Christian Chefs Newsletter
January 2009

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      Main Course
           CCF Trivia
           Christianity in the Kitchen - "Looking Ahead"
           Culinary Learning - "The Versatile Butternut Squash"
           Recipe - Butternut Squash Soup (Revised)
           Current Job Listings - 4
           Featured Website - ProChef SmartBrief
           Chef to Chef - "Treading Water"

   A P P E T I Z E R   

Happy New Year! I would like to thank all our 2000+ members for being here with us and ask everybody to keep the entire membership in their prayers for difficult times are upon us. As the economy is causing many to lose their jobs, especially in the hospitality industry, I ask Christian employers to consider posting any available jobs on the CCF Job Listings to allow Christian employees to find work, for "as we have opportunity, let us do good to all, especially to those who are of the household of faith." (Gal 6:10, NKJV):

As you may have noticed, Christian chef Leo Griego has started an online radio show "Cooking With A Mission" Mondays at 10pm Eastern US Time. You're welcome to listen to the past few archived shows on our homepage. You'll also find a link there to Leo's radio show blog and the website where you can listen in to the show, call in, and join us in the chatroom, all live on Monday evenings:

For those of you on Facebook, we now have a CCF Group there:

And LinkedIn too:

God Bless,
Ira Krizo

PS. This e-mail address does not accept responses. We do welcome your response here though:

   M A I N    C O U R S E   

><> ><> ><> ><> CCF TRIVIA <>< <>< <>< <><

Where did fortune cookies come from?
    A) United States
    B) Greece
    C) China
    D) Japan

Find the answer to this month's trivia question here:

><> ><> ><> ><> CHRISTIANITY IN THE KITCHEN <>< <>< <>< <><

Looking Ahead

Most years everybody seems to be making new goals and begins anew, but it seems that this year people are only having hindsight. Hindsight about the economy, lost jobs, and much more. God understands all the hardships we go through every day, and has personal experience going through it. But instead of looking to the past, we should look forward, as Paul stated, "One thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forward to those things which are ahead, I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus." (Phil 3:13-14, NKJV)

I'm not saying this sitting in a comfortable high paid position either. For just over a year I've been a chef at a high-volume off-site catering company, and with the economy what it is, business just dropped off in January and they could no longer afford to keep me on. Therefore I got laid off a week ago. With hindsight I could be depressed about the economy, losing my position, the poor outlook for jobs opening this time of year, next month's mortgage payment, and how to support my family. Instead I was asked why I looked so happy this week. Yes I'm human and am concerned about all those things, but I know that God has something better in store for me. Even if the reason is so that I can have more quality time with my family, I praise Him for it and know that He will get us by somehow. I'm excited that I can also use this time to spend working on the curriculum for the upcoming Christian Culinary School to be able to start that as soon as God opens the doors to the needed facility and finances for it.

I know many of you are feeling the economy woes, as unemployment statistics in the US have shown that the food-service industry has been one of the hardest hit. Even if it doesn't relate to that, I pray that you can have a good attitude towards anything God allows to come in your path. God knows what's going on, knows exactly what you need, and will provide it all in His perfect timing - now that's looking ahead. Tough times are a wonderful time to grow in your relationship with Christ by putting your faith in Him for a solution.

Your Brother in Christ,
Ira Krizo

If you have a prayer request or would like to start a theological discussion on this or any other topic, please feel free to post it in our Message Boards:

><> ><> ><> ><> CULINARY LEARNING <>< <>< <>< <><

The Versatile Butternut Squash
by Susanna & Ira Krizo

Photo by Susanna Krizo

That butternut squash is a winter squash does not mean it thrives in cold weather as it is easily destroyed by frost and must be harvested before winter begins, around October-November. Instead, the term refers to the long winter months when this vegetable brings variety and essential nutrients (fiber, vitamins C and A, magnesium and potassium) to the kitchen. The squash originates from Mexico and the largest growing states are California and Florida due to the long growing season and mild winters. The butternut is found also in Australia, where it is called “pumpkin” and in South-Africa, where it is sometimes barbequed with added spices such as nutmeg and cinnamon.

When buying a squash, choose a rock-solid one, for a soft squash is either too young or too old; and make sure the stem is intact, for an opening will allow bacteria to enter. A ripe butternut squash has a pronounced pinkish tan colored skin; a green tinge on the skin indicates an immature squash, but do not pass an older squash which color has faded for the flavor will be richer and sweeter. A butternut yields more meat than other squashes due to the small seed cavity and thin skin, and the flavor of the meat is creamy and moderately sweet, except for the skin and seeds, which should be discarded.

