Aug 10, 2017
Haven's Kitchen Summer School: Protein

Going into our seventh week in #havenskitchencookbook Summer School, we’ve got protein on our mind. This week, Karen Nicoletti encourages you to shed your fears of buying and roasting a whole chicken.

 

 roast_chicken_plated_700

 

We all know that feeling — it’s Monday on the commute home from work, and that end-of-day relief is just washing over us when the thought hits: what’s the plan for dinner? Often I find myself hovering over the refrigerator case in my grocery store, debating how much chicken to buy. I’m cooking for myself, or maybe two to three people, and anxiety about food going to waste guides my hand towards small packs of pre-cut chicken. Two days later, I’m back at the store staring at the same old cuts of meat and asking myself the same questions.

 

Roasting an entire chicken can seem intimidating, maybe even excessive — how can we make use of the whole thing without the unfamiliar parts going to waste? With a good plan of attack, you can make three meals from one roasted chicken, using each part for a different dish.

 

In The Haven’s Kitchen Cooking School, our Fish, Fowl & Meat chapter discusses how understanding the fundamentals of heat will make it easier to have confidence when preparing protein. Ali shares that many of her students have told her they're intimidated to cook meat and often feel that they don’t have control over the results of their labors. She outlines the types of dry and moist heat most commonly used in preparing meats, and illustrates them with various recipes and preparations.

 

summer_chicken_soup_700

Pho sure. This chicken soup is going to make you happier than a movie theater when it's 99°F outside. 

Focusing in on roasting as a dry heat method, we recommend a few steps to prepare your whole chicken. Removing the wishbone before roasting makes it easier to carve more meat once the chicken is finished, and removing the excess fat and skin prevents the chicken from getting smoky in the oven. Trussing a chicken lays the legs over the narrower parts of the breast, ensuring that the whole chicken will cook evenly. Tempering the meat (pulling it out of the fridge and letting it sit for 30 minutes) is an important step in ensuring evenly cooked meat. Don’t be afraid of heat, either. Many people often have problems with roasting because they aren’t using a high enough heat to caramelize and brown their meat and vegetables. A high oven temperature will guarantee crispy skin and chicken that’s not dried out. Plan on 15 minutes of cooking time per pound, and preheat the oven to 425°F while you truss and temper your bird.

 

And salt! It’s always tempting to take it easy on the salt — and it can feel guilty to really go to town covering the skin of your whole chicken. But remember, you’re only salting at the surface, and you need enough salt on there for it to set into the meat and flavor it all the way through.

This is how you properly salt a bird.

Once you’ve prepared and enjoyed that first meal of roasted chicken and your favorite vegetables and sides, you can use our grid as a jumping off point to prepare a few more meals with what’s left. Consider the parts of the chicken you want to use, the items in your pantry, and the produce and herbs in season to make combinations that appeal to you. 

 

THREE MEALS, ONE CHICKEN

 

Chicken Part

Pantry

Produce

Chicken Salad
on Toast

Breast

Yogurt

Tarragon,
Cucumber

Chicken Tacos

Leg Meat

Tortillas

Tomatoes, Onions,
Lime

Summer
Chicken Soup

Chicken Bone
Broth

Rice Noodles

Cilantro, Mint,
Thai Basil, Chilis

 

Like all of our favorite preparations, this approach to working with a whole chicken is flexible. You can adjust the meals and ingredients to your preferences and the ingredients you may already have on hand. A chicken salad made of diced breast meat mixed with yogurt, chopped tarragon and chives, lemon zest, and Dijon mustard is great on toast and garnished with sliced cucumbers and chives.

 

chicken_salad_toast_700You can make it better than your mother's tea party chicken salad.

 

If it’s the dark meat from the legs that you have to spare, shredding it and heating with your favorite salsa will set you up nicely for a meal of chicken tacos. All that’s left will be to assemble the meat on tortillas topped with pico de gallo and a drizzle of yoghurt.

 

tacos_2_700If a girl named Laurie Ellen says she's going to make you tortillas, make sure you eat five. Live without regrets especially when it has lard.
 

And of course, the best way to make use of a chicken carcass is to make a broth, simmering the bones with produce you may already have at home: onion, carrot, bay leaf, and celery. Even this extra meal is flexible – you can store the carcass in the freezer until you have some time at home to make a stock, or store the stock until you’re ready to make soup.

