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Mouth-Watering Pasta, on a Shoestring

Chef Bill Telepan spent the '90s in what were some of the most high-profile restaurants in New York at the time: Le Cirque, Le Bernardin, Gotham Bar & Grill.

Today, he owns and operates his seasonally-driven, namesake eatery, Telepan, also in Manhattan.

And his American cooking's been receiving rave reviews, such as this one, from Gourmet magazine: "A grade of American cooking to which all other restaurants aspire."

Telepan draws his inspiration from the freshest, local ingredients, made in a simple way.

He accepted "The Early Show on Saturday Morning"'s "Chef on a Shoestring" challenge of trying to make a three-course meal for four on our oh-so-stingy budget of $40.

And Telepan's chef's hat was automatically tossed into our "How Low Can You Go?" competition, in which the "Shoestring" chef with the lowest ingredients costs gets invited back to whip up the feast for our year-end holiday extravaganza!

For this meal, Telepan drew on the seasonal harvest.

"Early Show" Recipes Galore!

MENU
• Crimini Mushroom, Pecorino Cheese and Baby Spinach Salad
• Roasted Vegetable & Herb Pasta with Buffalo Mozzarella
• Cinnamon Streusel Peaches with berry whipped cream

FOOD FACTS

Mozzarella di Bufala (also called simply Buffalo Mozzarella!): Mozzarella di bufala is the most prized of the fresh mozzarellas. Most buffalo mozzarella available in the United States is made from a combination of water buffalo milk and cow's milk. (Source: Epicurious.com)

Pecorino cheese: In Italy, cheese made from sheep's milk is known as pecorino. Most of these cheeses are aged and classified as GRANA (hard, granular and sharply flavored); however, the young, unaged Ricotta pecorino is soft, white and mild in flavor. Aged pecorinos range in color from white to pale yellow and have a sharp, pungent flavor. The best known of this genre is Pecorino Romano, which comes in large cylinders with a hard yellow rind and yellowish-white interior. Other notable pecorinos are Sardo, Siciliano and Toscano. These hard, dry cheeses are good for grating and are used mainly in cooking. They can be used in any recipe that calls for parmesan cheese, especially if a sharper flavor is desired. (Source: Epicurious.com)

Streusel: A crumbly topping consisting of flour, sugar, butter and various spices that is sprinkled on coffeecakes, breads, muffins and cakes. The word streusel is German for "sprinkle" or "strew." (Source: Epicurious.com)

RECIPES

Crimini Mushroom, Pecorino Cheese and Spinach Salad

INGREDIENTS: For the sherry vinaigrette:
1 tablespoon sherry vinegar
1 teaspoon chopped shallot
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

METHOD:

Place vinegar and shallots in bowl, add salt and whisk in oil.

INGREDIENTS: For the crimini mushrooms:
1 pound crimini mushrooms, washed, ends of stems trimmed
2 cloves garlic-sliced thin
1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
6 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

METHOD:

Combine garlic, flakes and oil. Toss mushrooms with marinade and let sit for 1 hour.

INGREDIENTS: To assemble:
1/2 pound baby spinach
4 tablespoons balsamic
4 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons chives
2 ounce piece of pecorino, shaved with a vegetable peeler
Salt and pepper

METHOD:

Preheat grill on high heat. Skewer marinated crimini mushrooms and char on grill with top open for 3 to 4 minutes depending on size, rotate to other side and grill for 3 to 4 more minutes. The mushrooms should have grill marks while still maintaining their texture.

Dress baby spinach with vinaigrette, season with salt and pepper and stack in the middle of each plate. Remove crimini mushrooms from skewers and place around the spinach. Drizzle mushrooms with balsamic and a little around the plate. Drizzle with extra virgin olive oil and a little around the plate. Sprinkle with chives and top with a few slices of shaved pecorino.


For Bill's pasta and dessert recipes, go to Page 2.

Vegetable & Herb Pasta With Mozzarella

INGREDIENTS:
2 ears corn
1 red pepper, roasted, peeled, and cut into 1/2" dice
1 tomato
1 1/2 teaspoon lime juice
1 tablespoon lemon juice
2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon chopped parsley
1 tablespoon chopped basil
Salt and pepper
8 ounces dried pasta (penne, mezze rigatoni or farfalle)
1 ball of mozzarella di bufala

METHOD:

To grill the corn, heat the grill on high heat. Place the corn on grill until blackened on one side, about 2 minutes. Rotate and blacken all sides, about 6 minutes total. Set aside to cool. Place tomato on grill until the skin begins to blacken and crack, about 1 1/2 minutes. Flip and repeat on other side, about 3 minutes total. Shuck corn and cut cornels from cob. Peel, seed, and cut tomatoes into 1/2 inch dice.

Combine all ingredients. Marinate 30 minutes. Adjust seasoning to taste.

Cook pasta according to package, minus 2 minutes. Toss with vegetables and cheese.


Cinnamon Streusel Peaches

INGREDIENTS: Streusel topping:
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
2 ounces butter
1/4 cup dark brown sugar
3/4 cup sugar
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon salt

METHOD:

Preheat oven to 350°F. Mix together all of the ingredients in a large bowl by hand. Spread out on a baking sheets and bake for around 10 minutes, until golden in color. Set aside. Can be placed in air-tight container for up to a week

INGREDIENTS: For the peaches:
1/2 cup flower honey (lavender, linden, or orange blossom are good choices)
1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
3 sprigs of fresh mint
4 large peaches-split in half, remove pit

METHOD:

To prepare the peaches place the honey and vinegar in a small saucepan. Thoroughly crush the mint sprigs in your hands and add to the honey mixture. Place the peaches in a bowl or baking dish. Heat the honey mixture to a simmer and pour evenly over the peaches. Let sit at room temperature for one hour, turning occasionally.

Place peaches on a medium-high grill for 60 seconds to 1 minute 30 seconds per side to form golden brown but not black grill marks, brushing with the honey mixture. Place 2 peach halves on a plate and top with whipped cream and streusel

INGREDIENTS: Berry whipped cream
6 ounces heavy cream
1 tablespoon honey
1/4 cup raspberries or strawberries or both

METHOD:

Mix the heavy cream with honey and whip until stiff. Reserve.

Crush the berries and then fold into whipped cream


So, how did Bill to in our "How Low Can You Go?" competition?!

Mushroom Salad
shallot $.12
criminis $6.00
garlic $.39
spinach $2.49
chives $1.29
pecorino $2.99
total $13.28

Vegetable Pasta
corn $1.00
tomato $.75
red peppers $1.00
lime juice $.20
lemon juice $.66
parsley $.99
basil $1.99
pasta $1.99
mozzarella $7.69
total $16.27

Cinnamon Peaches
mint $1.29
peaches $1.99
heavy cream $1.19
raspberries $2.99
total $7.46

Bill's grand total: $37.01

He leaps right to the top of our Leaders Board!:

1. Bill Telepan $37.01
Telepan

2. Amanda Freitag $37.17
The Harrison

3. Mikey Price $37.18
Market Table

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