Les petits chefs – Week 4

This is the fourth in a series chronicling my adventures in the kitchen with my cooking club at school – Les Petits Chefs – using recipes from the book C is for cooking, which I received for review.

This week we made Grover’s Chinese meatballs with sesame rice


Meatballs (makes 24 small meatballs)

1 pound ground turkey
6 water chestnuts, finely diced
2 scallions, minced
2 Tbsp. soy sauce
1 tsp. sesame oil
1 Tbsp. vegetable oil

In a large bowl combine the first five ingredients. Shape the meat mixture into small balls. I used a Tbsp. to scoop out even amounts. This will make about 24 mini meatballs.

Heat the oil in a large skillet. Then add the meatballs, stirring often, till browned on all sides. Cover and cook until meatballs are no longer pink in the center. Keep warm till ready to serve.

Scallion Rice

1.5 cups jasmin rice
1 scallion, thinly sliced
2 Tbsp. toasted sesame seeds

(I added a few tablespoons of sesame oil as well)

Cook rice according to package directions. Add scallions and sesame seeds. Toss well to combine.

The boys were amazing today – I was so impressed with their knife skills cutting the water chestnuts and scallions (which had been frozen after we had to cancel last week’s class – have you ever tried to cut a thawed scallion?  Not easy, but my petits chefs rocked it!)

(check out that organisation on the cutting board!)

We had a lot of fun with the “gross” raw meat…

And carefully measured out the soy sauce and sesame oil…

The meat mixture was ready to make into meatballs…

First with spoons…

Then – eeeeeewwww – with our hands to form the meatballs…

And they did a pretty good job at forming equal sized balls to ensure even cooking…

Ready for frying…

Many hands made light work of the frying.  Today’s lesson included the very important lesson of patience – about how it’s important to not keep on playing with the food whilst it’s cooking as it will ultimately take longer to cook…

And the final result:

(we didn’t add the scallions to the rice, just sesame seeds and oil)

They were delicious and the whole school smelled amazing.  Boys were starting to eat these before they were really even cool enough…

We’re heading off on March Break right now for two weeks but Les Petits Chefs will be back after the break!

36 Responses to Les petits chefs – Week 4

  1. Divina March 4, 2010 at 08:44 #

    Those cute little hands are having so much fun in the kitchen. It must be a rewarding time spent with them. Looking forward for more after the break.

  2. Daniel@CocinaSavant March 4, 2010 at 09:01 #

    This looks like you have such a absolute blast with them! Looks like they not only enjoy it, but that you are teaching them valuable kitchen lessons as well. 🙂

    • Mardi@eatlivetravelwrite March 4, 2010 at 21:55 #

      I hope so! Lots of the parents are excited to see the boys getting amongst it in the kitchen!

  3. Tangled Noodle March 4, 2010 at 09:07 #

    Your boys did an outstanding job! The most fun part is squishing around that raw meat. 😎 I need to remember your important lesson about not fiddling with the food and just let it cook. The end result will be like these beautifully browned meatballs!

  4. Jen @ My Kitchen Addiction March 4, 2010 at 11:51 #

    So much fun… and those meatballs look tasty!

  5. K a b l o o e y March 4, 2010 at 12:06 #

    Like Divina, I also thought their little hands looked so cute in every shot, but they also somehow give off an air of confidence. I’d imagine someday at least one will remember your class for providing the spark for his lifelong foodie/chef leanings. How cool. Happy vacation.

    • Mardi@eatlivetravelwrite March 4, 2010 at 21:53 #

      They are VERY confident this group of boys. Nothing phases them – not even slimy scallion!!!!

  6. Dawn Brister (Whineaux) March 4, 2010 at 13:02 #

    I think this is awesome — teaching them to cook healthy — what a great lesson to share. You ROCK!

    • Mardi@eatlivetravelwrite March 4, 2010 at 21:52 #

      Yes its interesting to see how different some students are outside the classroom. I like being able to connect with them about stuff other than French. This week one of the little boys told me that my blog should be called mademoisellemichels.com LOL!

  7. penny aka jeroxie March 4, 2010 at 15:34 #

    Oh. I have seen so many meatball dishes lately but these made by little hands are the best!

