Ric Orlando's Crab and "Zucca" Risotto from Albany Wine Dine for the Arts 2013


Crab and "Zucca" Risotto

Crab and pumpkin (aka Zucca), in this case butternut squash,  creamy mascarpone and a drizzle of olive oil is both luxurious and comforting at the same time. Served with a nice bitter endive salad and a big fat white wine, life is good!

There are three steps to this recipe. Cleaning the crab, making the stock and building the risotto. There are no real shortcuts for this--do it all. --life is way more fun when you give it your all....

serves 4
1 Dungeness Crab, Live or cooked (available at a local Asian market)
or 3 Jonah Crabs
or 8 Blue Crabs
1 butternut squash, peled and diced ( about 1 1/2 cups diced butternut squash)
2 cup arborio rice
olive oil as needed
butter as wanted
1 small onion, diced (save peelings)
1 leek, cleaned, white and light green parts diced, green tops reserved for stock
1 large carrot, peeled and diced (peels reserved
1 bunch flat leaf parsley, roughly chopped
1 small bunch of sage, leaves chopped
2 bay leaves
4 oz tomato paste
2 cup white wine
Juice and zest of two lemons
1 fresh nutmeg
1/4 cup marcarpone cheese
Grana Padano cheese, grated
Salt and pepper to taste

FIRST Make the crab-squash stock.This can be done a day in advance.
Blanch the crab:
Preheat oven to 450
In a heavy pot bring 1 gallon lightly salted water to a rolling boil. Drop in the crab and cook for 10 minutes. Remove the crab and cool under running water. Discard the water. ( if you have purchased already cooked crabs, skip this)

Clean the crab: SAVE THE SHELLS! That is what we are making stock from. Pull off the legs and claws and pull off the back shell.  Any liquid and fat that is in the back also goes into the stock. Remove the “fingers” or the greyish gills from he torso and discard. Pull as much meat from the body as you can, Using a scissors, mallet, vice grips, back of a pan...(get it?) crack the claws and legs and extract as much meat as you can there also. Use all the shells, roe, green stuff and drippings for the stock.The reserved meat will last refrigerated for up to 24 hours.

Make the stock:
Put all shells and shell pieces on a cookie sheet and bake for 15-20 minutes, or until he shell edges lightly brown.
Use a heavy stock pot over medium high heat. Add all crab shells to the pot. 
Add half of the diced onion and the onion peelings, half of the diced carrot and carrot peelings, the bay leaves, half of the parsley bunch and leek greens.
Now add the tomato paste and stir it in coating all of the veggies and crab shells. Add one cup of the white wine and stir that in well also.
Add one gallon of lightly salted water to the pot.
Bring to a rolling boil.  Skim and reduce heat. Cook for at least one hour or up to four hours gently. It should reduce by about 10%. If it reduces too much, lower the heat and add a little more water. Strain, discard solids, save the liquid.

Now make the risotto.
Dice the butternut squash meat.
In a heavy casserole pan over high heat coat the bottom of the pan with olive oil. If you like, add a little knob of butter and let it foam up.
Add the diced onion, leeks and carrot. Lightly season with salt and pepper and sauté for 3-4 minutes to soften the onions. Add the diced butternut squash and sauté for 3 more minutes.
Add the rice and stir to coat, adding a little more olive oil if needed. Saute for three minutes.
Add the cup of wine all at once and stir in well.
Now start adding the stock, about 6-8 ounces at a time, and gently stir constantly until the stock is mostly evaporated. Continue with this technique, adding stock and stirring it down ladle by ladle, until most of the stock is gone and the rice is creamy and tender.
Finish by adding the lemon juice, reserved crab meat, the mascarpone, a nice knob of butter and the chopped parsley. Garnish with freshly grated nutmeg, Grana Padano, chopped parsley and a little lemon zest. Serve at once.

Ric Orlando Makes Ceviches

Here's a Time Union Instruction video from the archive...
http://www.newstimes.com/news/media/ceviche-2760.php

Ric Orlando Dry Rub Cooking Video


From the Albany TU Archives--Cajun and Latin dry rubs

Quick perspective on Obamacare

Too many Idiots --too much Hostility--
If Obamacare effects me as a business and my costs go up, my prices will go up accordingly. That is how the world works. But if the middle class workers of America's health care is covered, they will have more money to spend, so a small % increase in prices will be a wash. What is the big deal?
The big deal here is that there are too many companies in America that sell GARBAGE/POISON for CHEAP to people who don't  know or don't care about QUALITY. If you need to eat at Denny's and a 5% increase in the price of grand slam will drive you away you should be cooking those eggs at home.
These companies who are trying scapegoat Obamacare are substance-free ideas that create demand for GMOs, cheap labor, styrofoam, HFCS, and more--they are leading contributors to Diabetes, obesity and a general retardation of America-they do nothing to advance our humanity and only bring our culture down anyway.
So I say, let em squirm.
Here is the recipe kiddies!
http://www.ricorlando.com/turkey101.html

Ric Orlando at Mohonk's Hudson Harvest Recipes featuring CHILES!!!