A squash can hold for months if purchased in good shape and stored in a cool and dry place, preferably around 55-60 degrees; a higher temperature will shorten its life, but will not harm the flavor extensively. A cut squash must be wrapped in plastic and stored in the refrigerator, and although it should hold well for more than a week, plan to use it sooner than later. The butternut is the most versatile of all squashes and can be made into soups, baked into breads and muffins, served roasted or toasted or as a nutty addition to vegetables in stews and casseroles. You can even make a risotto using butternut squash rather than rice (see the “Risotto” article on the CCF website). Baking the squash concentrates the flavor and deepens the color which is why the following recipe creates a soup which is as intense in color as it is in flavor.

Questions about this article or any other culinary-related subject can be asked via the "Culinary Q&A" Section of the Message Boards:

><> ><> ><> ><> RECIPE <>< <>< <>< <><

Roasted Butternut Squash Soup
by Ira Krizo
Updated 01/2009
Serves: 6

Photo by Susanna Krizo
2 each - Butternut Squash, large
1/4 cup (60ml) - Olive Oil
1/2 each - White Onion, small dice
3 tablespoons (45ml) - Chopped Garlic
3 tablespoons (45ml) - Dried Italian Herbs
about 4.5 cups (1.1 l) - Chicken stock (or store bought chicken broth)
to taste - Salt and Pepper
1 cup (240ml) - Heavy Whipping Cream

1. Peel, remove the seeds, and dice the squash to 1/2 inch (1cm) cubes. Each “large” squash should yield about 5 cups (1.2 l) diced.
2. Toss cubed squash with olive oil, onions, garlic, and dried Italian Herbs. Place a thin layer on a cookie sheet tray.
3. Roast at 450'F (230'C) for about 35 minutes. Stir every 10-15 minutes. When finished, the squash will be cooked thoroughly (taste to see if it’s soft) and golden brown all over.
4. Using a blender or food processor, puree the squash, adding chicken stock until desired consistency. It should be about the consistency of unwhipped heavy whipping cream.
5. Place in a sauce pan, add salt and pepper to taste, bring to a simmer, add cream, return to simmer, remove from heat and serve hot.

Comments & Modifications:
- If the soup tastes raw, either the squash wasn’t ripe or the baking time was insufficient. Simmer until creamy before adding the heavy cream.
- If you don’t have chicken stock or wish to make a vegetarian soup, exchange the chicken stock with water or vegetable broth.
- Try different types of winter squashes for different flavors and textures.
- For a more pronounced herb flavor, use fresh herbs instead of dried. Oregano, sage, thyme, and a little rosemary all work very well.
- A sweet and spiced soup is created by replacing the herbs with ginger (chopped or granulated) and molasses.
- Try different garnishing alternatives by using one or two of the following: toasted pine nuts, pumpkin seeds, fresh chopped herbs, crème fraiche (available near the sour cream in grocery stores), or even croutons.
- The soup can also be served chilled on a hot summer day.

Prefer your measurements in a different format? (weight vs. volume)

We prefer to list recipes from Christian Chefs rather than from other sources, so if you have any good recipes of your own, please post them in the "Recipes" section of the Message Boards. Please include an introduction to the recipe with your personal comments of the stories that make them special, and if your recipe is chosen, it will be listed in our website forever and in our next newsletter.

   D E S S E R T   

><> ><> ><> ><> RECENT JOB LISTINGS <>< <>< <>< <><

Following are all the current job listings on our website. More information on each of the below Job Listings can be found within the Employment area of our website (link below). Employers can also post any job openings there for FREE!

CountryRegionCityPositionSecond Position
AfricaAfricaBeninLead Chef on board the Africa Mercy ShipCook
USACaliforniaEtnaSous Chef
USAColoradoAlmontFood Service ManagerFood Service Assistant
USAFloridaFruitland ParkFood Services Manager/Executive Chef

><> ><> ><> ><> FEATURED WEBSITE <>< <>< <>< <><

"ProChef SmartBrief"

Connected with the Culinary Institute of America, ProChef SmartBrief brings you the culinary news that really matters. Their editors handpick key articles from hundreds of publications, do a brief summary of each and provide links back to the original sources. I personally find alot of interesting food articles to get ideas from, plus up to date daily industry news.

><> ><> ><> ><> CHEF TO CHEF <>< <>< <>< <><

"Treading Water"

"Hello everyone. I am a newbie here and am looking for some desperately needed encouragement and support! ..."

You are welcome to respond to this message in the "Encouragement & Witnessing" section of CCF's message boards:

If you're searching for particular instructions or cooking techniques or maybe have a special need, you can post these on our message boards. If you've done that and are still in need, please e-mail us and let us know so that we may highlight that need in this section of our next newsletter.

   T O O T H P I C K   

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Whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God. -1 Cor 10:31 ESV

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