Austin Del Mar San Diego

Back to School EaTs

Inventive and Inexpensive Dorm Room Dishes from our Chef Team

It’s Back-to-School season, which for on-campus students often means less access to kitchen space and less time to put together a decent meal.

We polled our Searsucker San Diego team on their favorite dorm room eats. Although ants on a log (celery + peanut butter + raisins) is still a team favorite, you can get pretty crafty with zero kitchen tools and a few simple, inexpensive, easily-accessible ingredients.

Pastry Sous Chef Santanna: Loaded Baked Potato

shutterstock_552430432Ain’t nobody got the time or the tools to bake a potato in the oven, but the microwave can get it done in minutes:

  1. Poke a Russet potato several times with a fork
  2. Wrap in a wet paper towel (this creates moisture!) and place on a microwave-safe plate / bowl
  3. Let it go ‘round in the microwave for 8-12 minutes, or until tender
  4. Let it sit for a few minutes to cool off (it’ll be hot!)
  5. Slice vertically down the middle to create a pocket, and top with shredded cheese (or snag a slice from the school deli), plus your favorite fixin’s (most of which can be found in a can)–Santana recommends beans, corn, diced tomatoes and jalapenos

Expecting company? Do the same thing with chips as the vehicle instead of the potato, and serve your buddies some nachos!

Lead Line Cook Zack: Bacon
You CAN achieve succulent, crispy bacon in the microwave—and be the hall hero—with little mess and no fuss:

  1. Line a microwave-safe plate with paper towels (a lot of them…trust us)
  2. Lay the bacon in a single layer—squeeze ‘em in there, don’t be skimpy!
  3. Cover bacon with more paper towels so no pieces are showing (to avoid splatter…don’t worry, you’ll see them again soon!)
  4. Add more layers of bacon (optional…JK). Have at least 2 paper towels on top of each layer, including the final one
  5. Microwave for approximately 1 minute per slice of bacon. Take a peek at the top layer, and continue to microwave in 30 second bursts until you achieve the crispiness your heart desires

Eat the bacon straight up, or add it to a microwave mug frittata (yep, that’s a thing!):

  1. Crack 2 eggs into a microwave-safe mug and beat with a fork until blended
  2. Microwave for 45 seconds, remove and stir
  3. Top with shredded jack and microwave again about 30 seconds, until eggs are set and optimal melty cheese gooey-ness is achieved
  4. Top with diced jalapenos and tomatoes (usually no more than 99 cents for a can / jar at the grocery store), and your extra crispy bacon

Sous Chef Sloane: Fried rice

shutterstock_210932440Add some Asian flare to your microwave rice packets with this simple, hearty, one-dish meal:

  1. Cook packet of microwaveable rice according to instructions, but cut about 30 seconds off recommended cook time
  2. Crack an egg on top of rice, stir, and microwave again 30-45 seconds
  3. Add thawed out frozen peas and carrots and a dash of soy sauce, stir again
  4. Microwave one last time until everything is warmed through, about 20-30 seconds
  5. Top with copious amounts of sriracha

Executive Chef Chris: Flatbreads

shutterstock_332870555While dough for biscuits and rolls needs to be baked in order to rise, it CAN be rolled out and loaded with creative toppings to mimic a flatbread:

  1. Pop open can of Pillsbury crescent roll dough, cut in half, and press one half out on microwave-safe plate into one even layer (save the other half and make one for your roomie)
  2. Microwave on HIGH for 3 minutes. Spread out toppings of choice, and pop back in the microwave for another 2 minutes, or until toppings are warm and melty and dough is cooked through

Chef Chris’ suggested combos:

Mediterranean: Feta, olives, tomato, basil (buy from the super market or grow your own—super low-maintenance and brightens up your windowsill!)

Italian: Mozzarella, tomato sauce, roasted red pepper, pepperoni

Assistant GM Jayson – Not your Grandpa’s oats

shutterstock_521464684Oatmeal packets are a student’s go-to, but they don’t have to be lame! Make the packet according to directions, but stir in anything and everything you can find in your school’s market to jazz them up: Fresh or dried fruit, nuts, chopped up chocolate bars, peanut butter and preserves.

Jayson’s dorm room meal of choice for getting rid of an unwanted roommate? Use canned tuna, mayo, bread and sliced cheese to make a microwaved tuna melt!