Salmon Carpaccio

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Salmon Carpaccio by Gabriela Santos
Story and photos by Jocelyn Alvarez Bibian

Inspiration can come from everywhere, and certainly it can come from food as well. Not only one can get inspired from food, but one can also be transported to special places and moments in time. As a seafood lover, Gabriela Santos, sophomore engineering management major, thought about the dish she was going to prepare, her immediate response was salmon carpaccio.

“Sea food is my favorite kind of food because of the variety, the richness of flavors, [and the fact that] it is not too heavy for the stomach,” Santos admits. As part of the St. Mary’s community, Santos recognizes that “the community is very welcoming and friendly.” As a student, Santos’ career plans have not always been to become an engineer.

“My first choice of major was culinary arts, but when I graduated [from high school], my interest changed from culinary arts to engineering. I decided to leave cooking as a hobby. Now, my career plans are to become an engineer and work on either finance or production, or both,” Santos says. Santos decided to prepare not only her favorite kind of food, but also one of the dishes she used to enjoy back home at El Salvador.

“This dish was always prepared for special occasions or [for] celebrations in my family,” Santos says. “I chose this particular dish because it is one of my favorite and it is very easy to make.” From beginning to end, Santos enjoyed the process of preparing the carpaccio. She was even more delighted when the time came to let her friends try it and watch them enjoy the dish. The different ingredients in the carpaccio present an explosion of flavor, an intense combination of flavors one would not expect. The combination of the smoked salmon, the leek, capers and cream cheese is like no other.

“I have had good experiences most of the time; people like it when they try it. Bad experiences not so much because the flavor can be adjusted with the ingredients, easy fix,” Santos says.

Although the dish represents an excellent entrée, not everyone may enjoy it the same way. “You have to love raw sea food,” Santos says, “and to use the ingredients based on your preferences and taste of palate.”

Regardless of the particular preferences in seafood, this is a dish everyone should try and judge for themselves the unquestionable richness of flavor from beginning to end.

Ingredients

  • 4 oz of smoked salmon
  • Capers
  • 1 Leek
  • 1 tbs of olive oil
  • Juice from 1 lime
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • Cream cheese (optional)
  • Ciabatta bread (optional)

Makes two servings.

Directions

First, cut the salmon as preferred (chopped or thin slices) and place on serving plate. Then, cut the leek in slices, separate each layer as much as possible, and place the slices on top of the salmon. Spread the capers over the salmon. Next, add a tablespoon of olive oil over the salmon. Do the same with the lime juice, salt, and pepper. As an option, spread cream cheese on a piece of ciabatta bread and place salmon on top.

Chicken and Broccoli Stuffed Pasta Shells

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Joey Acevedo is an aspiring coffee shop owner who hopes to attend St. Mary’s University for his bachelor’s degree in business management.

During the week, he found himself wanting a home-cooked meal rather than a smoke-cooked meal.

This dish means a lot to Acevedo because “of the love my girlfriend put into the dish and how much of that love seeped into it.”

“She thinks I’m helpless in the kitchen but she’s about to eat her words,” Acevedo says smugly.

“This dish definitely takes a few tries to get right,” he says as he stirred the concoction of chicken, broccoli and Alfredo sauce together.

A few tips he gave was to put extra Alfredo sauce onto the pan to prevent the shells from sticking on to the pan.

He also advises anyone trying this recipe to “not forget the garlic bread!” One thing is for sure, the garlic bread and the dish is one that is going to be memorable for anyone who tries it.

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups of shredded chicken
  • 1 (12 oz.) bag of broccoli florets
  • 1 box of (12 oz.) of jumbo pasta shells
  • 1 (16 oz.) jar of Alfredo Sauce
  • ½ cup of grated parmesan cheese
  • 1 cup of mozzarella cheese
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Directions: 

Cook pasta shells so that they are al dente. Drain the water from the shells and let them cool. Next, cook and shred the chicken and add to a large bowl. Add salt and pepper and other seasonings to taste. Steam the broccoli florets, drain them and then chop them up and add them to the bowl of shredded chicken. Toss the ingredients together and add 1 cup of Alfredo sauce to the mix. Prepare a greased baking pan and add about 1 spoonful of Alfredo sauce to the bottom of the pan to prevent dry or stuck on pasta shells. Arrange the shells onto the pan where they do not overlap. Add a tablespoon full of the shredded chicken, broccoli and Alfredo sauce mixture into each pasta shell.Pour the remaining Alfredo Sauce on top of the shells along with the mozzarella and parmesan cheese.Bake at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for 25 minutes.

Makes 8 servings.

