CT Culinary: Italian Dinner Menu

IMG_3291Buongiorno Towanda! We are busy planning our 2015 Culinary Menu at Camp Towanda and will be cooking up some exciting things this summer.  Don’t forget to sign up for our acclaimed Culinary program in your Campminder Docs! By popular request, today we are sharing our delicious Italian Menu and recipes from last summer featuring our house salad with balsamic vinaigrette, chicken meatball sliders, chicken parm and camp cannolis of course!

HOUSE SALAD w BALSAMIC VINAIGRETTE DRESSING:

 Ingredients:

  1. Lettuce of your choice (romaine, iceberg, spring mix, etc)
  2. 1 Sliced Cucumbers
  3. 2 Sliced Tomato
  4. 2 Sliced Carrots
  5. 1 1/3 c Olive Oil
  6. 2/3 c Balsamic Vinegar
  7. 1 tsp garlic powder
  8. 4 T sugar
  9. ½ tsp ground pepper

Directions:

  1. After cleaned, add the following to a large salad bowl: lettuce, sliced cucumbers, sliced tomato, sliced carrots.
  2. In a separate bowl, make dressing by emulsifying the following: olive oil, balsamic vinegar, garlic powder, sugar and ground pepper.

rj 12CHICKEN MEATBALL SLIDERS:

Ingredients:

  1. 15 slider buns
  2. 1 lb ground chicken breast
  3. 3⁄4 cup Italian breadcrumbs
  4. 1 cup fresh grated Parmesan cheese
  5. 3 garlic cloves, pressed
  6. 1⁄2 small onion, grated
  7. 2 Tbsp + 1 cup marinara sauce (divided)
  8. 1⁄2 Tbsp dried Italian seasoning
  9. 2 Tbsp fresh basil, chopped
  10. 2 Tbsp fresh parsley, chopped
  11. 1⁄2 tsp kosher salt
  12. 1⁄2 tsp fresh cracked black pepper
  13. 1 large egg, lightly beaten
  14. 1 cup shredded Italian blend shredded cheese

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Prepare a baking sheet by lining with parchment paper.
  2. Set aside 1 cup marinara and shredded Italian cheese.
  3. In a large mixing bowl , combine all remaining ingredients. Mix well, do not over mix or you will

have tough meatballs. Using a 2 tablespoon scoop, portion out meat mixture and place on baking sheet. After all meatballs have been scooped onto tray, roll into balls.

TIP: If you lightly wet your hands the meatballs will form better and crack less. Bake for 16-18 minutes until lightly browned.

  1. Turn oven to broil.
  2. Drizzle a spoonful of marinara over each meatball. Sprinkle with shredded cheese.
  3. Broil for 2-3 minutes until cheese is golden brown and bubbly.
  4. Place in slider bun and enjoy!

CHICKEN PARMESAN:

Ingredients:

  1. 12 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, pounded thin
  2. Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  3. 4 cups all‐purpose flour, seasoned with salt and pepper
  4. 12 large eggs, beaten with 6 tablespoons water and seasoned with salt and pepper
  5. 2 cups panko bread crumbs
  6. 3 cup vegetable oil
  7. 2 pound fresh mozz, thinly sliced
  8. ¾ cup freshly grated parmesan
  9. Parsley for garnish

Sauce:

  1. 6 tablespoons olive oil
  2. 3 large Spanish onion, finely chopped
  3. 12 cloves garlic, smashed with some kosher salt to make a paste
  4. 6 (28‐ounce) cans plum tomatoes and their juices, pureed in a blender
  5. 3 (16‐ounce) can crushed tomatoes
  6. 3 small can tomato paste
  7. 3 bay leaf
  8. 2 small bunch Italian parsley
  9. 2 Cubano chile pepper, chopped
  10. Salt and freshly ground pepper

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
  2. Season chicken on both sides with salt and pepper.
  3. Dredge each breast in the flour and tap off excess.
  4. Dip in the egg and let excess drip off.
  5. Dredge on both sides in the bread crumbs.
  6. Divide the oil between 2 large saute pans and heat over high heat until almost smoking.
  7. Add 2 chicken breasts to each pan and cook until golden brown on both sides, about 2 minutes per side.
  8. Transfer to a baking sheet and top each breast with some tomato sauce, a few slices of the mozzarella, salt and pepper, and a tablespoon of Parmesan.
  9. Bake in the oven until the chicken is cooked through and the cheese is melted, about 5 to 7 minutes.
  10. Remove from the oven and garnish with basil or parsley leaves.

