College Kitchen: Keeping it Cool

Battle the recent sizzling temps with an “Eat Wave” — cold treats for hot days.

A finished meatball and cucumber wrap.

Simon Guerra

A finished meatball and cucumber wrap.

Lucy Nieboer

Lately, Minneapolis has felt more like a sauna than a city. Standing over a hot stove or preparing food in the oven sounds as appealing to me as walking around campus in a snowsuit.

Still, this food monster needs fuel. Take advantage of the coolest appliance in your kitchen (the refrigerator) to chill some of these summer-inspired noms. They’ll bring down your core temp and satisfy your need for light summer flavor. The following recipes are refreshing and (mostly) heat free…

 

“Beet the Heat Salad”

 

Raw beets are the eighth wonder of the world. Not only is their earthy flavor more intense without cooking, but their crunch-factor can put the crispiest carrot to shame.

 

3 large beets

2 tablespoons chives

1/2 cup rice wine vinegar

Juice of 1/2 lemon

1 teaspoon soy sauce

Salt

Pepper

 

To start, scrub and peel the beets. Cut in half, and then slice them into flat slices as thin as you possibly can. For the light and acidic dressing, finely chop chives and mix with vinegar, soy sauce and lemon juice. Add salt and pepper to taste. Chill and serve.

 

“It’s-Way-Too-Hot-To-Bake Bars”

 

I first learned the magic that is “no-bake” desserts in seventh grade home-ec class. Perhaps the intricacies of pastry were too difficult for the 13-year-old mind to master, or maybe we weren’t to be trusted with actually using the oven.

Whatever the case, I learned this method for a quick and easy dessert that doesn’t require heating up the whole house.

1 (10 oz) bag marshmallows

3 tablespoons butter

1/2 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips

1/2 cup peanut butter

6 cups cereal

 

Melt the butter in a large sauce pan or pasta pot over low to medium heat. Add the marshmallows gradually until they’re all melting. Continuously stir to avoid burnt sugar and angry roommates. Add the chocolate until you have a melty, gooey, sticky chocolate sauce.

Now comes the fun. Add 6 cups of your favorite cereal. On a healthy kick? Try Wheaties. Want something wacky? Go for Fruity Pebbles. Want it plain and simple? Mix in Cap’n Crunch or Life. Stir, stir, stir until you can stir no more or until all the cereal has a lovely chocolate coating.

Next, get ready to get messy. Using your hands, form globs a bit bigger than golf balls. Set them on a greased cookie sheet. Melt peanut butter in the microwave or in a small sauce pan, and drizzle over finished bars with a fork. Chill in the refrigerator for at least an hour, and enjoy.

 

“Beach Babes”

 

First there were “Pigs in a Blanket.” College Kitchen is now proud to present “Beach Babes,” the latest culinary pork pun. Best prepared a day in advance, the tropical flavors in this dish complement any picnic or outdoor party.

 

1lb ground pork

1 egg

1/3 cup coconut flakes

1 teaspoon cumin

1 (8 oz) can no-salt-added tomato sauce

1/2 cup brown sugar

1 tablespoon granulated garlic

1 tablespoon mustard

1 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon pepper

10 dashes Worcestershire sauce

Pita

1 Cucumber

 

To begin, mix ground pork, egg, coconut flakes, cumin and half the salt and pepper in a large mixing bowl. Roll compact meatballs about ping-pong-ball size. Set in medium non-stick skillet on medium-low heat. After they begin to brown on the bottom, flip and repeat on all sides. Mix together remaining ingredients in bowl, and pour it over the meatballs while they’re still cooking. Cook until firm all the way through. Stick your “babes” in a container and let them chill out in the fridge for the night. The next morning slice up some cucumber, stick the “babes” on the “beach” (pita), and you’re ready to go — no heat required!