 

Pizza Rolls

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Pizza Rolls by Sara Jauregui
Story and photos by Alexis Zepeda

Many college students grow tired of eating the same foods in the school cafeteria and often try and find recipes that are easy enough to cook in the kitchens located in the residence halls.
Sara Jauregui, a Sophomore art education major at St. Mary’s University, has found a quick and tasty recipe that many students may have the ability to replicate – pizza rolls. Jauregui has always loved Italian food, and anything that involves tomatoes, pasta, bread or cheese. Though these pizza rolls do not include pasta in the recipe, the other three ingredients make up for it!
Jauregui is from Alton, Texas, so she doesn’t have the privilege of eating home cooked food often. She began cooking in middle school when her mom started working. She says she isn’t the best cook, but does enjoy baking, so these pizza rolls are perfect.
Though she isn’t a professional chef, one thing Jauregui misses about cooking at home is the endless amount of supplies. Living in a dorm and figuring out what to cook with and where to cook the food is a difficult task. “Cooking is a privilege when living in a dorm. Most residence halls have ovens in the student lounges, but it’s hard to cook without a stovetop. Our ‘kitchens’ are definitely not equipped for everyday cooking,” she says.

Jauregui recommends purchasing a disposable baking sheet to bake the rolls on rather than spending money on an expensive baking sheet. As a college student, there is minimal space to store it, and it makes cleanup much easier!
This dish is one of Jauregui’s favorites to make because they only require a few ingredients, she loves pizza, and they are fun to make with the company of friends. They are the perfect snack to make either for a movie night, or even a study date because they are small, filling, and not too messy.

Sweet Potato Hash

Sweet Potato Hash by Gilbert DeHoyos

Videography and production by Nayeli Cervantes

Gilbert DeHoyos is a local San Antonio man who owns and operates Barrio Barista, a coffee shop in the west side of San Antonio, TX. DeHoyos shows us how much love he puts in his food through his words and way of cooking.

Ingredients: 

  • 1 large egg
  • 1 slice of Grain Bread
  • 1 sweet potato
  • 1/2 cup of chopped white onions
  • 16 oz. of Kiolbassa Chorizo
  • 1/2 cup of canola oil

Directions: 

Begin by heating up two frying pans with canola oil on medium heat. Chop up onions and feel free to cook with sweet potatoes  and season to taste. Cook the chorizo separately until it has browned. Once the potatoes and chorizo are thoroughly cooked, mix them together in one pan and set them aside. Lastly, fry the egg sunny side up and toast some bread. Once the egg is ready, serve on top of potatoes and chorizo and prepare to enjoy!

Green Enchiladas

Green Enchiladas by Makayla Medrano

Videography and Production by Sabrina Evans

Sophomore Makayla Medrano knows how make many different easy dishes. Since she is a college student on a budget, she has learned how to make cheap and easy meals that taste good too. Her favorite dish to make is green enchiladas. This step by step video shows exactly how to make this dish and can even make you a good cook as well.

Ingredients:

  • Corn Tortillas
  • Chicken (shredded)
  • 1/4 cup of onions (optional)
  • 1 Bell Pepper (also optional)
  • Cooking Oil
  • Pepper
  • Basil
  • Garlic Powder
  • Green Enchilada Sauce
  • Monterrey Jack shredded cheese

Directions

After setting your own to preheat at 350 degrees, it is time to prepare your chicken. Spread cooking oil on your chicken as well as seasoning it with basil, garlic powder, and pepper. Make sure the seasoning is spread on the chicken on both sides. Once your chicken is seasoned, put it on a pan that is coated with tin foil and put it in the oven for twenty minutes. Once that time is up, flip the chicken over and put it back in the oven to bake for another ten minutes. Once the chicken is fully baked, it is time to shred it. Take a fork and shred the chicken. Take the shredded chicken and put it into your corn tortillas. Roll the tortillas and then place them in an oven safe pan. Spread the green enchilada sauce and monterrey cheese over your dish. Put them back in the oven for the last time for ten minutes.

Once your enchiladas are done, take them out, let them cool, and enjoy!

Entomatadas

Entomatadas by Carolina Ball

Videography and Production by Valeria Garcia

Carolina Ball, a senior at St. Mary’s University majoring in Criminology, prepares a traditional Mexican dish called “entomatadas.” A chef since a young age, Carolina Ball demonstrates how to cook this simple, yet delicious meal and shares how cooking has kept her in touch with her culture, sparked new relationships and taught her numerous lessons.

Ingredients

  • 1 pack of corn tortillas
  • 3 tomatoes
  • 1/2 onion
  • salt to taste
  • queso fresco (cheese)
  • olive oil
  • avocado

Directions

First, boil water and boil tomatoes. Then, cut onion. You will then heat up olive oil in two pans and fry tortillas in the pan. After that, shred cheese and add cheese to the tortillas.Roll tortillas with cheese and meanwhile, fry onions.Blend tomatoes and then fry the sauce in onion pan. Add tomato sauce over tortillas and after that, add more cheese over it. Finally, add avocado on the side and enjoy!

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.