Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Memorial Day

Memorial Day, originally called Decoration Day, is a day of remembrance for those who have died in service of the United States of America. After the Civil War, in order to honor the soldiers who died people would decorated their graves. Today, many people choose to celebrate Memorial Day with barbeque's, cook out's, and parades.

Although tempting, there are healthier options to eat besides the common hotdog, cheeseburger, and sweet cakes usually found at a barbeque or cookout. Try bringing some of these healthier options to celebrate with family and friends. 

Try a Shrimp Roll, made with a hotdog bun or whole wheat bread. 

1 lb. medium shrimp, peeled and deveined
1 stalk celery, thinly sliced
1/4 c. mayonnaise
2 tbsp. fresh lemon juice
1 tbsp. prepared horseradish
1 tsp. paprika
kosher salt
8 hot dog buns, preferably split top, toasted
or whole wheat bread
Scallions, for garnish

Boil shrimp in salted boiling water until opaque, 2 to 3 minutes. Drain and transfer to a cutting board to cool.
In a large bowl, mix together celery, mayonnaise, lemon juice, horseradish, and paprika and season with salt.
Chop shrimp and add to mayo mixture. Spoon shrimp mixture into toasted buns and garnish with scallions.

Try doing salads a little differently! This is a Cobb Pasta Salad. The pasta can always be replaced with whole grain noodles. 

kosher salt
1 lb. pasta
4 slices bacon
ranch dressing
3 hard boiled eggs, roughly chopped
1 c. cherry tomatoes, halved
1 avocado, chopped
1/4 c. crumbled blue cheese
Freshly ground black pepper

In a large pot of salted boiling water, cook gemelli according to package directions until al dente. Drain and transfer to a large serving bowl.
Cook bacon until crispy. Drain and chop, then set aside.
To serving bowl, add ranch dressing and toss with pasta until evenly coated. Add bacon, egg, tomatoes, avocado, and blue cheese. Season with salt and pepper and toss to incorporate.
Drizzle with more ranch dressing and serve.

For an interesting dessert try Fruit Skewers

6 peaches, sliced
1 pt. Strawberries, sliced
1 pineapple, cut into large cubes
8 skewers, soaked in water for 20 minutes
Extra-virgin olive oil, for drizzling
kosher salt
Honey, for drizzling

Preheat grill to medium-high. Skewer peaches, strawberries, and pineapple. Drizzle with olive oil and season with salt.
Grill, turning occasionally, until fruit is tender and slightly charred, 10 to 12 minutes.
Drizzle with honey.

Things To Look For:
Keep an eye out for strawberry, cherry, peas, asparagus and cabbage in your local produce sections. These fruits and vegetables are ready for harvesting in June!!! Fruits and vegetables lose their optimal nutritional value as soon as they are picked. Eating them as soon as they are ready will increase their taste and nutritional value. By eating locally grown fruits and vegetables, you'll reduce the number of miles your food has to travel and reduce your food's carbon footprint by 7%!!

Friday, May 19, 2017

Cooking Class!!

This week Executive Chef Andrew Benson and Executive Sous Chef June Berry taught a cooking class at the Choir Academy Of Harlem

The children have recently planted beans, peas, lettuce, kale, collards and basil at Glynwood Farms located in Cold Spring, NY. So Andrew and June put together a presentation based on the vegetables the children have been working with. 

Andrew and June taught the class how to make a Kale and Cannellini  Pesto Salad using some of the vegetables the children planted. 

4 Cups of Kale Stalks
2 Cups of Fresh Basil
1 Clove of Garlic
1/4-1/2 cup of Parmesan Cheese
1/4 Cup of Toasted Sunflower Seeds
1/4 tsp of Salt 
1 tsp of Lemon Juice
1 Cup of Olive Oil
4 Cups of Canned Cannellini Beans 

1. Place all ingredients, except olive oil and cannellini beans into blender
2. Pulse with blade until roughly chopped. 
3. With the blender running, slowly pour in the olive oil until you get the desired thickness. 
4. Taste kale pesto and adjust seasoning if needed
5. Gently mix the kale pesto with the cannellini beans together 

Now It's Their Turn!!!!

