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Holiday Entertaining


Lemon Chicken

Maggie Smith, Maggie’s Sports Bar

1186 Western Ave., Albany, 935-2661

Serves 4


4 boneless chicken breasts

4 thin slices of prosciutto

1 fresh tomato, chopped

Steamed green beans

16 capers

1/4 stick of butter

Juice from 1 lemon

Sauté chicken. Top each breast with 1 slice of prosciutto. Bake for 20 minutes at 350 degrees.

Melt capers, butter and lemon. Top chicken with tomatoes, green beans, capers, butter and lemon. Serve with rice.


Shrimp Spring Rolls

Will Phan, Bangkok Thai Bistro

268 State St., Schenectady, 374-3048

6 oz. glass noodles

1/4 cup vegetable oil

1/2 tsp. oyster sauce

1/4 tsp. seasoning sauce

1/2 tsp. fresh garlic

1/4 tsp. sugar

1 1/2 oz. water

4 large shrimp

Spring roll wrappers

Soak noodles in cold water for approximately 30 minutes. Stir fry oil, oyster sauce, garlic, sugar, seasoning sauce and water.

Boil noodles for approximately 5 seconds. Pour sauce mixture over noodles and mix well. Wrap shrimp and noodle mixture with spring roll wrappers. Deep fry for 3 minutes. Serves 2 (4 pieces).


Badass Griddle Pizza

Chef Howard Yaeger, Badass Burrito

443 5th Ave., Troy, 237-1177

For pizza dough:

2 oz. yeast

10 cups all purpose flour

3 1/4 Tbsp. sugar

1 Tbsp. kosher salt

1 Tbsp. garlic powder

1/4 cup parmesan cheese

1 quart warm water

For pepper couli:

16 roasted red peppers chopped

1/4 cup chopped garlic

1 bunch chopped parsley

1 spanish onion chopped

1/4 cup pomace oil

1/4 cup flour

salt and pepper to taste

For topping:

Mexican cheeses (Chihuahua and jack recommended)

Chorizo, ham or grilled chicken

To make dough: Combine dry ingredients in a bowl and mix well. In a separate bowl, combine water and yeast, let stand 5 minutes. Combine both batches together in a mixing bowl and mix until smooth. Let dough rise until double in size. Portion out into 30 equal balls, approx. 2 oz. each. Let rise again. Ready to use.

To make coulis: Sauté garlic and onion in a sauce pot until just golden brown. Add parsley and peppers. Cook for 7-10 minutes or until mixture starts to boil. Add flour and puree.

To make pizza: Moisten hands with a little oil and spread out dough until a 12”circle is formed. Place on a heated griddle, barbecue or in a sauté pan. Cook dough until just brown on one side, turn over and spread with 3 oz. of sauce. Top with 3-4 oz. of Mexican cheeses (preferably Chihuahua and jack ) and sprinkle with chorizo, ham or grilled chicken. Flash under broiler until cheese melts. Makes 30 servings.


Ric Orlando’s Turkey Roasting Recipe

Chef Ric Orlando, New World Home Cooking Co.

1411 Route 212 Saugerties, (845) 246-0900; 300 Delaware Ave., Albany, 694-0520

Rub the turkey with melted butter, olive oil, duck fat or grapeseed oil before seasoning. Season turkey with the following mix:

1/4 cup kosher salt

2 Tbsp. ground black pepper

2 Tbsp. paprika

2 Tbsp. dry thyme

1 Tbsp. sugar or evaporated cane juice

1 Tbsp. dry sage, crumbled or “rubbed”

Mix well and massage into the entire bird.

Fill the cavity with the following:

1 apple, split in half

1 lemon, split in half

1 onion, split in half

1 head garlic, split in half

2-3 springs each of thyme, sage and parsley

Let turkey stand at room temperature for 30 minutes before cooking. Preheat oven to 500 degrees. Have a quick read thermometer and a kitchen timer handy. This method should take about 12 minutes per pound, or about 4 total hours for a 20-pound bird.

Put turkey in roasting pan directly in the bottom—not on a rack or mirepoix. Place turkey in oven and set timer for 30 minutes. When timer goes off, check turkey. You are looking for a golden brown skin and a nice sizzle in the pan. If it is still pale, reset timer for 15 more minutes. The goal at this stage is to have a turkey that looks perfectly cooked, though we know it is raw inside still.

When you reach that stage, reduce oven to 300 degrees and loosely cover the turkey with aluminum foil or parchment paper. Pour enough water into the pan to cover the pan with about 1/4 inch of liquid.

Set timer again for about 12 minutes per pound, minus the time it took to brown it.

