Persian Cutlets

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Today my little Chef Koochooloo and I were thinking of Madar, my grandmother
who used to make the most delicious Cutlets I ever tasted. The only other person
I knew whose Cutlets were as mouth watering was my aunt Azadeh, who has also
passed away. What better way to share their memory with my daughter than
cooking some Cutletsof our own? I was skeptical whether I could ever reach
the same level of success when it comes to taste, but I figured I could put
the recipe in the Chef Koochooloo template, and add our own flare to it. (Using Mickey Mouse Sandwich Cutters). Here is our recipe, hope you have as much fun as we did in making some delicious Kotlets.

Country we are exploring: Iran

Continent: Asia

National Language: Farsi

Fun Kid relevant Fact about Iran:

On the last Tuesday of each year, children in Iran celebrate the New Year by participating in the Festival of Fire (Chahar-Shanbeh Soori) and jumping over fire!

Bonfires are made in the streets and yards, representing Good thoughts, Good words, and Good deeds. Iranians believe that by jumping over fire, they will have enlightenment, good health and happiness throughout the coming year.

Did you know? 

Girls in Iran don’t always enjoy the same opportunities as boys, for instance, girls are not allowed to play soccer.
Action ideas: How would you feel if you had to live in a country where girls and boys did not have the same opportunities?

English Recipe Name: Persian Cutlets   

Name of dish in Farsi:  Kotlet

Serving Size: 4-6 people 
 

Ingredient spotlight:  Parsley  

Parsley

Parsley is a relative to celery and derives its name from the Greek word meaning “rock celery”. Parsley helps protect you against Rheumatoid Arthritis.

Can you guess what is the most popular herb in the world?

Parsley is a relative to celery and derives its name from the Greek word meaning “rock celery”. Parsley helps protect you against Rheumatoid Arthritis. (Disease that can cuase pain in your joints, speically in fingers, wrists, feet, and ankles).

Ingredients:

  • 1 pound sirloin ground beef
  • 3 medium sized potatoes
  • 1 medium sized onion
  • 2 eggs
  • 3 table spoons finely chopped parsley
  • ½ cup of bread crumbs
  • Spices: 1 teaspoon of each saffron, cumin, turmeric

Pinch of Salt and Pepper

Big Chef Duties:

  • Cut the potatoes in half and place them in a large pot and cover with cold water. Add some salt, and cook until a fork easily goes through them
  • Place the potatoes in a bowl full of ice
  • Grate onion in a large bowl
  • Chop the parsley in small pieces

Let the Little Chef Perform their duties before proceeding with the following:

    • Put some olive oil on the pan and place the patties on the pan with some distance between each. (little trick here! Take a very small piece of the one of the patties and place on the pan, fry it a bit, then taste it to assess whether you need any more spices etc).
    • Once all kotlets are placed on the pan, fry on low heat. Stay near! Flip them when the kotlets seem crispy/darker a bit.

Little Chef Duties:

        • Peel the potatoes and mash them
        • Add the meat, bread crumbs, eggs and spices, salt, pepper to the bowl
        • Sprinkle with the fresh chopped parsley
        • Mix with hands (you might want to wear gloves, this gets messy!)
        • Scoop individually with your hands and roll each into a ball, then flatten. (Iranians usually make oval shapes, but you can have fun with various geometric shapes, make squares, triangles, pentagons, etc.

Chef Koochooloo likes making Persian Cutlet using Disney’s Micky Mouse Icon Sandwich Cutter

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

What kind of geometric shapes can you make Kotlets in? Try Diamonds, Hexagons, and Circles

Presentation

Garnish with parsley and some lightly fried tomatoes in olive oil, with a little salt and pepper. Of course Chef Koochooloo had some ideas of her own on how to present her Cutlets!

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As we say in Iran: “Nooshe Jaan!”  (enjoy your meal)

Mexican Beef and Chicken Fajitas

Try this incredible flavory recipe filled with protein and the healthy properties of green and red bell pepper!

Try this incredible flavory recipe filled with protein and the healthy properties of green and red bell pepper!

English Name: Mexican Beef and Chicken Fajitas

Spanish Name: Fajitas de Res y Pollo

Country and region of Origin: Mexico

Continent: North America

National Language: Spanish

Did you know? Children in Mexico love playing outdoors and what they love playing the most is the national sport: Soccer. Learn more about the Mexican National Soccer Team

Kids love Mexico Because… They have all kinds of salsas from mild to super spicy!

Why Big Chefs Care: (Nutrition and scientific facts that parents care about)

Fajitas present a balanced mix of protein and vegetables. Nutrients that are extremely important in kids grown. Also flour tortilla is much better since it contains less carbohydrates than flour tortilla, making this recipe favor the lean side.

Sometimes is hard to figure out where to go for barbecue during the Memorial Day weekend, for those cases forget about leaving your peaceful home and instead invite family and friends over for an easy and quick picnic on your patio. Here is a recipe you can do that is easy, will avoid taking out the grill and will instead let you enjoy a wonderful conversation with your loved ones while also savoring the incredible flavor of a traditional Mexican dish. Try this mix of Mexican Beef and Chicken Fajitas!

Capsicum peppers are rich sources of antioxidants, vitamin C, and para-coumaric acid. The para-coumaric acid acts as a preventive in digestive diseases including stomach cancer.

Capsicum peppers are rich sources of antioxidants, vitamin C, and para-coumaric acid. The para-coumaric acid acts as a preventive in digestive diseases including stomach cancer.

