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Chef John Cortesi Recipes - Saybrook Point Inn and Spa, Old Saybrook, CT, USA PDF Print E-mail
Written by Debra C. Argen and Edward F. Nesta   
Chef John Cortesi, Fresh Salt Restaurant - photo by Luxury Experience Executive Chef John Cortesi of Fresh Salt restaurant at Saybrook Point Inn & Spa located in Old Saybrook, on the Connecticut shoreline, brings his inspiration and passion to the restaurant where the focus is on fresh sea and farm-to-table cuisine. He graciously shares a few of Fresh Salt's savory and sweet recipes for Fresh Salt Lobster Cioppino, Yellowfin Tuna Burger, Apple Spice Scones, Apple Compote, and Baked Apples to tempt your palate into making a trip to experience the restaurant.

 

The family owned Saybrook Point Inn & Spa celebrated its 25th anniversary in 2014 and changed the name of the restaurant from Terra Mar to Fresh Salt. Executive Chef John Cortesi worked at the former Terra Mar where the restaurant earned its AAA Four-Diamond rating, then went off to hone his culinary skills at other restaurants for a few years to broaden his background. In May 2015, he returned to work at Fresh Salt for the second time in his career, and is glad to be back working with his team.

Fresh Salt Restaurant - Saybrook Point Inn & Spa, Old Saybrook, USA
Fresh Salt Restaurant

He grew up in Rockland County, New York, but spent summers at his grandparents' homes in Old Saybrook, and appreciates the quality of life and quality of the available products here. The Saybrook Point Inn & Spa is a beautiful property with beautiful views and he is pleased that they are able to bring the best of products into the restaurant.

Passionate about cooking, when asked if he went to culinary school, he joked that he went to the "school of hard knocks" meaning that he learned his craft by working all of the stations in the kitchen gradually working his way up the culinary ladder to his present position. As a chef must continue to expand their training and knowledge base, he later took professional chef courses at The Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, New York where he studied Mediterranean and Classic French cuisine. His advice to those considering a culinary career is to first work in a kitchen before heading off to culinary school to see if this is the right career for you. Working in a kitchen means long days, hard work, standing for long periods of time, you must be able to work quickly, be flexible, and be a team player, and most of all you need to have the passion to succeed.

Chef John Cortesi - Fresh Salt Restaurant - photo by Luxury Experience
Chef John Cortesi

Since his return to Fresh Salt, he has been busy creating the menus for autumn, Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Year's, and winter. The Thanksgiving holiday is about tradition, and the restaurant will feature turkey with all the trimmings on the menu along with other tweaked holiday favorites including sausage and cornbread stuffing with fennel. (Thanksgiving 2015 Menu).

He will keep Diver Scallops on the menu through winter, as they are the best in the entire world and 2015 has been a phenomenal year for them. He also likes the Yellowfin Sashimi on the menu with their housemade ginger soy. His favorite ingredients to work with are seafood and wild game and he has featured wild game chops, caribou, elk, boar, and alligator on special menus. Cooking lessons for small groups or corporate outings are very popular and he will be offering classes for groups of 10-20, which would also be a fun idea for a Bachelorette or Bachelor Party.

When not dreaming up recipes for the new menus, or in the kitchen cooking, Chef John Cortesi likes to fish and is a voracious reader, often reading 2-3 books per week, fiction, sci-fi, and is a fan of the Rex Stout "Nero Wolf" Detective novels, and also reads and collects cookbooks and has at least 85 in his collection.

Executive Chef John Cortesi graciously shares a taste of Fresh Salt with a few of the restaurant's recipes until you can come and personally experience the restaurant for yourself. Bon Appétit!

