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.