Paul Shetler Fast

Easter Round-Up

The time of feasting will soon be upon us, and we've put together 12 of our favorite sweet and savory spring-ish dishes that we hope inspires your Easter and spring cooking:

Paul Shetler Fast
Easter Round-Up

Rosemary Lemon Roasted Potatoes

The smell of roasting potatoes makes my mouth water every time. These golden brown orbs of puffed potato deliciousness have been my dish of choice this past month. And I think the addition of rosemary and lemon makes the house smell like Sunday dinner. Happy roasting!

Rosemary Lemon Roasted Potatoes

Potato Crusted Quiche with Bacon & Caramelized Onions

Rebecca and I have been traveling a lot recently, often improvising, cooking in new kitchens and without access to our own pantry supplies. This Potato Crusted Quiche with Bacon and Caramelized Onions is a slam dunk for these situations. It is a reliable crowd-pleaser built on a simple shredded potato crust and easy pantry staples (milk, cream, eggs, onions, and bacon). The result is a sublime quiche with caramelized onions, a creamy custard, and smokey bacon. This recipe is also very adaptable...add cheese for extra richness....take out the bacon to make it vegetarian...or substitute your favorite topping.

Potato Crusted Quiche with Bacon & Caramelized Onions

Simple Lemon Butter Salmon

We've tried to expose Madeline to a wide taste palette, including some foods that kids find tough to love, like fish. In Haiti, her favorite fish dish is pan fried local Woz fish with a key lime butter sauce. While back in North America, we have adapted Madeline's favorite fish recipe, and make this Simple Lemon Butter Salmon. Madeline likes this Lemon Butter Salmon so much her hands shake with enthusiasm in between bites, and quite frankly, we adults aren't too far behind her! 

Simple Lemon Butter Salmon

Roasted Garlic & Buttermilk Potato Leek Soup

It’s a soup day here in Indiana Northern Indiana. While Madeline and I count down the weeks until we return to warmer weather and our home Haiti, we are eating for the cold weather with the toasty flavors of roasted garlic, tangy buttermilk and mellow nutty leeks. This Roasted Garlic & Buttermilk Potato and Leek Soup is a winter winner!

Roasted Garlic & Buttermilk Potato Leek Soup

Spiced Moroccan Carrot Salad

When the winter chills set in, this colorful tangerine hued salad, with its bright splashes of pomegranate, feta, and cilantro is a full flavored pick you up. This is a long-standing recipe in our repertoire, with a captivating citrus and spice vinaigrette. 

Spiced Moroccan Carrot Salad

6 Winter Salads

For us, a good meal involves contrast, vibrant vegetables and meatless mains, even in the coldest months. We’ve put together a collection of 6 of our most popular hearty winter salads to inspire your winter salading. 

1. Wild Rice & Quinoa Salad with Mushrooms & Asparagus

2. Kale Cobb Salad with Avocado Green Goddess Dressing

3. Roasted Vegetable Fattoush Salad

4. Crisp Apple Fennel Salad with Tangerine Vinaigrette

5. Beet & Goat Cheese Salad

6. Slow Cooker Lentil Salad with Roasted Squash

6 Winter Salads
Paul Shetler Fast

Coconut & Buttermilk Layer Cake with Strawberry Filling

For us, the end of January is a birthday time of year, with family celebrations today for loved ones and Madeline's 1st birthday coming up this week. We think birthdays calls for cake (even if Madeline is too young to enjoy it), and were craving the flavor of coconut and strawberry when we first started to experiment with this remarkably light and fluffy cake before Christmas. 

Paul Shetler Fast
Coconut & Buttermilk Layer Cake with Strawberry Filling

Thai Peanut Sauce Smoked Chicken Wings

Christmas in Indiana this year had as hankering for these Thai Peanut Smoked Chicken Wings. Given the challenges of finding both chicken wings and a smoker in Haiti, we couldn't pass up the opportunity to chow down on an old favorite while back in the US. This pungent Thai sauce is chock full of vibrant flavors, tangy lime, creamy peanut butter, garlic, and spicy jalapeno. For those without a home smoker, the recipe includes an easy adaptation for oven roasting.

Thai Peanut Sauce Smoked Chicken Wings

Beef Stroganoff

We are well into January now, and all of those New Year's resolutions to subsist on green smoothies and sorghum grain bowls may be looking more aspirational then realistic at this point. Enter Beef Stroganoff, a rich and sumptuous cold weather hit packed with umami meatiness, the tang of sour cream, and the piquant brightness of white wine and mustard. Beef Stroganoff is the perfect old-school counter to the self-flagellation that too often accompanies the new year, and beats the joy out eating. This New Year resolve to eat food you love!

