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Mucho Gusto

Jessica’s Sweet Potato Gnocchi

This is the seventeenth installment in Mucho Gusto, a recipe initiative by and for students to help connect us through food in times of isolation. If you’ve got a recipe you think would make a great addition, reach out to us!

Make if you have: sweet potatoes, flour, and eggs

Who knew you could escape to Italy from the comfort of your own home with 3 simple ingredients? We can thank this gnocchi recipe for that. These little pillows of delight can be served with a variety of sauces, herbs, spices, or simply tossed in some butter and melted oil. The possibilities are endless!

Serves 2-4 

Ingredients

2 medium sweet potatoes 

1 large egg 

2-3 cups of flour

Salt to taste

Steps 

First, preheat your oven to 400 degrees F. Use a fork to poke a few holes in each sweet potato and bake them in the oven for around 40 minutes until they’re tender. Then set them aside to cool. 

Once they are cool enough to handle with your hands, peel the potatoes and mash them in a bowl. Incorporate the egg and stir until fully combined. Slowly sift in the flour and stir until a dough forms: add as much flour you think is necessary to get the right dough consistency

Roll the dough into a 1 inch wide rope and cut into 1-inch pieces. Roll the pieces into balls and use a fork to press into the dough to create a typical gnocchi shape.

Set a pot of salted water to boil. Once it is ready, put in the piece and cook them until they rise to the top. Feel free to add any oil, herbs, spices, or sauces before serving. Enjoy!

This recipe can also be used to make cauliflower gnocchi by replacing the sweet potatoes with a head of cauliflower. To prepare the cauliflower, bring a pot of water to boil over high heat and cook it for about 6 minutes until it is tender. Drain the cauliflower and allow it to cool on a clean towel. Then squeeze the excess water out of the cauliflower, mash it, and continue following the recipe above. 

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Mucho Gusto

Valentina’s Carrot Cake

This is the sixteenth installment in Mucho Gusto, a recipe initiative by and for students to help connect us through food in times of isolation. If you’ve got a recipe you think would make a great addition, reach out to us!

Make if you have: Carrots, pecans, macadamias

Baking brings friends and families together. The aromatic smells of vanilla extract and cinnamon combined with the visually pleasing and fruity decorations make this recipe both delicious and therapeutic. After all, there is nothing quite like making something sweet and sharing something sweeter. 

Ingredients for the batter:

– 3/4 cup of brown sugar

– 3/4 cup of coconut oil

– 1/4 cup greek yogurt

– 3 whole eggs

– 2 teaspoons of vanilla extract

– 1 cup of whole flour

– 1 cup of almond flour

– 1 teaspoon of baking powder

– 2 teaspoons of cinnamon 

– 1/2 teaspoon of salt

– 2 cups of grated carrots

– 3/4 cups of sliced pecans 

– 1/2 cup of toasted macadamias (sliced)

Frosting ingredients:

– 8 ounces of cream cheese

– 1/3 cup of pulverized sugar

– 2 teaspoons of vanilla. Extract

To decorate:

– 1/2 cup of sliced and toasted pecans

– 1/2 cup of grated and toasted coconut 

To begin, preheat the oven to 350 F and cover the cake container with a little bit of coconut oil.

Afterwards, in a medium bowl, start to mix the brown sugar with the coconut oil and the yogurt. Then, add the eggs, one by one, to the same bowl and mix well after each egg. Finally, add the vanilla extract and mix some more.

In another bowl, mix the two flours with the baking powder, the salt, and the cinnamon. Then, pour the liquids into the dry mix, using a spatula to fold the batter until smooth. After, add the sliced nuts and the carrots into the mix, using the spatula to fold the ingredients once again. Finally, pour the finished batter into the container and place in the oven for approximately 30 minutes (check 5 mins prior).

While the cake is in the oven, make the frosting by mixing the cream cheese, the vanilla, and the powdered sugar using a whisk. Mix well at a constant speed until it thickens. Let it rest in the fridge.

 When the cake is done, take it out of the oven and leave it covered in the counter for about one hour, so it cools.

After the cake is cool, cover it with half of the frosting and place it in the fridge for about 15 minutes. Make sure to cover the cake with the rest of the frosting (like a second coat) so that all of the cake is covered. 

Finally, get creative and decorate the cake with the toasted pecans and with the coconut. You can also use the fruits of your choice to give the cake a little bit of color. I used one strawberry cut in four pieces. 

