I took a week off from blogging to recover from the busy week I had last week with filming our funny little video for our latest episode. Please check it out and enjoy. This week I had to throw something together for the toughest of all critics…my 8 year old son Cameron.
Dealing with children is probably one of the hardest obstacles that any chef can deal with. Why is this? One word, pickiness! I have dealt with a lot of kids in my life and I still don’t know why some kids are willing to try anything and some cry at the mere sight of something new. With my limited knowledge of child food psychology, I think it has to do with an underdeveloped taste palate and negative reinforcement with new food tastes.
Like many of us, once I started dealing with my child I started to reflect on my own childhood and I remembered my own hesitance to new foods. I realized that it wasn’t till I got older that I found myself not only more willing to try new foods but able to appreciate the taste of more complicated recipes. As a child I practically lived off of Ramon Noodles and Peanut butter and Jelly sandwiches. Every Wednesday my mom made Taco salad and that was what was for dinner. I tried it every time and no matter what it never tasted good. To this day I can’t stand the smell of Taco Salad and all because I keep trying to like something that I just didn’t.
I guess what I am getting at is when it comes to kids you have to give them a wide birth and not only allow them to try new things but to reject them as well. All we can hope for is to introduce them to something new to allow them to be able to appreciate it again in the future. You can be sure the when you have a winner your kid will let you know. It is their honesty that is the best tool to making a great meal.
For my son Cameron, Chicken is his favorite thing to eat. Mostly chicken nuggets so it is a little tough to find ways to get him to eat vegetables and other things. Luckily for me chicken is a very versatile meat and it allows me to introduce him to many different flavors.
This week I tried a Garlic Chicken stir fry with Corn and Green Peas. I like to partner his chicken with other vegetables so that the chicken taste can somewhat be the dominate flavor in the dish and not scare him away too much from the veges.
This is what you will need.
- · 1 tablespoon cornstarch (I used flour)
- · 1 tablespoon Chinese cooking wine or white wine
- · 2 teaspoons light soy sauce
- · 2 teaspoons oyster sauce
- · 1 teaspoon salt
- · 1 teaspoon sugar
- · 1 ½ to 2 pounds of boneless chicken breast
- · 4 teaspoons finely minced garlic
- · ½ cup of yellow corn
- · ½ cup of green peas
- · 1 table spoon of some dark soy sauce marinade
- · 1 table spoon Ketchup
- · 1 table spoon sesame oil
- · ½ teaspoon red pepper flakes
- · 2/3 cup chicken stock
First thing to do is to trim the fat off of the chicken and cut it up in to 1 ½ x ½ inch pieces. Here is a quick reminder that it is always easier to cut up frozen chicken. Next mix together in a small bowl the cornstarch (or flour), White wine, light soy sauce, oyster sauce, salt and sugar. Mix thoroughly till you have a smooth, lump free sauce.
Mix the chicken in with your sauce and toss till evenly coated. Cover and let the chicken marinade for about 20 to 30 minutes. While this was going on you can combine your corn and green peas in a small pot and heat up with water to take off the chill.
In another bowl mix together your dark soy sauce marinade, ketchup, sesame oil, soy sauce, and red pepper flakes. Mix this together till smooth and have ready on the side your chicken stock. I was actually out of chicken stock so when faced with this dilemma I simply used some base from a can of soup that I had handy. I drained off the needed 2/3 cup and saved the rest for later.
Heat up in a wok or skillet over high heat about 2 tablespoons of olive oil until hot but not smoking. Add your minced garlic and swirl around till the garlic is lightly browned. Add your chicken and quickly toss separating all the individual pieces, and cook for about 3 minutes. Add your soup stock mix together till the stock is heated all the way though. Once this is done add your drained corn and peas. Cook for another 2 minutes.
Next add the soy sauce mixture me made early and mix together. Once everything is coated thoroughly it’s time to eat.
It was a little touch and go there for a bit but overall it was a winner. He said that he wasn’t’t a big fan of the corn and peas because they were sweet. He is more used to his corn and Peas being buttery with more salt. The chicken he said was very tasty and I got thumbs up. You can’t beat that.
So try this out and see how your kids will like it.
Feed you next time!