Thursday, April 29, 2010

Cheese Fondue

The Melting Pot may try to sell us expensive fondue, but who needs that when we have our good ol' friend, the Ratty? This microwave fondue recipe could not be easier. And really, it's very delicious! Highly recommended with veggies. Bread chunks would be fabulous too.

Cheese Fondue
1/4 cup shredded cheese
1/4 cup apple juice
2 slices cheddar cheese
1/4 tsp dry mustard powder
a pinch of garlic powder (optional)
Black pepper
Microwaved veggies for dipping

1. Microwave apple juice in a bowl just until it boils (45 seconds to 1 minute).
2. Stir in the cheeses and powders. Microwave on high at 30 second intervals, stirring after each interval just until everything is melted.
3. Add black pepper to taste, and enjoy with microwaved veggies and multigrain bread. (Broccoli, mushrooms, and red bell peppers work well).

Microwaved veggies
red bell pepper
onion rings

Microwave in a bowl on high for 1 minute 30 seconds with 2 Tbsp of water.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Salmon and Sundried Tomato Salad

Gotta love the V-dub and their salmon stir fry! This salad looks like something from Andreas, but it's really embarrassingly easy.

Salmon and Sundried Tomato Salad
1 serving stir-fried salmon with sundried tomatoes, feta cheese, capers, and onions
romaine lettuce leaves
feta cheese
red onions
extra virgin olive oil

1. Top a bed of greens with salmon, cheese, red onions, and a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Yogurt Pancake Stack

Perfect for Sunday Brunch! Don't be fooled by its demure beauty - this pancake tower is a dangerous sticky edible monster poised for attack. The minute you sink your fork into it, expect the pancakes to slide off of the yogurt and the honey will inevitably get on your fingers and you will be covered in a delicious mess. For serious eaters only.

Yogurt Pancake Stack
3 pancakes
strawberry yogurt
raspberry jam
sliced bananas

1. Spray pancakes with cooking spray and grill both sides on the panini until toasted and crisp on the outside yet still soft and warm on the inside.
2. Put one pancake on the plate.
3. Top with yogurt and half of the sliced bananas.
4. Place another pancake on top.
5. Top with yogurt and jam.
6. Place the final pancake on top.
7. Garnish with sliced bananas and honey.

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Brunch Veggies

It's sorta like a deconstructed omelet or frittata. Mushrooms, onions, and feta cheese give a good flavor boost to the other veggies.

Brunch Veggies
spinach leaves
red onion slices
extra virgin olive oil
scrambled eggs
tomato wedges
feta cheese
salt and pepper

1. Combine spinach, broccoli, onion, mushrooms, and oil on a plate. Toss and cover with another plate. Microwave for 1 minute on high.
2. Mix in the edamame, eggs, and feta cheese.
3. Sprinkle with salt and pepper, and garnish with tomato wedges.

French Onion Soup

Nothing like a steamy, melty bowl of French Onion Soup to warm you up on a chilly day. Try one of these the next time there's a thunder/lightening hailstorm.

French Onion Soup
2/3 cup chicken broth (or noodle soup broth)
2 rings of red onion
10-12 mushrooms
2 slices cheddar cheese
1 slice of toast (bruschetta bar)

1. Ladle soup over onion rings and mushrooms in a bowl.
2. Carefully place toast on top of veggies in soup, then cover with two slices of cheese.
3. Microwave for 1 minute or until cheese has melted, and enjoy.

Friday, April 23, 2010

Feta Veggie Wrap

Cook the veggies in the microwave first and then pair them with a cool tomato and crisp lettuce in a whole wheat wrap for that perfect contrast between the warm and the refreshing.

Feta Veggie Wrap
Assorted veggies from salad bar (spinach, broccoli, zucchini, onions, edamame)
feta cheese
1 Tbsp basil infused olive oil
1 whole wheat tortilla
3 tomato slices
1 lettuce leaf
2 slices swiss cheese (optional)

1. Place salad bar veggies on a plate and drizzle with olive oil and top with feta cheese.
2. Cover with another plate and microwave on high for 1 minute.
3. Meanwhile, layer the tomato, lettuce, and cheese on a tortilla.
4. Add the veggies on top, roll as you wish, and cut in half.
5. Admire the lovely cross section and eat.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Kiwi , Peach, Grapefruit Salad

The peppery taste of arugula provides just the right accent for fresh salad greens, which are topped with sharp feta cheese, tangy balsamic vinegar, fragrant pumpkin seeds, and a blend of sweet and tart flavors from the kiwi, peach, and grapefruit chunks. A thin drizzle of honey enhances the sweetness of the fruits and adds a deeper flavor dimension.

