ESL Cooking. Not for the feint of heart.
July 16, 2011 2:52 AM   Subscribe

Looking for very simple recipes for a class.

I have a class of 5th and 6th grade advanced ESL students. Once a month they cook something and then are responsible for writing the recipe for what they cooked.

This all has to take place in less than 50 minutes. Examples of what we've done... ice cream sandwiches (cookies with ice cream in the middle), a vegetable dip, smores, pancakes.

We have a microwave, a hot plate and a toaster oven.

So hive mind, help this ESL teacher keep from throwing cooking implements out of the 5th floor window.

Oh by the way, I have almost no budget for this. The cheaper the better.
posted by kathrynm to Food & Drink (12 answers total)
I had a lot of luck with grilled cheese & tomato soup with my EFL class.

How many students do you have? That'll make a difference. I'll go through some of my old recipes and come back.
posted by Caravantea at 4:17 AM on July 16, 2011

English muffin pizzas in the toaster oven?
posted by maxim0512 at 5:05 AM on July 16, 2011

Response by poster: It's only five students. I should mention I'm in Korea so there are certain things I can't get (pudding mix being one of them).
posted by kathrynm at 5:08 AM on July 16, 2011

-bagel or english muffin mini-pizzas
-french toast
-fruit dipped in chocolate
-rice krispies treats
-baked apples
-stove top popcorn
-mini crescent hot dog rolls
-microwave baked potato
posted by everyday_naturalist at 5:36 AM on July 16, 2011 [1 favorite]

If you can get someone to mail you alphabet soup noodles (or get them from a black market shop/ base contact) alphabet soup would be great! My fifth graders loved it!
posted by peppermind at 6:25 AM on July 16, 2011 [1 favorite]

In junior high home ec we learned how to make an omelet, and that has served me well ever since. Just the basics of cooking eggs in a couple different ways might be super handy, and it's simple.
posted by restless_nomad at 8:50 AM on July 16, 2011

Oatmeal. (Either on the hot plate if you can boil water on it or in the microwave.) On its own, it's not that interesting, but it tastes reasonably good with a shocking number of random sweet and savoury things mixed in. (Salsa, a fried egg, probably beans, leftovers of various ilks, plus the 'normal' stuff.) You could invite your students to bring things to put in their oatmeal.

I had 'cheese toasties' as a kid. Bread, ketchup and cheese cooked in the toaster. You can stick apple under the cheese too. As I got older, I dropped the ketchup.

Neither of those things is really 'classic American food', though, if you're going for conveying some sort of cultural information (assuming you're American).
posted by hoyland at 11:21 AM on July 16, 2011

Best answer: I've recommended Mollie Katzen's Pretend Soup cookbook before in AskMe, and I think it would suit your needs well. I used it with 6-10 year olds in a drop-in centre cooking class. The book uses pictures in addition to words (helps build literacy skills), and the recipes are VERY simple (but still tasty). I think it would be great for ESL kids.

A couple of recipes I used that worked well--tasted good, kids enjoyed making and eating them:

Chocolate Banana milkshakes (necessary ingredients: milk (skim, 2%, whole milk all OK), sweetened cocoa powder, bananas, ice cubes. You put it all in a blender and pulverize it. It tastes like there is ice cream in it!

Pizza Faces (similar to what maxim0512 suggested): uses pizza sauce, English muffins, and cut up veggies and other toppings (e.g. pepperoni disks, cheese). Kids assemble their pizzas so the toppings look like faces and then you toast them in the toaster oven.
posted by hurdy gurdy girl at 2:24 PM on July 16, 2011 [1 favorite]

I remember my first school cooking project from I'm guessing 3rd grade - potato salad! There was a little card explaining each step from cutting up the potato (precooked and chilled) with a plastic knife to adding spoonfuls of precut celery and onion, mayo and vinegar and mixing it all up. I made mine pretty vinegary (and that's how I've liked my potato salad ever since...)
posted by becca.rice at 3:06 PM on July 16, 2011

Microwave potato chips
posted by gudrun at 10:10 AM on July 17, 2011

Soup made from canned goods (you could add some quick cooking noodles) - broth, beans, tomatoes, etc. There's even something called "surprise soup" that is just random canned soups cooked together, but I'd think you would want to be more specific than that so that there is something for your students to write about.

Your location says you're in South Korea so I don't know if you can get those US-style biscuits in a can, but those can be rolled into bread sticks and then rolled in sesame seeds to go with the soup. It's an easy technique but might be a good challenge for your students to explain in their written recipes.
posted by zinfandel at 4:07 PM on July 17, 2011

Response by poster: Thanks for the answers. I ordered the Pretend Soup cookbook. I'll keep scouring cooking blogs for ideas too. The biggest constraint is time.
posted by kathrynm at 4:33 AM on July 18, 2011

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