A Taste of Fresh Salt Menu

Fresh Salt Lobster Cioppino
Yellowfin Tuna Burger
Apple Spice Scones
Apple Compote
Baked Apples

Fresh Salt Lobster Cioppino

Lobster Stock Ingredients:

Ingredients:

3
Gallons
Water
4
Tablespoons
Tomato Paste
1
Bunch
Italian Parsley, fresh
1
Bunch
Thyme, fresh
1
Head
Celery, chopped
2
Bulbs
Fennel, chopped
1
 
Leek, chopped
6
 
Lobster Bodies
4
 
Carrots, peeled and chopped
4
 
Spanish Onions, peeled and chopped
3
 
Bay Leaves, fresh
12
 
Black Peppercorns, whole

Method: Put all ingredients in large stock pot and bring to boil for 5 minutes. Lower temperature and simmer for 1 hour. Strain Stock through a fine chinois and let cool.

Shellfish Ingredients:

3
Size: 10/20
Dry Sea Scallops
2
 
Shrimp, peeled and deveined
5
 
Littleneck Clams
8
 
Prince Edward Island (PEI) Mussels

Method: In sauté pan on medium heat with 1 tablespoon of canola oil sear shrimp and scallops for 1 to 2 minutes on each side and remove from pan. Add 1 teaspoon of chopped shallots to hot pan and whiten shallots. De-glaze pan with 2 tablespoons of white wine and 1 tablespoon of Pernod. Add 12 ounces of lobster stock. Add Littleneck clams and cook in liquid until clams begin to open. Add mussels, shrimp, scallops and 1teaspoon of chopped Italian parsley. Cook 2 minutes to finish.

Yellowfin Tuna Burger

Ingredients:

5
Pounds
Ground Yellowfin Tuna Loin
0.25
Cup
White Sesame Seeds, toasted
0.25
Cup
Black Sesame Seeds, toasted
0.25
Cup
Soy Sauce
4
Tablespoons
Sesame Seed Oil
0.5
Cup
Pickled Ginger, minced
0.75
Cup
Sweet Soy Sauce
2
Cups
Panko Bread Crumbs
   
Salt and Pepper, to taste

Method: Thoroughly mix all ingredients. Form 6-ounce burger patties. Sear patties and finish in oven to desired temperature. Cooked medium rare (suggested).

Wasabi Mayonnaise

Ingredients:

1
Tablespoon
Wasabi Powder
1
Teaspoon
Water
2
Cups
Mayonnaise

Method: Thoroughly mix wasabi powder and water to form a paste then whip in mayonnaise.

Apple Scones - Fresh Salt Restaurant - photo by Luxury Experience

Apple Spice Scones
Yield: 2 dozen

Ingredients:

9
Ounces
Apples, peeled and chopped
12
Ounces
All Purpose Flour
7.5
Ounces
Cake Flour
0.5
Ounce
Kosher Salt
0.75
Ounces
Baking Powder
2.25
Ounces
Sugar
2
 
Lemons, zested
9.5
Ounces
Butter, cubed, very cold
1.5
Ounces
Whole Egg
1.5
Ounce
Egg Yolk
11.25
Ounces
Heavy Cream
0.5
Teaspoon
Nutmeg
2
Teaspoons
Cinnamon
1.5
Tablespoons
Vanilla Bean Paste (or Vanilla Extract)

Preheat oven to 350° F (177° C).

Method: Peel and chop apples to a small dice. To begin, weigh and cut butter into small cubes, place butter in the refrigerator until needed. Sift your dry ingredients through a fine mesh strainer or thoroughly with a whisk, to ensure there will be no lumps in the mixture. Whisk together whole egg, egg yolk, heavy cream, spices, and prepared apples.

"Cut" butter into your dry ingredients until butter is broken into smaller pieces and is incorporated throughout; ingredients should resemble mealy dry dough. Slowly add one-third of wet ingredients to mixed ingredients until they are just incorporated. Scrape down bowl with a spatula.

Continue this process until all of the ingredients are combined. Flour a work surface to roll and cut dough. Remove dough from the bowl of the mixer and place on surface. Cut the dough in half to not overwork the dough. Roll half of the dough to a half-inch thick. Place preferred sized cutter on the dough and quarter. Continue until all of the dough is cut.

