Week 13: From Broke College Student to Chef

Background

The family that cooks together…

Like many families, food is a centralized part of my family. We eat when we are happy, sad, because it is Tuesday; we love food. And this week is no different. My cousin Mike has been trying to make many of his mom’s recipes for the last couple of weeks including salsa, carne asada, and other fine recipes. For this week’s blog Mikey talks about cooking his mom’s chile verde in the video and pictures below. We don’t have a recipe because most of this was done through hear say like “a pinch of this” and you make this with your hand, but if you really want to make it, you can google your own.

Chile Verde

Chile Verde

Just so you know, I decided to end this portion of the blog. If I find recipes I like, I will still post them, but not every week. I will still keep up my blog, but not just with cooking. Thank you to those that followed and sent recipes. I really enjoyed learning to cook, and have found a new love for it. It has helped me during a crazy semester, and couple months.So thank you for reading, enjoying, and whatever else.

Week 4: From Broke College Student to Chef

Background

Can’t Go Wrong

Going to the Arizona State University for the last six years, I have had my fair share of pizza. While most of it has been after a few dozen adult beverages, pizza, because of it cheapness and greasiness( who knows if that’s a word), just screams college. Don’t forget the part of 4 am delivery. So why not learn to make it well the more adult way. This week I turn to my Aunt Norma’s baked from fresh pizza with pepperoni and olives. For those who have not met my aunt is not only missing out, but have missed some of the best meals of their life. Throughout college, Norma has feed me and some of my friends with her amazing cooking on days we probably would have starve. So who better to not only learn how to cook from, but have her recipe feed my friends than my Aunt Norma.

Pepperoni and Olive Pizza

Pepperoni and Olive Pizza

Before you start this…it will take you awhile. My aunt’s recipe is more of a estimation from her. If you feel the need to add more of whatever you chose, do it.

Ingredients

3 Cups of Flour
2 Packages of Yeast
1 tbsp of salt
1 tbsp of sugar
2 tsp of olive oil
Bottle of Rago (Classic)
1 lb Mozzarella
A lot of pepperoni
Canish of Olives

How to make the Dough:

  • Preheat oven to 375
  • Take the two packages of yeast and put them in a luke warm cup of water for 10 minutes until it appears milky.
  • You then take all the ingredients except  your toppings and mix it into a large bowl.
  • When the mixture is mixed into a smooth  dough you will then knead the dough. If the dough is sticky, pat more flour onto it and mix it up. Your dough should not look like this:

    How your dough shouldn't look

    How your dough shouldn't look

it should look more like this:

how dough should look

how dough should look

  • As you knead the dough, start spreading it out into the shape of pizza you would like. A rolling pin will do wonders for you. Do not be discourage if/when the dough doesn’t stick in the position. Rome was not built in a day, your dough will not take a minute. Be patient.
  • After you get the dough in the shape you want, cake it with sauce cheese, pepperoni, and olives. Make sure to spread evenly.
  • Put in oven for about 35 minutes. Look back every 5 minutes because sometimes it takes shorter longer and what have you.

And there you have it. Somewhat grown up pizza. Serve with salad and fruit, and it may keep you away from the doctor

Pizza, fruit, and salad

Pizza, fruit, and salad

Watch Jessi’s review of the meal below, and for the record I was not sucking up to her lol. Thank you for all those sending in recipes, and keep them coming

Week 3: From Broke College Student to Chef

Background

A Convo with My Mom

I turn to the woman who gave birth to me, my mother, for this week’s cooking recipe. For those who have never had the pleasure of meeting my mother, she is one one of the most beautiful, caring and amazing women I have ever known. Now that we have that out of the way, she also says some off the wall things because well she can. So who better than to have as this weeks tester of one of her favorite baked goods then my mom from her recipe.

This week I cooked Mini Vanillia Scones. They are sort of like Starbuck’s scones without the lines and extra charges. We are using a recipe she found on a site because as she puts it, its sort of like hers just not as good. Tanslation: Not everything should be exactly as measured. Word to the wise: Make sure you understand a little bit of geometry before attempting. I barely passed that class, and explains the odd shapes.

