Annika's Country Ham

Annika's Country Ham

John Lavelle, owner of Nordic Preserves, Fish, And Wildlife Company in Essex Street Market, takes many orders for these hams around holiday time. They are a traditional part of the Yule Board or Christmas Smorgasbord. His wife Annika was a cook at his restaurant when she suggested this dish for the menu.

Serves 10 | Cook Time Varies

1 Green Ham

1 Cup of Salt
1⁄4 Cups of Sugar
1⁄2 Teaspoon of Saltpeter

6 Quarts of Water
3 Cups of Salt
6 Tablespoons of Sugar
1 1⁄2  Tablespoons of Saltpeter

2 Large Egg Yolks
1 Tablespoon of Brown Sugar
6 Tablespoons of Grainy Mustard (Scandinavia Sourced if you can get it)

1. Combine 1 cup salt, ¼  cup sugar, and ½  tablespoon of saltpeter. Massage this mixture all over the ham.

2. Place the ham in a food - safe container large enough to hold it, cover, and place in a very cool place for 3 days turning occasionally.

3. On the third day, bring the water to a boil, add the salt, sugar and saltpeter. Once the salt has dissolved, remove from the heat and cool.

4. Pour the brine over the ham, make sure that it is completely covered. Cover the container, put it in a cool place, and leave for a few days or until it develops a pinkish hue.

5. Remove from the brine, and wipe well.

6. Place fat side up in a pot of boiling water, covering the ham completely. Bring the water back to a boil and cover. Simmer for 3 hours, or until tender.

7. Remove from the cooking pot and take off the skin. Using a cloth, wipe off all of the loose fat. 

8. Place the ham in a 350 degree oven for 30 minutes.

9. Combine the egg yolks sugar and mustard. Remove the ham from oven and coat with the egg mixture.

10. Place back in the oven, and let bake until  golden brown. Let cool completely, and slice to serve.

For a traditional Scandinavian holiday, celebrate Christmas on the 24th of December and serve this ham with meatballs, herring, truffles.

Dwayne's Picture Perfect Turkey Lasagna

Dwayne's Picture Perfect Turkey Lasagna

Essex Street Market maintenance crew member Dwayne loves to share this turkey based casserole with friends and family.

Serves 8 | Cook Time 30 minutes

1 ½  Tablespoons Olive Oil
1 Cup Yellow Onion, Diced
6 Garlic Cloves, Minced
½  Cup Lowfat Milk
22 Ounces of Lean Ground Turkey
3 - 4 Turkey Sausages (if you are feeling fancy)
1 Teaspoon Salt
1 ⅔  Cups Shredded Parmesan Cheese
10 Ounces of Mozzarella Cheese
15 Ounces of Fresh Ricotta
1 Teaspoon dried oregano
1 Teaspoon dried parsley
1 Tablespoon of Ground Black Pepper
3 ½  Cups Marinara Sauce
13 Ounces of Oven Ready/No-Boil Lasagna Noodles

1. Heat olive oil in large skillet over medium-high heat.

2. Add onions, saute until onions are opaque. Add garlic and ½  of each portion of herbs and spices. Saute for 2 minutes.

3. Add ground turkey to the pan and cook until meat has begun to brown.

4. Add ½  cup of milk, and simmer on medium-low heat for 5 minutes or until meat is entirely cooked. Mix in 2 ½  cups of marinara sauce, reserving 1 cup. Turn off heat.

5. In a medium sized bowl, combine ricotta cheese, 1 cup of shredded parmesan (reserving ⅔  cup), remainder of all herbs and spices (including salt and pepper). Mix with hands or spoon.

6. Mix the ricotta mixture with the sauce/turkey mixture.

7. Layer up a casserole dish with noodles first, then meat/sauce/cheese, then sliced mozzarella cheese, and finally the remainder of your sauce.

8. Bake at 350℉ for about 20 minutes or until it looks delicious.

Share pictures of this photo ready Lasagna on social media with family and friends if they are not around to enjoy it with you

Danielle's Top Secret Mac and Cheese

Danielle's Top Secret Mac and Cheese

Danielle works at Davidovich in the Essex Street Market. This is not exactly the Mac & Cheese recipe of Danielle’s Grandmother from South Carolina. She will not share the recipe with ANYONE! 

Serves 10 | Cook Time 40 minutes

8 Tablespoons of Unsalted butter
2 Tablespoons of Olive Oil
2 Cups of Panko
2 Garlic Cloves, Minced
1 Cup of Grated Parmesan
1 Teaspoon of Salt
1 Pound Elbow Macaroni
6 Tablespoons of Flour
4 Cups of Whole Milk
¾  Cup of Heavy Cream
6 Cups of Cheddar Cheese
½  Teaspoon of Pepper

1. Preheat oven to 400°F with rack in the middle of oven. Butter the baking dish. Set a large, covered pot of salted water over high heat to boil.

