The Quarantined Kitchen

Your Weekly Culinary Source

The Quarantined Kitchen shares ideas and recipes from Chef Steven Bright, Hospitality Coordinator at Shadyside Presbyterian Church, to help you stay healthy by eating well during the COVID-19 pandemic.

May 27, 2020: Citrus Vinaigrette

Use this recipe to baste poultry and vegetables on the grill!

Citrus Vinaigrette

Makes about 2 cups

Ingredients

1 small shallot, cut in half
1 clove garlic, smashed
1 lemon’s juice and zest (about 1/8 c)
3 T orange juice (zest if you have it)
1 T honey
3 T sherry vinegar
2 t Dijon mustard
2 t kosher salt
2 t black pepper
1 ½ c quality olive oil or mixture of olive and grapeseed oils

Directions

  1. Add all ingredients except oils to a blender. Cover and pulse a few times, then blend on low speed. Slowly begin to add oil until incorporated and emulsified.
  2. Use on green, pasta, and potato salads, and also as a finishing sauce for grilled meats, fish, and vegetables.

Should you have any questions, or need helpful tips, please feel free to contact Chef Steven via email at: sbright@shadysidepres.org

Be well – eat well!

Chef Steven M. Bright

May 20, 2020: Thai Vinaigrette

I recently used this recipe as a fish vinaigrette for a crispy Barramundi filet, but it surely can be used on a Thai flank steak salad or any other sweet and sour dish.

Thai Vinaigrette

Ingredients

¼ cup fish sauce
¼ cup water
¼ cup sugar
2 T white vinegar
2 T fresh lime juice
2 t sriracha chili sauce
1 garlic clove, minced
2 T each, fresh cilantro and Thai basil, minced

Directions

  1. Combine all ingredients in a bowl and whisk together until sugar is dissolved.
  2. Store in glass container in refrigerator, up to one month.

Should you have any questions, or need helpful tips, please feel free to contact Chef Steven via email at: sbright@shadysidepres.org

Be well – eat well!

Chef Steven M. Bright

May 13, 2020: Chocolate Chip Cookies

Thin and crispy, yet chewy. This chocolate chip cookie recipe is a keeper!

Chocolate Chip Cookies by Chef Steven Bright

Makes 3 dozen

2 ¼ cups all-purpose flour
½ teaspoon baking soda
2 ½ sticks unsalted butter, room temperature
1 ¼ cups granulated sugar
¾ cup packed light-brown sugar
2 teaspoons salt
2 tablespoons pure vanilla extract
2 large eggs
2 cups (about 12 ounces) semisweet and/or milk chocolate chips

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a small bowl, whisk together the flour and baking soda; set aside. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine the butter with both sugars; beat on medium speed until light and fluffy. Reduce speed to low; add the salt, 1/4 cup water, vanilla, and eggs. Beat until well mixed, about 1 minute. Add flour mixture; mix until just combined. Stir in the chocolate chips.
  2. Drop heaping tablespoon-size balls of dough about 2 inches apart on baking sheets lined with parchment paper.
  3. Bake until cookies are golden brown 12 to 15 minutes. Remove from oven, and let cool on baking sheet 1 to 2 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack, and let cool completely. Store cookies in an airtight container at room temperature up to one week.

Should you have any questions, or need helpful tips, please feel free to contact Chef Steven via email at: sbright@shadysidepres.org

Be well – eat well!

Chef Steven M. Bright

May 6, 2020: Pasta Salad

As the weather is sure to warm up – this cool pasta salad recipe is sure to please!

Tuscan Pasta Salad alla Margherita

Makes 12 portions

Boil 1# Cavatappi (or other ridged pasta) just a bit past al dente; drain-remove to large bowl; cool slightly, then add:
¾ c. Balsamic Vinegar
1 ½ T. Honey
Zest of 2 Lemons – Juice of 1 – Toss together and set aside.

For Pesto, in processor or blender add:
8 oz. Fresh Basil Leaves
½ c. Quality Parmesan Cheese
½ t. Kosher Salt
½ t. Fresh Ground Black Pepper
¼ c. Toasted Pine Nuts
1 clove Garlic
1 ½ c. EV Olive oil

Vegetable Mixture:
6 Scallions – cleaned well/sliced longwise then crosscut thin
½ c. Red Onion – Julienne
1 ½ c. (oil-packed) Sundried Tomatoes – Julienne
2 c. Artichoke Quarters

Assembly:
Combine pesto with pasta mixture and vegetable mixture, then adjust with additional balsamic, honey, and parmesan to balance flavors.