Mini Vanillia Scones

Mini Vanillia Scones

Makes about 2 dozen

Ingredients:

Dry Ingredients
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 5 tablespoons unsalted butter, cold, cut into pieces (like extra tiny tiny pieces because if you don’t have an eletric bowl and/or mixer, it becomes a bitch to mix)

Wet Ingredients

  • 1 cup regular full-fat sour cream
  • 1 large egg yolk
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract(my mom says to use fresh vanilla. Of course after the fact)

Glaze

  • 1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
  • water, as needed

Directions:

Prep Time: 10 mins

Total Time: 25 mins

  1. Preheat oven to 400 deg. F.
  2. Whisk together dry ingredients in a medium bowl.
  3. Using any method you prefer, cut the cold butter into the dry ingredients until flour resembles coarse meal,(pretty much ignore this part, but for those fancy people out there you can try this) The “grate” method: I grate a block of cold butter against the large holes of a box grater and weigh the butter ribbons to get the amount I need  Toss the butter ribbons with the flour mixture, and then use two knives to cut the flour-coated ribbons into 1/4-inch pieces.(for the record a knife works just as fine.)
  4. In a separate bowl, whisk together the sour cream, egg yolk and vanilla extract until blended. Add this to the flour-butter mixture and stir with a fork until dough forms a cohesive ball. Use a spatula to get the dry bits fully incorporated.
  5. Place the sticky dough onto a parchment-lined (or ungreased) baking sheet and pat into a disk about 1-inch in height. Cut the dough into wedges but do not separate. Or scoop dough into a mini scone pan if available.

A break from the recipe….this is where geometry became a problem for me. I understood disks like this:

disks

Squared

When infact a disk is well a circle which you then cut like a pizza as shown here:

Me with a pizza cutter

Me with a pizza cutter

Or in my case the squares. However you choose to do it, it doesn’t affect the taste.  I say this because maybe there are others out there who didn’t do too well in geometry like me, and on top of it being it late, gets shapes confused. Moving on…

Bake for 15 minutes or until golden brown on top.(for me it took like 13 minutes)

While it is baking

GLAZE

  1. Place powdered sugar in a medium bowl, and add water one teaspoon at a time, mixing vigorously until smooth and runny.(don’t skip out on the sugar. Use extra. And don’t forget to add vanillia to the mix. It doesn’t say, but trust me. With all the extra sugar it took me about 1/4 of water)
  2. Use a pastry brush to apply a thin layer of glaze over the hot scones. Brushing rather than drizzling gives a smoother appearance and requires less glaze.(The only brush I have is a make up and hair brushes, and no one wants the scones a shade of purple eye shadow. A knife or spoon still does the the job fine)
  3. Serve immediately. Store cooled scones in an airtight contanier (they honestly taste better cold. eat a couple fresh then store them)

Another week where my kitchen sort of survived.Thank you to those who have sent reciepes. Keep them coming. Below is my mom’s video response. Did she say when I am old and grey?

Week 2: From Broke College Student To Chef

Background

Make Sure You Come Prepare

I am not sure what is more shocking: That I am actually following through with this whole cooking , or my kitchen has not burned down. For those who know me know this not out of them realm of possibility.

This week I had my roomie, bfffla, and partner in crime Cristalle help me cook, provide today’s recipes, and be the tester. For those who don’t know, Cristalle loves cooking, especially baking (I blame her for the extra poundage…okay not really, but she is a hell of a baker). She also has a style of her own when it comes to well everything which includes cooking. One time she made strawberry flavor shrimp for dinner, and let’s just say she never made it again, but at least she brought her own flavor.

This time is no different when it comes to this week’s dish of Butternut Squash Enchiladas and Sauteed Swiss Chard with Parmesan Cheese. Before starting this, make sure you read ALL of the recipe to make sure you have all the ingredients in your cabinets. Don’t assume because it makes an ass out of you and me or something of that sort. You will see why in a second.

 

Butternut Squash Enchiladas and Sauteed Swiss Chard with Parmesan Cheese

Butternut Squash Enchiladas and Sauteed Swiss Chard with Parmesan Cheese

For obvious reasons,but needs to be said, cook separately and mix at the end.

Butternut Squash Enchiladas

Ingredients

  • 8 (5 inch) corn tortillas (Did not read that it was corn instead of flour until oh when we started cooking. If you are serving more than two people, use corn, but big flour tortillas is alright as well. Use 4)
  • 1/2 unpeeled butternut squash, seeded
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1/4 onion, chopped
  • 2 cups chopped fresh spinach
  • 4 sun-dried tomatoes, chopped (We did not use tomatoes for two main reasons. One, we did not have any. Two, I hate them. However, it might have added to the flavor)
  • 1 cup enchilada sauce (While cooking with Cristalle, we don’t really measure all the time. Therefore if you just so happen to use the whole can, which is like 2 cups, what the hell?)
  • 1/4 cup crumbled goat cheese
  • 1/4 cup crumbled cotija cheese(Safeway does not carry this, or at least the one I went to. However Queso Fesco works just the same, and is hell of addicting. We may or may not have used it as our other side dish)
  • 2 tablespoons chopped cilantro leaves, for garnish (optional)
  • 1/4 cup sour cream, for topping (optional)