 Enjoy and share this recipe with your friends!

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Sylvia’s Broccoli Pesto

This is the fifteenth installment in Mucho Gusto, a recipe initiative by and for students to help connect us through food in times of isolation. If you’ve got a recipe you think would make a great addition, reach out to us!

Make if you have: Broccoli, pistachios, walnuts, and linguine pasta

This pasta is the combination of the lightness and freshness of the farmers market with the heavy and flavorful Italian restaurant. The taste of broccoli brings back memories of healthier times outside while the pesto brings satisfying thoughts of warm home cooked meals. Buon Appetito! 

10 oz. broccoli (fresh or frozen)

1/3 cup of olive oil

Handful of pistachios

Handful walnuts 

1/2 lemon

Parmesan cheese

Linguine pasta (2 cups)

First, place the  broccoli into a medium pot of salted boiling water for three minutes. 

After the broccoli is done, take it out of the pot and place linguini pasta into the boiling water. Cook the pasta for about 6 minutes and save 1/2 cup of salted pasta water for the sauce later. 

Meanwhile, to begin the sauce, place half of the olive oil and all of the broccoli in a food processor, magic bullet, or blender.

Then, squeeze the lemon, add pistachios, walnuts, salt and pepper into the blender. You may also add a little parmesan cheese, to your liking. 

Afterwards, add some of the pasta water to thin it out. Only add the remaining olive oil if you want to make the sauce thicker. Then, turn on the food processor until the sauce is thick and blended.

Finally, drain the pasta completely and add the sauce to the pot with pasta and add some more parmesan cheese as a final touch.

Enjoy!  

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Mucho Gusto

Valeria’s Ferrero Rocher Cheesecake

This is the fourteenth installment in Mucho Gusto, a recipe initiative by and for students to help connect us through food in times of isolation. If you’ve got a recipe you think would make a great addition, reach out to us!

Make if you have: Ferrero Rocher truffles, cream cheese, heavy whipping cream, Marie biscuits

Cheesecake itself is already delicious… but, why not combine with one of the best chocolates ever to make even more mouthwatering: Ferrero Rocher. This is a recipe that is perfect to celebrate any quarantine birthday coming up or simply just to satisfy your sweet tooth. 

Disclosure: Total cook time is approximately 24 hours for the best results 

Makes one 8-inch cake

Crust:

2 ½ cups of Marie biscuits

½ cup of unsalted butter

4 Ferrero Rocher truffles

Filling:

32 oz of cream cheese (room temperature)

3 eggs 

6 egg yolks 

¾ cup sour cream

1 ¼ cup of sugar

1 tsp of vanilla extract

8 Ferrero Rocher truffles

For decorating:

1 cup of milk chocolate chips

1 ¼ cup of heavy whipping cream 

12 Ferrero Rocher truffles (amount may vary based on decoration preferences)

Begin by preheating the oven to 350 degrees and lining your 8-inch round pan with parchment paper. Next, use a food processor or blender to finely ground the biscuits, add the Ferrero Rocher truffles and the melted butter and mix until the whole mixture seems uniform. Pour the crumb mixture into the prepared pan and use the back of a spoon to compact all the mixture all over the bottom of the pan. Put the pan in the fridge while you make the filling. 

Grab a large mixing bowl and pour the cream cheese, eggs, sour cream, sugar, and vanilla. Use an electric mixer to mix together all of these ingredients until the mixture is smooth and silky. While you are mixing, grab the pan from the fridge and put it in the oven for 10 minutes to give the cookie layer a bit of an extra crunch. Once the 10 minutes are over, remove the pan from the oven and pour the filling into the pan and place the whole Ferrero Rocher truffles in the filling. 

Firmly wrap two layers of aluminum foil around the bottom of the pan and cover the top loosely using foil also. This is to prevent any water seeping in from the water bath. Place the pan in a deep oven tray and add boiling water until it reaches halfway up the pan. Put all of this in the oven for 90 minutes or until it sets (it should be wobbly in the middle and firm in the edges). Once that is up, turn off the oven but let the cheesecake stand in there for one more hour. Then remove the cake pan from the water bath and put it in the fridge for it to cool down for at least 4 hours or for best results overnight to allow it to fully set. 

