A Feast for Dad

Whipping up an (easy) gourmet dish for Pop is a neat way to celebrate Father&s Day.
Feb 06, 2013

Ages

5-7

Dad's a cool guy. He's a roughhouse wrestler, a tickle fiend, a patty-cake pro, and a homework helper. Plus you can usually count on him for one classic "Dad" dinner – nobody beats his spaghetti with meatballs or grilled dogs. Why not surprise the man of the house this Father's Day with a gourmet dish or two that you prepare with the smallest chefs in your house? The recipes are easier than you think – so much so that Dad will swear you were in the kitchen all day. Once he finds out the secret, he may even ask for the recipes!
 

Annabel's Paella

Ingredients

  • 1 cup long-grain rice
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 clove garlic, crushed
  • 1 tsp smoked paprika or ordinary paprika
  • 1⁄2 red bell pepper, diced
  • 2 1⁄2 cups chicken broth
  • 2 Tbsp tomato paste
  • 1 1⁄2 cups (about 6 oz) cooked salad-size shrimp
  • 1 1⁄2 cups (about 6 oz) cooked chicken
  • 1⁄2 cup frozen peas
  • Handful of parsley leaves
  1.  Put the rice in a colander and rinse well under cold running water. Leave to drain.  
  2.  Heat the oil in a large nonstick frying pan or wok and cook the onion for 5 minutes, until soft. Add the garlic, paprika, bell pepper, and rice and cook for 3 minutes, stirring constantly.  
  3.  Mix together the broth and tomato paste and add to the pan. Bring to a simmer and cook for around 15 minutes, until the rice is tender and the broth has been absorbed. If the pan becomes too dry, add a little water or extra broth. While the rice is cooking, shred the chicken into small pieces and roughly chop the parsley leaves.  
  4.  Stir the chicken, shrimp, and peas into the paella and cook for a further 2 minutes, until everything is hot. Scatter the chopped parsley on top and serve.

Makes 4 servings

 

Fruity Chicken Curry

Ingredients

  • 1 Tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1 onion, peeled and chopped
  • 1 clove garlic, crushed
  • 1 to 2 tsp mild curry paste
  • 1 tsp soy sauce
  • 2⁄3 cup coconut milk
  • 1 chicken stock cube dissolved in 2⁄3 cup boiling water
  • Piece of lemongrass, about 2 inches
  • 2 chicken breasts, cubed
  • 1 medium apple, thinly sliced
  • 3⁄4 cup frozen peas
  • 3 scallions, thinly sliced
  • Salt and pepper
  • Cilantro, sliced lime, and boiled jasmine rice to serve
  1.  Heat the oil in a wok. Add the onion and cook for 5 to 6 minutes, until soft. Add the garlic and curry paste and cook for 1 minute. Then pour in the soy sauce, coconut milk, and chicken stock, stirring constantly.  
  2.  Add the lemongrass, chicken, and apple. Bring the curry to a boil, then reduce the heat and simmer for 6 to 8 minutes or until the chicken has cooked through.
  3.  Add the peas and scallions and cook for a further 1 to 2 minutes. Season to taste with a little salt and pepper.  
  4.  Remove the lemongrass and spoon the curry onto plates. Serve with a sprinkling of cilantro, a few slices of lime, and boiled jasmine rice. To shape the rice into a star, grease a star-shaped mold with sunflower oil. Spoon in cooked rice and tamp down; then flip mold over and carefully slip off of rice.

Makes 4 servings

 

Molten Dark & White Chocolate Cakes

Ingredients

  • 1 cup semisweet chocolate chips (we used Ghirardelli)
  • 1 stick butter, plus extra for greasing
  • 1 egg plus 2 yolks, at room temperature
  • 3 Tbsp superfine sugar
  • 1⁄2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 Tbsp cornstarch
  • 3 white chocolate truffles (we used Lindt Lindor)
  • Vanilla ice cream, to serve
  1.  Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Generously butter 3 large (6 oz) ramekins and line the bases with parchment paper.  
  2.  Melt the chocolate and butter in a heat-proof bowl over a saucepan of warm water, making sure the bottom of the bowl doesn't touch the water. Stir occasionally, until smooth. Set aside to cool slightly.  
  3.  Put egg, yolks, sugar, and vanilla in a large bowl and beat with an electric mixer on high, until very pale and about 4 times original volume. This will take 4 to 6 minutes. Fold the cornstarch and chocolate into the eggs until thoroughly combined.  
  4.  Spoon 2 tablespoons of the batter into the base of the ramekins and set one truffle in each. Spoon remaining batter over the truffles. Bake on a cookie sheet for 10 to 12 minutes, until just set on the surface.
  5. Remove the cakes from the oven and let them sit for 2 minutes. Turn cakes onto plates, serve with ice cream, and enjoy!

Makes 3 cakes

 

Strawberry Cheesecakes

Ingredients

  • Canola or vegetable oil, for greasing
  • 2 cups (6 oz) graham crackers
  • 3⁄4 stick butter
  • 1 cup (5 oz) strawberries plus extra to decorate
  • 2 Tbsp sugar
  • 2 Tbsp water
  • 1 3-oz package strawberry gelatin, such as Jell-O (not sugar-free)
  • 3⁄4 cup plus 1 Tbsp heavy cream
  • 7 oz cream cheese, at room temperature
  1. Grease four small heart-shaped cake pans with canola oil. Crush graham crackers into fine crumbs in a plastic bag using a rolling pin. Pour into a bowl. Melt the butter in a saucepan, pour it onto the cracker crumbs, and mix thoroughly. Stir with a wooden spoon until well combined, then divide between the heart-shaped pans. Press the crumbs firmly into the base of the pans. Put the pans on a cookie sheet, transfer to the refrigerator, and leave to set.
  2. Quarter the strawberries and put into a small saucepan with the sugar and water. Heat gently, stirring, until the sugar dissolves. Simmer for 2 to 3 minutes, until the strawberries are soft. Remove from heat and stir in the gelatin until dissolved. Blend until smooth (you can also pass through a strainer to remove seeds). Leave to cool to room temperature.
  3. Put the cream in a bowl and whip the cream to soft peaks. In a separate bowl, beat the cream cheese until smooth, then beat in the strawberry mixture. Fold in the whipped cream.
  4. Spoon the cheesecake filling onto the cracker base in the cake pans. Smooth the surface with a metal spatula. Refrigerate for about 2 hours, until set.
  5. To serve, dip a thin-bladed knife into hot water and run it around the inside edge of the pans. Unmold the cheesecakes and decorate with a few extra strawberries on top.

Makes 4 cakes

Raising Kids
Age 7
Age 6
Age 5