How to make 3 dishes from Chef Adrienne Cheatham's debut cookbook 'Sunday Best'

The Harlem-based chef shared three recipes that embody the weekend spirit.

April 07, 2022, 8:06 AM

Celebrity chef Adrienne Cheatham joined "Good Morning America" ahead of the launch of her debut cookbook, "Sunday Best: Cooking Up the Weekend Spirit Every Day: A Cookbook ." Cheatham shared three courses from the book which were inspired by her own family's Sunday suppers.

The cookbook features over 100 recipes and offers home cooks easy ways to recreate the dishes to which she applies her classic French training and years of experience in the highest regarded Michelin-starred kitchens like the ones at Le Bernardin and Red Rooster.

From pork roast crusted with pecans and charred okra roasted with tomatoes, to skirt steak topped with a chimichurri of mustard greens, Cheatham's expansive recipes also give upgrades to some staple recipes like roasted chicken.

PHOTO: Chef Adrienne Cheatham's debut cookbook, "Sunday Best."
Chef Adrienne Cheatham's debut cookbook, "Sunday Best."
Penguin Random House

Check out three of her full recipes below to try your hand at "Sunday Best" meals at home (quotes are excerpts from Cheatham's book written alongside the recipes):

Collard Green Salad with Sesame Vinaigrette

"Forget kale—raw collard greens kick ass! They have a higher nutritional value, if you don’t cook the life out of them, and they pick up flavor really well. They’re not even that bitter, especially if you slice them thin, massage them with a bit of oil and acid, and dress them with an amazing vinaigrette."

Serves: 2 to 4

Ingredients

2 tablespoons sesame seeds (white, black, or mixed)

1 pound collard greens

1 small shallot, halved lengthwise and thinly sliced

¼ teaspoon kosher salt

2 tablespoons rice vinegar

2 tablespoons soy sauce

½ teaspoon ground white pepper (black is fine too)

½ teaspoon sugar

¼ teaspoon dry mustard

1 tablespoon white miso paste

2 tablespoons toasted sesame oil

Directions

Heat a small sauté pan over medium-low heat. Put the sesame seeds in the dry pan and toast, tossing occasionally, until fragrant, 2 to 3 minutes. Set aside in a small bowl to cool.

Cut the collard greens in half lengthwise and remove the thick center ribs. Stack 4 or 5 of the halved leaves at a time and slice crosswise into ribbons about ¼ inch thick. (The ribbons don’t have to be perfectly uniform.) Place the ribbons in a large bowl and add the shallot and salt, tossing to distribute.

In a small bowl, combine the rice vinegar, soy sauce, pepper, sugar, dry mustard, miso, and 2 teaspoons of water. Using a fork or the back of a spoon, mash the miso paste, stirring to dissolve it. Whisk in the sesame oil, then pour the dressing over the collards and toss well—like, really get in there. Go on and use your hands to massage it in.

Sprinkle the toasted sesame seeds over the greens and let sit for at least 10 minutes before serving. The salad can also be made a few hours ahead and chilled until ready to serve!

Before serving, toss again and transfer to a pretty bowl.

Mississippi Pot Roast

PHOTO: Adrienne Cheatham's Mississippi pot roast.
Adrienne Cheatham's Mississippi pot roast.
ABC News

"Italians were recruited to work in the South after slavery was outlawed; ships would departfrom Southern Italy three times a month for New Orleans, bringing immigrants over to work.Just as Italian immigrants had a big influence on New Orleans cuisine (the lower French Quarterwas once known as Little Palermo), they’ve equally inspired food in southern Mississippi, including this roast .... It’s cooked down with trinity mirepoix as well as tomatoes, red wine,and plenty of herbs, such asoregano, basil, and thyme. But the real signature addition ispiquant pepperoncini, which add a welcome hit of acid to an otherwise deeply savory dish."

Ingredients

1 boneless beef chuck roast (about 4 pounds)

1 tablespoon kosher salt, plus more for seasoning

2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper

2 tablespoons vegetable oil

2 tablespoons olive oil

4 large garlic cloves, halved

3 medium yellow onions, chopped

1 medium carrot, quartered lengthwise and cut into half-inch slices

2 celery stalks, sliced

1 small green bell pepper, seeded and chopped

2 tablespoons tomato paste

1 cup dry red wine

5 plum tomatoes, seeded and chopped (or 1½ cups drained canned plum tomatoes)

5 sprigs of thyme

1 teaspoon dried oregano

1 teaspoon dried basil

1 dried bay leaf

2 cups unsaltedbeef stock

6 to 8 whole pepperoncini, according to taste

2 tablespoons Wondra or all-purpose flour

1 tablespoon roughly chopped fresh parsley, for garnish.

