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Learn to Cook – Life Skills with Jan Cron

Elote (Mexican Grilled Corn), Serves 2

Traditionally this dish is made with parmesan, butter and olive oil.  However this healthier version skips the butter and oil, the parmesan can be replaced with some crumbled feta which we think works well.  If you are worried about the corns sticking to the pan, you can use a little coconut oil to grease the cobs.

Ingredients – Serves 2

  • . 2 corn on the cob
  • . ½ teaspoon chilli flakes
  • . Sprinkle of coriander
  • . Tablespoon grated parmesan
  • . 1/2 lime, cut into 4 wedges


  1. 1.Heat your frying pan to high heat and then using tongs, turn occasionally until cooked through. 
  2. 2. Serve on the plates with a squeeze of lime and a sprinkle of parmesan and coriander and chilli flakes.

Fresh Coconut Taco Dough

Makes about 16 small tacos – we will make about 8 during the class, you can save the remaining dough in a bowl covered in cling film or roll the ball of dough in cling.

Ingredients – serves 2

  • . 150g plain or 00 flour – plus extra for dusting
  • . Teaspoon of coconut oil
  • . 100ml water
image of Mexican tacos made during an online cookery class at the cookery school Manchester


  1. 1. Add the flour, coconut oil & 100ml water to the mixing bowl, stir all together using a wooden spoon…once it all combines, take the dough with your hand until it becomes a springy dough.   If your dough is too sticky, add a little more flour..if too crumbly, add a little more water.
  2. 2. Set Aside – it doesn’t need to rest for long, but you can wait until you need to cook.  Then split into 16 small balls (clearly, you can make larger balls of dough for larger tacos)
  3. 3. Heat frying pan to high heat, while the temperature builds, sprinkle flour on clean work surface or board, and some on your rolling pin.  Take a ball of dough, flatten into rough circle with your hand then roll until thin, keep turning and flipping over.  Add 2 -3 tacos to your pan at a time and cook until you see the taco blister and char.  Once both sides cooked, keep wrapped in tea towel – this softens the taco.  Cook all your tacos and then you are ready to serve.

Toppings – you can top your tacos with anything you like, we will make a couple of toppings, avoiding the traditional gooey cheese and sour cream!   Here are a few of our favourites, with recipes where required.  Layer your preferred combination as you like – it’s easy to get carried away and overload, but that’s half the fun!

  • Shredded lettuce, cucumber, tomato, jalapeno chilli,
  • crumbled feta, fresh coriander, paprika to sprinkle
  • Spiced Cauliflower (recipe below)
  • Smokey Salsa (recipe below)
  • Mexican Black Beans – we will have this as a side dish, but it also works on your tacos (recipe below)

Spiced Cauliflower or Chicken

Cauliflower is an underused ingredient and often served as a soggy boiled/ steamed vegetable.  Roasting cauliflower is great, spice accordingly to match your style of cuisine.


  • . 4-5 florets of cauliflower
  • . ½ teaspoon cumin powder
  • . ½ teaspoon coriander powder
  • . Teaspoon coconut oil


  1. 1. Pre-heat oven to 180C, roughly chop you cauliflower, not too small
  2. 2. Sprinkle with the spices and oil, mix together with your hands.
  3. 3. Pop into centre of the oven and it’s ready after about 12 minutes – it will look slightly browned and will be soft to touch. Place in serving bowl.

Smoky Salsa


  • . Dried chipotle chilli
  • . ½ Red pepper – deseeded
  • . ½ red onion – cut in 2
  • . 2 garlic cloves – peeled
  • . 1 tomato – green stalk removed and quartered


  • . 1 cactus top
  • . 1 tomatillo
  • . Pinch Salt (to taste)
  • . Water
  • . ¼ lime



  1. 1. Take your chipotle chilli and place in a mug or small bowl – cover with boiling water. Set aside
  2. 2. Prepare your vegetables and place in pan – cover with tap water. 
  3. 3. Place on hob and bring to boil, then reduce to simmer.
  4. 4. After about 15 minutes take your chipotle chilli and add into the pan – these can be really spicy so test the water that the chilli is soaking in and add a smaller or larger piece as you prefer.  Do not discard the chipotle water.
  5. 5. In total, the salsa will simmer for 25-30 minutes, until the larger pieces of pepper and onion are soft.
  6. 6. Drain using a colander and tip onto your chopping board. 
  7. 7. Slice all the solids, breaking down the ingredients into a salsa texture.
  8. 8. Return the mixture to the pan and on medium heat, this reduces the water content.  Taste and add pinch of salt, if you need more spice, add the chipotle water.
  9. Once you have achieved the texture and flavour, squeeze quarter lime and remove from heat.
  10. Place in serving bowl.