Tomato Sauce:

  1. Heat olive oil in a medium saucepan over medium heat.
  2. Add onions and garlic and cook until soft.
  3. Add pureed tomatoes with their juices, crushed tomatoes, tomato paste, 1 cup water, bay leaf, parsley, Cubano pepper, and bring to a boil.
  4. Season, to taste, with salt and pepper.
  5. Reduce heat and cook until slightly thickened, about 30 minutes.

rj 1CANNOLIS:

Ingredients:

  1. 1 (32 ounce) container ricotta cheese
  2. 1/2 cup confectioners’ sugar
  3. 1 cup chopped candied citron
  4. 4 ounces semisweet chocolate, chopped (optional)

Directions:

  1. Stir together the ricotta cheese and confectioners’ sugar using a spoon.
  2. Fold in the chopped citron and chocolate.
  3. Use a pastry bag to pipe into shells, filling from the center to one end, and then doing the same from the other side.
  4. Dust with additional confectioners’ sugar and grated chocolate for garnish when serving.

About Camp Towanda:

Camp Towanda is an independent, traditional, co-ed sleep-away camp in the Poconos in Pennsylvania. It is privately owned, operated and directed by Mitch and Stephanie Reiter.  For over 90 years, Camp Towanda has continued to define what camp should really be. Our program offers state-of-the-art facilities, an excellent and professional athletic department, waterfront, extensive arts, drama and adventure programs, culinary cooking classes, and special events.  We are highly regarded and respected as an industry leader and are involved in giving back to various organizations throughout the year.  Camp Towanda is accredited by the American Camp Association and a member of the Camp-Alert-Network, Wayne County Camp Association, Camp Owners and Directors Association and the Pennsylvania Camp Association.

2014 CT Culinary: Thanksgiving Side Dishes

turkeyturkeyAs we plan ahead for our 2015 Culinary Menu at Camp Towanda, we want to make sure you are prepared for Thanksgiving at home! Your guests are sure to gobble up these side dishes created by our very own Chef Ben.

Enjoy and don’t forget to share your pix on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter and tag @CampTowanda #ImACTChef.

 

 

 

TURKEY NUGGETS:

Ingredients:

  1. Leftover Turkey – Sliced apox ¾ inch thick
  2. 1 Tbs. Milk
  3. 2 Tbs. Honey
  4. Salt, Pepper & Cayenne pepper to taste
  5. Panko Bread Crumbs

Directions:

  1. Using a small, round (or any fun shape) cookie cutter, cut out little medallions of turkey.
  2. Mix milk and honey in a small bowl.
  3. Put breadcrumbs in another bowl and mix in salt, pepper and cayenne to taste.
  4. Dip medallions in honey mixture, then crumbs, set on baking pan.
  5. Broil on low for a few minutes, each side, until slightly golden.
  6. Serve with honey or honey mustard sauce.

CARROT MACARONI AND CHEESE:

 Ingredients:

  1. 3/4 pound carrots, peeled and thinly sliced
  2. Zest and juice of 1 navel orange, zest removed in strips with a vegetable peeler
  3. Salt
  4. 3 cups penne (9 ounces)
  5. 3 ounces sharp cheddar cheese, shredded (1 1/2 cups)
  6. 1 tablespoon chopped tarragon
  7. Freshly ground white pepper

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350°. In a medium saucepan, combine the carrots with the zest and juice and 1/4 cup of water. Season with salt and bring to a boil. Cover and simmer over moderate heat until the carrots are very soft, about 30 minutes. Discard the zest. Transfer the carrots and any liquid to a blender and puree until very smooth.
  2. Meanwhile, in a large saucepan of boiling salted water, cook the pasta until al dente. Drain the pasta, reserving 1 cup of the cooking water.
  3. Return the pasta to the pot. Add the reserved water and the carrot puree and cook over moderate heat, stirring frequently, until the pasta is coated with a thickened sauce, about 5 minutes. Stir in three-fourths of the cheese and cook, stirring, until very creamy, 2 to 3 minutes longer. Stir in the tarragon and season with salt and white pepper.
  4. Transfer the pasta to a medium baking dish and top with the remaining cheese. Bake until the cheese is melted and lightly browned, about 20 minutes. Let stand for 5 minutes before serving.