When the timer goes off, check the internal temperature by putting the probe thermometer between the thigh and breast. When it reads 165-170 degrees, the bird is done. It will continue to cook and its internal temperature will increase by about 7 percent. Woo hoo!

Let the turkey stand for 30 minutes.

Remove turkey to a cutting board and use the juices in the pan to make amazing gravy!


Chicken & Sausage Pumpkin Soup

Shy Abbasi, Tess’ Lark Tavern

453 Madison Ave., Albany, 463-9779

2 large carrots

3 stalks of celery

3 white onions

5 links of sausage

5 large chicken breasts

1 eggplant

2 zucchini

2 squash

2 cups pumpkin puree

1/2 gallon chicken stock

3 bay leaves

Chop carrots, celery, onions. Cook off in large pot with bay leaves. Next dice chicken and sausage. Add to pot. Cube eggplant, zucchini and squash. Add chicken stock and pumpkin puree. Let simmer for 1 hour. Serve.


Palak Paneer

Chef Nusrat Bhatti, Lazeez Restaurant

35 Central Ave., Albany, 465-0333

1 small onion, peeled and chopped

1-inch cube fresh ginger, peeled and chopped

4-5 garlic cloves, peeled

1 fresh sliced green chili

Salt to taste

Paneer (see recipe)

1/4 tsp. ground turmeric

1/8 tsp. chili powder

1/8 tsp. cumin seeds

2 pounds spinach, washed, trimmed and chopped

3 Tbsp. heavy cream

6 Tbsp. vegetable oil

For Paneer (make ahead):

4 cups milk

2 tbsp lemon juice

To make Paneer: Bring the milk to boil. As soon as it begins to boil, add lemon juice. Stir once and take the pot off the heat; leave it to cool down for a few minutes. Strain the curds through cheese cloth. Place the cheese in between two sheet pans and place some weight on the top so the whey drains out; leave overnight to harden. Next morning, cut with a sharp knife into bite size cubes. Fry them to light brown before adding to Spinach.

To make Palak Paneer: Heat the oil in a heavy skillet over medium flame. Add the chopped onion and fry until golden brown. Add garlic, ginger and spices and cook for a few minutes over low heat. Add the spinach and 1/2 cup of water and stir for few minutes. Cover the pan, lower the heat and let the spinach cook for 15-20 minutes. When spinach leaves are cooked, add in the Paneer and cream, stir gently and bring to simmer. Cover and continue cooking on low heat for another 10 minutes. Stir once or twice during this period. Place in a dish and serve with rice or bread.


Apple Cake with Hot Buttered Rum Sauce

Frank Voce, Isn’t It Sweet

575 New Scotland Ave., Albany, 489-9820

For cake:

2 cups sugar

1/2 cup butter (1 stick), softened

2 eggs

2 cups all purpose flour

1 tsp. baking powder

3/4 tsp. baking soda

3/4 tsp. salt

1/2 tsp. nutmeg

1/2 tsp. cinnamon

1 1/2 cups chopped walnuts

3 to 4 peeled, diced apples (3 cups)

For buttered rum sauce:

1 cup sugar

1/2 cup light cream or half & half

2 Tbsp. butter

1/4 cup dark rum (or to taste)

In a mixing bowl, slowly add the sugar to the softened butter and beat until creamy. Add the eggs one at a time. Combine the dry ingredients and add gradually to the creamed mixture. Add the nuts and apples. Bake in a greased tube pan in a 350 degree oven for 60 minutes or until tester inserted in the center comes out clean. After 15 minutes, invert onto a rack to cool.

To make sauce: Heat the sugar and cream over low heat until well-dissolved. Add the butter and rum. Serve hot over the cake. Serves 12.


Manhattan Seafood Chowder

Chef Christopher Ward, Trader Ed’s Nautical Pub & Restaurant

630 2nd Ave., Troy, 237-2717

1 1/2 cups of chopped vegetables: potatoes, celery, onion, carrots

2 tsp. curry powder

2 tsp. white pepper

2 tsp. salt

2 Tbsp. basil

2 Tbsp. oregano

1 32-oz. can crushed tomato

1 cup calamari

1 cup mussels, unshelled

1 cup clams, unshelled

1 cup baby shrimp, deveined

1 cup haddock or cod, optional

Combine vegetables and boil until tender. Add seafood, herbs, and crushed tomatoes. Boil on low until seafood is cooked, approximately 20 minutes. Makes 1 gallon, serves 6 people.