Once the cheesecake is set, it is ready to be decorated. Bring the heavy cream to a simmer in a small saucepan. In a medium bowl add the milk chocolate chips. Pour the warm heavy cream over the chocolate chips. Make sure the chocolate chips are fully submerged for one minute and then begin to mix the mixture with a whisk until it turns into a silky ganache. Allow the ganache to rest for about 10 minutes or until it hardens up into a spreading consistency. Using a spoon or spatula spread the chocolate ganache over the cheesecake all the way to the edges. Decorate by placing the Ferrero Rocher truffles into the ganache at your own discretion. Place the cheesecake into the fridge for 1 more hour or until serving. Remove the cheesecake from the pan before serving.

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Mucho Gusto

Annie’s Eggs Benedict

This is the eleventh installment in Mucho Gusto, a recipe initiative by and for students to help connect us through food in times of isolation. If you’ve got a recipe you think would make a great addition, reach out to us!

Make if you have: english muffins and breakfast meat of choice

This dish is a brunch classic; making it yourself will elevate any morning at home. The garnishing options leave plenty of room for experimentation… go simple like Annie, raid your pantry for options, or mimic the toppings your favorite restaurant uses for a temporary escape from quarantine!

Serves 3

Ingredients: 

6 whole eggs
4 yolks, separated
1 stick of butter
3 English muffins
Lemon juice
Tobacco sauce
Vinegar
Kosher salt
Breakfast meat of choice
Cracker salt and black pepper

Process:

Melt a stick of butter in a small saucepan until liquid and do not boil. To prepare the water to poach the egg, fill a large fry pan with hot salted water and add 2 tablespoons of vinegar. Heat to approximately 180 degrees F so there is steam coming off the surface of the pot, but the water is not boiling. Cook the breakfast meat of your choice (we used a honey baked thick sliced ham) in a griddle pan. Flip until all sides are well cooked. This meat can be heated up in the microwave if it gets cold.

For the hollandaise, take a small saucepan and fill it with two inches of water and heat over medium until steaming. Mix together the yolks of four eggs into the hollandaise pan, along with two tablespoons of lemon juice. Whisk for 3 minutes with no heat. After the mixture is frothy, place the stainless steel bowl on top of the boiling water. Then stir in the melted butter very slowly, only adding a little bit at a time so it doesn’t curdle. Then whisk in a pinch of kosher salt and a teaspoon of tobacco. Whisk until creamy and keep warm.

Open and toast your English muffins in a toaster or oven so they’re a little crispy but still soft. Now to poach the eggs: crack one egg into a small bowl, without letting the yolk break. Carefully drop the egg into the boiling vinegar water. Repeat with each egg until all 6 are in and touching as little as possible. Cook for 3-4 minutes.

Place English muffins, insides up, on three plates. Add the breakfast meats on top of the English muffins. Once the eggs are poached, use a slotted spoon to take them out and place them one by one on the English muffins. Finally, drizzle the warm hollandaise sauce on top. You can have your bennys plain or if you’d like, or add a little garnish on top. We added cracked sea salt and black pepper, but you can also add chives, crushed red pepper, cayenne, or whatever other seasoning your heart desires. Enjoy!

Additional tips: Feel free to adjust the lemon juice, tobacco, and kosher salt to taste. If the hollandaise thickens too much, you can slowly add hot water and whisk to loosen it.

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Jenna’s Cookies

This is the ninth installment in Mucho Gusto, a recipe initiative by and for students to help connect us through food in times of isolation. If you’ve got a recipe you think would make a great addition, reach out to us!

Make if you have: Flour, salt, eggs, butter, chocolate chips

Nothing quite compares to freshly-baked chocolate chip cookies. This is a quick and easy recipe for when you’re craving something warm and comforting.

1 ½ cups flour

1 ¼ teaspoon salt

¾ teaspoon baking soda

¾ cup unsalted butter, divided

1 cup dark brown sugar (packed)

¼ cup granulated sugar

1 egg

2 egg yolks

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

¾ cup semisweet chocolate chips or coarsely chopped bittersweet chocolate

Start by preheating your oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit. Combine flour, salt, and baking soda. Next, take ½ cup of the butter and place it in a pan over medium heat; continuously stirring until it melts and then browns (around four minutes). Remove the browned butter from the heat and let it sit for one minute before adding the remaining ¼ cup of butter, cubed, into the mixture. Mix until the added butter has melted as well.

Next, add the brown and granulated sugars to the butter. Stir until smooth, and then add the egg and egg yolks and whisk for around 30 seconds. Afterward, add vanilla extract. Fold the wet ingredients into the dry just until thoroughly combined, and then fold in the chocolate. Spoon the dough into balls of about three tablespoons in volume, and place them on baking sheets lined in parchment. Bake until golden brown, for around 8-10 minutes. Enjoy!

