 minutes. If needed, add 1/4 cup water and cook until proper doneness is reached.

Stir in Roasted Pumpkin Purée, Parmesan cheese, and 1/2 cup butter until thoroughly combined. Serve topped with Pumpkin Seed Brown Butter. Makes 8 servings.

For Roasted Pumpkin Purée, preheat oven to 325°F. In 15x10x1-inch baking pan, place pumpkin halves cut side up. Season with salt and pepper. Add garlic and thyme to each pumpkin cavity. Wrap each half in foil. Bake until tender, about 1 hour.

Meanwhile, in small saucepan, melt 1 cup butter over medium-high heat. Cook, whisking occasionally, until butter turns a deep brown color, about 13 to 15 minutes. Pour half of brown butter into small heatproof bowl; reserve for Pumpkin Seed Brown Butter.

Remove foil from pumpkin halves. Remove thyme from pumpkin halves. When pumpkins are cool enough to handle, scrape garlic and pumpkin solids away from skin into blender or food processor. Add cream and remaining half of brown butter. Cover; blend until completely smooth. Strain purée through fine mesh sieve. Set aside.

For Pumpkin Seed Brown Butter, in small saucepan, warm remaining brown butter over medium-low heat until melted. While whisking vigorously, gradually drizzle in lemon juice. Add pumpkin seeds and salt. Serve over risotto immediately.

*A sauteuse pan is a cross between a sauté pan and a saucepan. It has tall, straight or lightly sloped sides to contain food but a wide base for stirring and braising. It usually includes a lid.

Make-Ahead Tips:

  • Butter can be browned up to one week in advance and refrigerated. Gently rewarm before use.
  • Pumpkin purée can be made up to 2 days in advance and refrigerated.
  • Onion can be chopped up to 8 hours in advance and refrigerated in an airtight container.
12 of 15

Coq au Vin

Coq au Vin on plate
Victoria Pearson

This dish has a rich tradition in the French cooking canon. It's slow-cooked in an herbaceous red wine sauce until the chicken is falling off the bone. Make sure you have a baguette on hand to mop up the sauce.

A note about cooking wine: A good rule of thumb is to never cook with a wine you wouldn't drink on its own. In other words, avoid the inexpensive wines usually located on the bottom shelf of the wine shop, and choose something reasonably priced you would open for an ordinary meal. And do enjoy a glass while you are pulling the recipe together.

Hands On: 1 hour 45 minutes

Total Time: 3 hours 45 minutes plus 4 to 24 hours marinating time

  • 8 chicken thighs
  • 8 chicken drumsticks
  • 6 cups dry red wine
  • 6 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1/4 cup canola oil
  • Kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 8 ounces slab bacon, cut crosswise into 1/2-inch pieces
  • 20 ounces yellow pearl onions, root removed and peeled (or 3 cups frozen pearl onions)
  • 18 ounces wild mushrooms, halved (such as shiitake, maitake, cremini, or oyster)
  • 4 stalks celery, coarsely chopped
  • 4 medium carrots, coarsely chopped
  • 8 cloves garlic, peeled and quartered
  • 1/2 cup brandy
  • 1/2 cup tomato paste
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup chicken stock
  • 1 tablespoon sherry vinegar or red wine vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 bunch watercress, optional

Divide chicken and wine between two resealable plastic bags set in shallow dishes. Place 3 sprigs thyme and a bay leaf in each bag. Remove excess air. Marinate chicken in the refrigerator at least 4 hours, or overnight for best result. Drain chicken through colander set over bowl, reserving marinade. Transfer chicken to clean kitchen towel (or paper-towel-lined plate). Pat dry.

Preheat oven to 325°F. Place 6-quart Dutch oven on stove top over medium-high heat. Add canola oil. Season chicken with salt and pepper. Place one-third of chicken in Dutch oven, do not overcrowd. Sear chicken until golden brown on all sides, approximately 3 minutes per side. Remove chicken to tray or plate. Set aside. Repeat in 2 more batches. Drain remaining oil from Dutch oven.

Add bacon to Dutch oven. Cook over medium heat until golden brown on all sides, stirring as needed. Drain bacon on paper-towel-lined tray.

Leaving rendered fat in Dutch oven. Add onions, mushrooms, celery, and carrots. Increase heat to medium-high. Cook until all liquid has evaporated and vegetables are just cooked and light brown in color, 20 minutes. Stir in garlic. Cook 30 seconds. Remove Dutch oven from heat. Carefully add brandy. Return to heat and cook until brandy is nearly evaporated. Stir in tomato paste. Cook 1 minute, reducing heat to medium-low. Add flour. Cook an additional minute, stirring constantly.

