Douglas Keane thinks the best thing about being a chef is "making people happy." And he's very good at it.
Growing up in Michigan, Keane loved his mother's cooking. He enjoyed working in restaurants in high school and bounced from coast to coast, spending time in Japan on his way up the culinary ladder. After a series of honors and awards and a winning appearance on Bravo TV's "Top Chef Masters," he now presides over two highly respected California restaurants: Healdsburg Bar and Grill and the newly opened Two Birds One Stone.
Here are some of Keane's signature dishes:
Grilled rib eye
1 thick cut (1 1/2 - 2 inches) prime rib eye steak
1 1/2 teaspoon salt
1 clove garlic
1. Season steak on both sides. Cook on a very high heat grill for three minutes on both sides to get a nice deep, brown color.
2. Turn down the heat to medium and cook for an additional five minutes on each side (approximate times). If using a thermometer, allow middle of steak to reach 115 degrees Fahrenheit.
3. Pull steak off of grill and let rest on a plate or resting rack near grill (or in a warm place). Allow the steak to rest -- this will be the most important step for a perfectly cooked steak -- for at least 15 minutes and rub the clove of garlic on it (all sides) while resting.
4. When ready to serve, place back on grill for one minute on each side, slice, sprinkle with salt and serve on a platter with grilled potatoes.
2 large Russet potatoes cut crosswise into 1/4 inch discs
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme
1. Mix potatoes, oil, salt and thyme in a bowl.
2. On medium heat on the grill -- put these on when you turn the grill to medium for the steak -- cook the potatoes for approximately 10 to 12 minutes on each side, until they feel soft. Feel free turn the heat down to low if they start to get too dark. They should finish right around the time the steak is done resting.
3. Serve on the same platter as the sliced grilled steak.
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1 tablespoons Dijon mustard
1 clove garlic and 1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
1 tablespoon chopped chives
1. Smash garlic on a cutting board with the flat side of the knife. Sprinkle the salt on top of the smashed clove.
2. With your knife, pull the garlic and salt across your cutting board a few times to make a paste. Chop the paste to make it super fine.
3. Add mayonnaise, mustard, garlic paste and lemon juice to a small bowl and mix together. Spoon into small serving dish. Sprinkle chopped chives on top and serve with potatoes.
1 1/4 cups chopped cucumber (or 1 cup small cucumber)
1/2 cup red onion sliced thin (or 1/4 of a small red onion)
1 container (dry pint 1 or 1/2 cups) of cherry tomatoes, halved
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup crumbled feta cheese
1/4 cup chopped (pitted) Kalamata olives
1/4 cup sliced pickled pepperoncini's
1 1/2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
3 1/2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 pita bread (can substitute any bread) cut into small pieces
1/2 teaspoon salt (plus a pinch for the pita)
1. Wash and chop cucumber into small chunks. Slice red onion into thin slices. Slice cherry tomatoes in half.
2. In a bowl mix cucumber, onion, tomatoes, salt, feta, olives, pepperoncini, red wine vinegar and two teaspoons of extra virgin olive oil and salt. Mix well.
3. In a small-medium saute pan on medium heat, add remaining 1 1/2 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil. When oil is warm, add pita bread in oil to toast and warm for approximately one minute. Lightly season with a pinch of salt.
4. Pour crispy warm pita and remaining oil from pan directly onto salad. Toss everything with a spoon and serve immediately.
Creamed corn with pickled ginger and cilantro
1 cup fresh creamed corn (approximately three cobs)
1 tablespoon butter
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 scallion sliced thin
1/4 lime (wedge)
1 tablespoon water (optional)
1 teaspoon pickled ginger, chopped
1 tablespoon chopped cilantro
1. Clean corn cobs. With the cob in your hand, run a pairing knife down each row of corn kernels and split them in half. Scrape the split kernels off the cob directly into a bowl. Make sure to scrape as much of the milk as you can.
2. Slice scallion and set aside and cut lime into wedges and set aside.
3. In a small sauce pan, add the corn, butter and salt on low to medium heat for one to two minutes maximum. Add scallions and pickled ginger and stir. If corn mixture seems a little thick due to the corn having more starch, than feel free to add water to thin out.
4. Put the corn mixture into the food processor to cream the corn.
5. Pour warm mixture into serving bowl and squeeze fresh lime. Add chopped cilantro on top.
Grilled peaches with minted yogurt
2 ripe peaches, cut in half, stone removed
3 tablespoons honey
juice of one lime
pinch of salt
1. Mix honey, lime juice and salt together in a small bowl. Brush a little of the mixture onto the peaches (flesh side).
2. On a low heat, place the flesh directly on the grill. Cook for two minutes and flip to the other side. The peaches should have a little char or grill marks.
3. Let peaches sit on skin side on the grill for two minutes and brush the flesh side with more of the lime syrup.
4. Pull peaches off the grill and let sit on a plate at room temperature until ready to serve. Can be made a day ahead of time and then pulled out of refrigerator a few hours before serving to allow to temper.
1 cup thick Greek style yogurt
2 tablespoons honey
1 tablespoon chopped fresh mint
pinch of salt
1. Mix all ingredients together in a bowl. Can be done a day or two ahead of time.
2. Divide into four portions and spoon into serving bowls.
3. SLice each opeach half into three wedges and arrange on top of yogurt.
4. Drizzle a little of the honey/lime juice on top and serve.
Enjoy your meal with a Hitachino Red Rice Ale Beer.