YMCA discovers Quince Tarte with Chef Koochooloo

All right, we admit it– we have an obsession for all things Argentine.

Last Thursday, Chef Koochooloo was invited to bring the magic of Argentina to 30 delightful children at the Castro after school YMCA program.

The owner of Baharestan school, (http://www.baharestankids.com) was kind enough to let me pick fresh quinces from her back-yard.  I prepared the paste prior to our lesson, but took a few fresh ones to show the YMCA students and staff, who were surprised to discover this delightful fruit.

What made this lesson truly special was that we had Miss Claudia Auxilir, a Buenos Aires native, join us and conduct the lesson in both Spanish and English. Furthermore, the kids had a chance to sell their beautiful creations at the Castro silent auction the next day, we made over $200 for the school PTA!

YMCA-Quince-Tarte

Enjoy making this delicious and healthy dessert Quince Tarte with your little special chefs:

Country We Are Exploring:  Argentina

Continent:  South America

Official Language: Spanish

English Recipe Name: Quince Paste Tarte

Spanish Name:  Pasta Frola de Dulce de Membrillo

Fun Fact:

Did you know that the oldest known dinosaur species has been traced back to Argentina and Brazil? Some species go as far back as 230 million years ago, and well-preserved displays of their remains are in the Argentine National Historical Museum in Buenos Aires.

Quince is our delicious ingredient spotlight for the recipe!

Quince is our delicious ingredient spotlight for the recipe!

Ingredient spotlight: Dulce de Membrillo

Quince Paste originates from Quince (Membrillo), a low calorie fruit that contains several vital antioxidants that keep the body young and healthy. The fruit is also full of minerals.

Like vitamins, minerals help your body grow, develop, and stay healthy. The body uses minerals to perform many different functions — from building strong bones to transmitting nerve impulses. Some minerals are even used to make hormones or maintain a normal heartbeat.

INGREDIENTS

  • 4 cups flour
  • 2 tablespoon of baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon of salt
  • 1 cup of sugar
  • 2 butter bars
  • 2 teaspoons of vanilla extract
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 4 tablespoons of milk
  • 2 cups of quince paste (dulce de membrillo)
  • ½ cup of pineapple preserves (this is an optional ingredient)
  • ½ cup of raspberry jam (optional too)

Little Chef Duties:

  • Mix the ingredients (flour, salt, baking powder and sugar) in a bowl using a whisk (Make sure mix is not too wet or too crumbly, you can add an extra spoon of flour or milk to get it right)
  • Cut the butter into small pieces and mix into ingredients until well blended
  • Add milk, egg and egg yolk to the flour, salt, baking powder and sugar mix
  • Wrap dough in plastic and chill for about 30 minutes
  • Butter a 9 inch pie dish
  • Roll about ¾ of the dough on a floured surface and make it a circle big enough to cover all of the pie dish
  • Spread the filling prepared by Big Chef into the covered pie dish
  • Make a lattice pattern on top of the tart

Big Chef Duties:

  • Add dulce de membrillo, pineapple and raspberry jam to a small pot with 1 or 2 spoons of water, stir frequently at low heat
  • Remove pot from heat and let it cool
  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees
  • Help the little chefs add the filling into the pie dish
  • Roll the remaining dough into a circle and cut thin strips of dough
  • Make a lattice pattern over the top of the tart
  • Cook in the oven until golden brown (about 30 minutes)

Learn while you wait: When a pie or cake bakes, the whole protein network in the mix hardens due to the heat in the oven. The color of the dough changes as the protein hardens and that is what gives pie dough or cake dough a darker color.

More about Argentina! Did you know that in Argentina, teachers have the right to spank children who don’t listen to them in class?

Discussion ideas to ask your Little Chef: When kids don’t listen to your teacher at your school, what is the consequence?

PRESENTATION

  • Sprinkle with powdered sugar and serve warm!

As they say in Argentina:

Buen Provecho!

