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Area Chefs Share Favorite Festive Recipes

Gramma Jean Cella’s Meat and Spinach Ravioli

Michael Cella, Cella Bistro

2015 Rosa Road, Schenectady, 381-2081

For dough:

3 pounds flour

6 eggs

1/4 cup olive oil

Warm water

Combine first 3 ingredients. Add enough water to make dough. Knead until smooth and elastic. Portion into 3 pieces.

For filling:

1 1/2 pounds chopped chuck

1 1/2 pounds lean chopped pork

14 eggs

2 pounds cooked spinach, well drained

Handful of chopped parsley

14 Tbsp. olive oil

5 ounces cream cheese (softened)

1 cup shredded parmesan cheese

1 small minced onion (raw)

1 small minced onion (sautéed in butter)

Salt and pepper to taste

Beat eggs, add meat, and mix well. Add spinach and mix again. Add parsley, oil and softened cream cheese and mix. Add parmesan cheese, both onions and salt and pepper.

Roll the dough thin. Spread half the mixture on half the sheet of pasta. Fold pasta sheet over and seal ravioli.

Cook ravioli as you normally would. Serve hot with Mushroom sauce. Serves 12.


Moroccan Spiced Pork Tenderloin with Cinnamon-Chili Apple Chutney

Culinary team, Blu Stone Bistro

661 Albany Shaker Road, Loudonville, 869-9976

For spice rub:

1 tsp. fennel seed

1 Tbsp. coriander seed

1 tsp. cumin seed

1 tsp. brown sugar

3/4 tsp. salt

1/2 tsp. coarse ground pepper

For chutney:

1 Tbsp. oil

1/8 tsp. cayenne pepper

1/8 tsp. whole cumin seed

1/2 tsp. mustard seed (black or yellow)

2 cloves minced garlic

1 minced shallot

1 tsp. fresh ginger (minced or finely grated)

1 minced jalapeno

2 apples (golden delicious or granny smith, diced in 1/2-inch cubes)

1/2 cup chopped raisins

1/4 tsp. cinnamon

1 Tbsp. brown sugar

2 ounces red wine vinegar

4 ounces apple cider

Parsley, chopped

To make spice rub and tenderloin: Coarsely grind seeds and mix with remaining ingredients. On a baking sheet, spread crust mixture and roll tenderloin until evenly coated. Rub into pork and sprinkle any remaining crust on top. Sear in oil at medium-high heat until golden brown. Place on baking sheet and roast at 350 degrees until internal temperature reaches 140 degrees. Check at 10 minutes. Let rest at room temperature for 7-8 minutes before serving.

To make chutney: In a pan over low heat combine oil, cayenne, coarsely ground cumin seed and mustard seeds. Heat 1-2 minutes until scent is released and oil is lightly colored. Increase heat to medium-high and add minced garlic, shallot, ginger, and jalapeno; sauté until tender. Add apples, raisins, brown sugar, and cinnamon. Toss until sugar coats, approximately 3-4 minutes. Add vinegar and cider and simmer until liquid thickens to coat the back of the spoon. Remove from heat, spread out to cool in refrigerator and add parsley. Adjust seasonings to taste. Serve warm or cold. Serves 3-4.

Recommended paired with sweet potatoes!


Ric Orlando’s Mushroom and Black Garlic Risotto

Ric Orlando, New World Bistro Bar

300 Delaware Ave., Albany, 694-0520

2 quarts vegetable beef or chicken stock

1 stick butter

4 Tbsp. olive oil

1 finely chopped onion

8 peeled cloves of black garlic (finely sliced)

1 pound risotto rice (Arborio or Carnoli)

1 small glass of red wine

8 ounces fresh sliced crimini mushrooms

Asiago cheese—freshly grated

Marscapone cheese

Freshly chopped parsley—optional

Truffle oil—optional

In a large pan heat the stock until it reaches simmering point.

Prepare mushroom base: Melt 1/4 of the stick of butter in a frying pan with 2 Tbsp. of olive oil. Add the mushrooms and some salt and pepper. Heat slowly until the mushrooms are cooked.

Heat about 1/4 of the stick of butter and 2 Tbsp. of olive oil in a large pan. Add the finely chopped onion and sweat until soft and translucent. Add the black garlic. Mix the black garlic into the onion mixture. Season lightly with salt and pepper.

