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B.A. Nilsson

Dessert Storm
By B.A. Nilsson

Old and new variations on classic favorite endings to the holiday meal

Dessert is that part of the meal when your Uncle Nick leans back, embarrasses everyone by undoing his belt buckle and trouser button (“But he does that every year,” Aunt Vi explains), slaps his ample belly and thunders, “Bring on the pie!”

It can be a labor of love or an afterthought, but it’s the necessary and expected finale to the holiday meal. And, as I canvassed family and friends and restaurant people, the two items always mentioned were apple pie and pumpkin pie. Even with the ready availability of nonlocal and exotic produce, these are so firmly holiday-associated that they’ve never wavered in popularity, with many variations throughout history.

In the 19th century, for example, you might find apple pie à la Virginia, consisting of “two pie shells filled with applesauce and stacked one on top of the other. ‘To serve,’ the yellowing recipe says firmly, ‘cut in sections and put a spoonful of whipped cream on top with a sprinkle of nutmeg. The crust must be crisp and the sauce cold.’” (Evan Jones, American Food.)

In New Hampshire, apple pie was topped with maple syrup.

“My family always makes a deep-dish apple pie for Thanksgiving,” says Paul Parker, owner of Chez Sophie Bistro in Malta, carrying on a restaurant tradition begun by his French-born mother. “But it’s a little different—we put a lot of lemon in the recipe. And no cornstarch.” With no Thanksgiving tradition in France, the restaurant has always closed for the holiday. “But we do all the usual American things at home,” Parker says. “This year, though, I’m looking at getting some mimolette, a cheddar-like cheese from France to top the pie with.”

Parker also offers advice on your pumpkin pie recipe: “Don’t use pumpkin. Try Mother Hubbard squash—it has a much better flavor.”

Charmaine Solomon’s new Complete Vegetarian Cookbook (Ten-Speed Press) is a masterful volume offering both Eastern and Western influences on vegetable-based cookery, and her tarte aux pommes recipe (pictured) calls for a purée of apple slices cooked with sugar, butter, apricot conserve and Calvados that are then baked in a traditional crust in a flan ring—with apple slices giving it a decorative top. Calvados is an apple-flavored brandy that finds its way into many recipes—“We do a pork loin in Calvados,” says Parker.

Calvados pairs naturally with apples, as exemplified by Michael London’s apple tart Normandy. “The apples are roasted and caramelized first,” he explains, “and then they go into a puff pastry shell along with a custard filling that’s flavored with Calvados and vanilla sugar. It’s very fragrant, very delicious.”

This confection will be available for the holidays at Mrs. London’s Bakery and Café in Saratoga Springs, and it will be on the table at the London home for Thanksgiving. “We’ll also have the Plymouth cake, which has layers of chocolate mousse and pumpkin mousse with a pecan meringue. It’s a lighter, more ethereal way to go than a traditional pumpkin pie,” London says. “And Mrs. London won’t be happy unless we also have a pumpkin caramel pie. We put a layer of soft caramel beneath the pumpkin filling, which gives it more depth of flavor.”

Other bakeshop favorites you’ll find at Mrs. London’s during the next few weeks are chocolate pecan, Southern pecan and cranberry walnut pies, with stollen and varieties of bouche de Noel, a classic holiday log sporting such fillings as chocolate mousse, coffee buttercream and such. “Tim Handgarter, who makes them for us, is from the North Country,” London says, “and his look more authentic than anything I’ve seen in France. Maybe you need to have that connection to actual forests.”

The search for easy-to-prepare holiday dessert alternatives was seemingly impossible until Carmine Sprio, of Carmine’s Restaurant (818 Central Ave., Albany), gave me this amazingly simple frangipane recipe:

3 cups of sliced almonds, which you can roast beforehand if you prefer
8 eggs
1 oz. brandy
1½ oz. orange essence, amaretto, or something strong and flavorful

1½ cups sugar
8 apricots

Throw everything in a food processor, reserving six of the apricots. Transfer the purée to a quiche pan, and fan slices of the remaining apricots on top. Bake at 350 degrees for 20 to 25 minutes.

