Les Petits Chefs make easy corn and coconut bollos with Rossy Earle

Corn and coconut bollos Rossy Earle by eatlivetravelwrite.com
Photo by Rossy Earle used with permission

The scene on Monday afternoon in the science lab: Rossy Earle setting up for her guest chef session with Les Petits Chefs. The door opens. One of my longest-serving Petits Chefs appears and says “Oh hi Rossy – how’s it going?”and proceeds to ask her what we’re making, will it be as awesome as the empanadas and milk candies? Can I just tell you how much I LOVE this. For a couple of reasons.

1. Rossy is here. Again. She’s already been three times (once for the empanada/ milk candy session, once when she showed them how to make alfajores and once when they made “Temptation Plantain” ). Rossy is a busy busy lady but always makes time in her schedule to work with Les Petits Chefs because she believes as I do that it’s SO important to “expose them to the joys of food and cooking.
2. That the boys are comfortable enough to chat with these guest chefs about food and ingredients. I love how it’s completely normal for them to be having a full-on conversation about cooking.

Rossy chose to make Panamanian tamales – bollos – with the boys this week.  Basically a dough made out of cornmeal and sometimes stuffed with cheese or meat (or not), wrapped in corn husks or banana leaves then steamed.  A chance to introduce them to the wonders of working with corn husks and (sweet) cornmeal and some neat techniques (plus we got to use the world’s biggest steamer!). An easy dough containing just cornmeal, coconut milk, water and a pinch of salt, this came together really quickly which was great because the boys got to focus on their technique for assembling the bollos/tamales.

Kids working with corn husks by eatlivetravelwrite.com
So much fun soaking the corn husks in warm water so we could wrap them around the dough!
Kids measuring cornmeal by eatlivetravelwrite.com
Measuring cornmeal – and smelling the sweet one – “smells like bananas” proclaimed one keen nose!
Kids grating cheese and stirring coocnut milk by eatlivetravelwrite.com
Grating cheese (the Canadian Cheese Grand Prix “fresh cheese” winner!) and stirring coconut milk…
Kids mixing tamale filling with Rossy Earle by eatlivetravelwrite.com
This dough is hard to stir (apparently!)

Rossy had brought in some examples of the rolled and tied bollos to show the boys:

Easy corn and coconut bollos Rossy Earle cooking with kids by eatlivetravelwrite.comEasy corn and coconut bollos Rossy Earle cooking with kids by eatlivetravelwrite.com
Photo by Rossy Earle used with permission
Kids rolling and wrapping tamales with Rossy Earle by eatlivetravelwrite.com
Rossy showed the boys how to place the dough in the corn husks and roll it up…
Kids rolling and tying corn husks for tamales by eatlivetravelwrite.com
… and then they got to work!
Kids making tamales by eatlivetravelwrite.com
Rolling, rolling, rolling…

When the boys’ creations were steaming, we pan fried the pre-made ones in a little butter so we could taste them.

Kids frying tamales by eatlivetravelwrite.comThe reactions were varied – some boys LOVED this and others not so much. But it’s all good – every boy tried this – at least a tiny bite – which is my goal. I don’t want them to like everything, I just want them to taste it – even a teeny tiny taste!

They each took home steamed bollos/tamales ready to pan fry in butter…

Tamales in a steamer by eatlivetravelwrite.com


Thank you Rossy for taking the time (again) to come and work with the boys. We love having you in the kitchen lab!

Follow Rossy on Twitter and check out her range of hot sauces – SupiCucu.

Did you know – it’s Food Revolution Day on Friday May 17th? Find out how you can get involved and Cook it. Share it. Live it. for #FRD2013 in this post.

6 thoughts on “Les Petits Chefs make easy corn and coconut bollos with Rossy Earle”

  1. Mardi, I found your blog only recently, through Melissa’s blog on food photography.
    I admire you! Teching young kids what good self-made means is quite a comittment! I’m so much excited to see Toronto offers now this experience. I’d say, Toronto needs more teachers like you.

    I’m a mother of a 9 year old boy and I home-scool him in cooking. He loves now making the Sunday breakfast. We are from Toronto, but because of my work, we moved to Europe, where we share our time between Holland and the South of France. When in France, we always join some cooking classes. And my dream has been to learn to make macarons. I’m not sure when will be my next time to be in Toronto, but I definitely will consider joining one of your classes. What a pity this weekend I would miss the Yorkville macaron class:-(
    All the best and keep the good work!

    • Thank you so much for your comment and for popping over. I’m not sure “Toronto” offers this experience in general but certainly there are a lot of people out there teaching kids to cook. It’s so important!


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