 

As an avid devotee to soups of all kinds, I make soups year-round, through the summer, without hesitation. It’s easy to lighten up a summer chicken soup with rice noodles, chili peppers, and herbs such as mint and cilantro. My favorite thing about making my own soup is that every batch is different. I’ll raid my fridge, then chop and add ingredients until I get too hungry to wait any longer. It’s this kind of flexibility that makes the process fun and creative, and helps us to use up what we already have in order to limit food waste — and it applies to soups, roasted chicken, and beyond.

 

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Watch Ali make salads with the one and only Hannah Bronfman. Follow along as we cook our way this summer through our cookbook, The Haven's Kitchen Cooking School. Find our stories on our blog, Instagram, Facebook or through our hashtags: #havenskitchencookbook, #hknycookbook and #cookwithconfidence.

Jul 19, 2017
Haven's Kitchen Summer School: Soups


In our lesson this week at Haven's Kitchen Summer School, Sonjia Hyon explores how to layer flavors in chilled soups.  

 

I love cold soups. My husband often snubs his nose and calls it a “savory smoothie.” But what's wrong with that? In general, he thinks cold things should be sweet, with the exception of pickles. I couldn't get him to eat a salad the first 5 years of our relationship.

I grew up in a Korean family that enjoyed eating cold, savory soupy noodles in the summertime. (Koreans also eat a hot chicken stew, but more on that another time.) We looked forward to the humidity because it meant that it was naengmyeon season.

 

cantaloupe_gazpacho_700

 

I can understand why people are confused by cold soups. Soups evoke fall and winter, and are designed to be warming and nourishing. They are the down comforter of food. Chilled soups, on the other hand, are cooling and cleansing, which doesn't exactly evoke comfort. But who wants comfort in the summer? We want to be light and free, find that twitch of excitement in our souls. We might want to be comfortable from the heat, but comfort is not the emotional state of summer.

At Haven's Kitchen, the day after Memorial Day commences cold brew and chilled soup season in our cafe. In our classes, we teach our students how to make cold soups because they are a simple means to make a meal without turning on the oven.

In The Haven's Kitchen Cooking School, we want readers to learn the importance of layering flavor through making soup. At first glance, this concept doesn't seem to apply to cold soups. How does one layer flavor when you're not using heat?

For hot soups, you start by sweating the aromatics. These aromatics are regional. The classic French mirepoix is usually onions, carrots and celery. In Southeast Asia, it might be lemongrass, ginger and shallots. When layering flavors with cold soups, the intention is the same, but the method is different. As we've discussed last week, we have a short time to appreciate and admire the flavor and texture of a tomato or a cantaloupe. In this sense, layering is also about complementing. For summer soups, the method we use to create complexity is with acids like vinegar or citrus, fresh herbs and chilies, to embolden the soup's base ingredient whether it be cucumber, tomato, or melon.

 

ajoblanco_mise_700Ingredients for Ajo Blanco: grilled bread, garlic confit, sherry vinegar, Marcona almonds, and Persian cucumbers.

 

For tomato gazpacho, we also add corn and cucumber to add crunch, sweetness and neutrality to balance the acid of the tomato and to add texture. Depending on your style, you can modulate the texture of a tomato gazpacho. I prefer it a little more chunky whereas some people prefer it to be velvety smooth. To get this, I prefer to use a hand blender. However, the key for a smoother texture is a high-powered blender like a Vitamix and a good shot of olive oil when you're blending. It will emulsify the soup creating a no-cream creamy feel. This is useful especially for the Ajo Blanco.

 

tomato_handblending_700

 

Finally, add garnishes. They offer texture and another layer of flavor, but also provide a pretty signal to your guests and to yourself for what's in the soup. For the Ajo Blanco, we put sliced fresh grapes at the bottom, and put roasted grapes on top. Or, you can opt for a cucumber brunoise and some sliced almonds.

 

garnish_ajoblanco_grapes_almonds_700

 

Making cold soups is your opportunity to be playful and something you shouldn’t have to fuss over, even if it’s on the menu for that summer dinner party you’ve been dreaming up. Starting your guests off with a piquant gazpacho on a warm summer night will be their cue to relax, be light, and take in the “comforts” that summer has to offer.