“All this month at the restaurant we’ve been featuring New York state wines and ingredients,” says Sprio. “It’s been great—it’s really remarkable what’s produced locally. So we’ve had a lot of apple and pumpkin dishes on the menu.

“We’ll be closed for Thanksgiving so our staff can enjoy it with their families,” Sprio says. “At my house, you can bet there’s going to be apple pie and pumpkin pie, and it’ll be made with New York state stuff. But if there’s no chocolate somewhere, I’ll be in trouble.”

TABLE SCRAPS

Ferrandi’s French Restaurant (322 State Highway 67, Amsterdam) is hosting a Beaujolais Nouveau wine- tasting dinner Dec. 5-8, during which chef Eric Masson will serve a four-course meal including sautéed wild mushrooms in puff pastry, seafood crêpes, duck breast with raspberry sauce, lamb kabobs with tarragon sauce and much more. It’s $33 per person and includes a glass of the new Beaujolais. For info and reservations, call the restaurant at 842-6977. . . . Remember to pass your scraps to Metroland (e-mail food@ banilsson.com).

(Please fax info to 922-7090)

Montpelier Pork

Todd Smith
Daisy Baker’s

2 pounds pork tenderloin, trimmed
1 cup maple syrup
1 red onion, sliced
¼ pound butter
½ teaspoon cinnamon
1 pinch nutmeg
½ cup demi-glaze or chicken or beef broth
Salt and pepper to taste

Brine for pork:

4 cups cold water
1 tablespoon salt
1 tablespoon sugar

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Trim pork tenderloin of any fat and silver skin, then place in brine for two hours. Remove from brine; discard brine and place the pork on a sheet pan. Sprinkle with salt and pepper and place in your preheated oven. Roast pork for approximately half an hour, or until pork is cooked to 155 degrees. Let rest for 15 minutes.

To make the maple sauce: In medium-size sauté pan, add onion and butter over medium heat. Slow cook red onion until translucent. Add maple syrup (demi-glaze, beef or chicken broth), cinnamon and nutmeg. Simmer for 20 minutes.

Slice roasted pork loin, pour sauce and serve. Serves 4.

Goat Cheese Flan

Tonya Mahar
Chez Sophie

1 lb. fresh goat cheese, good quality
½ cup soft unsalted butter
8 whole eggs
8 egg whites
4 tablespoons parmesan cheese
3 cups curly parsley
4 tablespoons finely cut chives
Salt and white pepper to taste

In a blender, add soft butter and broken-up goat cheese. Blend until it’s smooth like a milkshake. Add whole eggs, whites, parmesan cheese, parsley, salt and pepper to taste. Blend until all ingredients are incorporated and a smooth texture forms—there should be no lumps or chunks. Butter the inside of the ramekins and fill with the mixture in a water-bath, (this is made by using a deep roasting pan to place the ramekins in hot water) ¾ up to the outside of the ramekin. Cover with parchment paper and bake at 325 degrees until flan is set, about 30 to 33 minutes. Garnish with fresh apple or pear, caramelized onion, and a dressing or vinaigrette of your choice. Sprinkle with chives. Serves 8 4-ounce ramekins.

Autumn Chicken and Shrimp Penne

Paul Centi and Un’ Hui Filomeno
The Ginger Man

2 pounds penne
1 dozen large shrimp, peeled, de-veined and floured
1 pound chicken breast, julienne-style and floured
12 ounces roasted butternut squash, cubed
12 ounces dried plums, pre-soaked
12 ounces roasted shallots, halved
1 ½ pints chicken broth
4 scallions, julienne-style
2 ounces fresh herbs, chopped
8 ounces clarified butter
3 ounces sherry
Salt and pepper to taste.

