Area chefs share favorite holiday recipes
Egg Nog Cheesecake
Yutzler, Delaware Plaza Wine and Liquor Co.
Plaza, Delmar, 439-4361
(8 oz. each) cream cheese, at room temperature.
all purpose flour
Evan Williams Eggnog (available at Delaware Plaza Wine and
(8 oz.) sour cream
(6 oz.) premium white-chocolate baking bars pinch ground nutmeg
oven to 350 degrees. Crust: Crush crackers in plastic bag.
Add sugar, ginger, nutmeg and cinnamon. Add butter; knead
bag to blend. Press over bottom on 9-inch round spring form
pan. Bake crust in 350-degree oven for 10 minutes, then cool
on wire rack. Filling: Beat cream cheese in bowl until smooth.
Mix sugar, flour, nutmeg, cinnamon and cloves in small bowl.
Add to cream cheese; beat until smooth. Beat in egg. Beat
in eggnog in slow stream. Beat in vanilla. Pour into spring-form
pan. Tap pan lightly to release air bubbles. Bake in 350-degree
oven for one hour. Remove from oven; spread with sour cream.
Bake for five more minutes. Cool in pan on rack until cool
to the touch. Refrigerate until serving. Optional garnish:
Melt chocolate in bowl over saucepan of simmering water. Add
nutmeg. Line 8x4x3-inch loaf pan with foil. Pour chocolate
into pan, spreading evenly; cool until firm. Lift out of pan.
Make curls, using vegetable peeler. Arrange on top of cake.
Reserve remaining “bar” for snacking. Serves 10-12.
O’Brien, O’Brien’s at the Garden Grill
Ave, Albany, 462-0571
of oysters (fresh, shucked if available)
of Frank’s hot sauce
of light cream
oysters; reserve oyster liquor. Melt two tsp. of butter in
a heavy sauce pan. Add pepper, salt and Franks hot sauce.
Add reserved liquor to pan; stir to blend well. Add oysters;
cook only until edges begin to curl (approx. 3-5 minutes).
Stir in milk and cream, bring to boil, but do not boil. Spoon
soup into hot bowls. Dot each serving with butter. Garnish
with a healthy dash of paprika and sprig of parsley. Serve
with oyster crackers or French bread garlic toast.
Klauber, Debbie’s Kitchen
Ave., Albany, 463-3829
all-vegetable pie shells
4 ½ cups
1 ½ cups
1 ½ cups
oven to 425 degrees. In a large mixing bowl, add all of your
ingredients and mix. So far, easy as pie, right? Pour your
mixture into each pie shell. Bake for the first 10-12 minutes
in a 425-degree oven then turn the temperature down to 350-degrees
and continue baking for about 30-40 minutes. Take your pies
out and cool to room temperature before serving. Enjoy and
think of me! Serves up to 16, makes two 10-inch pies.
Rappini and Cavatelli
Chip Morrison, El Divino Lounge and Restaurant
Chrisler Ave., Schenectady, 374-7711
loose hot sausage
cup chicken stock
crushed red pepper
cracked black pepper
pot of boiling salted water, blanch rappini until stalks are
tender, then shock in cold water and drain all water thoroughly.
Give the rappini a loose chop. In a sauté pan, brown sausage
in a half cup of olive oil, add garlic, crushed red pepper,
kosher salt, cracked black pepper. When the garlic gets a
little color, add chopped rappini and chicken stock and simmer
lightly. In a different pot cook cavatelli. Drain, add to
pan and add Romano cheese; toss and serve. Serves 2.
Thurin, Londonderry Café
Plaza, Albany, 489-4288
of chopped garlic
of salt and pepper
all vegetables. Add water and bring to boil in a large pot.
Reduce heat to a simmer. Add seasonings and pumpkin. Cook
until carrots are tender.
Shaker Road, Loudonville, 12211
Duncan Hines mix
seeded and ground
large mixing bowl, mix ricotta, cake mix, sugar, oil, lemon
and eggs, and beat in water until creamy. In a buttered pan,
add mix. Oven at 350 degrees for an hour and a half. Let cool
and refrigerate over night. Let sit one day and cut into small
squares and serve. Delicious! Serves 20.