Add the rice and stir until well coated. Pour in the glass of wine. Allow it to reduce until there is no liquid in the pan. Stir continuously.

Add a ladleful of vegetable stock, stirring continuously. As soon as the liquid is absorbed, add another ladleful of stock and stir. Keep this up, adding one ladle at a time, then stirring, watching the rice drink it up until the rice is perfectly: al dente, but not raw or chalky.

When you are happy with the consistency, stir in mushroom mixture and the pan juices that have accumulated with the mushrooms.

Stir in the parmesan cheese, the rest of the butter, and the mascarpone cheese. Garnish with freshly chopped parsley and a few drops of truffle oil.

This sultry dish is perfect for a winter night, paired with biter frisse salad and a bottle of red wine from the Rhone region of France!


Caserloa Di Pesche—Bounty of Fresh Seafood in Brodetta

Chef Loubert Legros, Grappa 72 Ristorante

818 Central Ave., Albany, 482-7200

6 clams, Long Island littleneck

4 Gulf shrimp, shelled and deveined

4 divers scallops

8-10 Prince Edward Island mussels

8 ounces salmon

8 ounces Chilean sea bass

8 ounces “fish of the day,” cut into large chunks

3 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil

1/2 Tbsp. Spanish onions, diced small

1/2 cup chopped fennel

1/2 tsp. kosher salt

1/2 tsp. freshly ground black pepper

1/2 cup white wine

1/2 cup seafood stock

1 cup fresh house tomato sauce

3 cloves of garlic, chopped

1 1/2 ounces Pernod

Heat the oil in a stockpot, add onions, fennel, salt, and pepper. Sauté over low-medium heat for 15 minutes, until the onions begin to brown. Add the wine and scrape the brown bits from the bottom of the pot with a wooden spoon. Add the fresh house tomato sauce with their juices, stock, and garlic in the pot. Bring to a boil, then lower the heat and simmer uncovered for 15 minutes. Add the shrimp, mussels and clams.

In a separate pan, add 3 tsp. of olive oil and let the pan get hot. Then add scallops, salmon, sea bass, and “fish of the day.” Sear both sides of all fish until golden-brown. Then place in a 375-degree oven for 4 minutes.

By this time, the shrimp should be cooked and the mussels opened. Stir in the Pernod, add salt and pepper and serve with a side of linguini. Serves 2.


Ommegang Liege Waffles

Peter Creyf, Waffle Cabin

20 Meadowbrook Drive, Rutland,Vt., (781) 910-6220

For batter one:

1 1/4 ounces fresh cake yeast or 2 1/2 package active dry yeast

1/2 cup warm water

1 cup all-purpose flour

1 Tbsp. granulated sugar

1 large egg, beaten

1/2 cup Ommegang Abbey Ale, room temp

For batter two:

9 Tbsp. unsalted butter at room temp

6 Tbsp. all purpose flour

1 tsp. vanilla extract

1/4 tsp. baking powder

1 pinch of salt

1 Tbsp. granulated sugar

1/2 cup pearl sugar

Batter one: In a small bowl, dissolve yeast in the warm water with 1 tsp. each of the flour and the sugar. Let stand 5 minutes until foamy. Sift the remaining flour into a large mixing bowl. Make a well in the center and add the yeast mixture, egg, and Ommegang Abbey Ale. Mix well with a wooden spoon to make a smooth batter. Cover with a kitchen towel and let rise in a warm place until the batter has doubled or tripled in volume.

Batter two: While batter one is rising, in a medium bowl, mix the butter, flour, salt, vanilla, baking powder, granulated sugar and pearl sugar in to a paste.

Combine batters: With your hands, work batter two into batter one until well mixed. Shape the dough into 10 balls, approximately 2 ½ to 3 ounces each. Flatten slightly and dust with flour.

Baking: Bake for 3-4 minutes until golden brown in a medium hot waffle iron (not too hot or sugar will burn.) American-made Belgian waffle makers may bake at too hot a temperature, so be sure to let the waffles cool off enough, which will allow the dough to set. In this case, you should bake them no longer then 2 1/2 minutes. Makes 10 waffles.

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