November 30, 2013
ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) --
Jeff Ansorge once commanded a staff of 17 and made around $80,000 a year as executive chef at a posh downtown Minneapolis restaurant where a 24-ounce dry aged Porterhouse steak goes for $48. But he gave it all up to become the head cook of a Salvation Army soup kitchen, where the meals are free. Now he brings his culinary skills to bear making salmon, ribs and stews for the poor and homeless who come to The Salvation Army Eastside Corps Community Center in St. Paul. For the Thanksgiving meal that's being served Wednesday, Ansorge planned a traditional feast of turkey with stuffing, mashed potatoes and gravy, cranberry sauce and rolls, served on tables covered with white tablecloths.
"It is not your old-fashioned soup kitchen where you get a bowl of soup and a piece of bread and (are) sent on your way. He makes phenomenal meals that you would pay quite a bit of money to go to a restaurant and have," Salvation Army Capt. John Joyner said of Ansorge, who left The Capital Grille to run the soup kitchen.
The clients agree. "This is outstanding. On a scale of 1 to 10, I give him an 8-and-a-half, yep," Donnie Richardson, 55, a homeless man from St. Paul, said over a meal of chicken thighs, rice and mixed vegetables in the center's white-walled gymnasium. Ansorge, 40, says a spiritual awakening led him to his new job at the soup kitchen in October 2012, making just onethird of his previous salary. "I went through a divorce. I was suffering from major depression for four years. And my priorities were all wrong,"Ansorge recalled while standing near the center's pantry shelves. "I wanted the highpaying job. I wanted the big house. I wanted the cars. I wanted all that. And ultimately, none of that satisfied me."Ansorge started cooking when he was 16 at a mom-andpop restaurant. He went to school in Rhode Island, earning degrees in culinary arts and food service management before joining The Capital Grille, where he spent 12 years.Now Ansorge is lucky to get as many as three volunteers to help him in the soup kitchen. On a recent Thursday, Ansorge -- a trim man with short gray hair -- set up the tables, seasoned, seared and baked the chicken thighs, dished up meals and wiped down the tables afterward. Instead of a traditional white chef's hat and uniform, he wears a dark blue T-shirt with the words "SHIELD CREW" in white with the red Salvation Army insignia, and blue jeans.
Raised Catholic, Ansorge -- a former altar boy -- said he drifted away from his faith in his 20s and 30s. Despite his prominent position at the restaurant, Ansorge said he was spiraling downward.
"My priorities were backwards. I had a big mortgage, I had car payments, I had credit card debts," Ansorge said. "And now I have none of that."He sent about 10 applications to mainly Christian nonprofits, hoping to make a change. He chose The Salvation Army because "it's a nonprofit that works with people that need help."
Joyner said The Salvation Army initially felt Ansorge was overqualified. But none of the other candidates seemed a good fit.
"His credentials are unbelievable. He could easily be making two, three times what he makes working for us. But he told us that he wanted to give back and he really wanted to do this," Joyner said.
Susan Dunlop, chef and coowner of Joan's In The Park restaurant in St. Paul, worked with Ansorge for nearly three years at The Capital Grille. She says she's not surprised by his decision.
"That's his true passion. He wanted to do something where he was giving back to the community," Dunlop said. "It's who he is. He needs to do that to be happy."
Ansorge didn't just bring cooking skills. Joyner said Ansorge's shopping skills save the organization money.
Ansorge said he looks for bargains on food nearing its expiration date that grocery stores don't want to sell but has been frozen and is salvageable. The Salvation Army also has a partnership with the Second Harvest Heartland food bank that allows it to get 40-pound cases of mixed poultry for $5, he said. Before Ansorge came to the soup kitchen, The Salvation Army spent $28,000 on its lunch program at the East Side center. In Ansorge's first year there, he spent $13,000 on the lunch program. The center serves from 80 to 140 people each day at its Monday through Friday noon meal.
Ansorge also tries to bring nutritional value to whatever meal he serves. For some, it may be their only meal of the day.
He's eliminated desserts and cut back on the fat and sugars in meals.
"I don't want to feed them anything that I wouldn't eat,"he said. "I try to feed them something that I would feed to my own family."
read more »
November 09, 2013
Conch and Kalik have come together and are proving to be a winning combination at one of the island's newest restaurants -- Conch N' Kalik Bar and Grill. It's the place where the mollusk and native beer can be found in almost every offering from the appetizer portion of the menu through to the soups and salads, burgers, sandwiches and wraps, and their specialties. But the chefs hold off on pushing the envelope and adding it into any of their dessert items.
