Ric Orlando TedX Talk 12.2016

I tell all, or most of why and how I became a chef here. View the story of my madness here!
http://tedxalbany.org/talks/2016-talks/ric-orlando/

Bulgarian Shopska Salad

Hey! I just returned from a trip to Bulgaria! Bulgaria, you say?
Yes, indeed.
I was working for Indiana's Maple Leaf Farm duck producers as a sort of culinary ambassador. They have just launched a duck farm in Bulgaria and they will be the first American company to produce duck in the E.U.  I had the hard job of doing a cooking demo for a cooking academy in Sophia and doing a cocktail party with my fried and Maple Leaf Farms corporate chef Dale Miller at the American Ambassador's residence.  Such is the grueling life of a chef!
The early part of the week I was in Bulgaria was a culture immersion for sure. We were treated to tours and meals by our host Maria Polimenova, who herself is quite a culinarian! 
On to the food in Bulgaria. It is very fresh and simple. Their produce is excellent! and they everyday salad eaten in Bulgaria in season shows that off. It is called the Shopska Salad.
If you visit, you'll encounter it. There is no real "recipe" so to speak, It is similar to a Greek Country Salad as there is no lettuce. Here is a basic rundown.
serves 2
In a salad bowl add
3 large medium ripe tomatoes, cut in largeish chunks
2 cucumbers, peeled, and cut into generous cubes
1/2 sweet bell pepper, cut into medium dice
1 small sweet onion, shaved thin
good quality olive oil
red wine or balsamic vinegar
1 cup mexican queso blanco or ricotta salata (these are the closest I could find to their "fresh cheese"), grated large or shredded


Dress the veggies olive oil and vinegar and season with salt and pepper.
Top with cheese and a kalmata olive.
That's it. That is how it was presented in every place we ate. And it was always refreshing and delicious. 

Ric Orlando's Original Purple Haze Shrimp


Ric Orlando’s original “Purple Haze Shrimp”

Ok, so this dish comes with a lot of lore and just as much BS. It is hot? You bet? Is is painful…well, a little. But is it balanced? Totally. This is the perfect example of what West Indian spice should be. Like Trinidad’s inimitable Matouks brand hot sauce, this dish puts you on the edge, but keeps you coming back for more. The best analogy is this: it’s an unusually hot May day. All the kids are splashing about in the swimming hole. You jump in too. And the water if frigging FREEZIN! What now? If you jump out you’ll be doomed to a day shivering on the shore, but if you stay in and get used to it, you’ll have a great fun day and maybe some new adventures!  A good deep hot dish is the same. Stay in and experience what a good mind bending meal is about!  

The name Purple Haze was inspired by guitar legend and journalist Matte Henderson, who walked right in to the original New World Kitchen on Zena Road and explained to Ric that his shrimp appetizer was making him “trip balls”. He then vocalized the guitar intro to Purple Haze by Jimi Hendrix.
At the time the dish was made with papaya and mango, not red cabbage. That is when the inspiration for Purple Haze came in.  Make it purple. Try everything. Beets? No, too dirty tasting. Blueberries?…nope, too “blue” fruity. Black berries, nah…too tart. And it occurred to me that cabbage would be perfect. It has plenty of cellulose which assists in digesting the capsicum from the habaneros and will cook out very purple! So that is it.
Enjoy your trip.



Purple Haze Shrimp
Serves 4 as a side, snack, app or light meal with plenty of leftover sauce.
16 16-20 or u-15 GULF shrimp, peeled and deveined, tails intact.
3 oz unsalted butter
12 ounces pineapple juice
4-5 habanero chiles, or 6-7 scotch bonnets stemmed, seeds intact
1 cup red cabbage, shredded
1/4 cup red onion, diced
2 teaspoons ginger, dry
1  teaspoons thyme, fresh, divided
4 ounces cider vinegar
1/4 cup brown sugar
1 teaspoon sea salt
1 cup pineapple, diced
3 scallions, sliced

To make the sauce.
Put the habaneros, cabbage and onions in a food processor and pulse to chop everything very fine.
Put this mix in a non reactive pot with the pineapple juice, vinegar, ginger, cornstarch, brown sugar, salt and half of the thyme. Bring to a boil then simmer 15 minutes to concentrate the flavors. This is the Purple Haze sauce. Cool and jar it up. It will last, refrigerated for up to one month or more.
To make the dish, use a heavy skillet.
Melt half the butter and then arrange the shrimp in an even layer in the pan. Cook over medium high heat until the shrimp begin to caramelize on one side. You want them golden brown


Turn the shrimp over and add about 6 oz of sauce. Bring to a boil, then add the rest of the butter. and swirl to melt it in. Spoon our 4 shrimp per person, smothered in sauce.
Garnish wit fresh pineapple, scallions and sprinkle with the remaining thyme!

