16 March 2013

GUEST BLOG: School food fun

By guest blogger EMMA SMAIL

Session two of ‘What do you want to cook?’ at Benchill Primary School in Wythenshawe took place on Thursday 7 March. This week, our cooks had chosen burger and chips for the menu, which was very appropriate considering the recent scandal about what’s been ending up in our burgers! Kim took a slightly different approach to this classic kids’ favourite, making Cajun-spiced wedges and fresh, wholesome salsa to accompany the burgers.

First the potatoes were chopped into wedges and par-boiled for about five minutes, just until they began to go soft, then placed in hot oil on a baking tray and sprinkled with a pinch of salt and a spoonful of Spanish paprika. The smell of the paprika filled the room instantly as it hit the hot potatoes and this delighted the children, who likened the aroma to barbecues.

As the wedges were sizzling away in the oven, the salsa was prepared. Tomatoes and cucumbers were chopped, deseeded and sliced, garlic was crushed and red onion was diced. All the children took part in the chopping to create a bowlful of incredibly colourful veg. It was decided that only half of one chilli should be added as the chillies were hotter than expected! It was suggested that this would make an excellent summer salad on its own as well as an accompaniment to a meal.

Onto the burgers... Everyone in the group was given the right amount of mince and could choose from the remaining garlic, onion and seasoning to flavour their burgers. Everyone commented on how good it was to be able to see exactly what was going into their burgers and have complete control over what they were eating, and as soon as the burgers were placed into the hot pans, mouths were watering.

As these were cooking, the last-minute touches of olive oil and a squeeze of lime were added to the salsa and once the burgers were cooked through, everyone got stuck in! The Cajun-spiced wedges weren’t to everyone’s taste, but as one young participant pointed out, it’s just a different flavour and you might come to enjoy it if you get used to it. Wise encouraging words, as new, different and interesting flavours are what’s so exciting about food.

The burgers went down a treat and everyone agreed they were far better than what you get at fast food outlets! This is a kids' favourite that, when made from scratch, is a cheap, easy and tasty dinner, and the benefit of knowing exactly what is in it is one that cannot be argued with. Well done to everyone who took part and we look forward to cooking at the school again.

There are more photos from this session on the Cracking Good Food Facebook page: click here.

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