11/25/17 6:10am

Leftover Thanksgiving turkey and gravy are perfect for these turkey pot pies. (Credit: John Ross)

Leftovers from the annual Thanksgiving feast are not like other leftovers. They are something special that we look forward to — sometimes as much as the original meal. We put so much work into Thanksgiving dinner that, somehow, we must make it last a little longer. Here are some of my favorite ways to use that turkey left over the weekend:

General Instructions
After the Thanksgiving meal is over, be sure to refrigerate the turkey carcass and other leftovers as soon as possible. Make a large amount of gravy so that you have enough for the leftover meal. Refrigerate the gravy in a shallow container so that it cools quickly. (more…)

11/22/17 6:02am

Chef Rosa Ross sprinkles powdered sugar on fried dumpling skins, a holiday treat she enjoyed during her childhood. (Credit: David Benthal)

While most of us are wrestling with the usual holiday dilemmas — to stuff or not stuff the turkey, who to seat next to whom, are four desserts enough? — those who make their living in professional kitchens are likely working the hardest.

Whether they are preparing for family members they haven’t seen in months, or planning and cooking for 150 hungry customers, the holidays are some of the busiest, most high-profile days of the year for chefs. We spoke with four local professional cooks to talk about their traditions, what it’s like to work on days when it seems as though everyone else is relaxing and a few tips to take your own festive meals up a notch. (more…)

11/11/17 5:59am

A freshly shucked Peconic Bay scallop. (Credit: Krysten Massa)

As a chef on the North Fork I have cooked Peconic Bay scallops in many ways, going all the way back to 1973, when I opened Ross’ North Fork Restaurant. (Back then we had a sandwich sign in front of the restaurant that advertised a Peconic Bay scallop dinner for $4.95). The season for scallops went from September to March, but has been shortened in recent years to November to March. This allows the scallops to spawn and grow to maturity. I only cook fresh scallops when they are in season. When you freeze and thaw them, they are still pretty good but their structure breaks down, they lose moisture and they don’t caramelize when sautéed.

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10/14/17 6:00am

A Tamworth pig and Icelandic sheep at 8 Hands Farm in Cutchogue, one of the stops on the tour. (Credit: Randee Daddona, file photo)

In decades gone by, the North Fork was a quiet, rural area, where farmers grew potatoes and other crops for the market. The farmer’s wife would often set up a small stand in front of the house to sell vegetables. It is pretty amazing how the little farm stand has evolved since that time.

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09/30/17 6:00am

A white Boer pumpkin stuffed with pumpkin polenta. (Credit: John Ross)

Across the United States 90,000 acres of farmland are devoted to pumpkins, producing about 1.5 billion pounds annually. About 15 percent of the crop is processed into canned pumpkin purée and the area around Peoria, Ill., is the largest producing area. Libby’s (a Nestlé company) and Seneca Foods are the major processors.

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