Enjoy with beer, a fruity cocktail or a glass of cold white wine like the Finger Lakes riesling in the picture. Don’t do red wine!!! It will make the peppers hotter and will also make the cabbage bitter

Ric Orlando's Peppered Shrimp


Ric Orlando’s PEPPERED SHRIMP
In NOLA these are just called BBQ shrimp or maybe Pan BBQ Shrimp.
I’ve tried some really good renditions while in Louisiana but, as you expected, my recipe is better than most. Or at least that is what I’ve been told by many Louisiana natives. Why? Because I worked at it, tasting as many versions as I can and distilling the recipe down to what makes the better ones memorable.  This version is not for tourists…it is derived from older home recipes I encountered, which put a big emphasis on the black pepper flavor.  These have been on my menus since my very first executive chef job at Justins in 1989, and I have always been proud to serve such an unabashedly messy and spicy dish to my guests. I guess it has kind of defined my style.
Serves 4
The BUTTER Sauce
1/4 cup lemon juice
1/4 cup coarsely ground black pepper
3 tbls dry rosemary
1 tbls dry basil
2 tbls dry oregano
1/2 lbs unsalted butter
1/2 cup shrimp stock or canned clam juice
1 tablespoon minced
1 tbls salt (adjust according to what stock you use)
1-2 tsp cayenne
1 tbls paprika
THE DISH
I baguette for sopping up the sauce
16 nice sized (16-20 or u-15) GULF shrimp, Shell on but deviened
chopped scallions for garnish


To Make the “Butter Sauce”
Put the lemon juice, peppers and dried herbs in a blender.
Then add the garlic, salt, cayenne and paprika to make a paste.
In a heavy sauce pot melt the butter and the stock together.  Then add ground spice paste to butter mix (using a rubber spatula to get it all).  Simmer over low heat, stirring frequently until mixture is a mahogany color.  Store in steel or glass container so you can remelt when needed.
Lasts refrigerated for up to one month.

To make the dish
Use a heavy skillet. Add about 2-3 oz Butter sauce per person.
Warm the sauce and add 3-4 shrimp per person. Cook the shrimp for about one minute, turn and finish cooking them right in the butter.
Use a slotted spoon to arrange the shrimp on a warm plate, pour over the sauce and serve crusty baguette on the side for dipping.


Ric Orlando's Not Quite Ibarra Chocolate Cake

Ric’s Not Quite Ibarra Chocolate Cake
Ok so this cake is delish, but does not have the Mexican Ibarra chocolate in it. It has the components of Ibarra chocolate, which is fine by me!
Makes a 9 inch round cake.
Preheat oven to 325
1 tbls cinnamon
small pinch ground cloves
1 tsp red chile powder
zest of two oranges
4 tbls bittersweet chocolate, minced
1 1/2 cups peeled almonds, toasted and grind to a fine powder
4 eggs, separated
1/2 cup sugar, divided
2 tbls fresh orange juice
Patron Citronage, Gran Marnier or triple sec
Grease, flour, paper and grease your cake pan.
Combine the cinnamon, clove, chile powder,orange zest, chocolate and almonds in a mixing bowl.
Beat the yolks with 1/4 cup of the sugar and orange juice until smooth and shiny.
In another bowl beat the whites to soft peaks while gradually adding in the sugar. Now combine the yolk mix with the chocolate-almond mix. 
Carefully add half of the whipped the whipped whites. When incorporated add the other half.
Spread into the cake pan and bake 35-40 minutes or until the cake pulls away from  the sides.
When cool, paint with the orange liqueur.

