Fun, Food, Pets and Travel

Kitchen Chat

Margaret McSweeney

Chef Michael McDermott and The Kids’ Cooking Network

As a graduate of Culinary Institute of America, Chef Michael McDermott has cooked for celebrities such as Jackie Onassis, Julia Child, Elizabeth Taylor and Malcom Forbes. His passion is to educate and empower kids and their families about nutrition and food.  He is the Founder/Executive Producer of The Kids’ Cooking Network™ TKCN LIVE is a FUN food, health and wellness, Edutainment, multi-media outlet .  TKCN content is produced by kids for kids and their community. TKCN’s also partners with the streaming educational network,  Adventure 2 Learning

Chef McDermott likes to encourage families to take the “Lego” approach to quick after-school  snacks that anyone can assemble. You can use pre-made ingredients that are healthy and even organic.  Consider using lettuce as a wrap or even packaged spinach wraps.  Then add leftover chicken or some other protein, add some salad ( it can even be the packaged ones from the grocery store) and top it with some salad dressing. Tune into the podcast to learn about “blast chilling” and also some other great tips from Chef McDermott.  “Classical technique is essential to flavor,” Chef McDermott explains, “And good food and healthy food are synonymous.”
At age 24, Chef McDermott was the first American Chef Saucier outside of Paris at Maxim’s.  He has some great tips for the home chef about preparing sauces at home:
1) Always start out with a very strong stock for a brothy stock, whether you are making a vegetable base sauce, chicken or fish;
2) Learn how to make a baked roux.  Classical cooking is all about reduction sauces. The average person really doesn’t have time to do that. When you bake the roux, it makes less of a flour taste. Make the roux and bake it in the oven on low for six hours. Take it out, let it cool,then cut it into squares and freeze it. You heat up the stock and put it in the blender and once the flavors are in it, add a little of the baked roux and it immediately thickens the stock; and
3) Use tomato confit.  Get a can of low-sodium plum tomatoes. Pour it into a sauce pan and cook for 30 minutes in olive oil and some garlic.  Reduce the water out of it.  Put 1/3 of the tomato confit into blender with 4 cups of stock, and that makes the best tomato soup you’ve ever had!
What are your favorite healthy meals and snacks to make?
Savor the day!