 Quince-Tarte

Argentine Rice Veggie Salad

We are very happy to announce yet another milestone for Chef Koochooloo, and our little Delarai.

The Marinero Castro School will be holding their famous annual fundraiser Walkathon on Friday, October 1oth. This will be Delarai’s first ever Walkathon, (she is very excited and is planning to do at least 5 laps). Chef Koochooloo has been invited to host a table offering healthy vegetarian food options for all participants.  We have selected a few Argentinian specialities that we’ll teach and cook with the kids at the YMCA after school program at Castro. What better way to involve the kids in fundraising efforts for their own school?

Of course, we’ll follow the usual Chef Koochooloo lesson plan, teaching kids all about Argentina fun facts, and social issues, while enforcing healthy food choices.

A very special thanks to Mr. Ebin and the team from the “Rose International Gourmet Market”, who donated a few ingredients to the school for the recipe below. The list (fully explored in the INGREDIENTS section) includes rice, fresh carrots, nutritious  celery!

Rose International Gourmet Market

Rose International Gourmet Market

A special thanks to Venus Kalami and Rachel Zarrow from Clearly Kombucha for donating a few cases of the amazing  healthy ice teas for the Walkathon.  We will be selling those at the Chef Koochooloo table on Friday from 2-6pm, or find out more about the health benefits of Kambucha on their Facebook Page.

photo (2)

Clearly Kombucha is ready to refresh with its delicious beverages!

We will be offering healthy, exotic and delicious options at the Walkathon. If you are local, stop by and visit us at the booth, while supporting the Mariano Castro Elementary School!

And for those of you who are not local, here a sneak peak and one of the recipes we’ll be featuring. Enjoy!

Country we are exploring:  Argentina

Continent:  South America

Language(s) spoken: Spanish

English Recipe Name: Argentine Rice Veggie Salad

Spanish Name:   Ensalada Argentina de Arroz con Vegetales

Fun Fact about Argentina:

The first animated cartoon was created by an Argentine cartoonist named Quirino Cristiani. These movies were released to the public many years ago, in 1917 and 1918.

Did you know?

Argentina suffers from inflation. Inflation means that the cost of goods and services goes up very quickly. For instance, if a piece of candy costs $1.00 today, with inflation it could possibly cost $1.50 the next week.

Discussion ideas: How can inflation affect what ingredients families buy for dinner?

Our Ingredient Spotlight today is the PEA

Our Ingredient Spotlight today is the PEA

Ingredient spotlight: Peas

Peas have a variety of excellent health benefits for example they have anti-aging, properties and they also benefit the immune system making it stronger, finally they help the body maintain a high level of energy.

INGREDIENTS

  • ½ Cup White Rice
  • Salt and Pepper
  • 1 carrot (cut into cubes)
  • ¼ cup of extra virgin oil
  • 2 teaspoons of Red Wine Vinegar
  • ½ teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 cup of corn kernel
  • 1 cup of frozen peas
  • 2 stalks of celery (chopped finely)
  • 1 small red onion (sliced in small pieces)

Big Chef Duties:

  • Chop celery very finely, leave some pieces for garnishing
  • Bring water to a boil
  • Add rice to water saucepan and cook for about 17 minutes
  • Add carrot to second saucepan of boiling water and cook for 2 minutes
  • Transfer cooked carrots to a bowl
  • Add peas to boiling water (where the carrots cooked) and cook for a minute
  • Transfer cooked peas to carrot bowl with vinegar
  • Add the rice to the bowl

Little Chef Duties:

  • Cut carrots into cubes
  • Cut onion in small pieces
  • Open can of peas
  • Fill a saucepan with salted water
  • Add 2 tablespooons of olive oil, vinegar and oregano to bowl with cooked carrots
  • Add the celery and the onion to the bowl
  • Season with salt and pepper

Cook Rice

Learn while you wait: (Introduce a Math, history or science related fact)

Water covers around 70% of the Earth’s surface, and it is essential for sustaining life on Earth.