Recipe adapted from Bon Appétit

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Mucho Gusto

Lauren’s Pretzel Bites

This is the eighth installment in Mucho Gusto, a recipe initiative by and for students to help connect us through food in times of isolation. If you’ve got a recipe you think would make a great addition, reach out to us!

Make if you have: basic baking ingredients, time, the need for a snack

These pretzels are a great snack for a family game, puzzle, or movie night! Making the snack is also a fun activity for the whole family. You can make the cheese dip or just eat them with a little mustard.

Pretzel Bites:

1 ½ cups of lukewarm water 

2 ¼ teaspoons instant rise yeast (¼ ounce pack) 

2 tablespoons melted butter

1 tablespoon brown sugar 

1 teaspoon salt

4 cups flour

½ cup baking soda 

1 egg beaten

Salt for sprinkling on top

Cheese Dip: 

2 ¼ cup milk (whole milk suggested)

¼ cup unsalted butter

¼ cup flour

2 cups sharp cheddar cheese (grated)

Salt and pepper

For the pretzel bites, first dissolve the yeast in the lukewarm water and mix until they are combined – about 1 minute. In a mixing bowl, combine the brown sugar, butter, salt, and yeast mixture. Stir until homogenous. Slowly add 3 cups of flour, 1 cup at a time. Mix by hand (or with a stand mixer using the hook attachment), until the dough is thick. Add ¾ cup more flour and mix. If the dough is still sticky add ¼ cup more flour at a time until the dough is no longer sticky and bounces back when you poke it.

Take your dough and place it on a lightly floured surface. Knead it for 2 minutes and shape it into a ball. Place the dough in a lightly greased bowl, then cover the bowl with a dish towel or other cloth and let sit for 10 minutes. While the dough is rising, bring a large pot of water to a boil with the baking soda, preheat the oven to 425 degrees, and line two two large baking sheets with parchment paper.

Section your dough into 6 equal parts and roll each section into long ropes. Then, cut into 1-1 ½ inch bites. Once water is boiling, drop 10 pretzel bites into water and boil for 20 seconds. Remove with a slotted spoon and place onto prepared baking sheets, making sure that they do not touch. Repeat with remaining pretzel bites.

Brush beaten egg (or butter) over each pretzel bite and sprinkle with salt. Bake for 12-15 minutes, until golden brown, rotating the sheet pans once halfway through cooking.

For the cheese! Heat your milk in a small saucepan over medium heat until small bubbles form on the top. Meanwhile, melt the butter in another saucepan over medium heat. Add flour and whisk until lightly browned, 2-3 minutes Add the warm milk to the flour butter mixture in a slow, steady stream, whisking constantly. Cook until the mixture thickens (congratulations you have made a roux), about 5 minutes. Add the cheese and stir until smooth. If you want to add a little more flavor, add one 1 tablespoon of mustard.

Recipe adapted from Platings and Pairings 

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Mucho Gusto

Emily’s Tofu Spring Rolls

This is the sixth installment in Mucho Gusto, a recipe initiative by and for students to help connect us through food in times of isolation. If you’ve got a recipe you think would make a great addition, reach out to us!

Make if you have: rice paper, tofu, vegetables

Serves 1-4

This recipe is easy to make, easily substitutable and lots of fun if you’re stuck with your family and nothing to do.  I learned how to make spring rolls over Spring Break, when a few friends and I went home with my roommate, Sophie, to San Francisco. The best part of this recipe (and the most crucial) is the peanut sauce, which I highly recommend that you don’t forget. This is a personalizable dish that each person can customize to their own liking.

A package of rice paper for spring roll wraps

Vermicelli 

Tofu (raw or cooked)

Lettuce 

Carrots 

½ cup of peanut butter

⅓ cup of soy sauce

3 tablespoons sesame oil

2 tablespoons rice vinegar

2 tablespoons of chili paste

2 tablespoons, sugar, honey, agave

Small knob of fresh ginger, peeled

Clove of fresh garlic, peeled

First, I cooked the tofu in vegetable oil and boiled the noodles. Then, I prepped the vegetables, washed the lettuce, shredded carrots. After, I laid everything out in an assembly line. Then I took a shallow bowl and filled it with warm water. Then I soaked the rice paper, and laid it on the plate and let it rest. When the paper was softened, then I put the lettuce, carrots, noodles, and then tofu. I then started rolling, and when you get halfway through, I folded in the sides and then finished wrapping it, kind of like how you’d wrap a burrito.

