Co-op Culinary Corner: the nine muses of cuisine at 71 Hoxsey Street

71 Hoxsey Street’s kitchen is definitely what I would call a foodie’s kitchen. Labels of various quality beers line the walls, groceries fill the five fridges to their limits, the famous Joy of Cooking is open to a recipe and the countertops still have remnants of last night’s dinner. There are nine senior girls living here who love to cook, so moving off the 21 meal plan hardly posed a problem for these food connoisseurs. After four years of dining halls, they were tired of the same, sometimes flavorless cuisine. And although, they still rely on stolen breakfasts from Driscoll, the nine chefs of 71 Hoxsey cook all of their meals.

Each night these girls cook for about three to four people, except on Sundays when they have a big dinner party. While the food has certainly gotten better, admittedly their kitchen has also gotten messier. When I arrived to cook a delicious meal, signs of last night’s dinner were still present – an empty bottle of nine-dollar wine, a half of a lime and a sink with numerous dirty dishes. “Everyone tries to clean up after themselves, but some end up cleaning more than others,” said Stephanie Reist ’09 and Natalia Gonzales ’09, two of the house’s residents. “There has been a little drama over it.”

For the grand feast of the day, Reist and Gonzales made shrimp guacamole, Gorgonzola and mushroom steak tips, mashed potatoes and green beans. While the shrimp guacamole is an old Reist family recipe, the rest of our spread consisted of recipes the girls created themselves. We started with the appetizer first. Although guacamole is usually straightforward – mash up avocado, add a few spices and serve – this recipe was much more elaborate and thoughtful. First add the peppers to the shrimp and sauté with minced garlic in a few tablespoons of olive oil and white wine. Then mash the avocados and stir in cilantro, onion, salt and pepper and the juice of one lime. Finally add shrimp and pepper mix and serve on a thinly sliced baguette that has been baked at 350 degrees with olive oil and minced garlic.

After finishing the guacamole, we moved on the Gorgonzola mushroom steak tips. The steak tips need to be marinated
with a marinade made up of Worcestershire sauce, ginger, soy sauce, lemon juice, garlic powder and salt and pepper.
These don’t use recipes, so you can basically feel the marinade out. Add the steak tips to the marinade and let it sit for a little while. Once marinated, chop steak tips into two inch-long pieces and cook with minced garlic and sliced portabella mushrooms in olive oil. Top with gorgonzola cheese. Extra marinade can simply be dumped in the pan, or it can also be saved as a good topping for the mashed potatoes.

The sides are pretty simple. For the mashed potatoes, boil potatoes until cooked (peeling is unnecessary). Then, drain water and mash them in a bowl with butter. Finally, stir in sour cream and other ingredients and serve with steak tips and Gorgonzola and steamed green beans. When preparing the green beans, boil them and add a little salt. Bon appetit. Serve and enjoy!
For the girls in 71 Hoxsey, cooking is about relaxing and making good food. Their methods are relaxed, but there have only been two mishaps in this kitchen – a watery marble cake and an almost raw pot roast. But regardless of their culinary hiccups,
the girls realize that cooking is an experience and that they are supposed to see where the process takes them. I’m not complaining. After all, it has brought us to a delicious, well-balanced meal.