Chocolate Glaze
10 tbls bittersweet chocolate
1 tbls unsweetened chocolate
3/4 cup softened butter
1 tbls agave syrup or Karo corn syrup*
1 tablespoon water
Put everything except 1/4 cup of the butter in a double boiler and stir gently until just melted.
Remove from heat and stir in the remaining soft butter, Let cool a few minutes then pour over the cake.
*Karo is NOT high fructose corn syrup, fyi

Garnish with cocoa whipped cream and orange supremes

Cingale con Tutti Gli Odori - (Wild Boar with all of it's aromas) A Taste of Puglia Cooking Class at Different Drummer's Kitchen 4/12


Cingale con Tutti gli Odori (Wild Boar with All of it's Aromas)
This is a very cool, ancient style dish and and the essence of Pulgia in many ways. It represenst the hunter/forager roots of the region.
This is a recipe designed to break down and neutralize the gaminess of wild boar, but a pork shoulder will work just fine here as well.
The hermetically sealed pot will trap the steamed released from the animal, conatining “all of the aromas” or Tutti Gli Odori”.  This dish is great as a ragout over pasta, farro or rice or served on the table in a big family style bowl with sides of roasted potatoes and  good bread.

Serves 6-8 with leftovers .  1 large frying rabbit sectioned into:
1 4-6 lb wild boar shoulder or pork picnic roast, cut into large chunks
2 tablespoons olive oil
tutti gli odori—all of the herbs and aromatics:
1 tablespoon fresh basil
1 tablespoon fresh thyme
6 juniper berries
1 tablespoon black peppercorns
1 tablespoon fennel seeds
1 tablespoon fresh sage
1 tablespoon fresh rosemary
2 teaspoons fresh marjoram
1 teaspoon fresh oregano
2 tablespoons fresh parsley
2 teaspoons salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
I medium yellow onion, diced
4 cloves of garlic, smashed
1/4 cup water
1 cup red wine
1 cup canned tomatoes with juice, pureed
flour and water for sealing the lid
Use a spice mill to grind the juniper, fennel and peppercorns to a coarse grind. Put that into a food processor with the remaining herbs and spices, the onion and the garlic. Add the water and puree to a medium paste. Use your hands to rub this paste all over the pork. In a heavy pot with a proper fitting lid, heat the oil to medium and add the pork. Cook for three minutes, turn, and add the wine and tomatoes. Remove from the heat and hermetically seal. (To do this, make a paste of 1/4 cup flour and 1/4 cup water. Rub the paste around the rim of the pot. Use a piece of waxed paper or foil to seal
the top of the pot and cover tightly with the lid.)
Put back on the stove at medium low heat and cook for two hours.

Pugliese Arugula Sauce, A Taste of Puglia, Different Drummer's Kitchen 4/12

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Orecchiette with Arugula sauce and “olio santo”.
Orrecchiete and cavatelli are the true pastas of puglia. As is tradition, the women make pasta by hand, but there are some nice authentic brands on line and in better Italian markets too.
The pasta is special there as they use real local semolina flour. It makes a nice rich and chewy pasta that holds the “Condiment” well. This dish features arugula Rustica.which is foraged and also cultivated. It is more bitter and intense than our California version. Get some arugula sylvetta seeds and grow it! You’ll love it. Here is a link-  
http://www.seedsavers.org/sylvetta-organic-arugula


Serves 4
1 lb artisan orecchiette pasta or home made

For the sauce.
4 cloves garlic, sliced thinly
1/4 cup good olive oil
pinch of salt
1 can high quality plum tomatoes, squished by hand, reserving the juice too
Generous handful chopped basil
1 lb arugula
1/2 cup Pecorino Romano cheese plus more for the table.

Bring a pot of generously salted water to a rolling boil.
Drop in the orecchiette and stir.
Simultaneously, In a heavy skillet, add the olive oil and when it is shimmering add the garlic and a pinch of salt.
Stir the pasta again.
When the garlic is getting golden to amber colored add the tomatoes all at once.
Swirl the pan. Let simmer until the pasta is ready.
Check the pasta. When it is al dente add the arugula to the pasta water. Cook one minute and drain.
Add the basil, cooked pasta and arugula to the pan. Stir in the Romano cheese and serve right away with nore cheese on the side.


Mussels Gratinata, A Taste of Puglia Cooking Class at Different Drummer Kitchen, 4/12 -

 
A Taste of Puglia
Puglia is the Heel of the Bootof Italy. Known as the bread basket of Italy, it is a highly agricultural region and at the same time is on the Adriatic coast. The seafood, grains and vegetables there are super local and  fresh and are eating seasonally.
Want a zucchini is spring? Not in Puglia. Non é la stagione!
The Pugliese are very set in their ways. They eat simple food, with clean flavors that change with the season.
These recipes are extremely minimal, yet beautiful. It is true Italian “Piatti povere” cooking

They celebrate the true flavors of the products used and have set the trend for many chefs styles in America today.




