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SoBe Food & Wine Festival: Cecconi’s Miami Beach brunch event

Celebrity Food Network chef Giada De Laurentiis at Cecconi's Miami Beach.
Image by Manny Hernandez/Getty Images.

On Saturday, February 22nd, Cecconi's hosted an Italian dim sum-style Champagne brunch during SoBe Food & Wine Festival prepared and hosted by celebrity Food Network chef Giada De Laurentiis.

Set at the critically acclaimed Cecconi's Miami Beach, Giada and Executive Chef Sergio Sigala created a different kind of dim sum for all your sweet and savory brunch needs. Sigala's depth of experience, esteemed reputation and considerable talents made him the perfect fit for this afternoon soirée at Soho Beach House - a private members club, hotel and spa.

Rounding out the afternoon were decadent desserts by James Beard awardee, cookbook author and dessert extraordinaire Executive Pastry Chef Johnny Iuzzini. From small plates to big flavors, guests experienced an Italian feast second to none.

Giada - radiant in a green silk dress and patent leather wedges - and Sergio also stopped by each table to talk about each dish with the diners.

Giada De Laurentiis and Chef Sergio Sigala chose to share with our readers two recipe dishes below:

Fried Smashed Potatoes with Lemons (Recipe courtesy of Giada De Laurentiis)

Potatoes:
2 pounds baby or fingerling potatoes
¼ cup olive oil, plus extra as needed
3 cloves garlic, peeled and halved

Dressing:
3 tablespoons olive oil
3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme
Zest of 2 lemons

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

For the potatoes: Place the potatoes in an 8-quart stockpot with enough cold water to cover at least 2 inches. Bring the water to a boil and continue boiling until the potatoes are tender, about 20 to 25 minutes. Drain the potatoes in a colander and allow to dry for 5 minutes. Using the palm of your hand, gently press the potatoes until lightly smashed.

In a large, non-stick skillet, heat ¼ cup of oil over medium-high heat. Add the garlic and cook until fragrant and lightly brown, about 1 minute. Remove the garlic and discard. In batches, add the potatoes and cook, without stirring, for 5 minutes until the bottoms turn golden brown. Using the spatula, turn the potatoes over and cook, drizzling with oil, if needed, for 5 to 8 minutes until golden brown on the underside.

For the dressing: In a small bowl, whisk together 3 tablespoons of oil, lemon juice, parsley, thyme, and lemon zest. Season with salt and pepper, to taste.

Transfer the potatoes to a bowl and serve.

Yield: 4 servings
Prep Time: 8 minutes
Cook Time: 30 to 45 minutes
Inactive Prep time: 5 minutes

Creamy Polenta, Saute’ Mushrooms & Fontina Fonduta
4 cups water
Salt to taste
1 cup medium-grain yellow polenta
2 tablespoons butter
1 cup parmesan cheese

Method:
Bring the water to boil, add salt and the EVOO
Quickly whisk in the polenta flour until fully incorporated.
Lower the heat to a low simmer, cook for about 30 minutes, depending from the flour stirring occasionally
Taste for seasoning; keep the polenta warm, in low heat.
Sauté Mushrooms
6 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 pound oyster mushrooms, tough stems trimmed, large mushrooms halved
3/4 pound pioppini mushrooms,
1/2 pound chanterelle mushrooms, halved
1/2 pound enoki mushrooms
Salt and freshly ground pepper
1 large garlic clove, thinly sliced

Method:
Heat a large skillets over high heat.
Add 2 tablespoons of olive oil, and the garlic
Add the mushrooms to each skillet.
Season with salt and pepper and cook it until browned

Fontina Fonduta:
200 g Fontina cheese
1 cup heavy cream
30 g butter
2 shallots
Pepper

Method:
Cut the Fontina cheese in small cubes.
Melt the butter in a saucepan, add the shallots and cook in low heat until shallots is soft
Add the heavy cream and bring to boil
Remove from fire and ad the fontina, let the cheese melt
Taste for salt
With a hand mixer, blend the fontina until is smooth, keep warm, better in a bain marie.

Serve the hot polenta in a plate, topped with mushrooms, finish with fontina fondue and fresh chopped parsley.

More about Miami's best evets, please visit Lissette Rondon's blog: www.miamifashionspotlight.net

Contacts: miamifashionspotlight@hotmail.com

Twitter & Instagram: @miafashionspot