Hollywood's cutthroat acting scene can send even the strongest personalities running for the hills. That's precisely where aspiring actress Manouschka Guerrier ended up, combining her passion for acting with a hearty arsenal of Haitian-inspired recipes on the Food Network's "Private Chefs of Beverly Hills."
In Guerrier's family, Sunday dinners happened every night. "My grandmother and my mother cooked every single day," she says, describing meals heavy on rice and beans and incomplete without a meat of some sort. "The older I got, the more I started resenting having to eat rice and beans all the time," she says, resentment that quickly faded when she got to L.A. 14 year ago and found few, if any, Haitian restaurants to choose from.
Bringing the comforts of home -- Miami, Florida -- to her new digs on the West Coast would become Guerrier's primary goal, lending itself to a blog where Food Network producers spotted her culinary charms and serving as therapy (and extra cash) following a bad breakup and layoff from her job.
"I didn't want that part of my family's legacy to die out," she says, revealing an added incentive she discovered five years ago when she learned that her grandmother had attended one of Haiti's top culinary schools.
Single Serving, the blog which Guerrier says is designed to teach single people how to cook for themselves, not only opened the door for a spot on the "Private Chefs of Beverly Hills," but appearances on OWN Network's "My Own Time" and, most recently, a food styling gig on TV Guide Network's upcoming series "Hollywood Girl's Night."
In honor of another big Hollywood night -- the Academy Awards -- Manouschka serves up three movie-inspired dishes, a slight tweak to her regular Sunday routine, which she describes as a low-key rest-fest, replete with bottomless bloody Mary's and mimosas with friends.
Ingredients 3 pounds Manila clams (Littleneck are fine as well) 3 tablespoons butter 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil 4 ounce of thick cut prosciutto (found at deli counter), diced 3 garlic cloves, minced 1 cup chardonnay 1/2 teaspoon lemon zest 1/8 teaspoon crushed red pepper 1/8 teaspoon Herbes de Provence 1 tablespoon fresh thyme, chopped 1 tablespoon parsley, chopped Parmesan 1/2 lb Squid Ink Pasta 1/2 lb Spaghetti Directions How-To Scrub clams with a brush to remove sand. *Cook's Note: Discard opened, cracked clams or any heavy clams. They could be loaded with sand therefore are not edible* Heat olive oil in a cast iron pan over medium heat. Add prosciutto and cook for 5 minutes or until browned. Add garlic and red pepper and cook 2 minutes. Add wine, lemon zest, butter, herbes de Provence, parsley and thyme. Bring to a boil. Add clams and cover. Stir occasionally. Cook for 6 minutes or until clams open. Garnish with Parmesan. Serve as an appetizer in a bowl or serve as a main with pasta. Serves 6
Ingredients 2 bone-in center-cut pork loin chops (each about 1 inch thick) 3/4 cups fresh breadcrumbs made from crustless French bread 1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese 1/2 tablespoon dried rubbed sage 1/4 teaspoon Creole Seasoning 1/4 teaspoon Garlic Powder 1 large eggs 2 tablespoons all purpose flour Honey Bunch of Rosemary How-To Soak rosemary in honey. Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. Cut lime and clean chops under running water while squeezing the lime the lime juice onto each. Set aside on a dish and allow to dry. Mix breadcrumbs, cheese and sage in a dish. Whisk egg in a bowl. Place flour on plate; season with creole seasoning, garlic powder, salt and pepper. Coat pork chops on both sides with flour; shake off excess. Dip chops into eggs, then coat on both sides with breadcrumb mixture. Melt butter with oil in heavy cast-iron skillet over medium-high heat. Add pork chops to skillet and cook until golden brown, about 2 minutes per side. Transfer skillet with pork chops to oven. Bake until pork chops are crisp on the outside and meat thermometer inserted into pork registers 150 degrees F, about 20 minutes. Transfer pork chops to plates. Using the rosemary as a brush, dip it into the honey and drizzle over the chops. Garnish with lemon wedge. Grilled Apple 1 Apple, cored and sliced about 1/2 inch thick 1/4 cup Apple Cider 1 tablespoon honey 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger Juice of one Lemon Cooking spray How-To Combine ingredients in a medium sized bowl. Add apple slices; seal and marinate in refrigerator 1 to 2 hours, turning bag occasionally. Prepare grill. Remove apple from bowl, reserving marinade. Place apple slices on grill rack coated with cooking spray; grill 3 minutes on each side, turning and basting frequently with reserved marinade. Arrange apple slices on a platter; drizzle with any remaining marinade. Serves 2
Ingredients 2 cups vitamin D milk 2 cups heavy cream 2 cups sugar Prepared movie theatre flavored buttered popcorn 1 vanilla bean (scraped) 1/2 teaspoon butter extract 2 beaten eggs Caramel Fleur de Sel Sauce 8 tablespoons butter 2 cups packed brown sugar 1 cup half and half Pinch fleur de sel salt 1 tablespoon vanilla extract How-To In a heavy cast-iron pot, heat milk, cream, and one cup sugar in a saucepan. Cover top of cream mixture completely with popcorn. When popcorn starts to melt into mixture, sprinkle some more popcorn on top. When the mixture starts to bubble, remove from heat and set aside for 30 minutes so the popcorn infuses its flavor into the cream mixture. Strain popcorn mixture through cheesecloth or a mesh strainer and squeeze the mushy popcorn flavor back into the cream mixture. In a seperate bowl, whisk together the one cup sugar, vanilla bean, butter extract and eggs. Pour the cream mix into the egg mix and add back to pot. Cook until cream thickens on medium-low heat (Do not leave unattended. You don't want to over cook the eggs because it will leave an egg flavor.) Scrape vanilla beans off of the pot and keep stirring all the flavors together. If vanilla beans clump up just break apart inside the pot. When mixture thickens, remove from heat. Let cool completely. Churn in an ice cream maker according to manufacturer's instructions or place in a metal bowl or pot. Take bucket and put into freezer for at least 5 hours. To prepare the Fleur De Sel Caramel sauce, mix butter, brown sugar, half and half and salt in a saucepan over medium-low heat. Cook while stirring or whisking gently for 10 minutes allowing for the brown sugar to dissolve and for the mixture to thicken. Add vanilla and cook until it thickens further. Turn off heat and pour sauce into whatever you plan to serve it in. Serves 6