It’s time to be your own chef.
It’s hard to say if it’s the residual flavor of your hangover or the camouflage color of the “Mediterranean” chicken, but hell — there comes a time when you realize that the food here, like your math TF, isn’t quite up to par. But let’s face it: delicious food is delicious, and there’s no reason to compromise your eating standards just because the coconut shrimp tastes exactly like you would imagine it would.
That’s why a group of upperclassmen, mostly seniors, started the Harvard College Culinary Society. The events-based group, new this year, plans to sate your gastronomical desires with food tastings, wine pairings, and restaurant excursions. They’ll bring in Boston chefs and restaurateurs to talk about the business side of things. At the same time, there’ll be a newsletter suggesting ways to spice up your HUDS meals.
It’s a pretty simple idea, really, but it seems to be catching on. At the upperclass events fair, the Culinary Society table — just three kids with chef’s hats on, sandwiched between Pudding guys in dresses and a table demonstrating the various uses of a dental dam — was something of a star. While most groups had a few signatures on their sign-up sheet, the Culinary Society had pages upon pages. It was pretty ridiculous. But then, food is the best part of my life, and I’m narcissistic enough to believe my opinion is the only one. With that in mind, here are a few fun starter recipes for spicing up your dining-hall dinner:
Pasta. When there’s nothing that looks delicious for dinner, try making your own pasta sauce. Take one of the generic ones, add a good bit of olive oil, lots of cheese, some red pepper flakes, a bit of garlic powder, some salt and pepper, maybe some hot sauce, and green peas, onions, and other good veggies. Otherwise, try olive oil, cheese, and a dollop of butter. Also feel free to add another dollop of olive oil, or a dollop of cheese. Or a dollop of something else. Dollop.
Panini. Those little grills are way underrated. Grab a wrap or some good bread, add some butter and cheese to both sides, and fill with sandwich fixings. If there’s pesto, add that shit. Grill with love. For experts, fold a wrap like a crepe, then pour some salad dressing in once it’s grilled up.
Wraps. Make a salad; put it into a wrap; eat it with your hands. Especially good if there’s buffalo chicken.
Salad Dressing. Making your own salad dressing is an absolute must. My personal favorite includes: olive oil, balsamic, parmesan, a small bit of black pepper, one of the white vinegars, and a bit of lemon juice. To spice it up a bit, add some mustard, or, if you’re in Quincy, some of that amazing chili sauce. Also, try adding some hummus or cottage cheese. Mmmm.
Dipping Sauce. For a classy appetizer: pour some olive oil, a bunch of parmesan, and some red pepper flakes into a small bowl. Toast a roll. Dip.
Rice Krispies Treats. Combine a small bowl of rice krispies, a spoonful or so of butter, and a handful of marshmallows from the jar by the hot chocolate machine. Mix, heat up in the microwave for twenty seconds, mix again, and heat again.
Keep your eyes out for new info from the Culinary Society; their schedule of events will be in the dining hall within the next month.
Jake Segal ’09 ([email protected]) dollops every chance he gets.