Going green for St Paddy
St Patrick´s Day was a good excuse to come out of Africa and cook some good old Irish Stew. Epicurious Kids were excited to go green for St. Paddy´s and start their Sunday with an Irish cook off!
Inigo was immediately commenting on how the ingredients list was very similar to a Norwegian fårikål. “Well, it´s not so far apart,” commented Tristan. “See how in Africa, all the dishes almost had the same ingredients,” he concluded. Epicurious Kids quickly divided their chores and split the boring task of peeling potatoes and carrots. “It´s like being in prison,” lamented Inigo. Tristan whistled while he worked and after a dozen or so new potatoes peeled, the hard work was done.
A whole lotta mutton goin´on
The celery was chopped, the lamb was put in a pot of cold water. After an hour of boiling, sprigs of thyme and bay leaf was popped in. More time was needed to make sure the meat was meltingly tender. “That smells delicious!” shrieked Inigo after 2 hours. Tristan and Inigo ladled the hearty Irish stew and served this filling dish to a hungry crowd.
Cypriot Pork! Kalí óreksi!
Cyprus was next on the list. Epicurious Kids wanted to use another protein other than lamb. To Inigo´s delight, pork was one of the main protein for the Cypriot diet. “Excellent!”
From the soccer field to the kitchen
Cutting up some pork
Straight from a soccer match, Epicurious Kids knew they wanted a straightforward recipe for their foodie challenge. They decided on Cypriot Pork which only needed some quick marinade for the prep work with 5 main ingredients: onion, coriander powder, pepper, cumin and salt. Perfect! Tristan quickly cut the pork in cubes, Inigo diced some onions and added them to the pork cubes. More spices were added: coriander powder, cumin, pepper and some salt. Simple. Two hours marinating the pork gave the Epicurious Kids time to jump in the shower and do some homework.
A quick mix
Tristan then heated some olive oil in the pan and sautéed the marinated pork. Done in a flash, the Cypriot Pork proved to be packed with flavour a cinch to make. Simply Cyprus!
Taking on the onion challenge
Trying to squeeze in homework, piano practice and soccer with some downtime at the end of the weekend is challenging enough. Throw in the Epicurious Kids´culinary challenge, this becomes a juggling act. Hence, the split tasking approach to cooking. For Malta, Epicurious Kids decided to make the most popular pasta dish, Imqarrun-il-forn. Very similar to a greek pasticcio without the Bechamel sauce.
Smoke gets in your eyes
Prepping the dish for the macaroni
The pasta used are long macaroni . Tristan kicked-off the cooking challenge by boiling the macaroni and dicing the onions. “Let me start this Inigo, while you finish your homework, then you can take over.” A few minutes later, Inigo was at the helm cooking the ground meat and prepping the dish for the Imqarrun-il-forn.
Mixing in the macaroni with the eggy mixture
Building the Imqarrun il forn
While the meat was cooking with the tomato paste, Inigo mixed two eggs with some flour in the baking pan. This was to mixed to a pasty consistency to help the macaroni pasta stick to each other when baked. After 20 minutes , the meat mixture was scooped into the macaroni mixture and topped with grated Parmeggiano. Epicurious Kids appreciated the similarity of Maltese Imqarunn il-forn to bolognese or Greek Moussaka. L-ikla t-tajba!
Imqarrun-il-forn L-ikla t-tajba!
Rainbow of yummy goodness!
It´s all greek for the Epicurious Kids! Moussaka was the choice of todays culinary challenge. But Tristan was hesitant on the aubergine, eggplant substituting what he thinks should be lasagna sheets for the dish.
Putting in some spice
Inigo had the same hesitation for the cheese heavy Bechamel sauce. Despite their concerns, Epicurious Kids were up for the challenge. Inigo diced the onions, while Tristan patiently sliced 6 eggplants on a bias and soaked them in salted water to extract the bitterness.