Directions

  1. Preheat an oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C).
  2. Lay the tortillas flat onto a baking sheet. Bake in the preheated oven until crispy, about 10 minutes. Remove and allow to cool. Meanwhile, place the butternut squash half into a microwave-safe dish cut-side-down, and pour in the water. Cook in the microwave until tender, 12 to 15 minutes. Once cool enough to handle, scoop out the flesh and dice; place into a mixing bowl and set aside.
  3. Heat the olive oil in a skillet over medium heat. Stir in the garlic and onion; cook and stir until the onion has softened and turned translucent, about 5 minutes. Add the spinach and sun-dried tomatoes. Continue cooking until the spinach wilts. Gently fold the spinach mixture into the diced butternut squash.
  4. Arrange four crispy tortillas on the baking sheet. Divide the squash mixture among the tortillas. Sprinkle 1 tablespoon of goat cheese over each tortilla, then top with the remaining tortillas. Pour the enchilada sauce over top, and sprinkle each with 1 tablespoon of cotija cheese.(we did two large flour tortillas)
  5. Bake in the preheated oven until hot, about 10 minutes. Garnish each enchilada with chopped cilantro leaves and a dollop of sour cream to serve.( not a fan of the sour cream, but hey go with it)

Sauteed Swiss Chard with Parmesan Cheese

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic
  • 1/2 small red onion, diced (we used white because we did not have red, but still good)
  • 1 bunch Swiss chard, stems and center ribs cut out and chopped together, leaves coarsely chopped separately
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine (red works pretty good especially if you drink it while you cook)
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice, or to taste (could have added flavor, however not a huge deal if you forget to buy it)
  • 2 tablespoons freshly grated Parmesan cheese
  • salt to taste (optional)

Directions

  1. Melt butter and olive oil together in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Stir in the garlic and onion, and cook for 30 seconds until fragrant. Add the chard stems and the white wine. Simmer until the stems begin to soften, about 5 minutes. Stir in the chard leaves, and cook until wilted. Finally, stir in lemon juice and Parmesan cheese; season to taste with salt if needed.

Even though it was just the two of us, we thought it turned out well especially if you add a glass (bottle) of red wine mixed with some Queso Fesco and Greys Anatomy. Cristalle did not want to appear on video to give her review, and because she helped me cook and my bfffla, we can give her this pass this one time. No one else. She did offer this review, which has been translated in some way or another:Meal was good. 8 out of ten.

I guess very simple. Keep sending recipes.  Until next week.


Week 1: From Broke College Student To Chef

Background

Kitchen Did Not Burn Down

Week One: Steak and Arugula

So week one sort of went off without a hitch. I did almost forget, and my motivation lapse to post this due to nap time, but here we are. My first week, and who better to be a tester than my baby brother Nathan. I offered it to other people, but for some reason they were all busy, or had already ate. I found my recipe in the latest People Magazine. Who knew my obsession for trashy magazines would benefit in the end? The recipe goes as follows:

Steak and Arugula

Rumor has it that this is suppose to serve four people. Orginial chef clearly not from a Mexican family.

What you need:

1 12oz boneless sirloin steak
2 (1/2) tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
1 clove garlic, minced
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. coarsely ground salt (hell if I know what this is. It tasted great regardless. If you know, I guess more power to you)
1 tsp. fresh ground pepper
4 cups arugula
1/4 cup of Grana Padano, Parmigiano Reggiano or Pecorino Romano cheese.any cheese would work if you have no idea what any of these cheeses are. I used feta)
Balsamic vinegar to taste(remember to check to see if your roommate used it all up before you are done preparing the meal. Sad face. Italian dressing works just the same)

What you do next

1) Preheat Oven to 400
2) Heat 2 tbsp. olive oil and garlic in a cast-iron skillet over medium-high heat(Be sure to pay attention to the pan because you may burn the garlic. This may or may not have happened)
3) Coat the meat with about 1 tbsp. of olive oil. Season both sides of meat with salt and pepper.
4) Sear meat in hot skillet 3 minutes per side, moving as little as possible.
5) Using an oven mitt (a towel will work just as well)transfer meat to the oven and cook until medium rare, no more than 3 minutes
6) Remove meat from oven, let rest 3 to 4 minutes and slice against the grain (shout out to those who listen to Dan Patrick) into 1/2 in. thick pieces.( you can also do it before you cook. I wouldn’t recommend it. Actually don’t do this, and follow directions. Cutting raw meat is gross. Learned this the hard way)
7) Divide arugula among four plates and top each with 4 to 5 slices of steak
8 ) Top each plate with 2 or 3 cheese shavings and drizzle (love this word)with olive oil and balsamic vinegar to taste

And there you go. My first meal went off without blowing up my kitchen. I did burn a few things, and my brother hated the salad, but at least he is still alive as of yesterday. He gives his review below, and remember I am still looking for recipes.