At Conch N' Kalik Bar and Grill located in Pompey Square, downtown, the menu features items that are twists on regular appetizers -- think conch chili fries (ground conch chili, sharp cheddar on seasoned fries), nachos (tri-colored nachos topped with homemade aged cheddar and Kalik beer cheese sauce, diced tomatoes, pickled jalapenos, guacamole and sour cream), firecracker conch spring roll (an oversized handcrafted crispy roll with blackened conch, vegetables, rice noodles and sweet tamarind dipping sauce), conch scampi, conch fettuccinie with garlic bread, conch parmesan with fettucini pasta and garlic bread, island-style coconut curry conch and conch and crab cake.
There are other unique offerings featuring the two ingredients after which the restaurant is named, like the Black Angus Beef Burger (with aged cheddar and Kalik beer cheese sauce, Kalik's double crunch onion ring, pecan smoked bacon, shredded lettuce, heirloom tomatoes on a Brioche bun) and deep water conch salad sandwich (fried conch on whole grain ciabbata bread with sour-orange mayo, shredded lettuce and vegetable salsa).
The menu items were all dreamed up in the mind of Chef Devin Johnson who opened the restaurant, but has now moved on and left it in the capable hands of Chef Eunesha Solomon who now wears the executive sous chef hat. It's a task she's up to. When Chef Devin came on board to open the restaurant, he headhunted Chef Eunesha from their previous place of employment to take over after he moved on.
Before he left, Chef Devin said the 50-item menu took him six weeks to come up with and master. A chef who is big on playing up local ingredients who has served as the national team manager for many years, he said it was a delight to come up with the menu that showcases Bahamian ingredients.
And the portion sizes are huge. He said they had to do it that way to give people their money's worth.
"People eat with their eyes, and people love it," said Chef Devin of the oversized, tasty portions that they have become known for.
They also offer a signature creamy conch and roast corn chowder (chunks of conch meat with fresh roasted corn, root vegetables and a hint of goat pepper), mango barbeque ranch chicken salad (mango, avocado, grape tomatoes, grilled corn, pigeon peas, cucumbers and romaine lettuce tossed with a mango infused barbeque ranch dressing, topped with crispy fried onions that are surprising people that are so good).
And there are also specialty offerings -- the tamarind glazed flat iron steak, mango rum basted pork baby back ribs, lobster fettucine (only served during the season), and Kalik Gold beer battered fish and chips.
And you can't have a restaurant that serves conch without offering Bahamian favorites like like cracked conch and Bahamian style steam conch. There's also a Bahamian style grilled conch, conch salad and the conch salad of the day that is upstaging the traditional salad - the tropical. Conch N' Kalik serves theirs with pineapple, mango and green apple.
According to Chef Solomon, the profile at Conch N' Kalik is all about flavor.
While they're proud of their food, the libations menu at the restaurant isn't to be sneezed at, and they say you have to have their signature drink called a Kalik-arita, where the Kalik of your choice meets a margarita base.
And while they just didn't take a chance on incorporating conch or Kalik into any of their desserts, they do offer tasty endings to satisfy the sweet tooth - guava duff, passion fruit and white chocolate cheesecake, carrot-pineapple cake and a dark rich chocolate cake with a Caribbean twist which means it has a banana-coconut mousse and finished with almonds.
With its first location open, the proprietors of Conch N' Kalik are planning to open another four locations -- one in Abaco, Grand Bahama, Turks and Caicos Islands and Florida.
Conch and Kalik is open daily. They start their beverage service at 10 a.m. Their food service starts at 11 a.m. They close at midnight.
read more »
November 09, 2013
I made an announcement in the office the other day that left many people stunned -- I had just recently visited the Cracker Barrel Old Country Store for the first time ever over the weekend. They simply could not believe it.
Yes, for years I've seen and passed Cracker Barrel Old Country Stores (which opened its first store in 1969 in Lebanon, Tennessee) when visiting the United States, but never stopped. To be honest, there are so many restaurants, and good ones at that to chose from, so I had never darkened their doorstep.