N. Futia, Justin’s
Street, Albany, 436-7008, www.justinsonlark.com
eggs, room temperature
zest of one lemon
poppy seeds (ground in coffee grinder ¼ cup at a time)
oven to 350 degrees. Center rack. Butter and flour a 9 to
9 ½ inch bundt pan. Beat batter on high until smooth, about
one minute. On low, beat in confectioners’ sugar. Return to
high and beat until mixture is very pale and light, about
three minutes. One at a time, add the eggs, then the lemon
zest. Sift flour, baking powder, and salt. Stir in poppy seeds.
Mix the milk, rum and vanilla in separate bowl. Stir in half
the flour mixture, then half the milk, then repeat. Spread
evenly in the pan. Bake until toothpick inserted in the center
of cake comes out clean, 50 to 60 minutes. Serves 8-10.
Xeo Tom (Crispy Crepe With Shrimp)
Diep, My Linh
Ave, Albany, 465-8899
cooked mung beans
peeled medium size shrimp
fresh sliced mushrooms
fresh bean sprouts
whole onion (sliced)
Shell: Heat a frying pan until hot. Add one tsp. vegetable
oil into pan. Pour a thin layer of mixed crepe flour into
the whole pan. Turn heat low to keep the crepe cooked until
crispy golden brown. Slide crepe off pan. Repeat for other
Filling: Heat a pan until hot and add one tsp. of vegetable
oil and a half tsp. of minced garlic to the heated pan. Add
peeled shrimp and stir until almost cooked. Add sliced onions,
mushrooms, sugar and salt. Sauté for about one minute. Finally,
add bean sprouts and stir quickly for about 30 seconds. Add
filling to crepe. Sauce with My Linh’s nuoc mam and
serve with whole lettuce, mint, cilantro, cucumber, pickled
carrots and radish.
Cheese White Lasagna
La Mora, Malt River
Circle Mall, Latham, 786-6258, www.maltriver.com
fresh diced mozzarella cheese
shredded mozzarella cheese
coarsely chopped tomato
chicken, then sauté in robust Italian dressing. Boil pasta,
then layer lasagna, sun-dried tomato, ricotta cheese, diced
tomato and sautéed chicken. Layer ingredients until pan is
full. Top with fresh and shredded mozzarella. Bake at 350
degrees for 30-35 minutes. Let stand 5 minutes before serving.
Encrusted Rib Roast
Rockefeller, Parisi’s Steakhouse
Broadway, Schenectady, 374-0100, www.parisissteakhouse.com
roast (prime rib)
pan, heat oil, sear roast on all sides, let rest. Rub roast
with Dijon mustard. Roll roast in seasoned breadcrumb mixture.
Bake in oven at 300 degrees, 2 hours for medium. Serves 12-15.
and Dried Cherry Custard Crisp
Voce, Isn’t It Sweet
Scotland Ave., Albany, 489-9820
all purpose flour
(packed) golden brown sugar
pecans, ground in processor
finely grated lemon peel
(1 stick) unsalted butter, melted
3 ½ pounds
firm but ripe Bosc pears, peeled, cored cut into 1½ inch chunks
(about 8 cups)
dried tart cherries (about 6 oz.)
fresh lemon juice
all purpose flour
baker’s sugar or regular sugar
2 ½ teaspoons
finely grated lemon peel
Mix first six ingredients in medium bowl. Add melted butter
and vanilla extract; stir with fork until soft crumbly dough
forms. (can be made up to six hours ahead. Cover, let stand
at room temperature.)
Whisk eggs in medium bowl to blend. Whisk crème fraîche and
vanilla. Sift in flour; whisk until smooth. (Can be made up
to six hours ahead. Cover and chill. Re-whisk before using.)