Note: Prepare one day before serving for best result.

Should you have any questions, or need helpful tips, please feel free to contact Chef Steven via email at: sbright@shadysidepres.org

Be well – eat well!

Chef Steven M. Bright

April 29, 2020: Smoked Wing Dings

Should you find yourself with some downtime, and want to work on your food-smoking skills, here’s a great starter recipe!

Smoked Wing Dings

Makes 2 dozen

1 dozen whole chicken wings (or 24 wing dings)
1 t Garlic – minced
4 Scallions – white parts now – *save green parts for garnish
Zest of 2 Lemons
1 t Smoked Paprika
1 t Chili Powder
1 T Black pepper
1.5 T Fish Sauce or 2 t Salt
3 t Soy Sauce
2 T Honey
2 t Sriracha Sauce
4 t Dijon

  • Place all* in a large Ziploc bag. Seal and massage until evenly coated. Let marinate for 2 hours.
  • Slow smoke at 200 degrees for 2 hours (or 165 internal temp) or smoke 1 hour and finish in 400-degree oven. Or, fully roast in 400-degree oven 40 minutes.
  • *Garnish with green scallions.

Should you have any questions, or need helpful tips, please feel free to contact Chef Steven via email at: sbright@shadysidepres.org

Be well – eat well!

Chef Steven M. Bright

April 22, 2020: Chef Steven’s 12 Essential Freezer/Pantry Items

  1. Salt (kosher; sea; iodized; or fermented salt sources, like soy or fish sauce)
  2. Honey [agave, beet, or molasses (for a diabetic diet) raw or white granulated]
  3. Flour (or gluten-free rice or chickpea flour)
  4. Yeast (or frozen bread dough)
  5. Vegetables (frozen or canned)
  6. Fruits and berries (dried, frozen, or canned)
  7. Beans and lentils (dried, canned, or frozen)
  8. Grains (barley, farro, quinoa, bulgar, wild rice) and rice (long-grain, like brown or white; short-grain, like arborio or sushi; scented, like jasmine or basmati)
  9. Meats, poultry, seafoods, or plant-based protein (fresh or canned)
  10. Vinegar (white; red; cider; rice; or long-aged, like balsamic)
  11. Oil (olive, canola, grapeseed, nut, coconut, butter, or ghee)
  12. Chicken or vegetable Stock

With these staples in your pantry/freezer, recipe possibilities are infinite!

Each item listed has a shelf life; please take notice of expiration dates and treat items accordingly by using in a recipe or re-packaging and freezing.

Should you have any questions, or need helpful tips, please feel free to contact Chef Steven via email at: sbright@shadysidepres.org

Be well – eat well!

Chef Steven M. Bright

An Invitation to Online Communion

Special Invitation: Communion on Maundy Thursday

The Chalice, Flagon, and Plate used on World Communion Sunday, October 1, 2017, were dedicated to the glory of God and in loving memory of Momoko H. Mills. For decades, Momoko faithfully prepared the Lord’s Table in our Sanctuary with humble reverence and deep love. Commissioned by Shadyside Presbyterian Church, the Communion set was fashioned by Deacon Garret B. Smith. We give thanks to God both for Momoko’s caring service and for Garret’s talented craftsmanship. This set will be used regularly as we celebrate the Lord’s Supper during our midweek vespers. Also visible above in detail is the damask linen from Damascus which was a gift from Mark A. Anderson to Shadyside Presbyterian Church. Photograph taken by Rebecca D. Reeder.Maundy Thursday (from mandatum, Latin for “mandate” or “commandment”) proclaims Jesus’ new commandment to love one another as He has loved us. It celebrates Christ’s example of humble service and self-offering, represented by the washing of feet and the sharing of Communion. We remember that on the night before He was handed over to death, Jesus gathered to share the Passover meal with His disciples. In so doing, Christ instituted the Sacrament of the Lord’s Supper.

In this unprecedented time, the General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church (USA) has approved the online celebration of Communion (Communion in an Emergency/Pandemic), and, according to the Book of Order, it is the responsibility of the Session to authorize the celebration of the Lord’s Supper. The Session of Shadyside Presbyterian Church has so authorized the online celebration of the Sacrament on April 9, 2020 – Maundy Thursday. In this time when we are separated by space, yet united in the Spirit, we remember that Christ is always at work, gathering us in unique ways.

