College Kitchen: how to make miniatures

She ate an itsy bitsy, teeny weeny, super tasty, home cooked meal-y.

by Lucy Nieboer

America: land of the free and home of the supersize.

Only here can you buy a half-pound hamburger, subs by the yard and Gatorade by the barrel. Having a big appetite isn’t a crime, but consuming massive amounts of tasteless slop deserves at least a hearty citation. Every meal should be an adventure of different flavors, textures and combinations.

Stop cramming that gaping trap with Duggar family-sized portions of bland mush, and take a minute to taste your food. To reawaken the taste buds, try serving this three-course menu, prepared in small bites to hit every sour patch, sweet spot and salt lick.


First course: Little Latkes

A much-needed shakeup in the monotonous fried potato routine is just what the Kitchenista ordered. These small hash brown patties, like our other favorite crisped taters, go with everything. They’re crunchy, salty finger-food nuggets of fried carbs — what more could we ask for?


3 large russet potatoes

1 carrot

1 1/2 large yellow onions

2 eggs

1/4 cup flour

1 tablespoon salt


Peanut oil


Peel the potatoes. Use a grater with a fairly large grain to grate the onions, potatoes and carrots into a large bowl. Crack the eggs and mix them into the bowl. Add the flour and salt. Stir all the ingredients together into a uniform mixture.

Using your hands, form the mixture into small patties. Heat the oil over high heat until it is very hot but not smoking. Gently drop the patties in the oil. Wait until they get very brown on the bottom and flip only once using a slotted spatula. When both sides are brown, let the latkes drain on paper towels. Salt and pepper the finished product generously.


Second course: Spicy Sliders

A pulled pork sandwich can go south quickly when the soft burger bun disintegrates and a mound of juicy meat falls — splat! — onto your lap. Because these little guys are so small, you should have plenty of time to make it from plate to mouth before an accident.


2 pounds boneless pork chops

1 tablespoon chili powder

1/2 large yellow onion

1 cloves garlic

1 teaspoons salt

1/2 teaspoon pepper

1 cup no-salt tomato sauce

8 small Hawaiian sweet rolls



Freshly sliced jalapeno peppers

Iceberg lettuce



1 teaspoon cracked red pepper flakes

1/2 cup apple cider vinegar

1/4 cup brown sugar



1/4 cup ketchup

1 tablespoon hot sauce (optional)


Dice the onion and garlic. Add them, along with the pork, chili powder, salt, pepper and tomato sauce to a slow-cooker. Let the meat cook on low for eight to 10 hours.

When your meat is nearly done, prepare this tangy sauce to top it off. In a small bowl, mix together all the sauce ingredients until a uniform mixture is achieved. You can pour the sauce directly over the meat in the slow cooker.

In a small skillet, melt a small knob of butter. When it is frothy, press the cut rolls down until they have a crispy golden crust. Prepare your toasted rolls with a spread of mayo, a couple slices of peppers and a leaf of lettuce. Using a slotted spoon, add a small heap of meat to the rolls.


Third course: Petite Pastries

In the dessert world, nothing is daintier than a flaky pie crust. When the crust is cut down into adorable individual crusts with ruffled edges, that cute factor doubles.



2 1/2 cups flour

1 cup (2 sticks) butter

1 tablespoon sugar

1 teaspoon salt

Ice water

1 egg



5 cups fresh or frozen raspberries

1/4 cup water

1/2 cup sugar

2 tablespoons cornstarch

3 tablespoons lemon juice.

Zest of 1 lemon


In a food processor, blend the flour, cold butter and salt. When the butter is evenly spread throughout the flour, add some ice water, a teaspoon at a time, until a dough texture is achieved. Gather the dough into a ball, wrap it in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 20-30 minutes.

While the dough is chilling, you can work on the filling. In a small sauce pan, cook the berries, lemon juice, lemon zest, sugar and water until the mixture reaches a low simmer. Simmer for about seven minutes. Add the cornstarch. Stir vigorously until the mix begins to thicken. Remove from the heat, and let cool.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Roll out the chilled dough onto a floured surface. Try to roll it as thinly as possible. Using a large glass or cookie cutter, cut circles in the dough. Remove the circles and in each plop a small spoonful of raspberry mixture. Fold over the edges, and press them with a fork to make a patterned edge. Place the finished pastries on an ungreased cookie sheet.

Mix the egg with a tablespoon of water. Brush the mixture over the top of the finished pies right before putting them into the oven. Make three small slits in the top of the pies. Bake for 15-20 minutes.