Fun, Food, Pets and Travel

Kitchen Chat

Margaret McSweeney

Master Chef Junior Winner: Beni

MasterChef Junior Winner of Season 6, Beni will inspire you!  This young culinary luminary has already accomplished so much and has a bright future in front of her.  At age 12, Beni has enjoyed growing up cooking with her parents and was influenced by her Nona, who was born in Poland during World War II.  In fact, Beni made a Polish style deconstructed chicken pot pie during one of the MasterChef Junior cooking challenges. Beni would like to be a professional chef when she grows up and loves the idea of a food truck that would offer global food.

Beni joined Chef Jaime Laurita and me for a Kitchen Chat in the Viking and La Cornue Showroom recently and even cooked Napa Cabbage Tofu Tacos! (See recipe at end of post).


Beni shares that her best advice from Chef Gordan Ramsey was helping her learn about flavors and encouraging her to make her dishes more interesting.
Here are Beni’s top three tips for the home chef:1. Always be careful with a knife.
2. “Try your best and don’t worry about getting things perfect every time.”
3. Be slow. Really take your time cooking
BONUS TIP
Let everyone get in on it-work together. “Teamwork makes the dream work.”

MasterChef Junior’s Beni’s Recipe for :

Napa Cabbage Tofu Tacos

Total cook time: 40 minutes
5 minute prep, 30 minute marinade, 5 minute
sauté

Ingredients:
chopped scallions
toasted sesame seeds
sesame seed oil
rice vinegar
soysauce
red pepper flakes
garlic powder
cornstarch
Napa cabbage
tofu

Directions:

Make a marinade with the first 8 ingredients.
Adjust flavor to taste. The quantity as preferred.
Cut tofu in strips, or cubes add to marinade.
Refrigerate for 30 minutes.

Clean and then cut 4 inches off the bottom of the
Napa cabbage leaves. Use the top portion for your
taco shell and save the rest for a soup stock.
Use a slotted spoon to ladle the marinade mixture
into a oiled fry pan on medium high heat. Cook
mixture for a couple minutes until golden brown.
Spoon golden brown mixture onto the Napa
cabbage leaf, fold and enjoy.