Preparations

In preparation for the Sacrament, we invite you to look through your own kitchen to find “bread and beverage.” While there is rich symbolism in the elements we traditionally use to celebrate the Lord’s Supper, the Church also has a long history of using the most fitting materials that are readily available in any given time and setting. So feel free to be creative and use what you have on hand.

Prior to our time of worship on Thursday evening, please prepare your worship space. Have ready the device on which you will view the service, the bulletin (available online here) which will enable you to more fully participate in the service, and the elements you will use for Communion. Have your “bread” ready on a plate and your “beverage” poured. Any vessels will do, but you might consider using special dishes to help you remember that this is a holy meal, set apart from our regular meals. If it is safe to do so, you also may want to light a candle and place it by your prepared Communion elements. Through the light, may you be reminded that Christ is present with us all in this meal.

During worship on Maundy Thursday evening, you will be guided through the celebration and reception of the Lord’s Supper. Whether or not you are a member of Shadyside Presbyterian Church, we invite you to prepare your hearts to receive this Sacrament as a means of grace. For Christ is our host, and He invites all who seek Him to partake of this holy meal.

Some possibilities for bread:

  • any kind of bread
  • crackers
  • cookies
  • chips
  • tortilla
  • pita

Note: If you have time and want to involve your family with a meaningful activity in preparation for Communion, consider baking a special loaf of bread together. Please contact Ellen Allston, Director of Christian Education for Children’s Ministry, who has shared several recipes with families by email.

Some possibilities for beverage:

  • grape juice
  • any other type of juice
  • wine
  • water

Photograph: The Chalice, Flagon, and Plate used on World Communion Sunday, October 1, 2017, were dedicated to the glory of God and in loving memory of Momoko H. Mills. For decades, Momoko faithfully prepared the Lord’s Table in our Sanctuary with humble reverence and deep love. Commissioned by Shadyside Presbyterian Church, the Communion set was fashioned by Deacon Garret B. Smith. We give thanks to God both for Momoko’s caring service and for Garret’s talented craftsmanship. This set has been used regularly as we have celebrated the Lord’s Supper during our midweek vespers. Also visible above in detail is the damask linen from Damascus which was a gift from Mark A. Anderson to Shadyside Presbyterian Church. Photograph taken by Rebecca D. Reeder.

Welcome to Our New Website

Throughout 2016, the Communications Committee met regularly and worked diligently to re-develop and re-design the Shadyside Presbyterian Church website. This project partially continues the committee work begun in 2012 which resulted in the establishment of a new graphic identity for the church. As announced at that time, the graphic identity has been integrated gradually throughout the church’s publications; now, the website joins our other updated materials through a multi-phase launch.

The new site layout you see on your screen was carefully created with the superb help of the talented team at Pittsburgh-based Imagebox Productions; their efforts ensure the site looks beautiful, clean, and legible, regardless of the size of your screen. In addition to this mobile-responsive design, the new site benefits from an expanded menu of options for navigation. We hope this means you will find it easier than ever to find what you are looking for on our site, using the device of your preference: cellphone, tablet, or computer.

While we encourage you to take some time to explore the new site yourself, we would like to take a moment to highlight two improved resources which we hope you will find particularly useful and convenient:

  • the blog, which you have just visited to read this inaugural post; and,
  • a more robust online calendar, from which you may now export events to your own personal electronic calendar. You may also filter events on our new calendar by category — a helpful tool to streamline the schedule of a very busy and multi-faceted organization such as our beloved church.

In order to bring you increased functionality in the future — including online giving options and a private online community portal for members to contact each other, share, and access information — we needed first to modernize our website platform; so today’s introduction is merely the first step in a longer campaign to move the church’s digital communications forward. Later in 2017, we look forward to offering the aforementioned new features, as well as additional content, including video and, eventually, increased social media activity. We are confident these efforts will better position the church for continuing to build community online.

We are deeply grateful for the creativity, insight, and expertise Imagebox brought to this significant undertaking, and we are so pleased to share the results of their hard work with you. We hope you enjoy browsing the new site, and we look forward to sharing even more exciting features with you in the months ahead.