Dining out is expensive. Even if you’re just shoving slices into your maw, the appetite of a college student is a pricey thing to keep up with. And sometimes there’s really nothing about the dining hall that makes the trek worth it—you’ll see what we mean once winter hits. With dorm cooking in mind, we’ve rounded up tips from chefs on cooking right there in your nasty little room.
Quesadillas a la Plancha
From Luis Arce Mota, Ofrenda
-6” flour tortillas
-Grated pepper jack cheese
-Virginia ham (omit for vegetarians, or use tofu ham)
Pre-heat an iron (the “plancha” part of this recipe) on the lowest setting with no steam. Then turn the iron upside down (with heated side facing up) and stabilize between two piles of books which have been covered with aluminum foil. Put one sheet of aluminum foil on top of the iron. Take a flour tortilla, put cheese on half of the tortilla, along with some ham and fold in half. Place on top of the iron. Leave for 1-2 minutes, until one side of the tortilla is cooked. Turn the tortilla and repeat on the other side until all the cheese is melted. When cooked, carefully remove from the iron with a wooden ruler (which has been washed before using), cut in half with scissors, arrange on a plate (or use a notebook covered in aluminum foil if no plates are available) and serve with your favorite salsa. Note: If you’re scared of a short circuit or fire, pre-heat the
iron and disconnect before preparation.There will still be enough heat to make two quesadillas.
No-Cook Pasta Sauce
From Michael Ayoub, Fornino
-2 pints of cherry tomatoes
-3 ounces extra virgin olive oil
-1 tablespoon kosher or sea salt
-1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper
-8 large basil leaves
Cut the tomatoes in half across their equators, then hand-tear the basil leaves and mix tomatoes and basil with the rest of the ingredients in a bowl. Cover with plastic and let sit for three hours. Toss the sauce with a pound of al dente pasta (rigatoni or penne works well) and top off each serving with freshly grated parmesan and a dollop of fresh ricotta if you have it.
Noodles with A Poached Egg
From Phil Deffina, Highpoint Bistro & Bar
-1 package of either Cup Noodles or ramen noodles
-3-4 pieces canned baby corn
-2 pieces baby bok choy
-1 tablespoon sliced scallions
-1 tablespoon bean sprouts
-1 clove garlic, minced
-1 packet soy sauce
-1/2 teaspoon honey
-1 tablespoon chopped cilantro
-Water to cover
-Sriracha to taste
Empty the contents of the ramen product but reserve the seasoning packet. Place all of the ingredients, and half of the seasoning, in a hot pot. Save the egg and cilantro for last. Fill the hotpot to cover and turn on boil. When the water starts to get warm, stir all ingredients to combine, make a hole in the center, carefully crack the egg and drop in the middle. Once boiling, the ramen will be ready and the egg softly poached. Garnish with cilantro and Sriracha to taste.