Casino Cookbook – Hickory Pit

Delight dinner guests with a dish or two from the Hickory Pit menu within the Edgewater Casino. Executive Chef DeWayne Rose prepared four entrees that would dazzle at any dinner party, yet aren’t too difficult to make.
Rose grew up on a farm in Jamaica, where his love for food began with fresh produce readily available. He has been living in the states for nearly 30 years now, becoming a chef in 1995, and earning the title of executive chef beginning in 1998.
“I’ve worked as a chef, a food and beverage director, restaurant manager — I’ve done all of it, front and back,” Rose said. ”My passion is in the kitchen, I love food and I love to eat.”
Rose has been at the Colorado Belle and Edgewater on and off for 13 years. He left for a few years to serve as executive chef at the Palms Casino Resort in Las Vegas, but returned to his familiar post in Laughlin.
“Laughlin is a unique town and people here really appreciate a good meal,” Rose said. “We try to cater to all the different types of visitors.”
Rose has won top honors with the Belle and Edgewater at Laughlin’s annual Chef’s Food Fest five times, including the last three years in a row. He is excited to get back to his roots for this year’s theme “Flavors of the Islands.” Get a taste of Rose’s Jamaican influence at the upcoming event June 6.
His priority is creating food that is appealing to the stomach and the eye, and making sure a guest never leaves hungry. He is a master at taking ordinary dishes and adding his flavor to make them extraordinary.
“We are always looking at ways to add those wow factors to a dish that our customers like,” Rose said. “And it doesn’t have to be an expensive item. A skilled chef can take pedestrian food or comfort food and make it great.”
Rose shared some of those skills with us, so readers can make a simple yet extraordinary dish right at home.

Scallops
Note: There are different kinds of scallops — diver’s scallops (more expensive), farm-raised and base scallops, which are smaller and sweeter (Rose’s favorite).
– Start with a hot skillet and clarified butter, which will give a nice carmelized sear on the scallops.
– Season the scallops with a fish foundation seasoning — salt, white pepper, onion powder and granulated garlic.
– Cook scallops for about two minutes on each side.
– Next you must make the sauce. Rose made a balsamic reduction by taking balsamic vinegar and sugar, then adding a little butter in a hot pan and stirring constantly for about two minutes, or until syrupy. You don’t want to cook it too long or it will burn.
– Plate the scallops with thinly sliced sweet potato chips. You can buy the chips or make them by cutting thin slices of potato and baking them in the oven. Place the scallops on top of the chips and pour the sauce over top.
– Next, Rose squirted a basil sauce around the scallops. To make the basil sauce, fry a generous handful of basil and parsley for just a minute, then puree the greens with olive oil and run it through a coffee filter. You will have a nice flavorful bright green oil to decorate the plate.
– Finish the dish with a squirt of sriracha sauce and a pinch of basil.

Halibut
Note: Halibut is a meaty bottom feeder white fish. Halibut should be cooked all the way through, but left flaky and juicy.
– Season the halibut filet with the same foundation seasoning used for the scallops.
– Get a nice hot pan (350 degrees or more) to put a sear on the fish, and pour in a mix of olive oil and canola oil and cook the halibut for two minutes on each side.
– Next, build your flavor profile with shallots (gives the aroma of garlic and onion) and add ¼ cup of white wine.
– Then stick the fish in the oven at 400 degrees for three-four minutes to finish cooking.
– While the halibut is in the oven, make your side — Creole veggies. Rose uses the trinity (onion, celery and pepper), along with tomatoes and corn. Melt bacon fat in a large frying pan. Once the pan is smoking hot, add the vegetables, but save the corn for later. Season them with Cajun seasoning, stir in a small amount of tomato paste and then add the corn. Total cook time should be about 10 minutes.
– In a separate pan, Rose seared a few stocks of asparagus for the side.
– Pour the Creole veggies into the middle of the plate and use three stocks of asparagus to make a triangle around the veggies. Then place the halibut on top and add a cornbread muffin on the side (a box cornbread mix is fine). A pinch of mixed greens on top and a squirt of the basil sauce finishes the dish, with a lemon on the side.

Rib Eye Steak
– Take a 16-ounce rib eye and rub in a salt and black pepper blend to season the raw steak. Recommendation: Season the meat and let it sit for an hour in the fridge before cooking.
– Pan sear the meat, about three minutes each side, and massage some butter into it as it is cooking. Then throw in some thyme for a subtle flavor and hit it with a shot of cognac (be prepared for a big flame at first).
– Finish cooking the steak in the oven at 400 degrees for three-four minutes (for medium rare), and plate the steak with a scoop of red mashed potatoes. Prepare the potatoes ahead of time by boiling them and mashing with butter, cream, salt and pepper.
– Add some cooked asparagus on the side and a squirt of basil sauce.

Shrimp Scampi
– Start by boiling linguine noodles in a large pot for about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.
– While the pasta is boiling, take five colossal shrimp and sauté over high heat for two-three minutes on each side, then add a bit of white wine and sundried tomatoes.
– To make the scampi sauce, emulsify a mixture of garlic, chicken stock, butter, green onions and basil.
– Saute spinach with some melted butter for just a minute and add to the mixture, along with the pasta. Place the shrimp on top and sprinkle with shredded parmesan cheese and the basil sauce.