We are excited here at Kolcraft that Andres Barrera, son of one of our Kolcraft employees, is going to be on Chopped!
Andres’ mom, Yolanda, is part of our Kolcraft family. She keeps things running smooth in our accounting department. Right now she’s talking about food not numbers! She is very excited that her son and favorite chef is on Chopped. We are excited too so yesterday, I had the chance to sit down with Yolanda and ask her how her son’s love for cooking started.
“Growing up, Andres loved to make Ramen noodle soup! We were talking about this and he said, ‘That soup was my epiphany and that’s when the chef in me was born.’
My kids were ‘latch key’ kids. When they came home from school and waited for me to come home to start dinner, Andres would pull out a package of his favorite flavored Ramen noodle soup and experiment. Each time he made it, he used different ingredients to improve the flavor. My children didn’t eat this every day, maybe once a week, but this was his all time favorite to experiment with!
When he was little, one of his favorite dishes that we made together was Calavacita. This is an easy-to-make Mexican Pork Stew. I would cut up the meat and he would cut the vegetables. He watched while I cooked it and noted how and when I put the spices in.”
Right in Yolanda’s kitchen, her little blooming chef began his career! You can catch this famous “Kolcraft Chef” (Yep, we claim him as our own by proxy!) on Food Network’s Chopped on March 2nd.
Yolanda’s Mexican Pork Stew:
• 1lb lean pork
• 2 tablespoons olive oil
• ½ lb yellow squash
• ½ lb zucchini squash
• 1 med onion, chopped
• 1 med poblano pepper, seeded and chopped
• 2 med tomatoes, chopped
• 2 large garlic cloves, minced
• ½ tsp freshly ground cumin
• ½ cup of water
• 1 tablespoon flour
• Salt and pepper to taste
Cut up pork into small cubes and season with black pepper. Add to a skillet with the olive oil and brown on medium heat. While that’s cooking cut up the yellow and green squash length wise and then into ½ inch pieces, set aside. When the meat is nice and brown add the onions and flour stirring constantly so that they don’t burn. When the onions are almost transparent add the remaining ingredients including the water. Cover and simmer until the squash is cooked but still firm. Season to taste with salt.
Cooking with your children can be a great way to teach them about nutrition and spend time “bonding.” What is your favorite recipe to cook with your children? Share it with us in the blog comments and you and your little chef can be picked to be highlighted on our website!