Recipe for success: FS3 Kristle Lopez

Throughout the year, we’re featuring food service specialists in the Coast Guard. Each profile will come with a recipe so let us know if you want to see a particular recipe in the comments below. Enjoy this “recipe for success” and bon appétit!

Petty Officer 3rd Class Kristle Lopez, a food service specialist aboard Coast Guard Cutter Stratton, prepares for an upcoming meal. U.S. Coast Guard photo.

Petty Officer 3rd Class Kristle Lopez, a food service specialist aboard Coast Guard Cutter Stratton, prepares for an upcoming meal. U.S. Coast Guard photo.

At some point in everyone’s life, they think to themselves, ‘If I can find a job I truly love, I will never have to work a day in my life.’

For Petty Officer 3rd Class Kristle Lopez, this is a thought that shaped her entire future.

Lopez, a food service specialist serving aboard Coast Guard Cutter Stratton, is no stranger to military life. Her dad served in the U.S. Air Force and at 21 years old, she followed in his footsteps. Six years later, she transferred services to the Coast Guard upon learning about the opportunity to further her culinary skills.

“Being in the military and serving my country is in my blood,” Lopez said.

With a passion for cooking, choosing her rate was easy; since choosing, she hasn’t looked back.

Whether it is working 15 hour days during her specialized training, serving food to sea sick crewmembers or being away from family for months at a time, Lopez still loves coming to work each and every day.

U.S. Coast Guard photo.

Petty Officer 3rd Class Lopez prepares meals for the crew aboard Coast Guard Cutter Stratton. U.S. Coast Guard photo.

“I can honestly say that not one day has gone by that has made me second guess my job,” she said.

Lopez’s goal is not only to cook great food – it’s also to improve the overall morale onboard the cutter.

One of her best memories thus far is from her second patrol aboard Stratton. She was assigned to cook mid-rats, a midnight meal for the night watch crews. While normally she would only cook for about 15 people, she started to notice that close to 40 were showing up for her meals.

“I had shipmates staying up, not just to eat, but to come into the galley to talk and help cook,” she remembers. “It was a great feeling to get to interact with my friends and somehow make their day a little better through food and conversation.”

Aside from cooking in one of the newest galleys in the fleet, Lopez credits her love of the job to being surrounded by a great galley staff. Since reporting aboard, Lopez has distinguished herself as a key member of that galley staff.

“To say that she’s a team player and an asset to this shop and to this cutter is an understatement,” said her supervisor, Senior Chief Petty Officer Angela Wilson. “In over 24 years, I have never seen the amount of loyalty and commitment for a profession that Petty Officer Lopez demonstrates.”

Through it all, Lopez still believes she has made the best choice she could have made for herself.

“Being a part of something bigger than me, the camaraderie and second family you gain from being in the military is priceless,” she said.

Below, Lopez shares one of her own creations: Lemoncello Berry Tiramisu – the perfect dessert for a hot summer day!

Lemoncello Berry Tiramisu, as prepared by Petty Officer 3rd Class Kristle Lopez. U.S. Coast Guard photo.

Lemoncello Berry Tiramisu, as prepared by Petty Officer 3rd Class Kristle Lopez. U.S. Coast Guard photo.

Lemoncello Berry Tiramisu

4 egg yolks
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup limoncello
1/2 tsp lemon zest
1 lb mascarpone
2 cups heavy whipping cream
1/2 cup powdered sugar
Raspberry jam (homemade jelly or store bought)
Fresh raspberries
2 packages lady fingers (spongy type if possible)

In a medium size metal bowl (used for a double boiler) place egg yolks and sugar and mix until combined with an electric mixer.
Place on double boiler and mix until fluffy, about 8 min.
Add lemon zest and limoncello, continue to mix until mixture starts to thicken again, about 3 min.
Remove from heat and set aside to cool.
Whip the mascarpone cheese in a separate bowl until fluffy.
Whip heavy whipping cream with powdered sugar until you reach stiff peaks.
Mix egg mixture on low into the mascarpone mixture until just blended. Don’t overmix.
Fold whipped cream into the mascarpone mixture until completely combined.
In desired pan layer lady fingers then the cream mixture, ending with the cream mixture. Completely cover the top with your raspberry mixture and chill for at least 4 hours. If you used a spring form pan, when you pop it out you can use extra cream to decorate the sides with lady fingers.

Tips:
Do not let the water in a double boiler come to a rapid boil
Do not let the bowl of a double boiler touch the water.
If you like a spongier lady finger you can drizzle with a simple syrup since we aren’t dipping in espresso.

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