Tuesday, September 20, 2005

Doin' it for the kids...

You know, I really love the kiddy chapter. Before tonight, I’d done four recipes from the chapter, and they’ve all been absolutely fantastic.

Meatballs in tomato sauce
Beef and beans with pasta
Salmon fishcakes
Mushroom risotto

But not only do I love the recipes, I also love the whole feel of the chapter – geared toward low-fuss, low-key, high-satisfaction meals. It’s tasty stuff you can make simply – not for special occasions; just good everyday cooking.

I don’t know how much help my cooking of this chapter will help any readers – seeing as I don’t have any kids, I won’t be able to confirm whether real children actually do like this food. And I’m sure as hell not planning on having some shipped in to cook for. (Or worse, to cook with). I suppose this is the place to admit that I’m not crazy about kids in general. I just don’t have the patience. I mean, I love the children in my own family (cousins, nieces, nephews, close family friends etc.), but I’m not desperate to have my own anytime soon. I think this is a result of two years working in cinemas – dealing with hundreds of screaming kids left there by their parents with a fifty-dollar-note, pepped up on sugar and candy, running around and messing things up. Yurgh.

Now, having said that, let me say this. I absolutely adore my niece and nephew, Cheryl and Darren, and I'd cook for them any day of the week. (Actually, Cheryl herself is turning into a fab little cook... she makes a mean zebra biscuit). They have big appetites and sophisticated palates - sashimi, abalone, steak, green tea ice-cream, that sort of thing. Just look at them, how could I not love them?

Cheryl and Darren in my garden last year - just look at his cheeky little grin!!

Unfortunately for me, however, they live in Malaysia. This is such a shame, because I know they absolutely loooove macaroni!

129. Marinated Chicken Drumsticks
130. Macaroni Cheese

Nigella suggests a few marinades for chicken drumsticks, which she says she sometimes makes when other children are coming to tea. This must be a popular idea, because I remember always eating chicken drumsticks and wings at endless family dinner parties. She suggests a few marinades - of which I chose two, the one she says she does the most routinely, and one which I tried out of pure curiousity.

1. The normal one - 100ml apple juice, 100ml natural yoghurt, 1 tbs honey, 1 tbs soy, 1 clove garlic
2. The feral-sounding one - creamed coconut, pineapple juice, peanut butter, soy, brown sugar

I made them up last night, marinating four drumsticks in each marinade. Surprisingly, the "feral-sounding one" smelled the most inviting, wheras the "normal one" honestly smelled like vomit.


The macaroni cheese is, intentionally, a simple dish. I used expensive cheese, but only because that was what I had lying in the fridge. I used UK cheddah bought at the Richmond Hill Cafe and Larder which I had served with gingerbread, and gruyère cheese from last night's pea soufflé.

It's cooked macaroni, stirred through a cheesy white sauce (I seem to have been doing a lot of white sauces recently), sprinkled with chese and breadcrumbs and grilled.

Mmm - ready to put in baking dish.

Dinner - I served the macaroni and chicken with peas.

Marinated Chicken Drumsticks - the "normal" ones on the left, and the "feral-sounding" ones on the right. The normal ones looks better, but the feral-sounding ones taste better.

Macaroni Cheese - I found that the cheese so well-flavoured that I didn't need to add any salt or spices. If you happen to use a crap cheese, (and next time, I probably would), then do as Nigella says and add mustard powder or cayenne. I doubled the quantity of macaroni cheese for us four and it was exactly the right quantity.


This was a gorgeously, comforting dinner. After a long day at work, I can think of nothing better than descending onto a plate like this.

1 comment:

Ilana said...

Like you I love kiddie feasts.. These look mouthwatering... What kid, or adult, could resist yummy chicken and mac n cheese... Mmmmmmm. I haven't made too many of the kids' meals in HTE but have in Feast and you should really try those when you are done with this project.. The best so far has been the blood and guts potatoes, though that's Halloween.. never mind. Soooo good!
I will try this mac n cheese VERY soon, as have some elbow macaroni lying around waiting to be used.. And any reason to use my cazuelas again.. Love that rustic look.
Can you believe there are trendy cafe/eateries here in NYC that serve $10 mac n cheese.. Come on! Hehehe. Great work, Sarah ;)