- 1-2 bell peppers
- 1-2 chopped onion (Depends on your taste)
- 3 cloves of garlic (Add more if you please)
- 1-2 diced tomatoes (Remove excess seeds)
- 2 pieces of chicken breast (Cut in small pieces)
- Black pepper, Chilli powder, Jerk seasoning (optional) and any spice you like.
- Flour tortillas or paratha.
- Beans and Corn (Optional)
We turned the electric stove on the medium heat and added olive oil to the pan. Next we added the chopped onion and garlic and cooked it till it was golden brown. The the bell peppers and tomatoes were added and we mixed it together. within 1 minute we added the chicken and all the spices we desired. A quick taste check helped us control how much of what spices we wanted in the dish and cook it till the chicken turned white, we put a fork through to check if it was ready. With a lot of communication and hands we made our own personalized tortillas with a lot of delicious toppings. With put it in the oven for 3-5 minutes and it was ready to eat.
We have small bites once a week so we have about 5-8 sessions in total for this block. For the past sessions we have made chocolate chips, rice and chicken, carrot juice. The latest recipe we tried was chicken empanadas which I really enjoyed because i learnt how to make pastry from scratch. It wasn’t too hard and at the end it was delicious. There are 2 parts to this dish, half of the group including me worked on the pastry:
- 3 cups all-purpose flour
- ¼ to 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 6 oz unsalted butter 1 ½ sticks
- 1 egg
- 1/4 cup to 1/2 cup of water or milk adjust as needed to obtain a soft and smooth dough
Making homemade empanada dough:
Mix the flour and salt in a food processor.
Add the butter and pulse
Add the egg and the water or milk (in small increments) and continue pulsing until a clumpy dough forms.
To make the empanada dough by hand, follow the same instruction but use your hands to mix the ingredients together.
Split the dough into 2 large ball, flatten slightly into the shape of disks. The dough can be used immediately or refrigerated until ready to use (1-2 days max).
Roll out the dough into a thin sheet and cut out round disc shapes for empanadas (use round molds or a small plate). You can also make small individual balls with the dough and roll out each individual ball to a round shape (doesn’t need to be perfectly round) – if you have a tortilla press you can use it to flatten the dough balls.
Use immediately, or store in the refrigerator/freezer to use later.
The rest of the group worked on the chicken filling:
- Cut up whatever spices you want to include with your meat (onions, garlic, parsley, peppers)
- Clean meat (with vinegar or lime/lime juice)
- Cut it up into small pieces
- Put two caps full of oil in a pan.
- Mix your meat with your spices.
- Add 2/3 pinches of salt, black pepper, tumeric, all purpose seasoning, chilli powder and any other seasoning you’d like to use to suit your taste. MIX it in with the chicken.
- Fry the chicken mixture until it’s cooked. (Taste as you go to determine if you need to add additional spices/seasoning
- Once the chicken is cooked. Let it cool for a while.
- Add one tablespoon of filling (chicken) to the center of the empanada pastry, FOLD pastry in half and use a fork to SEAL the sides together.
- In another pan, add about a 1/4 to 1/2 cup of oil. Once the oil heats up, add fry each side of the empanada until golden brown.
- Remove from oil to cool on a paper towel (The paper towel will absorb some of the oil)
After eating it we started cleaning as usual. Recently we have started paying more attention to cleaning because not all of us contribute to it, some students leave early to get away but this time Ms. Nelson kept assigning different students to clean constantly so we wouldn’t have a huge mess at the end to clean. We have 2 more sessions left before April break starts and I am excited for our last 2 cooking classes.
Today was our last day of small bites. I enjoyed the whole journey even though I wasn’t able to make it for all of the small bites sessions. this last day was also very enjoyable we decided to make Zucchini Pasta which was very delicious. Most of our sessions went like the first day, sometimes we would suggest what we can make for our next session and we all worked together to make the food.
There are quite a lot of things we learnt together as a group over the past couple of sessions.
- I could see all of us individually identifying our weaknesses, for example I had trouble using the stove and this allowed me to focus on how to manage the temperature on the stove by asking my peers for help.
- With so many of us working together, it was helpful for all of us since we helped each other out on small tasks. If a group finished earlier, the group would help another group which working on something else and this made us move faster. We all worked collaboratively to make the recipes we got in the beginning of the lesson.
- With Ms. Nelson by out side, I believe it has deepened my knowledge on cooking and I have achieved my goal of improving my technical skills for cooking.
- These skills are very beneficial for me because I already had an interest in cooking prior to joining this activity and I have learnt a lot of safety skills while cook as well which I had not know about earlier. With the new equipment, I was also able to learn how to use an electric stove which I do not usually use.
- All of us also got constructive feedback by Ms. Nelson because she was able to recognize where we needed help and that really improved out presence and collaborative skills in the sessions.
A small insight for our Small Bites Sessions is demonstrated in the video below: