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)

Brazilian Potato Salad

Brazilian Potato Salad

Continent: South America

Language spoken: Portuguese

English Recipe Name: Potato Salad

Recipe Name in National Language: Salada de Batatas

Did you know?
Brazil has a total of 274 threatened wildlife species. There are 80 threatened species of birds in Brazil. This is the highest of any country in the world. Humans have cut down over 20% of the Amazon rainforest in the last 40 years, thus destroying many species’ habitats and homes. At the rate we are cutting down the Amazon forest, many species will be extinct in the future.

Action ideas: Ask kids if they know the about the Food Chain or Food Web and how a loss of species could effect the Food Chain. If one species is missing in the food chain, the predator of that species will starve and die because they will have nothing to eat. This creates a ripple effect. Also, the prey of the missing species will grow in size because they are not being eaten by any predators.

Link to a resource where kids can learn more about this issue or take action

Ingredient spotlight: Potato

There are about 5,000 potato varieties worldwide. Three thousand of them are found in the Andes alone, mainly in Peru, Bolivia, Ecuador, Chile, and Colombia.

There are about 5,000 potato varieties worldwide. Three thousand of them are found in the Andes alone, mainly in Peru, Bolivia, Ecuador, Chile, and Colombia.

During the Alaskan Klondike gold rush, (1897-1898) potatoes were practically worth their weight in gold.

In October 1995, the potato became the first vegetable to be grown in space. NASA and the University of Wisconsin, Madison, created the technology with the goal of feeding astronauts on long space voyages, and eventually, feeding future space colonies.

Ease a sore throat by putting a slice of baked potato in a stocking and tying it around your throat.

The word potato comes from the Spanish word patata.

Although it shares the same name, the sweet potato is a root vegetable and only loosely related to the potato.

Serving Size: 6

INGREDIENTS

1 lb red potatoes (regular potatoes will suffice)
1 green onion
1/4 limes or 1/4 lemon
3 tablespoons mayonnaise
1 stalk celery
1/2 carrot, grated
salt and pepper

Big Chef Duties:

1. Cut potatoes in medium wedges and cook in salted water until done, but not smooshy soft
2. Meanwhile chop up celery and green onion.

Little Chef Duties:

1. Carefully drain the potatoes.
2. Put cooked potatoes into a bowl, while still hot, squeeze lemon over them (I’m estimating it at 1/2 to a whole lemon so add incrementally and taste); stir.
3. Let cool.
4. Once cooled add the mayonnaise,add celery and green onions, then shaved carrot stalk with a vegetable peeler, Stir until mixed but do not over stir or potatoes will become mushy.
5. Add salt and pepper to taste.
6. Refrigerate for at least 1 hour to let the flavors meld.

Learn while you wait:
How is Salt made?

There are two ways salt is collected. One way is collect the salt crystals that are left behind when shallow ponds and bays dry up. The water in these ponds and bays evaporate. Evaporation is when liquid is turns into a gas. The second way to collect salt is to mine it. Deep below the ground, salt is present and can be extracted through mining. These large deposits of salt are the result of ancient underground waterways that have dried up thousands of years ago.

PRESENTATION

Teach the kids how to say Bon Appetit in Portuguese:

Bom apetite

The Mistake we refuse to make!

Chef Koochooloo is barely off the ground and already we got invited to pitch on several occasions. As I listen to various Angels and VC’s express their enthusiasm and feedback for our mission, I notice many have reservations about our mission to raise awareness about worldwide causes.  As I listened to their arguments against this aspect of our curriculum, I knew it was time to decide what I really wanted for the future of Chef Koochooloo, and make sure the team is on the same page.

A big part of the success of any organization is to define clearly their vision and I have personally worked for too many great companies who begin to sink because they cannot figure out, or forget what they stand for.

I decided this was not going to be a mistake we can afford, so yesterday, I brought the team together to define our vision statement and ensure everyone who wants to be a member of the team truly believes in our ethos.

Cindy, Helena, Claudia, Elina and I gathered in a room as we Skyped Milos in and expressed our respective objectives for wanting to be involved with Chef Koochooloo.

Our brainstorming started with the question: What do we envision Chef Koochooloo to be in the future?

As each team member presented what they envision Chef Koochooloo to become in terms of growth, values and contribution to society, I could not feel more proud. The essence of our shared goals and values is summarized below:

Vision Statement:

Bring families together to discover the world through healthier lifestyles. In order to realize our vision, we will need a set of winning strategies. The mission statement serves as a compass that will keep us on track on our journey towards our goals.

In defining our mission, we focused on the classic questions:

  • What do we do?
  • Whom do we do it for?
  • How do we do it?
  • What value do we bring?

This exercise proved extremely helpful and we managed to define our mission as follows:

Chef Koochooloo Mission Statement:

Empower families and educators to engage in fun, interactive cooking activities, while learning about math, science and social responsibility.

We will:

–       Engage children in discovering countries through recipes and fun kid-relevant factoids.

–       Help parents safely involve kids in preparing a healthy meal while spending quality time together.

–       Raise awareness about current global issues.

With the “constitution” in place, the Chef Koochooloo team will start the journey towards making cooking and learning fun for both the Big and Little Chefs!

What do you think of our Vision and Mission Statements? Let us know what you think via comments!

The Chef Koochooloo Vision Statement and Team

The Chef Koochooloo Vision Statement and local Team

Milos Macura, Co-founder, Remote

Milos Macura