Monday, August 23, 2010

Food Around The Globe

Ever since my kids can eat table food, we have always encouraged and exposed the kids to try a variety of food.  When we go to restaurants, we order “adult food” and do not go out our way to order kiddie fare for them.  As a result, they have developed quite mature taste buds, and they embrace the world's diverse cuisine as their own. It's not inconceivable, and in most days when I have the time, it would seem that they are traveling the world for breakfast, lunch, and dinner.  Eating Polish kielbasa and Filipino tapa for breakfast; Persian beef keema and Indian curried vegetables for lunch; Italian pasta for mid-afternoon snacks; and for dinner, a bowl of hot Korean miyeok-kuk (seaweed soup), Japanese beef teppan and mung beans.

When they were much younger and not able to properly verbalize their preference, I never understood why they would be the only kids not excited to see fried chicken and sweet-tasting Filipino style spaghetti frequently served at kiddie parties.   It wasn't until J was about 7 when she asked me why the spaghetti served at birthday parties doesn’t taste anything like our home-made marinara sauce.   I had to explain Italian style marinara sauce vis-à-vis Filipino sweet-style.  And so now she knows that not all tomato sauce are equal.  She has become a tomato sauce snob.  Preferring hers to have the full flavors of Italy, it used to be courtesy of my handy and ever reliable McCormick Gourmet Collection Italian seasoning. But ever since I started growing my own herbs,  I now always use the fresh ones from my own pots.

From Italy, the kids love pasta al pesto Genovese, cacio e pepe, aglio e olio. 
 

Japanese is another favorite cuisine with Beef Sukiyaki, Kani Sushi and California Maki Roll ranking high on the family's list of fave food.  So much so, that on a recent birthday celebration the party provisions was fused with some Japanese platters.


Long before I discovered Mario Batali’s recipe for Pasta Cacio e Pepe, B was already eating her pasta that way.  I remember we were invited to go on a play date and when snacks was served, she would not let the host put tomato sauce on her pasta, emphasizing, “just parmesan cheese would do, thank you”.  At that time,  I did not even know there was an Italian name for it… Cacio e Pepe.
Mario Batali's Pasta Cacio e Pepe (Pasta with Cheese and Pepper)
olive oil
dried pasta
butter or olive oil
Pecorino Romano cheese, finely grated
finely ground black pepper
dash of salt, to taste

In a large saute pan, heat the olive oil over high heat until it is almost smoking. Meanwhile, cook the pasta in the boiling water according to the package directions, until al dente. Drain the pasta, reserving the cooking liquid, and add to the saute pan with the oil. Add the butter and toss over high heat 1 minute. Grate plenty of cheese and black pepper over, add salt if necessary and serve immediately.

Happy Cooking!
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4 comments:

jen laceda said...

Mia-miam. So simple but delicious. You are fortunate to have kids who have well-developed palates. But of course, that is no mere coincidence. Your training and exposure have helped them become that way. Kudos, you cool mama!

Giada is going through her cacio e pepe pasta stage now. She just wants "plain" pasta.

Mom-Friday said...

Bow to you! I agree with Jen, you trained your kids well. As much as I wanted to do the same with my kids, I need to re-train my hubby too since he's the one ordering kiddie meals all the time!!!
Mika also likes her pasta plain! :D

RONE said...

Good job! Gael is like your kids, he eats anything. His favorite dish is sushi and sashimi. He never likes kiddie food, even at parties. He has however learned to appreciate the kiddie party spaghetti.

The Phenomenal Woman said...

Michelle, hahaha! Same here, it is also the dad who looks forward to the McDo chicken at parties. :)

Jen, the early experience to travel the world you've given your kids is one exposure that's very expensive. :) I think I will just stick to food in the meantime. hehehe!

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