Graduate Success Story: Wesley Morrall

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At sixty-two years young, Wesley M. isn’t slowing down. He gives his all to every task in the kitchen and prides himself on always working at his highest level.

Since becoming Food Service Coordinator ,for the past three years, Wesley has played a key role in preparing three nutritious, carefully-prepared meals each day for men at The Doe Fund’s Bed-Stuy facility. “I love to create food that tastes good.”

Although he has received a broad culinary education at The Doe Fund, Wesley is especially proud of the baking skills he’s gained here—and his delicious cinnamon raisin danishes speak for themselves!

Yet the culinary arts program has offered Wesley much more than cooking skills; it has offered him the chance to reconnect with family. “Since I came to The Doe Fund I have been able to have a positive relationship with my kids and grandkids.”

Click link for the recipe below to make Wesley’s famous danishes at home!

https://dishesbydoe.com/2014/09/15/recipe-alert-cinnamon-danishes/

 

 

 

Angel’s Red Velvet Cupcakes

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Yield: 2 dozen cupcakes

Ingredients:
2 ½ cups flour
1 ½ cups sugar
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon cocoa powder
1 ½ cup oil
1 cup buttermilk
2 eggs
2 tablespoons red food coloring
1 teaspoon vinegar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Frosting:
1 pound cream cheese
4 cups confectioners’ sugar
1 cup butter
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Directions:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease or use baking cups to line two 12-cup muffin pans.

In a large bowl, beat the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Mix in the eggs, buttermilk, food coloring and 1 tsp. vanilla. Stir in the baking soda and vinegar. Combine the flour, cocoa powder and salt; stir into the batter just until blended. Spoon the batter into the prepared cups, dividing evenly. Bake for 20 minutes. In another large mixing bowl, beat the cream cheese, butter and 1 tsp. vanilla together until smooth. Add the confectioners’ sugar and beat on low speed until incorporated. Increase the speed to high and mix until very light and fluffy. Once cupcakes are completely cool, top with cream cheese frosting. Enjoy!

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.”

Double Chocolate Chip Cookies

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20160907_130452This special recipe forms the foundation of one of our culinary training program baking lessons. As students prepare the recipe along with our chef instructors, they learn the basic principles and techniques of baking cookies from scratch. Having shared this recipe with countless students over the many years of our program, we are excited for this opportunity to share it with all of you!

Ingredients:

● 1 pound butter
● 8 ounces brown sugar
● 8 ounces sugar
● 1 teaspoon salt
● 5 ounces eggs
● 2 teaspoons vanilla
● 1 teaspoon molasses
● 1 pound flour
● 1 teaspoon baking powder
● ½ teaspoon baking soda
● 2 ounces cocoa powder
● 8 ounces white chocolate chips

Directions:
Cream butter, and beat in salt and sugars until light. Beat in eggs, vanilla and, molasses. Add flour, baking powder, baking soda, cocoa powder, and white chocolate chips, and beat together until all ingredients are incorporated into the cookie dough. Scrape dough into a bowl, cover with plastic wrap, and chill for one hour.

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Use an ice cream scoop to shape balls of cookie dough, and arrange them on parchment lined baking sheets at least two inches apart. Place baking sheets in the oven, and bake for 10 minutes, or until golden brown on the edges and lightly colored in center. Remove from oven, and let cool. Serve, and 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 Eric’s Jamaican Chicken Patties

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We are pleased to present a special recipe from Chef Eric, a graduate and long-time staff member of The Doe Fund. Eric is the lead instructor of our ACF-Certified training program, which prepares formerly homeless and incarcerated men for gainful employment in the food service industry. We are grateful for Eric’s commitment to the men we serve, and are proud to offer our readers Eric’s original take on a Jamaican classic.

 

To learn more about Eric’s story, please follow the link below:

https://dishesbydoe.com/faces-of-food-service/

 

Ingredients:

1 ¾ pound all-purpose flour

1 ½ teaspoons ground turmeric

1 ½ teaspoons salt

1 ½ tablespoons baking powder

¾ pound salted butter, softened

3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

10 ounces onions

4 ounces garlic

3 ounces jalapeno peppers

1 ½ pounds ground chicken

8 ounces tomato

6oz thyme

½ bunch cilantro

1 tablespoon ground cumin

1 ½ teaspoon ground allspice

2 ¼ teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon ground black pepper

12 ounces chicken stock

3 eggs

 

Directions:

Combine the flour, turmeric, salt, and baking powder in a mixing bowl. Add butter, and mix using a wooden spoon. Add water, 2 tablespoons at a time, until dough forms. Wrap the dough, and refrigerate for one hour.

Heat olive oil in a sauté pan over medium high heat. Add onions, garlic, and jalapenos, and sauté until soft. Add chicken, tomatoes, thyme, cilantro, cumin, allspice, salt, and pepper. Cook until the chicken is lightly browned. Add stock and continue to cook for 20 minutes or until the liquid has evaporated. Remove from heat, and let cool.

Preheat an oven to 400 degrees. Remove dough from the refrigerator, and roll it out the dough on a floured surface. Cut the dough into 8 inch circles. Gather the scraps, reroll, and cut. Brush one side of the dough with an egg wash. Place two tablespoons of chicken in the middle of each dough circle. Fold the dough over the chicken so that the dry side and the egg-washed side meet and form a pattie. Crimp edges with a fork, and brush the top of each patty with egg wash. Bake patties in the preheated oven for 20 minutes or until they are golden brown. Remove from the oven, let cool, serve, and enjoy!

 

 

CHEF DANNY’S BAFOUTO

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This is a special recipe from our very own Chef Danny, who is both a graduate and long-time staff member of The Doe Fund. Over the year’s Danny has played many roles and helped in countless ways to empower the men in our Culinary Arts Program.

The Bafouto recipe below, a personal take on a hometown tradition, brings back many childhood memories for Danny, and we are grateful to have him share this recipe with us and all of our Dishes By Doe readers.

Danny’s Bafoutou will be one of the many unique and distinguished dishes served at our upcoming Dishes By Doe tasting event.

 

To learn more about Danny’s story, please follow the link below:

https://dishesbydoe.com/faces-of-food-service/

 

To purchase tickets to our Dishes By Doe tasting, please visit: http://dishesbydoe.doe.org/

 

Ingredients:

4 green plantains, halved or quartered

4 yellow plantains, halved or quartered

4 pounds chicken breast

6 bay leaves

2 onions, finely chopped)

16 ounces chicken stock

1 cup soy sauce

6 eggs

6 cups panko

 

Directions:

Bring a medium sauce pan to a boil, and add plantains. Let boil for 30 minutes, then set aside for later use. Season chicken with bay leaves, onions, chicken stock, and soy sauce. Add salt and pepper to taste. Cook chicken until tender. Mash cooked plantains in a bowl using a potato masher. While mashing, add juices from chicken to moisten the plantain being careful not to oversaturate. Chop chicken finely, and mix with mashed plantain. Scoop the mixture, using a one ounce scooper or by hand, and mold to your desired shape. Dip each molded scoop into an egg wash, and bread with panko. Once breaded, brown in heated oil for one minute on each side. Once browned, bake in oven for 10 minutes. Remove from oven, let cool, serve with a spicy tomato sauce, and enjoy!