Morgan Mayer ’20 and sous chef Vale Riggs

Taste of Home

Bon Appétit, Carleton’s food service provider, serves a variety of tasty fare every day, but there’s no substitute for a favorite family dish.

To give students a taste of home, dining services manager Katie McKenna e-mailed parents last fall to request family recipes. “It was fun for us to read the stories and try out the recipes,” says McKenna.

One family has an annual Dickens dinner at which they read aloud from A Christmas Carol and eat Victorian-era cuisine—including the potato leek soup for which they sent the recipe. Another family sent the kugel recipe they use at Rosh Hashanah. And Morgan Mayer ’20 (Garrett Park, Md.) celebrated her birthday with her favorite food: her Hungarian grandmother’s chicken paprikas.

“At Carleton we talk about how literature and music bring cultures together, but good food also brings people closer,” says Mayer, pictured above with sous chef Vale Riggs. “This dish was a smash hit with my friends, and I’m grateful to the chefs who made me feel special on my birthday. They let me share an important part of my family’s culture.”

Grandma Vera’s Chicken Paprikas

1 tbsp. butter
1 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
1 onion, thinly sliced
1 red bell pepper and 1 green bell pepper, thinly sliced
2 tomatoes, coarsely chopped
6 boneless chicken thighs, cut into halves
Salt and pepper to taste
2 tbsp. paprika
3/4 cup sour cream
Fresh parsley 

Heat oil and butter over medium high heat in a pan and sauté the onions and peppers for a few minutes until soft. Add chicken and brown on all sides, at least five minutes. Add salt and pepper and paprika; mix well. Add tomatoes. Reduce heat to medium low. Add more salt and pepper to taste. Cover and simmer until the chicken is cooked through, about 10 minutes. Add sour cream and heat through. Sprinkle with fresh parsley. Serve over noodles or rice. 

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