This weekend, 9/15, I am cooking at the magnif Mohonk Mountain House and their Hudson Valley Harvest Festival. It is my 4th year there and it is a great busman's holiday! If you cannot make it, I am posting my recipes for this weekend....
Food is from ( among others Brook Farm Project, Story Farms, Red Barn Produce and Sea2Table.com --alas, the chocolate, figs, Ancho chiles and Salmon are NOT local, but sustainable --  we do our best!


Hudson Valley Harvest 2012

Chiles, Sweet, Hot and Mysterious.
The mystique of chiles--some fear, some revere, some steer clear! But today we will utilize this healthy harvest of chiles and show just how anyone can enjoy the magical fruit of the capsicum family.  What is the reason over 75% of the people of the earth eat chiles as a regular part of their diet? Well, they are delish AND are one nature’s better healing foods.
Yes, Chiles have numerous benefits for our bodies and minds.
Rich in vitamins, that is not all they offer us.  They actually help maintain proper digestion in numerous ways. First the encourage proper release of disgestive fluids, so your food is assimilated into your system more effiently. Yu get more nutrients from less food--now there;s a diet idea! The hile Diet!. Second they help kill parasites and balance good bacteria which also maximized your digestion!

Recent studies have shown that the alkaloid in Capsaicin, the active componenet of chiles that causes the “burn”, actually attacks cancer cells.

Also, the “burn” of peppers tricks that brain into believing it is being burned by actual heat, so it releases endorphins, the natural pain killer chemicals made in our brain. The more we release endorphins, the happier we are. There is a direct correlation between healthy endorphin release and lowered stress. So live, love, laugh..and eat your chiles!!


Three recipes
Fire Roasted Jalapeno and Local Pear Mostarda
with Sprout Creek Ouray cheese

Apple-Potato-Green Chile Soup

Pan Roasted Pork Loin with “Dirty Blonde” Tropical BBQ Sauce

Chocolate Chile Pot du Creme




LOCAL CHEESE with Fire Roasted Jalapeno-Pear “Mostarda”
A Mostarda is an Italian condiment, almost like a chutney, made by candying fruit with the essense of mustard added. It is sweet and aromatic, almost Middle eastern in character. It excels with cheeses, sausages and cured meats. It is even good on a simple cracker with cream cheese or goat cheese.
Serves 4 with extra mostarda.
8 oz Sprout Creek Ouray cheese or .. Manchego, White Stilton, Aged Cheddar...any good firm ,salty cheese
Grilled bread or rice crackers

Mostarda Recipe
3/4 cup sugar
1 tbs mustard seeds1
1 1/2 tbls good Dijon mustard
2  bay leaves
2/3 cup water
2 cups firm pears, peeled and diced 3/4 inch ish
1/2 cup dried figs, diced
3 jalapenos, charred, stemmed, seeded and roughly  peeled
1 tsp olive oil
1 tsp mustard oil
salt to taste

First, char roast the chiles by cooking them over an open flame until the skin is blackened, like a roasted pepper. When cool enough to handle, scrape off most of the black skin (a little remaining is a nice touch). Remove the seeds and stem and dice small.
Put everything except the chiles, salt, fruit and oils in a heavy skillet and bring to a rolling boil. As the sugar turn to a light syrup, add the fruit and chiles and cook for 20-30 minutes or until the fruit begins to look soft and glazed. Add a pinch of salt and the oils and stir well. Store in a glass jar, refrigerated, for up to 3 months.

Present cheeses, toasts and mostarda on the side, or spoon on top of the cheese is you like.