Add reserved marinade to Dutch oven. Bring to simmer over medium-high heat. Skim foam from surface. Simmer, uncovered, to reduce liquid by one-third, about 25 minutes.

Add chicken pieces to Dutch oven. Cover with chicken stock. Bring to simmer. Skim off any foam.

Place lid on Dutch oven. Place on middle rack of oven. Braise 2 hours.

Using slotted spoon, transfer chicken and larger vegetables to warm dish. Keep covered.

Skim fat from cooking liquid. Return Dutch oven to stove top. Add sherry vinegar and butter. Cook until butter is incorporated. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Transfer chicken and vegetables to serving platter. Pour sauce over. Garnish with watercress. Makes 8 servings.

Hasselback Potatoes

Hasselback potatoes are said to have originated at a Swedish restaurant of the same name. This particular way of making roasted potatoes has become popular of the past couple of years, but there is common sense behind the trend. Slicing the potatoes and exposing the interior leads to even cooking, fluffy flesh, and crispy skin. Plus, you can dress them up in myriad ways, such as with simple sour cream, herb-laden compound butters, or a scattering of various cheeses.

Hands On: 10 minutes

Total Time: 1 hour

  • 8 medium Yukon Gold potatoes
  • 5 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 4 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 4 sprigs fresh thyme leaves
  • 3 tablespoons thinly sliced fresh chives

Preheat oven to 450°F. For potatoes, identify flattest side of potato and place wooden skewers or chopsticks on each side of potato so skewers are parallel. (The skewers will prevent you from cutting through the potato.) Cut slices into top of potato 1/8-inch apart down to skewers. Repeat with remaining potatoes.

Line 15x10x1-inch baking pan with aluminum foil. Evenly space potatoes on baking pan. Brush with 1 tablespoon olive oil, spreading evenly to coat. Drizzle with remaining olive oil. Season with salt and pepper.

Add garlic to baking pan beside potatoes. Bake 30 minutes or until potatoes begin to brown. Brush each potato with oil from baking pan. Place small pat of butter on top of each potato. Sprinkle thyme leaves over potatoes. Brush each potato with oil and butter from baking pan.

Return potatoes to oven. Bake until potatoes are golden brown, lightly crisp outside, and tender inside, 20 to 25 minutes. Brush again with oil and butter. Sprinkle with chives before serving. Makes 8 servings.

Make-Ahead Tips:

  • Potatoes can be sliced up to 2 hours in advance.
  • Chives can be sliced up to 1 hour in advance and refrigerated in an airtight container.

Glazed Carrots

These glazed carrots became a staff favorite and will no doubt be making an appearance on several of our Thanksgiving tables. The secrets are the type of carrot juice you use and the care with which you cut the carrots.

Make sure you purchase 100 percent carrot juice without additives. If you have a juicer, you can certainly make your own. Otherwise, track some down at a local farm stand or health food store.

The cutting method described below is called the "oblique cut" among professional chefs and cooks. The simple quarter roll and diagonal slice yields pieces that are a uniform size and shape, resulting in perfectly even doneness when cooked.

Hands On: 5 minutes

Total Time: 50 minutes

  • 8 medium carrots, peeled
  • 2 cups 100 percent carrot juice
  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter
  • 2 teaspoons lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt

Slicing diagonally, cut 1-inch piece of carrot. Roll carrot a quarter turn away from you. Slice again. Roll carrot quarter turn toward you for next cut. Repeat with remaining carrots.

In large skillet combine carrots, carrot juice, butter, lemon juice, and salt. Bring to simmer over medium-high heat.

Continue to cook, uncovered, stirring occasionally until carrots are just tender and liquid has reached glaze consistency, about 45 minutes. If needed, add small amount of water. Continue to cook until tender. Makes 8 servings.

Make-Ahead Tip: Carrots can be peeled and cut up to 2 days in advance and refrigerated.

13 of 15

Aldana's Apple Pie, Caramel Sauce, Vanilla Ice Cream

Aldana's Apple Pie, Caramel Sauce, Vanilla Ice Cream
Victoria Pearson

This apple pie baked in a tart pan is a Cheng family favorite and an elegant twist on traditional apple pie.

It is the creation of Aldana Iturri, culinary development manager for the Hestan Cue Smart Cooking team. Iturri is in charge of recipe development, media production, and events. Prior to joining Hestan, Iturri worked for chef Thomas Keller at Bouchon Bistro and Bouchon Bakery as a savory sous chef and pastry/bread sous chef.

