Enchiladas Verdes

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Delicious Enchiladas Verdes
Story and Photos by Madison Perales 

Delicious aromas and the familiar clang of pots and pans brings back comforting kitchen memories for most Hispanic households with food being an important component to the Hispanic culture.

Ricardo “Ricky” Garcia, a senior Psychology major, is no stranger to the sights, smells and sounds of growing up in a Hispanic household.  The San Antonio native currently lives with five other housemates; to their delight he has a 24/7 pass to a kitchen.

When not cooking, he participates in on campus groups such as the Marianist Leadership Program, TRIO and Rattler Awakening.  After graduating, he plans to complete a year of service before enrolling in medical school with the hopes of becoming a pediatric surgeon.

In four years, “St. Mary’s gives [you] the opportunity to be who God calls you to be, with the ones you love”, Garcia says.

As heavily involved as Garcia is on campus, he is still able to adhere to the expectations of the Westminster Lay Community which include: morning/evening prayer, community service and home cooked Sunday dinners.  It was agreed that Garcia prepares a variety of meals for the house at least four times a week.

Garcia admits to loving Mexican and Italian food the most and it was no surprise when he decided to cook Enchiladas Verdes.  His grandmother, mother and aunt inspired him to cook.

“I feel connected to my roots when I cook with all the aromas, music in the background and laughs in the kitchen, I was never taught to cook where as I was always by the side of my grandmother, mother and aunt watching them, picked it up and conquered it through trial and error”, he says.

Garcia cooks with his housemates and make memories, such as the ones he made when he was a boy.  “Growing up we’d always have home cooked meals made by my grandmother, mother, and aunt, they were always high quality meals”, Garcia says.

He admits that cooking can be tedious at times but the end product is almost always worth it.  His favorite part of cooking is realizing how influenced his techniques are by his three favorite women.  His go-to meal, and a personal favorite of his is Spanish rice.

Much like his three influences, Garcia continues the tradition of cooking high quality, home cooked meals for the people he loves and making memories that will last a lifetime.

Ingredients 

  • 3 cups Chicken (shredded)
  • ½ cup shredded cheese
  • 1/3 cup chopped onion
  • 1/3 cup cilantro
  • 2 ¼ cups chicken broth
  • 1 ½ cup sour cream
  • 1 tablespoon lime juice
  • ½ teaspoon salt (varies)
  • 1/8 teaspoon pepper (varies)
  • 8 corn tortillas
  • 3 jalapeños (varies)
  • 1 pound tomatillos
  • Cooking spray
  • Large bowl
  • Cooking pan
  • Comal

Makes 8-10 servings

Directions 

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.  Finely chop all vegetables and shred the chicken, After, combine all chicken, cheese, onion, cilantro, chicken broth (1/3 cup), sour cream (1/3 cup), lime juice, salt and pepper (to taste) in large bowl.  Next, lightly coat pan with cooking spray and spread a light layer of salsa verde to coat bottom of pan and warm tortillas on the comal.  When done, fill center of tortilla with chicken mix and roll up, place seam down in the pan.  Pour remaining salsa verde on top of enchiladas.  Cover and bake at 400 degrees Fahrenheit for 10-15 minutes.  Serve with side of Spanish rice, sour cream, guacamole and chopped jalapeños is desired.

Canoas

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Canoas
Story and Photos by Mei-Ling Camacho

When living away, there is nothing better than the food that reminds you of home.

Brother José Matos Auffant, S.M., Minister of Spiritual Development at University Ministry, brings a taste of Puerto Rican culture through the “canoas.”

Canoas is the Spanish word for canoe—which is the shape of this dish.

“The Puerto Rican native tribe, Los Taínos, were the ones who taught me how to make the canoas,” Matos says.

Taínos were the people on the island known to use the canoas.

“My grandma, Eugenia Vasquez, who was the chef on my mother’s side, was the one who taught me how to make the canoas,” he explains.

Matos also says he likes cooking at Casa María, where he currently resides. For those who are learning how to cook, he recommends a recipe book called How to Boil Water. For him, cooking is not only a way to relax, but also a reminder of his home—Puerto Rico.

In Puerto Rico, many dishes are made with plantains and this is one of his favorite dishes with it as an ingredient. “They are easy and quick to make,” he says.

As a Marianist brother, Matos has travelled to many countries like México and Venezuela, and lived in different cities like Dayton, Ohio and San Antonio.

However, for him, there really is nothing like home—its people, and especially, the food.

Matos brings us a little bit of tropical flavor, a history lesson and a piece of his home with the canoas.