Apple-Potato-Green Chile Soup 
Serves 4
Ric-ter Scale:  3.5


1/4 pound (1 stick) unsalted butter
1 cup chopped leeks
1 medium Spanish onion, chopped
6 medium Macintosh, Rome or Empire apples, peeled and chunked
6 russet potatoes, peeled and diced
1-2 cups Anaheim or Poblano chiles, roasted, peeled and diced ( about 6-8 medium peppers)
1 quart chicken, turkey or vegetable stock
1 quart apple cider
1 pinch each dried sage, thyme and rosemary
1 tablespoon kosher salt
Generous cracking of black pepper
2 cups cream (optional) and/or 1 cup creme fraiche or yogurt
1/4 cup chopped fresh chives, optional

Roast the peppers just like you would a red bell pepper—over or under fire.
Coat the chiles with a SMALL amount of neutral oil and place over the burners of a gas stove or under a broiler. Watch them carefully and as the skin turns black, turn them until the skin is evenly charred. Place in a container with a tight fitting led and allow the chiles to steam for at least 5 minutes to loosen the skin. Time to peel; you may want to use gloves here. Lay the chile flat on a cutting board. Use the edge of a knife to carefully scrape and peel off most the burned skin. (A lil remnant of skin is pretty tasty!). Now cut off the crown at the stem and split each chile length wise. Open up and carefull scrape out the ribs and seeds. Use a paper towels to get any stray seeds out. Roughly chop the chiles and reserve. See Note*

In a large, heavy pot, melt the organic butter over medium heat and in it sweat the leeks and onions (cook them slowly, stirring often, until soft).
Add the apples and potatoes and sauté lightly, but don’t brown them.
Add the stock and cider.  Bring to a boil, then reduce to a strong simmer, stirring occasionally.  When the potatoes are softened, add the chiles, herbs and seasonings.
Puree in batches in a food processor.
Add heavy cream for a traditional Vichyssoise, or leave as is.
Garnish with creme fraiche or yogurt and chives.  Serve hot or cold.

* Note- During harvest season we buy chiles by the bushel roast them off. We measure 1 cup portions of the roasted and clean chiles and pack then into zip lock bags and freeze them. All winter long we can capture the flavor of fresh chiles!






Dirty Blonde BBQ Salmon
Ric-ter Scale *8.5

Dirty Blonde is one of signature Hot-Swet-Savory-Addictive concoctions, devised for everything from BBQ’d chicken, ribs and  shrimp, heavy ish cheese, ravioli and French Toast. You are first hit by the sweet and tangy, followed but the searing habanero heat, ending with a little glow of spices. You can cut the heat back but using less chile ( shame on you), or folding in a little little sour cream or yogurt.

serves 4
4 6 oz Salmon filet
2 tbls butter
2 tbls vegetable oil
flour (optional)
kosher salt to taste
1 small bunch scallions, chopped
2 cup pineapple, diced small

DIRTY BLONDE SAUCE
makes about 1 quart
8 oz. honey
1/4 cup red onion
1 tsp red pepper flakes
1 tbls allspice allspice powder
2 tsp black pepper
1/4 cup orange juice
3 oz cups grapefruit juice
1/2 cup pineapple juice
1/4 cup dark um
1 oz diced bonnets (about 2 peppers) pureed in cuisinart, no stems
1/4 cup cider vinegar
2 tsp turmeric
1/2 tsp tbls dry mustard
2 tsp arrowroot

In a non reactive pot, bring everything to a boil. 
Simmer for 20 minutes.  Mix the arrowroot with 2 oz water to make a slurry, and whisk into the sauce well. Cook another minute to thicken. Cool. Store refrigerated for up to one month.

Directions

Season the salmon with kosher salt. You may or may not dust the salmon with flour before sauteeing, your choice. In a heavy skillet, (non stick is ok) Add the oil and butter. Melt the butter until foaming. Place the salmon filets top side down into the skillet carefully. COok for 4 minutes over medium high high, or until it begins to get golden brown around the edges. Turn over and cook for one more minute. Remove the salmon to a platter, and pour off the grease. Put the salmon back in the pan and ad the pineapple and scallions. Add about 4 oz of the Dirty Blonde sauce and cook another 2-3 minutes until all is glazed and thickened, Put the salmon on a plate and smother with the sauce, pineapple and scallions.  It is great with rice and beans, mashed potatoes or mashed winter squash!


Mole Truffle POT of Chocolate
New World’s signature dessert for 18 years, this is New World meets Old World in the best sense, combining choclate, fig, cinnamon and dry chiles!
Ancho chiles are dried red ripe poblano peppers. They are bitter sweet and smokey and match up with chocolate like magic!

8 oz. bittersweet chocolate, chopped finely
1 cup heavy cream
1/4 cup sugar
5 egg yolks
1 tsp vanilla
3 oz ancho-fig mixture (see below)

Beat egg yolks until smooth.
Heat Cream and sugar over medium-high heat until scalded.
Add chocolate all at once and stir with a wooden spoon until all smooth.
Fold in eggs and return to gentle heat, stiring softly to incorporate eggs fully.
Remove from heat.
Stir in ancho mix and vanilla.
Use a pitcher and pour 4 oz portions NEATLY into cups.
Chill for 2 hours before serving. 
Serve lightly dusted with cinnamon and poked with a cinnamon stick.

