Friday, October 13, 2017

Lunch Today


From the great minds at Kitchn

What Is Sumac?

Taste: Sour
Most Popular Use: Spice blends, dry rubs, salads
The sumac bush, native to the Middle East, produces deep red berries, which are dried and ground into coarse powder. The spice was long used in Europe to add tartness to many dishes until the Romans introduced lemons to the area. While it's less common, the berries may also be sold whole. Ground sumac is a versatile spice with a tangy lemony flavor, although more balanced and less tart than lemon juice. A small sprinkle also adds a beautiful pop of color to any dish.

Ground sumac is widely available in Middle Eastern markets, and little by little it's making its way into the spice aisle of grocery stores. Store ground sumac in an airtight container, away from heat and light.

How To Use Sumac

Sumac is a widely used, essential spice in Middle Eastern and Mediterranean cooking. It's used in everything from dry rubs, marinades, and dressing. But its best use is sprinkled over food before serving.
It pairs well with vegetables, grilled lamb, chicken and fish. Sumac is one of the main components in the spice mix za'atar, and is used as a topping on fattoush salad, and makes a nice topping on dips like hummus.


Today we are diving into middle eastern cuisine and serving a Roasted Sumac Chicken, Rice Pilaf and Moroccan Carrot Salad. 
Besseha (Have a nice meal in Moroccan Arabic)

Cooking and Math, match made in heaven

This past Monday Chef Andrew and Chef June had the pleasure of working with the entire 7th grade at Promise Academy 2. We taught the students along side Mr. Di and Ms. Miller about Recipe scaling, ratios, proportions, kitchen math and fractions. We linked the Native American recipe to make the connection to what they are learning in History and even threw in some Science terminology to make the total connection.  Once finished with the math lesson, the students began to cut the cucumbers, onions, and assemble their salad working as a team. Another group of students made the dressing learning about emulsification. The students ate everything they made, which upon their first impression what GROSS. Even made a song about the Wild Wild Wild Wild Rice (Remix from Rhianna). Thanks again for having us and look forward to the next time. 
 
CORN, BLUEBERRY AND WILD RICE SALAD
Makes 8 servings
  • 6 ears sweet corn, husked and roasted
  • 1 jalapeno pepper, seeded and finely chopped
  • 1 cup fresh blueberries 
  • 4 tablespoons lime juice
  • 1 cup cooked wild rice 
  • 4 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 small cucumber, finely diced 
  • 2 tablespoons honey 
  • ¼ cup finely chopped red onion
  • ½ teaspoon ground cumin
  • ¼ cup chopped fresh cilantro

Remove husks from corn and lightly roast corn over open flame. When cool enough to handle, cut corn from cobs. In a serving bowl combine corn, blueberries, cucumber, red onion, cilantro, wild rice, and jalapeno. 
For dressing: in a screw-top jar combine lime juice, oil, honey, cumin, and ½ teaspoon salt. Cover; shake well to combine. Add to salad and toss. Cover the salad and refrigerate overnight or up to 24 hours.




Tuesday, September 26, 2017

The Roux- Fall Issue 2



Fall Food

Delicious

We all enjoy delicious food,
Makes us happy, fixes our mood.
It's all about the juicy taste,
Doesn't matter, where the food is placed.

We should consider, nutritional support,
We shall need it, if we engage in a sport.
Energy; food provides - plenty
Need a bit more, if we're over twenty.

A great dish, we should all savor,
Eat slowly, as we taste the flavor.
Choose our very favorite cuisine,
Is it red? Or is it green?


by AnitaPoems.com

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Soon the leaves will change colors, the weather will become cooler, the days will become shorter and nights will grow longer. All of these signal the early stages of the new Fall season. As we leave the summer behind with it's citrus fruit and salads, we welcome the Fall with flavors such as squash, apple cinnamon, nutmeg and other flavors.

Here's a recipe to get you in the Fall mood. 