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Generously butter 13x9x2-inch
oval ceramic or glass baking dish. Combine pears, cherries,
and lemon juice in large bowl; toss to blend. Mix flour, sugar,
and lemon peel in small bowl. Add to pear mixture and toss
to blend. Transfer pear mixture to prepared dish, pressing
slightly with rubber spatula to form even layer. (Can be made
up to one hour ahead; let stand to room temperature.)
custard evenly over pear mixture. Using fingertips, crumble
topping evenly over. Bake until pears are tender and topping
is deep golden, about 55 minutes. Remove from oven and let
stand 10 minutes. Serve warm or at room temperature with ice
England Clam Chowder
Tom Simmons, Elbo Room
Ave., Albany, 257-7300
celery, fine dice
potatoes, diced ¼-inch pieces
clams until open. Strain the broth and keep on the side. Pick,
chop and reserve the clams. Render salt pork in pot, add onion
and celery and sweat until translucent. Add the flour, cook
to make a blond roux. Add the broth and milk gradually and
incorporate it completely, working out any lumps. Simmer for
30 minutes, skimming the surface as necessary. Add the potato
to the soup, and simmer until tender. Add the clams and cream.
Adjust the seasoning to taste with salt, whole pepper, Tabasco
and Worcestershire sauce.
Rib Chops With Sautéed Apple and Star Anise
Ecker, Mezzo Marketplace and Eatery
St., Albany 463-6240
pork rib chops
apples (about 1 lb.) sliced ½-inch thick
apple cider vinegar
oil in heavy large skillet over medium heat. Sprinkle pork
with salt and pepper. Add pork to skillet; cook until brown
on both sides and thermometer inserted horizontally registers
140 degrees (about seven minutes per side). Transfer to plates;
tent with foil. Pour off drippings from skillet. Add two Tbsp.
butter, brown sugar, and star anise to same skillet and stir
over high heat until melted. Add apples; cook until brown
and caramelized, stirring frequently, about eight minutes.
Spoon apples over pork. Add apple juice and vinegar to skillet;
boil sauce until reduced to two Tbsp., about three minutes.
Whisk in remaining one Tbsp. butter; season to taste with
salt and pepper. Drizzle sauce over apples and pork. Serves
Fraker, Noche Lounge
Downtown Albany, 434-4540
of 1 lemon
ancho chile paste
and pepper to taste
In 5-quart saucepan, sauté garlic and onion until translucent
over med. Heat. Deglaze pan with tequila then add pineapple
juice, orange juice, cilantro and sugar. Reduce liquid by
half then carefully strain hot liquid and return to pan. Add
chile paste and lemon juice, simmer until thickened. Adjust
salt and pepper to taste. Remove from heat and cool.
Peel and devein shrimp, then skewer. Brush with oil, season
with salt and pepper, grill shrimp approx. 2 minutes per side
or until no longer opaque and then coat with sauce and serve.
Great with a margarita on the rocks! Serves 4.
Barbagallo, Goodfellas Bar and Restaurant
Ave, Albany, 438-0069
Delmonico with peppercorns. Sear on medium heat 4 to 5 minutes
each side. Place on sizzle platter in oven 10-15 minutes at
350 degrees for a medium steak. In a sauté pan add garlic,
shallots and butter. Cook till translucent. Deglaze pan with
3 oz. Gentleman’s Jack and reduce by half. Add demi. Finish
with heavy cream. Goodfella’s recommends you serve with garlic
mash potatoes or sweet potato fries. Serves 1.
Acorn Squash with Dijon, Honey and Cider
Goold-Miller, Goold Orchards
Brookview Station Road, Castleton, 732-7317, www.goold.com
Goold’s Apple Cider
oven to 375 degrees. Cut squash in half vertically. Scrape
out the seeds and membranes. Place squash-cavity-side up in
roasting pan. Mix the honey, butter, mustard and cider in
a bowl. Place 2 Tbsp.s of the mixture into each squash cavity.
Season with salt and pepper if desired. Bake 1½ hours or until
squash is very tender. Sweet and savory! Serves 6.
a la Mexicana
Bermejo, El Mariachi
St., Albany, 432-7580
1 ½ lbs
top sirloin, thinly sliced
cloves of fresh garlic, chopped
large pan, heat oil. Add garlic and sauté for about two minutes.
Add sirloin steak. Let it cook for about 15 to 20 minutes,
or until meat is tender. Add onions and sauté for about 10
minutes. Add tomatoes, cover and simmer for about 15 minutes.