Beef Stroganoff

Food and Thoughts of 2016

We catapulted into 2016 in a new country, jobs, and language. Learning Haitian Creole together had moments of both frustration and hilarity. We practiced our new vocabulary at the maternity clinic, when two months after we arrived in Haiti, we became parents! Paul reflected about becoming a father to a daughter, pondering some of the global challenges that girls and women face. Madeline could not have a bigger ally in her proud papa. This year, our first as parents, we have felt deep gratitude and joy for our little daughter. Along the way we also started trying our hand at Haitian cooking, learning to make some of the iconic sweetsavory & spicy dishes we had learned to love. And through it all, our little baby kept growing, and so did we...

Food and Thoughts of 2016

Buttermilk Popovers with Quick Strawberry Jam

For my father's family, Christmas Eve, Heiliger Abend, is the heart of Christmas. It is a magical dark and cold night, where old hymns are sung by memory in German, acapella, by candlelight. My sister and I would look forward to the special appearance of traditional Christmas sweet and savory foods made by my Oma for Christmas Eve snacking. For Heiliger Abend this year, our young family of three is once again together. We will start new traditions as a family, and borrow from the past. Tonight we will be making my Oma's roast meat filled pastries, fleisch pieroshki with pickles. As a nod to our ravenous little eater's current favorite breakfast, will crank up the oven Christmas morning to make a batch of these airy buttermilk popovers with homemade strawberry jam, before an afternoon Christmas feast with our family. We will be thinking of our family and friends far away this Christmas as we celebrate, Merry Christmas! This recipe is inspired by Jenny Rosenstrach and adapted from King Arthur Flour.

Buttermilk Popovers with Quick Strawberry Jam
Rebecca Shetler Fast

Chocolate Berry Trifle

This sumptuous dessert is my go-to for potlucks and large holiday crowds, and is pretty much the gooey mother load of comforting desserts. Despite its many layered parts, Chocolate Berry Trifle has a special spot in my small repertoire of slam-dunk, crowd-pleasing desserts. The trifle, for those not familiar, is a brilliant British concoction that layers cake (traditionally a sponge cake) with fruit, alcohol, cream and pudding. The great thing about this dessert is that you can make it entirely from scratch or buy all the components and assemble them for a creation that is much more then the sum of its parts. 

Rebecca Shetler Fast
Chocolate Berry Trifle
Rebecca Shetler Fast

Haitian Spiced Hot Chocolate with Coconut, Chokola Ayisyen

Chokola Ayisyen, Haitian Spiced Hot Chocolate with Coconut is a spicy, thick, and comforting drink. In Haiti, Chokola Ayisyen is both served for breakfast, and also as a sweet, liquid reassurance during troubling times. In this season of post-Hurricane hardship for many in Haiti, we make and share Chokola Ayisyen in warm solidarity with our Haitian sisters and brothers.  Join us.

Rebecca Shetler Fast
Haitian Spiced Hot Chocolate with Coconut, Chokola Ayisyen

Lemon & Parmesan Scrambled Eggs

Despite living in the city, our small courtyard here is full of life. We have mango, coconut, key lime, sour orange, moringa, and papaya trees, a small herb garden with lemon grass, chives, and basil, and maybe, most importantly, two chickens. For me, having a daily source of beautiful backyard eggs is hard to beat. Since Madeline is an early riser, she and I often go out just as the dawn is breaking and collect fresh eggs for breakfast. Madeline knows what comes next and will crawl excitedly across the kitchen floor to her high-chair and stand babbling waiting for her breakfast to be ready (often two scrambled eggs and fresh fruit). These Lemon and Parmesan Scrambled eggs are quick and easy to make and packed with flavor. The generous parmesan adds richness and umami, while the lemon brightens up the dish and gives it a light tropical spin.

Lemon & Parmesan Scrambled Eggs
Rebecca Shetler Fast

Black Fudge Pudding Cake

It has been a busy month for us here in The Hungry Hounds household, and Paul and I have been out of the kitchen more than in it these past weeks. While Paul is traveling in Haiti working to develop our Hurricane response projects, I am working remotely from North America. In the meantime, little Madeline is happily catching up on lost playtime with her family. We are reposting our recipe for Black Fudge Pudding Cake today, to send you into the Christmas season well armed with a fabulous and easy dessert that is both cake and pudding in one. Somewhere between a fudge brownie and a custard, there is not much to improve in this sumptuous chocolate dessert. If you are a hot fudge pudding cake novice, it is an easy, quick, and guest-impressing dessert that assembles like a science project.

