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Harlem OktoberFest with Recipes – Gabrielle Lopez

By mahir | October 18, 2010

On Sunday, October 9th Harlemites came out to enjoy a sunny autumn day at the Harlem Oktoberfest Harvest Festival. The festival was a chance for Harlem to experience fresh and seasonal farm to table shopping as well as get healthy living tips at various booths around the fair. Vendors sold everything from homemade pickles, to just-plucked apples to huge pumpkins ready for carving and pie. Harlem Yoga instructors led the crowd through poses and many left with gift bags filled with fresh fruits and veggies. The highlight of the event, however, was a healthy cook-off that pitted some of Harlem’s finest against each other. Firefighter, Walter Lewis and Police Officer, Sheldon Spence were each given a mystery box filled with healthy ingredients and invented and cooked a meal in under 20 minutes. I did not have the opportunity to taste the dishes that day, but both men were kind enough to share their recipes with us. After cooking and tasting both meals I don’t know how the judges chose a winner, both dishes were flavorful and easy to prepare.

The day was a testament to the emphasis on fresh, local and healthy ingredients to which Chef Samuelsson is also dedicated. And I think both amateur cooks who participated in the cook-off tuned into chef Samuelsson’s mantra of making healthy foods taste good by using fresh, seasonal ingredients and spices.

Salmon Wrap
Recipe by Harlem FDNY Firefighter Walter Lewis

Serves 4

Lemon Dressing
1 Tbs of honey
1 Tbs of olive oil
1 minced clove of garlic
1/2 Tbs salt
1 tsp pepper
1 lemon, zest
1 lemon, juice

In a mixing bowl combine olive oil, lemon juice, honey , salt, pepper. lemon zest and minced garlic.

Basic Baked Salmon
1 pound fresh salmon
Olive Oil
Salt and Pepper

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Place cleaned, rinsed and dried salmon in a lightly oiled baking pan. Salt and pepper to taste. Bake, uncovered, for 15 minutes.

Salmon Wrap

1/2 cup of cantaloupe julienne
1/4 cup of scallions diced
1/2 cup of cucumber julienne
1/2 cup of sliced avocado
4 whole grain tortillas

Lightly toss the cucumber, cantaloupe and scallions in the lemon dressing.  On each tortilla add 1/4 pound of the salmon and half of the cucumber, cantaloupe, scallion and avocado.  Wrap tightly, cut on a bias and serve.

Baked Salmon with Couscous Squash Medley
Recipe by Harlem NYPD Officer Sheldon Spence

Serves 2

Couscous with Summer Squash Medley

2 cups vegetable stock

2 cups Israeli couscous

1 Tablespoon olive oil

1 green zucchini, chopped

1 yellow zucchini, chopped

1/2 red onion, medium dice

Salt & pepper to taste
1 orange, segmented for garnish

Bring two cups vegetable stock to boil, turn off heat and add two cups uncooked couscous. Cover and let sit for 15 minutes. Meanwhile,, on medium heat sautee the zucchini and red onion in olive oil until tender. After the couscous has rested for 15 minutes fluff with fork and add to vegetables.

Sweet and Spicy Pepper Salsa

1 tomato (seeded and medium diced)

1 lemon (zest)

1/2 lemon (juice)

1 Tbs Honey

2 sweet peppers (medium diced)

1/2 habanero pepper (seeded and minced)

Salt (to taste)

Combine all ingredients, add salt to taste.

Basic Baked Salmon
1 pound fresh salmon

Olive Oil

Salt and Pepper

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Place cleaned, rinsed and dried salmon in a lightly oiled baking pan. Salt and pepper to taste. Bake, uncovered, for 15 minutes. Remove from oven, split between two plates and serve over couscous with salsa and orange garnish.

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