Butternut, Cauliflower, Coconut Curry 

Ingredients:
1 (15-oz.) can unsalted chickpeas, rinsed and drained

3 tablespoons olive oil, divided
1/2 cup frozen green peas, thawed
3/4 cup chopped yellow onion
2 tablespoons minced fresh garlic
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 1/2 tablespoons curry powder
1 cup cubed peeled butternut squash
1 cup fresh cauliflower florets
1 cup diced red potatoes
4 cups unsalted vegetable stock
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt 
1 cup light coconut milk



Instructions:
Preheat oven to 450 degrees. 
Place chickpeas on a rimmed baking sheet; pat dry. Add 1 tablespoon oil to chickpeas; toss to coat. Spread chickpeas in an even layer on pan. Bake at 450°F for 30 minutes. Add green peas to pan; bake at 450°F for 5 minutes or until chickpeas and green peas are crisp.

Heat a large Dutch oven over medium. Add remaining 2 tablespoons oil; swirl to coat. Add onion and garlic; sauté 5 minutes. Add flour and curry powder; cook 1.5 minutes or until flour begins to brown, stirring constantly. Stir in butternut squash, cauliflower, and potatoes. Add vegetable stock, pepper, and salt; bring to a boil over medium-high. Reduce heat to medium-low, and simmer 15 to 20 minutes or until vegetables are tender.

Remove pan from heat; stir in coconut milk. Place about 1 1/2 cups vegetable mixture in each of 4 bowls; top each serving with about 1/3 cup chickpea mixture. Serve with lime wedges, if desired.

Friday, September 15, 2017

Seasonal Eating

Why Eat What's in Season?

Flavor
Produce that have been allowed to fully ripen in the sun taste amazing! Freshly picked produce has the optimal flavor – crispy, fragrant, juicy and colorful. Those summer heirloom tomatoes make all other tomatoes seem inferior. You can eat it like an apple; raw, warm from the sun and straight from the vine.
 Nutrition
Plants get their nourishment from the sun and soil. Seasonally fresh produce is picked when they’re ripe and fully developed. The plant has had more sun exposure, which means it will have higher levels of antioxidants! 
Economy
Simply supply and demand. When there’s abundance of a product, such as watermelons in the summer, the prices go down. Seasonal food is much cheaper to produce for the farmers who would rather sell their products for a lower price, than not at all. Cash in on the seasonal bounty.
Environment
Seasonal produce can grow without too much added human assistance i.e. pesticides and genetically modification. We know how these toxic compounds can contaminate the water and soil and also our health. Seasonal food is more likely to be locally produced as well, which reduces the load on our environment due to transport, or “food mileage”.
Home Cooking
Eating seasonally also forces you to cook more -- and there really is nothing better you could do for your health. When you start to take back control of what you put in to your body, which oil you choose to cook with, how much sugar you add to your food etc, you are consciously making better choices for your health. Cooking is also a great activity to do with your kids, family and friends. And, what better way to show your love?
Support of Your Seasonal Needs
The natural cycle of produce is perfectly designed to support our health.
Apples grow in the fall and they are the perfect transition food, helping the body get rid of excess heat and cool down before winter. In the spring the abundance of leafy greens help us alkalize, detox and loose some extra pounds after a long winter of heavier foods. In the summer we need to cool down and stay hydrated by eating more fruits, berries, cucumber, watermelon etc. Building a lifestyle around seasonal food facilitates the body’s natural healing process.

Organic/Free of Pesticides
Food grown outside of their season or natural environment need a lot more human assistance in forms of pesticides, waxes, chemicals and preservatives to grow and look appealing to us consumers. By choosing local and seasonal food, you are also more likely to get a cleaner product! 

What's in Season?


Thursday, August 3, 2017

Have a Berry Great Day!


Ripe for the summer. Raspberries, blueberries, blackberries and strawberries are ready to harvest and eat! Not only are berries refreshing during these hot summer months, but they also come with many health benefits. 





Berries have the greatest antioxidant content per serving compared to any other food except spicesConsuming foods rich in antioxidants may be good for your nervous system, blood vessels, heart health and may also help to lower your risk of infections and some forms of cancer. 





Women who eat about two servings of strawberries or one serving of blueberries a week experienced less mental decline over time than peers who went without eating berries. Berries help support cognitive thinking, and development



Chef's Choice:

Executive Chef Andrew Benson recommends making a fruit compote. Fruit Compote is dessert made of whole or pieces of fruit in sugar syrup. You can make fruit compote from any choice of berries and use as a healthy alternative to syrup. It's quick, easy and delicious!


