Thursday, August 4, 2011

[Real Detroit Weekly] Gourmet Undergrad

(All photos by Nicole Rupersburg.)

Just because you’re living in a dorm doesn’t mean you have to survive on Easy Mac, and contrary to popular dorm legend vodka is not in fact a food. These original recipes are all made with easy-to-find ingredients with minimal preparation involved, and can be cooked entirely in a microwave or toaster oven. Get your gourmet grub on while you get your learn on.

Fondue Sandwich (serves 3)
Inspired by Swiss cheese fondue, this recipe takes all those great flavors and puts them in a sandwich.

● Emmathaler cheese (one kind of Swiss)
● Gruyere cheese (another kind of Swiss; can also use Comte, which is the French version)
● 6 slices of hearty sourdough bread (we used Avalon International Bread’s Farnsworth Family Farm deli-style sourdough)
● ½ stick salted butter
● 3 cloves freshly-peeled garlic, sliced thin or minced
● 1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
● 1 teaspoon ground black pepper

1) Remove rack from toaster oven and preheat to 450˚F.
2) Make a quick garlic-infused “clarified” butter by placing butter and garlic in a bowl and microwave on high until melted (about 1 minute). Scoop white solids off the top. Let butter cool and harden. Spread butter on one side of all 6 slices of bread.
3) Place 3 slices on rack, buttered side down. Cut desired amount of cheese into thin (1/8’’) slices; should have equal quantities of both cheeses.
4) Place thin slices of cheese on bread. Sprinkle nutmeg and pepper onto each slice. Place remaining 3 slices of bread on top (buttered side up) to form sandwich.
5) Place rack in oven and for about 15-20 minutes (flipping once) until cheese is melted and edges of bread are slightly brown. Cut into halves and serve while hot.

Guacamole 3-Way (serves 4-5)
Easy to make, always delicious and GASP, healthy even – the possibilities for guacamole are endless. Now you can say you had your first college 3-way. Serve with your favorite tortilla chips.

Death by Garlic Guacamole
Garlic: the royalty of the onion family.

● 1 ripe Haas avocado (you’ll know it’s ripe when it’s squishy; you’ll usually need to wait 2-3 days after buying them in the store for them to ripen)
● 1 Roma tomato, diced
● 4-5 cloves freshly-peeled garlic, sliced thin or finely minced
● ½ Serrano chile pepper, de-seeded and minced
● Ground black pepper (to taste)
● Wedge lime

1) Cut avocado in half. De-pit. Scoop out of skin into medium-sized bowl. Smash with fork until smooth with small chunks.
2) Stir in tomato, garlic, chile, Add ground black pepper to taste. Squeeze fresh lime over top.

Wack-Ass Guac
Not really guacamole by any stretch of the imagination, but awesome nonetheless.

● 1 ripe Haas Avocado
● ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil – the greener (and the more expensive) the better and more flavorful
● Ground black pepper to taste
● Kosher salt or sea salt to taste (optional)

1) (See above.)
2) Stir it all together. Done.

B-A-N-A-N-A-S Guacamole
In Brazil and parts of Asia it’s totally common to make sweet desserts with avocado, sugar and milk, so this isn’t as crazy as it sounds.

● 1 ripe Haas avocado
● 1 small ripe banana
● 2 teaspoons white sugar
● 2 Tablespoons milk

1) (See above.)
2) Mash up the banana until it’s almost liquidy. Stir banana, sugar and milk into avocado.

Messican Pizzas (serves 2)
A gringo version of a Mexican pizza, which is a gringo version of Mexican food to begin with. Actually, this is probably more authentically Mexican than most Mexican pizzas you’ll find in stores and restaurants. Fancy that!

● 2 corn tortillas (we used La Tortilla Factory brand)
● 2 strips bacon, preferably applewood-smoked (we were going to use chorizo but failed to buy it in advance; chorizo is also harder to find and way greasier anyway)
● ½ cup Chihuahua queso (shredded Mexican cheese, you can find it in the cheese section of most grocery stores)
● 2-4 Tablespoons salsa (we used Rustic Tomato Salpica Salsa, which is runny with a slightly smokey flavor)
● ¼ medium-sized white onion, diced small
● 1/2 Roma tomato, diced
● ½ ripe Haas avocado, sliced
● Chopped cilantro (to taste)
● Wedge of lime

1) Pull out top rack and preheat toaster oven to 400˚F.
2) Place 2 tortillas on rack. Spread salsa over tortillas like pizza sauce (more or less depending on your taste). Sprinkle cheese over salsa.
3) Cook bacon in microwave, 3-4 minutes (if frozen) or until it is cooked thoroughly and crisp – it should have reduced in size by almost half and curled.
4) Use paper towel to absorb excess grease from bacon. Cut into small pieces. Arrange bacon on tortillas.
5) Place rack in oven until cheese is melted and bubbling, about 15-20 minutes.
6) Use spatula to remove tortillas from toaster oven and place on plate. Then add onion, tomato and cilantro. Squeeze wedge of lime over top. Arrange avocado slices on top.

Poor Man’s Poutine (serves 1-2)
The ultimate in late-night greasy-salty comfort food is easy to find across the border in Canada, where you’ll likely spend most Friday and Saturday nights of your sophomore and junior years. Oh, we remember.

● 2 large McDonald’s fries – a staple of any college student’s diet
● 1 can beef gravy
● 1 ½ cups large curd cottage cheese (this should really be cheddar cheese curds, but those aren’t nearly as easy to find)

1) Empty hot McDonald’s containers onto a large plate (make sure they’re still hot – it’s gonna be nasty if they aren’t).
2) Open can of gravy and pour into bowl. Cover bowl with paper towel and heat in microwave until gravy is hot (1-2 minutes depending on your microwave’s settings).
3) While gravy is hot, stir in the cottage cheese so that the curds can melt a little, then pour all over the fries. What it lacks in presentation it makes up for in drunchie deliciousness.

A beer-lover’s take on classic tiramisu. And let’s be real here, this is college, it’s not gonna be hard for you to get beer. We remember college. (Sort of.) Usually this recipe calls for brewed coffee but we figured, if coffee works, then beer that tastes like coffee should too.

● 3 egg yolks
● ¼ cup white sugar
● 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
● 1 1/8 cups cream cheese (usually this recipe calls for mascarpone cheese but it’s a little harder to find, and cream cheese has more flavor anyway)
● 24 ladyfingers (1 package)
● 1 stout beer, preferably Founders Breakfast Stout or New Holland’s The Poet
● ¼ cup semi-sweet chocolate chips (aaaaaaand usually this recipe calls for cocoa powder, but we forgot to get that too and only had chocolate chips … we may have taken the role of “college student” a bit too seriously with our lack of preparedness)

1) In a medium bowl, beat yolks with sugar and vanilla until smooth and light yellow. Fold cream cheese into yolk mixture. Set aside.
2) Dip ladyfingers briefly in beer and arrange 12 of them in the bottom of a square or rectangular Tupperware container. Spread half the cream cheese mixture over the ladyfingers. Repeat with remaining cookies and mascarpone. Sprinkle chocolate chips on top. Cover and chill 1 hour.

Want to see more? Check out the Flickr set here.