Transitions commence new adventures. Make 'em last…
Ever since I began teaching a weekly Spanish class at my elementary school in South Korea, the last scheduled class of every semester has been dedicated to teaching how to cook scrumptious Spanish or Hispanic food. My students and I have had so much fun cooking a wide variety of foods together, all of which they really have enjoyed. A few months ago my students began asking when we were going to cook again, and so they were waiting in anticipation for what we were going to make.
Previous foods we had made together involved a fairly large assortment of ingredients and varied preparation times, and this time I had thought about doing something kind of extravagant, but I decided on a Spanish ‘tapa’ that is rather simple, yet extremely delicious: Pan con tomate (bread with tomato – Paul’s style).
When I lived and worked in Spain/Europe, ‘pan con tomate’ was a staple food that was prepared very often because of it’s easy preparation, succulent fresh flavors, and cheap cost, in addition to serving as a healthy, filling alternative.
Ingredients: Large red tomatoes, baguette, extra virgin olive oil, minced garlic, sea salt, Italian herbs, parsley flakes, green bell pepper, (and spicy sausage for meat lovers out there)
Take some large tomatoes and use a cheese grater to grind them into a bowl. Toss the tomato skins and then pour the tomato pulp into a strainer and use a spatula to force out most of the excess water. Pour tomato pulp back into the bowl and then mix in a generous portion of Italian herbs and parsley flakes.
Cut the baguette into medium-sized slices. Coat each side of the each slice with extra virgin olive oil that has been mixed with a generous amount of Italian herbs and parsley flakes. Lightly bake or heat it, then spread some minced garlic on one side. On that same side, spoon on a generous amount of tomato and spread it evenly. Top it with some minced bell pepper and sprinkle with sea salt. ¡Buen provecho!
Although it was much less fanciful and flashy than other foods we had cooked together, the students enjoyed it just the same, and all agreed that it was a healthy delicious food that they could easily remember how to make at home.
So as my time at Wolgot Elementary School is coming to a close very soon, this was my last Spanish cooking class. My overall hope is that when my students become of age, they will remain interested in the Spanish language, culture, and cuisine, and will have some concrete ideas of what they like and build upon them through trying more food, gain more experience with the language and culture, and perhaps even travel to Spain or Latin America.