It just so happens that I was on a mission with Bahamasair's manager for international sales, Woodrow 'Woody' Wilson and Star 106.5 FM and Hot 91.7 Programming Manager Tony Williams on a jaunt to West Palm Beach, Florida, and we took a drive down to Miami, and I was hungry. We were talking about where to eat and of course Woody spoke about how Cracker Barrel is a Sunday tradition for his family after church. I told him I'd never been there. The rubber on the tires burned as he pulled into the parking lot.
After the experience I had, I returned home and told my husband that on our next trip, we had to visit Cracker Barrel as they serve breakfast, lunch and dinner.
Woody, Tony and I all opted for breakfast even though we could have gotten away with ordering lunch, considering it was the brunching hour. And being the nut lover that I am, the pecan pancakes called out to me - three buttermilk pancakes loaded with pecans and served with butter and a warm bottle of 100 percent pure natural vsyrup, with a side of turkey sausage.
Woody and Tony went with Momma's Pancake Breakfast - three buttermilk pancakes and two eggs with sausage patties.
When the plate was placed before me I was salivating - the pancakes just looked delicious, and they were chockfull of chunky pecans. I did not have to go searching for morsels. I had been considering ordering extra nuts when I ordered seeing as I love pecans that much, but I didn't have to. I dug in, and I was in heaven. The three pancakes were fluffy, light and delicious, topped with a drizzle of their warmed syrup poured out of individual bottles. They were also too big for me to finish, but goodness knows I extracted as many nuts as I could eat before I had to put down the fork.
In case you were like me and hadn't been to Cracker Barrel before, it's a restaurant you must seek out on your next visit to the United States. They also offer a Wild Maine Blueberry Pancake and French toast.
And if you're a fan of country cooking, you can get it all at Cracker Barrel - meatloaf with mashed potatoes and gravy, chicken fried steak, catfish platter, chicken n' dumplins, fried okra, pinto beans cooked with country ham and served with corn muffins, turnip greens cooked with country ham... and the list just goes on and on. If you're watching your calorie intake, they do offer salads... just sayin'.
While I've only had the pecan pancakes, and haven't tried anything from the lunch and dinner menu, I'm already looking forward to my next visit to the Cracker Barrel Old Country Store for another stab at those pecan pancakes. Maybe I'll even try something from the lunch and dinner menu once I've gotten over my pecan pancake obsession.
Might I add that upon entering the establishment, which means that as you exit, you have to pass through the Old Country Store, which sells everything from apparel and accessories to food and candy, furniture and home items, gifts and gift cards, music, movies and books, toys and games and personal care items. Of course, my eyes were looking left and right, but leave it up to Woody to keep me on track -- we had to get to Miami for an interview.
I've finally joined the Cracker Barrel nation and don't think I'll be leaving any time soon. I can't wait to introduce my husband to their pancakes. He's a buttermilk kind of guy so I know he will enjoy them.
Just for your information, Cracker Barrel is open Sunday through Thursday, 6 a.m. to 10 p.m. and Friday and Saturday, 6 a.m. to 11 p.m. and there is a location in at least 43 continental U.S. states, so you're bound to find one wherever you go.
read more »
October 22, 2013
With The Bahamas currently importing an estimated $1 billion in food annually and plans underway for an agricultural institute to open on the island of Andros next year...
read more »
October 19, 2013
New York City has a zillion charms, but it may not be the ideal place to celebrate Halloween. Here's the problem -- where do you display your jack-o'-lantern if you live in an apartment building with no porch?
Then again, my family and I are New Yorkers, and a little defect like this was not going to keep us from carving scary faces into pumpkins. As a kid, it was the kind of art project I loved, even though -- or because? -- it was so messy. It also was kind of dangerous, given the sharp knives required.
Some years my mom would get ambitious and turn the pumpkin seeds into a snack. It was a lot of work. We had to separate the seeds from the fibrous pulp, wash them thoroughly, then dry them on towels before we roasted them. Drying the seeds was a particular ordeal. They tended to stick to the towels, and those that didn't stick to the towels could end up sticking anywhere, floor to ceiling.
But the finished product was wonderful: nutty, chewy, salty, seasonal. I missed them!
So this year, with Halloween looming, I decided to cast toasted pumpkin seeds as the star of a healthy snack mix. A delight for young or old, it makes a great afterschool treat, or an appetizer at a Halloween party.
And I've managed to eliminate the sticking-to-the-towel problem.
