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.

 

Graduate Success Story: Christopher Hall

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When you first meet Chris Hall, “leader” may not be the first word that comes to mind. But watch him in action in The Doe Fund’s Porter Avenue kitchen, and you’ll soon think otherwise.

Chris is a graduate of the Ready, Willing & Able program and has held multiple positions in The Doe Fund’s Culinary Arts Department.

From his earliest days as a trainee in the Porter kitchen, he has brought an unparalleled passion and hustle to his work. He tackles some of the kitchen’s most arduous tasks–those that are critical to the success of any kitchen but often go unnoticed or underappreciated.

While he has evolved on many levels in his transition from trainee to staff and then onto supervisory roles in the kitchen, his industriousness and resilience have been a constant. As his supervisor, Chef Kronna Williams, puts it, Chris can “take a lickin’ and keep on tickin’!”

Chris’s commitment to his team, the trainees he serves, and The Doe Fund extends well beyond his own hard work. He has grown to become an educator and a mentor to trainees as well, providing a first-hand example of integrity, accountability, and initiative.

Leaders come in many forms. Chris is living proof that they can be born out of hard work and determination.

 

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.”

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!

Recipe Alert: Scones

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In honor of our special friend Julien Dougherty’s memory, we prepared an array of our favorite dishes. One of our favorite recipes to make for breakfast, and a farmer’s market fan favorite, is our scones. While scones can be challenging to prepare, our recipe simplifies the process into a few easy to follow steps. The result is a light, moist, and airy confection that is the perfect addition to spice up your breakfast.  We’ve included 3 optional variations of the base recipe to appeal to a range of tastes. Feel free to get creative with your mix-ins or toppings, and enjoy!

(Makes 15 Scones)

Ingredients:

1.25 pounds bread flour
.33 pounds sugar
1.2 ounces baking powder
.5 ounces salt
1.125 pounds heavy cream 
1.5 ounces milk

Optional Variations (add to the base):

Raisin – .75 pounds of raisins
Spinach and Feta– .375 pounds of spinach and .375 pounds of feta
Mushroom and Onion– .375 pounds of mushrooms and .375 pounds of red onions

Directions:

Add heavy cream to a mixing bowl. Sift the dry ingredients, and combine with the heavy cream in the mixing bowl. Add any desired optional variation ingredients.  Mix ingredients, taking care to avoid over-mixing. Place the dough on a floured work table, and roll out the dough until it is a half inch thick. Cut the dough with a dough cutter. Brush the pieces with milk, and bake at 350 degrees for 15 minutes. Remove from oven, let cool, and enjoy!