Bake at 350° F (177° C) oven for 20 minutes.

Apple Compote
Yield: 1 pound

Ingredients:

8
Ounces
Apples, peeled and chopped
12
Fluid Ounces
Apple Cider
6
Ounces
Sugar
1
Stick
Cinnamon
0.5
 
Lemon
1
Teaspoon
Powdered Unflavored Gelatin

Method: Peel and chop the apples to a small dice. Place apples, apple cider, sugar, cinnamon stick, and lemon in a sauce pot. Bring the mixture to a simmer, and hold it at just a simmer. Once the apples are tender, strain the mixture and place the liquid back into the pot. Keep the liquid at a low simmer to reduce. Once the liquid is reduced remove from the heat and pour into a bowl.

Place the gelatin in a bowl and pour cold water until the gelatin is submerged, this process is called "blooming" the gelatin. Allow the gelatin to rest in the water for upwards of 5 minutes. Place the gelatin in the liquid to dissolve. Once the liquid has cooled slightly fold in apples.

Baked Apples
Yield: 6 Apples

Ingredients:

6
 
Cored Apples
2
Tablespoons
Butter
6
Tablespoons
Maple Syrup
   
Cinnamon Sugar, to taste
0.5
Cup
Walnuts or Pecans, optional

Preheat oven to 350° F (177° C).

Method: Core apples and peel a 1-inch strip around the top of the apples, this will prevent them from splitting while baking. Place apples upright in an ungreased glass baking dish. Place 1-teaspoon and 1-tablespoon of maple syrup in each apple. Pour water in the baking dish until it reaches one-quarter of an inch. Bake the apples at 350° F (177° C) for 30 - 40 minutes, until fork tender. Some of the syrup and butter will leak from the apples into the water, spoon this syrup onto the apples several times throughout the baking process.

With ten minutes remaining in the baking time, sprinkle each apple with cinnamon sugar for the remainder of baking time.

Chef John Cortesi, Debra C. Argen - Fresh Salt Restaurant - photo by Luxury Experience
Chef John Cortesi and Debra C. Argen

Fresh Salt restaurant serves Breakfast Monday through Saturday from 7:00 am until 10:30 am, Sunday from 8:00 am until 10:00 am, and Sunday Brunch Buffet from 10:30 am until 2:15 pm. Lunch is served Monday through Saturday from 11:30 am until 4:00 pm. Dinner is served Sunday through Thursday from 5:30 pm until 9:00 pm, and Friday and Saturday from 5:30 pm until 9:30 pm.

The Lounge is open Monday through Thursday from 2:15 pm until 9:30 pm, Sunday from 1:15 pm until 9:30 pm, and Friday and Saturday from 2:15 pm until 10:00 pm 

Read about our dining experience at Fresh Salt in the Restaurants section.

Watch a video clip of Chef John Cortesi on Luxury Experience's Facebook page: www.Facebook.com/LuxuryExperience

Read about our experience at Saybrook Point Inn & Spa in the Hotels and Resorts section.

Read about our experience at Sanno in the Spas section.

Saybrook Point Inn & Spa, Old Saybrook, CT, USA Fresh Salt restaurant at Saybrook Point Inn & Spa
Two Bridge Street
Old Saybrook, Connecticut 06475
United States
Telephone:       +1-860-388-1111
Email:              
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Website:          www.Saybrook.com
Facebook:       www.Facebook.com/SaybrookPointInn           

Read more about the area in the Destinations and Adventures sections.

Follow Saybrook Point Inn on Facebook: www.Facebook.com/SaybrookPointInn

Follow Luxury Experience on Facebook: www.Facebook.com/LuxuryExperience to see more photos and watch video clips.

© November 2015. Luxury Experience. www.LuxuryExperience.com  All rights reserved.

 
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