Ingredients:
Canoas:

  • Baked plantains
  • Ripe plantains
  • Butter or pam
  • Mozzarella cheese (sprinkle)

Beef:

  • 1 lbs. ground beef
  • ¼ of tomato sauce
  • ¼ of table red wine
  • Adobo (sprinkle)
  • ½ of Sazón
  • 1 onion, minced

Directions

Pre-heat the oven to 400. Put the buttered plantains in the oven for 25 minutes with the peel on. Cook the ground beef by mixing the onions, the adobo, the Sazón, the tomato sauce & the red wine. Sprinkle the Adobo on the meat. Take the plantains out of the oven and cut them by the middle, like a canoe. Remove the peel. Also, remove a little bit of the plantain inside to make space for filling. Add the cooked beef inside the canoe, filling it. On the top of the meat, you add the cheese and put it back in the oven for 10 minutes. After the 10 minutes of the canoas being in the oven, let them cool off for about 5 minutes. Servings vary on the plantain count. Use 2 ounces of meat per canoa.

Quickie Chili

 

 

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Quickie Chili
Story and Photos by Troy Grohman

With quick company coming over for dinner and not much time for preparation, Tabitha Grohman, former biology major at St. Mary’s, knows exactly what to make: a nice bowl of quickie chili—a family recipe that has been passed down for generations.

“This dish was passed down from my grandma to my mom, to me, so I guess you could say this dish has been a family recipe for generations,” Grohman says.

Grohman’s taste in food reveals where she was raised.

“I’m a big fan of Italian food but I would say that my favorite type of food would be Tex-Mex simply because I grew up with it. I love pairing a good Tex-Mex dish with an ice cold sweet tea,” she says.

As a teacher at Savannah Heights in Somerset, Texas, Grohman’s schedule is usually hectic so it is nice to be able to make something so easy to make and yet so hearty and filling.

“I choose to make this quickie chili recipe because it was simple and something that would be easy for many people to cook,” she says

To her surprise this recipe won a cooking contest at Savannah Heights. “I also entered this chili in our schools first annual chili contest or “Souper Bowl” and my chili won the contest for best tasting chili,” Grohman says.

She encourages people to add to the recipe to make it their own, as the dish is very versatile and easy to personalize.

“I’ve added things like potatoes or peppers to it. You can really experiment with it,” Grohman explains.

 

Ingredients

1/2 lb. hamburger meat per 6 servings

2 tbs. of chili powder

1 can of ranch style beans

1 cup of water

1tsp. of salt

1tsp. of pepper

Cheese to taste

Sour cream to taste

 

Directions

1.cook ground beef in pan on high, season with salt and pepper

2. stir until beef is fully brown

3.Turn town pan temp to med-low

4.Drain off any excess grease in the pan

5.Once grease is drained, add 2 tbs. of chili powder to pan

6.Stir chili powder into beef until it turns slightly more orange in color.

7.open can of ranch style beans (save can for later) and add them to the pan

8.Stir until beans are fully mixed

9.Fill empty can of ranch style beans with water and add it to the pan

10.Stir pan for about 5-10 minutes

11. plate the chili in a bowl and add cheese and sour cream to taste.

 

 

 

Bibimbap

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Bibimbap
Story and Photos by Xuanzi Liu

Jisu Lim, an international exchange student from the South Korea, is studying computer at St. Mary’s University for a semester. A rather short stay, however, does not bother him a bit about his passion to add some exotic Asian taste to this American campus.

“Seeing other people enjoying the food I made never fail to content me,” he says.

Lim discovered his interest in cooking during a travel experience. Visiting the U.S. two years ago, he finally got a chance to taste authentic American food. Lim was surprised to find how greatly dishes vary from the American food served in Korea.

“We have American restaurants in Korea, too. But the food they make are modified in Korean style. I knew that before. But still, I did not anticipate the taste to be this different,” he says.

When the opportunity arose, Lim chose to bring San Antonio the most traditional Korean cuisine: Bibimbap.

“It is almost impossible to cook any authentic Korean dish here at St Mary’s because the ingredients are so hard to find in the Walmart nearby. But Bibimbap is an exception,” he says.

According to Lim, there is no fixed recipe for making Bibimbap. Almost anything can be added and mixed altogether as long as the three sauces are included: Bibimbap sauce, soy sauce and sesame oil. Bibimbap sauce determines nearly the entire taste of this dish. Koreans used to make Bibimbap sauce at home, which is a time-consuming process. Today, ready-made sauce can be purchased at the supermarket. Soy sauce is needed to marinate the beef add flavor. Sesame oil makes the Bibimbap tastier with a few drops.

Koreans used to make Bibimbap sauce at home, which is a time-consuming process. Today, ready-made sauce can be purchased at the supermarket. Soy sauce is needed to marinate the beef add flavor. Sesame oil makes the Bibimbap tastier with a few drops.

Lim also reminds those who want to make authentic Bibimbap to never forget adding a fried egg.

