Friday, August 15, 2008

Little chef, big amibition

Generally children are fun to buy presents for. We recently marked a milestone 6th birthday in our house, and in this instance we hit a mom-dad home run for presents. I went on a kitchen foraging mission and cobbled together what the 9-year-old calls the Little Chef Kit: plastic measuring spoons and cups; a whisk; wooden spoons; some flexible cutting mats; a plastic mixing bowl. All for $15 and all a huge hit with their intended recipient.

(Raging feminists can keep their gender-biased/stereotyped comments to themselves, thanks. The gal loves to cook.)

She has since taken over the largest drawer in the kitchen to store her loot. She's dug out and claimed an apron (an antique from the 1950s) and is ready to go. Have whisk, will cook.

Last night she did her first solo operation: an Asian salad dressing, the recipe of which was on the back of a tin of toasted sesame oil. She was a little heavy on the mustard, and a little light on the salt, but her big brother pronounced the end result "just like on Iron Chef."

High praise indeed.

Asian Salad Dressing
4 tablespoons toasted sesame oil
1 tablespoon salad vinegar (rice vinegar if you have it; we didn't)
barely a teaspoon Dijon mustard
pinch of salt
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
1/8 teaspoon soy sauce
barely 2 teaspoons sugar
a pinch or two of black pepper

Whisk well.