|5 Days and Counting|
This morning when I got on the bus I must have looked really tired and sleepy. The driver asked me (this is the nice driver who would never refuse to open the door for me on a cold, snowy day), “are you sure you’re ready to go to work today?” I said, “I think so!” He replied, “Make up your mind by 79th street and, if not, I’ll bring you back on my return trip!” Why can’t all bus drivers be so considerate? Of course, by 79th Street I was awake and ready to go!
We’ve got Ropa Vieja Tacos today! And those tacos will not only feature Jose’s delicious Ropa Vieja but will be served on the fresh corn tortillas we get from a factory in Queens. Our gluten-free people can relax and enjoy! For vegetarians we will have Vegetable Tacos with peppers and onions, red beans, zucchini and shredded carrots.
|"Go to you favorite place"|
That subject for the today's blog post is to make you think of warm weather. It’s like the meditation exercise “go to your favorite place”. I’m thinking today of a “hot desert breeze in the Sahara in the dead of August” to warm me up a bit. Hope it works!
Hmmm, maybe I’m not focused enough, I’m still cold!
|Catfish & Grits|
On this last day of the week, I’m sticking with my southern roots for our lunch. Cajun Catfish may be the most popular fish dish we make. It’s almost like eating fried catfish except that it is crispier and since it is baked in the oven, it’s not oily. It's called Cajun catfish because of the traditional Cajun seasonings which we use in the panko crumbs that coat the fish. We’ll have some of our own tartar sauce to go with it, if you want it. Vegetarians will enjoy Stuffed Red Peppers with black beans, farro, onions and cheddar cheese. Today’s vegetable is the Sauteed Spinach that wasn’t delivered on Monday and the starch is, one of my favorites, Grits!
|HAPPY NEW YEAR & WELCOME BACK!!!!|
We had originally planned to serve muffaletta sandwiches (another reference to the food of New Orleans) with today’s lunch, but when we were ordering last week we realized (”what were we thinking?”) there is not enough time on the morning of the first day back to make a sandwich that requires as much labor as the muffaletta! So today’s sandwich will be Tuna Salad on a sourdough roll. The soup today is Tomato Basil.
|On a Snowy Day, A Hearty Gumbo!|
For those of you who are new to Calhoun this year, you might be interested in knowing how the "po'boy" sandwich came about. As with so many elements of New Orleans history, the origin of the po’-boy has competing versions flavored over the years by creative storytellers and self-appointed authorities of dubious veracity. But the most widely accepted story holds that the sandwich was invented by Clovis and Benjamin Martin, brothers and former streetcar drivers who opened a restaurant on St. Claude Avenue (that’s in the 9th Ward neighborhood – a neighborhood which was destroyed by Katrina) in the 1920s. When streetcar drivers went on strike in 1929, the brothers took up their cause and created an inexpensive sandwich on French bread they would serve the unemployed workers out of the rear of their restaurant. When a worker came to get one, the cry would go up in the kitchen that "here comes another poor boy!," and the name was transferred to the sandwich, eventually becoming "po’-boy" in common usage.
|Today we're doing the "French dip"!|
Speaking of food systems, today David and Drew will be installing seedlings in our new vertical hydroponic tower garden in Kristin’s science lab on the 7th floor at noon. The seedlings? Those were raised by Raul’s LS science classes! The tower garden will be housed in that science lab for the time being. We’re hoping to eventually have several of those gardens. David did all the leg work and research in making this new 21st century garden happen at Calhoun and we thank him for that. You’ll want to stop by Kristin’s room to see this beautiful structure after it is installed.
|From Korea to India, non stop!|
Today’s vegetable is Sauteed Collard Greens and the starch is Steamed Brown Rice. The sandwich today is Babaganoush in a Wrap. Babaganoush is made from eggplants which have been charred on top of the stove (for a smoky flavor), peeled and then pureed with tahini, lemon juice, garlic and olive oil. The balance of all those ingredients along with the smokiness from the char of the eggplants creates an “umami” in your mouth that is so delicious and satisfying. I wonder if any of our readers can tell us what “umami” is???
|Here Today, Gone Tamale!|
Today’s menu goes back to Drew’s Los Angeles roots. We’re having Tamales! The tamale, or correctly “tamal”, is a traditional Latin American dish made of masa (a starchy dough, usually made with corn flour called masa harina), which is steamed or boiled in a leaf or corn husk wrapper. The wrapping is discarded before eating. Tamales are usually filled with meats, cheese, fruits, vegetables, or chilies. They are very similar to the “pasteles” found in Caribbean countries.
|Lunch from LA LA land!|
Today Drew is going back to his Los Angeles roots to prepare a California style Mexican lunch today. The soup, one that has become a favorite here, is his delicious Tortilla Soup. Usually when you order this soup in a restaurant it is made with chicken stock. Our tortilla soup is strictly vegetarian, made with a rich vegetable stock, an assortment of Mexican peppers and finally corn tortillas added. I love tortilla soup and I think that ours is the best of any I’ve tasted. What do you think?