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Showing posts from 2016

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 …

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 appetiz…

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 (adjus…

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…

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 andgood 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 t…

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

--> 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 rollin…

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

A Taste of Puglia Puglia is the “Heel of the Boot” of 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 andfresh 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, withclean 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 t…

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!

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 wa…

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…

Ric Orlando's Perfect for Dinner Chicken Dinner Recipe #4, Puerto Rican "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 pieces1 heaping tablespoon adobo seasoning (or make your own by mixing equal parts salt, cumin, onion powder, garlic powder, and paprika)¼ cup vegetable oil2 medium sweet bell peppers, seeded and medium diced1 large Spanish onion, peeled and diced1 small bunch cilantro5 cloves of garlic, peeled14 oz. can crushed tomatoes2 cups natural chicken broth1½ cups long grain white rice¼ cup stuffed green olives1. 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 proce…

Ric Orlando's Perfect for Winter Chicken Dinner Recipe #3 Vietnamese 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 pieces2 Tbs. vegetable oil1 medium onion, diced1 tsp. crushed red pepper1 large shallot, peeled and chopped2 cloves garlic, chopped4 Tbs. curry powder, either Vietnamese or Madras1 large carrot, peeled, sliced into coins1 sweet bell pepper, seeded and diced medium2 cups peeled, cubed potatoes3 cups chicken broth2 cups water14 oz. can coconut milk2 Tbs. fish sauce2 kaffir lime leaves (optional)Juice of one lime1 small bunch fresh cilantro, roughly chopped1 small bunch of mint, roughly chopped4 scallions, sliced into rounds1. 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 …

Ri Orlando's Perfect for WInter Chicken Dinner Recipe # 2, Salvadorian Pollo con Crema ( 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 piecesSalt and pepper to tasteJuice of one lime¼ cup vegetable oil1 each red and green bell pepper, seeded and sliced into strips1 jalapeño, sliced into rings1 medium Spanish onion, sliced into rings2 cloves garlic, minced1 small zucchini or summer squash, diced14 oz. can plum tomatoes, broken up with the back of a spoon1 small bunch of cilantro, roughly chopped2 cups heavy cream3 cups cooked white rice1. 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 …

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, a…

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 o…