Heat butter in a large saucepan. Add chicken and shrimp. Cook both sides of the meat and add the squash, plums, shallots, scallions and herbs. Deglaze with sherry. Add chicken stock and reduce. Add salt and pepper to taste and serve over cooked penne. Serves 4.

ABC Cinnamon Raisin French Toast

Ken Goldman
Atlanta Bread Company

Batter:

2 eggs
½ cup milk
1 teaspoon vanilla
ABC’s Cinnamon Raisin Bread, sliced in 1 inch pieces

Sauce:

1 ½ cups fresh orange juice
12 ounces (1 bag) fresh cranberries
1 cup sugar

Mix eggs, milk and vanilla in a medium-size mixing bowl. Dip Atlanta Bread Company’s Cinnamon Raisin Bread slices into the batter. Place in a frying pan over medium heat and cook for approximately one minute on each side.

To make the sauce: Mix orange juice and sugar in a saucepan and add approximately 3 cups of water. Add juice and sugar mixture and bring to a boil and then let it simmer for an additional 5 minutes. Serve sauce with the Cinnamon Raisin French Toast. Serves 6 to 8.

Guinness Stew

Ian Duncan
Bailey’s Café

1 ½ pounds top round beef, cut in large cubes
12 ounces Guinness
1 cup flour seasoned with a teaspoon of salt and pepper
4 tablespoons red wine vinegar
2 tablespoons Tabasco
1 tablespoon honey
1 head garlic, 8 to 10 cloves peeled and finely chopped
1 medium Spanish onion, chopped large
4 stalks celery, chopped large
6 large carrots, chopped large
4 Idaho potatoes, medium-size, chopped large
1 pound medium-size button mushrooms, whole
1 bunch scallions, chopped
1 cup apple cider
½ cup water
2 cups frozen peas
2 cups frozen corn
Montreal steak seasoning
Salt and pepper to taste

Marinate the beef in Guinness seasoned with salt and pepper 12 hours prior to cooking. Strain the beef, save Guinness in a separate container. Put your strained beef in a large plastic bag with flour seasoned with salt and pepper. Shake vigorously until all cubes are dusted with flour. Brown floured beef in oil and add garlic. When all of the beef is browned, add red wine vinegar and deglaze the pot. Add Guinness and bring to a simmer, then add Tabasco and honey to the Guinness. Mix all fresh vegetables with water and cider. Bring contents to a boil, stirring occasionally, then reduce to a simmer and add peas and corn. Simmer over low-to-medium heat for three hours and stir occasionally. Add parsley and scallions with fresh ground pepper and serve hot. Serves 6.

Mussels and Clams Marinara

Rosanna Bongiorno
Bongiorno’s Restaurant

2 dozen mussels, cleaned well
2 dozen clams, cleaned well
1 cup dry white wine
½ cup butter
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 cup tomatoes, crushed
2 sprigs of parsley

Place the mussels and clams in a large, deep saucepan. Add the butter, wine, tomatoes, parsley and garlic. Cook about five-to-eight minutes, until the shells open. Discard any that do not open and serve immediately. Serves 4.

Chicken and Sausage Gumbo

Jasper Alexander
Hattie’s Restaurant

2 pounds andouille sausage
2 pounds boneless chicken thighs
2 cups chopped onion
1 cup chopped red pepper
1 cup chopped celery
¼ cup chopped garlic

Roux:

1 cup vegetable oil
1 cup flour
1 tablespoon oregano
1 teaspoon chili powder
1 teaspoon cayenne
2 quarts water or chicken stock
Salt and pepper to taste

Brown sausage and chicken in a large saucepot. Once browned, remove meat and set aside. Add vegetable oil and flour for roux over moderate heat and cook until it is medium-brown in color. Add vegetables and spices and cook for 5 to 10 minutes. Add water or stock and bring to a simmer, stirring constantly. Continue to cook for about an hour, stirring frequently. Adjust salt and pepper to taste and serve over broiled rice. Serves 6 to 8.

