The Dish: Chef Mike Price of Market Table and The Clam

Mike Price's love of food and cooking began on the Maryland farm where he grew up.

His family tended cows, pigs and chickens and grew their own food. But it was on the nearby shores of the Chesapeake Bay that his love of seafood took root.

It's there that he learned to fish for soft-shell crabs, rockfish, oysters and clams. His first cooking experiment was making rice -- plain, boiled rice -- when he was five years old. But then he slowly started adding sautéed onions and garlic.

By age 13 he was working in a professional kitchen at a local Holiday Inn. He is now chef and co-owner of two popular restaurants here in New York: "Market Table," which opened in 2007 -- and "The Clam," which just opened last year.

Here are some of his signature dishes:

Cranberry Ginger

with vodka or tequila

Serves: 20 people

Makes: about 2 quarts

Ingredients:

2 1-lb bags whole cranberries (frozen or fresh)

1 large finger of ginger, peel on, thinly sliced rounds

Peel and juice of 3 oranges

Peel and juice of 3 limes

1½ cup sugar

1½ water

Pinch of salt

A little cracked black pepper

Peel the oranges and limes and juice the fruit. Combine the cranberries, orange and lime peels and juice, water, ginger, sugar, salt and black pepper in a large pot.

Bring everything to a simmer until the cranberries being to split open. Turn the heat off and let the mixture settle. Blend together with immersion blender, or pour into regular blender in batches. Strain it twice through fine mesh strainer, or a chinois if possible.

To make drink, shake ¼ cup of cranberry-ginger purée and 2 oz. vodka with ice.

Garnish with fresh lime wheel.

Crème Fraiche Panna Cotta -- huckleberries, toasted almonds

Serves 4-6pp

For the panna cotta:

1 c. heavy cream

1/3 c. milk

1/3 c. crème fraiche

1 tsp. vanilla

1 tsp. powered gelatin

For the garnish:

1 c. huckleberries (fresh or frozen)

1 tbsp. sugar

1 tbsp. lemon juice

¼ c. sliced almonds

1 tsp. butter

Pinch of salt

Heat heavy cream in a small pot over low flame. Do not boil. In a small bowl, add milk, gelatin and vanilla. Mix together and add to the warm cream. Whip in crème fraiche and pour into 4 oz. molds and place in the fridge for about 2 hours to chill.

While the panna cotta is chilling place huckleberries, sugar and lemon juice in a small sauce pot. Cook over medium heat until huckleberries start to break down and a syrupy sauce starts to form. Reserve.

In a small sauté pan toast almonds in butter over a low flame until golden and finish with a small pinch of salt.

To unmold the panna cotta place in a warm water bath for about 10 seconds or until it becomes slightly loose from its mold. Invert into a serving bowl and top with room temperature huckleberry sauce and a sprinkle of the toasted almonds.

Delicata Squash and Honeycrisp Apple Salad -- grapes, toasted pumpkin seeds and pecorino

Serves 4-6pp

For the vinaigrette:

3 tbsp. red wine vinegar 2 tbsp. red wine 2 tbsp. olive oil 2 tbsp. grapeseed oil 1 tbsp. honey s + p to taste

Whisk together all ingredients, season with salt and pepper. Reserve

For the salad:

¼ c. pumpkin seeds 1 tbsp. blended oil ¼ tsp curry ¼ tsp cayenne ¼ tsp. salt 2 ea. delicata squash 1 tbsp. olive oil 2 cloves garlic minced 1 tsp. chopped fresh thyme 2 ea. honey crisp apples (medium sized) 1 c. frisee cleaned 1 c. shredded radicchio ¾ c. halved red grapes ¼ c. parsley leaves 4 oz. pecorino Romano cheese (whole chunk)

In a small sauté pan roast pumpkin seeds in blended oil over medium heat until golden. Finish with curry, cayenne and salt. Reserve.

Cut off the ends of the delicata squash, about ½ inch, and peel. It's ok to leave some of the green stripes where the squash is indented. Half the squash lengthwise and scoop out the seeds. Cut against the stripes about ¼ inch thick and place in a medium bowl. Toss with olive oil, garlic, thyme, salt and pepper. Place on a baking sheet and roast in a 350 degree oven for about 12 minutes or so until tender but not overcooked. Cool and reserve. In a large mixing bowl slice honey crisp apples on a mandolin. Add cooled squash, grapes, frisee, radicchio, parsley leaves, pumpkin seed and season with salt and pepper. Mix vinaigrette well and add as needed to dress the salad. Toss lightly and place on a serving platter. Using a microplane or vegetable peeler grate/shave pecorino cheese over the top. Drizzle with good olive oil and serve.

Roasted Cauliflower - toasted pine nuts, sherry gastrique

Serves 4-6p

6 cups assorted cauliflower cut into medium-size pieces

(White, orange, purple, green, Romanesco)

2 tbsp. unsalted butter

¼ c. pine nuts

1 tbsp. chopped parsley

Salt + pepper to taste

For the gastrique:

¼ c. sugar

¼ c. sherry vinegar

1 bay leaf

2 sage leaves

1 sprig thyme

4 black peppercorns

In a small sauté pan toast pine nuts in 1 tsp. of the butter and season with salt and pepper. Reserve.

Caramelize the sugar in a small sauce pot until slightly darker than golden brown. Add the sherry vinegar along with the bay leaf, sage, thyme and peppercorns. Reduce until slightly syrupy and strain through a fine mesh strainer. Reserve in a warm place.

