Recipe showcase honors Hispanic Heritage Month – WKUHerald.com
September 27, 2022
Three students worked together to roll out the dough to be filled with the ground beef and vegetables they fried on the stove. The dough and beef soon became handmade empanadas, and they smelled delicious.
WKU’s Hispanic Recipe Showcase, held Monday at the university complex, featured many examples of traditional Latin American cuisine cooked by students.
Yertty VanderMolen, a Spanish instructor, started the project because her 102 Spanish students were in the middle of their food unit at the start of Hispanic Heritage Month.
“I decided it would be a great project for my students to honor Hispanic Heritage Month, but at the same time, their learning [of] culture and our [food] unit,” VanderMolen said.
At first, the students were told that they could choose what to cook. Everyone wanted to cook different things, so they organized themselves into groups to prepare eight main dishes. The students laughed together as they cooked, passed ingredients and participated in the group activity.
The first dish was empanadas based on recipes from the Dominican Republic. The second dish was the el Cubano sandwich.
The third dish was a traditional Peruvian recipe called causa limeña de pollo. It is served cold with chicken and tossed with carrots and peas with a layer of guacamole placed on top. The students used a large industrial blender to make the guacamole.
VanderMolen said the dish was called causa limeña because it originated in Lima, the capital of Peru. A vegan option was also available in the choice of a veggie burger wrapped in lettuce instead of between two pieces of bread or a bun.
The students laughed together as they cooked, passed ingredients and participated in the group activity.
The fifth dish was carne asada tacos. The students explained that the meat could cook quickly because of its finesse. The room was filled with the smell of baking cakes, meat and dough.
The final non-dessert dish was Challah bread, baked by a student celebrating the Jewish New Year of Rosh Hashanah.
“One of my students is Jewish, so she can’t be here with us because she’s celebrating her vacation,” VanderMolen said. “But she made this delicious bread.”
The two dessert dishes were the tres leches cake, which is served chilled; and alfajores, which are Peruvian chocolate and coconut cookies. The smell of coconut wafted through the air.
There are even more Hispanic heritage events planned for the coming weeks.
A Hispanic Arts Showcase will be held in Room 3020 of the Downing Student Union on October 3 from 6 to 7:30 p.m. On October 4 at 7 p.m. in the Gary Ransdell Hall Auditorium, Julio Capó, associate professor of history at Florida International University in Miami, will present a lecture on the impact of gay immigrants and migrants from Latin America and the Caribbean on US immigration law.
The final event is a game night on October 5, giving students the chance to play the traditional Mexican game of lottery, often referred to as Mexican bingo. The event begins at 5 p.m. in room 1011 of the Mahurin Honors College.
Reporter B Turner can be reached at [email protected]