Finding the best way to toast the seeds took several trials. I tried high-heat roasting and low-heat roasting before deciding -- following a tip from a Twitter buddy -- that sauteing them in a skillet on top of the stove produced the most succulent result. The sticking-to-the-towel thing? Just dry the wet seeds in the oven for 10 minutes before toasting them in the skillet. No towels required.
And by the way, pumpkin seeds -- like most seeds -- are very good for us. They're a great source of magnesium and zinc, as well as omega-3 fatty acids. And then there are the economic and ecological bonuses. The seeds are free, a by-product of the pumpkin carving. It's not unlike being able to make a chicken stock out of the bones of a roast chicken.
Speaking of healthfulness, this recipe pairs the pumpkin seeds with a fellow good-foryou all-star -- chickpeas. A staple of soups, stews and salads, chickpeas lately have been popping up as a crispy snack. Who knew they could cross over into potato chip land? And it's easy, too. Just dry them, toss them with a bit of oil (and spices, if you'd like), then bake them in a 400 degrees F oven for 25 to 35 minutes.
I rounded out this snack mix with dried cranberries and nuts. It happens to be cranberry season, but any one of your favorite dried fruits would do, including cherries, apricots and raisins. Nutwise, I'm partial to pistachios but, go with what you like best.
As for the seasoning, extra-virgin olive oil and salt comprise a simple and tasty accent. But depending on the occasion and guests, you could jazz it up, adding curry powder, smoked paprika or dried rosemary.
Healthy Halloween Snack Mix
Start to finish: 1 hour 15 minutes (20 minutes active)
Makes about 3 cups
15-ounce can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
2 teaspoons spice blend, such as curry powder, garam masala, chili powder, divided (optional)
Kosher salt and ground black pepper
1 3/4 cups raw pumpkin seeds, cleaned and drained, but not patted dry
3/4 cup dried cranberries, dried cherries, raisins, or a mix
3/4 cup unsalted raw or roasted pistachios, peanuts, almonds or cashews
Heat the oven to 400 degrees F.
Dry the chickpeas thoroughly by spreading them on a large plate and patting them dry with kitchen towels. Transfer to a bowl, then toss with 1 tablespoon of the oil, 1 teaspoon of the spice blend, if using, and salt and pepper to taste. Once the chickpeas are evenly coated, transfer them to a baking sheet and spread them in a single layer. Bake on oven's middle rack until golden and crispy, 25 to 35 minutes, shaking the tray to toss after the first 15 minutes. Remove the baking sheet from the oven and transfer the chickpeas to a serving bowl. Reduce the oven to 300 degrees F.
Arrange the pumpkin seeds in a single layer on the sheet pan. Bake on the oven's middle rack for 10 minutes.
After the pumpkin seeds have baked, in a large skillet over medium, heat the remaining tablespoon of oil. Reduce the heat to mediumlow, add the pumpkins seeds and cook, stirring, for 7 to 10 minutes. Add the remaining teaspoon of spice blend, if using, and salt and pepper to taste. Continue to cook, stirring, until the pumpkin seeds are golden and crispy, another 3 to 5 minutes.
Transfer the seeds to the serving bowl. Add the cranberries and pistachios and toss well.
Nutrition information per 1/4 cup serving: 305 calories; 180 calories from fat (59 percent of total calories); 20 g fat (3 g saturated; 0 g trans fats); 0 mg cholesterol; 21 g carbohydrate; 4 g fiber; 7 g sugar; 14 g protein; 335 mg sodium.
read more »
October 12, 2013
Six months ago, New York chef Marc Forgoing had hardly heard of fish sauce. Then he watched his chef-partner Soulayphet Schwader using it to flavor nearly every dish at their new Laotian restaurant Khe-Yo.
Now, it's in all of his restaurant kitchens.
"It's like a new thing in my arsenal," says Forgione. "Instead of saying, 'Let's add salt or soy sauce,' it's 'Let's add a little fish sauce.'"
Used at least as far back as ancient Rome, and known today primarily as a flavor enhancer in Asian cuisines, the seasoning made from fermented -- read as rotting -- fish is about to have its kale moment. Fish sauce is making its way out of the ethnic ghetto and taking its place next to salt in American restaurant kitchens as many chefs embrace its complex profile and ability to intensify other flavors.
