Cleveland Chefs Dish On the Recipes You Should Be Making This Winter

At home

Porchetta, see recipe on next page
Porchetta, see recipe on next page BurkleHagen Photography

We love eating out. This whole issue is basically dedicated to that idea, and boy oh boy, are there just endless options. But the vast majority of meals we'll consume this year will be served at home. There are now more venues than ever to discover a new recipe or upgrade an old classic, and that's just super. But very few of those will be taken from the menus and home kitchens of the folks delighting you across Cleveland's glorious dining scene. Which is why we asked them to share some of their favorites with you. There are 10, because 10 is a nice round number, and that's how many we have. Bon appetit.

Tater Tots

Chef Matt Mytro of Flour

5 Idaho potatoes, scrubbed

6 tablespoons butter

¾ cup grated Parmesan cheese

3 springs rosemary, stemmed and chopped

½ tablespoon crushed red pepper flakes

1 tablespoon potato starch

1. Cook the potatoes in a 350-degree oven for 30 minutes.

2. Allow the potatoes to partially cool for 15 minutes (they still should be pretty hot).

3. Grate the potatoes with skins on.

4. In a large bowl combine potatoes with all ingredients and blend.

5. Season well with salt and freshly ground black pepper.

6. Use a one-ounce scoop to portion tots.

7. Fry in batches in 350-degree oil until golden brown. Season immediately with salt and pepper.

Wild Mushroom Consomme

Chef Matt Mytro of Flour

1 pound cremini mushrooms, cleaned

2 portabella mushrooms,

stemmed and cleaned

1 cup shitake mushrooms, stemmed and cleaned

1 cup chopped red onion

2 garlic cloves, sliced

3 sprigs of thyme

1 sprig of rosemary

1 gallon cold water

White truffle oil

1. Place all ingredients in a large stockpot, bring to a boil, reduce heat to simmer, and leave for 2 hours.

2. Strain and season with salt and freshly ground black pepper.

3. Ladle into warm bowls, garnish with white truffle oil, and serve.


Chef Matt Mytro of Flour

1 pork loin, fat trimmed

1 skin-on pork belly

1 cup salt

1 tablespoon crushed red pepper flakes

2 tablespoons toasted and ground fennel seeds

6 sprigs of sage, stemmed and chopped

1. Submerge pork loin in cold brine (see recipe below) and refrigerate for 24 hours. Remove pork from brine, rinse under cold water, pat dry with paper towels and set aside.

2. Lay pork belly skin-side up on counter. Score the skin every half-inch or so with a very sharp knife.

3. Season both sides of the pork belly and pork loin very liberally with salt, which helps to draw out excess moisture. Let dry uncovered in the refrigerator for 24 hours.

4. In a spice grinder combine and blend red pepper flakes and fennel seeds. Stir in the chopped sage. Season the fleshy (non-skin) side of the pork belly with the spice mixture.

5. Position the pork belly skin-side down in front of you. Place the pork loin in the middle of pork belly. Roll the pork belly around the pork loin to form a tight log. Tie every two inches with butcher's twine to secure it.

6. Place porchetta on a cooling rack-lined sheet tray and refrigerate uncovered for 24 hours.

7. Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Cook for 30 minutes. Reduce heat to 250 degrees and continue cooking for one hour or until the internal temperature reaches 135 degrees.

8. Remove from the oven and let rest for 30 minutes. Slice and serve.


2 gallons water

2 cups sugar

2 cups salt

6 star anise

2 handfuls coriander seeds

1 small handful juniper berries

1 pound of mixed herb scraps (whatever you have on hand)

1 peel-on orange, sliced in half

1. Combine all ingredients in a large stockpot, bring to a boil and heat until salt and sugar dissolve. Remove from the heat and add two large scoops of ice to cool.

Baileys Chocolate Truffles

Chef Matt Mytro of Flour

1 ½ cups heavy cream

3 tablespoons unsalted butter

2 ounces granulated sugar

1 pound semi-sweet chocolate chips

¼ cup Baileys Irish Cream

1 cup finely grated semi-sweet chocolate

1. In a medium saucepan over medium-high heat combine heavy cream, butter and sugar.

2. Meanwhile, place the chocolate in a large bowl.

3. When the cream and butter mixture comes to a boil, remove from heat and pour over the chocolate chips and stir. Add the Baileys and stir to combine.

4. Pour the mixture into a large shallow tray and allow to cool in the fridge until firm.

5. Use a small scoop to form balls. Roll in grated chocolate.

Grilled Salmon with Moroccan Spices and Cucumber Michael Symon, from "5 in 5 for Everyone Season," courtesy of Symon and Clarkson Potter

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

1 teaspoon ras el hanout spice blend

4 (6-ounce) skinless salmon

4 tablespoons olive oil

Juice of 1 lime

2 cups thinly sliced cucumber

¼ cup thinly sliced red onion

2 tablespoons chopped fresh mint leaves

1. Preheat a grill or grill pan to medium-high heat.

2. In a small bowl, mix together 1 teaspoon salt and the ras el hanout. Season the salmon on both sides with this spice mixture. Drizzle the salmon with 2 tablespoons of the olive oil and put on the grill. Cook until nicely charred and the fish releases from the grill, about 3 minutes. Flip and cook until medium-rare, about 2 minutes (For more well-done fish, cook covered)

3. Meanwhile, in a medium bowl, whisk together the lime juice and remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil. Lightly season with salt and pepper. Add the cucumber, onion, and mint and toss to combine. Taste and adjust the seasoning, adding salt and pepper as needed.

