Vella's Market in Constantia, NY
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Meat Department
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Our Favorite Recipes


2/3 cup milk
2 large eggs
3 tbsp. sugar
1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
1/4 tsp. ground cinnamon
vegetable oil for frying
6 slices Texas toast-style bread
3 cups mixed fresh berries (such as blueberries, raspberries and quartered strawberries)
2 tbsp. confectioners’ sugar

1. In a medium bowl, whisk together milk, eggs, sugar, vanilla and cinnamon.
2. In a medium skillet, pour oil to a depth of 1/4 inch; heat over medium heat until oil is shimmering.
3. Dip both sides of bread in egg mixture, and carefully place in hot oil. Fry for 1 minute per side or until golden brown.
4. Spoon 1/2 cup berries over each slice of French toast, and sprinkle with confectioners’ sugar.


1 lg. red onion
1 tbsp. olive oil
Salt and pepper
1 1/2 lbs. baking potatoes (about 3 med.)
12 oz. sweet potato (about 1 med.)
5 oz. Gruyère cheese, shredded (1 1/2 c.)
1 cup half-and-half
2 tsp. cornstarch
1 tbsp. margarine or butter

1. Preheat oven to 400°F.
2. Trim and peel onion, keeping root end intact. Cut onion into thin wedges through root end. In 12-in. skillet, heat oil on medium. Add onion in single layer and sprinkle with 1/8 teaspoon salt. Cook 6 minutes or until golden brown and just tender, turning often; cool slightly.
3. Meanwhile, peel potatoes, cut into 1/8-in. thick rounds. Arrange half of potatoes and half of onion in shallow 2-quart baking dish in single layer, overlapping slices. Sprinkle with half of Gruyère. Arrange remaining potatoes and onion on top, creating pattern if desired.
4. In 2-quart saucepan, whisk half and half into cornstarch to dissolve. Add margarine and 1/4 teaspoon each salt and black pepper. Heat on medium-high until bubbles begin to form around edge, whisking. Pour over potato mixture. Cover with foil; bake 30 minutes. Uncover, sprinkle remaining Gruyère on top, and bake 25 minutes or until golden and bubbling.
5. Cool slightly to serve warm, or cool to room temperature, cover, and refrigerate up to overnight. Reheat, covered, at 350°F. for 40 minutes or until hot.


1/4 cup Dijon mustard
2 tbsp. light mayonnaise
1 tbsp. water
1 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
1 sleeve round buttery crackers, crushed (about 1 1/2 cups)
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
3/4 tsp. smoked paprika
1/2 tsp. salt
10 chicken drumsticks

1. Preheat oven to 400°. Place a wire rack in a rimmed baking sheet. Spray rack with nonstick cooking spray.
2. In a small bowl, combine mustard, mayonnaise, 1 tablespoon water and Worcestershire sauce. In a shallow dish, combine crushed crackers, cheese, paprika, and salt.
3. Brush drumsticks with mustard mixture to coat. Dredge drumsticks in cracker mixture to coat, and place on prepared rack.
4. Bake for 30 to 40 minutes or until chicken is golden brown and cooked through. Serve immediately.


1 cup white wine vinegar
1 cup water
2 tbsp. sugar
1 tsp. salt
2 seedless cucumbers, thinly sliced (about 4 cups)
1 pint cherry tomatoes, halved
1 tbsp. chopped fresh basil

1. In a large bowl, whisk together vinegar, 1 cup water, sugar, and salt. Add cucumbers and tomatoes, tossing to coat. Cover and refrigerate for at least 1 hour or until ready to serve. Stir in basil just before serving.


