What's Cooking?

“What’s Cooking?” is a new monthly series that profiles an area food service specialist and one of their favorite recipes. It will appear in the Globe on the second Thursday of each month.


Featured Chef  »  Cpl. Alex Talaveraruiz

Marine Wing Support Squadron 272, Marine Corps Air Station New River

Length of Service: 2 years

Hometown: Aurora, Colorado


What do you like most about cooking in the Marine Corps?

“The thing I like most about it is that it gives me a variety of jobs in the Marine Corps. You can do infantry or motor transportation or cooking. I think that’s one of the things I like about this MOS. There’s a field and a galley. In the galley, you’re basically in a chow hall cooking three meals a day. In the field, you’re out in the field cooking MREs and that type of stuff. It’s a completely different ballgame. The food is different, and we use different equipment.”

What do the Marines you cook for seem to like the most?

“People like a lot of pastas, like baked macaroni and cheese, Hungarian goulash. Fried chicken is a big one. We usually have one person just doing that, busting it out throughout the whole meal so we don’t run out. And mashed potatoes and gravy — everybody loves that.”

When you’re off duty, what is your favorite type of food to cook?

“I like to make chicken. It’s healthy and part of the diet plan, and then add some starches like some potatoes or rice.”

What’s one thing people should have in their kitchens at home?

“I would say probably tubs for food preparation for different days. You can put in meats to have them marinate over time.”

What do you like most about the recipe you’re providing?

“It’s not anything amazing, but I like it because it adds a little bit of spice, and that’s what I grew up doing, eating spicy food that my mom cooked. Chicken is a high-protein food, and rice is a starch, and it’s always good to have a starch like potatoes or rice. It’s a good mixture of spice

and then a side dish.”


SPICY CHICKEN WITH VEGETABLES AND CILANTRO RICE

Prep time note! This recipe calls for overnight marinating.

Spicy Chicken with Vegetables Ingredients

Four Chicken Breasts

1 Tbsp. Coriander, powdered

4 Tbsp. crushed red pepper

2 Tbsp. garlic, minced

1 Tbsp. dry parsley

1 cup olive oil

3/4 cup soy sauce

1/2 cup Worcestershire sauce

1/2 onion

6 whole jalapenos, sliced, halves

1/2 tomato, diced

1/2 green pepper, sliced

1/2 cup water

1/2 cup corn starch

Kosher salt to taste

Steps

1. Rinse chicken thoroughly under cold running water.

2. Mix dry ingredients and set aside

3. Pour olive oil over chicken and then rub dry ingredients on chicken. Add soy sauce and Worcestershire sauce.

4. Rinse and cut vegetables.

5. Add to chicken and marinade overnight below 40 degrees or up to five hours.

6. When ready, transfer to a sheet pan or baking pan, and bake in oven at 350 degrees for 18 to 20 minutes, basting and checking internal temperature to reach 155 degrees, and then rest for five minutes.

7. Add to chicken and marinade overnight below 40 degrees or up to five hours.

8. Transfer remaining fluids to sauce pan, boil and then let rest.

Mix water and corn starch, add to sauce and thicken to your liking.

9. Transfer remaining fluids to sauce pan, boil and then let rest.

Mix water and corn starch, add to sauce and thicken to your liking.

10. Finally, transfer to a dish and sprinkle parsley as a garnish and decorate

with vegetables.

Cilantro Rice Ingredients

2 cups Jasmine Rice

Water

2 Tbsp. fresh chopped cilantro

1/2 of a lemon

Steps

1. Add rice to a pot and cover with water. Boil. Add or subtract water as needed. Constantly stir rice and check the grain so it isn’t hard in the center, about 15 minutes.

2. Once done, fluff with fork, squeeze the lemon so juice drips on rice and mix with cilantro.