From the Culinary Underground: Kids in the Kitchen

This is the latest in an ongoing guest series brought to you by Southborough’s Culinary Underground. This week Chef Lori shares suggestions on connecting with your kids in the kitchen, along with a recipe to get you started.

We all know how important it is to feed your kids healthy meals – we’re bombarded with this message constantly. What is less pervasive is the emphasis on getting the family to sit down all together and actually eat that healthy meal together. The dinner table it the time to reconnect, to converse, and to teach the kids the niceties of social etiquette. After all, how are you going to stress the importance of healthy eating if you’re wolfing down take out Thai on the run?

That said, we concede that our modern, busy lives make eating en famille difficult. We think you should fight to make this happen at least once at week, though. And to do that, we’d like to throw out another idea: get your kids in the kitchen and cook together. It has been our first-hand experience that when kids and adults cook together, kids feel a real sense of accomplishment and are more willing to try the food they prepare. Also, parents of teens: guess what? Working side-by-side in the kitchen, your teen may actually talk to you. Shocking!

At the Culinary Underground, we are proud to offer our Parent/Child/Teen Series. These are one night workshops offered on Friday nights for parent and kid to get together over the stove. The classes are hands-on, informative, and fun. And we mix it up: dads and daughters, parents and teens, mothers and daughters, and the like. Best of all, we like to make the kids the chef and the adult the sous-chef. Imagine yourself at the mercy of a budding Gordon Ramsey. Fun, ahoy! In these busy times, when do you really get to spend quality one-on-one time with your kid? Parents have done this for millennia – let’s continue the tradition. Come join us!

Here’s a recipe from a recent dad-and-daughter workshops where we prepared a buffet of appetizers.

Buffalo Chicken Bites
(4-6 servings)

4 Tablespoons unsalted butter
2 Tablespoons hot sauce (we like Frank’s!)
1 Tablespoon dark brown sugar
1 teaspoon rice vinegar

2 Cups potato chips
1-1/2 pound boneless chicken breasts cut into small bite-sized pieces

A big bowl of lettuce
Cut-up celery sticks
1 Cup blue cheese dip or salad dressing

Preheat oven to 425OF. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil.

Make the sauce by melting the butter in a small saucepan over MEDIUM heat. Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the hot sauce, brown sugar, and rice vinegar until the sugar dissolves. Set aside.

Put the potato chips in a big plastic bag. Use a rolling pin to crush the chips to fine crumbs. Pour them onto a plate.

Now prepare the chicken like this:

  • Dip each piece of chicken in the hot sauce
  • Then roll the chicken piece in the chip crumbs
  • Place the chicken on the baking sheet
  • Repeat the with remaining chicken pieces.

Okay, now bake them! Put them in the oven for 25-30 minutes. Remove from the oven. Arrange the chicken on lettuce and put the celery around the edges. Pour the dressing into a bowl. Serve alongside the chicken.

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