Fried Green Tomatoes

Fried Green Tomatoes By Mary Jo Chamberlain
Videography and Production by Sydnee Hodge

Mary Jo Chamberlain is a donor of St. Mary’s who loves to cook recipes she learned from her family in Mississippi. She made fried green tomatoes, a feel good food from the south a couple of weeks ago. In the video, Mary Jo begins with a bit if history and ends with revealing a few tricks for making the best possible meal, and how to enjoy what you are creating in the kitchen.

Ingredients:

  • 4 or 5 large green tomatoes
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1/2 cup fine cornmeal
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1/2 cup flour
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • up to 2 quarts of vegetable oil

Directions:

Line a baking sheet with waxed paper.
Beat eggs and water in a shallow bowl. Place flour and cornmeal in 2 separate shallow bowls. Season cornmeal with salt.
Dip each tomato slice into flour, then dip into egg mixture. Press tomato into cornmeal mixture, shaking off excess. Transfer tomato to prepared baking sheet. Repeat with remaining tomato slices, arranging tomatoes in a single layer.
Heat about 1/4 inch canola oil in a large skillet over medium heat until oil begins to shimmer. Fry tomatoes in batches until golden and crisp, 3 to 4 minutes per side. Drain on paper towel-lined plates. Repeat with remaining tomatoes.

Chocolate Cupcakes

Chocolate Cupcakes by Isabela Vasquez
Videography and Production by Sara Jauregui

Isabela Vasquez, freshman at St. Mary’s University, shows how she made Chocolate Cupcakes perfect for Halloween. Her interest in cooking and baking has allowed her to push her limits and try making cupcakes, a new method of baking for her. Isabela discusses how baking is easy as long as you know how to follow a simple recipe and add your own creative twist to it.

Ingredients

  • 2 cups white sugar
  • 1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • Frosting
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 cup boiling water

Directions

Begin by preheating your oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C) and line cupcake pans. In a large bowl, stir together all of the dry ingredients: the sugar, flour, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Next add the eggs, milk, oil and vanilla, mix for 2 minutes. Stir in the boiling water last. Batter will be very thin. Pour evenly into the lined cupcake pans. Bake 30 to 35 minutes in the preheated oven, until the cupcakes test done with a toothpick. Cool in the pans for 10 minutes, then remove to cool completely. Decorate when cupcakes are completely cool.

Recipe makes 18 small cupcakes or 12 large cupcakes.

 

Chicken Cordon Bleu

Chicken Cordon Bleu by Anuar Duran
Videography and Production by Alexis Z
epeda

Anuar Duran, Junior computer science major at St. Mary’s University, demonstrates how to cook his favorite dish, Chicken Cordon Bleu.  After learning from a friend how to prepare the dish, Anuar follows suit by teaching his friends how to cook the dish.

Ingredients:

  • 4 large chicken breasts
  • 1 container of Bread crumbs
  • 4 slices of Prosciutto
  • 1 package of shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 4 slices of muenster cheese
  • 2 tbsp garlic powder
  • 1 tbsp salt
  • 2 tbsp basil
  • 1 tbsp pepper
  • 1 tbsp season salt
  • water
  • 1/2 stick unsalted butter
  • 3 eggs

Directions:
Begin by preheating the oven to 150 degrees.  In a large bowl, combine water, garlic, salt, pepper, basil, season salt in a large bowl and brine the chicken for 15 minutes.  After 30 minutes, dip the chicken breasts into the flour, egg wash, and breadcrumbs in that order.
Once the chicken is breaded, stuff each breast with 1 slice of Muenster cheese, 1 handful of mozzarella, 1 slice of prosciutto and close with toothpicks.  Once the oven is preheated, place the chicken breasts onto a greased baking sheet and allow to bake for 30 to 35 minutes.

Mexican Rice

Mexican Rice by Susan Adcock
Videography and Production by Steal Adcock

Susan Adcock, mother to Steal Adcock who attends St. Mary’s University, makes her Mexican Rice with special spices and the high-quality Jasmine Rice. An experienced cook since the age of 8, Adcock demonstrates how to cook this style of Mexican Rice while giving necessary advice on adding different ingredients.

Ingredients:

  • 2 tablespoons of oil
  • 1 medium chopped onion
  • 1 cup of jasmine rice
  • 2 tablespoons of chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon of garlic
  • 1 teaspoon of paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon of cumin
  • 1/4 teaspoon of cayenne
  • 1/4 teaspoon of salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon of pepper
  • 2 cups of water

Directions:

In a medium skillet, heat up two tablespoons of oil. Chop up a medium sized onion into small square pieces and add this to the skillet and cook till the onion slices are tender. Add one cup of jasmine rice and two tablespoons of chili powder, one teaspoon of garlic, paprika, 1/2 teaspoon cumin, and 1/4 of cayenne, salt, and pepper to add flavor. Stir well and add two cups of water.

