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Sala on Hudson to close its doors


Unfortunately, Sala on Hudson in Croton-on-Hudson will be closing its doors on December, 29th. If you are a fan of tapas, now is the time to get your last bite at this lovely locale.

It will be interesting to see what goes into the space next as no tapas venue has succeeded there, despite quality and nice wine offerings.

44 Maple Street

Croton on Hudson, NY 10520

914- 862-4100

Sala-on-Hudson extends Prix Fixe

Hudson Valley Restaurant Week provided Sala-on-Hudson with a great response to the idea of a prix fixe menu. Certainly, Sala has had a Sunday Brunch prix-fixe option, but this is a new opportunity to have tapas at a great price across various courses, everyday at dinner. To date, this menu goes through December 31st.

Sala brunch through 12 31


44 Maple Street

Croton on Hudson, NY 10520

914- 862-4100


Monday  & Wednesday 5-10pm (Closed on Tuesdays)

Thursday – Saturday 5-11pm

Sundays  - Brunch begins at 11:00 service then continues through dinner

Spatchcock chicken you say? Easy and worth it.

Spatchcock final plating FINAL

The plating of Spatchcock Chicken – - bright flavors with the lemons and parsley 

Spatchcocking is an older cooking term in which a small bird is split down the back, which opens it out. It is then flattened into two sides much like a book. It allows for cooking the bird usually in a heavy cast iron pan in the oven in much less time had the bird been whole. It results in crispy skin and tender/juicy meat.


◦                     1 3 ½ or 4 pound chicken spatchcocked*

◦                     Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper

◦                     Extra Virgin Olive Oil

◦                     1 can (15.5 ounces) chickpeas, rinsed and drained

◦                     Zest of 1 lemon

◦                     Fresh lemon juice (for serving)

◦                     Fresh Italian flat parsley leaves (for serving/garnish)


1.Preheat oven to 500 degrees and place an oven rack in the center of the oven. Season the spatchcocked chicken with coarse salt and ground pepper on all sides.

2.Drizzle all sides with extra virgin olive oil, which will greatly contribute to a crispy skin.

3.Place, breast side up, in a cast iron skillet or other heavy-duty pan.

4.Roast 15 minutes. Remove from oven and add chickpeas rinsed and drained, all around the sides of the chicken.

5.Return the pan to the oven and roast chicken until juices run clear when pierced between breast and leg (an instant-read thermometer should read 165 degrees when inserted in thickest part of a thigh, avoiding bone), about 15 minutes.

6.Remove the chicken to a cutting board and allow to rest at least 5 – 10 minutes.

7.There will be delicious pan juices at the bottom of the pan. Stir that into the golden roasted chickpeas. Add lemon juice to taste and stir in the zest. Check for seasoning and balance if necessary.

8.Place the chickpea mixture onto a platter.

9.Carve the chicken and place on top of the chickpeas.

10.Sprinkle with fresh parsley leaves and serve.

We like to provide extra lemon wedges for squeezing if one so desire.

This recipe** easily serves four.

*Using kitchen shears, turn the bird breast-side down so the back of the bird is facing up. Cutting from the bottom of the bird up, follow the backbone on either side. When both sides are completely cut, remove the backbone and freeze it to use it for making stock. Turn the chicken over (breast side up) and using the palms of your hands, press down on the breast to flatten the bird out completely.

 **Adapted from an Everyday Food recipe

removing backbone

Use shears to follow and cut along side the backbone on both sides to remove it entirely

spatchcock ready to cook FINAL 

Chicken seasoned on all sides and coated in Extra Virgin oil which creates a crispy skin

spatch in cast iron cooked FINAL

Chicken cooked as well as the chickpeas having turning a golden delicious hue

spatch on board with parsley lemon zest FINAL

Roasted spatchcock chicken on board resting to allow juices to redistribute – - lemon zest and parsley at the ready



Spanish Tapas for Hudson Valley Restaurant Week


Sala on Hudson, a Spanish Tapas restaurant, is offering a prix-fixe menu for Hudson Valley Restaurant Week. We have always enjoyed our meals/time there – - so happy they are participating in this great event. The menu follows. As an aside, they were named by Westchester Magazine for Best Paella. Also, they have a Happy Hour Special daily at the bar … Two for the price of one and applies to wines by the glass, draught beer, and sangria (from 5 – 7pm).

Sala HVRW Nov 2013

Sala on Hudson

44 Maple Street

Croton on Hudson, NY

(914) 862-4100


Mon, Wed, Thurs: 5-10pm

Tuesday: Closed

Friday – Saturday: 5-11pm

Sundays: 5-9pm
BRUNCH: Sundays from 11-4

Don’t discard your rinds… Enhance soups!


When your block of cheese, particularly Parmigiano-Reggiano or Parmesan (hard cheeses) have been mostly used up, place them into a sealed freezer bag and store them in the freezer. When making your next batch of soup, place a chunk of a rind into your soup and let it cook down in the soup. You will not sense any “cheesiness” in the soup, but it adds a flavor dimension and texture that makes one smile. Prior to serving, discard any of the remaining rind. Save them! Use them! Take your soups to another level.



Hudson Valley Restaurant Week – - it’s that time!



It’s that time! Hudson Valley Restaurant Week, November 4 – 17. 3 courses $20.95 for lunch and $29.95 for dinner.
Go HERE to learn more.