Kiwi, Peach, and Grapefruit Salad
mixed salad leaves
balsamic vinegar
pumpkin seeds
kiwi slices
peach cubes
grapefruit sections
drizzle of honey

1. Plate the leaves and top with everything else.

Monday, April 19, 2010

Veggie, Mushroom, Feta Pita Pocket

Veggie, Mushroom, Feta Pita Pocket
1/2 whole wheat pita
red onion slices
lettuce leaves
portabello mushrooms
feta cheese
red bell peppers

1. Fill pocket with ingredients.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Spinach "Stir Fry"

Cooked spinach has arguably more of that spinach-y flavor than raw spinach. A touch of olive oil brings out the best in all of us. Same goes for raw veggies and mushrooms.

Spinach "Stir Fry"
handful of baby spinach
2-3 onion rings
1/2 cup raw mushrooms
a drizzle of garlic infused olive oil (1.5 Tbsp)
salt and pepper (optional)

1. Arrange veggies and mushrooms on plate.
2. Drizzle garlic infused olive oil over the top.
3. Cover with a plate and microwave for 1.5-2 minutes.
4. Remove the plate CAREFULLY from the microwave (there will be steam!). Add salt and pepper to taste.

Friday, April 16, 2010

Veggie Burrito

Microwaved veggies from the salad bar with sour cream and beans on a sundried tomato tortilla = yum. Cooking mushrooms really brings out their flavor, and honestly, anything with sour cream is bound to be good. Is there anything that's disgusting with sour cream? Nothing, I assure you. What's that you say? Powerade?

Veggie Burrito
raw broccoli
mixed salad leaves
basil infused olive oil
sundried tomato tortilla
sour cream
pinto beans
black beans

1. Place broccoli, salad leaves, and mushrooms in a bowl. Drizzle with basil infused olive oil, and cover the bowl with a small plate. Microwave for 1 minute.
2. Spread tortilla with sour cream, beans, and cooked veggies.
3. Roll up.
4. Cut on a diagonal and eat.

Monday, April 12, 2010

"The Cook" Arroz Con Pollo

Buy tickets for "The Cook" online:

Have you seen the TAPS play, "The Cook," yet? It's not too late! Go see it on Thursday, Friday, or Saturday at 8pm or on Sunday at 2pm. Buy tickets online:

This Cuban recipe was adapted from TLC Cooking.

"The Cook" Arroz Con Pollo
1 cup brown rice
sliced olives
roasted tomatoes
orange bell peppers
red onion, cut
spicy pepper, diced
1 chicken leg
black pepper

1. Mix all the ingredients except the chicken leg and black pepper together on a plate.
2. Microwave to heat it up, if desired.
3. Place chicken on the bed of rice, and sprinkle with black pepper.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Simple Arugula Salad

Nothing like 70 degree weather and discovering arugula at the Ratty to put you in a good mood.

Simple Arugula Salad
handful of arugula
1-2 spoonfuls of feta cheese
1 Tbsp basil infused olive oil
1 Tbsp balsamic vinegar

1. Gather leaves.
2. Sprinkle cheese on top.
3. Drizzle with balsamic and olive oil. Enjoy in a sunny spot.

Visiting Chef!

A few minutes after this picture was taken, the food was devoured. It was good.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

"The Cook" Cuban Sandwich

"The Cook" opens on Thursday April 8 and continues next weekend. Tickets can be bought here:

A "proper" Cuban sandwich, according to this website, must adhere to the following strict code:
1. Mayo, tomatoes, onions, bell peppers, or lettuce are forbidden
2. Bread should be fresh and crusty
3. Use good roast pork - it's the heart of the sandwich
4. Never use a panini grill - real Cuban sandwiches never have grill lines (oops)
5. Cut into triangle wedges when done

This Ratty version makes use of the crusty ends of Seven Stars bread and Ratty ham (it was from the Bistro line...I think they called it honey baked - I'd say a decent approximation). The result was pretty good, but my taste buds found it a tad salty (since veggies are forbidden, all the elements are salty, except for the bread).

Anyhow, it's fun to try and eat one to get in the mood to see the new TAPS play, "The Cook"!

"The Cook" Cuban Sandwich
2 slices crusty Seven Stars bread
1 tsp mustard
4 slices honey baked ham
3 pickle slices
2 slices swiss cheese
1 pickle wedge for serving
2 tsp butter

1. Spread bread slices with mustard and sandwich between them the ham, pickle slices, and cheese.
2. Butter the outer crusts of both slices of bread.
3. Press on the panini for 2 minutes or until cheese is melted and bread is toasted.
4. Cut into triangle wedges and serve with pickle.

