October Cookbook Club: The MasterChef Junior Cookbook

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MasterChef Junior Cookbook

Anyone looking for proof that food has become a cultural obsession need look no further than MasterChef Junior, the hit FOX competition show that features talented young contestants facing off in creative, technical cooking challenges. The masterful creations they come up with illustrate that when it comes to cooking, age is just a number! Now, from the makers of the show, comes the MasterChef Junior Cookbook, a new resource filled with 100 recipes inspired by dishes that the contestants served in the first five seasons of the show, as well as tips, techniques and advice.

 

If you’re a fan of the show, then be sure to join us tonight, October 11 at 6 p.m. for our next Cookbook Club class, which spotlights the MasterChef Junior Cookbook. Below is a peek at one of the mouthwatering contributions from the book, Thai-inspired chicken coconut soup with a twist—chicken meatballs. If you’re into the recipe that’s shown here, join us next Wednesday, when we’ll be demonstrating some of our other favorites from the book. On the menu: Pumpkin Ravioli with Creamy Alfredo Sauce and Lava Cakes with Whipped Cream. A $40 ticket per parent-child duo includes a 1 1/2 to 2-hour demonstration of techniques, a tasting of the book’s recipes, prepared while you watch, plus a copy of the MasterChef Junior Cookbook.

 

Classes are available in all stores, but space is limited and reservations are required. Request more information or get in touch with your local store for more details.

 

Tom Ka Gai with Meatballs

Tom Ka Gai With Chicken Meatballs

This memorable challenge presented contestants with endless “spicy,” “smelly,” and “wrinkly” ingredients. Addison’s response? “If you can’t beat them, then join them!” Choosing to use many of the unusual ingredients, Addison combined them all into one winning soup. Clever ideas, like flavoring the steamed rice with rose water, put her dish at the top of the class. Don’t forget to let the ingredients inspire you! Sometimes it’s more fun to let them lead and see where they take you.

Ingredients:

Rice

  • 1 tablespoon rose water
  • 1 cup jasmine rice
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt

Soup

  • 3 tablespoons canola oil
  • 4 garlic cloves, sliced
  • 3 makrut lime leaves (see Tip, page 63)
  • 1 (1-inch) piece fresh ginger, peeled and sliced
  • 1 stalk lemongrass, bottom 4 inches only, quartered lengthwise
  • 2 (15-ounce) cans unsweetened coconut milk
  • 4 cups chicken stock
  • 2 tablespoons ground ginger
  • 3 tablespoons fish sauce
  • 3 tablespoons red curry paste
  • 3 tablespoons sugar
  • Juice of 3 limes
  • 1 tablespoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Vegetables

  • 3 tablespoons grapeseed oil
  • 6 oyster mushrooms, sliced
  • 1 cup sliced button mushrooms
  • 4 baby bok choy, bottoms trimmed and leaves separated
  • 2 red bell peppers, thinly sliced
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

Chicken Meatballs

  • ½ cup corn nuts
  • 1 boneless, skinless chicken breast, cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 2 boneless, skinless chicken thighs, cut into 1-inch pieces
  • ½ cup panko bread crumbs
  • 2 scallions, white and light green parts, cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 4 garlic cloves, sliced
  • 1 (1-inch) piece fresh ginger, peeled and sliced
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • Finely grated lime zest, for garnish

Directions:

1. Make the rice: In a medium saucepan, combine the rose water, rice, salt, and 1½ cups water and bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce the heat to low, cover the pan, and simmer until the rice is almost tender, 10 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat and let sit, covered, for 15 minutes.

 

2. Make the soup: In a large pot, heat the canola oil over medium-high heat. Add the garlic, makrut lime leaves, fresh ginger, and lemongrass and cook, stirring, until the garlic browns, 5 minutes. Add the coconut milk, stock, ground ginger, fish sauce, red curry paste, sugar, lime juice, salt, and black pepper. Bring to a simmer and cook until thickened and reduced slightly, about 20 minutes.

 

3. Strain the liquid through a fine-mesh sieve into a large bowl, discard the solids and then return the soup to the pot. Bring the soup to a very low simmer and keep warm.

 

4. Make the vegetables: In a large pan, heat the grapeseed oil over medium-high heat. Add the mushrooms, bok choy, and bell pepper. Season with salt and black pepper. Cook, stirring often, just until tender, 3 to 4 minutes. Transfer to a plate.

 

5. Make the chicken meatballs: In a food processor, grind the corn nuts to a coarse powder. Add the chicken breast and thighs, bread crumbs, scallions, garlic, fresh ginger, 2 teaspoons of salt, and 2 teaspoons of black pepper to the food processor. Blend until a smooth paste forms. Use a spoon and your hands to shape the mixture into golf ball–size meatballs.

 

6. Heat the pan you cooked the vegetables in over medium-high heat. Add as many meatballs as will fit in a single layer and cook, flipping once or twice, until browned and cooked through, about 2 minutes per side. Transfer the cooked meatballs to the soup. Repeat with the remaining meatball mixture.

 

7. A few minutes before serving, add the cooked vegetables to the soup and simmer until heated through. To serve, place a scoop of steamed rice in the center of each of four bowls. Spoon the soup around the rice, making sure to include a few meatballs, and garnish with lime zest. Serves 4.


Reprinted from MasterChef Junior Cookbook. Copyright © 2017 by Shine Television, LLC. Food photographs copyright © 2017 by Evan Sung. Published by Clarkson Potter/Publishers, an imprint of Penguin Random House, LLC.

 

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