Split tasks: stirring the bechamel & prepping the eggplant
Sharing some cheesy jokes while eggsecuting the Moussaka
Patience was a main ingredient in this foodie challenge. There were many more steps after all the laborious cutting and dicing. Tristan had to dry the eggplants and place them in a baking sheet with oliver oil for baking while Inigo sauteed the minced lamb with tomatoes, onions and allspice.Inigo then started making the roux for the Bechamel sauce, after grating some Gruyère and Parmeggiano for the sauce at the end.
Layering on some love
Colourful Greek salad
Sprinkling some parmeggiano love
Chopping some Feta cheese
After all the Moussaka was popped into the oven, Epicurious Kids focused of prepping the Greek Salad. To Inigo´s dismay, Tristan pulled out the feta cheese and olives as key ingredients. “Not more cheese! And olives?!” Tristan was adamant that Inigo learned to get over his food boundaries. “Try it and I am sure you´ll like it!” Taking a bite of the Moussaka, Tristan declared it to be one of his favourite country dish in the challenge so far — with eggplants even!
Must have Moussaka! Kalí óreksi!
And sure enough Inigo took a bite of the greek salad breaking the famous saying “it´s all greek to me!” Kalí óreksi!
Team Epicurious Kids
After a gastronomic Portugal trip, Epicurious Kids were looking forward to cooking Portuguese food for their global culinary challenge. Portuguese food is a favourite for Epicurious Kids for its bold flavours and fresh ingredients.
Scoring the duck
The choice of Pato con Arroz was an easy one since it was something they tried at Largo restaurant on their first day in Lisboa. The recipe was similar to a risotto recipe which Tristan was excited to try, “can we add mushrooms to the dish?” After a few episodes of Iron Chef Japan, Epicurious Kids were eager to get back in the kitchen and create tasty dishes.
Two duck breasts were scored on the skin side to allow the fat to render and the skin to crisp. Inigo was in-charge of the broth for the risotto, putting together a bouquet garni for more flavour.
Pouring in the arborio
Most of the work was in the patient stirring of the risotto and adding the broth patiently. Tristan found a wooden spoon to use, a necessity for a good risotto. Inigo supported his brother by pouring in the broth at the right time, ensuring that the risotto doesn’t get too stiff.
It´s all in the wrist
The duck breast were done medium, fat rendered and resting on the cutting board. Once Tristan achieved the right consistency for the risotto, Inigo deftly sliced some duck breasts for the final presentation and diced up some pieces to mix in the risotto together with the orange rind. Bom apetite!
Pato con arroz - Bom apetite!
Toasting with Tapas!
Tapas was a unanimous choice for Spain. The main course was not too easy. Between Tristan and Inigo, the choices ranged from Paella, Callos Madrilena and Cazuela.
Garlic and Onion Boys
Beef and potatoes
After the decision was made to make Cazuela with cod and clams, Epicurious Kids jumped right into prepping their tapas. They wanted to make a Gambas al Ajillo, Salpicao and Setas con Ajo y Vino Blanco.
Peeling prawns with pride
Spicing up the beef
Tristan started marinating the pieces of beef cut against the grain. Inigo kept reminding Tristan to cut the meat on a bias against the grain to keep it tender. Of course, he know this already. In between snappy remarks, the mini chefs focused on the three tapas dishes that needed different preparations and required different cooking time.
Onions for the Cazuela
Gambas Ajillo a la Inigo
The Gambas took the least amount of time, while the beef salpicao needed to marinate for as long as possible before cooking. Garlic was everywhere, and the delicious smell of the sizzling bulb was wafting through the kitchen. Right after the tapas were served, the cod and clams Cazuela was an easy feat. Inigo added some spinach to the recipe of potatoes and green peas to add more oomph to the dish. And it was delish!
Searing the deal for Irish stew
The long winter gets a boost from Ireland. After a busy weekend, piano lessons, soccer, badminton and swimming, nothing refuels the body like a good old-fashioned Irish Stew.
