School’s Out. Get the Kids Cooking this Summer!
It’s June—which means that things are about to get a bit louder and crazier around the house with the kids being out of school. You’ve probably already thought up ways to keep them entertained: camp, day trips, play dates. Well how about getting them cooking? After all, who doesn’t love to eat? You’ll be helping them develop healthier eating habits while keeping your sanity intact! It’s a win-win for everyone.
As the father of five, Dean McDermott is an expert at knowing what kids do and do not like to eat. And as a trained chef, there is not a grown-up dish out there that he can’t make kid-friendly. Now Dean’s sharing all his secrets. The Gourmet Dad contains 100 easy-to-make and delicious recipes: a gourmet meal for the grown-ups and—with a few omissions, adjustments, tips and tricks—one for the kids, too. Enjoy a sample of these delicious recipes together as a family!
GREEN BEAN AND PURPLE CABBAGE SLAW
with Garlicky Tomato Vinaigrette
2 cups cherry tomatoes
6 cloves garlic
Salt and pepper, to taste
2 tablespoons olive oil, plus ½ cup
Leaves from 6 sprigs fresh thyme
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
2 teaspoons ancho chili powder, or to taste
Pinch of granulated sugar
2⁄3 pound green beans, ends trimmed, halved diagonally, and blanched (page 173)
½ head purple cabbage, cored and shredded or thinly sliced
3 scallions, root ends removed and cut diagonally into thin slices
3 ounces crumbled feta cheese, plus 1 ounce for garnish
1⁄8 cup sliced almonds, plus 1⁄8 cup for garnish
½ tablespoon minced fresh parsley, plus ½ tablespoon for garnish
Salt and pepper, to taste
- Preheat the oven to 400°F.
- Cut the tomatoes in half and toss them with the garlic, salt and pepper in a small bowl. Drizzle with the 2 tablespoons olive oil, or just enough to coat them, spread them out on a baking sheet and sprinkle with the thyme.
- Roast the tomatoes and garlic until the tomatoes start to blister and open up, about 7 minutes. Remove from the oven, drizzle with the vinegar and let cool. Once cool, remove the garlic and lightly mash it.
- Scrape all contents into a medium bowl and gently whisk in the remaining ½ cup of olive oil, keeping the vinaigrette nice and chunky. Season with salt, pepper, ancho chili powder and sugar.
- In a large salad bowl, combine the green beans, cabbage, scallions, the 3 ounces feta, the ⅛ cup almonds and the ½ tablespoon parsley and toss gently. Drizzle with the vinaigrette and toss again. Taste and season with salt and pepper.
- Arrange the salad on individual salad plates. Garnish each with the remaining ounce of feta, ⅛ cup almonds and ½ tablespoon parsley. Serve at once.
Sweet-and-Sour SESAME SHRIMP AND FRIES
4 sweet potatoes, peeled and sliced into ½-inch strips
2 tablespoons coconut oil, melted
Pinch of sea salt
¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
¼ teaspoon garlic powder
¼ teaspoon chili powder
2 dozen jumbo shrimp, peeled and deveined, with tails on
2 tablespoons sesame oil
1 tablespoon chili paste, or to taste
1 tablespoon honey
Zest of 1 lime
1 tablespoon canola oil
2 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
1 shallot, peeled and minced
½ cup chopped green bell pepper
½ cup chopped red bell pepper
2 teaspoons minced red Thai chili peppers
2 tablespoons orange marmalade
½ cup peeled and diced mango
¼ cup lime juice
1 tablespoon sesame oil
Zest of 2 limes
½ cup Thai basil (or substitute purple basil or green basil)
¼ cup minced fresh cilantro, plus ¼ cup for garnish
¼ cup fresh roasted peanuts
2 tablespoons sesame seeds
- Preheat the oven to 450°F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
- Prepare the fries. In a large bowl, toss the sweet potato strips with the coconut oil and a pinch of salt. Spread them out on the baking sheets, leaving plenty of room between them. Bake until golden and crispy, 25 to 30 minutes, turning occasionally.
- While the fries are baking, prepare the shrimp. Butterfly the shrimp by cutting the back of each shrimp from head to the tail with a paring knife. You should cut halfway into the body of the shrimp.
- In a medium bowl, combine the sesame oil, chili paste, honey and lime zest and mix thoroughly. Add the shrimp to the marinade and toss to coat. Cover and refrigerate for 10 to 20 minutes.
- Remove the shrimp from the marinade, and reserve the marinade. Let the shrimp air-dry for a few minutes. Gently press down on each shrimp so that the butterflied side opens up.
- Heat the canola oil in a large heavy sauté pan over medium-high heat. Working in batches, fry the shrimp on both sides until pink, pressing with tongs or a spatula to keep the shrimp flat, about 1 to 1½ minutes per side. Transfer to a plate and set aside.
- Prepare the sauce. To the same pan, add the garlic and shallots and cook, scraping up the bits left behind by the shrimp, until the garlic browns slightly. Add the green and red bell peppers and the Thai chili pepper, and cook until they begin to brown. Stir in the orange marmalade.
- When the mixture is sizzling, add the mango and the reserved shrimp marinade. Deglaze the pan with the lime juice and bring the sauce to a simmer. Return the shrimp to the pan, add the sesame oil, and toss to coat. Next, stir in the basil, ¼ cup of the cilantro, the peanuts and sesame seeds.
- Remove the fries from the oven once they have finished baking and transfer to a large bowl. Toss with the cayenne pepper, garlic powder and chili powder.
- To serve, stack the fries in the middle of each of 4 plates, nestle 6 shrimp on top of the fries, drizzle with the sauce and garnish with the remaining ¼ cup cilantro.
Do you ever cook with the kids at home? What are some meals you like to prepare? Any time-saving tricks you can share?
About The Gourmet Dad:
Making dinner for the family means catering to various tastes and preferences—not an easy task. After getting the kids dressed and off to school, going to work, running errands, making sure everyone gets to their soccer game/playdate/piano practice on time, the last thing you need is to make five different meals at dinnertime because one child only eats mac and cheese, the other only likes chicken nuggets, and the little one only butter noodles.
As the father of five, Dean McDermott is an expert at knowing what kids do and do not like to eat. And as a professionally trained chef, there is not a grown-up dish out there that he can’t make kid-friendly. Now Dean’s sharing all his secrets.
THE GOURMET DAD contains 100 easy-to-make and delicious recipes: a gourmet meal for the grown-ups and—with a few omissions, adjustments, tips, and tricks—one for the kids, too. You will finally be able to spend less time in the kitchen and more time with your family.
Along the way you’ll learn not to be afraid of your kitchen, how to be creative with food, and you’ll expose your kids to new flavors and develop their palates beyond the norm. Dean’s recipes welcome flavorful and nutritious ingredients that kids will actually like so that you can getout of the chicken nuggets and butter noodles rut forever!