Recipes

Ajo Blanco, reprinted in Camille Styles

 

CHILLED SOUP GRID

BASE

ACID

FLAVOR

GARNISH

Cantaloupe

Fresh Lime Juice

Serrano Chilies,
Salt

Sandita Pickles,
Lime Zest,
Olive Oil

Tomatoes,
Cucumbers,
Red Peppers

Red Wine Vinegar

Thyme,
Garlic

Croutons,
Fresh Basil

Cucumber

Sherry Vinegar

Garlic Confit,
Almonds,
Grilled Bread

Roasted &
Fresh Grapes,
Almonds,
Cucumber

 

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Follow along as we cook our way this summer through our cookbook, The Haven's Kitchen Cooking School. Find our stories on our blog, Instagram, Facebook or through our hashtags: #havenskitchencookbook, #hknycookbook and #cookwithconfidence.

Jul 13, 2017
Haven's Kitchen Summer School: Vegetables

This week in Haven’s Kitchen Summer School, Sonjia Hyon follows our culinary manager, Zoe Maya Jones, on a trip to the Union Square Greenmarket to learn about how seasonality is important in building confidence in the kitchen. 

 

Summer is an inspirational and aspirational time to be in the kitchen. At the greenmarket, we're wooed by pert greens and jewel-toned tomatoes. Each week's visit offers a new vegetable or fruit to discover—no wonder the season seems to move so fast—everything including your crushes only last for a week or two before you find something even more beautiful and desirable.

 

market_haul_2_700Our haul from the Union Square Greenmarket.  

 

This week we expand upon our chapter on vegetables from The Haven's Kitchen Cooking School. Vegetables are an exploration in seasonality, meaning we should patiently wait to eat tomatoes in late summer instead of the dead of winter. Or, that blueberries and strawberries are at their best after May. You might be eating tomatoes in the dead of winter, but more often than not, they are mealy and wan. There are other important reasons to eat seasonally, like it's environmental impact, but for now, we're talking about how it makes our food taste better. Thus, appreciating our food more.

 

market_tomatoes_700So cute, you just want to eat them.
 

This is why we encourage our students to seize summer! It's so pleasurable to walk through the greenmarket and feel the juicy heft of a peach or admire the wonder of a kohlrabi. From a cooking perspective, summer produce does a lot of the work in terms of flavor and aesthetic. You don't need to spend a lot of time hovering over a recipe and a stove. In fact, this is the best time to flex your creativity in the kitchen and unshackle yourself from a recipe. Go rogue!

 

Before you find yourself overwhelmed by the possibilities at the greenmarket, here are some tips to organize yourself from our culinary manager Zoe Maya Jones:

 

Before going to the market:
  •  Check out what you have in you fridge and pantry and dream up a few possibilities.
  •  Bring reuseable bags along with plastic bags you might already have at home.
  •  It's always good to bring cash. Some vendors take credit cards, but I'm sure they appreciate cash payments because it means more money goes directly to farmers rather than credit card processors and banks.

 

At the market:
  •  Do an initial walkthrough of the market to see what's there.
  •  Compare prices.
  •  Write notes on a piece of paper or on your phone of things you found exciting.

 

Lastly, Zoe Maya says she always shops with two rules in mind: find an ingredient that you really love and one ingredient that you haven't cooked before or that is going challenge you. Zoe Maya loves dollhouse-sized vegetables and fruit. This week on her greenmarket trip, to her delight she found itsy-bitsy tomatoes as the ingredient she loves, and sanditas, which look like miniature watermelons and taste like cucumbers, for the latter.

 

Remembering that we had leftover fresh cavatelli in our kitchen walk-in, she decided that she would use the tomatoes for a pasta dish. Walking through the market, she was enthralled by how the baby zucchini still had their blossoms attached and the hue of purple scallions. The zucchinis and scallions would be sautéed in butter for the pasta and the blossoms would garnish it for dramatic presentation.

 

An avid pickler, Zoe Maya had never used sanditas for a pickle, and wanted this to be her challenge. Summer is the time for preserving all those summer vegetables to be enjoyed year round. Pickling is also another avenue to find creativity. Use different vinegars along with spices and herbs to season your pickles, like rice wine vinegar and Thai chili, or Champagne vinegar and fennel seeds.

 

As your final takeaway for this week's session, more so than anything, seasonality is a prompt for flexibility and intuition. 

 

Zoe Maya's Favorite Vendors at the Union Square Greenmarket
Madura Farms // They have the best mushrooms and really good corn.

Mountain Sweet Berry // They have best tomatoes, strawberries, and potatoes.

Keith's // Famous for garlic, got garlic scapes, beautiful greens and herbs

Lani's // All types of amazing salad greens and always cooking delicious samples and how to make things at the market.  One of the best things they sell is fresh edamame on the stalk.

