Tag Archives: recipes

Hot Meals for Cold Months

-Marissa Tomko

There are lots of reasons for not cooking every night in college. Perhaps you’re one of those overachievers who just doesn’t have any time to eat anything but canned soup. Or maybe you are lucky enough to have roommates who like to cook and always give you their leftovers. And of course, there’s always the off chance that you’re like me, and the chef gene missed you entirely. Whatever your case may be, there is a solution to your kitchen woes. With it getting colder out there, it is so nice to have hearty meals to warm you from the inside out. I present you with my three favorite meals to do just that. All three have been adapted from Allrecipes.com. The best part about them is that you can freeze them once you’ve prepared them and bake them just about any time that you wish!

Mac & Cheese

Ingredients:

12 oz package of macaroni
1 egg
2 cup smilk
2 tablespoon melted butter
2 1/2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
salt and pepper as needed

Prep:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Grease 2 quart baking pan.

Directions:

1. Cook macaroni for half the time stated on the box.

2. Whisk egg and milk, then stir in butter and cheese until thoroughly mixed.

3. Evenly distribute noodles in baking pan.

4. Pour egg/milk/cheese mixture over macaroni. Add salt and pepper to taste and stir well.

5. After pressing the covered noodles evenly into the pan, cover and freeze, or bake uncovered for about 35 minutes.

 

Enchiladas

Ingredients:

1 can cream of chicken soup
2 cups sour cream
4 cups shredded chicken
1 onion
1 can green chilies
2 cups cheddar cheese
1 package corn tortillas

Prep:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Directions:

1. Chop and caramelize the onion

2. Mix together cream of chicken soup, sour cream, chilies, 1 cup cheese, and onion in large mixing bowl.

3. Place 1 tortilla on flat surface and spoon the mixture into the middle.

4. Add chicken, and roll up.

5. Place into 13×9 baking pan, and repeat with remaining tortillas.

6. Pour leftover mixture evenly over enchiladas, and sprinkle the left over cheese on top.

7. Cover and freeze, or bake uncovered for 25 minutes.

 

Lasagna

Ingredients:

1 lb lean ground beef
1 chopped onion
1 jar spaghetti sauce
1 pint part-skim ricotta cheese
1/4 cup crated parmesan cheese
2 eggs
1 16 oz package lasagna noodles
8 oz shredded mozzarella cheese

Prep:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Directions:

1. Cook ground beef until brown.

2. Add in onions, stirring until sautéed.

3. Stir in pasta sauce.

4. In mixing bowl, combine ricotta cheese, Parmesan cheese, and eggs.

5. Spread thin layer of meat mixture on the bottom of 13X9 pan. Layer uncooked lasagna noodles, cheese mixture, and mozzarella. Repeat until ingredients are used.

6. Cover with aluminum foil. Freeze, or bake for 45 minutes. Let stand 10-15 minutes before serving.

Learn to Love Celeriac

– Madeline Dickerson

A few blogs ago I mentioned that often the best looking vegetables in the produce sections are the right choice because they are in season and therefore taste better. However, there is one vegetable that defies this rule: celeriac. Also called celery root or knob celery, at first glance, it is probably one of the ugliest and least tantalizing vegetables around, even at its prime. But once you peel away that rough, dirt encrusted exterior, you’ll find a lovely smooth flesh. Similar to a potato, celeriac has the refreshing smell and taste of celery. This vegetable is great in soups and gratins, but can also be enjoyed raw when chopped up for salads (as in the beet salad recipe below). So don’t be afraid of its ugly exterior, pick one up today and start experimenting!

As you’ve probably already gathered, celeriac is a type of celery that is grown only for its bulbous root. The plant puts most of its energy towards root production so the celery stalks usually aren’t very pleasant. Chop them off and just use the bulb. And while it is similar to a potato, it doesn’t contain high amounts of starch like most other root vegetables.