Mussels Gratinata
Did I mention that the Pugliese are…frugal?
Through necessity, they have developed many recipes that stretch the meal using bread.
These mussels are deliciously baked with a simple bread and and garlic topping. So simple yet so delicious.

Serves 4 -8
2 lbs mussels ( about 40)
1 glass of dry white wine
2 cups or more bread crumbs
2 tbls finely minced garlic
1/4 cup chopped parsley
zest of one lemon
pinch of crushed red pepper to taste
olive oil

Preheat oven to 325
Clean and debeard the mussels.
Put them in a big skillet with a tight fitting lid. Over high heat, add the wine, cover and steam  for 2-3 minutes to steam open the mussels.
Remove the lids and pour the mussels and the cooking liquid into a bowl to cool.
When cool enough to handle remove and reserve the mussels and the shells separately.
Separate and reserve the shells.
Place one mussel in each shell.
Mix the bread crumbs, parsley, lemon zest, garlic and crushed pepper in a bowl. Add the reserved cooking liquid and stir. Drizzle in a little olive oil. You should have a damp crumb.
Put crumb on top of each mussel, packed in well.
Drizzle with olive oil.
Bake for 15-20 minutes or until golden.


Ric Orlando's New World Home Cooking original promo video 1995


This was made by a friend Mick Richards, as a tease to sell a TV series. No series, but a great archival video, capturing the original New World Home Cooking on Zena Road in all of its crazy energy...and I whip together a quick batch or PURPLE HAZE shrimp...there are a lot of classic Woodstock faces here that may be still around..or not..
Enjoy me and my ponytail!

Just drool....oxtails...the Jamaican way by Ric Orlando


Ric Orlando's Original Recipe PURPLE HAZE SHRIMP

Ric Orlando’s original “Purple Haze Shrimp”
Ok, so this dish comes with a lot of lore and just as much BS. It is hot? You bet? Is is painful…well, a little. But is it balanced? Totally. This is the perfect example of what West Indian spice should be. Like Trinidad’s inimitable Matouks brand hot sauce, this dish puts you on the edge, but keeps you coming back for more. The best analogy is this: it’s an unusually hot May day. All the kids are splashing about in the swimming hole. You jump in too. And the water if frigging FREEZIN! What now? If you jump out you’ll be doomed to a day shivering on the shore, but if you stay in and get used to it, you’ll have a great fun day and maybe some new adventures!  A good deep hot dish is the same. Stay in and experience what a good mind bending meal is about!
The name Purple Haze was inspired by Futurist guitar legend Matte Henderson, who walked right in to the original New World Kitchen on Zena Road and explained to Ric that his shrimp appetizer was making him “trip balls”. He then vocalized the guitar intro to Purple Haze by Jimi Hendrix.
At the time the dish was made with papaya and mango, not red cabbage. That is when the inspiration for Purple Haze came in.  Make it purple. Try everything. Beets? No, too dirty tasting. Blueberries?…nope, too “blue” fruity. Black berries, nah…too tart. And it occurred to me that cabbage would be perfect. It has plenty of cellulose which assists in digesting the capsicum from the habaneros and will cook out very purple! So that is it.
Enjoy your trip.


Purple Haze Shrimp
Serves 4 as a side, snack, app or light meal with plenty of leftover sauce.
16 16-20 or u-15 GULF shrimp, peeled and deveined, tails intact.
3 oz unsalted butter
12 ounces pineapple juice
5-6 each habanero chile, stemmed, seeds intact, or more, or less
1 cups red cabbage, shredded
1/4 cup red onion, diced
2 teaspoons ginger, dry
1  teaspoons thyme, fresh, divided
4 ounces cider vinegar
1/4 cup brown sugar
1 teaspoon corn starch (optional)
1 teaspoon sea salt
1 cup pineapple, diced
3 scallions, sliced

To make the sauce.
Put the habaneros, cabbage and onions in a food processor and pulse to chop everything very fine.
Put this mix in a non reactive pot with the pineapple juice, vinegar, ginger, cornstarch, brown sugar, salt and half of the thyme. Bring to a boil then simmer 15 minutes to concentrate the flavors. This is the Purple Haze sauce. Cool and jar it up. It will last, refrigerated for up to one month or more.
To make the dish, use a heavy skillet.
Melt half the butter and then arrange the shrimp in an even layer in the pan. Cook over medium high heat until the shrimp begin to caramelize on one side. You want them golden brown.
Turn the shrimp over and add about 6 oz of sauce. Bring to a boil, then add the rest of the butter. and swirl to melt it in. Spoon our 4 shrimp per person, smothered in sauce.
Garnish wit fresh pineapple, scallions and sprinkle with the remaining thyme!

