Cooking For Your Kids- Phaidon

If you have kids then you have probably suffered with some form of fussy eating, aversion to food or just plain beige food being wanted. I know we have been through it all in our home with both kids. This book, Cooking for your Kids is a wonderful and beautiful volume full of interesting and diverse recipes that are sure to entice even the fussiest of eater!

As a taster, we have chosen a menu of recipes for My Shelves Are Full. See below for recipes for French Toast, Chili Mac and Cheese and Banana Beignets!!

Cooking for Your Kids: At Home with the World’s Greatest Chefs by Joshua David Stein is published by Phaidon, 29.95 (phaidon.com)

Breakfast

038 Claudette Zepeda-Wilkins, Claudette’s Famous French Toast

Serves 4

For the custard:

1 cup (8 fl oz/250 ml) whole milk

1 cup (8 fl oz/250 ml) heavy

(whipping) cream

4 eggs

2½ tablespoons piloncillo or dark

brown sugar

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

¼ teaspoon ground star anise

¼ teaspoon grated nutmeg

Grated zest of 2 lemons

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

For assembly:

6 tablespoons (90 g) salted butter

8 slices Hawaiian bread/challah/

brioche

Maple syrup, for serving

Coconut cream, for serving

Fresh berries, for serving

When I was a kid growing up in Tijuana, I remember waking up excited because I could smell my mom making us French toast in the kitchen, or as we called it pan frances. She used a leftover French-style sourdough baguette from Guadalajara called birote, or softer torta rolls called telera. Now that I’m a mother, I wanted to include a dish from my childhood that would resonate in my kids’ lives as well. I use soft and sweet Hawaiian bread and often make the custard the night before, so the kids wake up to the smell of the bread on the frying pan. The recipe base remains the same as my mother made, but I add little improvisations to clear out fruit from the fridge as needed.

Make the custard:

In a blender, combine the milk, cream, eggs, brown sugar, cinnamon, anise, nutmeg, lemon zest, and vanilla and blend until homogeneous. Cover and refrigerate to rest for at least 1 hour and up to overnight. Bring the custard to room temperature before proceeding.

To assemble:

Preheat the oven to 350°F (180°C/Gas Mark 4).

Set a cast-iron skillet or griddle over medium-low heat. Place a dab of butter in the pan, swirling until melted.

Pour the custard into a glass baking dish. Soak the slices of bread, 2 at a time, for 20–30 seconds per side. Once both sides are soaked, carefully remove from the custard, using a slotted spatula if necessary.

Place the slices in the hot pan (you may need to work in batches), cooking until golden brown, 1–2 minutes. Flip and ensure both sides are even. Add butter as needed.

Transfer the slices to a baking sheet and place in the oven for 5 minutes.

Serve with maple syrup, a dollop of coconut cream, and fresh berries.

Lunch

082 Jonny Rhodes, Chili Mac and Cheese

Chili Mac and Cheese, image courtesy of the chefs

Serves 4

Salt

3 cups (255 g) large elbow macaroni

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 cup (160 g) diced yellow onion

1 lb (455 g) ground (minced) beef

Freshly ground black pepper

½ cup (130 g) tomato paste (purée)

½ cup (130 g) pepper paste

1 cup (8 fl oz/250 ml) milk

1 stick (4 oz/113 g) unsalted butter

2 cups (225 g) shredded white

Cheddar cheese

As I am from Texas and live in Texas, I can tell you that chilli is life. Mac and cheese is also life. In this dish, I bring the two together. There’s a little bit of a kick in this, thanks to the pepper paste, but my kids love the heat. It’s a part of their lives. At Indigo, I really had time only to cook breakfast with the kids, but I’d also make a pot of this for Athena to take to school. In an airtight container, it keeps well and hot until lunchtime.

In a large pot of salted boiling water, cook the macaroni until al dente according to the package directions. Drain well.

Meanwhile, in a large frying pan, heat the olive oil over medium heat until shimmering. Add the onions and cook until tender but not burnt, about 5 minutes. Add the beef, season with salt and pepper, and cook until browned and crumbled, 10–12 minutes. Carefully drain off the fat from the pan.

Return the beef to low heat, stir in the tomato paste (purée) and pepper paste and cook for another 5–8 minutes, to allow the flavours to commingle. Add the milk, butter, and Cheddar and bring to a boil. Add the drained macaroni.

Serve as soon as the ingredients are well melted.

Snack

Banana Beignets, image courtesy of the chefs

120 Pierre Thiam, Banana Beignets

Serves 4

2 lb (910 g) peeled overripe bananas,

peeled and mashed with a fork

1 lb (455 g) corn or fonio flour, sifted

2 tablespoons sugar

½ teaspoon active dry yeast

Pinch of salt

Pinch of ground cinnamon

Pinch of ground nutmeg

Grated zest of 1 lemon

1 tablespoon rum

2 cups peanut (groundnut) or other

vegetable oil, for deep-frying

I love to serve this West African snack, called talé talé, to my kids. It’s inspired by the banana beignets served in the streets of Benin City that my aunt used to prepare. Because they should be made with overripe bananas, it’s the perfect way to use up those soft bananas with black spots that you haven’t had a chance to eat.

In a large bowl, stir together the mashed banana, sifted flour, sugar, yeast, and salt. Stir in the cinnamon, nutmeg, lemon zest, rum, and 1 tablespoon of the oil.

Pour the rest of the oil into a large heavy pan and heat over medium-high heat until 450°F (230°C).

Working in batches, use a spoon or a small ice cream scoop to shape the batter into small balls and carefully drop into the hot oil. Fry evenly on all sides until golden brown and cooked through, 3–5 minutes. Remove with a slotted spoon and drain on paper towels.

Serve the beignets hot or at room temperature.

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