“Though the three sauces are the spirit of this dish, you can never call it a Bibimbap without fried eggs,” he says.

 

Ingredients

10.5 ounces beef mince

3 Tbsp soy sauce

3 Tbsp sesame oil

3 tsp sugar

750g (1.8 pounds) mildly seasoned spinach

750g (1.8 pounds) lettuce

300g (10.5 ounces) shiitake mushroom

360g (12.6 ounces) carrots (one small)

3/2 tsp fine sea salt

8 to 12 serving portions of steamed rice

8 to 12 eggs

Some cooking oil to cook the meat, mushroom, carrots and eggs

Bibimbap sauce

 

Directions

For meat, mix the beef mince with the soy sauce. Marinate the meat for about

30 mins. Add some cooking oil into a wok and cook the meat on medium high to high heat.

Rinse, peel and julienne the carrots. Add some cooking oil and 3/4 tsp of fine

sea salt in a wok and cook the carrots on medium high to high heat for 2 to 3 mins.

Clean/rinse the shiitake mushrooms and thinly slice them. Add some cooking oil

and 3/4 tsp of fine sea salt in a wok and cook the mushrooms on medium high to high heat until they are all cooked.

Make fried eggs.

Put the rice into a bowl and add the meat, assorted vegetables, Bibimbap sauce

and the egg on top of the rice.

 

Make 8-12 servings.

 

 

Sopa de Letras

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Sopa de Letras
Story and photos by Elizabeth Arredondo

Being 193 miles away from home can make one very homesick. Sometimes the only thing that can cure your homesickness is making one of your favorite childhood dishes. Ximena Mondragaon, a sophomore political science major, is no stranger to learning and working in the kitchen. She started learning how to cook at the young age of 9 years old. Her favorite dishes are soap de letras and green enchiladas. She is a daughter, sister, friend, student, and role model. She aspires to run for governor and be a political science professor in the future.
Mondragon is very involved on campus and she loves that St. Mary’s University has given her many opportunities in life. “I love the community of St. Mary’s University. Everyone has been so kind to me and really helpful. I also like all the opportunities St. Mary’s has provided me with” Mondragon says. She is a part of the Marianist Leadership Program, Kappa Delta Chi, and Mecha. She also started her own Political Science club.
The dish she prepared is called Sopa de Letras and it is one of her favorites. “The dish prepared has been passed down trough generations. This soup is the first thing the women in my family learn to cook. I learned to cook this soup when I was 9 years old. At 9 I started to learn how to cook and from there I have learned to cook many Mexican dishes. I love going home to cook with my mom and grandma because its a bonding and learning time. I will one day pass down this dish to my kids.” she says.

Sopa De Letras

Ingredients
• 1 Bag of La Moderna Alphabets/Letras
• 2 cubes of Caldo de Pollo Bouillos
• 2 Slices of chicken breasts
• 2 pieces of celery
• 2 whole carrots
• 1 Bulk of Garlic
• 2 Medium Tomatoes
• Vegetable Oil
• 1 Onion

Directions

1. Open and wash the chicken
2. Lay out 2 strips of chicken on a chopping board and chop it up into little pieces
3. Chop up carrots and celery into small pieces
4. Blend tomatoes, garlic, onion and 1250ml of water
5. Heat up a large round pot and add a dime size amount of vegetable oil
6. Put pasta into the bowl and slowly stir until golden
7. Add blended ingredients to the pot
8. Add chopped up chicken to the pot
9. Add chopped up veggies into the pot
10. Add 2 bouillons
11. Stir into boil
12. Let the pot sit for 15 minutes
13. Serve

Serves 6-8 people

Southern Fried Cabbage

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Southern Fried Cabbage
Story and Photos by Daria Flowers

A love for flavor, spices, and wholesome food is what has created Stephanie Hill’s love for cooking.

A St. Mary’ University alumna, Hill graduated in 2014 with a bachelor’s degree in speech communication and is currently pursing her master’s degree in educational leadership at Schreiner University where she will graduate in May.

Outside of her studies, she currently serves as the After School Care Coordinator for SAISD.

“I really love working with children, I always have! When I was a student at St. Mary’s, I was involved in Best Buddies and I enjoyed every single minute of it.

As far as my job, the kids definitely keep me busy, but I love that! They always brighten my day and they teach me something new everyday,” Hill says.

The kitchen holds a special place in her heart. “I remember being a little girl and I would watch my mother and my grandmother in the kitchen,” she says. Hill also mentions her cooking inspiration: “My aunt is also an amazing chef!

I lived with her for a little while and she always had me in the kitchen, ‘Stephanie! Come here and cut this up, or Stephanie! Come here and taste this!’”

The dish of Southern Fried Cabbage has been in Hill’s family for as long as she can remember. “My grandma taught me how to make it when I younger. Everyone in my family loves this dish and knows how to make it, but we all put a different spin on it,” she says.

