Hot Bread Kitchen for a Cool Spring Day

This bulk of this week’s email has not too much to do with cheese. And no, it’s not just indigestion from last week’s cream cheese sandwich loaf…

In our efforts to simultaneously expand our culinary horizons and pack ever more deliciousness into our tiny stall at the Essex Market, we will instead turn the focus toward our newest arrival, Hot Bread Kitchen’s handmade Corn Tortillas! However, cheese junkies need not despair… our beloved fermented dairy products will be waiting in the wings to play the supporting role of rich and gooey filling.

Hot Bread Kitchen is a much-lauded project in social entrepreneurship founded by the indefatigable Jessamyn Waldman. (see cute picture on the left!) The Kitchen’s mission is simple; to produce quality traditional breads from all corners of the globe while providing job training, English classes, and plain old empowerment to immigrant women in New York City. Since its inception just a year and a half ago, Hot Bread has employed women from Mexico, Bangladesh, the Phillipines, Ecuador, Mali, and Afghanistan. The array of breads produced by Hot Bread Kitchen have their roots in these women and their respective bread cultures. When Hot Bread reaches its full capacity, it will provide a year long training program for 80 women focusing on English classes, kitchen math, and culinary entrepreneurship. After the program is completed, the women will be poised to start their own businesses or land quality jobs in restaurants around New York City.

Hot Bread Kitchen’s corn tortillas are unique among tortillas in New York City. Why? Because they are made from pure ground corn. It seems simple enough, but like most of our foods, tortillas have become victims of mass production. Most corn tortillas are produced from a mixture of ground corn and flour, but the unmitigated yellow, red, and blue stuff is far superior in flavor and texture. At Hot Bread, the corn is stone ground, splashed with a little bit of lime juice to soften the kernels, and then quickly baked on a comal to enhance the rich corn flavor. Tortilla lovers beware… once you’ve fried, steamed, or toasted one of these babies, you’ll be a convert for life.

Being the cheesy fools we are, we decided to craft a little quesadilla recipe from our luscious corny friends. Looking for ideas for dinner tonight? Look no further. Dinner is served!

Saxelby Cheesemongers’ Hot Bread Kitchen Quesadillas:

1 tablespoon butter
1/2 lb of melty cheese of your choosing (we picked Russo’s Raclette)
1 package Hot Bread Kitchen Corn Tortillas

-Slice cheese and assemble quesadillas

-Melt butter in a heavy bottom skillet over medium high heat

-Once butter foams, place quesadilla in pan and cook for 2 mins on each side until cheese is bubbly.

-Chow down and enjoy!

***if you’d like more information on Hot Bread Kitchen, visit hotbreadkitchen.org, or watch an award winning documentary about the project.

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