THREE CHEESE MINI MACS:

Ingredients:

  1. 1/2 pound elbow macaroni
  2. 1 1/2 tablespoons unsalted butter, plus more for brushing
  3. 1/4 cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
  4. 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  5. 3/4 cup milk
  6. 4 ounces cheddar cheese, shredded (1 packed cup)
  7. 4 ounces deli-sliced American cheese, chopped
  8. 1 large egg yolk
  9. 1/4 teaspoon smoked Spanish paprika

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 425°. In a large saucepan of boiling salted water, cook the macaroni until al dente, about 5 minutes. Drain, shaking off the excess water.
  2. Brush four 12-cup, nonstick mini muffin tins with butter. Sprinkle with 2 tablespoons of the Parmigiano; tap out the excess.
  3. In a large saucepan, melt the 1 1/2 tablespoons of butter. Whisk in the flour over moderate heat for 2 minutes. Whisk in the milk and cook, whisking, until boiling, about 5 minutes. Add the cheddar and American cheeses and whisk until melted. Off the heat, whisk in the egg yolk and paprika. Fold in the macaroni.
  4. Spoon slightly rounded tablespoons of the macaroni into the prepared muffin cups, packing them gently. Sprinkle the remaining 2 tablespoons of Parmigiano on top.
  5. Bake the mini macs in the upper and middle thirds of the oven for about 10 minutes, until golden and sizzling. Let cool for 5 minutes. Using a small spoon, carefully loosen the mini macs, transfer to a platter and serve.

SWEET ROASTED BEETS:

Ingredients:

  1. 6 medium beets, peeled and cut into chunks
  2. 2 1/2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
  3. 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  4. 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  5. 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
  6. 1 teaspoon sugar
  7. 3 medium sweet potatoes, cut into chunks
  8. 1 large sweet onion, chopped

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C).
  2. In a bowl, toss the beets with ½ tablespoon olive oil to coat. Spread in a single layer on a baking sheet.
  3. Mix the remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil, garlic powder, salt, pepper, and sugar in a large resealable plastic bag. Place the sweet potatoes and onion in the bag. Seal bag, and shake to coat vegetables with the oil mixture.
  4. Bake beets 15 minutes in the preheated oven. Mix sweet potato mixture with the beets on the baking sheet. Continue baking 45 minutes, stirring after 20 minutes, until all vegetables are tender.

ROASTED BRUSSELS SPROUTS:

Ingredients:

  1. 1 1/2 pounds Brussels sprouts, ends trimmed and yellow leaves removed
  2. 3 tablespoons olive oil
  3. 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  4. 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F (205 degrees C).
  2. Place trimmed Brussels sprouts, olive oil, kosher salt, and pepper in a large resealable plastic bag. Seal tightly, and shake to coat. Pour onto a baking sheet, and place on center oven rack.
  3. Roast in the preheated oven for 30 to 45 minutes, shaking pan every 5 to 7 minutes for even browning. Reduce heat when necessary to prevent burning. Brussels sprouts should be darkest brown, almost black, when done. Adjust seasoning with kosher salt, if necessary. Serve immediately.

About Camp Towanda:

Camp Towanda is an independent, traditional, co-ed sleep-away camp in the Poconos in Pennsylvania. It is privately owned, operated and directed by Mitch and Stephanie Reiter.  For over 90 years, Camp Towanda has continued to define what camp should really be. Our program offers state-of-the-art facilities, an excellent and professional athletic department, waterfront, extensive arts, drama and adventure programs, culinary cooking classes, and special events.  We are highly regarded and respected as an industry leader and are involved in giving back to various organizations throughout the year.  Camp Towanda is accredited by the American Camp Association and a member of the Camp-Alert-Network, Wayne County Camp Association, Camp Owners and Directors Association and the Pennsylvania Camp Association.