Directions

Heat a large Dutch oven or other heavy-bottomed pot over medium-high heat. Sprinkle the beef all over with the salt and pepper.

Put the vegetable oil in the Dutch oven and sear the meat on all sides until well browned, 7 to 8 minutes per side. Remove the meat to a plate.

Reduce the heat to medium. Use a paper towel, held with tongs, to carefully sop up the remaining oil in the pot, then add the olive oil. Add the garlic, onions, carrot, celery, and bell pepper and season with a couple of pinches of salt. Cook, stirring occasionally, until lightly browned, 6 to 8 minutes. Stir in the tomato paste, followed by the red wine, tomatoes, thyme, oregano, basil, and bay leaf. Stir everything together, scraping the bottom of the pot to release any browned bits, and bring to a boil.

Return the seared roast to the pot, pour in the stock, and add the pepperoncini. Add a pinch of salt and give the pan a little shake to help everything get settled. Bring back to a boil. Cover tightly with a lid, then reduce the heat to low and cook, turning the roast occasionally, until the meat is super tender, about 3 hours.

The pot roast can be served immediately, but it is even better and easier to cut the next day after sitting overnight in the sauce. To serve, carefully remove the meat to a large cutting board. Bring the sauce to a low boil over medium heat. Dissolve the flour in 3 tablespoons of roomtemperature water and stir the slurry into the sauce. Simmer, stirring occasionally, until thickened, 5 to 7 minutes. Taste and adjust the seasoning.

Using a sharp knife, slice the meat into ½-inch slices and place them on a serving platter. Spoon the gravy over the top and garnish with the parsley.

Yuzu Banana Pudding

PHOTO: Adrienne Cheatham's yuzu banana pudding.
Adrienne Cheatham's yuzu banana pudding.
Melissa Hom, Penguin Random House

"I debuted this dessert on the finale of 'Top Chef' to really drive home my culinary point ofview. Needless to say, banana pudding is a big deal in the African American community,and omnipresent at family functions and gatherings. I devised this recipe to honor that, while incorporating the classic techniques and global influences I’ve acquired throughout my career. Because that’s what 'Sunday Best' is about—finding ways to elevate and celebrate every moment and every dish."

Serves: 8 to 10

Ingredients

1 quart whole milk

1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract (if you have a scraped vanilla bean pod, use that instead!)

4 egg yolks (save the whites for meringue!), at room temperature

1½ cups (300g) sugar

¼ cup (35g) cornstarch

½ teaspoon kosher salt

½ teaspoon ground ginger

4 tablespoons (½ stick) unsalted butter, cut into pieces

½ cup no-sodium bottled yuzu juice (juice of 1 lemon works in a pinch)

1 (11-ounce) box Nilla wafers (shortbread cookies or crushed ice cream cones work too)

3 just-ripe bananas (very-ripe bananas will turn brown too quickly)

Directions

Heat the milk and vanilla in a medium saucepan over medium-low heat until bubbles just begin to form at the edges, about 5 minutes.

In a large bowl, whisk the egg yolks, sugar, cornstarch, and salt until smooth and lump-free. Gradually whisk ½ cup of the hot milk into the egg yolk mixture to bring the temperature up (this is called “tempering”; it ensures the shock of the heat doesn’t curdle and cook the yolks).

Whisk the yolk mixture back into the pot. Raise the heat to medium and cook, whisking constantly and making sure to scrape the bottom and edges of the pot, until the custard is thick and smooth, 10 to 12 minutes. Remove the pot from the heat and stir in the ginger, butter, and yuzu juice until fully incorporated. Allow to cool for about 2 minutes, then press a piece of plastic wrap directly onto the surface of the custard.

In an 8-inch square baking dish, arrange an even layer of Nilla wafers. Lightly crush a few wafers and sprinkle the pieces over the whole wafers, filling in the gaps.

Peel the bananas and slice them about ¼-inch thick. Layer the banana slices over the wafers. Spoon half of the warm custard on top of the banana slices and smooth the top with a spatula, pressing gently to force the custard into the nooks between the bananas.

Reserving 6 to 8 wafers for the top, repeat the layering with wafer cookies, banana slices, and the remaining custard. Break up the reserved wafers and sprinkle over the top. Cover with plastic wrap pressed directly on the surface and chill for at least 2 hours before serving.

Editor's note: Recipes and excerpts lightly edited from book's copy.

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