Bring to a boil, cover the skillet with a tight lid, and cut the burner down to a simmer. Simmer the rice for ten minutes and serve warm.

Enchiladas de Mole

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Enchiladas de Mole by Valeria Perez
Story and photos by Ruben Dominguez

There are many authentic Mexican dishes, but for first-year graduate student Valerie Perez, there is one that means much more to her than a good meal.

“It reminds me of family,” Perez says, “I remember eating it often as a kid when I would visit my mother’s family who reside in San Luis, Potosi, Rio Verde.”

This dish, known to many as Enchiladas de Mole, is a popular dish in the Mexican culture. It is often served at weddings and Quinceaneras. The special sauce which originated from Puebla, Mexico, is a traditional ingredient of that particular area. This Oaxacan cuisine can be found used on many other Mexican dishes such as tamales, quesadillas, and chapulines.

“Mole is one of my favorite Mexican entrees to cook and eat because the sauce is different compared to other famous Mexican dishes.” Perez says.

The sauce that Perez enjoys preparing contains chocolate to give it a rich, sweet taste for its consumers. This is interesting aspect to the Mexican food enthusiast who prepares this dish quite often for dinner parties for friends in her hometown of Dallas, Texas.

“The mole sauce has a little bit of chocolate in it but you can’t really taste the chocolate when you try it,” Perez says.

In cooking this dish, Perez feels that she can connect back to her cultural heritage, something she appreciates about St. Mary’s University as well. She was inspired to make this dish after taking a Mexican-American literature course that has sparked her interest in knowing more about her roots. While the task to make them perfect is a challenge, learning to create a dish worth much more than just a great taste is an adequate reward worth the hardship.

If there was any advice on making the dish, the graduate student says to follow the instructions carefully, but not to be afraid to switch things up and put your own twist on things. This is the key to making the dish meaningful.

“Every time I make this dish, I want to make my critics remember it,” Perez says, “and to make all those that made it before me proud.”

Ingredients

  • 2 1/2 cups of cooked chicken, already shredded
  • 3 cups of warm mole sauce
  • 12 tortillas
  • 3 tablespoons of vegetable oil
  • 1/2 medium size white onion, thinly sliced
  • Lettuce or any salad spring mix of your liking
  • Diced tomatoes, cucumber, freshly cut pineapples
  • Any type of salad dressing
  • Optional: basil, white shredded cheese, avocado
  • Two Frying pans

Directions

First, You will need two frying pans. Place the mole sauce in one of the frying pans and set over medium low heat. Have a plate covered with paper towels ready. Meanwhile, add the vegetable oil in the other frying pan and turn the heat to high. Once the oil is hot, turn down the heat to medium and start frying the tortillas in a fast pace, turning once. The tortilla should turn soft but without any excess oil. Place the tortillas over the paper towel-covered plate to absorb the oil. Keep them warm. After frying all the tortillas, dip them one by one with the help of kitchen tongs (or your hand and a large spatula) into the warm mole sauce, making sure it is completely submerged. This is also a step that’s done quickly, to avoid breaking the tortillas. Place the tortilla onto a plate and add the chicken filling right at the center. Fold the tortilla in the tube form and, with the help of your spatula, place the enchilada on your serving plates. If needed, spoon some more mole sauce over the enchiladas. (I use one plate exclusively to assemble the enchiladas before placing them on the serving dish). Just before serving, garnish with the crumbed cheese and finely sliced onions (and/or) basil. Prepare the salad with lettuce, spring mix. Add the diced tomatoes, diced cucumber and pieces of pineapple onto the salad. Cut the avocado and add it onto the salad or on the side. Makes 3-4 servings.

 

 

Monkeybread

 

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Monkeybread by Kathryn Galindo
Story and Photos by Bria Bell

Kathryn Galindo, a senior Exercise and Sports Science major at St. Mary’s University, has made a passion of making Monkey Bread for her friends and family.

Galindo, who is also on the St. Mary’s women’s basketball team, says she appreciates her time here because of the small community “You pretty much see people you know everyday. You get to know almost everyone and I enjoy that,” she says.

Even though she will be graduating in May 2014, Galindo expresses her excitement about her future endeavors after her time at St. Mary’s is up “I plan to work for an airrosti rehab facility to be a rehab specialist,” she says.

Cooking Monkey Bread stems from when Galindo was a senior in high school.

“One of my good friends got the recipe from Pinterest and tried to make it because it looked really good, but it came out really bad. We decided to try it again at my house and it came out a lot better,” she says.

Galindo’s favorite foods include fried chicken and asparagus casserole, but she enjoys cooking Italian dishes as well as special desserts. “Overall, I’m just a general lover of food!”

For anyone trying to recreate this recipe of Monkey Bread, Galindo’s advice is to experiment with it “Keep trying to create a different version every time, change your technique occasionally, add a different ingredient like pecans or something…as long as you like it, that’s all that matters,” she says.

Ingredients:

½ cup granulated sugar

1 teaspoon of cinnamon

2 cans of Pillsbury Grands Home Style Buttermilk Biscuits (refrigerated)

½ cup firmly packed brown

¾ cup butter or margarine (melted)

Directions:

Heat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly grease 12-cup fluted tube pan with shortening or cooking spray. In large storage plastic food bag, mix granulated sugar and cinnamon.

Separate dough into 16 biscuits; cut each into quarters. Shake in bag to coat. Arrange in pan, adding walnuts and raisins among the biscuit pieces.

In small bowl, mix brown sugar and butter; pour over biscuit pieces.

Bake 28 to 32 minutes or until golden brown and no longer doughy in center. Cool in pan 10 minutes. Turn upside down onto serving plate; pull apart to serve. Serve warm.

Makes 1-9 or 10 inch tube pan

Remastering a Classic with Love

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Spaghetti and Meatballs by Kathleen Benavides
Story and Photos by Pablo Cruz Jr.

Many people enjoy Italian food for the taste and the love that goes behind every dish, this is the same love Kathleen Benavides puts into her spaghetti and meatballs.

Spaghetti and meatballs, with its perfect combination of harmonious flavors from simple ingredients, is a favorite for Kathleen, a Computer Information Systems graduate and St. Mary’s University Alumna.

Benavides graduated in May of 2013 and enjoyed her years at St. Mary’s, calling it, “home away from home.” Her major allowed her to learn plenty in the field of technology but cooking has always been a part of her life, even in college. While Kathleen doesn’t consider herself a top-tier chef, her dishes have earned the approval of second servings from friends and family.

Her Mexican heritage influenced her choices of favorite dishes like late night tacos, good morning migas, and family dinner enchiladas. However, she found a love for one Italian dish. “Growing up I would always see spaghetti and meatballs in my favorite cartoons as the main dish served for dinner. I always had the desire to learn how to make it. So I did my research and accepted the challenge,” she recalls.  When preparing this dish, Benavides advises, “ Truth be told, anyone can make it, you just need a little love. That’s the secret.”, she concludes.

Ingredients

Fresh Tomato Sauce

  • 10 to 12 fresh plum tomatoes (approximately 2 to 2 1/2 pounds)
  • 4 ounces extra-virgin olive oil, plus additional extra-virgin olive oil, optional
  • 3 cloves garlic, finely chopped or blended.
  • Pinch crushed red pepper
  • 1/2 medium onion, finely chopped or blended.
  • Kosher salt
  • Freshly chopped parsley leaves

Meatballs

  • 2 tablespoons, plus 1 cup pure olive oil or vegetable oil
  • 4 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped fresh parsley
  • 1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 3/4 lb ground chuck
  • 1/4 to 1/2 cup dried breadcrumbs.

Barilla Spaghetti Noodles (Store Bought)

Directions

Tomato Sauce Directions

Cut the bottom of each tomato in a cross form with a sharp knife (do not cut too deep). Then, place tomatoes onto a baking pan and roast for about 2 hours. Remove tomatoes and let them cool. Then peel and blend tomatoes.Heat olive oil in a saucepan. When hot, add garlic and crushed red pepper. Saute until garlic turns slightly golden. Add chopped onion and saute an additional 2 1/2 minutes.Add 2 cups of water to pan. Add tomatoes and cook approximately 5 minutes. Add salt to taste. Add chopped parsley and extra virgin olive oil if desired.

Meatballs Directions

Heat 2 tablespoons of the oil in a small saute pan over medium heat. Add the garlic and cook until soft, about 1½ minutes. Remove from heat and let cool slightly.Whisk together the eggs, 3 tablespoons cold water, sautéed garlic, parsley, cheese and salt and pepper in a large bowl until combined. Add the chuck and gently mix together until combined. Begin adding bread crumbs a few tablespoons at a time until the mixture just holds together.
Form the meat into 1½-inch balls. Heat the remaining 1 cup of oil in a large sauté pan over medium-high heat until it begins to shimmer. Add the meatballs and fry until golden brown on all sides.

Noodles Directions

Fill a medium sized pot with cold water. Place it on the stove on high heat. Bring to a boil.
Reduce water to a simmer. Place the spaghetti into the hot water, making sure the spaghetti is completely covered with water. You may need to break the spaghetti in half.Allow to cook for 10-15 minutes. Spaghetti should be completely soft when finished. Test a strand of pasta to make sure it is finished before turning off the stove. If the center is still hard, allow to cook for an additional 5-10 minutes.Remove pot from heat. Drain the pasta using a colander, then transfer pasta to a plate. Serve immediately.If spaghetti is dry, drizzle with olive oil or butter.