Monthly Archives: September 2012

College Cooking: An Update

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Oh, hello there friends! Here I am for a long-overdue Wright Time for a Schnack post. Except, because Georgia’s in Spain and I’m in New York, this is a post featuring some Schnacks. Ha, ha, ha.

So yes, I’ve been in college for a little under a month now. And I have been cooking, although not as much as I would like to. Thankfully I am lucky enough to be in a dorm with a kitchen. I won’t even begin to complain about how small it is because at least I get a kitchen, right?

One of the first things we made in the dorm kitchen were banana muffins. They were a variation of these banana crumb muffins–remember, the muffins with the sugary topping? I was lacking brown sugar and cinnamon (donations of vital cooking ingredients are greatly appreciated.. ha ha) so I improvised and mixed together some butter and crunchy cereal for a topping. It probably wasn’t the best way to create a topping, but it was good enough. I don’t think there’s a good substitute for a cinnamon and brown sugar crumb topping. Without the topping, the muffins were delectable and were consumed in no time. By the way, if you’re cooking in a college dorm, you will make friends very fast. People love food. I’m serious. (Please excuse the Instagram photos in this post. It’s just so convenient for food photography and photo editing, and I’m secretly think it’s the best iPhone app in the world.)

In addition to baking, my roommates and I have also tried our hand at making dinner. Once. Which is actually quite impressive, because there isn’t much cooking time to be had in college. The other night we went to the local farmers market and picked up some swiss chard, goat cheese and cherry tomatoes.

For dinner, we sautéed the tomatoes and tomatoes in some olive oil and garlic paste. Garlic paste is a little trick I learned in my Intro to Foods and Food Science class here at school. (It’s basically cooking class. With some food science.) If you’ve ever tried to cook garlic with olive oil, you may have noticed how it browns very quickly. To prevent this while still getting a good flavor from the garlic, mince garlic then add a bit of salt. Keep mincing and crush the minced pieces with a knife to form a paste. If the garlic starts to leave liquid on your cutting board, that’s right! Add this to olive oil in a saute pan and heat the oil, then add swiss chard and tomatoes. Cook until the chard is tender–you will end up with a much smaller amount than you started with. Add salt and pepper to taste, and more oil if necessary. Throw in some goat cheese and mix everything up, then spoon the chard/tomato/cheese mixture over pasta of your choice. Add more goat cheese, if you wish, to make everything fancy. And if you want to be really healthy, chop up the stems of the chard and add these to the mix too. (You’ll need to start cooking the ends first, as they take awhile to soften.)

I’ve only had two official food science (“cooking”) classes, but I can already say that I think this is my favorite class. So far we’ve worked with vegetables and legumes. Sometimes the class feels like Top Chef because we only have a certain amount of time to work and we have to plate everything at the end. Also, I had to buy a serious chef’s knife and a chef’s jacket. I like to think I look professional.

Here’s a sampling of the dishes we’ve made in class, starting from the top left:
Pasta salad with spinach, radishes and goat cheese; butternut squash risotto, quinoa and roasted beet salad and couscous with apricot and mint.

More on my college cooking adventures later. Hopefully you’ll see a Spanish food post by Georgia soon 🙂