Enjoy with beer, a fruity cocktail or a glass of cold white wine like the Finger Lakes riesling in the picture. Don’t do red wine!!! It will make the peppers hotter and will also make the cabbage bitter.

Ric Orlando's Eggplant Balls!

Ric Orlando's Vegetarian Eggplant Balls (Standard and Gluten Free Versions)
Wow. These eggplant balls were chosen to represent the Berkshire/Hudson/Capital/

Central NY area in the US Foods Next Top Product contest!

They are very old school, much the same as my mother's–and her mother's–bready Neapolitan meatballs. Braise them in simple red sauce with pasta, make a sub with lots of mozz, slice them onto pizza or salad, served with tzatziki...the possibilities are endless!

(Oh yes, and want them gluten free? We got you! Just use Gluten Free Crumbs)

Makes about 24 delectable eggplant balls

2 tablespoons salt
4 large eggplants , peeled, stem removed,  and cut into quarters lengthwise
2 cups panko bread crumbs or more if needed
2 eggs
1/2 cup  grated Pecorino romano cheese
2 cloves garlic, finely minced
1 bunch Italian parsley, chopped to yield 1/4 cup
2 tsp dry oregano
pinch crushed red pepper to taste
1/2 cup sunflower or other neutral flavoredvegetable oil.

Bring 8 quarts of water to a boil and add 4 tablespoons salt. Add the eggplants and boil until soft, about 10 minutes.

 Remove the eggplants from the water and drain well, pressing out all of the water.
When the eggplants have cooled, coarsely chop them and place them in the work bowl of a stand mixer.
 Add all other ingredients and mix until the eggplant is broken down completely.
If the mixture is too wet, add a little more panko until it is tight enough to roll into meatballs.
Roll golf ball sized balls and pan fry in hot oil until golden all around.
Bake in a casserole dish smothered with your favorite red sauce, topped with four cheese mjix ( recipe below) or mozzarella.
Ric's 4 Cheese Mix
1/2 cup pecorino romano
1/2 cup crumble gorgonzola
1/2 cup smoked gouda, grated
1/2 cup fontinella or provolone, grated

Ric Orlando's Perfect for Dinner Chicken Dinner Recipe #4, Puerto Rican "Asopao de Pollo"



puerto rican recipe: asopao de pollo

Puerto Rico: Asopao de Pollo

Asopao (that’s ah-so-POW) is a soup-stew that every Puerto Rican cook has a rendition of. The main seasoning is sofrito, the traditional Latino mix of aromatics and cilantro. It’s a quick, healthy, homey meal.
  • 4 lb. chicken cut into 10 pieces
  • 1 heaping tablespoon adobo seasoning (or make your own by mixing equal parts salt, cumin, onion powder, garlic powder, and paprika)
  • ¼ cup vegetable oil
  • 2 medium sweet bell peppers, seeded and medium diced
  • 1 large Spanish onion, peeled and diced
  • 1 small bunch cilantro
  • 5 cloves of garlic, peeled
  • 14 oz. can crushed tomatoes
  • 2 cups natural chicken broth
  • 1½ cups long grain white rice
  • ¼ cup stuffed green olives
1. Season the chicken pieces well with the adobo. In a heavy casserole, heat the oil to medium hot. Brown the chicken nicely on all sides, remove and reserve.
2. Make the sofrito. Roughly chop the cilantro, saving six nice sprigs for garnish. Put the cilantro, half the bell pepper, the onion and garlic in a food processor and pulse, then let the machine run to make a fine, pesto-like grind.
3. Put the casserole back over medium-high heat. Add the sofrito and sauté for three minutes to release its aroma. Do not brown it. Add the rice and stir to coat.
4. Add the chicken and all remaining ingredients. Bring to the boil. Cover snugly and set the heat to low. Allow to cook undisturbed for 20 minutes.
5. Turn off the heat and allow the casserole to stand covered for five minutes before serving.

