Taylor Stephan was living in a house with five other guys in Boulder, and they had a problem: how to feed themselves without staring into the uncaring face of the Maruchan kid night after night after night. And so he learned to cook. "Instead of eating out all the time," Stephan says, "You can make food for yourself, healthier and cheaper."
Now he's sharing what he learned with other students. College Cooks, written by Stephan with input from his five roommates, is a guide to easy and cheap dining, adapted to the pressure-cooker lifestyle of your average college student. Along with such staples as hamburgers and chili, the cookbook includes sumptuous desserts to impress a date and off-kilter recipes that befit the bachelor(ette) lifestyle. "Most books just include recipes," he says. "We include stuff like cooking times and safe-handling instructions." If you've been tossed out into the world with little cooking experience, these tips could very well save your life. Or at least prevent a troublesome bout of nausea.
But the tips are handy in other ways, too. In a bid to class up the common purchase of a grocery-store rotisserie chicken, the book presents a full slate of options: "Not just buying it and eating it," Stephan explains, "but ten things to do with it," from Chopped Chicken Salad to the classic nachos in a Doritos bag.
Stephan and three of his roommates are still putting their culinary skills to use as students at the University of Colorado at Boulder. "We're just like any other college students," he says. "We're giving people a basic canvas... that enables them to add whatever they want."
College Cooks retails for $17.95, and is endorsed by no less a chef than Top Chef winner Hosea Rosenberg. It's available at the College Cooks website, Peppercorn Gourmet Goods and the Boulder Book Store, and coming soon to the Tattered Cover in Denver. There will be a book signing at Peppercorn later this fall. $2 of every sale goes to hunger-relief charity Feeding America.
Keep reading to see the Cooks' own recipe for that Hawaiian breakfast standby, Loco Moco.
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