What to cook when it’s cold

Tuesday, April 7th, 2009

A great way to beat the winter blues is spending time in the kitchen. Here are some student-friendly recipes Campus Life editor Sarvenaz Kermanshahi has relied on the past four years.

Grilled cheese à la classy
A deliciously pretentious remake of a student favourite.

2 tbsp butter
2 cups cremini mushrooms
2 cups cheese, grated (Fontina or mozzarella)
8 slices sandwich bread
3 tbsp dry white wine
1 tbsp chopped fresh parsley
salt and pepper

Melt the butter in a large skillet over high heat. Throw in the mushrooms and add salt and pepper to taste. When the juice from the mushrooms has evapourated (10 minutes), add the wine. Boil, stirring occasionally, until the liquid has evaporated. Cool the mushrooms to room temperature and mix them in a bowl with cheese and parsley. Spread the remaining butter over the eight slices of bread. Divide the cheese mixture over four slices of bread. Cover with the remaining four slices. Fry each side of the sandwiches in a clean skillet, about three minutes each side. Cut sandwiches in half. Makes four sandwiches. Kick the snobbery up a notch by removing the crust on the sandwiches and cutting them into four triangles.
source: Epicurious.com

Salmon with citrus and soya sauce
To make this you will need fresh salmon (or salmon bought fresh and frozen in advance). In my experience, nothing good has ever come out of vacuum-seal wrapped frozen salmon (although it is more affordable).

2 1.5 inch salmon filets
1 orange, juiced with pulp
2 limes, juiced with pulp
1 tbsp soya sauce
3 tsp olive oil
1 tbsp sesame seeds (optional)
salt and pepper

Preheat oven to 375°C. Mix together orange and lime juice, soya sauce, olive oil, sesame seeds (if desired) and salt and pepper. Place salmon on a large piece of aluminum foil on a baking tray, skin side down. Pour mixture over the salmon, leaving citrus pulp on the salmon. Fold the foil over so it closes loosely around the salmon, allowing the mixture to pool around it. Cook for 35 to 40 minutes.

Sarve’s Apple Delight
My very own creation, a lazy person’s variant of apple pie.

2 Macintosh Apples
2 tbsp brown sugar
2 tbsp crushed walnuts
2 tbsp crushed pecans
2 tbsp cinnamon
2 tsp butter

Preheat oven to 380°C. Wash and core apples, using a coring instrument or by digging around with a knife to get the seeds and hard bits out. Don’t cut all the way through the apple: the idea is to make the apple into a cup. Into the hollowed out apple, put 1 tsp butter, and 1 tbsp each of brown sugar, walnuts, pecans, and cinnamon. Bake at 380°C for 20-25 minutes. Remove the apples and cut them in half. Serve warm with vanilla ice cream on top. For a guilt-free version, omit the butter and use low-fat ice cream.

Apple and pear compote
A French roommate recently introduced me to the wonderful world of compote, a blend of cooked fruits not unlike applesauce. Compote is great served cold on toast, cereal, oatmeal, with yogurt, or on chicken, turkey or pork. It can be made quickly and a week in advance. You can use any blend of fruits you like.

2 apples
2 pears
1/2 cup water
2 tbsp sugar

Peel fruits and cut into small squares. Put water in a pot over medium heat and add sugar, stirring until dissolved. When the water comes to a boil, add the fruits and turn the heat up to high. When the mixture comes to a boil again, reduce heat to medium and allow to simmer until the fruit has collapsed entirely. Add a few tbsps of water if all the water evapourates. Stir occasionally. When the compote has cooled, you can purée it to give it a sauce-like texture or leave it as is.

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