Every quarter the UCLA Cooking/Baking Club holds three themed events at the Sunset Rec Vista Room to teach students that there are more eating possiblities than fast-food, ramen and microwavable meals. For just $5 per person per event, the Cooking/Baking Club provides recipes, ingredients and everything you need to learn to cook. Elliott Cheung, a second-year physiological science student and president of the Cooking/Baking Club advises people to come hungry. The best part of the event is that you get to eat everything you make. Past menu themes have been “Healthy Eating,” “Comfort Food” and “Thanksgiving Feast.” This Sunday, the theme of the meal was “Foods to Impress” in hopes that students would use what they learned to wow that special someone this Friday for Valentine’s Day. Even if you missed the event, you can recreate this impressive Valentine’s Day menu with a little help from Mojo.
The Menu (click for recipes)
Tip from Chef Elliott: When you dice the tomatoes, make sure that the hand holding the tomato is in a bear-claw position so that you don’t cut off your fingers. The hand with the knife should saw the tomato to cut it.
Tip from Chef Elliott: Don’t toss the salad in the balsamic vinaigrette until right before you serve the salad. This way the vinaigrette won’t settle.
Tip from Chef Elliott: Every oven cooks differently. When cooking chicken, touch it to test if it is done cooking. A well-cooked chicken should be firm but not hard.
Note: When making the cookies, the club modified the recipe and added an extra tablespoon of cocoa powder for a richer chocolate flavor.
If you don’t happen to have all the ingredients you need for a recipe, don’t freak out. According to Darryl Lieu, a materials science and engineering graduate student, “The beauty of cooking is that if you don’t have an ingredient, you can easily substitute something else. Sometimes you’ll even make something better.”
Mojo asked students at the event how they liked their culinary creations:
“I am surprised I am capable of making something like this. The chicken was actually really good! You just stuff the spinach and cheese in there and then you bread it and then you bake it and add the sauce. I’m going to try it at home.” – Paige Casil, second-year psychobiology student
“I really liked the red velvet cookies. They were pretty simple to make too.” – Gigi Rodriguez-Gordon, first-year English student
“It was a good experience. Everything was good. The different flavors we used went together well and it was fairly simple to make.” – Sarah Huang, first-year environmental science and geography student
“My favorite was the chicken for sure.” – Frank Liu, second-year economics student
Will you be cooking dinner for that special someone this Valentine’s Day? Tell us what you’ll make in the comments or tweet us @dbmojo.