Pecan Pie

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pecan-pie

The Doe Fund team has again, stolen the show. This past weekend we attended a Food Festival in Ridgewood at a local bar called The Footlight. We served delicious hot food and even entered in to their pie contest in which we won Second Place for our scrumptious Pecan Pie. This recipe comes from our Director of Food Services, Chef Gino Dalesandro and is the perfect pie for all occasions. We hope you enjoy it!

Ingredients:

Crust:
3 cups pastry flour
½ cup all purpose flour
¼ tablespoon salt
¼ cup cold water

Filling:
½ cup butter
2 cups sugar
½ teaspoon salt
2 cups maple syrup
2 cups corn syrup
6 eggs
6 egg yolks
½ tablespoon vanilla
1 ½ cups chopped pecans

Directions:

Combine the flour and shortening, and rub together with your hands until you form walnut sized nuggets. Dissolve the salt in water and add to the flour mixture. Mix only until the ingredients are combined; do not over mix or the crust will be mealy. Form the dough into a ball, wrap with plastic, and refrigerate for two (2) hours. Letting the dough rest like this helps make the crust more tender.

Roll the dough into a 12-inch circle. Fold in half, then lay over a 10-inch pie tin (folding the dough in half makes it easier to lift into the pit tin without breaking). With a knife, cut off excess dough around the edges. Place the pie tin in the refrigerator for 20 minutes, again letting the dough rest.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

Melt the butter with the sugar and salt. Over low heat until the sugar is dissolved. Add the maple and corn syrup to the butter mixture and bring to a boil. Remove from the heat. In a mixing bowl, beat the whole eggs, yolk, and vanilla. Into the eggs, whisk 1 cup of the liquid at a time, until the temperature of the eggs becomes the same as that of the liquid. Continually whip the mixture to make sure the eggs do not curdle. Let the filling cool.

Remove the pie tin from the refrigerator and sprinkle the pecans evenly on the bottom of the pie shell. Pour the filling into the pie shell. Bake for one hour. Before removing the pie from the oven, shake to make sure it is firm. The filling should only move slightly when the pie is shaken. Cut serve and enjoy with family and friends!

Chef Kronna Williams

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Kronna Williams, left, preparing food with his team at a James Beard event. 

For a long time Kronna Williams believed that dreams were made for other people—not him. As a child, his reality was one of poverty and drugs. Of hardship and struggle. Of ultimately being placed in a group home because there was nowhere else for him to go.

By the age of 14 he was living on the streets of Harlem, selling drugs to survive and battling his own addiction. “The first time I was incarcerated I was just 15 years old,” says Kronna. He would end up spending nearly half his life behind bars. “Each time I was in prison I always thought I’d just go back to selling drugs when I got out. I didn’t think I had any other options.”

That all changed when he heard about The Doe Fund eight years ago. “It was a godsend,” Kronna says. “I knew I couldn’t continue down the same road. I knew I had to turn my life around. This was my chance. And I was determined to do it.”

It all started with the bucket. “Pushing the bucket was not just about cleaning up the streets, but more so about cleaning up my life,” says Kronna, who transitioned into the Ready, Willing & Able program seamlessly. “I always see people for who they are, not what they’ve done, and The Doe Fund does the same thing. So it was easy for me to meld here.”

It wasn’t long before Kronna began to realize that he did have options…that selling drugs wasn’t the only path before him. When it was time for him to select an occupational training track—hands-on learning that would prepare him for a stable career—the choice was clear: culinary arts. “Cooking is therapeutic to me,” he says. “I can remember watching my grandmother cook when I was very young. I was fascinated by the whole process…measuring ingredients, putting different flavors together. I love it. It’s a way to express myself and give back.”

Today, Kronna is giving back every day and expressing himself in each dish that he creates as the Executive Chef at our Peter Jay Sharp Center for Opportunity in Brooklyn—a position he’s held for the last three years. “The Doe Fund didn’t just help me find a job, they helped me find a career that I love. They helped me find confidence in myself and my abilities.”

He’s also found big dreams that once seemed meant for anyone but him. “One day I want to own my own business…a catering company, cooking school and restaurant all in one. I’m laying the ground work now, learning about the business end of culinary arts and saving money. Working at The Doe Fund is helping me toward that goal. If there’s one thing I’ve learned from being here it’s that dreams can come true.”

Chef Kronna’s Sweet & Spicy Ribs

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Kronna is giving back every day and expressing himself in each dish that he creates as the Executive Chef at our Peter Jay Sharp Center for Opportunity in Brooklyn. He has stated that “Cooking is therapeutic”. He loves how fascinating the whole process is when it comes to measuring ingredients, and putting different flavors together. Please check out his recipe below and share with friends, family and loved ones!

