Thursday, June 26, 2008

Cooking Class, Week 2

So, a friend and I are swapping kids for classes that we've put together this summer. As I mentioned in the previous post, she is teaching Kimball and her kids photography. I am teaching cooking to my two oldest and her son, Spencer. Last week we talked about kitchen safety, learned how to follow directions by making brownies from a mix, and planned our future menus.

It was important to me that the boys learn to make some things that they love to eat, so we talked about favorite meals when we were planning out the summer's menu. Spencer said he loved angel hair pasta with herbs best-- his favorite comes from Pasta Roni (classic kid, loves the packaged stuff!:) I assured him that I could teach him to make it without using a boxed mix. So on the plan for today's class: Breadsticks and Angel Hair Pasta with Garlic Herb Butter and Parmesan.

For the pasta, I couldn't find a recipe that was just what I was looking for, so I made one up. We started by harvesting some basil and Italian parsley from the garden (we found some other goodies there as well, including these first cherry tomatoes!!!) We made a herb butter in the food processor by combining 1/3 cup fresh herbs (heavier on the basil than the parsley), 1/2 cup butter, and 2 cloves of garlic. We rolled it up in saran wrap and put it in the fridge for a while. Then we cooked our angel hair pasta (1 lb.) to al dente. We drained the pasta, reserving 1/2 cup of cooking liquid, and tossed it with 1 cup of shredded Parmesan and most of the herbed butter. We served it with some more Parmesan on top. Yummy.

For the breadsticks, we used a recipe that I've had since my college days. I can't remember anymore which of my BYU roommates brought this with her to school, but it has been one of my go-to recipes for breadsticks and pizza crust ever since. We doubled this recipe so that Spencer could take some home to share.

First, we combined 1 1/2 cups warm water with 1 T. yeast and let it proof (watched it grow.) Then we put in our mixer with 1 T. olive oil, 1 T. honey, 3/4 tsp. kosher salt, 1 T. malted milk (optional), and 3-4 cups of flour. We mixed it until it was smooth and elastic. Then we divided it into 12 pieces and rolled and twisted it into breadsticks.

We let them raise for about half an hour, then baked them at 400 degrees. Then, the boys brushed them in butter and sprinkled some with Parmesan cheese. We even did a few with the herbed butter, which looked the prettiest.

Since we had found some ripe tomatoes and a cucumber in the garden, I threw together a quick green salad (nothing fancy, just the way my husband likes it) and we had a great lunch!

Also, check out Heidi's photo blog for more fun with their photography class!


Heidi said...

Spencer was so proud to share his breadsticks and angel hair pasta with his brothers and sisters and dad when he got home today. It was so cute, he talked about all the ingredients and the techniques as if he was a professional chef!

Nana said...

What a fun summer school. How did you manage to keep Henry, Ian, and Bronwen out of the picture?
Heidi doesn't have comments on her blog - but I loved the photoshop projects, and I want to know how to do the clone picture.
(you need to send Kimball in a more colorful shirt next time.)

Anonymous said...

This entire post has my mouth just watering!! It all looks so good!
Do you have any kind of plan for teaching cooking? I want to do more with my boys, but I'm not sure where to start. Two of mine really love to help in the kitchen though.

Prudy said...

What a fun idea. I wish I could go to your cooking class. Food looks so yummy-you're raising two gourmands. I'm going to check out the photo class now.

Sonja said...

Oh wow, that is so impressive! I love the idea of swapping classes. Those bread sticks look soooo yummy and hurray for vegetables from the garden!

Kimball said...

now i can leave making meals to myself!