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Holiday Recipes and Entertaining Tips from The Diplomat Beach Resort’s Signature Restaurants

If you’re looking to visit South Florida during the holidays, stop by The Diplomat Beach Resort and check out some of their fantastic restaurants, including Geoffrey’s Coastal American restaurant, Point Royal, Michael Schulson’s Japanese Izakaya restaurant, Monkitail, and Rashaad’s Luxury Boutique Steakhouse, Diplomat Prime. Geoffrey also shares below his best entertaining tips for the holiday season as well as favorite South Florida locations to visit. 
 
Point Royal has received several high profile awards including Hottest Restaurants in Fort Lauderdale by EATER Miami while Monkitail has been recognized by USA Today as the #1 Best Hotel Restaurant.
 
Holiday Recipes
 
Geoffrey Zakarian: Point Royal’s Pumpkin Pie
Yields: 6 to 8 servings
Ingredients
• 1 (8-ounce) cream cheese (softened)
• 2 cups canned pumpkin (mashed)
• 1 cup sugar
• ¼ teaspoon salt
• 1 egg (plus 2 egg yolks, slightly beaten)
• 1 cup half-and-half
• ¼ cup melted butter
• 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
• ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
• ¼ teaspoon ground ginger (optional)
• 1 piece pre-made pie dough
• 1 piece pre-made pie dough
• Add whipped cream (for topping)
Directions
1. Place 1 piece of pre-made pie dough down into a (9-inch) pie pan and press down along the bottom and all sides.
2. Put the pie shell back into the freezer for 1 hour to firm up prebaked.
3. For the filling, in a large mixing bowl, beat the cream cheese with a hand mixer.
4. Add the pumpkin and beat until combined. Add the sugar and salt, and beat until combined.
5. Add the eggs mixed with the yolks, half-and-half, and melted butter, and beat until combined.
6. Finally, add the vanilla, cinnamon, and ginger, if using, and beat until incorporated.
7. Pour the filling into the warm prepared piecrust and bake for 50 minutes at 350, or until the center is set.
 
Rashaad Abdool: Diplomat Prime’s Green Beans with Creamy Mushrooms and Crispy Shallots
 Ingredients
• 5 lbs. green beans, ends trimmed
• 2 oz unsalted butter
Sauce
• 3lbs. crimini mushrooms, run through a food processor
• 10oz shallots, minced
• 3oz garlic, minced
• 1 bunch thyme, leaves only
• 1 bottle brandy (750ml)
• 48oz heavy cream
• Kosher salt and black pepper to taste
• 3oz EVOO
Crispy Shallots
• 1lbs shallots, shaved thin on a mandolin
• 3 cups buttermilk
• 4gr kosher salt
• 3gr black pepper
• 3gr smoked paprika
• 4 cups AP flour
 Directions
1. Start by blanching the green beans. Get a pot of water and season liberally with salt. Once it’s at a rolling boil, add the green beans and cook for about 2-3 minutes.
2. Remove and shock in an ice water bath. Once they are cooled, cut on a bias and reserve.
3. For the sauce, heat up the olive oil and add the mushrooms. Cook them down for about 15 minutes on medium heat. Once they are golden, add the shallots, garlic and thyme. Cook for an additional 5 minutes.
4. Deglaze with the bottle of brandy. Cook the brandy down until it is almost reduced completely. Then add the heavy cream.
5. Once it is boiling turn the heat down to medium and let it reduce by half. The sauce will thicken up.
6. For the crispy shallots, soak the shallots in the buttermilk for at least an hour. Season the flour with the remaining ingredients. Strain the shallots out and dredge them in the flour mix. Fry at 350 for 1-2 minutes or until golden brown.
7. To assemble the dish, take the green beans and sauté them with the butter until warmed through and season lightly with salt and pepper. Place them into a nice serving bowl. Ladle the mushroom sauce over the beans and top with the crispy shallots.
 
Geoffrey Zakarian’s Favorite Holiday Entertaining Tips
• It is always best to plan drinks and cocktails ahead of your dinner or event. I always suggest not having an open bar - it gives guests too many options, which is not good. Plan and curate details in advance carefully so your guests have an incredible experience from arrival to departure.
 
Additional places to visit in South Florida during the holidays:
• Geoffrey Zakarian always enjoys visiting the Lincoln Road during his time in South Florida. It’s great for outdoor shopping and has tons of dining options as well.
• During his visits to South Florida, Geoffrey also loves to dine at the iconic Joe’s Stone Crab. This restaurant is a landmark location in Miami and is the perfect place to bring the family for a delicious holiday meal.