2012-03-09 / School

Spanish And Latin Cuisine - Prepared To Perfection!

Eighth graders at A La Carte Culinary School Eighth graders at A La Carte Culinary School Students in Sra. Linardos', Sra. Porter's, and Sra. Scarola's eighth-grade Spanish classes at Garden City Middle School recently utilized their newly acquired cooking skills at A La Carte Culinary School while being immersed in the Spanish and Latin culture. A La Carte is a unique cooking school and culinary service center located in Lynbrook, New York. Students were organized into cooking teams to delve into the Spanish and Latin world. This hands-on cooking class was a rewarding and effective way to promote team-building the students learned about Spanish and Latin cuisine.

The students took such pride in their culinary dishes! They prepared delicious dishes of the Hispanic world, hand-rolling traditional Mexican flour tortillas using a rolling pin and then pressing them in a tortilla press. They added cheese and turned the tortillas into quesadillas, a very common dish throughout Central and North America.

Pico de Gallo was prepared by chopping tomatoes, onions and jalapeño peppers. The term "pico de gallo" means "rooster's beak" in Spanish. It was historically eaten with the thumb and forefinger, an action resembling a pecking rooster.

The popular dish of mashed avocados, guacamole, was prepared in a molcajete, a stone tool traditionally made of volcanic rock and originally used by the Aztecs and Mayans.

A traditional Spanish tortilla de patata was prepared by the students. Unlike the Mexican tortilla, the Spanish tortilla is a thick, flat omelet composed of eggs, onions, and potatoes. It is prepared as one large omelet and then cut into bite size portions called tapas. Tapas are small plates of food or appetizers that can be served either hot or cold.

Paella de Pollo y Chorizo was prepared using saffron-flavored rice in a pan known or "paella." Saffron is a spice that comes from the stigma of the purple crocus plant. Saffron adds a wonderful flavor and beautiful color to this traditional Spanish dish.

The class trip to A La Carte culminated with the students and staff partaking of the traditional Spanish and Latin meal prepared by the students.

Our middle school students have many talents - Food Network, watch out!

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