This week, Les Petits Chefs once again had the great pleasure of working with Chef Vanessa Yeung, of Aphrodite Cooks. She’s been in working with the club before, once making ginger chicken potstickers and vegetarian water dumplings and another time making dumplings and mango salad. Well apparently little boys LOVE dumplings because on the way to Luma last week in the taxi, the boys were trying to guess who would be coming to work with them this week and what they would be making and there was a resounding cheer from the boys who had worked with Vanessa before when I announced it would be her. I didn’t tell them what we would be making but there was a lot of “Oh I HOPE it’s dumplings!”. Phew! Vanessa didn’t disappoint as not only had she planned bison and pork dumplings but also – a rare treat – a dessert (coconut tartlets). The boys were over the moon when she arrived and announced that on Monday!
To speed things up, Vanessa took charge of the meat. The boys were fascinated to learn that bison comes from buffaloes….
Whilst this was going on, Vanessa was setting up the wok which resulted in a flurry of “what’s that” questions as well as a few” can I cook this in a regular pan?”-type questions. I said to Vanessa at the time, that I KNEW I was going to get an email from at least one mum in search of a bamboo steamer. Lo and behold, the following day….
“The dumplings were fabulous. Who knew my kid would eat bison? Off to buy a bamboo steamer… ”
As the dumplings were steaming away (so that, you know, we wouldn’t DIE from undercooked meat! One of the boys helpfully made sure that Vanessa knew they had to be cooked until they weren’t pink anymore!), the boys got to work on the coconut tarts – basically puff pastry filled with a coconut custard. So so good.
According to one of my guys “They are easy to make, only a few steps and a few ingredients” – I mean really, you couldn’t ask for much more than that, right?
I don’t have pictures of the finished products though I brought some home and Mr Neil had the dumplings for dinner (sadly not so great heated in the microwave but I am sure he gets the idea and will cut the guys some slack). It’s been a crazy week and the coconut tarts will be my breakfast tomorrow morning.
Thank you Chef Vanessa for coming to work with the boys – I’m amazed at what you achieve with them in such a short period of time. And, get this – one Petit Chef is even going to have his own dumpling party at home because of this session – apparently he doesn’t eat store bought ones but loved these