Unfortunately, celeriac isn’t the easiest thing to prepare. Start by slicing off the skin and root tendrils with a pairing knife. You’ll lose a lot of the root but it’s what has to be done. Once you have the skin removed, slice it up however you want it for the recipe and put the pieces in a bowl of cold water with a squeeze or two of lemon juice. This will keep it from discoloring. A one pound celery root will get you about 1 cup of cooked puree.

As mentioned before, celeriac is surprisingly versatile. Below I’ve given two recipes, one with cooked celeriac (puréed celery root soup) and one with raw celeriac (celery root and beet salad). Either cooked or raw, this vegetable has a wonderful flavor that adds a unique touch to any dish.

And if I still haven’t convinced you about the awesomeness of this bulbous veggie, maybe Celeriac the super hero will be able to.

Celery Root and Beet Salad: Adapted from Gourmet Magazine

Ingredients: Serves 8

–       6 medium beets (2 ¼ lb with greens) trimmed, leaving 1-inch of stem attached (I used a mixture of colors and types)

–       2 tablespoons plus 2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice

–       2 tablespoons minced shallot

–       ¼ olive oil

–       ¾ teaspoon salt

–       ½ cup chopped walnuts (2 oz) toasted and cooled

1)   Put oven rack in the middle position and preheat oven to 425 degrees. Wrap beets tightly in foil to make 2 packages (3 in each) and roast until tender, about 1 hour and 20 minutes.

2)   While beets roast, peel celery root with a sharp knife and cut into 1/8 inch-thick matchsticks. Whisk together lemon juice, shallot, oil, salt, and pepper to taste in a large bowl until combined. Add celery root and toss to coat. Keep at room temp, covered, until ready to add beets.

3)   Unwrap beets and when just cool enough to handle, slip off the skins and remove stem. Cut into 1/8 inch-thick matchsticks and toss with celery root.

4)   Let salad stand, covered, at room temp for 1 hour before seasoning with more lemon juice and salt if necessary. Toss with walnuts and serve.

Puréed Celery Root Soup: Adapted from “How to Cook Everything” by Mark Bittman

Note: For how simple and easy this soup was to make it was packed full of flavor and was truly delicious.

Ingredients: Serves 4

–       2 tablespoons butter

–       2 shallots or one small onion chopped

–       1 pound peeled and chopped celery root

–       1 medium peeled and chopped potato

–       6 cups chicken or vegetable stock

–       Salt and fresh ground pepper

–       2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley for garnish

1)   Put the butter in a large, deep pot over medium-high heat. When butter is melted, add the vegetables and cook until they start to soften, about 5 minutes.

2)   Add the stock and bring to a boil. Lower heat to a simmer and cook, stirring occasionally until it thickens and the vegetables are fully tender. Let simmer for about 10 to 15 minutes.

3)   Use an immersion blender or regular blender to purée the soup. Serve hot or refrigerate covered (keeps 2 days or so) to serve it cold. Serve garnished with parsley.

Leeks Uncovered

– Madeline Dickerson

Every once and a while my generally rapid food inspiration river runs dry and I find myself at loss for what to feed myself. During these desperate times, I usually head to the produce section and wander back and forth aimlessly until something catches my eye. I’ve found this to be a fairly successful tactic since the produce that looks the best is often what is most in season and traveled the shortest distance (both great qualities to look for in produce purchases). This week when I hit a rut and found myself pacing the aisles of stacked veggies and fruit, it was a relative of the onion, the leek, which got my inspirational juices flowing again.

Resembling a green onion on steroids, the leek has a very mild onion flavor similar to a shallot but sweeter. A veggie with roots in ancient history, the Greeks and Romans praised it for its throat soothing qualities. According to the Food Museum, it was the favorite food of famous Roman leader Nero who ate leek soup daily to keep his voice strong. He even developed the nickname “Leekeater” for his habit.

