Lasagna

Lasagna by Blanca Gutierrez.

Videography and Production by Christa Neumann.

Dyslexia teacher Blanca Gutierrez goes through the steps on how to make an easy lasagna. After working for 39 years, Gutierrez describes her journey into the kitchen and what makes cooking so special for her.

Ingredients

  • 1-pound ground beef
  • 1 (32oz) jar spaghetti sauce
  • 32oz cottage cheese
  • 3 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 2 large eggs
  • ½ cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 2 teaspoons dried parsley
  • Salt to taste
  • Ground black pepper to taste
  • 9 lasagna noodles
  • ½ cup water
  • 1 spray can of olive oil

Directions

In a large skillet over medium heat brown ground meat. Add salt and pepper to taste. Drain the grease. Add spaghetti sauce and simmer for 5 minutes.

In a large bowl, mix the cottage cheese, eggs, half of grated Parmesan cheese, dried Parsley, salt ground black pepper. To assemble, spray the bottom and sides of a 9×13 inch baking dish with olive oil. Evenly spread ¾ cup of sauce mixture. Cover with 3 uncooked lasagna noodles, 1 ¾ cup of the cheese mixture and ¼ cup sauce. Repeat layers once more: top with 3 noodles, remaining sauce and sprinkle mozzarella and Parmesan cheese. Add ½ cup water to edges of the pan. Cover with aluminum foil that has been sprayed with olive oil.

Bake on preheated 350-degree oven for 45 minutes. Uncover and bake an additional 10 minutes, let it sit for 10 minutes before serving.

Arroz con Pollo

Arroz con Pollo by Michael Lopez

Videography and Production by Allison Magera

Michael Lopez, a current student at Texas A&M University, shares how to recreate his favorite dish: Arroz con Pollo. Through his tips and tricks and simple but flavorful ingredients, you’ll be able to create a meal that you won’t be able to find in just any Mexican restaurant.

Ingredients:
Chicken:

  • 4-6 Whole Chicken Thighs (varies depending on number of servings)
  • ~2 tablespoons Season-it-all
  • 1 tablespoon of garlic
  • salt and pepper to taste

Rice:

  • 4 cups of water
  • 2 cups of dry white rice (brown rice also acts as a substitute if necessary)
  • ~ 2 tablespoons of vegetable oil
  • 1/2 of a chopped yellow onion
  • 1 green bell pepper
  • 1/4 cup of fire roasted diced tomatoes
  • 1 4oz can of tomato sauce
  • 1 Teaspoon caldo de tomate
  • Dash of garlic salt, cumin and pepper

Directions:

First, season raw chicken thighs with a generous covering of salt, pepper and season-it-all. Add about a tablespoon of oil to pan and brown chicken thighs on medium-high heat until skin is crispy. The inside does not need to be completely cooked; it will boil later with the rice. In a separate pot, begin to boil 4 cups of water for the rice. Including about a teaspoon of oil, fry dry rice in another separate pan until brown, about 10 minutes. Add chopped onion, bell pepper and diced tomatoes to rice once it is browned and stir occasionally for about 3 minutes. Add boiling water to the pan with the rice and vegetables. Add tomato sauce, caldo de tomate, garlic salt, cumin and pepper. Lastly, add browned chicken thighs to the pot, cover, and simmer on low heat for about 20-25 minutes or until both the rice and chicken are cooked thoroughly.

Skillet Enchiladas

Skillet Enchiladas by Sheila Peña

Videography and Production by Courtney Peña

Sheila Peña is a mother and a teacher who enjoys cooking. In this video, she shows you how to make Skillet Enchiladas and talks about her experience with cooking.

Ingredients

  • ¼ cup of avocado oil
  • 1 ½ pound of ground beef
  • 2 cans of enchilada sauce
  • 1 package (8oz) of shredded cheddar or colby jack cheese
  • 12 corn tortillas (Cut in small squares)
  • 1/8 to ¼ cup of corn masa mix
  • ½ cup of water

Directions

Turn the stovetop between medium and high heat and fry tortillas in batches in avocado oil in 12 in pan. Remove fried tortillas and set aside on a plate. Remove excess oil. Cook beef in the 12 in pan. Once the beef is cooked, add enchilada sauce and stir. Add cheese mix and stir. Mix masa and water in a separate cup. Add masa mixture and stir. Add fried tortillas and mix it all together.

Spam Musubi

Spam Musubi by Maggie Estrada
Videography and Production by John Estrada

Maggie Estrada prepares a dish of Spam Musubi. She describes the dish in a brief breakdown, and recollects her experience with cooking and baking.