Ingredients:

  • 2 chicken breasts
  • 2 beef fillets
  • Onion (1/2 cup, chopped)
  • Green Pepper (1/2 cup, chopped)
  • Red Pepper (1/2 cup, chopped)
  • Salt
  • Oil
  • Blak Pepper

Big Chef Prep Work:

  • Clean and wash the chicken and beef
  • Cut or chop the vegetables and meat. (Kids can also help in chopping with special kids-knifes)

Little Chef Prep Work:

  • Throw meet and vegetables into the pan and mix them until cooked.

Instructions

  1. Put pan into the stove and heat until the oil is ready.
  2. Add beef and chicken and cook covered to let the stem help with cooking.

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Fajitas cook

  1. Add vegetables based on preference (Personally for this recipe my family likes them cooked but still crunchy and not too soft)
  2. Warm flour tortillas and serve with a variety of salsas.

Presentation

You can serve with little cut leaves of cilantro on the side and add the tortilla to the plate if preferred.

As they say in Mexico, “Buen Provecho”

fajitas2

Beef Taquitos

“Taquitos” is the word used in Mexico to say “small tacos”. However they are not always so small. Taquitos are eat in Mexico very commonly and the filling changes depending on the occasion, parties, gatherings or Mexican holidays! Enjoy!

“Taquitos” is the word used in Mexico to say “small tacos”. However they are not always so small. Taquitos are eaten in Mexico very commonly and the filling changes depending on the occasion, parties, gatherings or Mexican holidays! Enjoy!

Name in English: Beef Taquitos

Name in Spanish: Tacos de carne de res

National Language: Spanish (Mexico)

Why Little Chefs love Mexico? Children in Mexico have a lot of fun at their birthday parties. The “Piñata” is originally a Mexican child party activity were traditionally children used to beat with a stick a “piñata” made of ceramic and decorated with colorful papers. Nowadays kids chose any kind of figure they want, from their favorite superheroes to their favorite princess, and the best part is… all piñatas always have candy inside!

What problems children living in Mexico face? A lot of children in Mexico live in poverty and they need to walk many miles to attend school, especially in low populated areas, also known as rural areas. Children in Mexico would be benefited if we donate to associations dedicated to building more schools and take education to every corner of the country.

Why is this recipe special? Some of my Mexican friends celebrate Cinco de Mayo, and because I love Mexican food and all its various ingredients I decided it was time to give it a try and make a very common recipe that in Mexico is actually food for any occasion, but here you can particularly enjoy it this weekend even if you don’t celebrate Cinco de Mayo. I assure you! You will be left craving for more!

Why Big Chef’s care? Tortilla is an excellent source of fiber; they have a beneficial effect on your digestive tract, thanks to their fiber content. This intake of fiber through tortillas is very beneficial in the long run.

Why Little Chef’s care? Taquitos are traditionally finger food. But the best part is that you can add anything you want to your ‘taquito’. So you prepare it as you want it to be!

Tortillas are traditionally made by hand in Mexico. Moms all over that country have a special item to make them perfectly round; it’s called a tortilla press. (Almost every other house in Mexico has one).

Tortillas are traditionally made by hand in Mexico. Moms all over that country have a special item to make them perfectly round; it’s called a tortilla press. (Almost every other house in Mexico has one).

Ingredients:

  • Lettuce (3 cups)
  • Mild Salsa
  • Beef (1/2 pound)
  • Mazeca Flour (1 cup)
  • Cream (1 cup)
  • Beans (1 cup, refried beans)
  • Avocado (1)
  • Onion (1/2 cup chopped)
  • Fresh Cheese

Little Chef Prep work: If the big chef decides to make the tortilla by hand, then tortilla pressing is a very fun activity for the children! It’s just like playing with dough, they just need to put a little ball in the middle and press until the tortilla dough is round and thin.

Big Chef Prep work: Big chefs can decide if they prefer to make the tortilla by hand or if they want to buy it. There are many tortilla brands; some of them are even organic. What is very important is to have soft tortillas in the end. Now to the cooking!

Instructions:

  • Hand made tortillas: Take a cup of the Mazeca flour and put in a big mixing bowl. Then throw a small vegetable oil spoon and blend it together by hand. Or using a spoon, preferably wood or silicon.
  • Use a flat pan to make the tortillas, most families outside of Mexico don’t have a ‘comal’ a traditional Mexican cooking platform that is used to make the tortillas. But do not worry a flat pan works just fine.
  • Add a little water to your tortilla dough, until you can make small balls that are not too soft, nor too hard.
  • Then add a little oil to your flat pan, and once you have pressed the tortilla (if you don’t have a tortilla press, don’t worry! Use a big plate; a flat surface and a plastic cover for both ends). Put the round ball of dough floor in the middle of the plate and push hard until you feel the surface has become flat.
  • Now take the tortilla and carefully place in the pan. The middle and then the rest of the tortilla area will change colors. Once you see this then switch the tortilla (like a pancake) and wait for the other side to be thoroughly cooked!
  • Beef recipe: For the beef you can cook it as you please the most. And even change the recipe if you don’t like beef. You can use chicken. Cook the beef with sauce of your preference. I used tomato mixed with onion and pepper.
  • Taquito preparation: Warm the beans and use the beans and the beef as a filler for the taquitos.
  • Cut your lettuce and shred your cheese, that will be on top of the taquitos.
  • Put your taquitos in a plate and on the top add lettuce, salsa, cheese and cream. You can top with guacamole or sliced avocado.

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WP_20140424_016 copyAnd now as they say in Mexico: Buen Provecho!