Something green? Cooked kale or Swiss chard would go well.
Wine: A light red like a Finger Lakes Cab Franc, Sangiovese Chianti-style wine or a Spanish or French Grenache.

Ric Orlando's Perfect for Winter Chicken Dinner Recipe #3 Vietnamese Chicken Curry



vietnamese recipe: chicken curry

Vietnam: Chicken Curry

This is one of my all-time favorites. It’s real Vietnamese comfort food, mildly spiced, perfumed and rib-sticking at the same time.
  • 4 lb. chicken, skin removed, cut into 10 pieces
  • 2 Tbs. vegetable oil
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 1 tsp. crushed red pepper
  • 1 large shallot, peeled and chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 4 Tbs. curry powder, either Vietnamese or Madras
  • 1 large carrot, peeled, sliced into coins
  • 1 sweet bell pepper, seeded and diced medium
  • 2 cups peeled, cubed potatoes
  • 3 cups chicken broth
  • 2 cups water
  • 14 oz. can coconut milk
  • 2 Tbs. fish sauce
  • 2 kaffir lime leaves (optional)
  • Juice of one lime
  • 1 small bunch fresh cilantro, roughly chopped
  • 1 small bunch of mint, roughly chopped
  • 4 scallions, sliced into rounds
1. In a heavy casserole, sauté the chicken in the oil until golden, then remove and reserve.

2. Add the onions, crushed pepper, shallots, garlic, carrot, bell pepper and curry powder. Sauté, stirring, until everything is wilted and coated with curry. Add the potatoes and toss to coat.
3. Add all remaining ingredients except the herbs. Bring to a boil.

4. Reduce heat to a gentle simmer and cook covered for 35-40 minutes or until chicken is cooked through. Serve in bowls, garnished with cilantro, mint, and scallions.

Something green? You could serve sliced cucumbers, hot chili sauce, and lime wedges on the side.
Wine: A crisp Pilsner beer is best with this, but if you really want wine, choose something tart and bright, like a Sauvignon Blanc or Seyval Blanc.

Ri Orlando's Perfect for WInter Chicken Dinner Recipe # 2, Salvadorian Pollo con Crema ( chicken with cream)



el savadorean recipe: chicken with cream

El Salvador: Chicken with Cream

This is a stick-to-your-ribs, soothing peasant dish I learned from my Salvadoran friends.
  • 4 lb chicken, cut into 10 pieces
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Juice of one lime
  • ¼ cup vegetable oil
  • 1 each red and green bell pepper, seeded and sliced into strips
  • 1 jalapeño, sliced into rings
  • 1 medium Spanish onion, sliced into rings
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 small zucchini or summer squash, diced
  • 14 oz. can plum tomatoes, broken up with the back of a spoon
  • 1 small bunch of cilantro, roughly chopped
  • 2 cups heavy cream
  • 3 cups cooked white rice
1. Season the chicken with the lime juice, salt and pepper.

2. Heat the oil in a heavy casserole. Brown the chicken nicely, remove and reserve.

3. Add the onions, jalapeno and peppers. Cook until wilted but not brown. Add the garlic and cook another minute.
4. Add the tomatoes and squash. Bring to a boil.

5. Put the chicken back in the casserole, then add the cream and stir everything together. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to low.
6. Fold in the cilantro. Cover and let the chicken gently simmer for 30-40 minutes, until done. If it gets dry, add a little water. Serve over white rice.

Something green? This goes well with a salad of celery, onions, tomatoes, and peppers, with a red wine vinegar dressing to counteract the heaviness of the dish.
Wine: A big, fat Chardonnay will hold up well against all the richness.

vietnamese recipe: chicken curry

Ric Orlando's Perfect for Winter Chicken Dinner Recipe #1 - Ground Nut Chicken

These one-pot chicken recipes take just an hour to prepare. They’re designed to be easy and inexpensive — under $20 — and they make your house smell bewitched as they cook. That’s important! Dress them up with side dishes, and they’re perfect for a simple, festive dinner party.
I recommend buying a whole chicken and cutting it up yourself. A local, organic chicken is best, but if you’re on a very tight budget, you can use the most inexpensive kind. The dishes will be just as comforting. Sauté the livers and hearts and eat them as a little snack while you cook. Jacques Pépin calls that the chef’s treat. (I share them with the dog.) If there are any leftovers, you can throw them in a pot with the bones and make a second stock, or a potluck soup.
All four recipes start with a four-pound chicken cut into 10 pieces — two legs, two thighs, two whole wings, and four breast pieces. Each dish is cooked in one heavy casserole pan or Dutch oven following the same basic technique, and each feeds from four to six people.
 ghana recipe: west african groundnut chicken