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups uncooked short-grain white rice
  • 2 cups water
  • 6 tablespoons rice vinegar
  • ¼ cup soy sauce
  • ¼ cup oyster sauce
  • ½ cup white sugar
  • 1 (12 ounce) container fully cooked luncheon meat (e.g. Spam)
  • 5 sheets sushi nori (dry seaweed)
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil

Steps:

The first step is to soak uncooked rice until moist; drain and rinse

Next, In a saucepan, bring 2 cups water to a boil. Add rice and stir. Reduce heat, cover, and simmer for 20 minutes. Stir in rice vinegar, and set aside to cool.

In a separate bowl, stir together soy sauce, oyster sauce, and sugar until sugar is completely dissolved. Slice luncheon meat lengthwise into 10 slices, or to desired thickness, and marinate in sauce for 5 minutes.

In a large skillet, heat oil over medium high heat. Cook slices for 2 minutes per side, or until lightly browned. Cut nori sheets in half and lay on a flat work surface. Place a rice press in the center of the sheet, and press rice tightly inside. Top with a slice of luncheon meat, and remove press. Wrap nori around rice mold, sealing edges with a small amount of water. (Rice may also be formed by hand in the shape of the meat slices, 1 inch thick.) Musubi may be served warm or chilled. Enjoy the Musubi!

Caldo de Pollo

Caldo de Pollo by Kimberly Rodriguez                                                                  Videography and Production by Katherine Rodriguez

Kimberly Rodriguez is an amateur chef who likes to remind herself of where she comes from through food. After learning how to cook from the internet and her grandma, Rodriguez prepares Caldo de Pollo as a way to bring people together.

Ingredients

  • 3 pounds chicken leg quarters
  • 1 gallon water 
  • 2 tablespoons minced garlic 
  • 2 tablespoons salt 
  • 1 tablespoon garlic powder 
  • 1 cube chicken bouillon 
  • 3 large corn ears, cut in halves 
  • 4 large carrots, peeled and cut into large chunks 
  • 4 large potatoes, peeled and cut into large chunks 
  • 1 cabbage, cut into large chunks 
  • 1 large onion, cut into large chunks 
  • ½ bunch fresh cilantro, chopped

Directions

Place chicken legs into a large stock pot and pour water over chicken. Add garlic, salt, and garlic powder. Cover the pot, bring to a boil, and reduce heat to low. Simmer until chicken meat falls off the bones, which takes roughly one to two hours. Stir in chicken bouillon cube and let it dissolve. Mix corn, carrots, potatoes, chayote, and white onion in the broth, turn heat to medium-low, and cook soup at a low boil until carrots and potatoes are tender, 45 minutes to 1 hour. Stir chopped cilantro into soup, simmer for 5 minutes, serve, and enjoy a delicious meal on a cold and chilly day.

Bruce’s Gumbo

Seafood Gumbo by Bruce Warner

Videography and Production by Ian Warner

Gumbo Ingredients

  • Roux
    • 3 cups of flour
    • 1 cup of vegetable oil
  • Stock 
    • 8 Quarts of Water
    • 30 ounce can of diced tomatoes
    • 10 garlic cloves sliced
    • 3 bell peppers chopped
    • 2 white onions chopped
    • 1 celery stalk chopped
    • 2 ounces of bay leaves 
    • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Shrimp Stock
    • 2 pounds of peeled shrimp shells
    • 1 quart of water
    • 1 stick of butter
  • Seafood
    • 2 pounds of peeled shrimp, cut in half
    • 2 pounds of crawfish tail
    • 32 ounces of shucked oyster

Gumbo Recipe

Making the base of the soup is the first step in cooking gumbo. Fill a large boiling pot with 8 quarts of water- add: 1 (30 ounce) can of diced tomatoes; 2 tablespoons of chicken bullion; 1 (2 ounce) bottle of bay leaves; 2 white onions chopped; 3 bell peppers chopped; 10 cloves of garlic sliced; 1 stalk of celery chopped. Bring the soup to a boil and let simmer. Add 1 pound of frozen okra to the soup mix once vegetables are soft. Add salt and pepper to taste. 

The next step is cooking the roux. You will need to mix 3 cups of flour and 1 ½ cups of vegetable oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Continually stir and rotate to create a dark chocolate brown roux. Add the roux to the soup once the vegetables are soft to thicken the gumbo. 

Start peeling the 2 pounds of shrimp. Add the shrimp peels to a large saucepan with 1 quart of water and 1 stick of butter to create a shrimp stock. Once the stock is brought to a simmer, pour through a strainer into the gumbo. 

Add 2 pounds of shelled shrimp, 2 pounds of bagged crawfish tails, 32 ounces of shucked oysters. Simmer till seafood is cooked.

Add diced parsley, simmer until soft. 

Ready to serve!