Leeks also have a long tradition in Welsh history, where to this day it is the national symbol of the country. One legend says that soldiers under the command of King Cadwaladr wore leeks on their helmets in order to identify themselves from their enemies the Saxons during a famous battle in a leek field. Leeks now appear as the modern cap badge of Welsh Guards.

Personally, I love leeks because they are easy to prepare and add a much milder flavor to dishes than regular onions do. When choosing at the store, look for leeks that have dark green leaves with firm and straight white stalks. Stay away from ones that are wilted or have cracked or bruised bulbs. They come in a variety of sizes but look for ones that are about 1½ inch in diameter.  Giant ones can sometimes be stringy and not great to eat.

The only semi-annoying thing about leeks can be the amount of dirt trapped between the leaves and layers of the stalk. While the leek grows, dirt is piled up around the stalk to keep it blanched white and make it grow tall. In this process, dirt is collected inside the layers for you to clean out later. But trust me, it’s not a big deal.

The easiest way to clean and prep a leek is to chop off the root end and the dark leaves, they are too chewy and bitter to eat anyways. Then slice the leek in half vertically leaving the base in tact. Fan out the leaves under cold water from the faucet or dunk into a bowl of cold water and rinse. Then chop them or slice them however you like.

I often use sliced leeks to add a little green to my scrambled eggs in the morning or to make potato leek soup. Or I make one of my favorite named dishes of all time, cock-a-leekie soup. Seriously, who ever came up with that name was a genius.

With my leek purchases I made the two recipes below, braised leeks with olives, and leek and parsley pasta. But if those don’t strike your fancy, check out this website that has a ton of recipes featuring this vegetable as the main ingredient. Yeah that’s right, a website dedicated just to leek recipes: reason number 87 why I love the Internet.

So go ahead, follow in the footsteps of Nero and become a “Leekeater” yourself.

Braised Leeks with Olives: Adapted from “How to Cook Everything” by Mark Bittman

Ingredients: Serves 4

4 tablespoons olive oil or butter

3 or 4 leeks (about 1 ½ pounds) trimmed and cleaned and chopped into about 2 inch lengths

1 cup oil cured black olives – pits in or out depending on preference (look for them at the olive bar)

Salt and freshly ground pepper

½ cup of stock or water (I used chicken stock)

Freshly squeezed lemon juice

1)  Put oil in a skillet or saucepan and heat to medium.  Toss in leeks and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Cook, turning once or twice till brown, about 5 minutes.

2)  Add the stock and olives and bring to a boil. Turn the heat to low, cover, and cook until leeks are tender, 10 to 20 minutes. If there is still a lot of liquid, uncover, raise heat and boil some of it away but don’t dry them out.

3)  Sprinkle with about 1 tablespoon of lemon juice, taste and adjust seasoning. Serve hot, at room temp, or cold, sprinkled with a little more lemon juice.

Leek and Parsley Pasta: Adapted from “How to Cook Everything” by Mark Bittman

Ingredients: Serves 4

Salt

4 tablespoons olive oil

2 cloves of garlic, lightly crushed

Hot red pepper flakes or 2-3 dried red chilies

3 or 4 leeks (about 1 pound) trimmed, washed, and chopped

½ red bell pepper

1 pound of spaghetti (I used whole wheat)

Freshly ground black pepper

¾ chopped fresh parsley

1)   Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Meanwhile, put half the oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. When hot, add the garlic and red pepper flakes and cook, stirring occasionally, until the garlic browns, about 2 minutes. Remove the garlic if you like.

2)   Add the leeks to the oil and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 10 minutes. Add the bell pepper and lower the heat. Cook, stirring occasionally until leeks being to caramelize, about 5 minutes.

3)   Cook the pasta in the boiling water until tender. When done, drain it, reserving about ½ cup of the cooking water. Toss the pasta and leeks together with the remaining oil, a few sprinkles of black pepper, and a little of the parsley. Add a bit of the cooking water if the mixture seems dry. Taste and adjust the seasoning. Garnish with the remaining parsley and serve.