Ingredients:
1 cup chili sauce
½ cup ketchupimg_4618-copy
½ cup tomato puree
1 tablespoon prepared yellow mustard
4 tablespoons honey
2 teaspoons hot sauce
1 cup apple cider vinegar
4 tablespoons chopped chipotle peppers
1 teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon black pepper
2 ounces espresso
2 pounds ribs

 

Directions:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. To create the sauce, add all ingredients except the ribs in a mixing bowl and combine using a wire whisk. Adjust seasonings to taste.
Sear the ribs briefly to seal in the juices, and then dip into the sauce mixture. Wrap the sauce-coated beef in aluminum foil and roast in the preheated oven for 40 minutes. Remove from the oven, and let rest. Brush sauce over ribs and serve with your favorite side dish and vegetables. Enjoy!

 

Another Winning Recipe from The Harlem Harvest Bake-Off

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The Doe Fund team stole the show at this month’s Harlem Harvest Festival and prepared this Carrot Cake recipe to judges and audience members. It won first place alongside our brownie recipe!

Ingredients:
1½lbs Cake Flour
2tbsp Baking Powder
1tbsp Baking Soda
1tbsp Salt
2tbsp Cinnamon
12 Eggs
1¼lbsGranulated Sugar
1½lbs Dark Brown Sugar
3¾cup Canola Oil
2tbsp Vanilla Extract
3lbs Carrots (shredded)
1lb Pecan (chopped)
1lb. Coconut (shredded)

Directions:
Beat eggs and sugar until it becomes thick and foamy. Fold in the rest of your ingredients. Mix until everything is thoroughly blended. Place in a sprayed sheet pan dusted with sugar. Bake at 325 degrees for 50 minutes. Cool, cut and enjoy!

Winning Recipe from The Harlem Harvest Bake-Off

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Congratulations to our culinary team, and especially Angel Lopez, for their blue ribbon at this year’s Harlem Harvest Festival! The Doe Fund team stole the show and prepared this Peanut Butter Brownie recipe to judges and audience members. And a special thanks to sponsors Whole Foods and Power 105.1!

Ingredients:
1lb Whole Eggs
12oz Peanut Butter
12oz Semi-Sweet Chocolate (melted)
1lb Butter (melted)
2lbs Sugar
12oz All Purpose Flour
1lb Roasted Peanuts (chopped)

Directions:
In a stainless steel bowl add eggs, peanut butter and, sugar. Heat over double boiler until mixture reaches 103° F. Place in bowl, attached to mixing machine. Whip until egg, sugar mixture becomes thick and pale in color. Once you have the right consistency, add your melted chocolate and butter. Blend slowly until all is absorbed. Fold in flour. Spread on greased sheet pan to ½ inch thick. Top with chopped roasted peanuts. Bake at 325° F for 30 minutes. Let cool and cut 24 squares.

Apple Bread with Honey Glaze

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What better way to welcome the start of Rosh Hashanah than with a traditional apple bread with honey glaze? During the Jewish New Year, an apple slice dipped in honey is a way to express your hopes for a sweet and fruitful year. This recipe comes from our Director of Food Services, Chef Gino Dalesandro. Enjoy!

Apple Bread with Honey Glaze

Ingredients:
5 apples (peeled and chopped)
1¼ c butter
2½ c sugar
1¼ c buttermilk
3½ tsp vanilla
3½ tsp baking soda
3 c flour
6 eggs
(add walnuts if desired)

Topping:
1¼ c butter
1¼ c flour
1¼ c sugar
3½ tsp cinnamon

Honey Butter Glaze:
1 c honey
1 c butter

Directions:
1. Cream together butter and sugar until it becomes a paste
2. Slowly add eggs until it becomes absorbed
3. Mix all ingredients together until smooth while alternating from wet to dry
4. Add in chopped apples (and walnuts if desired)
5. Pour into 2 loaf pans
6. Combine all ingredients for topping until it clumps into small chunky pieces
7. Sprinkle cinnamon sugar topping evenly onto loaves
8. Bake at 325 degree for one hour
9. Place ingredients for honey butter glaze into pot. Reduce to thick syrup. Brush on cool loaves and serve.

 

Homemade Chicken Soup

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This homemade recipe originates from the soup lesson of our culinary training program. Under the guidance of our chef instructors, students follow the recipe and learn the key techniques of soup making. Chicken soup is a staple of the fall season, and as the weather begins to cool, we are pleased to share our unique take on a comforting classic!

Ingredients:

1 whole chicken (approx. 3 pounds)
4 carrots, halved
4 celery stalks, halved
1 large onion, halved
4 gallons chicken broth
salt & pepper to taste

Directions:

Combine the chicken, carrots, celery, and onion in a large pot and cover with cold water. Place on a stove top on low heat, and simmer uncovered until the chicken meat falls off the bones, making sure to skim off the foam that forms on top of the mixture every few minutes.

Remove the pot from the stove top, and strain the contents to separate the broth. Set the pot containing the broth back on the stove top to simmer, and place the rest of the mixture in a large bowl allowing it to cool. Pick the meat off the bones, and chop the carrots, celery, and onion. Season the broth with salt, pepper, and chicken bouillon to taste. Add the chicken, carrots, celery and onion back into the pot. Stir all ingredients together, and then remove the finished soup from the stove top. Serve, and enjoy!