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

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

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

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

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

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. 

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

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. 

Healthy Harlem Early Childhood Newsletter - June 2017

Monday, June 5, 2017

Chipotle Chicken Tacos

CHIPOTLE CHICKEN TACOS (listed below) are making their debut on our lunch menu this week Tuesday! Chipotle peppers add a smokey characteristic to these delicious  chicken

1- onion, sliced
1 tbs- Canola Oil
2- 14.5 oz. cans diced tomatoes with chiles
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1- chipotle in adobo sauce, chopped, plus 1 tbs adobo
3 cups shredded cooked chicken
12- 6" Whole Wheat tortillas

In skillet, cook onion in canola oil over medium-high for 10 minutes. Add tomatoes, garlic, chipotle and adobo; cook another 10 minutes. Heat chicken in sauce; season.
Serve with tortillas. 

We receive our chicken from Cascun Farm located in the rural farming community of Greene in upstate New York approx. 185 miles from Harlem. They raise and process chicken, ducks, geese, turkey and rabbits on location with no use of antibiotics or growth hormonesThe feed is non-medicated, there are no animal by products used and no growth hormones added. Because we receiving our food from a local farm, we are cutting down on our foods carbon footprint by 7%!

Thursday, June 1, 2017

Hawaiian Burger

A Hawaiian Burger is actually a fusion of Japanese and Hawaiian cooking. In the 1850's sugar cane and pineapples were growing in abundance and Hawaii needed immigrant workers to maintain the plantations after slavery had been abolished. Japanese people began to migrate to Hawaii and brought their culture and food with them. The Japanese people introduced ingredients such as Teriyaki Sauce. Teriyaki sauce is added to the ground meat in the Hawaiian Burger and a pineapple is added as a topping. 

The Hawaiian Burger (listed below) has been added to our menu and will make it's debut Friday, June 2nd 2017. 

1/2 cup Mayonnaise
2 Tablespoons Teriyaki Sauce
1 Tablespoon Honey
1/4 teaspoon Cayenne Pepper

8 whole Canned Pineapple Rings
1 whole Large Red Bell Pepper, Seeded And Cut Into Rings
1-1/2 pound Ground Beef
Salt And Pepper, to taste
Teriyaki Sauce, As Needed
4 slices Provolone Cheese
2 Tablespoons Butter
4 whole Onion Rolls
1/2 whole Red Onion, Thinly Sliced
Green Lettuce Leaves

For the Sauce:
To make the sauce, stir together the mayo, teriyaki sauce, honey, and cayenne and set aside.

For the Burger:
Grill the pineapple and bell pepper rings over medium-high heat until they have great grill marks. (You can also just brown them in a hot skillet.)

Season the ground beef and form it into 4 equal sized patties. Cook them over medium heat for 4 to 5 minutes on the first side, then flip them over and add a splash of teriyaki sauce on top of each one. Place a slice of cheese on each patty and let it melt while the burger cooks through, about 4 minutes longer. 

Butter a griddle or separate skillet over medium heat until golden brown. Spoon a little bit of the sauce on both sides and allow it to soak into the bread. Place the patties on the bottom buns and top each one with two pineapple slices, red onion slices, grilled bell pepper, and lettuce. Top with the top bun and smush it all together. Serve with extra sauce for dipping!

Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Trini- Chinese Chicken

When you think about Caribbean food, the last thing that might come to mind is a Chinese influence. By the mid-1800's, slavery was abolished throughout the islands and indentured servants were imported from China and India. They brought their food traditions, cooking techniques, and ingredients with them, which, over time, have become part of the vibrant cuisine of the Caribbean.
Be on the look out for Trini-Chinese Chicken (listed below) on our Menu during Week 1
2 lbs. - Chicken Thigh
2 tbs. -Five Spice Powderis a blend of ground spices intended to incorporate the five main flavors of sweet, sour, salty, bitter and pungent. Five spice powder can be used for seasoning meats and poultry, in marinades or in spice rubs
2 fl oz. -Lime Juice
3 tbs. -Tamari
1/2 oz. -Ginger (peeled and minced)
1/2 cup -Hoisin Sauce
1 tbs. -Scotch Bonnet Pepper
1/4 tsp. -Ground Black Pepper
1/2 oz. -Green Onion
Combine chicken with five-spice powder, lime juice, soy sauce, and the ginger. Mix the chicken thoroughly to combine all ingredients. Put in refrigerator over night. Meanwhile, make the dipping sauce. Combine Hoisin sauce, the Scotch Bonnet Pepper, and remaining lime juice. Stir to combine. Adjust seasonings to taste. 
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Place chicken into preheated oven and cook for about 40 minutes. Remove from oven and drizzle sauce over chicken. 

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.

Thursday, April 6, 2017

April Holidays and their Culinary Traditions

Easter is a religious holiday that celebrates Jesus resurrecting from the dead, 3 days after his crucifixion by the Romans. Passover is the Jewish  spring festival that commemorates the liberation of the Israelite's from Egyptian slavery, lasting seven or eight days. A traditional Easter dinner may have lamb, eggs, ham and cake or bread. A traditional Passover dinner will include wine, bread and gefilte fish. These foods all symbolize something much more than just Sunday dinner. Lamb is used as a religious symbol for Jesus and sacrifice. Since Jesus is commonly referred to as the Lamb of God. 

Red wine is consumed 4 times during 4 different moments during Passover dinner. This tradition happens for a few reasons. Red wine is shared in order to commemorate important religious moments.

Eggs symbolize rebirth, fertility and rejuvenation, so finding eggs were seen as good luck. When hens are unconfined they deposit their eggs in unexpected places. To find such a hidden nest before a hen has started to set and incubate the eggs is a perfect analogy to finding hidden treasure.

A roasted bone, hard boiled egg, horseradish root, a mix of chopped walnuts, apple and red wine, a slice of onion or boiled potato and a piece of romaine lettuce are placed on a Seder plate. The Seder plate is used as a setting for the these special foods. These food hold a great amount of religious meaning. Passover is about much more than just food, it's also about telling a story and sharing a history. 

Ham, with its rich, delicious fattiness has come to symbolize wealth and prosperity. It’s also said that ham is served because the days before refrigeration or canning to preserve foods, livestock was slaughtered in the fall. The fresh pork that wasn’t consumed during the late fall and throughout the winter months was “cured” for consumption in the spring. The curing process took several months, and the first hams were ready in the early spring.

Bread is meant to symbolize fertility. An example of bread made for the Easter holiday is Hot Cross Buns. English folklore says that Hot Cross Buns baked on Good Friday would never spoil throughout the following year. Some bakers believed that holding on to one Hot Cross Bun and hanging it in the kitchen meant that all yeast products in the coming year would rise successfully.