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Twists on dining hall favorites to make at home

Three easy recipes of dining hall staples to help curb your cravings

This adaptation of the Runk dining staple will hopefully offer a little more consistency than the original.
This adaptation of the Runk dining staple will hopefully offer a little more consistency than the original.

With the rest of the semester moved online, spending an extended period away from the University comes with a few downfalls — your friends preventing you from sending that risky text at 3 a.m., not being able to see your favorite Trin bouncer and a sudden lack in human contact. For some of us, the biggest slight of all — aside from missing your daily dose of love from Miss Kathy — is no longer being able to consume our favorite meals from the dining hall.

Have no fear! In this article I present to you a staple from each dining hall with a twist. You may not be able to experience the same atmosphere as the dining hall for the rest of the semester, but these dishes are able to alleviate the craving for world-class, collegiate cuisine that's undoubtedly lingering over you.

Runk Naan Pizza

Anyone who has lived in the on-Grounds housing close to the secluded area around Hereford knows that the only constant in life is the pizza at Runk. The other food choices rotate more than your bike tires when heading to class. However, Runk pizza is always an available option. The following recipe is an adaptation of the dining hall staple which will hopefully offer a little more consistency than the original.

Prep Time: 5-6 minutes 

Cook Time: 16-18 minutes 

Yields: 1 serving 

Ingredients: 

1 piece of naan — around 10 inches in diameter

1 jar marinara or pizza sauce

1 cup pre-shredded or hand shredded mozzarella cheese

Desired pizza toppings — I personally recommend pepperoni, broccoli and baby portobello mushrooms

3 tablespoons salted butter 

1 garlic clove, finely minced

Instructions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees.
  2. Wash, dry and slice your baby mushrooms and broccoli. I would recommend slicing the broccoli slightly smaller than bite-sized pieces so that it will be easier to lay on the pizza.
  3. In a frying pan on medium heat, add 1 ½ tablespoons of butter until melted, at which point you can fry the sliced mushrooms for 4 to 5 minutes or until tender.  
  4. Time to assemble your pie! On a sheet of tin foil — or a baking sheet if you want to be sustainable — evenly spread the sauce on your naan bread, leaving about a ½ inch border for the crust. 
  5. The amount of cheese used on pizza is wholly subjective, but I would recommend sprinkling enough over your sauce so that very few sauce spots are visible.
  6. Distribute your toppings to your heart's content and pop that bad boy into the oven for 10-11 minutes — or 16-18 minutes if disregarding step seven — or until the cheese on top begins to melt.
  7. This step is optional but very much recommended. Combine 1 ½ tablespoons of melted butter and your finely minced garlic into a bowl and brush it onto the crust of your pizza. Obviously, you don’t need to use all the mixture.
  8. Put the pizza back into the oven for 6-7 minutes, or until the cheese is bubbly and slightly golden.
  9. Remove your pizza from the oven and let cool for about 5-7 minutes before consuming, unless you’d like to run the risk of burning off your taste buds.

Newcomb Breakfast Skillet

If there’s one thing I know that can revive any sleep-deprived student, it’s breakfast from Newcomb Hall. Although not as sacred as Wing Wednesday, Newcomb breakfast is the mecca for early morning, on-Grounds eating. The only thing missing from this recipe is a hug from Miss Kathy, but maybe your parents can stand in?

Prep Time: 5-10 minutes 

Cook Time: 25-30 minutes

Yields: 2-3 servings 

Ingredients:

½ green bell pepper

¼ large yellow onion 

½ lbs baby red potatoes 

1 sprig rosemary 

½ teaspoon paprika 

5-6 strips bacon 

3-4 large eggs

5-6 grape tomatoes 

Salt and black pepper to taste

Instructions:

1. Dice the potatoes, onion, bell pepper and bacon. Quarter the grape tomatoes and set the onions and bell peppers aside.

2. Boil the diced potatoes for 5 minutes to slightly tenderize them and help remove some of the starch.

3. While the potatoes are boiling, fry the bacon in a 12-inch skillet until almost crispy — key word, “almost.”

4. Remove the bacon from the skillet and add the boiled and dried potatoes to the pan.

5. Using the bacon fat already in the pan, fry the potatoes, rosemary, paprika, salt and pepper until the potatoes become slightly crisp and golden.

6. Add the veggies and bacon back into the skillet and cook until the onions become translucent.

7. Crack your eggs on top of the other items in the skillet and cover until cooked to preferred consistency — I prefer them a little runny so that the yolk can cover the rest of the food.

8. Remove from heat and let sit 3-5 minutes before serving. 

O’Hill Crossroads Burrito

Fewer things scream first year, or any year for that matter, more than a late night burrito from Crossroads. The most likely culprit behind my freshman 15 — more like 20 at this point — is the burrito from Crossroads, a fan-favorite for anyone ranging from the dazed to the drunk. Following the recipe below doesn’t cut out many of the calories found in the original, but maybe if it’s eaten before midnight your body will be better able to handle it. 

Prep Time: 3-5 minutes 

Cook Time: 20-25 minutes

Yields: 3-4 servings  

Ingredients:

1 lb ground beef

1 packet taco seasoning 

1 cup shredded Mexican or Monterey jack cheese 

Homemade chipotle ranch sauce — equal parts ranch and mayonnaise, a healthy squirt of sriracha, few dashes of paprika, cayenne pepper and red pepper flakes to taste

Pico de gallo, to taste

Shredded iceberg or romaine lettuce 

1 can black beans 

1 packet of Spanish style rice 

Flour tortillas 

Instructions:

1. In a frying pan, cook the ground beef until browned.

2. Drain the fat and add the taco seasoning and a splash of water, bring to a boil and then reduce heat to let simmer for 15 to 20 minutes.

3. While the meat continues to cook, prepare the rice and desired toppings as needed. Next, heat the flour tortillas in a pan without oil until warm and slightly browned in certain spots.

4. Remove the beef from the stove and assemble your burrito.

Whether or not food from the dining hall is at the top of the list of things you miss from the University, making these recipes with your family and friends may help alleviate some of that isolation-based boredom and stress that we are all feeling. So why not take a break from Zoom lectures and give the kitchen a go?

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