Monday, April 5, 2010

"The Cook" Ropa Vieja

In the spirit of the upcoming TAPS play, The Cook, we made a Ratty version of a Cuban dish, Ropa Vieja, which according to Epicurious means "old clothes," describing the shreds of meat, peppers, and onions resembly a mess of colorful rags.

Here's a blurb about the play:
It is 1958 and Fidel Castro is coming to power in Havana. Gladys's employers flee the country, but Gladys promises her mistress that she will protect the house and keep it for their return. Over the course of the next four decades in one kitchen in Cuba, Gladys proves her loyalty and discovers its high cost.

It opens on Thursday April 8 and continues next weekend. Tickets can be bought here: Go see it!

"The Cook" Ropa Vieja
diced red and green bell peppers
braised beef tips, shredded
1 sliced pepperoncini
olives, diced
stewed tomatoes
1 Tbsp tomato sauce (for pasta)
1 banana, sliced
dash of cinnamon
2 tsp olive oil
a few small lettuce leaves
lemon wedge (lime is traditional)

1. Combine rice with bell peppers.
2. Combine bell peppers, pepperoncini, beef, olives, tomatoes, and tomato sauce and microwave to blend the flavors.
3. Combine banana, cinnamon, and olive oil and microwave (this is a desperate attempt at fried plantains)
4. Plate the rice, beef, and bananas garnished with lemon wedge and lettuce leaves on the side.

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Veggie "Stir Fry"

With the microwave as your stove and a plate as your wok, you can "stir fry" any combination of veggies from the salad bar--this one combines savory mushrooms with crispy bell peppers and crunchy broccoli in a delicious and healthy veggie dish.

Veggie "Stir Fry"
raw broccoli
raw tomato slices
bell pepper, diced
a few red onion rings
raw mushrooms, sliced
drizzle of garlic infused olive oil (1-2 Tbsp)*
light splash of soy sauce (2 tsp)
sat and pepper, to taste
chopped scallions, for garnish
red pepper flakes (optional)

1. Gather veggies on a plate. (I like to put mushrooms and bell pepper on bottom layer, then tomatoes, then broccoli and onions).
2. Drizzle garlic infused olive oil and soy sauce on top.
3. Microwave for 1 min 40 seconds.
4. Sprinkle salt, pepper, scallions, and red pepper flakes (if desired) on top and enjoy!

*this is not always available at the Ratty, but it can easily be substituted with olive oil mixed with 1 tsp garlic powder. Or you can try sesame oil for a stronger flavor.

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Vanilla Soft Serve with Butterscotch Pudding and Oreo Pieces

This one wins the award for the longest title with the simplest composition. Butterscotch pudding is so indulgent on its own that it inspired us to be extra bad and finish it off with the classic Ratty indulgence, vanilla soft seve. And what's a sinful dessert without some chocolate? Oreos and sprinkles (albeit waxy tasteless ones) to be exact. 'Ello my sweet.

Vanilla Soft Serve with Butterscotch Pudding and Oreo Pieces
1 cup butterscotch pudding
1 hearty dose of vanilla soft serve
sprinkling of chocolate sprinkles
oreo-ling of oreos

1. Get the pudding.
2. Swirl the vanilla soft serve on top.
3. Garnish with chocolate sprinkles and oreos.
4. Indulge.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Beef Pita Pocket

Just beef and veggies are good, but to make it better, we recommend adding yogurt sauce, sour cream, or hummus.

Beef Pita Pocket
1/2 whole wheat pita
shredded beef
2 lettuce leaves
3 tomato slices
3 cucumber slices
sour cream or yogurt sauce or hummus
tomato wedge, cucumber, parsley leaf, sour cream to garnish the plate

1. Spread sour cream, yogurt sauce, or hummus on inside of pita.
2. Layer on the lettuce, tomato, cucumber, and beef.
3. Garnish the plate with tomato wedge, cucumber, parsley leaf, and sour cream.

Bruschetta Bar

We eat the little toasts by themselves, and put the toppings on our salad...but how often do Brown students make legit bruschetta? After working in the kitchen one day watching the chef cut the baguettes that make the mini toasts, I was inspired to do these little toasts justice and make some bruschetta. The verdict? Fun and delicious, but next time I would toast the bread slices a bit to give them some crunch to balance the cool toppings.

Bruschetta Bar
slices of toast
toppings from bruschetta bar
toppings from salad bar

1. Top the toast with the "mushy" and spreadable stuff.
2. Add a fresh salad leaf, cheese, garbanzo bean, cucumber...whatever strikes your fancy.