Visiting the Cooking Matters class on Tuesday night was a lot of fun. The energy from the Chef Educator Bob Ballantyne (from the Cowboy and the Rose Catering) was incredible and the students were fun, engaging, and willing to learn. Maran Parry and her assistant Alyssa were involved and instrumental in the education and cooking portions of the evening. The interactive class was so full of information I am still processing all the dishes that were made, talked about, and tasted. Last week the class learned how to roast a chicken and use a meat thermometer. This week they took the leftovers and Chef Bob turned them into a plethora of tasty meals.
The program is all about teaching families and individuals to cook at home. The idea is that if we can take away any fear or lack of knowledge/experience then the participants can manage their budgets and time better, making groceries go further and making healthier choices about their food.
This week Chef Bob made the left over roasted chicken and root vegetables into: Chicken salad, BBQ chicken sandwiches, fried rice, and gave variations to each recipe to make the food stretch and still remain a healthy choice.
Suggestions were made about the chicken salad, “Can I add celery?” “Can I use onions instead of relish?” with the BBQ chicken, he sautéed diced chicken in a little water until it was warm and the water evaporated and then he added two tablespoons of BBQ sauce and served it on whole grain ciabatta roles (from the day old rack at City Market), he made a point to say that if the filling is flavorful and juicy it will liven up the bread it is served on, so it is not a problem to use a “day old” product and that makes it a lot cheaper (8 buns for about $1).
There were discussions about high fructose corn syrup, salt, multi-vitamins and more.
Other recipes were: banana quesadillas, banana fosters, and the coup de grace was an inexpensive frittata with imitation crab meat and veggies.
Chef Bob made a point of letting the class know that you can save leftovers all week and make a fun nutritious frittata on Saturday morning. I was able to contribute one of my ideas about the Egg Muffins (which are like individual frittatas) and the fact you can make each one different.
Each class member left with a new cutting board and the ingredients to make the frittata at home. Next week’s class is a tour of the grocery store and how to make a nutritious meal for four people with only $10! I can’t wait.
Thanks again Maran for coordinating the classes and hopefully we can get more people involved! They need assistants, shoppers, cooks, chefs, participants. Contact Maran Parry at firstname.lastname@example.org or call her at 970-248-6904.
Go cook something!