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.

Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies

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Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies by Lauren Cook
Story and Photos by Tawny Davis

When thinking about her favorite foods, Lauren Cook, sophomore criminal justice major, wants to curb her sweet tooth with a chocolate chip cookie. Not wanting the extra sugar and aiming to make a healthier option, she decides to make oatmeal chocolate chip cookies which are dairy free, gluten free and vegan.
Her dream job is to become a professor—a desire that helped her choose this dish because she wants to create something that is sharable, but also healthy to eat.
“I actually love all types of food out there, but I love healthier options because there are just some days where I don’t want to feel like I’m eating just pure sugar,” Cook says.
“However, there are days where I just want pure chocolate.”
Cook decided on her cookies to share with her friends because St. Mary’s “homey and small vibe” makes her feel like everyone can come together and share.
“I chose this dish because they are easy to make and you can share with all your friends and family,” Cook says.
“Anyone can make them and add whatever they want to it to make it their own dish.”
Cook says that this is an easy dish to make because it is made up of a few ingredients and any topping or other ingredient of choice can be added easily.
“You can make it your own and it just involves mixing and making them into balls,” she says.
Cook’s secret is to use dark chocolate on top of regular semi-sweet chocolate because it is the healthier better option.
“The end result should be amazing because it is awarding to know that you created this dish for you and your friends,” she concludes.
Ingredients
• 1 cup of oats
• 2 bananas
• 3 tbsp of chocolate chips (or more if desired)
Directions
1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
2. In a bowl combine mashed bananas, oats and chocolate chips
3. Spoon tablespoons of mixture onto cookie sheet
4. Bake 14 minutes until edges are brown
Makes 12 cookies.

Rum Cake

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Rum Cake by Alexis Zepeda
Story and Photos by Sara Jauregui

This delicious Rum Cake manages to create a home away from home for the amazing chef, Alexis Zepeda, senior English major at St. Mary’s University. Born and raised in El Paso, Texas, Alexis manages to bring some flavors from her family’s traditional recipes to San Antonio, where she now resides for school.

As she prepares for her future career as a graphic designer, her hobbies include art-making, photography, design, and just like any other talented foodie – eating!

“My favorite thing about attending St. Mary’s is that I am able to live in San Antonio, a city full of different flavors.” Cupcakes and ice cream are some of Alexis’s favorite sweets to try around town.

As a result, she spends a lot of time experimenting with traditional recipes by adding her favorite flavors to create new modern desserts. Alexis chooses to share this recipe because it holds a special place in her heart. This delicious Rum cake is a staple in every family function and is traditionally gifted to loved ones during the holidays from her mother.

She gives some tips on how to perfect the Zepeda family’s signature Rum cake such as pouring the glaze over the cake immediately after baking. “The warmth coming from the cake allows the glaze to seep into the cake which adds much more flavor”.

Another tip is to bake the cake for less time than the instructions from the box recommends. “Instead of baking the cake for an hour, I prefer to bake the cake for 45 minutes because it keeps the bread from losing its moisture.”

Finally, she suggests placing the finished cake on a decorative plate for visual appeal. “My family and I always gift Rum cakes to loved ones during the holidays, so every time I make one it’s like a celebration is waiting to happen!”

Ingredients

Cake:

  • 1 box of yellow cake mix (~18 oz.)
  • 1 package instant vanilla pudding mix (3.5 oz.)
  • 4 whole eggs
  • 1/2 cup cold water
  • 1/2 cup canola oil
  • 1/2 cup Rum
  • 1 cup chopped pecans

Glaze:

  • 1 1/2 stick of butter
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1 1/2 cup of sugar
  • 3/4 cup of Rum

Makes 12 servings.

Directions

Begin by preheating your oven to 325 F. Grease a bundt cake pan with cooking spray or butter. Sprinkle crushed up pecans on the bottom of the pan. Follow instructions on the box on how to prepare your yellow cake batter. Pour the batter over the pecans and smooth out. Bake for about 45 minutes, until the bread is light golden in color. For the glaze, begin by melting the butter in a saucepan. Add in water and sugar and stir until boiling. Lower the heat and stir the rum into the glaze. After letting the cake cool for a couple of minutes, and while your glaze is still warm, invert onto a serving plate and drizzle part of the glaze on top. With the help of a fork, prick the surface of the cake and continue drizzling with the rest of the glaze. Cool to room temperature and serve.

 

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!