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)

Kid Friendly Kitchen: The essentials to make your kitchen a perfect and safe place for kids

As many of you know I am now leading the startup “Chef Koochooloo” where part of our mission is to empower families to engage in fun, interactive cooking activities and help parents safely involve their kids in preparing a healthy meal. You can read more about our vision and mission in our last post.

When I started cooking with my daughter I came to the realization that I did not have a kid friendly kitchen. Sadly most of my cooking supplies were adult size, extremely sharp or simply not adequate for my daughter, so I moved fast and bought the appropriate supplies, changed my utensils and made my kitchen a safe and fun space for my girl.

It took me a while to find the perfect kids cooking tools that I wanted my daughter to use during this cooking journey. I spent a lot of time browsing online and found some amazing utensils. Believe me I would have liked to buy them all and make my daughter’s cooking experience something she could safely enjoy at every step, but I had to prioritize based on what she would use the most often. With this in mind, I made a list with the essentials and substituted those for kid-friendly versions, which provided both safety for her and peace of mind for me. Here are some of the items that can be safely substituted and can be used by kids.

  • Cutting tools: Disposable plastic knives are a solution when you first start preparing your kitchen for the little chefs. There’s no risk in giving a young child a plastic knife and it allows them to start getting involved with the hard steps of cooking a recipe, but if you don’t have plastic ware at home or you simply don’t like to use plastic utensils, then you can try the plastic knife from Zliss, is a lettuce knife that allows your kids to be safe while cutting. I use kid-friendly knives I bought from IKEA; they come in a variety of fun colors and they have been very useful for our cooking adventures.

IKEA-plastic-knives

Slizz-lettuce-kinfe

  • Spatulas and Spoons: I have found that silicon spatulas and spoons are better for the pots. This material is safe for kids and is very common. The only recommendation I have is to buy it in a friendly size for the kids to use while making their favorite recipe! Remember that these ones come in a wide range of colors and sizes, pick your favorite one! I haven’t completed my spoon collection but soon would like to have spoons and spatulas from www.cookincolor.com

cookincolor-spatulas

  • Measurers: These are a classic for children, and very easy to get, a lot of companies make them in a variety of colors and with fun shapes. But sometimes just a quick visit to your local store will pay off with fun colored measures in a variety of sizes; just keep your eyes open.

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  • Mixing Bowls: No kitchen is complete without the mix and match “mixing-bowls” the ones in the link are from Trudeau. The ones that I have are from my local store.

Trudeau-mizing bowls

  • Cutting Boards: Of course if your kids are going to be cutting, they need a safe space to do so. At home we have plastic cutting boards, since crystal, wood or ceramic ones are just too heavy for my daughter. Recently, I saw these flexible, cheap and small cutting boards from For Small Hands. Aren’t they adorable? Definitely the next acquisition for out child-friendly kitchen!

small-cutting-board

  • Oven Mitts: There’s more variety for oven mitts. They usually come in different shapes and sizes, but if you want specific kid-size then you may want to try Growing Cooks since they seem to be quite small, perfect for little hands! I’m looking forward to order these ones next time we buy oven mitts.

oven-mitts-growingcooks

I also came across this brand: Curious Chef, and I have to say they do have a lot of great cooking items for children. Next time I’m buying something my daughter needs to cook I will certainly purchase it from their website. I can’t wait to try some of their utensils soon!

There are many more items that a kid can use in the kitchen, funnels, timers, fun spoons, containers with different shapes and more! Share with us if your kids have any preference for kid friendly cooking utensils!