Mexican Shepherd’s Pie with Sweet Potato Crust

Chef Jennifer Dearstyne, Justin’s

301 Lark St., Albany, 436-7008

1 3- to 4-pound top round of pork (pork butt)

1 12 oz. bottle dark beer

1 cup cooked black beans

1 cup cooked corn

3 large sweet potatoes (more if potatoes are small)

1 cup mayonnaise

1 cup all purpose flour

1/4 cup honey

2 eggs, beaten

2 tsp. ground nutmeg

2 Tbsp. fresh chopped sage

Cube pork into large chunks. Arrange in 6-7 quart Dutch oven or heavy stockpot. Add beer to pot, cover and braise on stove top over low heat for several hours until pork is cooked down and becomes shredded. When pork is very tender, add black beans and corn to pot and stir to combine. Put pork mixture into large casserole dish.

Preheat oven to 350. Peel potatoes and shred them with a box grater. Add flour and toss to coat. Add remaining ingredients and stir together. Top the pork with the sweet potato mixture and smooth out to form a crust. Bake for 45 minutes, or until sweet potato crust is cooked and crispy on top. Enjoy!


Goold’s Apple Orchard Pork Chops

Sue Goold, Goold Orchards

1297 Brookview Station Road, Castleton-on-Hudson, 732-7317

4 center-cut pork chops, 1 1/2 inches thick

2 tsp. vegetable oil

1 2/3 cups Goold’s premium apple cider

1/4 cup spicy mustard

1/3 cup raisins or dried cherries

4 cups apples, cored and sliced 1/2 inch thick (Cortlands, Jonagolds, Ida Reds or Romes)

1/3 cup diced white or green onions

4 tsp. corn starch

Salt and pepper to taste

Heat oil in large skillet. Brown pork chops over medium-high heat for 3-5 minutes, set aside. In the same skillet, slightly brown the apples and onions. Set aside. In the same skillet combine cider, raisins or dried cherries and mustard. Cook together approximately 1 minute, stirring. Add pork chops back into skillet. Cover and finish cooking over medium-low heat. (Approx 12-15 minutes). Add apple and onion mixture; cover and cook 5 minutes longer. Place finished chops on a larger serving platter, spoon apple mixture onto chops. Keep warm. Gradually stir cornstarch into cider mixture left in the skillet and stir until thickened. Pour over the chops and apples.


Chicken Biryani

Chef Shah, Latham Biryani Restaurant

638 New Loudon Road, Route 9, Latham, 782-1519

2 lbs. boneless chicken

1 cup yogurt

1/2 lb. sliced onion

4 cloves

Black pepper to taste

1/2 tsp. red chili powder

4 green chilies, chopped

1 1/2 Tbsp. garlic ginger paste

2 lbs. basmati rice

1/2 bunch cilantro

1/2 bunch fresh mint

8 pieces green cardamom

salt to taste

1/4 cup oil

4 Tbsp. lemon juice

2 Tbsp. white vinegar

Egg shell food coloring

Marinate the chicken in chili powder, ginger paste, yogurt, lemon juice, mint, green chilies, black pepper, cloves and salt for 30 minutes.

Place the marinated chicken in a pan with 2 Tbsp. of oil. Cook over medium heat until tender. Fry the onion slices until golden brown and spread over a paper towel. Boil the rice and put in a baking tray. Layer half of the rice, half of the chicken, half of the fried onions, mint and cilantro and a few drops of lemon juice. Repeat with the remaining rice and chicken. Add a few drops of egg shell color.

Put the tray in oven for 10-15 minutes at 250 degrees. Serve with Raifa and pickles.


Rice Pudding with Bourbon-Cider Sauce

Chef Brian Bowden, The Gingerman

234 Western Ave., Albany, 427-5963

For rice pudding:

1 quart milk

1/2 cup long grain rice

1/2 cup sugar

1 tsp. ground cinnamon

2 tsp. cornstarch

2 eggs

For bourbon-cider sauce:

1 1/2 cups raisins

1/2 cup plus 1 Tbsp. bourbon

3 1/4 cups apple cider

2 Tbsp. arrow root

1 1/2 tsp. lemon juice

Rinse rice with water to remove excess starch. Combine 3 1/3 cups milk with the rice, sugar, and cinnamon in a saucepan. Cover and simmer until rice is tender, about 25 minutes. Combine remaining milk with cornstarch and eggs, whisking constantly. Add the warmed cornstarch to remaining milk mixture in pan. Return pudding to heat, stirring constantly. Boil 1 minute.

For Bourbon sauce: Combine raisins with enough cider to cover them. Bring to a simmer and remove from heat. Let raisins stand for 25 minutes in liquid. Drain and reserve liquid. Reduce remaining cider by half. Add reserved liquid and reduce by half. Lower heat to a simmer. Mix in arrow root and remaining bourbon to form slurry. Add slurry, raisins and lemon juice to cider and simmer 1 minute until sauce thickens. Pour sauce over pudding and garnish with fresh raspberries and mint.

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