Ancho-fig Puree (aka "mole mix)
1 cinnamon stick
4 ancho chiles
4 oz (weight) black mission figs, stems removed
4 cups water

Heat 4 ancho chiles in 400 degree oven for 1-2 minutes to soften.
they will plum up and release their toasty aroma.
Cool and remove seeds and stems.
Place in pot with cinnamon stick, figs and water. Bring to a boil, turn off heat and cover with a plate. Let soak for 15-30 minutes until figs and chiles are fully softened.  Remove cinnamon stick.
Puree solids in blender, using water to assist in pureeing until you have the consistency of ketchup. DO NOT STRAIN. Discard any remaining water.






Conventions 2012

CONVENTIONS 2012
Watching the Democratic Convention made me very hopeful and happy--multitudes of skin colors, of creeds--old young, simply beautiful...and the message? What it should be. Hope for a greater society. Hope for the middle class. Equality for all. 
The Republicans? All i get is hate, fear, xenophobia, impending doom and selfishness...a Harlan Ellison novella would have painted this picture.
A country is NOT a business. WE are a society. A country does NOT need to make a profit, WE need to be sustainable. There are some who would let us "go out of business" because higher profits can be made by doing it elsewhere. Great. Then what?

menu updates on the way

As summer nears it end and fall begins there is a menu dilemma here in the Hud-Val.
Every year the local produce supply goes through its changes before the seasons do. Corn, tomatoes, cukes, all here today, gone tomorrow. Sometimes it ends without warning. Last year Irene finished off the bursting fields in one day of Poseidon like saturation, irrational wind and then...Gone.

Forbidden Pleasures--The Magic of Offal


The Food of the Gods or Forbidden Pleasures?
It is amusing how we attach biblical status to something as primitive as organ meat or offal.  Heavenly or Devilish—which is it?
It is something that is, in the supermarket at least, the dregs, with the lowest prices and the least desired part of an animal. A huge percentage of organ meat now ends up in preformed burgers, hot dogs and other products.  Ever wonder what is meant in the advertising campaign “100% Beef” ? Sirloin? Filet? I doubt it. Try hearts and hooves. Yes that is the way most Americans get their lesser cuts!
For centuries, Sweetbreads, Pates, Marrow Custard and Anticuchos were and still are considered specialties in many parts of the world, reserved for the refined, wealthy and sophisticated eaters. James Beard and Julie Child, icons in he American culinary revolution revered a good chicken liver appetizer or kidneys in sweet and sour sauce.   But to mention these items many today in America, and you receive a groan or my least favorite response --- eeeuuwwwe, gross!
In a case of mistaken identity, offal, variety meats and many “good fats” have been much maligned in the modern food media, until recently that is.
Chefs enjoy working with them for three main reasons. First of all, they are complex and delicious, The layers of complexity in organ meats---nuances of mineral and floral aromas, layers of subtle sweetness and bitterness, the supple texture---these are the same descriptions we use for fine wine.  This is the good stuff, not the house pour, and chefs like that!
The second reason is that chefs need variety to show off their creativity. After your 100th filet mignon special, chefs need to explore new things to keep their edge and offal is a great opportunity for that.
The last reason that offal is making a comeback is because of the Global influence on modern chefs. Organ meat is still revered in all, I mean ALL parts of the world except America, where we think that a boneless skinless chicken breast has flavor!  From Asia to Argentina, livers, kidneys, tongue, heart, and more are relished by the rich and poor alike. In my travels to Europe and Central America, the most memorable meals I had included some form of “forbidden pleasure”. It is what the locals encouraged you to enjoy, as a way of making a connection and creating a bond with our cultures!
On a serious note about health; organ meats from naturally pastured animals are, contrary to contemporary myth, quite healthy for you in moderation. They contain many elusive nutrients, minerals, “good” fat, cystine, elastin, collagen and other alkaloids and enzymes that are essential to the development of our own organs, joints, brain and blood. According to bone and fat enthusiast Jennifer McLagan, [author of Beard Award-winning cookbook Fat  “marrow is full of minerals and good fat. Queen Victoria ate marrow every day and, while she may have had a full figure, she lived to be 81." That was when life expectancy was much shorter than today! Studies back her claim up, showing that marrow is a good source of protein and is high in monounsaturated fats, which decrease bad cholesterol levels.
Finally, using the entire animal is the essence of the sustainability movement.  If all we desire is round cutlets that fit perfectly on a bun, the processing industry will continue to develop “Franken-meat” to fulfill our desires. We are what we eat and we get what we ask for!
In trying to be sensible and sustainable in our meat choices, we must honor and use the entire animal in a holistic way. New World is way on board on this fact! Use it all----make stock, and in the words of the immortal Julia Child
“Save the liver!!!”