She has always had a large palette and loves ethnic food and those rich in flavor. “I am originally from Arizona and I transferred to St. Mary’s my junior year. So, something that I really regret was not studying abroad while in college,” she explains.

Since graduating in 2014, she has made the effort to travel. “One day I would like to travel to Spain or Dubai,” she says.

Hill likes to cook simple dishes with her own spin on it. “My aunt taught me that the secret in any dish that cook are the spices! She never measures the seasonings and spices that she adds to a dish. That is something that we share in common,” Hill says.

According to Hill, the secret to perfecting the perfect Southern Fried Cabbage dish is all in the seasoning. “The combination of the Cajun Seasoning, tomatoes, and spiciness of the Andouille sausage.

I am a member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority incorporated and I made this dish once for my sorority sisters and they loved it and said the same thing!”

 

Ingredients

  • 2 cabbage heads
  • 3 tablespoons of butter
  • 4 tablespoons of olive oil
  • 1 pack of Andouille sausage
  • ½ of diced yellow onion
  • 1 can of diced tomatoes
  • ½ tablespoon of salt
  • ½ tablespoon of pepper
  • Cajun seasoning (season to taste)
  • ¼ cup of green onions

Makes 4 servings

 

Directions

Using a large sauté pan, pour in 2 tablespoons of olive oil and heat over medium heat. Add sausage to the pan. While sausage is cooking, wash and peel cabbage. After peeling the cabbage, you will cut it into smaller pieces. You will also cut the onions as well. After the sausage is cooked, remove it from the pot and place on a plate. Add butter to the pan. In addition, add 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Add the chopped cabbage, diced tomatoes and yellow onions into the pan. Let it cook for a few minutes before adding the sausage back in. Garnish with pan with green onions and serve the dish immediately.

 

 

Meatloaf

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Meatloaf, The best kind of Comfort food.
Story and Photos by Isabel Vera

Cooking is the easiest way to bring together and feed a family. Lucia Vera, a St. Mary’s alumna, has always believed the act of cooking food was a way to provide for her family.

This notion was inherited from her mother who not only taught her how to cook but also about the significance of taking on this role.

“I like cooking all types of food from traditionally Mexican food, Chinese, Italian, American, and even Indian food,” she says.

Coming from a family of 13, she learned that cooking was an act of labor and love and that it brings people together.

“I remember watching my mother roll out tortillas and make enough for all of my brothers, sisters, dad, and herself to have every day,” Vera says.

Vera chose an American comfort food that would be quick to make and to prepare. With St. Mary’s being her alma mater.

She wanted a simple and easy dish to serve and eat. Spring time at St. Mary’s is known for Oyster Bake and that annual event is full of simple foods.

Vera wants to replicate this simplicity with a spring time dish people could enjoy quickly.

“I not only like to cook multiple types of dishes but I like many different types of food and like to infuse that in my daily meal preparations,” she says.

“There are definitely dishes that I like to cook that have cultural significance but this dish does not have any special significance other than it being a comfort food. It is just a nice simple meal to make and eat,” Vera explains.

Meatloaf has many variations such as either topping it with gravy or with a tomato-based product, or even choosing to add certain vegetables like onions.

Although it is a recipe that essentially has you “mixes meat and a few spices and vegetables,” the way the product tastes depends on preference and experience with the dish.

Vera’s advice is to add certain spices such as pepper and salt along the way and not just at one time.

She also advises to put foil on the meatloaf to control how the meatloaf cooks.

Taking off the foil at the 45 minute mark will “brown” the top half of the dish to allow for a more appetizing meatloaf.

Vera suggests to add some side dishes with meatloaf such as mashed potatoes to compliment it.

“Meatloaf by itself can be boring but adding just a simple side dish can make a huge difference. Cooking is a joy of mine that I hope to pass down to my daughters just as my mom did for me,” Vera concludes.

 

Ingredients:

  • 6 lbs. of ground beef
  • 6 eggs
  • 1 ½ cup of oats
  • 3 tsp. garlic
  • ¾ cup of diced bell pepper
  • ¼ diced onion (optional)
  • 1 tsp. of black pepper
  • 3 tsp. salt
  • 2 (6 oz) can of tomato paste
  • 1 (8 oz) can of tomato sauce

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Dice the bell pepper and onion. In a mixing bowl mix the ground beef, eggs, oats, garlic, salt, and pepper into one raw mixture. Add in the bell pepper and onion. Mix in tomato paste and tomato sauce. Spray Pam in the pan that being used for the meatloaf. Place and press mixture firmly and evenly into pan. Bake at 350 degrees F (175 degrees C) for 1 ½ hours. Take out of oven and let cool down. Makes 15 servings.