Rebecca Shetler Fast
Black Fudge Pudding Cake

Paul's Honey Oat Bread

It is election weekend here in Haiti, which means comfort food is definitely in order. While elections anywhere can cause unease, unrest, and extreme emotions, in a country with few peaceful democratic precedents, a mood of wary watchfulness prevails. Back from travels and faced with an empty cupboard and blaring radio, I opted for one of my favorite comfort foods -- fresh baked Honey Oat Bread. This bread is easy to make, and the results are sublime. If you haven't made bread before, this a great place to start. Honey Oat Bread is fantastic as a sandwich base, as french toast, made into bread pudding, dolloped with fresh guava jam, or my personal favorite, smothered with honey and butter.

Paul's Honey Oat Bread

Gratitude

One year ago this Thanksgiving, I had never stepped foot in Haiti or walked its mountains. I had never believed such a small place could be so beautiful. I had never seen houses flattened by a storm, or seen a place I love put forward as a definition of hopelessness. Never imagined we would be so welcomed. Never been so impressed by resilience and hope in the face of long odds.

A year ago, I had never been a father. I had never felt my daughter’s heavy head resting on my chest as she slept, or lain awake on restless nights just to watch her breathe. Never smiled so hard, or wished so deeply, or held so tightly. Never believed so passionately in potential.

Some say you are only truly grateful for something when it is gone. Today, I am trying to be grateful for the things that lie ahead as much as for what lies behind. Grateful for the might and maybe and hopefully, not just the had and did and was. Grateful for possibility and the opportunity to try. Aware that a year ago I could not have known the things I am most grateful for today.

I am grateful for tomorrow, and for hope that maybe, just maybe, by the grace of God we can make it better than today.

Gratitude

Easy Guava Jam Bars

November means fall back home; the smell of mulled cider, pumpkin picking, and trick-or-treating. Feeling nostalgic for the tastes and colors of fall, while sweating in the 90s here in Haiti, we created a Caribbean-fall dessert, Easy Guava Jam Bars. These easy to make, and addictive bars combine the warm spices of cinnamon and allspice with the tropical sweetness of fresh guava jam. It is a stunning match of tart bright guava enveloped in a warmly spiced buttery crumble.

Easy Guava Jam Bars

Chewy Coconut Honey Granola

Madeline's grandparents from Indiana arrived for a visit this week. It was lovely support to have in the midst of our coordination and response to Hurricane Mathew. With grandparents here to watch Madeline in the early morning hours, we made a big batch of Chewy Coconut Honey Granola to feed the early risers. This Chewy Coconut Honey Granola is our favorite here in Haiti. It is dead simple to make, and a fantastic balance between sweet and salty with a satisfying chew.

Chewy Coconut Honey Granola

Haitian Squash Soup, Soup Joumou

Dieujuste Saint-Surain stands in his field in Senk-Pòt, Haiti, holding up two freshly harvested joumou (Haitian Creole for calabaza squash).  “To me, joumou means life, it means independence and it means the dignity of feeding my family with the food I grow,” says Saint-Surain. 

Following a long-fought independence from colonialism and slavery, Haitians developed a unique tradition of hospitality, celebration, and generosity centered around a simple meal: soup joumou. This well-loved Haitian dish is a hearty squash soup with meat and local vegetables. Soup joumou is shared widely with friends and neighbors on Haitian Independence Day, for Sunday breakfast, and at community celebrations. 

As Haitians take stock of the devastation of Hurricane Mathew, the spicy complexity and heritage of Soup Joumou is a reminder of a strong people, and a proud history of incredible resilience and independence in the face of daunting odds. 

Haitian Squash Soup, Soup Joumou

3 Families After Hurricane Matthew

High in the mountains above the Artibonite river, we pass through villages and clusters of houses that do not appear on maps, past destroyed houses that will never make it into official calculations of the damage fromHurricane Matthew in Haiti. We are miles from the nearest paved road, many hours from the nearest medical clinic, and nearly a full day's walk to the market where people normally sell their produce to purchase necessities like medicine, oil, and clothing. When I asked the local government official with us, why his region showed zero damage on the latest UN maps, he grew angry, "How would they even know? No one has come up to look. No one has even asked." Working with the local governments, community organizations, and a likeminded NGO, we are bringing the first relief supplies to people whose homes and livelihoods were destroyed by Hurricane Matthew in this area. Within 72 hours of the rains stopping, all our prepositioned aid (water treatment supplies, blankets, food, and hygiene kits) have been distributed to people in need. This is only the beginning for these families on the long path to rebuilding their lives and their communities.

If you've been watching the news on Haiti, you know of the devastation that Hurricane Matthew has wrought; the rapidly rising death toll, the destroyed homes and livelihoods, the statistics of suffering on a massive scale. But for us, and for our organization MCC, the story both begins and ends with the resilience and perseverance of the people and communities we serve. These are human stories better told through pictures of people, pictures of dignity and strength in the face of loss.

Here are the stories of three families after the storm.

3 Families After Hurricane Matthew