Chicken Pomadori

Robert Long
Pat Russo’s Dugout

1 ounce drawn butter
1 heaping tablespoon fresh garlic, chopped
1 ounce white wine
½ cup sundried tomatoes
1 cup artichoke hearts
8 ounces boneless, skinless chicken breast, cut into medallions
1 teaspoon dried basil, chopped
1 ½ cups heavy cream
6 ounces tomato sauce
4 ounces parmesan cheese
2 cups cooked penne pasta
2 tablespoon walnuts, chopped

In a sauté pan, place drawn butter, garlic, white wine and chicken medallions. Cook on medium-to-high heat until chicken is blanched-off. Add basil, sundried tomatoes, artichoke hearts, heavy cream and a splash of tomato sauce. Continue simmering until the sauce is reduced (thickened) and the chicken medallions are cooked thoroughly. To finish the meal, add parmesan cheese, walnuts and your drained penne pasta. Toss until all contents are mixed well. Top with walnuts to garnish and serve. Serves 2.

Turkey Ballontine

James Koines
Sunset Café

1 whole turkey, about 20 pounds
4 cups sliced fresh wild mushrooms (shiitake, portabella, oyster, etc.)
1 cup heavy cream
1 cup fresh herbs, chopped (parsley, tarragon, dill and sage)
1 cup good quality brandy
2 cups fresh breadcrumbs
4 tablespoons butter
1 onion
2 celery stalks
Salt and pepper to taste

First, remove the wings from the turkey and set aside. With the turkey on a cutting board breast-side down, carefully run a sharp boning knife down along the breastbone. Do not cut through the skin on the breast-side. Next, remove the leg and thigh quarters with a gentle pull, trying not to tear the skin. Remove the dark meat from the bone and pass through a meat grinder.

To make your stuffing: Brown the ground meat in a large skillet with the butter. Add the mushrooms, onion, and celery and cook about 6 to 8 minutes more. Add the brandy, flame it off, then add the cream and herbs. Reduce heat for about five minutes until the mixture is nice and thick. Add the breadcrumbs to make a stuffing consistency. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

With your turkey in front of you, skin-side down, make butterfly cuts on the thick side of the breast near the tender to make the breast near even in thickness throughout. Place the stuffing in the breast and roll it up and tie it with butchers twine. Roast in a moderate oven at 350 degrees for about one-and-a-half hours, or until an internal temperature of 160 degrees is achieved. Serves 12.

Saffron Pumpkin Soup

Steve Topper
Friends Lake Inn

1 pound fresh pumpkin
1 onion
1 tablespoon saffron
1 bunch celery
1 pint heavy cream
1 quart vegetable stock
Salt and pepper to taste

Toss all of the above ingredients, except the stock and the cream, in a large bowl. Roast until softened, about 45 minutes to one hour. When your pumpkin is tender, transfer to a large saucepan and add stock. Puree the mixture, then add the heavy cream. Adjust your consistency with the stock. Season again with salt and pepper to taste.

Turkey Stuffed with Chestnuts

Kostandin Kacani
A Taste of Greece

1 7-to-8 pound turkey
2 pounds chestnuts (cleaned)
1 cup butter (softened)
2 cups dry white wine
1 pound ground veal
½ cup rice
½ cup water
3 or 4 ounces pine needles
7 ounces raisins
2 tablespoons heavy cream
Salt and white pepper to taste

To make the stuffing: Remove turkey trimmings from turkey. Clean and chop finely. Sauté with ½ cup butter and ground veal, stirring continuously. Add one cup of wine, water and rice. Simmer until the liquid is absorbed. In a fry pan, sauté one pound of halved chestnuts with a tablespoon of butter until lightly browned and then add to stuffing mixture along with raisins and pine needles.

