Les Petits Chefs were thrilled to welcome Rossy Earle back for the FIFTH visit to our kitchen lab! I can’t tell you how grateful I am to folks like Rossy – who are willing to take time out of their busy schedule to come and share their culinary knowledge and culture with my students. This week she brought with her a recipe for a kind of Panamanian Shepherd’s Pie – perfect for the dropping temperatures at this time of year.
The topping (and in Rossy’s version, the base as well) is made with cassava/ yuca instead of potatoes which the boys were interested to see comes peeled and frozen… (they were also excited to hear that cassava makes excellent fries!)
A few of us “got lucky” and got to work with the ground beef. Honestly the things the boys get excited about – one week they don’t want to know about raw meat, the next they are fighting to work with it!
And for the first time I can remember, I sent the boys off with their “pastel” to finish cooking at home (although some of them were asking for plastic forks so they could eat them on the way home – all the components were cooked so it wouldn’t have been an issue but still…). Yes, this is the price to pay when you are overly ambitious with 12 boys under the age of 12 in a science lab in 60 minutes. However, I love that Rossy (and all my guest chefs) are ambitious. Raise the bar high and the boys will come up to meet it. Always.
At the top of this post, you can see Rossy’s own version of the pie – I love that she made it before she came so she could double check the quantities for the ingredients (dedicated!). She also bought me two tiny pastels to bring home (plus I got awesome leftovers) and I can tell you that this is a dish worth seeking out. It looks just like Shepherd’s Pie but as soon as you taste it, you know it’s much more special. I know I will be making this again in the winter!
Thanks Chef Rossy for your willingness to come and work with us. We SO appreciate everything you do!
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US/Canadian readers: Win one of two copies of Pomegranates & Pine Nuts by Bethany Kehdy. Ends Tuesday October 15th, 2013 at 6pm EST.