2 tsp. vegetable oil
1 whole (3 1/2 lbs.) boneless side of salmon
Salt and pepper
3/4 cups dry white wine
1 lemon
1 cup light sour cream
1 jar (6 oz.) prepared horseradish, drained
1/ 2 cup packed fresh flat-leaf parsley leaves, finely chopped, plus sprigs for garnish
1 clove garlic, crushed with press
1/2 cup heavy or whipping cream
Lemon and cucumber slices for garnish

1. Preheat oven to 425°F. Line 18” by 12” jelly-roll pan with parchment paper. Lightly brush parchment with oil.
2. Place salmon skin-side down on parchment; sprinkle with 1/4 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper. Place pan on oven rack. Pour wine into pan around salmon. Cover pan with foil. Bake 20 to 25 minutes or until fish is opaque throughout.
3. From lemon, grate 1/2 teaspoon peel and squeeze 2 teaspoons juice. In large bowl with mixer on medium speed, mix sour cream, horseradish, parsley, garlic, lemon peel, lemon juice and 1/2 teaspoon
salt until combined. Add cream; beat until soft peaks form. Transfer to serving bowl. Cover with plastic wrap; refrigerate up to 1 day.
4. Remove foil from pan with salmon; bake, uncovered, 5 minutes. Cool slightly. Using corners of parchment, gently lift salmon out of pan and place onto serving platter. Carefully slide parchment from underneath salmon; discard parchment. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate at least 4 hours or until cold, up to 1 day. To serve, garnish salmon with lemon and cucumber slices and parsley sprigs; serve with horseradish sauce.


1/3 cup orange juice
1/4 cup minced fresh rosemary
1/4 cup olive oil
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. ground black pepper
2 pounds London broil
Easy Roasted Potatoes

1. In a large resealable plastic bag, combine orange juice, rosemary, olive oil, garlic, salt, and pepper. Add London broil; seal bag, and refrigerate at least 4 hours or up to 24 hours.
2. Spray grill rack with nonstick nonflammable cooking spray. Preheat grill to medium-high heat (350° to 400°). Remove meat from marinade, discarding marinade.
3. Grill meat, covered with grill lid, for 7 to 8 minutes per side or until a thermometer inserted in thickest portion registers 135°. Let stand for 10 minutes before slicing across the grain. Serve with Easy Roasted Potatoes.


1 (3-pound) bag new potatoes
2 tbsp. olive oil
1 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. ground black pepper

1. Preheat oven to 425°. Line a rimmed baking sheet with aluminum foil. Cut potatoes into 1-inch pieces.
2. In a large bowl, combine potatoes, olive oil, salt, and pepper, tossing gently to coat. Spread in a single layer on prepared pan. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes or until tender and browned. Serve immediately.


8 large eggs
1 1/2 cups shredded white cheddar cheese
3 tbsp. chopped fresh chives
1 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. ground black pepper
12 slices pumpernickel bread
12 slices Virginia ham
12 slices plum tomato
Garnish: fresh parsley leaves
12 (4-inch) wooden skewers (optional)

1. Preheat oven to 350°. Spray a 12-cup muffin pan with nonstick cooking spray.
2. In a large bowl, whisk eggs. Add cheese, chives, salt and pepper, whisking to combine. Divide egg mixture evenly among muffin cups, filling about half full.
3. Bake eggs for 15 minutes. Meanwhile, using an 3-inch round cutter, cut out 24 circles of pumpernickel bread. Using same cutter, cut out 12 circles of ham.
4. Remove eggs from oven, and cool in pan for 5 minutes; remove from pan. Place a ham round and an egg on each of 12 bread rounds; top with remaining bread rounds. Top each sandwich with a tomato slice. Garnish with fresh parsley leaves, and secure with wooden skewers, if desired. Serve immediately.