"You don't necessarily see it on menus as an ingredient, but almost every chef I know -- no matter what cuisine -- has fish sauce in the kitchen,"says chef Andy Ricker, of Portland, Ore.'s PokPok, who has been using fish sauce for decades in his Asian cuisine. "They use it to season. It gives this immediate boost of umami."Like Ricker and Forgione, many chefs initially encounter fish sauce in Asian food. But today they are using it in everything from classic French to American cuisine. At his restaurant American Cut, Forgione tops grilled swordfish with "bang bang sauce," a concoction of garlic, chilies, lime, sugar and fish sauce. At Restaurant Marc Forgione, he drizzles it in a coconut milk ceviche.
Chef Peter Serpico, who used fish sauce in the Asianinspired food at Momofuku, uses it like soy sauce at his new Philadelphia restaurant Serpico to deepen flavors in items such as sunchoke and kale salad. Chef Jamie Bissonnette discovered fish sauce at Vietnamese markets when he was growing up in Hartford, Conn., he says, but today he uses it to flavor everything from tarragon-and-shallot vinaigrette to grilled octopus and country pate.
Applying fish sauce in such dishes isn't a big stretch when you consider that anchovies often are used in a similar manner -- to create layers of flavor.
"Fish sauce adds a different kind of depth that's more interesting," says Bissonnette, who keeps fish sauce in his two Boston kitchens, Toro and Coppa, and at Toro's New York outpost. "It's the same as cooking with fresh pork: If you cook with ham, or something that's been aged for a while, you get that breakdown of fermentation and flavor."
Bissonnette also uses the Italian version of fish sauce, known as garum. Like Asian fish sauce, garum starts with fermented fish, but garlic, herbs and wine impart a different flavor profile. Like many chefs, Bissonnette makes the garum himself, and uses it on pasta. The Asian fish sauce they buy.
Fermentation is the key to fish sauce, igniting a process that makes it function like the flavor enhancer monosodium glutamate (better known as MSG). Fermentation creates compounds called glutamates, which heighten flavors and create a sensation of umami, or savoriness.
"Fish sauce just enhances everything that's already there," Ricker says. "When we marinate our wings with fish sauce and sugar, we're just doubling down on stuff that's already there and adding layers on top of it."
Easy access to international recipes on the Internet, a growing fascination with global cuisine, and the expanding quality and variety of fish sauce (already available at most grocers) is contributing to its growing popularity, chefs say. Even artisanal brands, such as Mega Chef and Red Boat, have emerged, and some chefs are even giving it treatment previously reserved for craft beer. Witness the "Garlic Beer Garum" created by Cleveland chef Jonathan Sawyer.Chefs like Ricker even distinguish between Vietnamese and Thai fish sauce, and between regions of those countries that produce it. Thai fish sauce, Ricker says, generally has a more pungent flavor than the Vietnamese version.
In the end, American cuisine's new love affair with fish sauce merely reflects something much of the world has known for a long time."There have been people using fish sauce for thousands of years," Forgione says. "People were eating kale for hundreds of years before it had its 'it' moment. Brussels sprouts the same thing."
Ready to give fish sauce a try? Start out easy. Use a generous amount (a few tablespoons) to marinate your next steak for 30 minutes or up to several hours. The natural savory flavors of the steak will be intensified more than you thought possible. When you're ready to move on to bigger and better stuff try these recipes:
Caesar Squash Pappardelle
Start to finish: 20 minutes
1 pound pappardelle pasta
1 small butternut squash, peeled, seeded and thinly sliced
1 medium zucchini, thinly sliced lengthwise 3 cloves garlic, minced
2 tablespoons fish sauce
1 teaspoon ground black pepper
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 cup shredded Parmesan cheese
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
Bring a large saucepan of salted water to a boil. Add the pasta and cook according to package directions. About 4 minutes before the pasta is done cooking, add the butternut squash. Then 2 minutes later, add the zucchini. Cook everything for another 2 minutes. Reserve 1/3 cup of the cooking water, then drain.
Transfer the pasta, squash and zucchini to a large bowl. Add the garlic, fish sauce, black pepper, olive oil and reserved cooking liquid. Add the Parmesan cheese and parsley, tossing the pasta to thoroughly coat everything and melt the cheese. Serve immediately.