Hands On: 40 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 40 minutes

For the Crust:

  • 2-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon granulated sugar
  • 1 cup unsalted butter, chilled and cut in small pieces
  • 1/3 cup cold water

For the Filling:

  • 4 medium Fuji apples or similar, peeled, cored and chopped
  • 1/2 cup packed dark brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 3/4 cup apple cider
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 1 tablespoon water

For the Caramel Sauce:

  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 tablespoons orange juice (preferably fresh-squeezed)
  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut up
  • 1 teaspoon orange zest
  • 3/4 cup heavy cream
  • 1-1/2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt

Vanilla ice cream

For the Crust, preheat oven to 350°F. In bowl of stand mixer combine flour, 1 teaspoon salt, and 1 teaspoon sugar. Add cold butter, tossing to make sure butter pieces are evenly coated. Mix on low speed until mixture resembles coarse crumbs (about 2 minutes), being careful not to overmix.

Continue mixing on low speed while slowly drizzling the 1/3 cup water into bowl. Mix until dough just comes together. Remove dough from bowl; shape into a flat rectangle about 1 inch thick. Wrap dough in plastic wrap. Place in freezer while you make filling or place in refrigerator if you are making dough ahead.

For the Filling, in large bowl combine apples, brown sugar, vanilla, and cinnamon. Toss until well coated.

In large saucepan melt butter over medium heat. Brown butter, stirring occasionally, until nutty brown in color, about 3 minutes. Add apple mixture to pan. Cook until apples begin to soften, about 4 minutes.

While apples cook, for slurry, in small bowl combine apple cider and cornstarch; whisk until smooth.

Once apples have broken down a bit (but still hold form), stir in slurry. Mix in until evenly incorporated. Cook 1 minute more. Transfer filling to bowl until ready to bake.

To assemble and bake, in small bowl make egg yolk wash by whisking yolk and 1 tablespoon water until smooth.
Transfer chilled dough to floured work surface. Cut dough in half. Roll one half into 11-inch round (should be big enough to cover bottom of 9-inch tart pan with removable bottom). Lay dough over tart pan. Gently press into bottom of pan, especially corners, allowing excess to lay over edges. Roll out remaining dough the same way; set aside.

Place apple filling in dough-lined tart pan. Brush edges of dough with yolk wash. Place remaining dough round on top of pie. Pinch edges together. Trim excess dough. Evenly brush top with yolk wash. Using small knife, gently score pie to outline 8 even slices. Cut small slits to allow air to escape while pie cooks.

Place pie on middle oven rack. Bake until crust is deep golden brown, about 55 minutes.
Remove pie from oven. Cool at least 30 minutes before serving. Once cooled, remove from tart pan, cut with serrated knife. Serve with Caramel Sauce and vanilla ice cream. Makes 8 servings.

For Caramel Sauce, in medium saucepan combine sugar and orange juice. Heat over medium heat until caramel turns light brown, stirring occasionally, about 8 minutes (mixture may appear grainy). Remove from heat. Whisk in butter and zest until smooth and butter is nearly emulsified. Return to heat; bring to boil. Slowly whisk in cream until well incorporated. Simmer 5 minutes until thickened slightly. Stir in lemon juice and salt. Strain through fine mesh strainer, if desired. Cool completely before serving.

14 of 15

Cooking Technology

Hestan Cue Smart Cooking system on ipad
Victoria Pearson

Innovation has been the hallmark of the Hestan culinary brand, which was founded by cookware master Stanley Cheng. By looking at cookware literally at all angles, along with a team of chefs and engineers, Hestan brings forward-thinking into the kitchen the same way Stanley did with the introduction of superior nonstick cookware so many years ago. Along with Hestan Vineyards and Hestan Outdoor, Hestan has recently introduced Hestan Cue Smart Cooking and Hestan NanoBond cookware.

Hestan Cue Smart Cooking system combines three basic elements—tri-ply stainless cookware with an embedded sensor, a smart induction burner, and a recipe app—that operate together through a Bluetooth connection to create a flawless cooking experience.

While the app walks the user through ingredients and the recipe method, the burner and pan keep track of time and temperature, ensuring nothing goes out of whack if the phone rings or the garlic needs to be chopped. Recipes range from simple to sophisticated or can be customized to personal tastes. You can even create your own with what's on hand in the fridge.

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Smart Cookware

Hestan NanoBond cookware on stove
Victoria Pearson

Hestan NanoBond cookware's environmentally friendly, chemical-free technology comes from thousands of nanolayers of titanium alloys bonded to stainless steel. The result is a scratch- and stain-resistant surface that provides easier food release and fast cleanup with a surface that retains its beautiful pewter-tone hue for years.

NanoBond cookware has an 18/20 stainless-steel interior, is induction suitable, and has 35 percent more heat conductivity than other aluminum-clad cookware. Other features include flush handle rivets for easy cleaning and stable stacking, a flared rim for no-spill pouring, a metal-utensil-safe surface, and ergonomically designed handles.

The cookware is available in an assortment of 13 pots and pans through both open stock and a 10-piece set.

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