Easy Recipes for Children
It’s that time of the year again when children are off on their summer holidays. School bells stop ringing and morning commutes miraculously become shorter but parents are now stuck with daunting task of finding day-time activities for their children. While TV and the internet seem to be extremely effective at occupying today’s youth, why not take them away from the screens and into the kitchen? With the help of some of the city’s top chefs, we’ve assembled a selection of simple recipes that are suitable for both adults and children.
For parents looking for a less-decadent sweet treat, making a traditional berry trifle makes for a fun afternoon activity. Similar to tiramisu, the process of making berry trifle involves chilling in the fridge rather than baking, resulting in a recipe that’s hassle-free and ready to eat after an hour in the fridge. With the use of the proper ingredients, the final product is free of harmful preservatives and the fresh berries provide a healthy kick of vitamins.
In this recipe from The Grand Hyatt Steakhouse’s executive pastry chef David White, the base of the trifle is made with fresh pastry cream and lady’s fingers, a style very similar to that of his own family’s recipes. The base is then sprinkled with a healthy topping of fresh berries. For parents who wish to avoid a gas stove, chef David suggests that the fresh cream can be substituted with instant custard and pre-heated water can be used when making the berry syrup.
Mixed seasonal berries, raspberries, blueberries and strawberries
Caramelised almond flakes
Pastry Cream Recipe
150g caster sugar
1 piece of vanilla bean
20g corn flour
20g custard powder
60g egg yolks
100g whole eggs
Boil the milk, cream and vanilla bean in a pot. At the same time, combine the corn flour, custard powder, egg yolk and eggs to a smooth paste. Once the milk mixture has come to a gentle boil, add slowly to the corn flour mixture and stir. Return the entire mixture to the saucepan and bring back to boil stirring constantly to form a lump-free custard. Once the larger lumps have been broken up, pass the custard through a sieve to remove any remaining lumps. Cover and cool in the fridge.
Berry Syrup Recipe
100ml strawberry puree
50g caster sugar
Bring all of the ingredients to a boil and cool slightly before using. Dip the sponge fingers into the berry syrup and lightly squeeze out the excess syrup when assembling the trifle.
Whipped Cream Recipe
500ml fresh cream
50g icing sugar
Whip both the cream and icing sugar until soft peaks form.
Add a layer of berry dipped sponge fingers to a large serving bowl. Whip the cool pastry cream for two minutes to soften the mass then place a layer onto the sponge fingers. Sprinkle a layer of mixed berries. Place another layer of pastry cream onto the sponge fingers. Add another layer of berry dipped sponge fingers. Sprinkle another layer of mixed berries. Top the dish with the whipped cream and let stand in the fridge for at least an hour before serving.
Originally from the mountain regions of Syria and Lebanon, tabbouleh is an Arab salad that is served in the Middle East, the Mediterranean and the US. Although traditionally made with bulgur wheat, tomato, parsley and mint, there are countless variations upon the original recipe. In the hot summer, tabbouleh makes for a healthy, refreshing appetiser, full of ingredients packed with vitamins and essential nutrients.
This recipe is a less traditional take on the dish and comes from Olive’s chef Eric Hendry, a Calgary-native. Although it calls for the roasting of walnuts in a hot oven, parents wishing to avoid this can use pre-roasted walnuts or roast the walnuts in a microwave for 35-45 seconds. Other than this, parents may want to supervise or assist in the chopping of ingredients but overall, it is a recipe that’s easy for kids to make and could be a way to make eating vegetables more appealing to children, particularly when served with some warm pita bread.
1 bunch of flat leaf parsley
½ cup of mint leaves
2 spring onions
4 large vine ripened tomatoes
1 cup walnuts
1 teaspoon sea salt
1 teaspoon white pepper, ground
Juice from 1 ½ lemons
½ cup of extra virgin olive oil
½ teaspoon cinnamon powder
½ teaspoon allspice powder
Thoroughly wash the parsley bunch, then dry and slice the leaves finely. Do the same to the mint leaves. Slice the spring onions into very fine parts. Quarter the tomatoes, cut out the cores and discard them. Dice the tomatoes into one cm pieces. On a heavy based tray, roast walnuts in a 180 Celsius oven for five to eight minutes, shaking the tray for an even colour every few minutes. When dark brown, remove the walnuts and place on a cloth and gently rub until skins have been removed. Discard skins and chop walnuts roughly. In a large bowl, gently mix parsley, mint, tomatoes, onions, walnuts with salt pepper, allspice, cinnamon, lemon juice and olive oil. Check the seasoning and add more salt, lemon juice or olive oil if needed. Serve immediately with romaine lettuce and pita bread.
Pronounced as “seh-BEE-chay”, ceviche is a seafood dish popular in the Americas, particularly in coastal regions of South and Central America. Typically made from raw fish marinated in citrus juices, it is a healthy choice for those wanting a refreshing lunch or brunch dish. As the dish is best made with freshly-caught fish, start off your day with the kids at the market and pick out a fresh white fish fillet or even better, buy and fillet one of the many varieties of live fish available in Hong Kong’s wet markets.
This recipe from new Peruvian restaurant Chicha’s executive chef Michael Van Warmelo is a simple and traditional take on the dish. While parents should assist or supervise in the cutting and chopping, preparing this recipe should be a fun activity even for younger children. The final product is also a healthy choice for growing kids, with plenty of vitamins and minerals that aid in childhood development, all without the use of cooking oils.
1 kg any firm white fish fillet, skinned and de-boned
2 red chili peppers, de-seeded and de-veined (Make sure parents are on hand to either provide plastic gloves, or remind kids to wash their hands before touching their eyes and mouths)
Juice of 10 limes
Large handful of fresh coriander leaves, roughly chopped
1 red onion finely sliced
Salt and pepper to taste
Wash the fish thoroughly and cut into ½ inch pieces. Place in a large bowl and lightly season with salt and pepper. Place the chopped onion in a sieve and wash under cold water. Add to the fish and mix in the chopped chili and coriander and toss. Let stand for 10 minutes. Serve with a boiled sweet potato cut into thick slices.
The citrus in the lime juice will cook the fish. For those who love raw fish, serve it quickly. The longer you leave the fish to marinate, the more it will cook.