Last week, we continued with our January emphasis on potatoes. We made the potato tacos with Mexican Pesto three weeks ago and roasted garlic-chipotle potato puree, steak tips, and salsa verde two weeks ago. So last week, we decided to brew some stew (doesn’t really work, but I wanted to rhyme).
Lots of kids showed up; Barrio Bites had more participants than even the previous week. Sometimes I feel like I”m herding cats, but it’s worth it. I want them to be curious, I want them to try everything, I want them to make mistakes and learn from them.
The stew involved the production of vegetable broth, roasted tomatillo-arbol salsa, seitan, hominy, and a potato medley. Yes, it was a vegan stew, through and through (damn, another rhyme! I’m a poet and I didn’t even know it! Oh, snap! No wonder I get paid the big bucks to teach English! Who wants to battle?). The kids didn’t know this; I told them seitan was a type of ground pork, a food product they were much more familiar with. By familiar, I mean they had heard of pork and some of them even knew if came from a pig.
I adapted the dish from a righteous recipe by Aaron Sanchez that called for sausage and pumpkin instead of seitan and potatoes, but I wanted to avoid the low-nutritional value of sausage and I still had a ton of potatoes (that’s hyperbole for all you English students reading this, which is approximately . . . zero? One? Quien Sabes.). So, students, if you are reading this . . . Mr. Liszanckie told a little white lie. Lo siento. But you know what? You guys rocked the house on this meal and the majority of you asked for seconds. So I know we have some future vegans in the house. Side note: This is not an endorsement for veganism. Hooray for vegans! Hooray for meat lovers! Just know where your food comes from. Be conscious of what you put into your body and the people you’re helping to support with your diet.
You’ll notice our stew looks a little liquidy, maybe closer to a posole. We were running short on time and we didn’t reduce the liquid from the hominy and broth enough. But the kids were getting hungry, and you don’t want to F with a pack of hungry middle school students especially when parents are waiting to pick them up.