2. Meanwhile, in a large skillet over medium stove, heat butter and oil. Add panko and garlic stirring until crumbs are golden brown, 4 to 6 minutes. Transfer crumbs to a medium bowl, stir in ½  cup Parmesan and salt, and set aside.

3. Add macaroni to boiling salted water and cook until just al dente. Drain macaroni and set aside. 

4. In a large wide pot over medium - low heat, melt the butter. Sprinkle flour over butter, whisking to incorporate and make a roux. Cook, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon, until roux is light golden, about 4 minutes. 

5. Gradually pour in milk and cream, whisking constantly to incorporate and make a béchamel sauce. Raise heat to medium-high and bring sauce to a low boil, whisking constantly. Reduce to a simmer, whisking occasionally, and cook until béchamel sauce is thick and coats the back of a spoon, about 3 minutes more.

6. Add the salt and pepper. Add the cheeses in batches, whisking until each addition is completely melted before adding more. Remove from heat.

7. Add the drained macaroni to the pot with the cheese sauce and stir well to coat. Transfer macaroni mixture to the buttered baking dish and place on a rimmed baking sheet. 

8. Sprinkle topping evenly over macaroni and bake until golden and bubbling, 18 to 23 minutes. 

Waft the heavenly scent towards your sleeping family to wake them up with a grumbling belly

Sau Ying's Sancocho

Sau Ying's Sancocho

This recipe was collected at the Laguardia Senior Center and was included as number 1 in our public video installation, Fables.

Serves 12 | Cook Time 1 - 2 hours

Pig's feet
Red carrots
1 container of chicken stock
Pinto beans
1 bottle of tomato sauce
3 sweet dates, dried
A few olives

1. Chop the tomatoes, potatoes, celery, red carrots, parsley and onions.

2. Soak the dates in oil.

3. Clean and soak the beans overnight.

4. Soak the pigs' feet over night in water and salt, then brush the pig feet skin with an unsharpened knife.

5. Bring water to a boil in a large pot and then add all the ingredients. Let stew for 1 - 2 hours.  

6. Add pinto beans with olives and dates.

7. Add chicken stock and tomato sauce.

8. Let simmer and then serve.

Mendy's Cauliflower Latkes

Mendy's Cauliflower Latkes

Friends and neighbors go crazy for these salty treats, requesting notice whenever LES side resident, Mendy whips up a batch. Mendy’s mother claims that his talent for making latkes surpasses even her own. This recipe was included as number 2 in our public video installation, Fables.

Serves 8 | Cook Time 45 minutes

1 head fresh cauliflower
3 eggs, beaten
1/2 cup whole matzah meal
Salt to taste
Black pepper to taste
Oil, for frying

1. In a large pot, bring water to a boil. Add cauliflower. Cover. Turn heat down to low. Cook for approximately 20 minutes, or until the cauliflower is soft enough to be easily mashed.

2. Drain the cauliflower and then mash it in a bowl. Let the cauliflower cool a bit.

3. Place cauliflower in a mixing bowl. Add beaten eggs. Add enough matzah meal to create a pancake-like batter. Season with salt and pepper.

4. On medium-high heat, place a few tablespoons of oil in a frying pan. When the oil is hot, drop batter by tablespoonfuls into pan. Flatten the pancakes a bit so they are not too thick to cook well in the middle. Fry approximately 3 minutes on each side, until browned on both sides and firm in the middle. Remove from frying pan onto paper towels to drain excess oil and cool.

5. Repeat, starting with hot oil and then dropping spoonfuls of batter, until all the batter is used.

Mendy's Sheyn Vi Di Levone

Mendy's Sheyn Vi Di Levone

Serves 8 | Fermentation Time 6 weeks

2 citron
1/2 cup craisins
1/2 cup raisins
8 oz grain alcohol

1. Cut up citron.

2. Add the raisin/craisins or whatever dried fruit you want.

3. Add alcohol, combine ingredients into a 16 oz. mason jar.

4. Ferment for 6 weeks.

5. When ready to serve, strain out the fruit.

6. Water down to your liking.

7. Serve on the rocks. 

Carmelo's Sorullitos

Carmelo's Sorullitos

This recipe was collected at the Laguardia Senior Center and was included as number 4 in our public video installation, Fables.

