While blackening is an indisputable classic Cajun cooking technique, I have to be honest and tell you I'm new to it. We blackened tilapia this summer at camp and it quickly became one of my favorite ways to prepare seafood, and it's so quick! I'm a sucker for that caramelized flavor that you can find in roasting, grilling, blackening and I also have a tendency to make everything a burrito or taco...hence, Fish Tacos! Besides being super tasty, making fish tacos allowed us to do some cool stuff in the kitchen.
We made our spice mix and then rubbed it into the skin of the fish fillet, a preparation technique we discussed also using for other meats, and even some veggies, you want to have some serious, all around flavor. This technique also helps the caramelization process to occur over the entirety of the food. Then we made two different types of coleslaw to top our blackened fish filling, one with mayo and one with vinegar. At the end, the overall favorite was the mayo, but they were able to make an informed decision based on taste testing, instead of just guessing. I was pretty impressed that each kid was so open to experimenting!
On October 23rd we are going to be making some of my favorite foods, and one that has been requested time and time again. Spaghetti and meatballs is on the menu for our 7-11 year olds, who will be taking over the kitchen from 10:30-11:30 AM. We'll be making our own pasta sauce from scratch and rolling and baking our own meatballs. Making meatballs is such a cross-over skill because you can use the same technique of combining meat, egg, and bread crumbs for burgers and meatloaf.
Our middle schoolers will then be making mini lasagnas, which is absolutely one of my favorite dishes, and it will be the perfect portion size! They'll be at each station mixing the fillings and then create their own layers, bake and eat (or share with their families if they're really generous...). Mini lasagnas will be from 12-1 PM on the 23rd.
The Kids in the Kitchen incentive board is starting to fill up! Dinah Smith just sent in a picture of the chicken nachos and guacamole she made at home, earning her 2 chef hats! She's only three away from earning her SoFAB Creole Spice. She also garnished her dishes with parsley so a big high five from us to Dinah!
Lastly, on October 29th, SoFAB is celebrating Halloween with the Mexican tradition of Dia de los Muertos, or Day of the Dead. We'll have little market stands throughout the Museum where kids, and adults, can make sugar skulls, paint paper mache skulls, and make tissue paper pennants! There will be cooking demonstrations throughout the day, and possibly even a tequila tasting for the adults. You also can go order a drink at the newly opened Toups South once your whistle is wet! The event is free with admission, $10.50 for adults, $8.50 for Toups South customers, and $5.25 for kids 3 and up, seniors and active military.
Tickets for all the fall Kids in the Kitchen program are available here, and more information about the Dia de los Muertos can be found here. Hope to see you in the kitchen soon!