To make the turkey: Clean and wash turkey. Fill turkey with chestnut stuffing. Rub turkey with salt and white pepper. Add your turkey to the fry pan along with ½ cup butter, 1 cup white wine and a small amount of water. Bake in a 350-degree oven until done. During cooking time, turn the pan to evenly brown the turkey and baste regularly.

When turkey is fully cooked, remove from the oven. While the turkey is standing, sauté the rest of the chopped chestnuts with a tablespoon of butter and the heavy cream. When the chestnut mixture is complete, cut the turkey in half and garnish with chestnut mixture. Serves 6.

Marinated Pork Loin, with stuffing, mustard and pickled vegetables

Chris Sisimmi
Justin’s

1 center-cut boneless pork loin
½ gallon canola oil
1 breakfast sausage
1 bunch rosemary
1 bunch thyme
1 bunch sage
2 cups garlic
3 white onions
4 celery stalks
2 eggs
2 loaves baguettes
1 cup raisins
¾ gallon chicken stock
3 large beets
1 head cauliflower
1 pound green beans
2 tablespoons mixed pickling spice
3 cups sherry vinegar
½ cup water
1 lemon
2 cups Dijon mustard
1 cup honey

Salt and pepper to taste

The day before the meal, marinate the pork loin in oil with half the rosemary, thyme, 1 cup of crushed garlic, one onion and one celery stalk.

Prepare the pickled vegetables: Blanch vegetables until tender. Boil an onion in sherry vinegar, lemon water and pickling spices for 20 minutes. Add the blanched vegetables. Heat to a boil, then pack vegetables and liquid in a container and let cool. Refrigerate overnight.

To make stuffing: Cut the baguettes into cubes and toast till golden brown. Sauté garlic, onions, celery, rosemary, sage, thyme and sausage meat together until sausage is cooked through. In a large bowl, add cooked meat and vegetables. Then add the hot chicken stock, raisins, salt, pepper and eggs to the bread. Mix thoroughly and place in a casserole dish with a cover. Bake at 375 degrees for 40 minutes.

For the pork loin: Remove pork from marinade seasoning and bake at 375 degrees until the internal temperature of the pork is 160 degrees. Let sit for 15 minutes, then carve into slices. Place slices on stuffing and heat vegetables in their own liquid. Mix honey and mustard together (pass separately). Serves 8 to 10.

Chocolate Bread Pudding

Ronald Furam
The Londonderry

½ loaf bread (preferably egg bread or brioche)
¼ cup butter
½ cup sugar
½ cup unsweetened cocoa
4 ounces semi-sweet chocolate, cut into chunks
1 cup milk
3 eggs
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1 pinch cinnamon

Melt chocolate and butter in a double boiler. While waiting, cut bread into half-inch cubes and set aside. When the chocolate is melted, add the cocoa and sugar. (I like to use a bowl large enough to hold all the ingredients—including the bread.) Stir well to eliminate any lumps from the cocoa power. Next, add the eggs and stir them in well. Finally, add the milk, cinnamon and vanilla to the chocolate mixture and stir well. Scrape the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula and stir again to make sure all the ingredients are thoroughly mixed. Now add the bread. Stir everything well and let the bread sit for an hour or more in the refrigerator. Pour the pudding mix into a greased 8 x 8 inch pan or 2-quart casserole dish. Bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes or until the custard is cooked through the center. Serve warm with ice cream or berries and whipped cream. Serves 4.

Butternut Squash Bisque

Kenny Scheweier
Café Lulu

¼ cup butter
2 large onions, minced
6 cups butternut squash, in 1-inch cubes, peeled and deseeded
2 ½ quart chicken stock
3 cups potatoes, 1-inch cubes and peeled
3 teaspoons paprika
½ to 1 cup heavy cream, to your taste
1 tablespoon granulated garlic
Salt and black pepper to taste

In a large pot, melt butter and add minced onions. Cook on medium heat until soft, (approximately five minutes). Add your squash, potatoes, stock and paprika to the same pot. Bring everything to a boil, then lower heat to a simmer until the squash and potatoes are soft (approximately 35 minutes).