Serves The Whole Bingo Gang | Cook Time 30 minutes
10 Ounces of Corn Meal
1 Teaspoon of Salt
3 Tablespoon of Sugar
1 Tablespoon of Butter
2 Cups of Water
2 Cups of Oil (for frying)

1. In a small saucepan, bring to a boil the water, salt, sugar and butter.

2. Turn the heat down to low, add one cup of the cornmeal and mix well with a whisk.

3. Using a spatula, add the remaining cornmeal until well incorporated. It should be very thick, dry enough for you to handle easily by hand. Add more cornmeal if necessary.

4. Let it cool down a bit before handling.

5. Form the sorullitos by scooping about three tablespoons, forming a ball first, then rolling on your hand into a stick about three inches long (7 cm).

6. Heat the oil, and fry until they achieve a deep yellow color.

7. Serve warm.

Instead of sticks, shape them into small rounds if you prefer.

King's Pork Larb

King's Pork Larb

Chef King of the Lower East Side Filipino eatery Kuma Inn shared this dish with us to be included as number 5 in our public video installation, Fables.

Serves 2 - 4 | Cook Time 10 minutes
1/2 Pounds of Pork, Ground
3 Tablespoons of Fish Sauce
4 Tablespoons of Lime Juice
1/2 Shallot, Sliced
1 Scallion Stalk, Chopped
1 Tablespoon of Chili Pepper, Dried
1 Cucumber, sliced
5 Thai Eggplant, Sliced
3 Stems of Thai Basil
4 Stems of Cilantro

1. Bring water to a boil.  Add pork.  Simmer until cooked through, breaking up meat with a spoon or tongs, about 8-10 minutes.  Strain and transfer to mixing bowl.

2.  Add remaining ingredients up to dried chili peppers and mix.

3.  Serve with remaining vegetables and herbs.

Feel free to substitute lemons for limes. Larb also goes well with lettuce, long beans, bean sprouts and fresh Thai chilies for extra heat. Ground pork can also be substituted with ground chicken, beef or even turkey

Diana's Macaroni with Meatballs & Sausage

Diana's Macaroni with Meatballs & Sausage

This recipe was collected at the Laguardia Senior Center and was included as number 6 in our public video installation, Fables.

Serves 6 | Cook Time 2 hours

8 Quart Large Stock Pot
¼ - ½  Cup of Vegetable Oil
1 Large Sweet Onion
12 Links of Pork Sausage
5 Cloves of Garlic
2 - 12 Ounce Cans of Tomato Puree
2 - Ounce Cans of Tomato Paste
6 Ounces of Water
1 Tablespoons of Sugar
3 Pinches of Basil
3 Pinches of Oregano
½  Sprig of Parsley

Large Pot
2 Pounds of Ground Turkey
2 Large Eggs
4 Ounces of Grated Parmesan Cheese
¼ Cup of Water
½  Sprig of Parsley
½  Cup of Whole Wheat Bread Crumbs
1 Pinch of Oregano
1 Pinch of Basil

Large Soup Pot
1 Pound of Penne Pasta
¾  Pot of Water

1. Sauce preparation: Pour ¼  to ½  cup of vegetable oil into your large 8 quart stock pot. Dice one whole large sweet onion and add to the pot. Rinse sausage links and cut 3 - 4 holes in each before placing them in the pot as well. Dice your garlic and add to the pot last. Place the lid over the pot and let cook for 5 minutes on medium flame. Stir well, lower the heat and let simmer till the onions and garlic are soft and the links are browned. When the garlic is soft remove it from the pot and mash it before adding it back in. When meat is fully cooked remove the lid and let simmer till the oil has evaporated.

2. Meatball preparation: Churn 2 pounds of ground turkey with 2 large eggs by hand in a large pot. Add 4 ounces of parmesan cheese, 2 diced cloves of garlic, ½  sprig of finely chopped parsley (without stems), ½  cup of whole wheat bread crumbs, one pinch of oregano and one pinch of basil. Add ¼  cup of water and hand churn thoroughly till seasonings are evenly spread throughout the mixture. Add bread crumbs as desired if the mixture is too wet. Let the mixture sit in the fridge until ready for use.

3. Sauce preparation continued: Finely chop ½  a sprig of parsley to be added to the sauce later. When the oil has evaporated from the pot add two 6 ounce cans of tomato paste and mix. You can then add two 12 ounce cans of tomato puree and 6 ounces of water. Stir in 1 tablespoon of sugar, 3 pinches of basil, 3 pinches of oregano and finally, the ½  sprig of parsley. Let the sauce simmer for 10 minutes and then add your meatballs.

4. Meatball preparation continued: Remove your seasoned meat from the fridge and one handful at a time; roll the meat into balls, each smaller than a baseball but larger than a golf ball. When the meatballs are well rounded, you may drop them into the sauce to cook. Keep the sauce at a simmer for 1 ½  hours to cook the meatballs all the way through. Do not stir the sauce until meatballs are thoroughly cooked.

