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Tuesday Cooking Class

Each Tuesday at Clearwater staff member Mat Riggle and Robert, an advanced student chef, work with Clearwater students of all ages to prepare a meal that the group has chosen. When the food is finished cooking, they all sit down and literally enjoy the fruits of their labors. After eating, everyone works to clean the kitchen, from dishes to pots to counters and tables to the floor.

Recently, they decided to make yakisoba or Japanese fried noodles.


Setting up


Separating yakisoba noodles


Cutting chicken

Several students chopped vegetables.






These two peeled carrots.


Robert (below right) noticed that Jaime was peeling the carrot by moving the peeler blade toward his carrot-holding hand rather than away from it. He quickly came over to explain and demonstrate to Jaime the safe way to peel a carrot.


Mat brought a propane wok to school to stir fry the yakisoba. Propane cooks at higher heat than non-commercial stoves. High-heat stir-frying maintains the color and crispness of vegetables better than steaming, which is what lower-heat residential stoves do.


More story, photos and recipes after the jump...

Several students tried their hand at rapidly circulating the meat, veggies and noodles in the wok.




Mat explained that since meat takes longer to cook, it is fried first. He also mentioned that frying with peanut oil adds a distinctive flavor to yakisoba.




Students discovered that keeping the food moving in the wok kept it from sticking or burning. Stirring food up the sides helped the liquid evaporate more quickly and prevented vegetables from steam cooking and becoming mushy.




Various seasonings were added throughout the stir frying to enhance flavors.




Recipes

Pork Yakisoba
12 oz. yakisoba (rinsed with water and drained)
3 cloves garlic (finely chopped)
2 oz. pork (cut into small pieces and marinated with some soy sauce)
2 oz. cabbage (roughly chopped into pieces)
2 oz. carrot (cut into thin strips)
Some scallions (cut into thin threads)
2 Tbsp oil
2 Tbsp soy sauce
1 Tbsp sake
1/2 tsp mirin
3 dashes white pepper powder
1/2 tsp sugar
1/8 tsp sesame oil
Salt to taste

Heat up wok with oil. Add garlic and stir fry unti llight brown in color. Add pork and do a few quick stirs before adding cabbage and carrot. Stir a few times and add noodles and all the seasonings. Continue to stir-fry until the vegetables and noodles are cooked, for 1-2 minutes. Transfer out and serve immediately with some benishoga (Japanese pickled ginger).

Chicken Yakisoba
1/2 tsp sesame oil
1 Tbsp canola oil
2 Tbsp chile paste
2 cloves garlic, chopped
4 skinless, boneless chicken breast halves, cut into 1-inch cubes.
1/2 cup soy sauce
1 onion, sliced lengthwise into eighths
1/2 medium head cabbage, coarsely chopped
2 carrots, coarsely chopped
8 oz. soba noodles, cooked and drained

In a large skillet combine sesame oil, canola oil and chile paste. Stir fry 30 seconds. Add garlic and stir fry an additional 30 seconds. Add chicken and 1/4 cup of soy sauce and stir fry until chicken is no longer pink. Remove mixture from pan, set aside and keep warm.

In the emptied pan, combine onion, cabbage and carrots. Stir fry until cabbage begins to wilt. Stir in the remaining soy sauce, cooked noodles and the chicken mixture to pan and mix to blend. Serve and enjoy!

End of post.

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Cooking Begins for Denmark Trip Fundraising Dinner

Yesterday students Robert and Braden and their staff member mentor Mat began cooking for the dinner they will produce tomorrow. Today the intensity and duration of food and event preparations increased dramatically.

Mat and Robert chopping onion



Braden chopping basil


The dinner is one of the ways they are earning money for their two-month stay in Denmark while they attend Denmark's Sudbury school and explore that country and culture.



They cooked Gado Sauce, a peanut-based sauce that can be made ahead.



They also made a test batch of creme brulee. It was a test batch because they added some unexpected aromatic ingredients and wanted to find out how it would taste. I had the privilege of being a taster and I can testify that the creme brulee will be amazing.

Creme brulee ready for the oven


Creme brulee recipe (but without mystery aromatic ingredients). Click the image to enlarge.



Mat and Robert mixing creme brulee ingredients.
End of post.


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