The fifth graders from Russell Byers Charter School had learned plenty of kitchen skills since we started our cooking classes back in October. Now, it was time to put them to the test: cooking dinner for their families, a group of about 20.
Glazed salmon was the students' first choice, but in our mission to teach healthy and affordable cooking, here was another lesson: When feeding a crowd, don't choose an expensive protein. "Salmon is too pricey," I said.
The faces of the fifth graders lit up as they arrived for their seventh week of after-school cooking classes.
"Hello, Mrs. Byers!" Kaylah Nobrun called out. A chorus of greetings from the others followed.
"She's our founder," Kaylah said proudly, referring to Laurada Byers, who started the Russell Byers Charter school - named for her late husband - that these students attend, and who had come to visit the class they walk to at the Free Library of Philadelphia.
Stir-Fry With Chicken Thighs
Makes 6 servings
1 1/2 pounds chicken thighs, boneless and skinless (make sure each is completely dry)
Posted: Tuesday, November 25, 2014, 12:56 PM
'So why aren't we making real grilled cheese?" said chef Marc Vetri, who was visiting our after-school cooking class.
"Well, we're going for something healthier," I said. Baked whole-wheat pitas stuffed with cheese and homemade tomato soup - a reinvention of the classic pairing.
Lauren Bolger, 10, was the first to arrive for the after-school cooking class at Wissahickon Charter School, and she started pulling out the cutting boards and arranging them on the prep table.
"We know what to do," she said confidently, as Amaarah Abdur-Rahman and Renee Howard, both also 10, joined her.