Nutrition information per serving: 440 calories; 90 calories from fat (20 percent of total calories); 10 g fat (3 g saturated; 0 g trans fats); 10 mg cholesterol; 72 g carbohydrate; 5 g fiber; 5 g sugar; 17 g protein; 700 mg sodium. Bloody Mary Chicken with Olive-Celery Tapenade
Start to finish: 30 minutes, plus marinating time
11.5-ounce can V8 vegetable juice
3 tablespoons fish sauce
3 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
3 tablespoons prepared horseradish
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 1/2 pounds chicken breast tenders
3 stalks celery, finely chopped
1/2 cup green olives, finely chopped
2 tablespoons lemon juice
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 cup Peppadew peppers (or other sweet-hot peppers), chopped
In a zip-close plastic bag, combine the V8, fish sauce, Worcestershire, horseradish and cayenne pepper. Add the chicken, close the bag, squeezing out any air, then refrigerate and allow to marinate for 2 to 6 hours.
Meanwhile, prepare the tapenade. In a medium bowl, combine the celery, olives, lemon juice, garlic and peppers. Stir well and allow to sit for at least 1 hour at room temperature for best flavor. Can be prepared ahead and refrigerated, then allowed to come to room temperature before serving.
When ready to cook the chicken, heat a grill to high. Remove the chicken from the marinade and grill on well oiled grates for 3 minutes per side, or until cooked through. Serve topped with the tapenade.
Nutrition information per serving: 170 calories; 25 calories from fat (15 percent of total calories); 2.5 g fat (0 g saturated; 0 g trans fats); 65 mg cholesterol; 8 g carbohydrate; 1 g fiber; 5 g sugar; 27 g protein; 1,150 mg sodium.
o Recipes by Alison Ladman.
read more »
September 28, 2013
How do you make a big, bold, savory French toast even bigger, bolder and more savory? Instead of building it a slice at a time, you build it by the loaf.My inspiration was a pillow-soft loaf of unsliced sandwich bread. Looking at it, I wondered what would happen if instead of cutting it into traditional slices and frying it a piece at a time -- or even assembling it in a layer as a casserole -- I instead cut the entire loaf horizontally into a few thick planks, stuffed it, then reassembled it in a loaf pan. This recipe is the delicious result of that wondering.
Since French toast is such a perfect fall dinner -- warm and comforting -- I kept the fillings savory with ham, cheddar cheese and turkey. But if you'd rather go sweet, you could substitute jam, peanut butter, cream cheese, fresh berries, even chocolate chips.
While this dish can be assembled and immediately baked, it is even better if you give it time to soak. You can assemble it the night before, then refrigerate until the following day an hour before dinner. Just pop it in the oven when you get home from work.
Ham and cheese stuffed French toast loaf
When selecting your bread, first take a look at the loaf pan you plan to use. You'll want a loaf that fits comfortably in your pan with a little wiggle room. If you can only find loaves that are too big, just use a serrated knife to trim the loaf to fit before beginning the recipe.
Start to finish: 1 hour 15 minutes
(10 minutes active)
1 loaf white sandwich bread, not sliced
1/2 cup milk
1 teaspoon dried thyme
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
4 ounces deli sliced ham
8 ounces deli sliced turkey breast
1 cup grated cheddar cheese
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
If baking right away, heat the oven to 400 degrees F. Coat a deep loaf pan with baking spray.
Use a bread knife to cut the loaf horizontally into thirds, creating bottom, middle and top layers. Set aside.
In a medium bowl, whisk together the eggs, milk, thyme, salt and pepper. Place the bottom layer of the bread in the prepared loaf pan. Drizzle about a third of the egg mixture evenly over the bread, then use a fork to gently press the bread all over to help it absorb the liquid.
Arrange half of the ham in an even layer over the bread. Top the ham with half of the turkey, followed by half of the cheese. Place the middle section of the bread over the ingredients, then use your hand to gently compress the bread and fillings. Drizzle another third of the egg mixture over the middle layer of bread, then press it gently with a fork to help it absorb the liquid.
Repeat the layering of ham, turkey and cheese, then top with the final layer of bread. Compress the bread and fillings as before, then carefully pour the remaining egg mixture over the top. Some will run down the sides between the bread and the pan; this is fine. Press the top of the bread with a fork the help it absorb the liquid.
Scatter the Parmesan cheese over the top of the loaf. Coat a sheet of foil with cooking spray, then use it to cover the pan. The stuffed French toast can be baked immediately, or refrigerated overnight.
When ready to bake, set the pan on the oven's middle rack and bake for 1 hour, or until it reaches 155 degrees F at the center. Uncover the pan and bake for another 5 minutes. Let cool slightly before serving.