5. Pasta preparation: Fill a large soup pot ¾  of the way with water and set it on the stove to boil. When the water has begun to boil, add 1 pound of penne pasta and let it cook till the pasta is tender. You can test the tenderness with a fork. Once fully cooked; drain the pasta.

6. Serving suggestion: Add 2 large spoonfuls of macaroni or penne pasta to a plate and generously pour on the sauce with 2 meatballs and 2 sausage links to accompany it. Serve and enjoy

Ludy's Pasteles

Ludy's Pasteles

This recipe was collected at the Laguardia Senior Center and was included as number 7 in our public video installation, Fables.

Serves 30 | Cook Time 1 Hour
20 Pounds of Green Bananas
2 Platano
1 ½ Yautia
1 Large Potato
½ Calabaza
1 Garbanzo
Alcaparrado (Olive and Pepper Mixture)
1 ½ Evaporated Milk
Regular Milk
7lbs Meat, Shoulder or Butt (“Masa”)
½ Ham
Vegetable Oil
Sazon (seasoning)
Tomato Sauce
Banana Leaves (optional)

1. Grate all the vegetables in a large bowl. 

2. Add milk and salt.

3. Melt achiote with vegetable oil and add a little to the grated vegetables for coloring and
mix thoroughly.

4. Cut the meat and ham into small pieces. 

5. Put 1 large tablespoon of cooking oil into a pot. When the oil is hot, add one envelope of
sazon and sauté with sofrito. 

6. Add ham, alcaparrado, tomato sauce and garbanzo. 

7. Add the meat and enough water to make a stew. 

8. Cook until done and add a little of the sauce to the vegetables for taste.

9. Set up the achiote, meat, vegetables, water with a clean sponge, string and paper. 

10. Proceed to wet the paper, place a banana leaf and spread vegetables over it. Add the
meat, fold and tie, assembling 2 in each pack. 

11. When done, prepare a pot with salted boiling water, add pasteles and cook for 1 hour

Wai Man's Stuffed Eggplant

Wai Man's Stuffed Eggplant

This recipe was collected at the Laguardia Senior Center and was included as number 8 in our public video installation, Fables.

Serves 12 | Cook Time 45 minutes

2 Eggplants
½ Pounds of Pork
3 Pieces of Fish Fillet
1 Bunch of Chinese Parsley
3 Tablespoons of Cornstarch
3 Tablespoons of Olive Oil
3 Tablespoons of Oyster Sauce
2 - 3 Tablespoons of Cooking Wine
1. Cut each eggplant in half lengthwise, then cut diagonally into ½ inch slices.

2. Mince fish, shrimp and pork, using the flat side of the knife to create a paste. 

3. Put the minced fish, shrimp and pork paste in the middle of eggplant, then cover.

4. Heat 20 ounces of vegetable oil in a pan. Heat eggplant pieces approximately 5 minutes on each side, until browned.

5. Place on paper towel to soak up the excess oil.

6. To make the sauce, mix 2 cups of water with 4 - 5 tbsp of cornstarch and 2 tbsp of oyster sauce in a sauce pan.

7. Boil mixture and then put all the fried eggplant into the sauce. Cook about 1 - 2 minutes

Jennifer's Chickpea Noodle Soup

Jennifer's Chickpea Noodle Soup

Recipe provided by Marisa Miller Wolfson of the film and web site and her collaborator Laura Delhauer.

Serves 8 | Cook Time 40 minutes

2 Cans of Chickpeas (Rinsed & Drained)
2 Tablespoon Safflower or Canola Oil
1 Tablespoon Earth Balance
4 - 5 Stalks of Celery, Washed and Diced
2 or 3 Large Carrots, Peeled and Diced
8 Cups of Vegetable Broth
½  of a 12 Ounce Box of Pasta Stars
Sea Salt
Parsley (optional)

1. Preheat oven to 375.

2. Rinse and drain chickpeas, then toss them with oil and sprinkle with sea salt in a roasting pan.Roast at 375 for 20 minutes.

3. Meanwhile, in a large soup pot, sauté celery & carrots with earth balance (and possibly a dash of oil to keep them from sticking) for 3 - 5 minutes (until veggies become fragrant).

4. Add veggie broth, stir and bring to a boil.

5. Add chickpeas when they are ready.

6. Lower heat to a simmer and cover. Simmer for 25 minutes.

7. 10 mins before soup is done, boil water in a small pot and add pasta stars. Stars should cook in about 5 mins (but don't over cook stars, as you'll be adding them to hot soup).

8. Rinse and drain pasta stars and add them to soup.

9. Remove soup from heat, stir, garnish with parsley (if you wish) and serve!