I stated the dietetic internship food service management rotation two weeks ago. Hairnets and the smell of oil in deep fryer, it only gets better. Seriously. I didn't think I would like food service at all, but turns out I look forward to going back to the kitchen. First day at the rotation at a local Huntington Hospital, the food service director asked an intern and I to create a 5-week menu for the cafeteria. This sounds like a dream project for foodies/cooks/chefs out there, planning menu for 500+ people everyday for 5 weeks? Heck, yes! At least that was what I thought it would be like.
Here are some of the "criteria" and "must haves" for creating menus targeting a West Virginia population: deep fried liver, something deep-fried everyday, something cheesey or covered with cheese, a healthy entree would be nice but also offer a not-so-healthy one as well, leafy greens are cooked to preferably the color of green olives, and ranch dressing. Oh and friend chicken every Sunday because church goers stop at the hospital cafeteria after church for lunch (who would think a hospital is known for friend chicken after church?)
Hmmm....my wonderful dietetic intern partner and I came up with menu for the first week fairly quickly, then we ran out of ideas. I suggested we have a themed week, like Italian, Latin America, and Asia for rest of the weeks. Thanks to big recipe websites out there, we managed to come up with a 5-week menu within deadline. First week of dietetic-intern-made-up-menu trial went well since we chose "standard" American comfort food. This week's theme is Italian, the executive chef already made several changes to our proposed menu...I will keep you posted on how this week's menu goes.
On to a different subject. This delicious Cranberry Buckle with Vanilla Crumb is made in yours truly's tiny apartment kitchen. No deep frying involved.
With the ease of accessing all sorts of recipes on-line with a click, I hardly buy cookbooks now. This book Rustic Fruit Dessert by Cory Scriber and Julie Richardson has great recipes on my favorite type of dessert. I love fruity desserts, and this book described the difference between buckle, cobblers, crumbles, etc...perfectly. The recipes are grouped by season, which is great for all the fresh cranberry I stocked up after Thanksgiving.
Cranberry Buckle with Vanilla Crumb
Recipe from Rustic Fruit Dessert by Cory Scriber and Julie Richardson
1 tablespoon unsalted butter, at room temperature, for pan
1 cup Vanilla Crumb
1 3/4 cups (8 3/4 ounces) all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
1/2 cup (4 ounces) unsalted butter
3/4 cup (5 1/4 ounces) granulated sugar
Zest of 1 orange
1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
1/2 cup (5 ounces) sour cream
2 cups (8 ounces) cranberries, fresh or frozen
1. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Butter a 9-inch square baking pan. Sift the flour, baking powder, and salt together in a bowl.
2. Using a handheld mixer with beaters or a stand mixer withthe paddle attachment, cream the butter, sugar, and orange zest together on medium-high speed for 3 to 5 minutes, until light and fluffy. Add the eggs one at a time, scraping down the sides of the bowl after each addition, then stir in the vanilla. 3. Stir in the flour mixture in three additions alternating with the sour cream in two additions, beginning and ending with the flour mixture and scraping down the sides of the bowl occasionally.
4. Fold in 1 cup of the cranberries. Spread the mixture into the prepared pan.
Distribute the remaining 1 cup cranberries over the cake and sprinkle the crumb topping over the cranberries. Bake for 45 to 50 minutes, or until lightly golden and firm on top.