To serve, cut the loaf into thick slices as you would a pound cake.
Nutrition information per serving: 250 calories; 100 calories from fat (40 percent of total calories); 11 g fat (5 g saturated; 0 g trans fats); 110 mg cholesterol; 19 g carbohydrate; 1 g fiber; 3 g sugar; 19 g protein; 1,040 mg sodium.
read more »
September 21, 2013
This is not your usual bread. This is neither a yeast bread nor a quick bread. In fact, this bread has no leavener at all.
This is a heavy, dense bread. And that is part of what makes this hearty, rich loaf -- inspired by a similar recipe on Sarah Britton's blog My New Roots -- so wonderful. The other part is what's in it. It's made from all manner of delicious seeds, nuts and grains. While this bread may not be the best choice for a roast beef sandwich, consider toasting it and smearing it with butter and marmalade, or making crostini to top with smoked salmon and creme fraiche. Or let it sit on your cheese board alongside a runny brie. And don't even get us started on how well it pairs with peanut butter.
Feel free to play around with the blend of seeds and nuts. But the psyllium seed husks are what hold the loaf together, so don't omit those. They can be found at most natural foods stores. If you can only find ground or powdered, use 3 tablespoons.
By the way, all those nuts and seeds do add up to a hefty helping of fat in this bread. The good news is that these are the good fats, the ones we're told to eat more of. Here's your chance.
Super seed bread Start to finish: 4 hours 15 minutes (15 minutes active)
2 tablespoons honey
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 3/4 cups water
1/2 cup hulled pumpkin seeds (often labeled pepitas)
1/2 cup hulled sunflower seeds (sometimes labeled sunflower seed hearts or meats)
1/4 cup whole flax seeds
1/4 cup white sesame seeds
1/4 cup chia seeds
1 cup quick oats
1/2 cup quick barley
1/4 cup psyllium seed husks
1/2 cup slivered almonds, toasted
1/2 cup hazelnuts, toasted
1 teaspoon kosher or fine sea salt
Coat a loaf pan with cooking spray.
In a measuring cup, whisk together the honey, olive oil and water.
In a medium bowl, mix together the pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, flax seeds, sesame seeds, chia seeds, oats, barley, psyllium seed husks, almonds, hazelnuts and salt. Pour in the water mixture and mix well.
Pat the mixture into the prepared loaf pan, smoothing the top with moistened fingers. Cover with plastic wrap and let sit at room temperature for at least 3 hours or up to overnight.
When ready to bake, heat the oven to 350 F. Uncover the loaf and bake for 30 minutes. Remove from the loaf pan and place on a wire rack in the oven. Bake for another 30 minutes, or until deep golden brown and hollow sounding when tapped. Let cool completely on a wire rack before slicing.
Nutrition information per serving: 280 calories; 170 calories from fat (61 percent of total calories); 19 g fat (2.5 g saturated; 0 g trans fats); 0 mg cholesterol; 21 g carbohydrate; 8 g fiber; 4 g sugar; 9 g protein; 170 mg sodium.
read more »
September 14, 2013
This soup is a stick-toyour ribs flexitarian special. Make it with chicken broth and prosciutto and you end up with a carnivore's delight. Make it with vegetable stock and no prosciutto and you've got a vegetarian's delight. Either way, it's plenty hearty. The potatoes give it body and creaminess. The spinach and kale give it earthiness and a bright green color.
The greens also happen to be nutritional superstars -- both spinach and kale are terrific sources of vitamins A, C and K, not to mention fiber. For folks who generally find kale a little too assertive, the time to eat it is now, in the cooler months, when its taste is milder. And given kale's current "it" vegetable status, you'll certainly have no trouble finding it at the store. Some supermarkets even carry the bagged shredded leaves, as convenient as prewashed lettuce or shredded slaw mix.
For the potatoes, I went with Yukon gold because I like their buttery taste and because they hold their shape when cooked, unlike highstarch, thick-skinned baking potatoes. However, any potato will do as long as you cut it into 1-inch chunks. If the only spuds you have on hand are baking potatoes (such as russets), just be sure to peel them first. Otherwise, the skin will be too chewy in the soup.
There's very little fat in this recipe. The vegetarian version uses just 2 tablespoons of extra-virgin olive oil and half an ounce of grated Parmigiano-Reggiano. A little bit of that justly celebrated cheese goes a long way. And carnivores can keep the fat content low by trimming off the prosciutto's fat.
