Home Cooking

Students share meaningful meals and recipes.

By Eliana Chow & Valerie Halim | Features Editor & Creative Director
October 31, 2020
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Mango Sticky Rice (Photo submitted by Lyndi Tsering)

Whether it’s the warm crackle of freshly baked bread in the morning, an odd yet delicious array of flavors in kitchen-sink soup or the spiced aroma of apple pie, something about food sets the tone of a living space. Community is built around food. Between the limitations of on-campus dining, learning remotely and finding ourselves inside more often than not with disrupted schedules, students are finding beauty and ritual around shared meals.

 

We asked several students to share their favorite culinary ventures. Below, we’ve compiled their recipes, thoughts, and photos for you to browse or make for yourselves. However, we know there are many more talented chefs and bakers out there, bringing life to your apartment or dorm room with tasty meals. We’d love to hear from you! 


If there’s a recipe or experience surrounding food you’d like to have considered for a future article, please email eliana.chow@my.wheaton.edu. Meanwhile, enjoy these dishes from your peers.

Pasta with Browned Butter and Greek Salad

Submitted by Jorah Griffin ’21

Human Needs and Global Resources intern in El Paso, TX

This is the dish my family is known for. It was a weekly staple growing up and was almost a guaranteed dinner every time we went to my grandma’s house. My grandma has six granddaughters, so browning butter and knowing how to perfectly match the acidity of vinegar with the fat of olive oil were the first things we learned how to do in the kitchen. To this day, whenever my childhood friends come over, they ask for Greek pasta and salad. I don’t know if browned butter pasta is a Greek thing, but my grandma would adamantly say it is. (My family is pretty much the “My Big Fat Greek Wedding” kind of Greek, so take that as you will.) 

 

This dish always reminds me of home. When I first arrived at Wheaton, I found myself craving it often. Now that I have a kitchen of my own, I have found myself adopting this as a week-night staple. The smell, taste and sight takes me right back to more wonderful memories than I can count. The whole thing is so simple and comes together quickly. Plus, an easy vinaigrette is always a good thing to know how to do, and learning to brown butter is definitely a skill that can be used to impress your friends.

 

Ingredients: 

1 box of pasta

(Any shape of pasta works, but I personally love penne for this dish because it is what my mom has always used, but also because the brown butter gets caught both in the pasta’s ridges and in the tube.)

1/2 stick of salted butter

Parmesan

Romaine lettuce

Cherry tomatoes

Cucumber

Red onion

Feta cheese

~1.5 tablespoons red wine vinegar 

~2 tablespoons olive oil 

1 teaspoon salt 

1 teaspoon pepper 

1 teaspoon oregano 

Pasta: 

  1. Bring salted water to a boil in a large pot and cook pasta until desired texture. 
  2. Meanwhile, place butter in a saucepan over medium high heat. Let the butter melt, swirling occasionally. 
  3. Once the butter has melted, the liquid should foam up and then settle again. Watch for a darker shade of brown to start coming up from the center of the pan. Here the butter should also start giving a caramel-y, butterscotch-y aroma. 
  4. Let the butter brown until it’s slightly lighter than the color you want and take it off the heat. The residual heat will continue to toast the butter to perfection. A light tan is your goal. If you let it go too long, the butter will burn and become bitter. 
  5. Drain your pasta, pour the browned butter over, scoop up some of the pasta pieces into the saucepan and swirl around, making sure to catch every last brown buttery bit. 
  6. Finish off with plenty of parmesan.

 

Salad: 

  1. Chop up one large head of romaine, rinse and dry. Then chop up cucumber, tomato, onion, and combine with lettuce.
  2. We usually eyeball the dressing in my family, but the general idea is to pour the vinegar, oil, salt, pepper and oregano over the salad. Toss well to combine. Taste and adjust to your liking. 
  3. Top with feta crumbles and enjoy!

Army Stew - 부대찌개 (Budae Jigae)

Submitted by Grace Sentosa ’23

This is a dish I made during summer quarantine at 916 College Ave #211.

This is a mix-and-match dish where you can add or subtract any kind of topping/sauce you want. It’s not restrictive, so freestyle!

Ingredients: 

Tteokbeokki (Sticky Rice Cakes)

Carrots, sliced

½ pound ground meat

Eggs

Onions, sliced

Green onions, sliced

Garlic, minced

3 tablespoons soy sauce

1 tablespoon fish oil

2 teaspoons white or black pepper

2 pinches salt

Broth or water

1 teaspoon sesame oil 

Any more toppings you want: ham, sausage, Spam, ramen noodles, etc.

