Monday, June 1, 2015

Food for the non-Foodie

I loathe thinking about what to make for dinner. I loathe actually making dinner even more. So I generally don't. Well, I do, sometimes, but that's when I'm making fifteen of something to freeze and take out at my leisure in single servings. Mostly, for E, because B and I eat frozen entrées from Jenny Craig, Luvo, Evol, and Lean Cuisine. But I was introduced to something WAY better.

Eddie Aboyoun is a local chef with thirty-five years of experience, owning and cooking in restaurants and doing catering. Living in Glen Rock, I had no idea that he's married to a woman we know in the bank or that his son is the extremely talented high school senior we saw in the high school play this past winter. Small world. Eddie came into my store and introduced himself and we got to talking about his catering. He mentioned that he cooks and delivers meals four days a week for a woman and her son in Upper Saddle River. This piqued my interest. Any time there is a way to circumvent making dinner is something interesting to me.

Sure, there is regular take-out. Chinese, Thai, Italian, etc. But that's not what I'm talking about. I'm not interested in that kind of old-school, usually not so healthy take-out. I told Eddie that if he made me a meal and I liked it, I would write about it. Impressing me with food is no easy feat. Not because I'm a "foodie"- because I'm not. I'm the opposite. I have the palate of a first grader. So if you can get me to eat your "fancy" food, well, you certainly deserve a blog entry. I told him I like "plain food". Standard fare. I asked him what he cooks for this woman and her son. He said he does a kind of interview, where he finds out all likes and dislikes, definite no's, definite yeses. Then he makes up his own menu and brings them whatever he decides the meal plan is that week. I asked him how that works out. He says he's rarely even made the same thing more than once and they've liked everything. That seemed like a challenge to me, so I was definitely game to see what has going on.

Then I forgot about it. Because I have raging attention deficit disorder. B got a text last Tuesday in the late afternoon that Eddie wanted to bring us dinner. Without hesitation, B accepted and I was thrilled. We had no idea what time it was coming so I waited home and B and E went bike riding. Eddie showed up at 6:30, which was perfect. We get home around 6:10, so 6:30 or so is our normal dinner time. I opened it up and did a little fist pump. PERFECT warm weather dinner. The food was still hot, so I didn't even have to do ANYTHING. I used paper plates so I didn't even dirty a dish.

-Salad: Mixed greens, Watermelon, Feta Cheese, Kalamata olives in a Honey Balsamic Dressing

-Turkey burgers: Made with cilantro, scallion, Dijon and mango chutney. Topped with lettuce, tomato, avocado, Colby Jack cheese, and more mango chutney

-Sides: Small ears of corn, seasoned French fries

Now, if he had told me what was on the burger before we got it, I probably would said to leave off the avocado, change the cheese, and I'm not sure about the chutney. I might have said ok, but I could also see me saying to leave it off. BUT, the chutney was under the cheese I think and on the bun. I didn't SEE it. And the cheese was perfectly melted over the whole burger. It looked like cheddar or some kind of mix of cheddar and something else. I would normally put cheese on any burger I was having, but I stick to mild cheddar, mozzarella, and American cheese. That's about it.

The ONLY think *I* took off was the avocado. I just will never like that. But B LOVES it. So he left his on. I think it was the best burger I ever had. I'm not kidding. Eddie gave us food for B, E, and me. E would never appreciate that kind of food, so we gave him leftovers from the night before and we ate Silk City food. Everything was amazing. We had one burger left over because E didn't have that. B and I totally fought over who would get to eat it. Luckily I am married to a gentleman, and I won. I'm normally not a fan of seasoned fries, or seasoned anything, but that's because they're usually spicy. These were just perfect. Fries don't typically travel well, and these were no different- they weren't crispy, but I expect to have to put fries in the toaster oven if they were to come in a closed Tupperware kind of thing where the condensation gets to them. But the FLAVOR- that's the most important part and he nailed that. I ate them without crisping them up because they tasted so good. I was really just afraid they were going to be spicy, but they weren't. Flavored, but not spicy. Just how I can appreciate them. The corn was perfection.

How can you get food like this for dinner? Right now, he is pretty much a "one man show" for the meals. That's for cost efficiency. I get it- more people, more money, more problems. So, he's working on how you can have just a meal like that for your family. I asked him about costs. Like, how much does it cost for this woman to have food cooked for her.

He is in the planning stages of small scale catering like he's doing for this woman. He would work out a fair weekly price for however many family members that would be eating. By giving a weekly price, it allows him to give entrees like tuna steak, filet mignon,  pastas, chickens and other higher or lower cost items, when not charging by the individual dish. He is also conscious of portion control, for better dietary needs as well. Meals would cost about $15.00 per adult and maybe $10.00 for kids. The dinners he brings the current client and her son include an entree, starch, vegetable. Sometime the client will text him to switch out the salad for dessert. When that happens, he will give her and her son something like mixed berries, Greek yogurt, honey and granola, sliced melon, or grapes.

His main business right now is catering larger events like graduation parties, religious events like christenings, communions, confirmations, and other parties. But I've already asked a handful of local moms if they would want a service where they could order dinners like the one I had and there was resounding "YES!". The main issue was just not having the time to cook, they want something healthy, but they also don't want to have to heat stuff up to the point of having a messy kitchen from what is still essentially "take-out". A lot of the husbands work late and with anywhere from 2-5 kids, having to cook a healthy dinner, five working nights of the week, just basically sucks. One mom said she'd even pay extra for it to come hot and just ready to serve out of the bag/box.

If you're interested or have any questions, comment here, on FB, via email to me, to Silk City (Eddie), by carrier pigeon- whatever. I have nothing to do with this business except for loving the food and wanting to see Eddie succeed here in Glen Rock with Silk City Catering. There is always room for more great food choices. And anything that makes moms lives easier and less time spent in the kitchen- I'm all for it.

He has a full, extensive menu also, but I couldn't put it up here. Just ask him for it.

Like his Facebook page-

Silk City Caterers
Glen Rock, NJ
Contact the Owner:

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