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Iron Chef Kids

July 18, 2010

It’s summertime and in an effort to curb the kids’ urge to watch TV during the day, I have imposed an “Only Educational TV” rule, especially during the day.  On rainy days, I let the kids watch TV as long as it’s somehow educational.  As a result, we have suddenly become devotees of all kinds of cooking, baking, animal-training, etc shows.  Some of the new summer shows are just barely educational, like the one about the guy who travels from city to city to eat huge and/or painfully spicy meals so he can have his picture hung on their wall or the one where people come in to pawn their family “treasures.”  (When I questioned the educational value of Man vs. Food, my kids told me they were learning a whole bunch about different regional foods.  Because John enjoys both Man vs. Food and Pawn Stars, the shows were given a pass.  Hmm…). 

Anyway.  Watching these shows did lead to something good.  And by good, I mean something delicious and funIron Chef Kids.  Each week one of our kids picks a new recipe, shops for the ingredients, and then prepares and presents the food for all of us to enjoy. 

Jack went first.  Jack’s Godmother, Denise, and her daughter, Isabella, came to visit last week and Jack decided he wanted to cook for them.  So cook he did!  The little man cooked up a storm!  He picked the recipe, made out the shopping list, studied and studied the recipe and with a bit of help from John, made a masterpiece.

Jack’s choice was Basil Chicken over Angel Hair Pasta.  We are growing basil in our garden this summer and Jack wanted to use that in his dish.  He was incredibly fun to watch as he cut and chopped and sautéed.  And you know what?  It was delicious.  Seriously.  I’m not just being a mom here:  his dish was incredible–full of yummy textures and flavors.  It was light yet completely satisfying.  Jack plated and presented each of us with our dinner and then briefly explained what was in his dish (a la Top Chef).  It was so cute.  (I’m sorry I forgot to take a final picture of it on the plate).  Afterward, we each went around the table and gave feedback.  Then we rated his dish.  Isabella gave it two enthusiastic thumbs up!

Jack’s dish earned 3 /1 stars out of 4. 

It was an excellent start to our competition.

Want the award-winning recipe?  Of course you do!  Here it is:

Jacks’ Basil Chicken over Angel Hair Pasta

1 (8 ounce) package Angel Hair Pasta
2 tsp. olive oil
1/2 C finely chopped onion
1 clove garlic, chopped
2 1/2 C chopped tomatoes
2 C boneless chicken breast halves, cooked and cubed
1/4 C chopped fresh basil
1/2 tsp. salt
1/8 tsp. hot pepper sauce
1/4 C fresh parmesan cheese

In a large pot, cook pasta until it’s al dente, about 8 to 10 minutes.  Drain, set aside.  In a large skillet, heat oil over medium-high heat.  Saute the onions and garlic.  Stir in the tomatoes, chicken, basil, salt and hot pepper sauce.  Reduce heat to medium, and cover skillet.  Simmer for about 5 minutes, stirring frequently, until mixture is hot and tomatoes are soft.  Toss sauce with hot cooked angel hair pasta to coat.  Serve with Parmesan cheese.

Enjoy!

Maddie’s making her choice today:  Chicken Gyros with Dill Sauce.  Stay tuned for more goodness to come!

Have a yummy day!

XO,

Vicki

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