In batches, pour soup into a food processor or blender, and process until smooth. Return the soup to your pot, stir in heavy cream and add garlic. Season to your taste with salt and pepper. Serves 8.

The Ultimate Turkey Adventure is Wild

Joe Messina
Adventure in Food

1 wild turkey
Bacon
Lard or pancetta (enough to cover bird)
Sea salt
Fresh ground black pepper
½ clove of garlic
Fresh rosemary sprigs
Dr. Frank’s Riesling

Marinate for at least two hours in Dr. Frank’s Riesling. Cut garlic in half to release aroma and flavor. Next, stuff the cavity of the bird with garlic and fresh rosemary sprigs. Drape bird with bacon and lard (or pancetta) covering breasts, legs and thighs. Sprinkle sea salt and fresh ground pepper to taste. Note that the bacon, lard and pancetta are salty, so go light on the sea salt. Put sea salt and pepper in the chest cavity of the turkey. Before you begin to roast, be sure you’ve larded the turkey!

Cook a 10-pound bird for about one-and-a-half hours at 350 degrees. Insert your thermometer between breast and thigh—the temperature should read 160 degrees internally. Let bird sit for 15 to 20 minutes before carving.

(Tip: Use legs and thighs for soup, stew or casserole—they are not as tender as conventional turkey.) Serves 6.

Ultimate Apple Pie

John LaPosta
Cambridge Hotel

3 pounds Granny Smith apples, peeled, cored and sliced
6 ounces sugar
4 ounces flour
1 ounce ground cinnamon
1 ½ ounce goat cheese, crumbled
2 ounce dried cherries
4 ounces unsalted butter
1 ¾ pound brown sugar
1 10-inch pie shell

To make the pie: Place the sliced apples in a large mixing bowl. Now add the next five ingredients (sugar, flour, cinnamon, goat cheese and dried cherries) and mix well with your hands. Make sure the goat cheese and cherries are evenly distributed. Pack apples evenly into pie shells.

To make the topping: Place flour, brown sugar and butter into mixer. Blend ingredients on medium speed for 10 to 12 minutes. Make sure topping is mixed well by using your hands to break up any butter lumps.

Top the pie with crumb mixture making sure there is a half-inch on the entire pie.

Place pie on sheet pan and bake at 400 degrees for 50 to 60 minutes.

Serve warm with great quality vanilla ice cream. Serves 10.

Davidson Brothers’ Grilled Sunshine Shrimp

Ed Benham
The Davidson Brothers’ Restaurant

1 red pepper
Handful fresh basil
¼ cup pine nuts
Olive oil

Steam red peppers, remove skin and add peppers to food processor along with the handful of fresh basil and ¼ cup of pine nuts and olive oil as desired.

For the sauce:

1 cup heavy cream
1 tablespoon pesto
Salt and pepper to taste.

To make the shrimp and rice:

Add one cup heavy cream to a hot sauté pan along with the pesto and salt and pepper. Reduce heat to medium, sauté to desired consistency.

¼ cup rice pilaf
8 jumbo shrimp
2 pitas

Cook rice pilaf, grill shrimp and toast pitas. Cut pitas into eighths (like a pizza) and divide the rest up onto two plates. Place pita points on outer edge of the plate with the points facing outward. Place rice pilaf in the middle of the plate and the shrimp the bed of rice. Pour your sauce over the shrimp. Serves 2.

