Sautéed Zucchini and Yellow Squash in a Homemade Basil Pesto Sauce

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Ingredients:

2 zucchini
2 yellow squash
1 tablespoon olive oil
½ onion, thinly sliced
½ cup basil pesto (see below for basil pesto ingredients)
Salt and pepper to taste

Basil Pesto: Yield 4 cups
½ cup pine nuts
2 large bunches fresh basil leaves, washed and stemmed
3 garlic cloves, coarsely chopped
2 cups olive oil
Pinch of salt and pepper
½ cup freshly grated Pecorino Romano cheese

Directions:

Preheat the oven for 400 degrees. Roast the pine nuts on a baking sheet in the oven until golden, about 5 minutes. Place the basil in the work bowl of a food processor and begin processing. Add the garlic, then pine nuts, and continue processing. When the mixture has a grainy, paste like consistency, begin adding the oil a little at a time, continuing to process. Wait until the oil is absorbed before adding the next small amount. Add salt and pepper. When the oil is added and absorbed, add the cheese. As soon as the cheese is mixed in, stop processing; if you over process, the cheese will melt.

Wipe zucchini and squash with a damp towel. Cut the zucchini and yellow squash in half lengthwise, then cut them into 1/4″ thick slices. Heat the olive oil in the saucepan and saute the onions over medium heat until translucent. Add the sliced zucchini and squash and cook for about 3 minutes. Add the pesto and salt and pepper to taste, toss, and continue cooking for another 2 minutes. Remove from heat, let cool, and enjoy this wonderful vegetarian dish!

Tips: Place pesto in containers, seal, and label. You can use your pesto immediately after making it or store it up to 6 months in the freezer. Pesto stored in the refrigerator will last up to 1 month.

Spring Fruit Salad in a Sweet & Spicy Yogurt Sauce

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(4 servings)

Ingredients:
1 orange, peeled
1 pint strawberries
½ cup dark raisins
½ cup chopped walnuts
1 apple, washed, peeled, cored, and diced
1 tablespoon honey
Juice of ½ lemon
1 teaspoon hot sauce
½ cup pineapple juice
1 cup plain yogurt
¼ teaspoon salt
⅛ teaspoon white pepper

Directions:

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

With a paring knife, remove the white skin from the peeled orange and remove sections of orange from the surrounding membrane, making perfect bright-orange wedges.

Rinse the strawberries by dipping them in cold water. Remove the stems and cut berries in half.

Rehydrate the raisins by placing them in just enough hot water to cover, for 5 minutes. Then squeeze the rehydrated raisins to remove any excess water.

Place the walnuts on a sheet pan and roast in the oven until fragrant, about 5 minutes, .

In a medium mixing bowl, combine the fruit and nuts. In a large mixing bowl, combine the honey, lemon juice, hot sauce, pineapple juice, and yogurt. Whisk until well blended. Add the fruit/nut mixture, salt, and pepper, and gently mix. Place in a decorative or glass bowl and serve cold.

 

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!

 

Chef Marcell’s Shrimp Salad with Lemon Aioli

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We’re pleased to present an original take on a summer classic, courtesy of Chef Marcell. The creative force behind many of our catering creations, Marcell is both a graduate of our program and the head chef of our Philadelphia kitchen. We are grateful for his contribution to the team and commitment to the men we serve, and we hope you enjoy this delicious display of his culinary talents.

Ingredients:

(makes 12 servings)

Lemon Aioli

  • 1 cup mayonnaise
  • ¼ cup fresh lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon lemon zest
  • 1 teaspoon white pepper
  • 1 pinch cayenne
  • 1 pinch granulated garlic
  • ¼ cup chopped parsley

Shrimp Salad

  • 2 pounds shrimp
  • ½ lemon
  • ½ c celery, finely diced
  • 3 heads of lettuce or 12 mini sandwich rolls

Directions:

Fill a medium saucepan halfway with water. Add a pinch of salt, squeeze and add the juice of half a lemon, and bring to a boil.

While waiting for the water to boil, make the lemon aioli by combining the mayonnaise, fresh lemon juice, lemon zest, white pepper, cayenne pepper, and granulated garlic in a blender until smooth. Manually mix in the parsley and place in the refrigerator.

Add shrimp to the boiling water, and cook thoroughly. Drain away the boiling water, shock by shrimp by submerging them briefly in ice water, and drain again. Peel the shrimp, and chop into bite sized pieces.

Mix lemon aioli and diced celery with the chopped shrimp, and place in the refrigerator for 2 hours. Remove the mixture from the refrigerator, and either wrap in leaves of lettuce or place on mini sandwich rolls. Serve and enjoy!

Chef Anthony’s Cuban Sandwich

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Today’s recipe comes to us from Chef Anthony, who first developed a passion for cooking helping his Cuban grandmother in their home kitchen at a young age. Following a long struggle with addiction and incarceration, Anthony came to The Doe Fund in 2008 seeking a change. After excelling in the Ready, Willing & Able program, Anthony joined the organization as a full time staff member and has been a valued asset to the team ever since. We are pleased to present Anthony’s childhood-inspired original take on a classic, the Cuban Sandwich.

Ingredients:

(Makes 10 sandwiches)

Sandwich

  • 10 hoagie rolls
  • 5 pounds roast pork
  • 1 pound turkey breast
  • 1 pound Virginia ham
  • 4 ounces sliced pickles
  • 10 ounces swiss cheese

Pork Marinade

  • 2 ounces fresh cilantro
  • 15 cloves garlic
  • 2 ounces minced fresh oregano
  • 1 ounce blended oil
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 ounce lime juice

Mojito Sauce

  • 1 large onion, minced
  • 6 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 ounce fresh oregano
  • 3 cups olive oil
  • 1 cup white vinegar
  • 1 cup lime juice

Horseradish Spread

  • 1 cup plain yogurt 
  • ½ cup sour cream
  • ¼ teaspoon horseradish
  • ½ cup mayonnaise
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon pepper
  • 1 teaspoon chili oil
  • ¾ cup chives, finely diced

Directions:

Create the marinade by mixing together the lime juice, blended oil, oregano, cilantro, garlic, salt, and pepper. Place holes in the pork, and stuff them with whole garlic cloves. Cover the pork fully with the marinade. Wrap tightly with plastic wrap, and refrigerate for at least 12 hours.

Remove the pork from the refrigerator, unwrap, and place in a roasting pan. Cover the pan with aluminum foil, and place in the oven at 325 degrees for 3 hours. Remove the pork from the oven, let rest for one hour, and slice thinly.

Spread the roast pork on a baking sheet. In a small mixing bowl, combine the minced onion, minced garlic, oregano, olive oil, white vinegar, and lime juice. Add salt and pepper as desired, and pour the mixture over the pork.

To make the sandwich spread, whip the yogurt, sour cream, horseradish, mayonnaise, salt, pepper, chili oil, and finely diced chives together in a large mixing bowl until creamy.

Slice open the hoagie rolls, and apply the sandwich spread to one side of each roll. Place the roast pork on top of the spread. One after the other, layer the sliced turkey, pickles, Virginia ham, and swiss cheese on top of the pork. Close the rolls.

Grill the sandwiches on a greased sandwich press at high heat until both sides of each roll are golden brown. Remove from the press, let cool, and enjoy!