Minestrone – - fall beckons


Minestra is an Italian word for “soup” similar to “zuppa.” MinestrONE refers to a BIG soup. Sometimes all vegetable, but in this case I incorporated pancetta. I also placed grilled pieces of ciabatta at the bottom of the bowl for extra texture. Perfect for fall and winter weather.


  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 large yellow onion, chopped
  • 2 carrots, peeled, chopped
  • 3 celery stalks, chopped, with leaves preferred
  • 3-4 ounces thinly sliced pancetta, coarsely chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced or pasted
  • 1 pound Swiss chard, stems trimmed, leaves coarsely chopped
  • 1 russet potato, peeled, cubed
  • 1 (14 1/2-ounce) can diced tomatoes
  • 1 fresh rosemary sprig
  • 1 (15-ounce) can cannellini beans, drained, rinsed
  • 1 32 oz. can of chicken stock
  • 1 Parmesan cheese rind
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh Italian parsley leaves
  • Kosher Salt and freshly ground pepper
  • Optional: cut crusty bread into cubes and sauté in a cast iron skilled drizzled with olive oil until crispy


Heat the oil in a heavy large pot over medium heat. Add the onion, carrots, celery, pancetta, and garlic. Season with salt and pepper. Sauté until the onion is translucent, about 10 minutes. Add the Swiss chard and potato; saute for 5 minutes. Add the tomatoes and rosemary sprig. Simmer until the chard is wilted and the tomatoes break down, about 10 minutes.

Meanwhile, blend 3/4 cup of the beans with 1/4 cup of the broth in a processor or an immersion blender until almost smooth. Add the pureed bean mixture, remaining broth, and  cheese rind to the vegetable mixture. Simmer until the potato pieces are tender, stirring occasionally, about 15 minutes. Stir in the whole beans and parsley. Simmer until the beans are heated through and the soup is thick, about 2 minutes. Adjust seasoning with salt and pepper, to taste. Discard Parmesan rind and rosemary sprig (the leaves will have fallen off of the stem.). Optional: place grilled bread cubes at bottom of bowl and ladle soup over the top. Drizzle the top of soup with extra virgin olive oil and grate extra cheese on top, if desired.

Founders Brewing event!




It seems like everyone would like to meet the people behind the venerable
 Founders Brewing Company in a private setting, hear some great stories, get
 updated on their newly planned $26 million expansion, share a great meal and
 drink some of the most amazing beers produced.

Well, you are going to get your chance to do just that.

Holy Smoke and Founders is pleased to announce that Dave Engbers – Co-Founder,
Vice President, Director of Brand & Education of FOUNDERS will be here for their last Brew
Masters Dinner of 2013.

Tuesday, December 10th 6:30pm. 

They have just about finished the beer and food choices, this is what they are leaning toward:

  • Cheese course with Founders Pale
  • Fish course with Centennial IPA
  • Pasta course with Doom (barrel aged IPA)
  • Meat course with Backwards Bastard Barrel aged Scotch Ale
  • Dessert course and Rubaeus

Tickets are on sale now. 

Holy Smoke

241 Route 6N

Mahopac, NY 10541



Thai Relish with Basil and Peanuts

thai basil relishFINAL

This is dedicated to a good guy with good taste, Matt Pucci. Keep up the good work!


  • 3 cups firmly packed fresh basil leaves, coarsely chopped
  • 3/4 cup unsalted roasted peanuts, coarsely chopped
  • 1 serrano pepper, seeded and minced
  • 2 -3 garlic cloves, minced 
(to taste) – - placing the garlic through a garlic press works well here
  • 1 bunch green onions (green parts only), thinly sliced
  • 2 tablespoons fish sauce (you may substitute 1  teaspoon anchovy paste instead)
  • 1/8 teaspoon toasted sesame oil
  • 4 tablespoons olive oil


Stir together first 7 ingredients; slowly stir in olive oil until fully blended.

Place into glass jars. Refrigerate. Bring to room temperature to garnish with grilled meats, fish, add to stir fries, toss with Asian noodles, etc.

Chipotle Corn Salad

The smokiness of the adobo with chipotle and the bright flavor of lime and sweetness of corn make this a wonderful addition to the table.

summer corn saladFINALjpg


  • 1 pint of cherry tomatoes, cut in half
  • 4 cobs of corn, with kernels sliced from the cob
  • 2 bell peppers, preferably yellow and orange for color interest, seeded and cut into 1/4 inch dice
  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 2 chipotle chilies minced, reserving the juices
  • sea salt (or Kosher salt)
  • Freshly ground pepper
  • Limes cut into quarters for squeezing


  • Remove kernels from corn cobs
  • Seed and dice bell peppers into 1/4 inch pieces
  • Paste garlic with the blade of a knife or put through a garlic press
  • Heat a skillet with two tablespoons olive oil
  • Add and sauté tomatoes until they begin to reduce in size and give off their juices
  • Add bell peppers and saute until tender
  • Add the garlic and stir until thoroughly combined, taking care not to allow garlic to burn
  • Season with salt and freshly ground pepper as they cook
  • Fold in the chipotle chilies with their juices and continue to sauté until all are combined
  • Check for seasoning and adjust as needed
  • Serve with lime wedges