No Crash Risotto with Brown RIce


Here is one more illustration of the virtues of brown rice.  My wife Liz's father Angelo Corrado lived with us for the last few years f his life. He had been a diabetic for over 30 years. He still craved pasta though he knew it is one of the worst foods he can possibly eat. Whenever he ate regular white or semolina pasta his sugar count would jump to over 200  and then crashes down leaving him depressed and drowsy. Is this you? You know, eating is supposed to be your body's fuel. You are not supposed to fall asleep after eating. So  I  used Angelo as my Guinea pig! I  served him small portions brown rice and brown rice pasta combined with free range meats and fish for dinner and we monitored his sugar levels. When he ate the brown rice his sugar levels mobved up and tne back down slowly. And he stayed---happy! . The complex carbohydrates in brown rice are truly miraculous!   

  On the menu at New World we actually call it "No Crash" risotto!  This is big for me. Getting away from the white stuff is a matter of survival!

Getting Ahead on Brown Rice
It is a  good habit to make a few cups of brown rice every week and
keep it in the fridge. It is so simple. The ratio for making brown rice
is  part rice to 1 1.2 parts water. Add a pinch of salt and a drop of oil
or butter and bring to a boil. Once it boils, cover it snugly, reduce
the heat to very low and allow to gently steam for about 45
minutes.  Use a fork to flake the rice out onto a cookie sheet to cool
and then store in an airtight container in the fridge for up to one
week. I like to count on about 3/4 cup raw rice per person per meal.

Brown Rice and Mushroom Risotto
Serves 4 - Ricter Scale 1

A slowly cooked risotto is
For the risotto
6 cups cooked short grain sweet brown rice
olive oil
1 tablespoon organic butter
1/2 Spanish onion, minced
1 cup leeks, sliced in rings (on medium leek should do)
1/4 cup carrot, diced small
1 clove of garlic, minced
4 oz brandy
4 large portabello mushrooms, sliced
1 cups oyster mushrooms, string roots trimmed
1 cups crimini mushrooms, quartered lengthwise
2 tablespoon fresh sage, coarsely chopped
For garnish
Grated Parmigiana, Sardo or Asiago (Romano is too sharp)
truffle oil
For the stock
olive oil
chopped leek tops
any garlic peels
stems from sage
stems from the portabellos
trimmings from the oyster mushrooms
1/8 cup dried forest mushrooms or porcini ( a few pieces)
1/4 cup brandy
1 tablespoon sea salt
a few whole peppercorns
4 cups water

2 cups cream

If you have your rice precooked, the making of this dish is about timing. Put the mushrooms into roast while you make the stock. Getting everything ready in advance is not a bad idea. You can roast the mushrooms, cook the rice and make the stock up to three days in advance. Just be sure to store them in the refrigerator, covered well.
Roast the Mushrooms
Preheat oven to 500. Put the sliced portabello, crimini
and oyster mushrooms in a bowl. Toss them with olive oil, salt and
pepper them well and put them on a sheetpan. Roast for 10 minutes
or until they are sizzling and golden around the edges. Remove from
the oven and let them cool down
while you finish the dish.
Make the stock
In a heavy pot, sauté the mushroom stems and leek tops with the
olive oil until golden . Put in the dried mushrooms and brandy.
Turn up heat and let cook until brandy flames up. Add water, garlic
peelings, cream, and sage stems and bring to a rolling boil. Reduce
heat to a low simmer, add the salt and peppercorns and continue to
simmer for cook for 20 minutes to infuse
flavor. Strain out and press on solids to extract all of the flavor.
Reserve.
Make the Risotto
 Note: Use a heavy bottomed pan large enough to hold everything with room for stirring for cooking and a wooden spoon for stirring.
            In that heavy pan use some olive oil to sauté the  onion, leek and carrot. When wilted and lightly golden around the edges, add the garlic. Now add the brandy and flame. When the flame has died down, stir well. Add the cooked rice and stir well. Add about half of the reserved stock and stir again with a wooden spoon.
Cook the risotto gently adding the rest of the stock a little stock at a time until it is all gone.  Add the sage and a handful of the cheese.