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Featured Recipe of the Week: Kids Cooking Series, Part 3 - Meat
Chicken Cacciatore; Pork, Spinach & White Bean Stew; Salisbury Steaks & Mushroom Gravy,
Fun in the kitchen
Fun in the kitchen

Wow! Wait until you see what our pint-sized culinary adventurers made during Part 3 of our Kids Cooking Series. As you will notice, these featured recipes are not ones you typically find on the kids menu at a restaurant.  Many kids today are exposed to a broader range of cuisines. Maybe it is actually a trend with deep roots, going back to a time when kids were in the kitchen with their families on Sundays, learning from their moms (and dads) and grandmoms.  And while Sunday suppers are a less common today, we have the advantage of supermarkets stocked with a wide range of items and restaurants showcasing many global cuisines.

But broadening a child’s palette may not happen overnight because as with any worthwhile experience, it may take the investment of time.  When I was in first grade, our class had a two-bites club. Basically it was a contest to encourage students to take two-bites of a new food.  As our progress was charted and our exposure to new foods grew, we gained a healthy approach to trying something new. And we also learned to form our own opinions about new foods.  So while your kids might have a limited list of favorite foods now, that can change two bites at a time (repeat if necessary).

The specific focus of last Sunday’s Kids Cooking Series class was techniques that take advantage of the versatility of chicken, beef and pork. Each of these recipes relies on some simple fresh ingredients supplemented with some pantry items (no need for any exotic ingredients here).  When served with a side salad and loaf of bread you will see that you and your junior chefs can whip up a fabulous dinners for your families in no time.

Chicken Cacciatore

1 tablespoon olive oil

2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts

1 medium onion, diced

1 pepper, diced

2 cloves garlic, chopped

1 cup crushed tomatoes

1 cup rich chicken stock

1 sprig fresh basil

Salt and pepper

  • Bring a skillet to medium high heat and add the oil.
  • Season chicken with salt and pepper. Cook, turning once, until nicely browned.  Remove from pan.
  • Add the onion and pepper; cook until nicely browned.
  • Add the garlic; cook 1 minute more.
  • Add the tomatoes and chicken stock. Bring to a simmer; cook until vegetables are tender, about 6 to 7 minutes.
  • Add chicken; continue simmering until chicken is completely cooked.
  • Season with fresh basil, salt and pepper.

Pork, Spinach and White Bean Stew

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 pounds pork loin or tenderloin, cubed

3 garlic cloves, minced

1 package baby spinach

2 teaspoons balsamic vinegar

1 cup canned small white beans, rinsed and drained

1 cup chicken stock

1 sprig fresh rosemary, leaves picked and minced

Salt and pepper

  • Bring a saucepan to medium heat and add the oil. Season pork with salt and pepper.
  • Cook pork, stirring occasionally, until nicely browned and cooked through.
  • Add garlic; cook 1 minute. Add spinach, cook until wilted, about 2 minutes.
  • Add balsamic; cook until almost all liquid is gone.
  • Add chicken stock and white beans; bring to a simmer and cook until flavors combine, about 10 minutes.
  • Season with rosemary, salt and pepper.

Salisbury Steaks with Mushroom Gravy

1 pound ground beef

1 egg, lightly beaten

½ cup bread crumbs, soaked in a little milk

1-½ teaspoons salt

1 teaspoon onion powder

1 teaspoon ground mustard

¼ teaspoon black pepper

2 tablespoons oil, divided

6 ounces mushrooms, sliced

1 small onions, minced

1 clove garlic

2 tablespoons flour

2 cups beef stock

Salt and pepper

  • Add beef, bread crumbs and spices to a mixing bowl. Gently mix with your hands.  Form into four patties.
  • Place a skillet over medium heat and add 1 tablespoon of oil. Cook beef, turning once, until they are browned. Remove from pan.
  • Increase heat to medium high and add the remaining oil. Cook the mushrooms and onions until nicely browned.  Add the garlic and cook 1 minute more.
  • Reduce heat and stir in the flour; cook 1 minute.
  • Whisk in the beef stock; bring to a simmer and cook until thickened. Add back steaks and cook until center is no longer pink.  Season with salt and pepper.

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