top of page

Second Serving of Recipes

Chef Thiago Quir

Returns with a 

Photo Mar 26 2022, 7 08 55 PM (1).jpg

CKW LUXE featured amazing recipes by Chef Thiago Quir in our eighth anniversary edition. We and our readers were so delighted with them that we have invited him back for a second course. Please enjoy a second helping of mouth-watering recipes from Chef Quir, owner of Robusto Food House and Robusto Artisan Crafts. With Robusto Food House, Chef Quir caters private dinners and conducts entertaining hands-on cooking classes. With Robusto Artisan Crafts, he produces his own line of handmade infused olive oils and unique salt combinations. 

Chef Quir is also serving up extraordinary pre-made Beef Wellington that can be ordered online at Wellington’s of Houston, The service has been offered since 2020 and has met with a tremendous response. Cooked the way the customer likes it, the dish is made-to-order and available in two sizes: full will serve five to eight people and half will serve up to four people. Always accommodating, Chef Quir has included the recipe for the delectable treat in this batch of recipes for our readers to try at home. 

Smoked Caprese Salad with Blackberry Balsamic Reduction Sauce

For the sauce:
2 small boxes of fresh blackberries (about 1 pound)
3-4 tablespoons of brown sugar (add more if you want more sweetness)
1 cup of balsamic vinegar
3-4 basil leaves

Directions:Start with a cold pan. Add blackberries (cut in halves), balsamic vinegar, basil leaves, and brown sugar and bring to a boil.As soon the mixture is boiling, remove the basil leaves, lower heat to a simmer, and reduce the sauce to half.If needed, add more sugar to suit your taste and serve cold.


For the Caprese:

2-3 large ripe tomatoes (preferably beef tomatoes)

Fresh mozzarella cheese

 Salt and pepper 

Cut tomatoes into half-inch (1.5-cm) slices or the same size as the mozzarella slices.
If you are using a smoke gun, add your tomato slices to a container and smoke it.
If you are using a regular smoker, smoke the tomato at low heat for five to 15 minutes before slicing it.
Build your salad by adding one slice of tomato, one slice of cheese, salt and pepper, fresh basil, and blackberry sauce until you have rebuilt the entire tomato. Be sure to season between every layer.
Cold smoke again for five to 10 minutes if you want more smoke flavor.

Vegetarian Fried Polenta with Olives Tapenade and Confit Tomatoes

Polenta Cakes:
2 quarts vegetable broth
2 cups ground yellow cornmeal coarsely ground
1 cup grated parmesan cheese plus extra for serving
1 ½ teaspoons black pepper
1 teaspoon kosher salt
2 tablespoons olive oil

Heat broth in a large pot or Dutch oven over medium-high heat on the stovetop and grease a 9x13-inch baking dish with parchment paper.

When the broth starts to boil, slowly pour in the cornmeal while whisking continuously until it is completely combined and starts to thicken.

Reduce the heat to low and let the polenta cook, stirring every one to two minutes, for a total of 45 minutes, until cornmeal is completely soft and creamy.

Remove the pot from the heat and stir in the parmesan cheese, pepper, and salt.

Pour the mixture into the prepared baking dish and lay a piece of plastic wrap directly on the polenta. Place in the refrigerator to chill for at least two hours until completely cooled. When the polenta is completely chilled, using a cookie cutter, glass, or knife, cut into smaller circles or squares. 

Heat a non-stick pan over medium heat on the stovetop and add olive oil. Working with two to three pieces at a time, cook polenta cakes in the pan for two to three minutes on each side till browned and lightly crispy.

Confit Tomatoes:
2½ pounds cherry tomatoes or grape tomatoes
1 medium head of garlic, sliced in half horizontally so garlic cloves are exposed
1½ teaspoons finely grated lemon zest (optional but adds a really nice flavor to the confit)
3 cups extra virgin olive oil, plus more if needed
Salt and black pepper to taste
Handful of fresh herbs of choice; I used fresh thyme, rosemary, and basil

Preheat oven to 250°F.