3/4 cup light mayonnaise
1/2 cup sour cream
1/3 cup apricot jam
1 tbsp. fresh lemon juice
1/4 tsp. ground allspice
1 cup dijon mustard
1 (7 lb.) fully cooked bone-in smoked half ham
Fresh flat leaf parsley leaves, for garnish

1. In medium bowl, stir mayonnaise, sour cream, apricot jam, lemon juice, allspice and 1/2 cup mustard until smooth. Cover and refrigerate up to 1 week.
2. Rinse ham and pat dry; place on serving platter. Place remaining 1/2 cup mustard in small resealable plastic bag. Snip small hole in one corner and pipe mustard in decorative diamond pattern over ham. Decorate with parsley leaves, using dots of mustard to attach to ham. Serve with sauce. Makes 20 main-dish servings.


12 large eggs
1/2 cup light mayonnaise
1/8 tsp. cayenne (ground red) pepper
1/ 4 cup very finely chopped red pepper (from 1/4 pepper)
1/ 4 cup very finely chopped carrot (from 1 small carrot)
2 tbsp. very finely chopped cornichons or dill pickles
2 tbsp. finely chopped fresh dill leaves, plus leaves for garnish

1. Place eggs in 4-quart saucepan. Add enough cold water to cover eggs by 2 inches. Heat to boiling on high, cover with lid and remove from heat. Let stand 12 minutes. Drain and rinse under cold water. Under running water, peel off shells and discard.
2. Trim the tops and bottoms of eggs so that they can sit flat. Cut each egg in half crosswise. Transfer yolks to large bowl.
3. Into yolks, mash mayonnaise, cayenne and 1/4 tsp. salt until smooth. Stir in pepper, carrot, cornichons and dill until well mixed.
4. Spoon rounded tsp. of yolk mixture into each egg-white half. Place on serving platter; garnish with dill. Eggs can be made up to 1 day ahead then covered and refrigerated. Makes 12 appetizer servings.


1 pound lean ground beef
2 tbsp. dried onion flakes
1 tbsp. dried parsley
1/2 tsp. ground allspice
1/4 tsp. salt
1/8 tsp. black pepper
1 pound cabbage, thinly sliced
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. black pepper
1 can (28 ounces) crushed tomatoes
1/3 cup raisins
2 tbsp. sugar
1 tbsp. onion flakes
3 cups cooked brown rice

1. Heat oven to 350°. Coat a rimmed baking pan with nonstick cooking spray.
2. Meatballs. In a bowl, combine ground beef, onion flakes, parsley, allspice, salt and pepper. Form into 28 meatballs, using about 1 tablespoon of mixture each. Place on prepared baking pan and bake at 350° for 15 minutes.
3. Sauce. Coat a large nonstick skillet with cooking spray. Add cabbage, salt and pepper; simmer over medium-high heat 8 minutes, stirring often. Stir in tomatoes, raisins, sugar and onion flakes. Bring to boil; reduce heat and simmer, covered, 10 minutes. Add meatballs and simmer 5 minutes.
4. Serve meatballs and sauce over rice.


1/2 (16-ounce) package rotini pasta
1 pound spicy Italian sausage, casings removed
3 cups diced eggplant
1/2 cup chopped onion
2 cloves garlic, minced
5 1/2 cups chopped plum tomatoes (about 11)
1/4 cup chopped fresh basil
2 tbsp. chopped fresh oregano
1 tsp. salt
Garnish: chopped fresh basil

1. Prepare pasta according to package directions, and keep warm.
2. Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add sausage, and cook, stirring often, for 7 minutes or until lightly browned and crumbly. Add eggplant, onion, and garlic; cook, stirring occasionally, for 10 minutes. Stir in tomatoes, basil, oregano, and salt. Cook, stirring occasionally, for 10 minutes or until
eggplant is tender and tomatoes have broken down.
3. Toss eggplant mixture with hot cooked pasta. Garnish with basil, if desired.