  8. Geoff March 4, 2010 at 17:57 #

    The lesson today reminded me of a session on radio here in Sydney some years ago. The announcer asked for women to call in and give some examples of how, when they (the women) were not around, useless many men could be.
    One man rang his wife in hospital to say he’d cooked the minced meat but he was having great difficulty forming the meat balls. Hmm!
    Just quickly, another mere male allegedly rang his wife to ask how many sugars he took in his tea.
    To even it up, the announcer had a reverse option the following week but I don’t remember any of those calls.
    Great job, Mardi.

    • Mardi@eatlivetravelwrite March 4, 2010 at 21:50 #

      This coming from the man who had to learn how to do the grocery shopping last year when mum couldn’t…. LOL! And thanks – I love cooking with the boys!

  9. Lauren March 4, 2010 at 18:23 #

    those meatballs look awesome! I want to try them. 🙂 And I need to learn about patience too – not my strong point at all

  10. Conor @ HoldtheBeef March 4, 2010 at 19:02 #

    The cute little hands strike again! Nice inclusion of water chestnuts in these. I love water chestnuts, even if they made me eat raw potato once when I was little because I thought it looked so similar to a water chestnut that it must taste similar.

    • Mardi@eatlivetravelwrite March 4, 2010 at 21:49 #

      I think any picture is much better with little hands in there! LOL re: the potato and water chestnuts. I was known to eat raw potatoes when I was little too. Mind you, I also ate a whole packet of dry Disprin because I liked the taste of it. Clearly I didn’t have very discerning tastes!!!

  11. Nicole @ Making Good Choices March 4, 2010 at 19:43 #

    Aw I am really so jealous you cook with your students. I wish I could do this with mine – maybe towards the end of the year when test prep goes away! Love your meatballs too!

    • Mardi@eatlivetravelwrite March 4, 2010 at 21:47 #

      Yes, Nicole – I am very lucky that I get to work with my students and connect on a different level than I do in the classroom. I love cooking club!

  12. The Duo Dishes March 5, 2010 at 01:32 #

    No doubt they are having such a great time with this. It’s surprising how much kids like to cook.

  13. Gourmantic March 5, 2010 at 18:05 #

    What is it about kids and their love of handling meat? My nephew delights in making gourmet hamburgers and loves to get his hands dirty.

    Most impressed with the board organisation! A future food blogger no doubt… 😉

  14. Cat March 5, 2010 at 23:47 #

    these kids are learning great lessons in your kitchen! and those meatballs look mighty tasty.

  15. Carolyn Jung March 6, 2010 at 01:00 #

    This is way too cute. First, the thought of Grover making meatballs — his poor fur! And who knew Grover liked Chinese food! LOL
    I’m glad he’s such an inspiration in the kitchen. Who can resist a creature so adorable?

  16. Mardi@eatlivetravelwrite March 6, 2010 at 06:21 #

    It’s funny – they boys didn’t know that I was working my way through the book and one of them all of a sudden realised the characters were from Sesame Street and pronounced this “very random”. It is a bit but the recipes are delicious, easy and able to be done in an hour which, when cooking with kids are three major considerations! Yay for Grover and the gang!

  17. merry jennifer March 7, 2010 at 08:28 #

    I’m always hesitant to let my kids work with raw meat, and I’m not sure why. I think this would be a perfect recipe to try, though. Looks like lots of fun for kids (and grown-ups, too)!

    • Mardi@eatlivetravelwrite March 7, 2010 at 08:29 #

      We were very careful to have them wash their hands thoroughly and also talked about how utensils that have touched raw meat shouldn’t touch cooked meat. They were pretty good!

  18. Jenn March 7, 2010 at 12:49 #

    Phenomenal idea! I think it’s great that kids are learning basics at an early age and seeing that food doesn’t come from a cardboard container to heat in the microwave or oven. It was really disturbing to watch Jamie Oliver show children in the U.S. common veggies like potatoes and tomatoes and the kids having NO idea what they were.

    • Mardi@eatlivetravelwrite March 7, 2010 at 17:21 #

      Yes I saw the Jamie Oliver British version of the soon to be released show and it was shocking too. Cooking is such an essential skill it’s important to teach them early.

  19. Fuji Mama March 12, 2010 at 17:57 #

    I have seriously been loving this series! Ok, and how cute are those little hands making meatballs?

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.