Place cherry tomatoes in a single layer in baking dish. Nestle the garlic between the tomatoes. 

Pour olive oil into the dish, so it comes about halfway up the sides of the tomatoes. Season generously with salt and pepper, and the lemon zest, and add the fresh herbs to the baking dish.

Bake/slow roast, uncovered, for one and a half to two hours (cooking time will depend on the size of the cherry tomatoes). Don’t cook the tomatoes until they’ve fully burst; they should be soft, but not falling apart.

Cool tomatoes in the pan until they are room temperature, then place in airtight containers or jars. Pour enough of the cooking oil over the tomatoes to submerge them.

Olives Tapenade:
1 1/2 cups pitted, brine-cured olives drained
3 tablespoons capers rinsed 
1 1/2 tablespoons parsley coarsely chopped
3 cloves garlic roasted 
3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice (from two lemons)
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1/4 cup olive oil


In a food processor, combine olives, capers, parsley, garlic, lemon juice, and one quarter of a teaspoon of pepper. Pulse two to three times until coarsely chopped.

Season to taste with olive oil, salt, and pepper and serve at room temperature.

Beef Wellington

1 (2-pound) center-cut beef tenderloin (aka chateaubriand steak), detailed trimmed
Kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper
Avocado oil, for searing
2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
1 1/2 pounds mixed mushrooms, finely chopped
1 shallot, roughly chopped
Leaves from 1 thyme sprig
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
12 thin slices prosciutto
All-purpose flour, for dusting
14-ounce frozen puff pastry, thawed
1 large egg, beaten
Flaky salt, for sprinkling



Step One
Using kitchen twine, tie tenderloin in four places. Season generously with salt and pepper.


Step Two
Over high heat, coat bottom of a heavy skillet with avocado oil. Once pan is nearly smoking, sear tenderloin until well browned on all sides, including the ends, about two minutes per side (12 minutes total). Transfer to a plate. When cool enough to handle, snip off twine and coat all sides with mustard. Let cool in fridge.

Step Three
Meanwhile, make Duxelles: chop mushrooms, shallots, and thyme until finely chopped.


Step Four
To skillet, add butter and melt over medium heat. Add mushroom mixture and cook until liquid has evaporated, about 25 minutes. Season with salt, pepper and Ponzu sauce, then let cool in fridge.


Step Five
Place plastic wrap down on a work surface, overlapping, so that it’s twice the length and width of the tenderloin. Arrange the prosciutto on the plastic wrap into a rectangle that’s big enough to cover the whole tenderloin. Spread the Duxelles evenly and thinly over the prosciutto.

Step Six
Season tenderloin, then place it at the bottom of the prosciutto. Roll meat into prosciutto-mushroom mixture, using plastic wrap to roll tightly. Tuck ends of prosciutto as you roll, then twist ends of plastic wrap tightly into a log and transfer to fridge to chill (this helps it maintain its shape).

Step Seven
Heat oven to 425°. Lightly flour work surface, then spread out puff pastry and roll it into a rectangle that will cover the tenderloin (just a little bigger than the prosciutto rectangle you just made). Remove tenderloin from plastic wrap and place at the bottom of the puff pastry. Brush the other three edges of the pastry with egg wash, then tightly roll beef into pastry.

Step Eight
Once the log is fully covered in puff pastry, trim any extra pastry, then crimp edges with a fork to seal well. Wrap roll in plastic wrap to get a really tight cylinder, then chill for 
20 minutes.

Step Nine
Remove plastic wrap, then transfer the roll to a foil-lined baking sheet. Brush with egg wash and sprinkle with flaky salt.

Step Ten
Bake until pastry is golden and the center registers 120°F for medium-rare, about 40 to 45 minutes. Let rest 10 minutes before carving and serving.


about attending the Opera Ball in the Vienna State Opera House. An annual Austrian society event, it is held on the Thursday before Ash Wednesday. A return trip to Vienna would be lovely, but I’m delighted to have been able to experience this cultural city, where so many brilliant composers, artists, and writers walked before us, with my friends.

bottom of page