So hard at work!!

Enjoying the fruits of their labor!!
Doing the dirty work

To make things fun, Andrew and June incorporated a limerick that promotes healthy eating 

and a sensory poem about a certain vegetable...

Thursday, May 4, 2017

Kitchen Math

This week, NYC students are being tested on their math skills. Many students usually feel as if something like math is trivial and not really used in every day life. However, math is essential in places like the HCZ kitchen. You have to work with time, fractions, and converting units of measurment. Many recipes are intended to serve 4 or 8 plates, but when serving a community of students, you have to be able to convert recipies for larger servings without annihalating the recipe. You need everything to taste just as good as it did when cooking in smaller increments. Knowing how to add, subtract, divide and multiply helps to achieve this goal.

Even before you cook, you have to use math to order your ingredients. You have to figure out how many ingredients you'll need to feed a certain amount of people according to your recipe. Adding fractions or converting units will be vital in getting your totals. It's not as if things like sugar or salt can be purchased by half cups or 1/4 of a spoonful. Math can also help you figure out how long you ingredients will last.

Things learned in school apply to more than just tests. Everything learned in school can be used for daily life. History teaches us not to repeat the same mistakes. Art teaches us to think outside the box and math can help us make really great food.  

Monday, April 24, 2017

Healthy Harlem

Gardening Season is Here!!! 
Come Visit Us
35 East 125th Street, 5th Floor Patio
If you have any questions or would like to arrange a class visit please send an email to Ariel Seligson: aseligson@hcz.org

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Team Work Makes the Dream Work

During the Spring Break, the kitchen team took the opportunity to do some activities to strengthen our team work. Over the week we reviewed what it meant to utilize team work, to be held accountable for your actions, and to be mindful of your surroundings. Together we learned about D.D.P. Drive Determination and Perseverance.

Last week we also had a lot of fun doing the Food Truck Challenge featuring Mexican food! We split into teams and had to design food trucks, create a menu using the ingredients found in work stations in the kitchen and create a marketing campaign for the food truck. Take a look at our Food Trucks!!

Tre's Taco Food Truck
Los Tres Tacos Food Truck

Nacho Mama's Food Truck

Our Judges!!
On the left we have, Matt Marcus,
Dr.Joseph Cordero principle of PA 1 Upper Elementary


We would be happy to assist any departments with creating their own Food Truck Challenge. 

Today is National Garlic Day!!

There are over 300 varieties of garlic known throughout the world. Some of the most popular types are Turban garlic, Asiatic garlic, Rocambole garlic and Porcelain garlic. Each different type of garlic has different shapes and tastes. Asiatic garlic has 8-12 cloves per bulb as opposed to Turban garlic which has 5-8 cloves per bulb. 

Garlic is not only a great herb used for cooking, it also has many health benefits. Garlic applied on wounds can heal them faster. During World War I, this healing quality of garlic was used extensively by British soldiers. This exotic herb advocated as health benefiting food for its anti-microbial, anti-cancer, anti-diabetic, and immune boosting and cholesterol-lowering properties. Garlic dates back more than 5,000 years ago. In ancient Greece, brides carried bouquets of herbs and garlic, not flowers. Ancient Egyptians even used garlic as a form of currency.

Try this recipe to celebrate Garlic Day!

Cauliflower Soup with Toasted Garlic

3 cloves garlic, sliced
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 small head cauliflower, chopped

5 cups low-sodium chicken broth
1 tablespoon thyme leaves
kosher salt and black pepper

Cook the garlic in the oil in a large pot over medium heat, stirring, until golden, 2 to 3 minutes; remove and reserve the garlic.
To the pot, add the cauliflower, chicken broth, thyme, 1 teaspoon salt, and ¼ teaspoon pepper. Simmer until tender, 15 to 20 minutes.
Transfer the mixture to a blender and puree until smooth. Top with the garlic, a drizzle of olive oil, and additional thyme before serving.

Fun Fact: The city of Chicago is named after garlic. 'Chicagaoua' was the Indian word for wild garlic.