Anyone can be "the family chef". You just need good recipes and techniques! Chef Amy Fothergill shares her best recipes with you for quick and easy dishes with an emphasis on gluten-free.

Get information here about her cookbook, The Warm Kitchen: Gluten-Free Recipes Anyone Can Make and Everyone Will Love.

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Roasted Potatoes with Rosemary, Leeks and Gruyere recipe

When we visit my husband's family, my mother-in-law does not ask very much of us. She is a wonderful host and we have an on-going joke about her asking if we would like "tea and toast".

This Easter, I wanted to contribute a dish to the meal; typical English fare is a roast with potatoes and veg. I thought I would leave the steamed potatoes for the children and make something a bit more adventurous for us. Thus, this dish was created.

When you look at the ingredients, don't worry if you don't have everything. Just look at them as what they are:
  • potatoes: Yukon gold is preferred but red or russett are ok, too
  • herb: rosemary, thyme or oregano works well
  • onion: any kind of onion would do, even some garlic
  • cheese: if you don't have Gruyere or Swiss, substitute with anything sharp

Here are the (very) easy directions to a delicious side dish. You could always add eggs halfway through and make it into a crustless quiche...oh, must.make.that!

Roasted Potatoes with Rosemary, Leeks and Gruyere

Cut medium yellow potatoes (2 or 3 per person) into chunks. I usually cut each potato into 4-6 pieces. Toss with olive oil, 2-3 fresh rosemary sprigs and salt:
  • Add 2 Tbl oil; add more if it looks dry.
  • Pull the rosemary leaves in opposite direction from the sprig to remove.
  • Start with 1/2 tsp salt for 4 servings. You can always add more at the end.
Roast potatoes in a casserole dish for 20 mins @375F.

While roasting, sauté cut leeks or onion in butter with salt until golden. This should take about 10 minutes.

Shred or cut some Gruyere or Swiss cheese. I used about 1/2 c shredded for 4 servings.

After the potatoes have cooked for 20 minutes, add cheese, leeks, and 1/4 c of heavy or light cream (whole milk is an option, too), salt and pepper to taste, and stir. Place it back in oven, covered, for 15 minutes.

Uncover and continue baking for another 10 minutes or until brown and bubbly.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Tips for cooking with kids

Thank you to Emily Patterson, Communications Coordinator of Primrose Schools. I felt this article had some great points!

In the picture, you see a 2 year old helping out with the prep (with broccoli of all things!). I personally feel that when kids are young, it's much easier to have them in the kitchen where you can watch them.

Emily has some great tips for how to keep them occupied and engaged.

"Cooking with Children: A Recipe for Kitchen Safety & Fun

Bubbling pots, sizzling skillets and delicious smells can make the kitchen a fascinating – yet dangerous – place for young children. However, the potential hazards don’t have to keep children out of the kitchen. Dr. Mary Zurn, vice president of education for Primrose Child Care Facilities, says kitchen time can be a great way for families to regain some lost, but valuable, family time.

“The kitchen is often the most popular place in the house for families to gather. It’s a place for learning and sharing, where the family can enjoy quality time. Children can also develop a sense of responsibility by participating in daily tasks,” said Dr. Zurn.

Parents can keep the kitchen safe and fun for children by following this simple recipe:

1. Engage your child meaningfully. Think about what tasks your child can do independently. Completing simple jobs like mixing batter, rolling dough and measuring water can boost a child’s sense of pride and accomplishment. Tearing lettuce, adding sprinkles to sweets and shaking parmesan onto pasta are other safe, satisfying tasks children can easily accomplish. Even very young children can get involved – give them some pots, pans and wooden spoons so they can pretend to cook with you or use them for music-making. The tuneful accompaniment will let you know they’re safely engaged and give them a way to feel like they’re helping too.

2. Set some ground rules. Children need supervision when they’re in the kitchen, so establish a list of basic safety rules and make sure children are always within sight. Teach children to wash their hands before and after handling food to avoid spreading germs. Discuss on a regular basis what’s safe to touch and what’s not. Make sure the handles of pots and pans are turned inward on the stovetop so you and older children don’t accidentally bump them and spill hot liquids or food.

3. Build up skills step-by-step. Children can develop many essential skills in the kitchen, such as following recipes or counting slices of bread. For more advanced skills, start slowly and have your child master easy tasks before attempting harder ones. Teach older children to use a knife by starting them off with cutting soft items like cheese and cooked noodles with a dull spreader. As your child’s coordination develops, they can move on to slicing or sawing vegetables and fruit with a plastic knife.
4. Keep it fun. Cooking can be messy even without children, so don’t stress over the “oops” moments. If the cookie batter ends up on the floor instead of the baking sheet, offer some guidance and let your child try again. You can make cleaning it up fun too!

When your meal is complete, be sure to compliment your sous chef on a job well done. Offer them the first taste of whatever you cooked together and ask them what you should make next time. Bon appétit!"

Thank you Emily, for a great post!