Sasa Mahr-Batuz and Andy Pforzheimer, cofounders of the Barcelona Wine Bar and Restaurants, have long maintained that delicious dining, culture and good nutrition need not be mutually exclusive. Their menus have long reflected this. It is in tribute to this educational (and yummy) philosophy that the Stamford Family YMCA chose to honor them during the second annual Fine Food for a Cause.
The Jan. 28 event will be emceed by Chris Hansen of NBC’s Dateline, and will feature cocktails and a four-course, four-star meal prepared by some of Stamford’s greatest chefs. Proceeds will help fund the YMCA’s initiatives to fight childhood obesity, including support for its multipurpose teaching kitchen, used to deliver cooking and nutritional education to underserved local kids and families.
In the spirit of such education, Sasa and Andy shared two recipes that are nutritious, delicious and kid-proof. Bon appétit!
For the recipe for Avocado Salad with Hearts of Palm & Marinated Roasted Red Pepper, visit Stamford Magazine's website.
SPICY LOBSTER SALAD
Courtesy Sasa Mahr-Batuz and Andy Pforzheimer
One 1¼ lb. live Maine lobster
2 ribs celery,in a ¼-inch dice
2 Tbsp. finely diced red onion
5 fresh chives, minced
½ jalapeño pepper, seeded, cored and finely diced
1 tsp. freshly squeezed lemon juice
4 sprigs fresh flat-leaf parsley, stems removed, leaves finely chopped
4 sprigs fresh dill, stems removed, leaves finely chopped
3 Tbsp. sour cream
½ tsp. Cayenne pepper
1 pinch of kosher salt
4 rounded Bibb lettuce leaves
In a large pot, bring about a gallon of water to a rolling boil over high heat. Put the lobster in the boiling water, head first, cover the pot, and cook for about 8 minutes, or until the lobster shell turns bright red.
Set a large bowl filled with ice and water next to the pot. When lobster is cooked, immediately plunge it into the ice water for about 15 minutes to cool. Remove the lobster meat from the claws, arms and tail. Chop the meat into small, bite-sized pieces and set aside.
In a large mixing bowl, toss the celery, onion, chives, jalapeño, lemon juice, parsley and dill. Add the lobster meat, sour cream, and cayenne, and mix well. Season with salt and mix again. Serve in lettuce cups. Serves 4.
After learning about the national organization Eat for Equity, RJ Mercede, a self-described foodie with a passion for volunteering, was inspired to open a local chapter last summer. “It’s all about cooking meals from scratch, gathering people to form a better sense of community, and then to help raise money for nonprofits in the area,” he says.
The idea behind Eat for Equity Stamford is as simple as he describes: Host a benefit where people can enjoy good company and homemade food in a relaxed atmosphere. The twist?
With no headquarters to call their own, Eat for Equality hosts the gatherings at different homes around town.
Accessibility is key, especially for the young professional crowd, which can’t afford the hefty price tags of some benefits. “We have suggested donation of $15–$20, but you give what you can,” RJ adds. The philosophy works. The first event, a dinner for Kids in Crisis, featuring gourmet riffs on kid favorites like mac ‘n’ cheese, raised double the amount of money RJ had anticipated. The same happened for their holiday party to benefit the American Red Cross. With events planned every six to eight weeks, it looks like Eat for Equity will be fostering a sense of community in Stamford. Look them up!