Ingredients:
3 cups mixed berries (3/4 lb) such as raspberries, blackberries, and blueberries
  1. 1/4 cup packed light brown sugar
  2. 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
  3. 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice



  4. Directions:
    1. Melt butter in a skillet over moderate heat. Stir in brown sugar and lemon juice until sugar is dissolved. Add berries and cook, tossing gently (try to keep most of them from breaking up), until berries are warm and juices begin to be released, 2 to 3 minutes. Serve warm or at room temperature.
    2. Once it's cool, store your compote in a tightly sealed jar and keep refrigerated for up to two weeks.







Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Tempeh



Tempeh originated in Indonesia, and it is made with whole soybeans that are cooked, slightly fermented, and then shaped into a compact cake. 



Vegetarians and vegans love its nutrition and versatility, and now tempeh is attracting meat-eaters who want a healthy source of protein. Tempeh’s fermentation process and its use of the whole soybean gives it a higher content of protein vitamins and minerals. It has a firm texture and an earthy flavor, which becomes more noticeable as it ages. 

Because of its nutritional value, tempeh is used worldwide in vegetarian cuisine. Its ability to take on many flavors and textures makes it a great substitute for meat productstempeh is known to reduce cholesterol, increase bone density, reduce menopausal symptoms and promote muscle recovery. In addition to these amazing benefits, tempeh has the same protein quality as meat and contains high levels of vitamins B5, B6, B3 and B2.


Tempeh is extremely versatile 

Cube and toss into a stir-fry
Marinate and grill


Substitute for ground beef

 Slice and layer in sandwiches













Have fun experimenting with tempeh!

Monday, July 10, 2017

How to Use a Thermometer



There are several types of meat thermometers. You'll find the two most basic styles, the bimetallic and bulb thermometers, at most grocery stores. These are inexpensive options which are easy to find, but they can take much longer to give a temperature read-out and aren't as accurate as other options. Also, their glass parts can easily break.
Bimetallic Thermometer

Bulb Thermometer







Digital instant-read thermometers provide much more accurate results. There are two main types in this category:

A digital instant-read thermometer gives you an (almost) instant readout, and it's easy to use.
A digital probe thermometer, which connects the probe that you insert into the meat with a separate device that contains a temperature readout and customizable alarm settings, is great for roasting or smoking larger cuts of meat for long hours.


CALIBRATE YOUR THERMOMETER

To quickly test if your thermometer is accurate, dip the tip into a bowl of ice water. It should read 32°F or 0°C, the temperature that water freezes at. Many digital thermometers have a reset button or re-calibrate button, so if the temperature is off, you can likely fix it—just follow the manufacturer's instructions.

PLACE THE THERMOMETER CORRECTLY

For the most accurate reading, place the thermometer into the thickest portion of meat, avoiding fat and bone. You're looking to find the lowest internal temperature—that's the most accurate temperature for the core of the meat. Most thermometers require you to insert the probe at least 1/2 inch into the meat, but if the meat is thicker than an inch, you'll probably want to go deeper than that to reach the very center.
The temperature should keep dropping as the probe goes into the deepest part of the meat—if you see the temperature starting to rise again, you've gone too far.

CHECK THE MEAT TEMPERATURE EARLY AND OFTEN

For a larger roast, start checking your meat about 30 minutes before you expect it to be done; for thinner, smaller cuts, start testing the meat 5 to 10 minutes ahead of time. To hit the right doneness, aim for the meat temperature given in your recipe, as well as food-safety charts.
It's important to remember that meat will continue cooking after it's removed from the heat—this is called carryover cooking. It's not much of a factor with smaller cuts of meat, like chicken pieces, steaks, and chops, but large, thick roasts of beef, lamb, veal, pork loin, or even large turkey breasts should be removed from the heat when they reach 5 degrees less than their desired doneness temperature. Give these larger cuts 5 to 10 minutes of resting time, and the temperature will rise up to perfect doneness and the juices will have plenty of time to redistribute into the meat.

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

New Menu Item: Korean Bulgogi Tacos

Bulgogi is a grilled dish made of thin, marinated slices of beef or pork, grilled on a barbecue or on a stove-top griddle. It is also often stir-fried in a pan in home cooking. Sirloin, rib eye or briskets are the frequently used cuts of beef for the dish.




