College Kitchen: Martha knows best

Picking up tricks, not felonies, from Martha Stewart.

This crepe and caramelized banana recipe is one of Martha Stewart’s “Everyday Living” Pinterest recipes.

Bridget Bennett

This crepe and caramelized banana recipe is one of Martha Stewart’s “Everyday Living” Pinterest recipes.

Lucy Nieboer

Martha taught us how to turn painted pinecones into centerpieces. She showed us how to make cinnamon candied apples. Her realm of domestic divinity may seem unreachable to the college cook, but between her Twitter feed, Pinterest boards and brand new PBS show “Martha Stewart’s Cooking School,” Ms. Stewart’s household tips and tricks are more user-friendly than ever.

Usually in the College Kitchen, we create original recipes specifically tailored to our scholarly needs and desires, but this week we look to one of the greats, with recipes taken from Stewart’s “Everyday Food” Pinterest board.

 

Martha’s Crepes with Sautéed Bananas and Chocolate

When mastered, these crepes can be a delicate and sweet addition to any brunch or post-dinner sugar selection. The “quick swirl” portion of the recipe is a bit tricky. At times the batter can be either too thin at the edges, or coagulated together in strange patches. Stick with it through a few wilted and uneven attempts, and you’ll get the hang of it.

The banana compote added a concentrated sweet fruitiness and the chocolate was just the icing on the crepe. Once you get the hang of it, these crepes look impressive and refined, just like Martha.

 

1 cup all-purpose flour

2 teaspoons sugar

1/4 teaspoon salt

1 1/2 cups 2 percent milk

2 large eggs

1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon melted unsalted butter, plus more for skillet

3 bananas, peeled and sliced

1 tablespoon brown sugar

2 ounces semisweet chocolate, melted

 

In a bowl, whisk together flour, sugar and salt. Make a well in the center. Add milk, eggs and one tablespoon butter; whisk to combine. Cover and refrigerate one hour.

Preheat oven to 250 degrees; place a baking sheet in oven. Heat medium nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Lightly coat skillet with butter. Pour one-third cup batter into skillet, and quickly swirl skillet so batter evenly coats bottom. Cook crepe until edges are dry, one to two minutes. Loosen with a wide spatula and, using both hands, grip edges with fingertips and quickly turn over. Cook one minute more. Slide onto sheet to keep warm. Repeat with remaining batter (you should have 12 crepes).

Heat one teaspoon butter in skillet over medium heat. Add bananas and brown sugar; cook, stirring occasionally, until bananas are lightly browned on one side, about three minutes. Fold crepes into quarters; top bananas with chocolate.

 

Martha’s Three-Ingredient Fettuccine Alfredo

Martha got it totally right on this one. With a recipe like this, it’s easy to rationalize cooking from scratch rather than buying from a jar. In almost as much time as it would take to microwave a cup of that white Ragu glue, you can have a fresh pasta sauce. This one gets the College Kitchen stamp of approval.

 

2 sticks butter

1/2 pound grated Parmesan cheese, plus more for serving

Salt

1 pound fettuccine

 

Using an electric mixer, beat butter and Parmesan until creamy.

In a large pot of boiling salted water, cook fettuccine according to package instructions until al dente, about 12 minutes. Reserve about one-half cup of cooking water; drain pasta.

Return fettuccine to warm pot. Toss pasta with 1/2 teaspoon salt, cheese mixture and 1/4 cup of the pasta water. Add more pasta water, as needed. Serve with additional cheese.

 

Martha Stewart is America’s favorite caterer-turned-entrepreneur-turned-jailbird-turned-comeback kid. Although some of her recipes may be a bit tricky to tackle the first time, with a bit of practice it’s simple to achieve the level of foodie finesse that will assist in the transition from dorm-room dinners to real-life entertaining.