Camp Towanda Culinary Favorites: Brownies a la Farm

CULINARYLOGO1This past summer, our campers whipped up some delicious delicacies in our Culinary Cooking Classes at “The Farm”.  Chef Paulette was back, bringing us a diverse menu of meals and desserts that campers enjoyed making as much as they enjoyed eating!

Last summer pretzel chicken was the crowd favorite! This year we had a Mexican Fiesta, Sushi Night and enough desserts to make everyone happy!

Remember these Brownies a la Farm? Well you can make them for back to school lunches, post-soccer snacks or bring to your Jewish Holiday celebration. And you’ll think fondly of Camp Towanda while you are enjoying them! Check back for more Camp Towanda Culinary Recipes, coming soon!!!

Brownies a la Farm

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) butter or margarine, melted
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/3 cup HERSHEY’S Cocoa
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup chopped nuts (optional)
  • CREAMY BROWNIE FROSTING (recipe follows)

Directions

  1. Heat oven to 350°F. Grease 9-inch square baking pan.
  2. Stir together butter, sugar and vanilla in bowl. Add eggs; beat well with spoon. Stir together flour, cocoa, baking powder and salt; gradually add to egg mixture, beating until well blended. Stir in nuts, if desired. Spread batter evenly in prepared pan.
  3. Bake 20 to 25 minutes or until brownies begin to pull away from sides of pan. Cool completely in pan on wire rack. Prepare CREAMY BROWNIE FROSTING; spread over brownies. Cut into squares. About 16 brownies.

CREAMY BROWNIE FROSTING

  • 3 tablespoons butter or margarine, softened
  • 3 tablespoons HERSHEY’S Cocoa
  • 1 tablespoon light corn syrup or honey
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 to 2 tablespoons milk
  1. Beat butter, cocoa, corn syrup and vanilla in small bowl until blended. Add powdered sugar and milk;
  2. beat to spreading consistency. About 1 cup frosting

Want s’more recipes? Check out our the Culinary Cooking Class section of our blog.

Pretzel Chicken Fingers Recipe

We were inspired when we recently heard about the American Camp Association’s recent partnership with Kids Cook Monday.  The Kids Cook Monday initiative encourages families to set aside the first night of every week for cooking and eating together as a family.  Because we think this is such a great idea, we will continue to share our camper-approved, healthy recipes, straight from our Culinary Cooking program here at Camp Towanda as inspiration for your family dinners. Enjoy!

What could be better? Pretzels and Chicken Fingers coming together in perfect harmony! When our campers made these at The Culinary Cookin’ Class at The Farm this past summer they said “I can totally make these at home!”  The most fun part…put the pretzels in a ziploc bag and stomp them into crumbs.  A work out, stress reliever and delicacy, rolled into one delicious lunch or dinner! P.S. they still taste great the day after when thrown into a lunchbox!

Send us your own favorite camp-inspired recipes to be featured on our blog (and you can even send us a pic of you and your creation!)–send all recipes and photos to lauren@camptowanda.com.

PRETZEL CHICKEN FINGERS

2 LBS CKICKEN BREAST…CUT IN CUBES OR STRIPS

1 BAG WAFFLE CUT PRETZEL

8 EGGS

1 1/2 CUPS FLOUR…for dreading

Salt

Pepper to taste

GRAPE SEED OIL FOR FRYING…great for frying

1) CHICKEN BREAST INTO STRIPS ORCUBES 2INPIECES SEASON WITH SALT AND PEPPER

2)TAKE PRETEZLS AND EITHER IN A CUISINART OR AS YOU CHILDREN DID PUT IN A DOUBLED ZIPLOCK BAG AND STAMP ON THEM WITH SHOES ON TILL CRUMBS

3)DREAD IN FLOUR….coating the chicken

4)DIP IN THE EGG….

5)COAT WITH CRUSHED PRETZELS

6)FRY IN THE GRAPESEED OIL ON MEDUIM HEAT

VERY EASY AND FAST…..

SERVE WITH KETCHUP, HONEYMUSTARD OR HORSERADDISH SAUCE

YOU CAN ALSO USE HONEY MUSTARD PRETZELS FOR A DIFFERENT TASTE….