We recreated this dish with beef, turkey, and tofu for healthier alternatives. Although you can change the protein, it wouldn't be Bulgogi without the marinade. 


Bulgogi Marinade

Ingredients:
2 tablespoons sesame oil 
8 cloves garlic, minced 
1/2 cup soy sauce 
1/3 cup sugar
3 tablespoons mirin
2 tablespoons toasted sesame seeds 
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
4 scallions (green onions), minced

Directions:
Heat sesame oil in a small saucepan. Add garlic and cook for 1 minutes.  Add remaining ingredients, except green onions, and let the sauce cook over medium heat for 3-4 minutes, or until sugar has dissolved completely. Add green onions, promptly remove from heat and let the mix cool completely before using
as a marinade.







Wednesday, June 14, 2017

New Menu Item!! BBQ Peach Chili Chicken


This Wednesday we will be serving a new menu item: 
BBQ Peach Chili Chicken 


If you would like to try this at home take a look at the recipe below. 


BBQ Peach Chili Chicken

Ingredients:
1 lbs- fresh peaches
3/4 cup- chopped sweet onion such as Vidalia
1 1/2 tbsp- minced fresh jalapeño with seeds
1 tbsp- canola oil
1/4 cup- cider vinegar
2 1/2 tbsp- mild honey
2 tbsp- Dijon mustard
3/4 tsp light brown sugar
1/4 tsp- chili powder
1/8 tsp- dry mustard
1/4 tsp- kosher salt
1 1/2 lbs.-  Chicken Thigh

Directions:
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Place thighs in a baking dish. Season chicken thighs on all sides with salt and pepper. Bake chicken in the preheated oven until no longer pink at the bone and the juices run clear, about 30 minutes. 

For the Sauce:
  1. Cook onion, jalapeño, and a pinch of kosher salt in oil, in a heavy medium saucepan over medium heat. Stir occasionally, until softened, 8 to 10 minutes. Add peaches and remaining ingredients and simmer, uncovered, stirring occasionally, until peaches are very tender, about 30 minutes.
  2. Purée in a blender (use caution when blending hot liquids). Pour the sauce on to the chicken and serve. 



Chile pepper



FYI: 
Chili and Chile  are often confused for each other, chile (generally) refers to the pepper pod, and chili usually refers to the stewed dish. 
The e and the i of it all.



Thursday, June 8, 2017

Ciabatta Bread

French Baguette






In the 1980's the popularity of the French baguette was on the rise. Italian bakers were afraid their business would suffer. As a way to combat this, they set out to try to create an Italian alternative that would work for sandwiches.












Ciabatta Bread





After weeks of trying and testing breads, the ciabatta came to be and consisted of a soft, wet dough with gluten flour. Ciabatta means slipper in Italian and refers to the shape of the bread. It is excellent bread for dipping in olive oil, for stacking high with meats and cheeses, or for use as a grilling bread.









We will be serving ciabatta bread with cold cuts this Friday for Lunch!

Tuesday, June 6, 2017

Rabo Oxtail Stew


Rabo Oxtail Stew
The recipe for oxtail stew has been shared so often, that it has reached many nations. There are Jamaican, Korean, French, and Chinese oxtail stew variations. Rabo Encendido refers to the Cuban deviation of this dish. 

Ingredients:
4 pounds oxtail, disjointed 1/2 cup olive oil

1 teaspoon salt 3 tablespoons flour for coating meat
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 1/2 cups onion, diced 
2 1/2 cups green pepper, diced
2 cups red pepper, diced 
1 cup carrots, diced
1 cup potatoes, diced
3 cloves garlic mashed with 1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
1 teaspoon nutmeg
1 bay leaf
1 (15-ounce) can tomato sauce
2 1/2 cups beef broth

Instructions:
Marinate the meat in a mixture of olive oil, and salt for 4 hours or preferably overnight. Drain marinade from meat.

Lightly coat meat with flour. Brown meat on both sides in oil. Remove meat and add onions, peppers, carrots, and potatoes.

Sauté until the potatoes brown and the onions are translucent.
Add garlic/salt mixture and continue cooking for another minute or so.
Add remaining ingredients, including the meat. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to low, cover, and simmer until the meat is fork tender, about 1.5 to 2 hours.