6 egg whites
1 cup Domino® granulated sugar
1/4 tsp. cream of tartar
2 tbsp. lime zest
1/2 cup finely ground toasted almonds

1. Preheat oven to 200°. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper. In a medium sauce pan, pour water to a depth of 1 inch; bring to a boil over medium heat. Reduce heat to low and simmer.
2. In a large bowl, whisk together egg whites, sugar and cream of tartar. Place bowl on saucepan. Continue whisking egg mixture until it registers 140° on a candy thermometer.
3. Beat at high speed with a mixer for about 8 minutes or until thick, glossy and tripled in volume. Stir in zest. Place mixture in a pastry bag fi tted with a large star tip. Pipe 2-inch rounds onto prepared baking sheets; sprinkle with almonds.
4. Bake for 1 to 1½ hours or until firm and dry. Turn off oven; let meringues stand in oven, with door closed for 2 hours. Store in an airtight container for up to 1 week. Makes 2½ dozen kisses.


1 1/4 cup graham cracker crumbs (from about 12 graham crackers)
5 tbsp. butter or margarine, melted
2 tbsp. light brown sugar
1/4 tsp. salt
1 lb. strawberries, hulled
1/2 cup granulated sugar
4 tsp. fresh lemon juice
1 packet (about 2 1/2 tsp.) powdered gelatin
1/3 cup strawberry jelly
2 tbsp. cold water
1/3 cup whole milk
2 cup full-fat Greek yogurt
1 tsp. vanilla extract

1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Spray 9-inch tart pan (with removeable bottom) with nonstick baking spray.
2. In a large bowl, combine crumbs, butter, brown sugar and salt, stir until well blended. Press mixture evenly into bottom and up side of prepared pan. Bake 10 to 12 minutes or until set. Cool completely on wire rack.
3. Meanwhile, slice half of strawberries lengthwise; set aside. Chop remaining strawberries, transfer to 2-quart saucepan with 1/4 cup granulated sugar and 2 tsp. lemon juice. Cook on medium 3 to 5 minutes or until strawberries are soft, stirring often. Transfer to blender; puree until smooth. Cool completely.
4. In a small bowl, sprinkle 1/2 tsp. gelatin over remaining 2 tsp. lemon juice, let stand 1 minute. In 1-quart saucepan, heat jelly on medium 2 minutes or until melted, stirring often. Add gelatin mixture to jelly, stirring to dissolve gelatin. Cool slightly and transfer to small resealable plastic bag. Refrigerate.
5. In another small bowl, sprinkle remaining 2 tsp. gelatin over water. Let stand 3 minutes. In 1-quart saucepan, stir milk and remaining 1/4 cup granulated sugar until sugar dissolves. Heat on medium 1 minute or until steaming. Stir in gelatin mixture until dissolved. Remove from heat. Refrigerate milk mixture just until cool, about 40 minutes (do not allow to set).
6. In large bowl, whisk cooled milk mixture, yogurt and vanilla until smooth. Transfer 1¼ cups to small bowl; set aside (do not refrigerate). Stir strawberry puree into remaining yogurt mixture. Pour into crust. Refrigerate 1 hour or until just beginning to set. Spread plain yogurt mixture in even layer on top.
7. With scissors, snip small hole in corner of bag with jelly. Pipe straight lines, 1 inch apart, across surface of tart. Drag tip of paring knife through yogurt and jelly to create decorative pattern. Place sliced
strawberries around edge of tart, overlapping slightly. Cover loosely with plastic wrap, refrigerate at least 6 hours or until set.


30 to 35 large fresh mushrooms
1/4 pound Canadian bacon, diced
1/3 cup diced sweet red pepper
1/4 cup diced red onion
1 tsp. minced garlic
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. pepper
2 tbsp. vegetable oil
1/2 cup crumbled goat cheese or feta cheese
1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese

1. Remove stems from mushrooms and finely chop; set caps aside. In a large skillet, saute the mushrooms, bacon, red pepper, onion, garlic, salt and pepper in oil until vegetables are crisp-tender.
2. Remove from the heat. Stir in cheeses. Fill each mushroom cap with about 1 tablespoon of filling.
3. Place on foil-lined baking sheets. Bake at 400° for 16-20 minutes or until mushrooms are tender. Yield: 30-35 appetizers.