Sauce:

2 tablespoons sesame oil

2 teaspoons fish oil

Optional: Gochujang (Korean red pepper paste)

Optional: Red pepper flakes or Gochugaru (Korean hot pepper flakes)

  1. Mix ground meat with soy sauce, pepper, fish oil, salt and sesame oil. Mix well. Then roll the mixture into meatballs. (Tip: take a handful in your hand and fist it from pinky to thumb — thumb over the four fingers. The meat will squeeze out like a sphere between your curled thumb and index finger. Scoop out the sphere with a spoon, and place it in your pot or pan. Voila! Hand-made meatball maker.)
  2. Place all non-sauce ingredients in a cooking pan or pot with the broth poured in last — just enough that it doesn’t boil over.
  3. Mix your sauce and place it in the middle of the arrangement.
  4. Let the boiling begin! Turn the heat to medium, and when it begins to boil, turn heat to low.
  5. As the food cooks, the water level may rise and boil over due to the meatball’s broth. Scoop some of the water out when needed.
  6. When all the ingredients are cooked — the meatball browns and no redness is left inside, the rice cake turns chewy, and the carrots are soft to bite — turn off the heat and serve.
  7. You can eat this with rice or noodles or just as is. Enjoy! 

Paper Bag Apple Pie

Submitted by Mia Thomas ’22

Because I’m a remote student this semester, there have been definite highs and lows, but baking has been my constant. This recipe came from my grandpa, who passed away this year. He was an avid baker, and there was never a family occasion where he showed up without a pie. He would make up to five pies a week just to pass around his neighborhood, even as he aged. I’m grateful I was able to humbly attempt his recipe this fall and even use apples from his own tree for the filling. Losing a loved one is hard, especially during a pandemic, but I’m so glad that even one recipe can hold so many precious memories.

Ingredients:

Crust:

1 ¼ cups pastry flour blend or all purpose flour

Heaping ¼ teaspoon salt

3 tablespoons vegetable shortening

4 tablespoons unsalted butter, cold, cut into ½” pieces

4 to 5 tablespoons ice water

Filling:

3 ½ to 4 pounds apples, peeled, cored, and sliced; enough to make 8 cups sliced apples

¾ cup brown sugar, packed

1 teaspoon cinnamon

¼ teaspoon salt

½ teaspoon nutmeg

2 tablespoons lemon juice

2 tablespoons boiled cider, optional but tasty

3 tablespoons all-purpose flour or ¼ cup pie filling enhancer

Streusel topping:

½ cup granulated sugar

½ cup all purpose flour

8 tablespoons butter, cold, cut into pats

  1. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees
  2. To make the crust: Whisk together the flour and salt, then work in the shortening until everything is well combined. Work in the butter until the mixture is unevenly crumbly; some pieces of butter can be left a bit larger than others. Add the water 1 tablespoon at a time, mixing as you sprinkle the water onto the flour/fat
  3. When the dough is moist enough to hold together when you squeeze it, transfer it to a lightly floured work surface. Knead the dough three or four times to bring it together, then pat it into a thick disk. Roll the disk on its edge, like a wheel, to smooth out the edges. This step will ensure your dough will roll out evenly, without a lot of cracks and splits at the edges together. Wrap in plastic and refrigerate for 30 minutes, while you make the filling.
  4. To make the filling: Put the sliced apples in a big microwave-safe bowl, and stir in the brown sugar, cinnamon, salt, nutmeg, lemon juice, and boiled cider
  5. Microwave the filling, uncovered, for 5 minutes. This softens the apples just a bit, and gets their juices flowing. Skip this step if you like; it’s not critical, though we think it helps.
  6. Stir in the flour or Pie Filling Enhancer
  7. Remove the crust from the refrigerator. If it’s been chilling longer than 30 minutes, give it 10 minutes or so to warm up a bit. Roll it into a 12 ½” to 13” circle. Lightly grease a 9” pie pan, preferably one that’s at least 1 ½” deep, and lay the crust in the pan, settling it into place gently. Don’t tug at it or stretch it; this could cause it to shrink as it bakes.
  8. Spoon the filling into the crust.
  9. To make the topping: Combine the sugar, flour, and butter, working them together until crumbly. Don’t over-mix; you don’t want the streusel to turn into a solid mass. Spread the streusel atop the filling.
  10. Place the pie in a brown paper grocery bag. Secure the bag closed; stables or uncoated paper clips work well for a paper bag. Place the pie in its bag on a baking sheet, which will make it easier to handle.
  11. Bake the pie for 1 hour.
  12. Remove the pie from the oven, and carefully open it, avoiding any steam. Remove the pie, and set it on a rack to cool for at least 30 minutes before slicing. 

(Recipe from King Arthur Baking Company)

Chickpea Waffles

Submitted by Lyndi Tsering ’21 (and fellow senior Fine Arts House residents Abigail Chen, Grace Kim and Cassia Waligora)

Late nights making falafel or mango sticky rice and reflecting on relationships and life-callings. Check-ins over housemate dinners of mapo tofu and rice, laughter on the sofa eating experimental chickpea waffles. 

 

Our kitchen provides a gathering space, a cross-over of schedules and stolen moments to chat, to pause in the business of the week or day or hour, and grow closer to one another. Communing around the same foods from our different homes and cultures and parts of the world lends a space to celebrate differences, open conversations about our contexts, to give and to receive. Food makes our house feel like a home.

Wheaton College, IL

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