Kashia Cave
My City Kitchen, Inc.
P.O.Box 176
Meriden, CT 06450
(203) 630-2870
www.mycitykitchen.org

Aetna’s 2016 African American History calendar will feature Chef Kashia Cave among its 12 “kitchen savvy educators, restaurateurs, philanthropists, entrepreneurs, authors, activists and celebrity personalities who are breaking down barriers and changing the food world.” Chef Cave is all of the above, and has been honored repeatedly for her culinary talents as well as for her community service. A native of Trinidad who learned to cook with her grandmother’s apron, she went on to study at the Lincoln Culinary Institute and the Italian Culinary Institute for Foreigners. Upon moving to Connecticut she founded My City Kitchen, a non-profit organization in Meriden where she devoted herself to teaching urban school children how to prepare healthy, affordable and tasty meals for themselves and their families. My City Kitchen closed temporarily this winter as Cave and her board of directors are getting ready to re-open at a new location in the spring. In the meantime, Chef Cave keeps on cooking and teaching and doing good work – and that includes “working closely,” as she puts it, with Italy’s Enotre Oil Company to bring their fine virgin olive oil products to the United States.

When her 21-year-old son learned she was asked to suggest five recipes for Super Bowl Sunday, he gave her some solid advice. “Now Mom,” he said, “this is the Super Bowl. Real men don’t care about healthy food during the Super Bowl, so forget about that. Real men drink beer, eat bourbon burgers and stuff for the Super Bowl, so you better make it good!” “Well,” says Cave, “my son got on my nerve. I was not about to go down on this challenge by my 21-year-old son. After I told him what I was submitting, his response was ‘now that’s the real stuff right there, Mom! Good job!”

B.T. Sliders With Jack Daniel’s Sauce

Ingredients:

  • 1 fresh lemon
  • 1 chopped onion, small dice
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • Sprinkle of red pepper flakes
  • 3 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 tbsp chopped parsley
  • 2 tbsp of chopped scallion
  • 2 tbsp of chopped cilantro herb
  • Salt and pepper for seasoning
  • 8 slices of sharp cheddar cheese
  • 8 slices of cooked bacon
  • 8 mini hamburger buns
  • 1 cup of thin sliced onions
  • 1 cup of baby bella mushrooms

Directions:

Place ground beef in large bowl. Squeeze the lemon juice over the beef. Add the and chopped onions, garlic, red pepper flakes, Worcestershire sauce, parsley, scallion, cilantro, salt, pepper and mix well.

Make eight patties. Place patties on hot skillet and cook for 2-3 minutes on each side. Using some of the burger fat, sauté the onions and mushrooms together. Remove and dip each patty into the Jack Daniel Sauce, place on the bottom slice of your bun, cover the sautéed onion/mushroom mixture, add one slice of cheddar cheese, then place bacon in the shape of a cross, cover the bun and enjoy. Serve hot!

Jack Daniel’s Sauce

  • 1/8 cup Soy Sauce
  • 1/2 cup Jack Daniel’s Whiskey
  • 2 cups ketchup
  • 1/2 cup of tomato paste
  • 1 cup dark brown sugar
  • salt and ground black pepper to taste

Directions:

Mix all of the above ingredients into a medium pot and simmer until you get a nice thick sauce about 5mins.

Chef Kashia’s Easy Chili Recipe

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 30 minutes

Total Time: 40 minutes

Yield: About 6-8 servings

Ingredients

  • 3 lb. ground beef, turkey or bison
  • 1/4 cup of sofrito
  • 1 large white onion, diced
  • 2 Tbsp. chili powder
  • 3-4 sprigs of fresh thyme
  • 2-3 sprigs of fresh rosemary
  • 4 cloves of garlic minced
  • 4 (15 oz.) cans diced tomatoes (optional roasted tomatoes)
  • 2 cans crushed tomatoes
  • 4 (15 oz.) cans dark red kidney beans, drained and rinsed
  • 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 cup of tomato paste
  • 1 cup of vegetable or chicken stock (if needed)
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • (optional toppings: sharp shredded cheddar cheese)

Directions:

In a large mixing bowl add the meat, sofrito, chili powder and mix well. Over high heat, place a large pot, add the oil and cook the onions, garlic, thyme and rosemary for 2-3 minutes. Add the ground meat until brown, stirring frequently. Add remaining ingredients and stir to combine. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to medium-low heat. Cover and simmer for 35 minutes adjust seasoning and chili powder if needed. In a large serving bowl place the chili, cover with cheese add the remaining chili and cover with the cheddar cheese.

Serve hot with your favorite chips.

Kashia’s Spicy Chicken Egg Rolls

Ingredients

  • 1 -24 pack of egg roll wrap (set aside)
  • 1 lb of cooked chicken breast stripped
  • 1 – 4oz can of green Chiles
  • 1- 8oz pack of cheddar & Monterey Jack cheese
  • 1 bottle of mild salsa
  • 1 pack of fajitas mix
  • 2 fresh jalapeno peppers seeded and diced small
  • Salt and black pepper to taste (if needed)
  • Water and pastry brush for sealing the egg rolls
  • Oil for deep frying

Directions:

In a medium mixing bowl add the chicken, green chiles, cheese, salsa, fajitas mix, and jalapeno peppers. Season with salt and black pepper if needed. On a clean dry surface, place 3-4 wrappers side by side and fill with the chicken mixture. Seal using the pastry brush and water, then wrap as directed on the package. deep fry for one minute and serve hot.

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Triple Meat Crostini

Ingredients:

  • 12 thin slices of salami or pepperoni
  • 12 thin sliced of prosciutto ham
  • 12 thin slices of pancetta ham
  • 12 slices of deli mozzarella cheese
  • 1 baguette
  • extra virgin olive oil (recommend Enotre brand Oil)
  • Optional fresh basil for garnish

Directions:

Pre heat the oven to 350 degrees. On a cutting board, cut 12 equal slices of bread and place them on a baking tray. Take the cheese and cut them in half, place one half on the bread. Arrange one of each slice of meat on top of the cheese. Top it off with the other half of the cheese.

Once you are done, place the tray into the oven for 2-3 minutes and toast the crostini until the cheese is melted into the meat. Remove and drizzle with extra virgin olive oil and garnish with fresh basil. Serve immediately. Makes 4-6 side servings. (Chef Cave recommends Enotre brand oil. More information on that brand of oil can be found at the Enotre Oil website)

Italian Dipping Oil With Bread

Ingredients:

  • 1 teaspoon of fresh basil
  • 1teaspoon of fresh oregano
  • 1teaspoon of fresh rosemary
  • 1teaspoon of fresh marjoram
  • 1 crust Italian bread
  • extra virgin olive oil (recommend Enotre brand Oil)
  • Sea salt for tasting

Directions:

Remove all the leaves from the herbs, gather them together and rough cut them. Place the fresh herbs in a small sauce pan, add 1/2 cup of extra virgin olive oil to the herb. Place the mixture on the stove for a few seconds until it gets warm. Remove and garnish with the sea salt and serve immediately with the bread. (Again, Chef Cave recommends Enotre brand oil.)

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Mark G. McLaughlin is a professional and prolific writer with a proven publishing record in a wide variety of fields. An historian, novelist, freelance journalist, ghost-writer, book reviewer, magazine editor, web and magazine columnist, Mark has more than 30 years of experience. His work can be found at Examiner.com.

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