Now onto the sauce: I just mixed the peanut butter, soy sauce, sesame oil, rice vinegar, chili paste, honey, ginger, and garlic in a bowl until it was creamy. You could also sprinkle some crushed peanuts on top for texture and enjoy!

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Mucho Gusto

Devyn’s Ground Turkey & Spinach Casserole

This is the fourth installment in Mucho Gusto, a recipe initiative by and for students to help connect us through food in times of isolation. If you’ve got a recipe you think would make a great addition, reach out to us!

Make if you have: Ground turkey, noodles, spinach

Makes 1 casserole

Comfort food is exactly what we need right now and casseroles provide just that. This is a pantry-friendly recipe for a convenient and delicious dinner.

½ bag of Egg Noodles (12 oz. bag)

1 bag of spinach

½ cup of finely chopped white onion

½ cup of low-fat sour cream

1 tablespoon of Worcestershire Sauce

1 tablespoon of canned tomato sauce 

½ bag of shredded three-cheese blend

1 package of ground turkey

*Mrs. Dash seasoning

*Santa Maria seasoning

*If you don’t have the seasonings just use salt and pepper

Wash spinach and boil until wilted. Boil egg noodles until al dente, strain, and cool. In a mixing bowl, add the pasta and break up boiled spinach throughout the pasta. Chop onion and add to mixing bowl.

Put the pan medium heat and wait until warm. Season the bottom of the pan covering the entire bottom being sure not to over-do it (you can always add more spice later!) Add the ground turkey to the pan and use a spoon to break into smaller chunks. Season the meat to taste. Cook meat until all pieces are brown. At this point, preheat your oven to 350 degrees.

Pour meat and leftover juices from the pan into the mixing bowl with pasta and spinach. Begin to add the cheese little by little while mixing. Once all cheese has been added, add sour cream and mix until pasta begins to bind with other ingredients. If pasta still looks dry, add 1 tablespoon. 

After sour cream is well mixed, add tomato and Worcestershire sauce and mix. Spray a casserole pan with a non-stick spray like Pam, and then pour the mixture in. Bake until bubbly on top!

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Mucho Gusto

Jeremy’s Cajun Chicken and Couscous

This is the third installment in Mucho Gusto, a recipe initiative by and for students to help connect us through food in times of isolation. If you’ve got a recipe you think would make a great addition, reach out to us!

Make if you have: chicken, couscous, spices

Serves 1

With the weather starting to (slowly) warm up, I thought I’d make my go-to lunch with some sunny places in mind: A simple Cajun chicken breast sautéed in olive oil, served with Moroccan-style Couscous and a side salad.

Extra virgin olive oil

1 chicken breast

Cajun seasoning

 3/4 cup water

1/2 cup couscous

Salt

Pepper

3/4 cup romaine lettuce

Vinegar

Once I butterfly and flatten my chicken breast, I season it with “Slap Ya Mama” cajun seasoning. If you don’t have any cajun seasoning, just combine 2 teaspoons each of salt, paprika, and garlic powder with 1 teaspoon each of black pepper, cayenne, and onion powder. Once it’s flat and seasoned, coat a pan in extra virgin olive oil and cook it over medium heat. 

While the chicken is searing, I heat up 3/4 of a cup of water in a pot. Right before the water starts boiling, I put in 1/2 cup of couscous (more water than couscous = fluffy) and cut the heat once bubbles start appearing. Once both sides of the chicken have a good color on them, I finish by baking it in a 350 degree oven for five minutes to make sure the chicken is fully cooked but still juicy. Season the couscous with salt, pepper, and paprika to taste.

Put about 3/4 cup of romaine salad with olive oil and vinegar on top to make a nice warm-weather meal with inspiration from both sides of the Atlantic. I like to enjoy with a cup of New Orleans style cold brew coffee; the chicory in the cold brew cuts the heat of the chicken in all the right ways.

Couscous was introduced to me while studying abroad in Paris, and ever since rice has taken a backseat to it whenever I cook for myself. If there was a grain on the dinner table of my homestay’s kitchen, you better believe Carole was dishing up Couscous. I like this meal because it’s a perfect example of simplicity and variety: three essential ingredients that can bring to mind Morocco with paprika, the Bayou with cajun seasoning, or the gym when it’s served plain.