 

Greenmarket "Recipe" Grid

PANTRY ITEMS

GREENMARKET
PURCHASES

DISH

Pasta, Parmigiano Reggiano,
Fresh Thyme, Butter

Corn, Baby Tomatoes,
Summer Squash, Purple Scallions

Cavatelli with Summer Vegetables

Vinegar, Whole
Spices

Sanditas, Kohlrabi,
Garlic Scapes

Pickles, three ways

Oats, Flour, Sugar,
Butter

Cherries, Peaches

Summer Fruit Crisp

 

 

3-2-1 Pickles

This "recipe" uses ratios, and is pretty easy to remember. The pickles are good for up to one month in the refrigerator. If you're interested in canning, read this primer on Food52. With pickles, the sugar balances the acidity of vinegar. You don't need to use the entire proportion of sugar, or you can omit it entirely, but it will affect the balance of acidity.

 

pickling_pots_700Pickles, left to right: Rice Vinegar, Thai Chilis, Coriander Seeds, Fresh Ginger, Kohlrabi; Champagne Vinegar, Fennel Seed, Black Peppercorn, Garlic Scapes; White Vinegar, Bay Leaf Allspice, Sanditas

  

3 parts vinegar

2 parts water

1 part sugar, we usually use organic cane sugar, but you can omit the sweetener.

Spices and herbs, to your taste and creativity

Wash and prepare your vegetables. Cut to your desired shape and size or leave whole.

Combine vinegar, water, sugar, and spices in an appropriate sized saucepan. You want to make enough liquid to be able to fully submerge your vegetables. Bring to a simmer, and stir to dissolve sugar. Turn off the heat.

Bring the liquid to cool if you're concerned about preserving the color of the vegetables like the bright green of a jalapeno, but eventually the acid will change the color anyway. Make sure the vegetables are in a heat-safe container, and pour the pickling liquid over them so that they are fully submerged.

If you haven't already cooled your pickling liquid, make sure that your pickles have cooled before refrigerating.

 

pasta_closeup_700

 

Pasta with Summer Vegetables

This is a roadmap rather than a recipe.

1. Cook a pot of pasta. When it's cooked to al dente, reserve a cup of water and drain it. Don't rinse with cold water, instead toss with olive oil in the colander so it doesn't stick together.

2. Heat a large pan over medium-high, pour enough olive oil to cover the bottom. When it feels pretty hot, add the tomatoes and thyme. Cook until the tomatoes are blistered.

3. Add the thinly sliced summer squash, cook until it's softened, about 2 to 3 minutes.
Stir in the corn kernels with a couple tablespoons of butter. Stir until the butter has melted.

4. Add a couple dashes of pasta cooking water so it makes a nice sauce, let it evaporate and thicken into a glistening sauce.

5. Stir in sliced scallion bulbs with the cooked pasta to preserve the purple color.

6. Garnish with basil, squash blossom, and lots of Parmigiano-Reggiano.

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Follow along as we cook our way this summer through our cookbook, The Haven's Kitchen Cooking SchoolFind our stories on our blog, Instagram, Facebook or through our hashtags: #havenskitchencookbook, #hknycookbook and #cookwithconfidence. 

 

Photos: Kathryn Tam

Oct 15, 2015
W&P Design's Ode to NYC Cocktail: The L Train

Every Thursday in October, we'll be sharing cocktail recipes from our October #hknypopup resident W&P Design's Eric Prum and Josh Williams. As the weather cools, we see it as an incentive to bunker down (or is it hunker down?), restock our home bar, and show off our entertaining skills.

 

TheLTrain_700

 

This is a cocktail that is shaken, and we can recommend that The Mason Shaker will do a fine job. In the darkness of fall, it's a refreshing beverage that will harken you to summers in Provence via Bushwick rooftops.

The L Train
makes two drinks

2 shots gin
1 shot elderflower liqueur
1/2 shot fresh lemon juice
2 sprigs of lavender plus 2 to garnish
seltzer

Add the gin, elderflower liqueur, lemon juice and lavender to the Mason Shaker.

Add ice to above the level of the liquid and shake vigorously for 5 seconds.

Strain the mixture into chilled coupes and top with seltzer. Garnish with remaining lavender sprigs.

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#hknypopup x W&P Design goes until October 31. 

Reprinted from Shake: A New Perspective on Cocktails. Copyright © 2014 by Eric Prum and Josh Williams. Photographs copyright © 2014 by Eric Prum and Josh Williams. Published by Clarkson Potter/Publishers, an imprint of Penguin Random House LLC.

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