1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
1 lemon
2 tbsp. white balsamic vinegar
Salt and pepper
8 oz. stringless sugar snap peas
2 heads butter lettuce, torn
1/2 cup packed, fresh, flat-leaf parsley leaves
1/4 cup packed, fresh mint leaves, torn if large
1 tbsp. snipped chives
1 tbsp. fresh dill leaves, chopped
1/4 cup dried apricots, preferably California, thinly sliced
1 cup roasted, salted pistachios, shelled and chopped

1. Pour oil into jar with tight fitting lid. From lemon, finely grate all peel and squeeze 2 tbsp. juice; add to jar, along with vinegar, 1/4 tsp. salt and 1/8 tsp. freshly ground black pepper. Cover; shake well. Let stand up to 2 hours or refrigerate up to 3 days. Bring to room temperature before serving.
2. Fill large bowl with ice and water. Heat 4-quart saucepan of water to boiling on high. Add snap peas; cook 2 minutes or just until bright green. Drain and immediately transfer to ice water. When cool, drain again. Peas can be covered and refrigerated over night.
3. On serving platter, with hands, gently toss lettuce, herbs, apricots, pistachios and snap peas. Shake dressing and drizzle over salad or serve alongside. Makes 12 side-dish servings.


1 1/2 lb. small red potatoes (about 20)
Kosher salt and pepper
1 tbsp. olive oil
4-6 oz. boneless, skinless chicken breasts
3/4 cup dry white wine
1/4 cup low fat sour cream
1 tbsp. dijon mustard
1/4 cup fresh flat-leaf parsley, chopped

1. Place the potatoes in a large saucepan and cover with cold water. Bring to a boil, add 2 tsp. salt, reduce heat and simmer until just tender, 15 to 18 minutes. Reserve 1/2 cup of the cooking water; drain the potatoes and return them to the pot. Gently smash with 1/4 cup of the cooking water (adding more
if the potatoes seem very dry).
2. While the potatoes are cooking, heat the oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Season the chicken with 1/2 tsp. each salt and pepper and cook until golden brown and cooked through, 6 to 8 minutes per side; transfer to plates.
3. Add the wine to the skillet and simmer for 2 minutes. Remove from heat and whisk in the sour cream, mustard and parsley. Spoon over the potatoes and chicken. Makes 4 servings.


6 boneless pork loin chops (5 ounces each)
1 tbsp. vegetable oil
1/2 cup water
2 tbsp. brown sugar
2 tbsp. chopped onion
2 tbsp. ketchup
1 tsp. beef bouillon granules
1 tsp. minced garlic
2 tbsp. all-purpose flour
1/4 cup cold water
1/2 cup sour cream

1. In a large skillet, brown pork chops in oil on both sides. Combine the water, brown sugar, onion, ketchup, bouillon and garlic; add to skillet. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; cover and simmer for 15-20 minutes or until the meat juices run clear.
2. Remove chops and keep warm. Combine flour and cold water until smooth; stir into skillet. Bring to a boil; cook and stir for 2 minutes or until thickened. Remove from the heat; stir in sour cream. Serve with pork chops. Yield: 4 servings.


1 package (3 oz.) lemon gelatin
1 cup boiling water
1 can (6 oz.) frozen orange juice concentrate, slightly thawed
2 cups vanilla ice cream, softened
1 prepared angel food cake (16 oz.), cut into 1-inch cubes
Orange and lemon slices, optional

1. In a large bowl, dissolve gelatin in boiling water. Stir in concentrate. Refrigerate until syrupy.
2. Fold ice cream into thickened gelatin. Transfer about have the cake pieces into an ungreased 13 in. x 9 in. x 2 in. dish. Spoon half the orange mixture over cake pieces. Cover with remaining cake pieces. Top with remaining orange mixture.
3. Chill. Garnish with orange and lemon slices if desired. Yield: 12-15 servings.