PRESENTATION

  • Place salad in a preferred bowl and ad some garnish celery to it

photo (2)

 

As they say in Argentina:

Buen Provecho!

 

Crumb Sandwich

Yesterday we had the opportunity to share the Chef Koochooloo idea with the 1st graders of the Belmont Oaks Academy.  The kids had a great time discovering Argentina, while preparing the all time favorite Argentinian snack, the Sandwich de Miga! Our thanks go to the Academy and to the teachers, Erin Reaves and Danielle Thompson.

Crumb-Sandwich2

Sandwiches de miga are popular food items in Argentina where they are consumed mainly at parties or as snacks. These sandwiches de miga are similar to the English cucumber sandwich and it also resembles the Italian tramezzino. They are single or double layered sandwiches, made from a thin white bread without crust, filled with thinly sliced meat such as ham, eggs, cheese, tomatoes, green peppers, lettuce, and other vegetables.

Here are the country facts in our traditional Chef Koochooloo format:

Course Category: Appertizer

Continent: South America

National Language: Spanish

English Recipe Name: Crumb Sandwich

Argentinian Name: Sandwich de Miga

The kids were very quick to spot Argentina on the globe. They already knew that the national language is Spanish and they even spoke some Spanish themselves! They were very interested to learn that the capital Buenos Aires actually means “good air” but were concerned to hear that this is no longer the case because of air pollution.

What captured their attention even more was the economic phenomenon of inflation. When introducing Argentina, one cannot but talk about the great economic challenge this country has been facing during the last decade. The kids where fast to grasp that inflation is a sustained increase in the general price level. Put in their own words “inflation means that all the prices go up and you can buy less with your money, so your money is not worth as much”. In this simple way we introduced the concepts of inflation and currency devaluation and had a spelling challenge, which they passed with flying colors!

Argentina, however, has much more than a gloomy economy. Argentina is the land of Tango! The kids were very enthusiastic to try it out! Claudia, out native Argentinian colleague simplified the Tango steps: Tango is about drawing a square with your feet! Geometry did the trick and the kids picked up on some great Argentinian dancing skills! The music in the background certainly captured their interest and increased their engagement.

tango1

After dancing, we all got really hungry, so we started preparing our sandwiches right away:

Ingredients:

  • Sliced bread
  • Cheese
  • Lettuce
  • Tomato
  • Corn
  • Ketchup
  • Mayonnaise
Lettuce originated in ancient Egypt and spread to ancient Greece and Rome. By the 16th century it was already very popular in both Europe and the Americas.

Lettuce originated in ancient Egypt and spread to ancient Greece and Rome. By the 16th century it was already very popular in both Europe and the Americas.

Ingredient spotlight: Lettuce

Lettuce originated in ancient Egypt and spread to ancient Greece and Rome. By the 16th century it was already very popular in both Europe and the Americas. Lettuce is a great source of vitamin A. Vitamin A promotes growth, the immune system, reproduction, and vision. More nutritional notes about lettuce can be found here

Preparation

Little chef tasks

Prepare your ingredients:

  • This is a crumb sandwich, so our first task is to remove the crust from our two bread slices.
  • Add ketchup and mayonnaise in a bowl and mix well to make the sauce

Here we introduced the primary and secondary colors  by asking:

When adding red ketchup and yellow mayonnaise, what color do you think you sauce will be?

  • Wash the tomato and the lettuce
  • Slice the tomato
  • Cut the lettuce (if not precut)

Layer your sandwich:

  • Lay your bread slice and spread the sauce
  • Add the cheese, the lettuce, and the tomato and then sprinkle some corn on top.
  • Top it with your second slice of bread

Give you sandwich your favorite shape:

  • Cut your sandwich to make two small rectangles or two triangles or even 4 small squares! Here we introduced the basic shapes and some elements of geometry that the kids can visualize. 

At this point, the kids had learned a lot and it was time to enjoy:

cooking1 cooking2 Crumb bread Sandwich1

¡Buen provecho is Spanish for “Enjoy your meal”