 Ghana: West African Groundnut Chicken

This is a beautiful dish that features peanut butter as a thickener, giving it a sophisticated, satisfying flavor. Season the chicken to make it as mild or spicy as you wish.
  • 4 lb. chicken, cut into 10 pieces
  • Salt, cayenne, and ground coriander to taste
  • 1/8 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 rib celery, cut into 1/4-inch sections
  • 1 small onion, diced
  • 1 clove garlic, crushed
  • 1 half-inch cube of ginger, peeled and minced
  • 2 cups cubed fresh sweet potatoes
  • 14 oz. can whole tomatoes
  • 1½ cups water
  • 1 cup okra, sliced (optional)
  • ½ cup smooth peanut butter
1. Season the chicken with salt, ground coriander and cayenne pepper to taste.

2. Heat the oil in a heavy casserole. Brown the chicken nicely on all sides, remove and reserve on a plate.
3. Add the celery, onion, ginger and garlic to the pan, and wilt over medium-high heat for two minutes.
4. Add the tomatoes, sweet potatoes and chicken. Break up the tomatoes with a wooden spoon. Add water and bring to a simmer. Cover and cook gently for 45 minutes or until the chicken is done. If using the okra, add it and cook for an additional five minutes.
5. Remove the chicken and vegetables and arrange on a deep serving platter. Skim any grease from the sauce. Add the peanut butter and whisk in well to incorporate. Cook one minute to bind, then pour the sauce over the chicken.

Something green? Add a bright Mediterranean-flavored salad with a lemony dressing, and maybe couscous on the side.
Wine: A New York Riesling or Gewurztraminer would be perfectly matched with this nutty, perfumy dish.

The BEST Roasted Chicken Wings... ever!

Ric’s Best Home Style Double Roasted Wings
 (with three super easy sauces)
These wings are so easy to get right, and are not nearly as messy (or unhealthy) as the usual fried wings. They will be easy to slide off the bone and the meat will be tender without seeming boiled or soupy.
Prep them and let them marinate at least three hours but preferably overnight. Then roast at high heat, cool, glaze and roast again with one of my easy sauces below or your choice of your own favorite sauce.
serves 4-8
For the wings
5 lbs raw chicken wings (about 30-35)
1/2 cup lime juice ( from 4-5 limes or use bottled)
1/4 cup adobo seasoning (recipe below)
Put the wings in a large bowl. Add the lime juice, toss, sprinkle generously with the adobo and toss again to evenly coat the wings. Refrigerate for at least 3 hours or overnight.
Preheat oven to 475.
Place wings on cookie sheets in one layer, not overlapping. Bake 20-25 minutes or until sizzling and golden. They may still be a little rare. that's ok, you are going to cook them again.
Allow to cool to room temperature.
When ready to serve toss to coat with your sauce of choice, reserving some for dipping.
Bake again at 450 for 10 minutes, turning once,  to caramelize the sauce anf dinish the cooking. Enjoy!

Easy Adobo Spice Mix
You can always use store bought, but this is so simple, why not make it?
2 tables salt
1 tsp black pepper
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp onion powder
1 tso oregano
1 tso cumin
2 tsp paprika
Mix well. Lasts forever.

Here are some glazing and dipping sauces for ya.
Spicy Hoisin Wing Sauce
1/4 cup Hoisin sauce
1 tbls grated ginger
3 tbls sesame oil
3 tbls soy sauce
3 tbls rice vinegar
3 tbs honey
sriracha to taste
Mix well

Easy, Smokey Buffalo-Garlic sauce
1/4 cup chipotle hot sauce (like cholula)
1 stick butter
1 tbls chopped garlic
1 tbls brown sugar.
Melt butter with garlic. Mix all ingredients together


“Dirty Blonde” Hot BBQ
1/4 cup Dijon mustard
1/2 cup honey
1/4 cup minced red onion
1 cup pineapple juice
1/4 cup cider vinegar
1 tsp curry powder
1 tsp allspice powder
1 tsp turmeric
2 minced fresh habaneros or scotch bonnet peppers, or generous dashes of habanero or scotch bonnet hot sauce to taste
Bring everything to a simmer and cook for 5 minutes then cool.