Mexican Black Beans


  • . Tsp cumin powder
  • . Tsp coriander powder
  • . Fresh coriander – small handful, chopped, stalks and leaves
  • . ½ Red onion – finely diced
  • . 1 can of black beans (400g)


  • . Fresh Coriander
  • . Crumbled feta
  • . Finely sliced red chilli


  1. 1. Add the cumin and coriander powder plus half your coriander, the diced red onion and the black beans (do not drain the black beans, use all the liquid from the can) into a pan and then using the black bean can, add some water to cover the beans.  Stir and bring to the boil, then leave to simmer.
  2. 2. After 10-15 minutes, check that the beans are soft – you do this by squashing against the side of the pan.  Once they are soft, roughly mash with the fork and then return to the heat to reduce down,  Remove from heat and place into serving bowl.
  3. 3. Garnish with the remaining coriander, feta and some sliced chilli.

Chicken Katsu

Katsu is the go to menu option of every under 12, and frankly it’s great – posh chicken nuggets with chip shop curry sauce… what’s not to like.

Ingredients -serves 2

  • . For the chicken – if using a decent butcher, one chicken breast will work for 2 – if using the supermarket, 2 chicken breasts. 
  • . Egg & milk wash
  • . Panko Bread Crumb
  • . Plain Flour

For the sauce Roux –

Tablespoon Butter, Tablespoon Plain Flour, Tablespoon Curry Powder, Tablespoon Garam Masala


  • . 50g Block Coconut, 1 Banana Shallot – fine dice, Carrot – diced, Clove garlic – fine dice
  • . Sachet (tablespoon) honey
  • . Chicken Breast halves – see above
  • . Water 400ml/ Miso teaspoon
  • . Teaspoon Soy Sauce
  • . Salt/ Pepper


  • . Coriander
  • . Chilli Flake – optional


  1. 1. Flatten the chicken and layer, flour, egg, panko – do this twice for extra crispiness.  These will be baked in the oven for about 20 minutes at 180C – you can do in advance, chill and reheat.  To serve you will slice into strips and lay on top of your rice and drizzle with Katsu curry sauce.

To make the sauce

  1. 1. Melt butter and add the flour, stir so the flour bubble and cooks.  Then add the 2 spice mixes, this is your katsu curry roux.
  2. 2. Either set the roux to one-side or use another pan. 
  3. 3. Soften the shallot, ginger, carrot and garlic
  4. 4. Add back the roux, allow to soften, add the liquid and the coconut block
  5. 5. Taste – but then add the honey, salt, pepper and soy
  6. 6. Taste again – re-season if needed
  7. 7. Reduce heat and allow to simmer
  8. 8. Serve on side or drizzle over the sliced chicken strips, with plain rice – delicious!

Chocolate Brownies

We love testing recipes at Food Sorcery. When we find one that is guaranteed to win you the love and admiration of your friends and family, we think it’s only fair to share it.

As self-taught bakers, we have tried many different versions over the years. Some have been far too soggy, and others a little bit dry, but in the words of Goldilocks, this one is just right. There are tips and tricks to all baking that helps it turn out right. We’ve put them in brackets for you – hope they help.

Happy cooking!

Preparation time – 25 minutes

Cooking time – 40 minutes approx.


  • 185g unsalted butter
  • 185g dark chocolate (tip – use one with approx. 62% cocoa solids if you can find it)
  • 3 large eggs (tip – I always weigh mine – for best results aim for about 190g weighed in their shells)
  • 275g caster sugar
  • 85g plain flour
  • 40g cocoa powder (tip – don’t use drinking chocolate, it’s not quite the same thing)
  • 50g white chocolate chips
  • 50g milk chocolate chips


  1. Melt the butter and dark chocolate together in a microwave for about 60 seconds, stirring at 20 second intervals. (Tip – you can also do this in a small saucepan, over a very low heat)
  2. Whisk together the eggs and sugar until they are light and fluffy.
  3. Sieve together the flour and cocoa powder.
  4. Fold the sieved flour / cocoa powder, into the whisked egg / sugar mixture.
  5. Add the melted butter/ chocolate and mix well.
  6. Fold in the white and dark chocolate chips.
  7. Line a baking tray, approx. 8 x 8 inches /20 x 20 cm with baking paper.
  8. Pour mixture into the cake tin and bake at 175C (fan oven) for approx. 40 minutes
  9. Remove from the oven and allow to cool in the tin for approx. 2 hours
  10. When completely cool, cut into delicious chunks of loveliness. (Tip – these are always better if they have been made the day before – if you can resist them. In our experience, resistance is futile.)

We hope you enjoyed the class!

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