Peeling pretty Irish
Potato peeling — zen moment of the day
Irish stew was a perfect dish to prepare at the end of a busy weekend. Minimum prep, maximum taste. Tristan and Inigo were excited to get the stew going. Peeling parsnips, potatoes and carrots then cutting leeks, done in a jiffy. Inigo worked in silence with potato peeling, leek cutting.
Silence of the lambs
Snipping at parsnips?
After the quick prep, the lamb browned and ready to stew. Inigo added cold water to the pot filled with lamb and veggies. The stew needed some slow simmering. ”How long do we have to wait before it is done?” asked Inigo impatiently. “Well, we need to add the Rosemary in 45 minutes…” reasoned out Tristan, “then it should be done in 15 minutes.”
An hour later, the wonderful lamb stew beckoned the Epicurious Kids back to the kitchen with its tantalizing aroma. “It´s ready!” Inigo exclaimed. The dish was quickly plated and before it could even reach the table, Inigo could not resist taking a big slurp. “Delicious!”
Piping hot Irish Stew
Taster VS Chef
Sunday Roast thumbs up!
A tradition British Roast was the order of the day. Epicurious Kids have never gone all-English. With stomach grumblings to fuel their focus, they prepped the key ingredients of a rib of organic beef, veg consisting of green beans, potatoes and carrots quickly to spend enough time relaxing on a Sunday afternoon.
How to measure thirds in a standard cup.
Cracking some eggciting ingredients
One of the key dishes served in a traditional British Sunday Roast is Yorkshire Pudding. Not a staple in your regular American roast table. It does sometimes pop up occasionally as a popover, served with roast beef. Tristan was intrigued at the possibility of eating something called a pudding with beef. Inigo was likewise wondering about the batter they had to prep that sounded similar to crepes. Watered down.
Just beat it!
Inigo pours in the batter
Epicurious Kids were thrilled with the fact that they could now use their popover pan that had gathered dust in the last 9 years. Yes, it was now a relic. The time had come to blow the cobwebs off and fire the oven.
Prepping for the rockin´roast
A flurry of chopping
The idea of a Yorkshire Pudding was rather exotic and Epicurious Kids were excited to take on the challenge. They prepped the batter the night before to ensure maximum “popping”. The rib roast was studded with garlic and rosemary, rubbed with some Maldon salt, a touch of olive oil and some TLC. “This is gonna be good.” declared Inigo.
Yorkshire Pudding under scrutiny
Roast was toast in 30 minutes, Tristan and Inigo were smacking their lips and agreed “We need to do Sunday roast as part of our food tradition.” Looking forward to more Sunday dinners.
Cutting in some chive action
British Rib Roast and Yorkshire Pudding
After going behind the scenes at the Swiss Ball SEE THEIR VIDEO CLIP HERE!, Tristan and Inigo decided to go for Raclette for the Swiss challenge. “We can have lots of side dishes!” Tristan suggested. Inigo agreed and suggested his mainstays of cornichons, pickled pearl onions and the salumi or charcuterie he so adores.
Side dishes coming up!
It´s all about the side dishes
Sauteeing talent is mushrooming!
Sauteed mushrooms in herbs and some quick stir fried cauliflower were the main pick of Epicurious Kids to complement their cheesy meal. Raclette cheeses were not Inigo´s favourites. “It´s really smelly mom!” Inigo said crinkling his nose. “Just focus on cooking the veg!” advised Tristan.
Inigo attacks the cauliflower
Going head to head with the cauliflower
Once the side dishes were done, all that was left was plating the various accoutrements for the Raclette fest. Their Uncle Andrew was the perfect guinea pig for their Swiss night.
Our fete with Raclette
After a couple of competition runs on who can create the best Raclette combination with veggies, dried meats and pickled sides, a full and inventive team Raclette was ready to call it a night.
Inigo conquering his fear of smelly cheese
Tristan indulges his Raclette creativity
Dreaming fondly of fondu
Inigo and Tristan were privileged to go behind the scenes of the Annual Swiss Ball hosted by the High Commissioner for Switzerland. Get a flavour of the upcoming Swiss challenge: Switzerland Preview