El Mariachi recommends you serve with rice and tortillas.
and Fire-Roasted Vegetables with Balsamic Reduction
Pouchak, Gershon’s Deli and Catering
Union St., Schenectady, 393-0617
red peppers, seeded, cut in half
green peppers, seeded, cut in half
green zucchini, cut off ends, sliced
yellow squash, cut off ends, sliced
onions, remove skin, cut in quarters
vegetables on grill until tender (should have black grill
marks on them). Slice and chop into bite-size pieces. In small
fry pan, sauté garlic until golden brown. Combine all roasted
veggies and garlic into a large mixing bowl, let marinate,
add salt and pepper to taste. Place balsamic vinegar into
a large fry pan, reduce by 1/3 on high heat, approx. 20 minutes.
Add sugar to vinegar, whisk to dissolve, remove from heat
and cool. Combine orzo, veggies and vinegar, mix well. Taste
for salt and pepper. Enjoy!
Garlic Fontina and Sage Bread Pudding
Ave., Albany, 427-5963
French bread, cubed ½ inch
fontina cheese, grated
sage, rough chop
garlic, cut off top of head. Sprinkle with olive oil, salt
and pepper. Wrap in foil and bake at 450 degrees for 35-45
minutes or until golden brown and soft. Mix bread cubes, grated
cheese and sage in a large bowl. Squeeze the roasted garlic
out into the mix and blend well. Beat eggs and cream, then
add to the bread, mix thoroughly. Add salt and pepper. Portion
mixture equally into muffin pans and bake at 450 degrees for
35-45 minutes, or until toothpick inserted comes out clean.
Remove from oven, let cool slightly. Pop out of muffin pans
and enjoy! Serves 6.
Blythe, Indian Ladder Farms
Road, Altamont, 765-2956, www.indianladderfarms.com
bag of fresh cranberries
the oranges. Place some oranges and cranberries in the chopper
and chop. Repeat until all oranges and cranberries are chopped.
Place in a bowl and mix in the sugar. You can freeze this
for up to three months or use at once. This is an old-fashioned
favorite. On Thanksgiving Eve we would dig out our meat grinder
and grind the berries with the oranges. Sometimes we forgot
to place a bowl underneath and the floor would be a mess!
Today we have food choppers to make the job much easier, but
my family follows the tradition and does it the old-fashioned
way. Serves 12.
Di Formaggio (Ricotta Cheesecake)
LoPorto, LoPorto Restaurant
St., Troy, 273-8546
graham cracker crumbs
of 1 lemon
mixing bowl, combine ricotta cheese, eggs, flour and sugar.
Mix at low speed for one minute. Turn mixer between medium
and high and continue mixing until ingredients are fully incorporated,
approximately two to three minutes. Add vanilla and lemon
zest and mix for another 30 seconds. Melt butter and pour
into spring form pan, making sure to fully coat bottom and
sides. Remove excess butter. Add graham cracker crumbs to
pan, covering bottom and sides. Pour cheese mixture into pan.
Lay two sheets of aluminum foil on table cris-crossed. Place
spring-form pan on top and line bottom and sides with tinfoil
to waterproof. Place pan into 2-inch deep casserole dish with
1” of water in the bottom. In a pre-heated 350-375 degree
oven, cook for 45 minutes. Rotate dish and finish cooking
for an additional 30 minutes until golden brown. Remove and
let stand for one hour before refrigerating. Serve with fresh
Sangrita or Bombers Key Lime Pie Shot
Bombers Burrito Bar
Street, Albany, 463-9636, www.bombersburritobar.com
are feeling hot, try this Mexican spicy tequila chaser:
One shot of your choice of tequila. Chased with a chilled,
delicious spicy concoction: a combination of V8, fresh lime
juice, fresh orange juice, salt, pepper, SECRET spices (you
can add your own), Tabasco sauce, and our very own Bombers
Habanero sauce. Drink it and you will love tequila forever
feeling cool, try Bombers Key Lime Pie Shot: Licor
43, Rose’s Lime juice and milk. Chill and serve.
the Bartender, Zink Lounge
Ave, Albany, 852-1290, www.zinklounge.com
of Baileys Irish Cream
Van Gogh Double Espresso Vodka
all ingredients and shake in martini shaker. Pour and garnish
with chocolate-covered espresso beans. Sip and enjoy! Serves