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Quick and Easy Recipes from Local Chefs


Some of the 2018 Greenwich wine + food festival chefs share the recipes they make that are so simple, they barely need to be written down.

Mike PietrafesoFresh Heirloom Tomato Sauce
Mike Pietrafeso, Ada’s Kitchen + Coffee, Riverside, CT, and Roost, Darien, CT

Serves: 4-6
2 pounds fresh heirloom tomatoes (about 6)
3 cloves garlic, shaved
Salt and pepper to taste
1 handful fresh basil leaves, torn
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
½ cup chicken stock

1. Boil a pot of water. Meanwhile, cook shaved garlic on low heat with olive oil until golden.
2. Add chopped heirloom tomatoes, season with salt and black pepper and add a touch of chicken stock.
3. Add basil leaves and simmer until tomatoes have broken down and formed a rustic fresh tomato sauce.
4. Cook spaghetti (made fresh if you have the time). Strain and add to sauce.
5. Finish with good olive oil and copious amounts of shaved Parmesan.

Empanada Fritatta
Robin SeldenEmpanada Frittata
Chef Robin Selden, Marcia Selden Catering & Events, Stamford, CT

Serves: 4-6
1 pound lean ground beef
one small onion
3 cloves garlic, crushed
½ cup raisins
Paprika, cayenne pepper, salt and fresh ground pepper to taste
1 splash cider vinegar
1 handful fresh cilantro, chopped
12 eggs

1. Sauté the beef until cooked through, then use the same frying pan to sauté one small onion and 3 cloves crushed garlic in olive oil until caramelized.
2. Soak raisins in hot water for 5 minutes to plump them up. Add the beef back into the pan and add the raisins.
3. Then add the rest of the ingredients except
the eggs.
4. Lastly, crack the eggs into a bowl, add a splash of water and some salt and pepper; pour them over the beef mixture.

Chef’s Note:One other thing I make with this filling (in addition to empanadas) is a casserole with the meat on the bottom topped with mashed potatoes like a Cuban shepherd’s pie, which is honestly one of the yummiest things ever! To make empanadas or shepherd’s pie we always add hardboiled eggs to the filling, but not for the frittata.”

Balsamic SaladMogan AnthonyBasic Vinegar Salad Dressing
Mogan Anthony, Village Social, Mount Kisco and Rye, NY

Serves: varies
Rice vinegar
Olive oil
Purée (see instructions)
Sea salt
Cracked pepper

1. Combine 1 part rice vinegar with ½ part olive oil.
2. Then add ½ part purée of something like ginger, passion fruits, apple purée, chestnuts, etc. and shake to mix.
3. Finish with sea salt and cracked pepper to taste. “I use a variety of different peppers—Szechuan for Asian, black pepper for Italian and white pepper if it’s going on fish.”

Short RibCarlos BaezBraised Short Rib in Bonito Broth
Carlos Baez, The Spread, South Norwalk and Greenwich, CT

Serves: 2-4
½ pound beef short rib
1 quart chicken stock
1 handful bonito flakes
Splash of soy sauce
Splash of sesame oil
2 pieces lemongrass
3 cloves of garlic
A few handfuls of spinach

1. Sear ½ pound beef short rib in cast iron pan.
2. Glaze with chicken stock.
3. Cover short rib and bake for 4 hours in the oven at 350˚F.
4. Meanwhile, for the broth, simmer chicken stock, bonito flakes, soy sauce, sesame oil and lemongrass for 15 minutes.
5. Strain broth and set aside.
6. To combine, sautée short ribs with spinach, garlic, oil and a splash of lemon in a medium bowl.
7. Add broth and serve.

Stephen LewandowskiFatoush
Stephen Lewandowski, Harlan Social, Stamford, CT, and Harlan Publick, South Norwalk, CT
(Middle Eastern bread salad)

Serves: 2-3
2 medium tomatoes
1 cucumber
½ red onion, sliced thin
3 disks of pita, cut into 8 triangles
1 cup feta cheese, cut into ⅛-inch cubes
2 ounces olive oil
¾ acid, like lemon juice
¼ teaspoon sugar (optional)
¼ teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon za’atar spice

1. Dust pita with za’atar spice and grill it to toast.
2. Put first 5 ingredients into a bowl; add rest and toss gently.
3. Let sit for a few minutes to let bread soften just slightly before serving.

Apple TartLisa MaronianIndividual Open Face Apple Tart
Lisa Maronian, Sweet Lisa’s Exquisite Cakes, Greenwich, CT

Serves: 12
1 box puff pastry (in the freezer section)
6 Granny Smith apples
Cinnamon sugar

1. Spread the puff pastry out on your work surface.
2. Cut into individual serving sized squares.
3. Peel, core and thinly slice apples and arrange in center of dough.
4. Sprinkle with cinnamon sugar and dot with butter.
5. Bake in a 350˚F oven for 12 to 15 minutes.
6. Serve warm with ice cream.

Cacio e pepeBrad SpenceCacio e Pepe
Brad Spence, Amis Trattoria, Westport, CT

⅓ pound Tonnarelli pasta
⅓ cup cheese (pecorino or similar), plus more to finish
Fresh ground pepper
2 tablespoons olive oil

1. Boil the pasta in salty water to al dente (8 to 10 minutes) and drain, but reserve 1 cup of pasta water.
2. On high heat, mix in oil and cheese with a few scoops of the pasta water and freshly ground black pepper. Make sure you add in the pasta water slowly because the ratio is key. Toss frequently for 1 to 2 minutes.
3. Plate, top with cheese and serve.

Photos by (Marcia Selden) Robb Long; (short ribs) Elisa Gorman; (Brad Spence & pasta) Urban Hospitality

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