Cooking 101 with Chef Daniel = BASIL!

After the cooking demo at Clark Kerr for the National Nutrition Month (March 2013), I visited Daniel again for a BASIL-Y Cooking 101! Unfortunately this is a very outdated post way back in April, but better late than never!

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Chicken Pesto Pasta, garnished with extra cheese & sun-dried tomato!

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Caprese Salad

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Frozen Yogurt with Mango and Basil

We made a luxurious 3-course meal: Caprese Salad, Pesto Pasta with Chicken and Sun-Dried Tomatoes, and Frozen Yogurt with Mango & Basil!

I know what you’re thinking about the last one. How does that combination work?

But trust the chef and me, because that dessert was absolutely devine! The slightly “creamy” vanilla frozen yogurt and mango, touched with the refreshing taste of basil, just made you run to the base for seconds! This is just one of those dishes that makes you rethink the unlimited bounds of “sweet” and “savory” ingredients! For instance, I was also pretty shocked when we sold Vegan “Cheesecake” made with silken tofu at the Berkeley Student Food Collective!

Adding dried Parmesan cheese with the pesto was a nice touch for people who can eat dairy! I think it added a bit of adhesiveness and flavor to the pasta. The sun-dried tomato also created a burst of flavor in your mouth! This ingredient is definitely one of the “exotic ingredients” (along with hummus) that has grown on me since coming to Berkeley.

The fresh mozzarella in the Caprese Salad added a unique texture to the otherwise authentic combination. Drizzled with a bit of balsamic vinegar, and this dish seemed like an order from a restaurant, not just a homemade dish!

Some cooking/freezing tips for this 3-course meal!

  • If you don’t have an ice cream machine or something similar, an alternative method is to put them in the freezer and scrape/mix regularly with a metal spoon. The only downside is that the icicles are bigger, meaning you wouldn’t have that smooth of a texture compared to frozen yogurt (or ice cream) made with constant machine-mixing.

I’m not sure where I’ve stored the scanned recipes (due to the delayed post), but I’m sure if you email Daniel (look in the Cal Dining Directory!), he’d be happy to share it with you!

Take time to cook these delicious meals over summer over midterm season?! CONGRATS TO CAL STUDENTS WHO FINISHED THEIR FINALS (or midterms)! Wish Hope you guys had a happy & fulfilling summer! We’ll keep you updated on interesting nutrition info/news over summer!

Of course, for people who don’t like cheese or are allergic to dairy, you can refer to the other Pesto Pasta Recipe! (Unfortunately it’s not as exact, since I wasn’t sure of the measurements!) Luckily, this was a gluten-free meal with brown-rice pasta, so Suzanne from glutenX: The gluten-Free Alliance also joined me in the expedition!

GOOD LUCK WITH MIDTERMS! We’re almost halfway through!

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