By Sean Marcus
It can be challenging to find the best meal, even with the various opportunities available on campus. Sometimes, to get what you really want to eat you need to prepare it yourself. Here are some examples of meals you can prepare to enjoy with your friends.
No longer waste your money on that inferior store-bought salsa, it’s time to spice up your parties with a fresh Pico de Gallo recipe: throw it in a taco, dip a chip in it or munch on it however you please.
Be sure to dice each veggie to an appropriate size for your dish and adjust quantities to suit your dining group’s preferences.
Tips for chopping: For cilantro, and herbs in general, it is to roll them up and slice across to create fine ribbons, otherwise known as a Julienne. For example, if you are chopping an onion, you slice vertical across the onion, then flip it on it side and make horizontal slices, both ways. Dice it perfectly and easily.
When it comes to ingredients, I recommend large, firm tomatoes. This makes the dicing process a lot easier as it can prove to be difficult.
For red onions, I recommend peeling the outermost edible layer. It makes the whole process a lot easier without wasting a lot of onion. Red onions are a lot sweeter and more potent compared to a white onion, although white onion is an acceptable alternative.
For green onions, be sure to trim the white stringy roots and 2 inches from the green tops to be discarded. Then slice up what is remaining to add to your pico.
Cilantro is more than a garnish to the dish. It adds a much-needed earthy freshness to the contrast with the sweet and spicy flavor provided by the tomato and onion.
Jalapeno or chiles ar a way to adjust the spiciness of your Pico. Adding more will give it an added kick, while less of it will result in something more mild.
You only need 1 to 2 tables of vegetable oil. You do not want to use too much oil as there will be plenty of liquid in the final presentation of your Pico. The purpose of oil in the Pico is to keep everything from being dry. Keep this in mind when adding oil.
Another options ingredient is garlic. Throwing in some garlic will help give a more savory flavor. Be sure to dice it finely and not add too much or it will be overpowering.
Salt and pepper will let you add just a little bit more of a kick to your Pico. When it comes to lime, no more than half of a lime should be an appropriate amount.
There will be no numeric values in determining the Pico de Gallo because it’s your Pico. Make it however you like it. As long as you have an equal amount of tomato and onion, and cilantro mixed in, it should turn out well. Be sure to taste it and add salt and lime if needed. Also, if you wrap it up, save it for the next day. It will be even more delicious as it requires time to sit and absorb the flavors throughout.
Sometimes you just want to have something sweet to enjoy with your friends. Here is a recipe for a Crème Brulee you can mke without using a torch. It is an adaptation of the recipe by culinary youtuber Adam Ragusea.
This recipe will require heavy whipping cream, large brown eggs, cane Sugar and vanilla extract. This recipe will be using an oven, but you could use a stovetop to facilitate the add- ing of the caramel coating.
The only cookware that you need that is a little different from the norm are ramekins.
For one crème brulee, preheat the oven for 250 Fahrenheit while you gather the various ingredients.
1 egg yolk (be sure to save the egg whites, as they make for good scrambled eggs).
1 tablespoon sugar (Use a little less if you rather a milder rather than sweet custard like I prefer.)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract.
Then fill the rest of the mixture with enough heavy cream to give you approximately 1⁄2 cup of batter.
Mix, then pour into the ramekins. Throw your ramekin in the oven which should be set to 250 Fahrenheit. Bake for 45 minutes, but you may need to adjust accordingly if your oven bakes at a slow rate. Be sure not to bake too long though, as overcooking will make your crème hard like a hockey puck. Remember this tip: It shouldn’t look like a liquid when it jiggles, it should seem much thicker.
Finally, pull it out of the oven and let it rest for a bit before tossing it into the fridge. I recommend letting it rest for about a day. If it absolutely must be served that evening, then 40 or so minutes should do the trick.
Cover with saran wrap if you do not want all those weird fridge smells to infiltrate your brulee. It should also have a yellow egg-like cream surface on the top. That is normal. Moving on to the sugar top, there are two methods that I condone for those without a torch.
Option 1 Stovetop: Throw a tablespoon of sugar on a pan. Add a little water and a drop of honey. This will prevent the sugar from crystalizing Stir that up, this should make a clear syrup. Turn the stove on medium heat and let it sit for five to seven minutes. No more stirring is required. It is important to you watch the stove because when it starts to caramelize, it will burn quickly.
When you are happy with the amount of burnage and caramelization, turn the stove off and pour your molten liquid over your crème brulee. Try to spread it equally as best you can. It should result in a glassy coating and should crack beautifully when tapped with a spoon.
Option 2 Broiler: Toss some sugar on top and spread it around equally Dump the rest off of the brulee. A light coating should stick. Move the oven rack to the highest it can go and place the ramekin under the broiler. Set the broiler on high and keep an eye on it, because this quickly