Diggin’ on Dorm food at UC Davis

Recently I ventured back to my UC Davis roots and ate at the Dining Commons (yes, among freshmen!).  Back in the day the food was decent, especially by dorm standards.  However, now it’s off the charts great.  There is a lot of cool emphasis on mindful eating, healthy options and they have a gluten-free and vegan section that would blow your mind!  The old faves are still there, like pizza, but it’s not the emphasis.  Check out my Post on Davis Life Magazine to read more.

Kickin’ culinary butt and taking names…

I was lucky enough to partake in the UC Davis Food Science Food Olympics.  Think foodies and science geeks all crowded together in a giant cooking kitchen and lecture battling it out to be the next Food Olympics champion.  We had our hands on so many wonderful ingredients, and the cooking portion (only 1/3 of the event) was like being a kid in a  candy store.

Part of the cooking event is incorporating ‘secret’ ingredients into your meal.  Ours included lavender, matzo, celery root and a few others.  You have 15 minutes to come up with the menu and 1.5 hrs to cook 3 courses.

It was fabulous – a fury of ideas, food, frantic foodies running around…just like you see on TV.  Our team worked awesome together and came up with 3 stellar dishes:

Veggie pancake with lemon yogurt sauce
Lamb/turkey mini-pies over a bed of rice pilaf and mixed veggie salad
beet cobbler (SOOOO good!).

I’m bragging here, but the meat dish, which I headed up, got a perfect score. Yeah!

The pic is me having a proud moment with the mini ‘pies’ as I took them from the oven.  Try this at home:
In a large skillet, sautee in EVOO:
2 scallions, finely chopped
2 tsp fresh dried rosemary, crushed
salt, pepper to taste
2 tsp dried lavendar, crushed
Sautee for 2 minutes…

Meanwhile mix 1/3 lb lamb + 1/3 lb turkey (wanted to use all lamb, but there was only 1/3 lb left) .  Mix in one egg.

Add the meat to the sautee’d shallots/spices and mix.   Mix in about 1/4 lb of really strong blue cheese.  The stinkier the better! Cook until meat is just under done.
Place equal amounts into greased muffin tins and bake at 375 for about 10 min, DON”T OVER COOK!

While that is cooking, whip up some brown basmati rice, adding 1/4 cup of raisins, some bay leaf, and a touch of rosemary to the broth.

Serve the mini-muffins over rice and garnish with shredded veggies or a side salad.