In a large sauté pan over high heat add the cauliflower along with the remaining butter. Sauté over high heat until cauliflower start to brown. Place in a 400 degree oven to continue cooking for 5 minutes or so. Remove from the oven, season with salt and pepper and place on serving platter. Sprinkle with parsley and toasted pine nuts. Drizzle generously with the sherry gastrique and serve.

Spaghetti and Clams--spicy tomato, salad on top

Serves 4-6pp

For the pasta:

2 cups semolina

2 cups King Arthur Special Flour

½ tsp salt

4 whole eggs

3 egg yolks

1 tsp extra virgin olive oil

¼ cup water (or as needed)

Place the semolina, flour and salt in a food processor and pulse to combine. Once mixed, add the four whole eggs along with olive oil and continue to pulse well in the food processor. Add the egg yolks along with half of the water. Continue mixing the dough in the food processor being sure to stir well occasionally to bring up any dry mix left on the bottom, approximately 5 minutes. The dough should form large clumps, if it seems too granular, add a little more water and continue the process.

Once complete, turn the dough onto a clean work surface and knead with your hands until it forms one large ball--should only take a couple of minutes. Flatten the dough to about an inch thick and wrap in plastic wrap well (a couple of layers). Using your elbow, knead the dough thoroughly for about 5-7 minutes being sure to turn it over a couple of times. Place in a refrigerator for 1 hour to rest. Once rested, remove the dough from the fridge and allow to come to room temperature (about 30 minutes). Using a rolling pin flatten the dough to be able to fit in your pasta machine and begin the rolling process to form spaghetti sized noodles about 12 inches long. Once spaghetti is cut, dust with flour.

For the sauce:

2 cloves sliced garlic 2 c. white wine 2 spring thyme 20 pc top neck or cherrystone clams (washed)

4 cloves sliced garlic 2 tbsp. canola oil 1 qt. canned plum tomatoes (pulsed in food processor--still chunky) 4 tbsp. soy sauce 1 tbsp. chili flakes 1 tbsp. lemon juice 3 tbsp. unsalted butter 20 pc littleneck clams (washed)

For the salad: ½ c. sliced scallions 2 cups baby arugula 1 tsp. lemon juice 1 tsp. olive oil s + p to taste

In a medium sauce pot large enough to fit the topneck clams brown the 2 cloves of sliced garlic in a small amount of oil. Add white wine and thyme. Add topneck clams and cover. Cook until the clams open and remove being sure to save the remaining liquid in the pot. Remove the clams from the shell. Rough chop and reserve.

In a large skillet over very high heat add canola oil (should smoke), followed by sliced garlic then the pulsed tomato being careful not to let the garlic burn before adding the tomato but making sure the pan is very hot. Add soy sauce, chili flakes, lemon juice and butter. Start to reduce over medium heat.

While the sauce is reducing place the washed littlenecks into the reserved top neck clam liquid and open while covered with a lid. While the clams are opening add the chopped clams to the pasta sauce and adjust seasoning if necessary with chili flakes, soy sauce or both. Make sure to have a pot of boiling, lightly salted water ready to go for the pasta. Remove the opened littleneck from the pot and place into the pasta sauce. Mix gently coating the clams in the sauce. At this point place the pasta into the boiling water and cook for about 2-3 minutes being careful not to overcook. While the pasta is cooking, remove the clams in the shell from the sauce and put in a separate dish. Drain the spaghetti and add to the pasta sauce tossing well. If pasta is too dry add a little of the clam/white wine stock.

Place the pasta on a large serving platter or bowl, arrange the cooked clams in the shell around the pasta and spoon over any extra pasta sauce.

In a small bowl toss the scallions, arugula, lemon juice, olive oil, salt and pepper. Place a mound of salad on top of the pasta and serve.

The Clam Dip-- zesty potato chips and crudité

Serves 4-6

For the dip:

2 cloves sliced garlic

2 tsp. canola oil

2 sprigs fresh thyme

1 ½ cups white wine

2 dz. cherrystone clams

1 cup sour cream

1 tsp. Worcestershire

¼ tsp cayenne

½ tsp. tobasco

3 tbsp. chopped chives

Salt to taste

In a pot large enough to fit all of the cherrystone clams, toast the sliced garlic in the canola oil over medium heat. Add the sprigs of thyme followed by the white wine. Add the clams and cover. Cook over medium heat until all of the clams are opened. Remove the clams and cool to room temperature. Remove clams from the shell and place the shelled clams in the fridge and chill. Once chilled, finely chop and place in a medium mixing bowl. Add sour cream, cayenne, Worcestershire, tobasco and chives. Mix well and adjust seasoning with salt and cayenne if needed. Reserve.

For the chips:

4 large Idaho Potatoes (peeled)

Canola oil for frying

1 tsp. salt

1 tsp. old bay

1 tbsp. chopped parsley

Combine salt, old bay and parsley. Reserve. Slice potatoes on a mandolin (length wise) about 1/16 to 1/8 of an inch thick.

Once sliced rinse potatoes in warm water being sure to change the water 2-3 times--this will remove the starch and keep the potatoes from sticking together when frying. Preheat the canola oil to about 300-325 degrees in a large pot or countertop fryer. Drain sliced potatoes of all water and slightly pat dry. Place in oil being careful not to overcrowd and keep the potatoes straight while frying. Once golden brown and crispy remove and place on paper towels to drain. Season with the spice mixture while still warm. Repeat the process until all chips are fried and serve with the clam dip.

For the crudité:

Cuts, slivers and slices of assorted vegetables

May include:

Carrots

Cauliflower

Broccoli

Endive leaves

Radishes

Red peppers

Cucumbers