Garlic Shrimp Pasta

GARLIC SHRIMP PASTA BY KAREN JULISSA BOGRAN

VIDEOGRAPHY AND PRODUCTION BY KAREN MICHELLE BOGRAN

Karen Julissa Bogran, an employee at the US Embassy in Peru, goes through her delicious 20-minute dish called garlic shrimp pasta for her family. She discusses how she learned to cook, some challenges she faces with time management, and the importance of eating well in concern with health.

INGREDIENTS 

  • 1 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil 
  • 1 lb. Shrimp 
  • 1/4 of cut onion 
  • Kosher salt 
  • 1 tbsp. garlic 
  • 3/4 c. dry white wine 
  • Juice of 1/2 lemon 
  • 3/4 c. freshly grated Parmesan for garnish 
  • 12 oz. spaghetti

DIRECTIONS 

Begin by adding spaghetti to a pot filled with boiling water on the stove in medium heat. Let sit until it has softened which is when you then rinse out the water with a strainer.  

In a large skillet over medium heat, add 1 tablespoon of olive oil, 1/4 of cut onion and one tablespoon of garlic. Add shrimp and season with salt. Cook until pink, 2 minutes per side.  

In the same skillet, add 1 tablespoon of garlic. Cook until fragrant, 1 minute. Add wine, and lemon juice and simmer 2 minutes. 

Add the cooked spaghetti into the same skillet and toss until completely combined.  

Transfer the spaghetti and shrimp mix onto a plate, garnish it with Parmesan and add your preferred sides before serving. 

Chicken Strips

Chicken Strips by Carmen Cervantes
Videography and Production by Bryann Cervantes

Carmen Cervantes, mother of StMU student Bryann Cervantes, prepares her favorite dish Chicken Strips and tells us a little bit more about how she fell in love with cooking and offers some tips.

Ingredients

  • 3 Chicken Breasts (bone-in)
  • 3 Eggs
  • 2 packs of saltine crackers
  • ¾ Teaspoon of Chicken Flavored Seasoning
  • 1 Cup of Olive Oil
  • ¼ Teaspoon of Table Salt (or to your liking)
  • ½ Teaspoon of Black Pepper (or to your liking)

Directions
Use roller to grind crackers into crumbly bits in a Ziploc bag. Transfer the crushed crackers to a bowl, and add salt, pepper, and the chicken seasoning then mix to distribute seasonings evenly. Cut the chicken breasts into thin chicken strips and afterwards, preheat a pan with the olive oil on medium heat for 5 minutes. In a separate bowl whisk the eggs until they are completely liquid and then change the pan heat to low after 5 minutes.

Begin the cooking process by covering one entire chicken strip with a thin layer of the whisked eggs, and then dip the strip into the cracker crumbs bowl covering it entirely. Then lay the covered chicken strip in the pan, submerging it completely in the olive oil and on both sides until a golden-brown outer color is achieved. Place the finished golden-brown chicken strip in a container to serve, lined with napkins to absorb excess grease. Repeat the process for all 15-20 chicken strips and serve warm.

Carne Guisada

Carne Guisada by Anna Alicia Padilla

Videography and Production by Renée Padilla

Anna Padilla, a mother of a St. Mary’s student, demonstrates how to cook carne guisada, a classic Mexican dish. She also explains how she learned to cook from her mother and elder sister.

Ingredients

• 1 lbs cut up beef (either stew meat or pot roast meat)

• 1 can tomato sauce

• 1/2 tsp onion powder

• 1/2 tsp garlic powder

• 1/2 tsp cumin powder

• 1/2 tsp salt

• 1/2 tsp pepper

• 4 cups water

Directions

First, brown cut-up beef in pot until seared. Then add all other ingredients and stir as needed. Cover the pot with a lid and let the meat simmer for 45 minutes or until tender. Ingredients and cooking time may vary depending on taste and cooking process.

Italian Pasta Salad

Italian Pasta Salad
Videography and Production by Sofia Ruescas

Learn a new way to cook your pasta salad with Deni Cresto and check out how he learned to prepare this delicious dish!

Ingredients

  • 2 ounces of salt
  • 1/2  medium onion, finely chopped
  • 8 ounces dried short pasta
  • 2 tomatoes, halved or quartered
  • 4 ounces of mozzarella finely chopped
  • 1/2 cup pitted black olives
  • 1 red or green pepper
  • 1 frozen bag of green peas and carrots
  • 2 cans of tuna

Directions

Bring the salted water to a boil in a large pot over medium-high heat. Add the pasta and cook until al dente – soft with just a bit of chew – about 8 minutes or according to package directions.

Boil the frozen vegetables in water and fry the chopped peppers, tuna and onions on a frying pan with the oil.

Place the pasta salad ingredients in a bowl when cooked and make sure you drain the pasta well. Transfer to a large container. Add the tomatoes, mozzarella and olives.

Chill for 30 minutes before serving. Refrigerate the pasta salad for at least 30 minutes for the flavors to meld before serving.