Search This Blog

Showing posts with label kid food. Show all posts
Showing posts with label kid food. Show all posts

Saturday, May 31, 2008

Pork and Beans: A Childhood Favorite Gets an Upgrade

When I was a kid one of my favorite things to eat was hot dogs and beans. I was really happy when I saw my mother opening a can of Campbell's Pork and Beans, cutting up an Oscar Meyer hot dog and cooking them together until they were pipping hot. Yum.

When I was hungry and no one was home, I'd make a hot dog and beans sandwich with buttered bread. Hot or cold didn't matter, the beans were delicious either way.

But like peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, I hadn't eaten hot dogs and beans since I was a kid. Last week I happened to be in the supermarket shopping for a Memorial Day dinner. I saw that Bush's Baked Beans were on sale.

If you haven't had Bush's, you're in for a treat. These are the best canned baked beans ever. Since I was making spareribs, the idea of baked beans seemed a good fit. But while I had fond memories about pork and beans, I wasn't going to use hot dogs. My adult taste buds needed ingredients with a lot more flavor.

Bush's Baked Beans with Italian Sausages

Yield 4 servings
Time 20 minutes

Ingredients

1 28 ounce can Bush's Baked Beans
2 Italian sausages (mild or hot)
1 small onion (peeled, finely chopped)
2 garlic cloves (peeled, finely chopped)
1/4 cup Italian parsley leaves, washed, finely chopped
Olive oil
Freshly ground pepper

Method

Grill the sausages until brown on all sides. Let cool, then slice into 1/4" rounds. Sauté the onions, garlic, and parsley with olive oil in a small pot until lightly browned. Season with pepper. Add the sausage rounds and baked beans. Stir frequently and simmer for 15 minutes.

Variations

Sprinkle grated cheddar cheese on top.

Add red peppers.

Add spinach to the sauté.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

The Ten Minute Meal: Chicken Tenders with Mustard Sauce

A friend emailed that she wanted an easy-to-make dinner for her kids. Nothing fancy, difficult or time consuming. I suggested chicken tenders. Kids know them because they're served at most fast food restaurants where they are 'healthier' than some of the alternatives but all too often they taste like cardboard. When you make them at home, they can be both healthy and good tasting.

The difference is the breading. Traditional breading uses milk and flour (batter) which bulks up the chicken. Using seasoned olive oil and breadcrumbs creates a lighter, crunchier tender with fewer calories. The mustard sauce adds several layers of flavor with very little effort. Just so you know, after our friend ate the tenders with her kids, she proclaimed them good enough to serve to adults.

Mustard Sauce


Make the sauce first because once the tenders are cooked, you'll want to serve them immediately. The sauce can be prepared ahead and will keep in the refrigerator for several days.

1/2 cup chicken stock
1 tablespoon mustard (use any kind you like)
1 teaspoon sweet butter
1/4 teaspoon black pepper (optional)

Put all the ingredients in a small saucepan on a low simmer until reduced by half. Serve warm.

Lo-Cal Chicken Tenders

Chicken tenders can be purchased from the supermarket although they're pricey. If you have a couple of minutes, buy the full breasts at half the price and cut them into the 'tender' shape of about 1/2" wide, 1/4" thick, and 2" long.

1 1/2 pounds chicken tenders, washed, pat dried
1 cup bread crumbs, unflavored, preferably homemade
1 tablespoon Italian parsley, washed, leaves only, finely chopped (optional)
2 tablespoons olive oil
Sea salt and pepper

Pour the olive oil onto one plate and season with sea salt and pepper. For color, mix the parsley together with the breadcrumbs, if your kids will eat 'green things'. Spread the bread crumbs on a second plate. Dredge each chicken tender through the seasoned olive oil, then through the bread crumbs and coat well. Sauté the tenders on a medium flame with olive oil until browned on all sides, about 2-3 minutes on each side.

Serve with a salad or a cooked green like broccoli or spinach and the warm mustard sauce on the side. For adults garnish with the mustard sauce and thinly sliced scallions.

Serves 4. Preparation Time: 10 minutes. Cooking Time: 10 minutes.