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Shrimp spaghetti from rising star chef nominee

You might say Jesse Schenker's career is on the rise.

He's been nominated for the prestigious James Beard Foundation rising star chef of the year award, and his New York eatery, Recette, is up for the foundation's Best New Restaurant title.

Recette is known for its elegant but approachable American cuisine, with a changing menu that showcases fresh products and twists on seasonal American favorites.

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On "The Early Show on Saturday Morning," Jesse accepted our "Chef on a Shoestring" challenge, and attempted to make a three-course meal for four on our ever-so-stingy budget of $40.

He was also automatically entered in our "How Low Can You Go?" competition, in which the "Shoestring" chef whose ingredients cost the least will be asked back to cook up the feast for our year-end extravaganza!

And viewers can get into the "Shoestring" act, as well: You can vote via mobile phone for the main course you'd like our "Chef on a Shoestring" to prepare next week!

"Early Show" Recipes Galore!

Wild Arugula Salad with Ricotta
Sweet Shrimp Spaghetti
Pear & Apple Compote


Kumquat: This pigmy of the citrus family looks like a tiny oval or round orange. It's cultivated in China, Japan and the United States. The edible golden orange rind is sweet, while the rather dry flesh is very tart. The entire fruit - skin and flesh - is eaten, and very ripe fruit can be sliced and served raw in salads or as a garnish. The kumquat is more likely to be found cooked, however, either candied or pickled whole or in preserves or marmalades. Fresh kumquats are available from November to March. Look for firm fruit without blemishes. Refrigerate wrapped in a plastic bag for up to a month. Kumquats contain good amounts of potassium and vitamins A and C. (Source:

Ricotta Salata: An aged Ricotta cheese. The natural aging process produces a hard, pungent cheese with a white interior and smooth texture. Ricotta Salata has a mild, nutty and slightly salty flavor and is Sicilian in origin. (Source:

Julienne: Foods that have been cut into thin, matchstick strips. The food (such as a potato) is first cut into 1/8-inch-thick slices. The slices are stacked, then cut into 1/8-inch-thick strips. The strips may then be cut into whatever length is desired. If the object is round, cut a thin slice from the bottom so it will sit firmly and not roll on the work surface. Julienne is most often used as a garnish. (Source:

Compote: A chilled dish of fresh or dried fruit that has been slowly cooked in a sugar syrup (which may contain liquor or liqueur and sometimes spices). Slow cooking is important for the fruit to retain its shape. (Source:


Wild Arugula Salad with Ricotta

1/2 pound (about 10 Cups) arugula or baby rocket 3/4 cup hazelnuts, toasted & crushed
1/4 cup fresh mint, washed & picked
1/4 cup of lemon vinaigrette (recipe below)
3/4 cup roasted kumquats (recipe below)
1/2 cup ricotta salata or pecorino romano, shaved into long strips with vegetable peeler or crumbled

Lemon Vinaigrette:

2 cups extra virgin olive oil
3/4 cups Meyer lemon juice
Pinch of salt


Mix all ingredients in a bowl. Reserve.


3/4 cup kumquats
3/4 teaspoon extra virgin olive oil
Pinch of salt


Drizzle olive oil on kumquats and season with salt. Bake on sheet tray at 325 degrees F for 10 minutes.


Place arugula, hazelnuts, mint, lemon vinaigrette, ricotta salata and kumquats in large bowl. Mix until evenly dressed. Add salt to taste. Serve immediately.

Sweet Shrimp Spaghetti

1 8 oz Can Peeled Tomatoes
2 cloves fresh garlic, minced
2 tablespoons olive oil
pinch of crushed red chili flakes
1 pound peeled & deveined Shrimp
1 bunch fresh basil, julienned
Juice of 1 lemon
1/4 cup Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, grated
1 box spaghetti, cooked al dente


In a sauce pot, heat olive oil on medium until shimmering. Add minced garlic and chili till lightly toasted and then add shrimp. Cook for 1-2 minutes. Take tomatoes out of the can, place in separate bowl and crush until mostly smooth. Add tomatoes to saute pan. Simmer down 2-3 minutes. Add in cheese, lemon juice and fresh basil. Add in fresh pasta and toss with sauce. Salt to taste.

Pear & Apple Compote

2 granny smith apples, peeled & diced
2 bosc pears, peeled & diced
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
1/4 cup Brandy or Cognac
1 tablespoon butter
3 mint leaves, julienned
vanilla ice cream


Cook butter in skillet on medium-low until the butter begins to foam. Add in fruit and then turn heat to high. Let fruit cook until it begins to brown. At this point, add in sugar and cinnamon. After 2-3 minutes, the sugar should start to caramelize. De-glaze the pan with brandy or cognac. Add in the mint, cook for another 30 seconds and serve on top of vanilla bean ice cream.

So, how did Jesse fare in our "How Low Can You Go?" competition?

Arugula Salad:
arugula $3.00
hazelnuts $3.79
mint $1.99
lemon juice $2.6
9 kumquats $4.00
cheese $1.69
total $17.16

Shrimp Spaghetti:
tomatoes $.79
garlic $.39
shrimp $7.49
basil $1.99
lemon $.66
parmesan cheese $3.19
spaghetti $1.49
total $16.00

Pear & Apple Compote:
apples $1.12
pears $.84
brandy $1.50
ice cream $1.25
total $4.71

Grand total: $37.87

He made our Leaders Board!:

1. Michael Lomonaco $36.82
Porter House
2.Jesse Schenker $37.87
3. Patti Jackson $38.52
I Trulli

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