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Book, look and cook — a summer game

June 4, 2010

The mood is lighter in summer. So take a minute every Friday for our TGIF Book, Look and Cook feature where we showcase the good reads, secret recipes and lesser-known sights around Chapman. C’mon. It’s summer.


First up for our question,  “What are you reading this summer?” is Jennifer D. Keene, Ph.D., professor and history department chair:  

“I just finished “Woodrow Wilson,” a biography by John Milton Cooper, Jr. It’s a fascinating personal portrayal of the president (a former poli sci professor and university president!) and his agonizing decision to enter World War I. Wilson’s vision of spreading U.S.-style democracy throughout the world has dominated U.S. foreign policy ever since. This is a good read that offers a dramatic account of Wilson’s rise and fall, and his importance for our times.”  


What and where is it?

Look, look it’s a…hmm. What is that and where is it? The mystery photo challenges will always be a snap of something on or very near campus. Some are real mysteries only their keepers will recognize. Others may be details we all walk past every day. The first person to email  with the correct answer wins, drumroll please, a Chapman pennant.  




Fire up the weekend. Jim Douglas, executive chef for university dining, starts us off with a sure-fire favorite from his files. He sent a Sodexo treasure – BBQ Rubbed Tri-tip with Grilled Corn and Smoked Tomato Sauce. It’s always a hit when served at the Randall Dining Commons.  

If you give it a try this weekend, report back and let us know how it went.  

BBQ Rubbed Tri-tip with Grilled Corn and Smoky Tomato Sauce  

Memphis Rub  

(This can be made well ahead of time.)  

1/2 cup paprika  

2 tablespoon dark brown sugar, packed  

2 tablespoon granulated sugar  

1 tablespoon salt  

2 teaspoons celery salt  

2 teaspoons freshly ground pepper  

4 teaspoons cayenne pepper  

2 teaspoons dry mustard  

2 teaspoons garlic powder  

2 teaspoons onion powder  

Mix all ingredients together well and store in a tight-fitting jar, away from heat. Yes, you’ll have extra for a couple of more meals!  

Smoky Sauce  

(This can be made before guests arrive and kept warm.)  

2 tablespoons shallots, minced  

1 tablespoon garlic, minced  

2 tablespoons olive oil  

1 tablespoon whole cumin seeds, toasted briefly in a dry sauté pan until you smell aroma  

½ teaspoon chili flakes  

1 cup dried tomatoes  

3 cups good-quality basil-flavored tomato sauce  

1 cup chicken stock  

½ teaspoon smoke powder or liquid smoke  

Kosher salt and white pepper to taste  

In a sauce pan, sweat the shallots and garlic in the oil. Add the remaining ingredients and bring to a boil. Simmer for 5 minutes. In a blender, carefully process the mixture until smooth, taking care that the hot fluid doesn’t overflow. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Pass through a fine mesh strainer. Keep warm.  


Toss 4 cups quartered new potatoes in 4 teaspoons each of olive oil, chopped garlic and rosemary. Roast in 350-degree oven until golden brown and tender inside.  

Rub a trimmed 1 ½- to 2-pound tri tip with enough Memphis Rub to coat. Grill to desired doneness. While meat cooks, slice two ears of cleaned corn into quarters, lengthwise. Brush corn with melted butter, salt and pepper, then grill.  

To serve, ladle a generous spoonful of smoky sauce onto four plates. Place a serving of potatoes in center of each. Slice tri-tip and place in a fan-tail, leaning meat against the potatoes. Set corn atop the roasted potatoes in an X pattern. Garnish with cilantro. Offer additional sauce at table.

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