Holiday Tapas

Who hasn’t been transported to their grandmother’s kitchen by the smell of pumpkin pie baking, or taken on a trip down memory lane by the aromas of turkey roasting and sage and sausage stuffing?

For our luxury look at the foods of the season, we asked Sean Priester, executive chef at Top Of Waikiki to tempt our palates with a taste of the holidays – tapas style.

What he created is a new twist on some old traditions, drawing inspiration from his southern childhood, culinary travels and fresh produce.

At HILuxury this holiday, pumpkin pie becomes a sweet crème brulee, topped with rustic apple sauce, fresh cream and candied walnuts; stuffing is served in miniature bites with cranberries and topped with tiny orange slivers. Not for us a plate of humble mashed potatoes, we offer instead a sweet potato hash tossed with raisins and topped with pineapple mint sour cream raita. Our bird is tea-smoked free-range duck with foie gras, a perfect pairing with bite-sized butter poached lobster pieces.

It’s the perfect pupu platter and one that provides a luxurious taste of the holidays.

Recipe for the Pumpkin Crème Brulee is listed below. For all other recipes, please visit our website www.

Pumpkin Crème Brulee With Homemade Apple Sauce, Whipped Cream And Cardamom Candied Walnuts


* 4 cups cream, 36 percent heavy

* 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

* 3 cups pumpkin puree

* 1 teaspoon cinnamon, ground

* 1 teaspoon allspice, ground

* 1 1/2 cups pasteurized egg yolks

* 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar

Cook the cream, vanilla extract, pumpkin puree and spices in a heavy-bottomed pan to 155 degrees. Meanwhile, whisk together the egg yolks and sugar. When the

cream mixture reaches temperature, temper the egg/sugar mixture, adding 2 to 3 cups at a time until the tempering process has been completed. Whisk thoroughly, completely blending the batter ingredients together. Transfer, cool, label and refrigerate for use.

Preheat oven to 300 degrees. Pour 6 fluid ounces of the batter into an appropriate-sized bowl. Place on a sheetpan. Add water, creating a water bath around the bowl. Cook for 30 minutes. Rotate oven racks and turn pan around. Cook an additional 15-20 minutes until the batter has set. Remove from oven and discard water. Refrigerate for service.

Hiluxury Tapas:

Created by Chef Sean Priester, Executive Chef Top of Waikiki Restaurant Honolulu

(on right side of plate)

Pumpkin Cream Brulee with Rustic Apple Sauce, Whipped Cream and Cardamom Candied Walnuts

(from bottom to top)

Brown Sugar Cinnamon Sweet Potato-Raisin Hash with Pineapple Mint Sour Cream Raita

Vanilla Butter Poached Lobster

Herb Stuffing Timbale with Cranberry Jam

Tea-Smoked Free Range Duck with Sonoma Foie Gras and Apple Compote

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