What's that? The little Mario Batali devil on your shoulder insists that the flavor will go bye-bye along with the fat? Not necessarily. I was thrilled to discover that if you briefly bake the prosciutto on a rack in the oven, it becomes downright bacon-esque -- crisp, salty and redolent of pork. Just be sure to pull the prosciutto out of the oven before it is completely crisp. It will continue cooking even outside the oven. If it doesn't reach the desired state within a minute or two, slide it back into the oven and give it another quick jolt.
Now you've got all the flavor you -- or your inner Mario -- could ask for. Just keep an eye on the salt in the rest of the recipe. Both the cheese and the meat are high in sodium.
Potato And Greens Soup with Parmesan Toasts
Start to finish: 1 hour (40 minutes active)
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
1 cup finely chopped yellow onion
1 tablespoon minced garlic
1 pound Yukon gold (or other thin-skinned potatoes), cut into 1-inch chunks
4 to 5 cups low-sodium chicken or vegetable broth
1/2 cup dry white wine
6 cups packed torn kale leaves
6 cups packed baby spinach leaves
1 teaspoon red pepper flakes, or to taste
1/4 pound thinly sliced prosciutto
Twelve 1/2-inch-thick diagonally cut slices of baguette
1/2 ounce finely grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
Heat the oven to 400 degrees F.
In a large saucepan over medium, heat 1 tablespoon of the oil. Add the onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and cook, stirring for 1 minute. Add the potatoes, 4 cups of the stock and the wine. Bring to a boil, cover the pan and simmer for 10 minutes.
Add the kale, cover the pan, then simmer for another 10 minutes. Add the spinach and the pepper flakes, cover, and simmer for another 5 minutes.
Working in 2 batches, transfer about 3 cups total of the soup solids with a little added broth each time, to a blender and puree until smooth. Be careful, hot foods expand in the blender. Return the puree to the saucepan, add salt to taste and the additional cup of stock if necessary to achieve the desired texture. Heat until hot.
Meanwhile, set a wire rack over a rimmed baking sheet. Arrange the prosciutto slices in a single layer on the rack, then bake on the oven's middle rack for 10 to 12 minutes, or until they begin to crisp. Remove the rack from the sheet pan and set it on the counter to let the prosciutto cool. When cool, crumble the prosciutto.
Arrange the baguette slices in a single layer on the sheet pan and brush them with the remaining tablespoon of olive oil. Bake them on the oven's middle shelf until golden brown, 8 to 10 minutes. Sprinkle the grated cheese evenly over them, return the slices to the oven and bake until the cheese is just melted, 1 to 2 minutes. To serve, ladle the soup into 4 bowls, then top each portion with some of the prosciutto crisps and 3 toasts on the side.
Nutrition information per serving:
630 calories; 120 calories from fat (19 percent of total calories); 13 g fat (3 g saturated; 0 g trans fats); 25 mg cholesterol; 96 g carbohydrate; 8 g fiber; 5 g sugar; 31 g protein; 1,640 mg sodium.
read more »
August 29, 2013
BEEF patties which were exported to the Bahamas have been recalled by the Florida company which made them.
Pride Foods, a Raiford, Florida, establishment, is recalling approximately 116,404 pounds of beef pattie and chub products because of misbranding...
read more »
August 28, 2013
Since 1988, a cold Kalik beer paired with a spicy conch salad has been a favourite in The Bahamas for locals and visitors alike...
read more »
August 28, 2013
The Bahamas Urban Youth Development Center presents its 2nd Annual Charity Event "Men Who Cook" Culinary Competition to benefit the Advancement for Health HIV/AIDS Prevention Project, that targets at risk adolescents and young women in New Providence and Grand Bahama...
read more »
August 26, 2013
Sands congratulates the Bahamas National Culinary Team...
read more »
August 26, 2013
KFC Oakes Field is back in business after undergoing a complete visual transformation. After the brand’s newly renovated and stylishly-modern twist on its KFC Mackey Street and KFC Robinson Road locations earlier this year, KFC Oakes Field has become one of the latest locations to sport the new bold and modernized look.
With KFC Nassau contemporizing its restaurants across New Providence, the Oakes Field location adds to the overhaul to modernize all aspects of the fast-food restaurant chain...
read more »