4. Put the salmon on plates, top with the cucumber salad, and serve.

Vegetarian Meatloaf

Chef Demetrios Atheneos of Forage Public House, Bold, Oak Barrel

Serves 4-6

2 cups water

1 teaspoon salt

1 cup lentils

1 small onion, diced

1 cup quick-cooking oats

3/4 cup grated cheddar cheese 

1 egg, beaten

1/2 cup tomato sauce or bbq sauce (you can also mix the two)

1 teaspoon garlic (powder or fresh minced)

1 teaspoon dried basil

1 tablespoon dried parsley

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon black pepper

Preheat oven to 350. Grease a loaf pan. 

Add salt to water and boil in a saucepan.

Add lentils and simmer covered about 20 minutes, until lentils are soft and most of water is evaporated.

Remove from heat.

Drain and mash lentils.

Add to mixing bowl and allow to cool slightly.

Stir in onion, oats and cheese until mixed.

Add egg, tomato/barbecue sauce, garlic, basil, parsley, seasoning salt and pepper.

Mix well. 

Smooth top with back of spoon. Here is where you can add bacon to the top.

Bake for 30 35 minutes until top of loaf is dry, firm and golden brown.

Cool in pan on rack for about 10 minutes

Butternut Squash Soup

Chef Demetrios Atheneos of Forage Public House, Bold, Oak Barrel

Serves 6-8

Roast 3 butternut squash after cutting and cleaning at 325 degrees for 2 hours

Cool and remove skin

In a pot, sauté 1/4 large onion, 2 legs of celery, 1 carrot in 1/3 cup of oil

Add 2 cups of water

Add 1 can coconut milk

Add 1 tablespoon light brown sugar, 1/4 tablespoon cinnamon, 2 teaspoons of salt, 1 teaspoon of pepper

Add the butternut squash and simmer for 20 minutes

Puree and serve

Apple Sauce

Chef Doug Katz of Fire Food & Drink

8 local apples (heartier variety, like Jonathons)

Juice of 1 Lemon

1 cup granulated sugar

1 cup water

1 pinch salt

2 T Butter

To taste local honey or maple syrup

To taste cinammon


Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.

Working quickly: Peel, core/seed, and quarter the apples; do not soak in water.

Toss the apples in lemon juice. Combine the sugar and water in a wide medium-sized pot and heat on medium heat. Do not stir, but just gently move the sugar around by tilting the pot.

When you reach an even light brown (like honey) color, place apples in the pot. Cook for 5 minutes over low heat. Transfer the pot, uncovered, to the oven. Cook in the oven for 10-15 minutes, allowing the tops of the apples to brown. Making sure they are tender after 10-15 minutes, remove from oven. Place the salt, hot apples, and liquid in a food processor and process until smooth. Drop the butter one tablespoon at a time into the processor, while running. Taste the apple sauce and season with cinnamon, local honey, or maple syrup, to taste. Cool and serve.

Macaroni and Cheese

Chef Jonathon Sawyer of Greenhouse Tavern, Trentina, Noodlecat

1 cup homemade chicken or vegetable stock

1½ cups milk (nonfat)

½ cup flour (more for thicker sauce)

1 cup extra-sharp cheddar cheese (finely grated)

½ -1 cup part skim ricotta cheese

4 tbs grated Parmesan cheese

2 tbs bread crumbs

1 tsp olive oil

1 lb. elbow macaroni

olive oil cooking spray

Preheat over to 400 degrees

Combine stock, butter, and milk in a medium saucepan; bring to a boil over medium-high heat.

Add flour and ricotta cheese to thicken.

Reduce heat to medium, simmer for about 10 minutes.

Remove from heat, and stir to combine. Set aside or freeze for later use.

Bring a large pot of water to a boil, and add salt.

Cook noodles according to package instructions or until al dente.

Drain noodles and transfer to a large bowl; stir in sauce and 2 tablespoons Parmesan.

Lightly coat a 9-inch square baking dish with cooking spray. Transfer noodle mixture to dish.

In a small bowl, combine bread crumbs, the remaining 2 tablespoons of Parmesan, and oil; sprinkle evenly over noodle mixture.

Cover with aluminum foil and bake 20 minutes.

Remove foil and continue baking until lightly browned and crisp on top.

Serve immediately.

Grilled Skirt Steak with Chimichurri Sauce

Chef Michael Slater, Paladar

2 bunches flat leaf parsley

1 cup extra virgin olive oil

3 tablespoons garlic, minced

1 jalapeno pepper, seeded, stem removed

2/3 cup rice wine vinegar

Skirt Steak Ingredients

4 skirt steaks (8oz.)

2 tablespoons fresh cracked black pepper

4 tablespoons kosher salt

Pick parsley leaves off the stem, reserving stems and dividing them from the leaves. In a blender, combine garlic, parsley stems, half of the jalapeno, and rice wine vinegar. Blend on high until the mixture is smooth. With the motor running, slowly pour in the oil. Once all the oil has been poured in, turn the motor off. Transfer to a container.

Next, chop the parsley leaves very fine. Add the parsley to the mixture and whisk together. Season to taste with salt. Season the steak generously with 1/2 tablespoon of kosher salt on each side, as well as 1/4 tablespoon of black pepper per side, and place on a large plate.

Preheat a grill to medium heat. Set the steak on the hot grill. Cook for 6 minutes on the first side. Rotate the steak 45 degrees and cook another 6 minutes. Turn the steak over and continue to cook until the steak is done (about 6 to 8 minutes for medium rare).

Once cooked, place the steak on a clean cutting board and allow it to rest for 5 to 7 minutes before slicing across the grain into 2-inch wide strips. Serve atop your choice of rice and beans, and top with the Chimichurri sauce.

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Scene Staff

Scene's award-winning newsroom oftentimes collaborates on articles and projects. Stories under this byline are group efforts.
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