1-1/3 cups crushed shortbread cookies
3 tbsp. lemon drops, finely crushed
1/4 cup butter, melted
1 cup sugar
1 envelope unflavored gelatin
2 tbsp. cornstarch
1 tbsp. finely shredded lemon peel
6 tbsp. lemon juice
6 tbsp. water
6 egg yolks, lighly beaten
1/4 cup butter, cut up
1 32 oz. carton vanilla Greek yogurt
1/2 cup whipping cream
1 tbsp. lemon drops, finely crushed
Candied Lemon Slices (optional)
Fresh mint leaves (optional)

1. For crust, in a medium bowl combine cookie crumbs, the 3 tbsp. crushed lemon drops and melted butter. Press into bottom of a 9 or 10 in. pie plate or an 8 or 9 in. springform pan. Set aside.*
2. For filling, in a medium saucepan combine sugar, gelatin and cornstarch. Add lemon peel, lemon juice and water. Cook and stir over medium heat until thickened and bubbly.
3. Stir half of the lemon mixture into the egg yolks. Return egg mixture to saucepan. Cook, stirring constantly, over medium heat until mixture comes to a gentle boil. Cook and stir 2 minutes more. Remove from heat. Add cut-up butter, stirring until melted. Transfer to a bowl; cover with plastic wrap. Cool 20 minutes.
4. Place yogurt in a large bowl; gradually stir in lemon mixture. Carefully spoon into crust-lined pan. Cover and chill overnight.
5. For topping, in chilled medium bowl, beat whipping cream to soft peaks; fold in 1 tbsp. crushed lemon drops. To serve,
carefully loosen and remove sides of springform pan, if using. Top pie with whipped cream mixture and Candied Lemon Slices and fresh mint, if desired. Makes 12 servings.

CANDIED LEMON SLICES: In a large skillet combine 1 cup sugar and 1 cup water. Cook and stir over medium heat until sugar is dissolved. Bring mixture to a boil; reduce heat. Add lemon slices. Cook for 1 minute, turning once. Transfer to waxed paper to cool.**
*TIP: For a crispier crust, bake in a 375ºF oven for 5 minutes; cool.
**TIP: Cover and chill leftover syrup up to 2 weeks. Use for sweetening iced tea or toss with fresh berries for a quick dessert.


1 16 oz. pkg. frozen pearl onions
1 14.5 oz. can diced tomatoes, drained
2 medium carrots, cut into 3-inch sticks
3/4 cup dry white wine
1 1/2 lb. lean beef stew meat, trimmed and cut into 1 1/2-inch pieces
Kosher salt and pepper
2 tbsp. all purpose flour
8 oz. egg noodles
1 cup frozen peas, thawed
1 tbsp. fresh tarragon, roughly chopped

1. In a 5 to 6-quart slow cooker, combine the onions, tomatoes, carrots and wine.
2. Season the beef with 1/2 tsp. each salt and pepper, then sprinkle with flour, toss to coat. Add to the slow cooker and cook,
covered until the beef is tender and easily pulls apart, 6 to 8 hours on low or 4 to 5 hours on high.
3. Twenty five minutes before serving, cook the noodles according to package directions. Three minutes before serving, sprinkle the peas over the beef mixture and cook, covered, until heated though. Fold in the tarragon and serve over the noodles. Makes 4 servings.


1 cup white corn syrup
1 cup packed brown sugar
1/3 tsp. salt
1/3 cup butter, melted
3 eggs
1 cup chopped pecans
1 recipe pastry for a 9-inch single crust pie

1. Combine syrup, sugar, salt and melted butter or margarine. Slightly beat the eggs and add to sugar mixture. Beat well, pour into uncooked pie shell. Sprinkle pecans on top.
2. Bake at 350ºF (175ºC) for 50 to 60 minutes. Serves 8.