Lemon Grass Soup

Steve Knopf
dine

1 ½ quarts fish or chicken stock
2 stalks lemongrass cleaned and crushed
1 clove fresh garlic
2 ounces fresh ginger knobs
½ bunch fresh cilantro, cleaned
1 medium onion
2 fresh basil leaves
2 green onions, cleaned
4 peppercorns
1 bay leaf
1 ounce peanut oil
1 tablespoon minced fresh garlic
½ medium onion, minced
1 large red pepper, diced finely
3 strong dashes fish sauce
1 teaspoon sambai or red chili paste
1 ½ pounds sea scallops sliced in half to look like quarters
1 pint unsweetened coconut milk
1 cup half-and-half
1 cup juice of a lime
2 ounces blonde roux

Bring the stock to a boil and add the next nine ingredients. Simmer for three minutes, remove from the heat and let it steep for at least two-hours. Heat the peanut oil in a two-gallon stockpot. Sweat the garlic, ginger, onion and red pepper until tender (no coloration). Next, add the fish sauce, letting it reduce by two-thirds. Now add the scallops (gently so as not to destroy them) and stir with a wooden spoon. When the scallops are cooked medium-rare, stir the sambai or chili paste in. Now add the coconut milk and the half-and-half. Let everything simmer for two minutes. Mix the roux in bits, stirring well. Strain the stock and continue cooking until the chowder has a shine on it. Add limejuice to desired taste. Garnish with a pinch of thinly sliced scallions and three cilantro leaves. Serves 6.

Sperry’s Maryland Crab Cakes

Francois D’Alusio
Sperry’s

1 pound jumbo back-fin crab meat, picked over for shells
1 egg yolk
1 tablespoon mayonnaise
1 ounce white or French bread, crumbled, no crust
2 scallions, chopped finely
1 teaspoon dry mustard
2 teaspoon Old Bay seasoning
Dash of Worcestershire sauce
Dash of hot sauce
Dash of white pepper
Yellow cornmeal

Mix all ingredients until blended. Form into “cakes” and roll in cornmeal. Sauté in a lightly oiled sauté pan. Finish heating in a 350-degree oven. Serve with cocktail sauce, Dijon sauce, remoulade or a cocktail sauce of your liking. Serves 8.

Thanksgiving Artichokes Appetizer

Larry Scheipci
Sargo’s

4 fresh artichokes
½ pound small white mushrooms, chopped
1 tablespoon garlic
2 tablespoon Italian parsley, chopped finely
½ cup fresh basil, chopped coarse
6 cups fresh crusty bread, diced small
¼ cup celery, diced small
1 teaspoon salt
¼ cup parmesan cheese
¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
1 lemon’s worth lemon juice and zest
1 pound sweet Italian sausage meat, six links
2 teaspoon butter, lightly salted
3 ounces dry white wine or sherry

To make the artichokes: Trim the top pointed leaves and pick off only the outside layer of leaves. Split in quarters, length-wise. From the center of the heart, pick out all of the pinch leaves and any hairy parts with a paring knife. Simmer for 20 minutes with half of the lemon and a half teaspoon of salt. Drain and let cool.

To make the filling: In a large skillet, heat olive oil. Add onions, mushrooms, celery and sausage. Break up the sausage while stirring with a wooden spoon. Cook for about five minutes; then add your garlic, basil, parsley, wine and butter. Simmer for another five minutes, then fold everything in your bread and cheese. Mix well. Check stuffing consistency and adjust seasoning while allowing everything to cool.

Once the stuffing has cooled, fill in each leaf. Open center and fill with the stuffing. Drizzle a small amount of olive oil on the top of each artichoke. Finally, place on a flat pan and roast for 25 to 30 minutes at 350 degrees. Serves 4.

Yummy Yams

Debbie Klauber
Debbie’s Kitchen

6 large yams, or sweet potatoes
6 bulbs garlic, sliced
1 tablespoon oil
1/8 pound butter
1 cup orange juice
Salt and pepper to taste

Peel and boil potatoes until tender. Drain and mash them with salt and pepper. Brown your garlic in a little butter or oil until crispy brown. Top your mashed sweet potatoes with the crispy garlic, and add a pinch of cinnamon or nutmeg for taste.


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