Dads that cook know kids are picky eaters. In fact, a friend of mine had a son with such fickle taste that he went out and bought a whole case of Chef Boyardee from Costco the second that little man showed affection for the insta-meal. Years later, that case of instant mush is still in his pantry. I even think it’s still “safe” to eat, but nobody is touching it; including the son.
Once you find one little thing that your child likes to eat, grab onto it. Use it as an ingredient in your food when you cook. Make it fun. Make it the focal point. You just might get your children enjoying other flavors by association.
And if your kids like pears, then you’re in luck. Here are two ways to cook with your kids’ favorite fruit — one savory and one sweet.
You don’t need to be a chef to notice that the toughest cuts of meat are the cheapest, such as pork shoulder. Save some money and make pork a project; a project with pears. Rub copious amounts of salt and pepper on the pork and throw it into the fridge overnight.
Secure an oven-proof pot, throw it on the stove top, brown the pork shoulder (4 minutes each side with oil) and then add ½ cup white wine, ½ cup chicken broth, 8 cloves of garlic, 2 tablespoons of lemon juice, and 2 dried arbol chilies. Toss it into the over for a few hours until tender. Get the kids to skin, core and cut their favorite pears into chunks. Throw the pears in and bake for another 30 minutes. You’ll have a feast of fork-tender pear-flavored protein. Don’t forget to shower the sauce onto your plate.
Everybody loves pancakes. Period. And these pancakes are slightly manlier because you need a 12-inch cast iron skillet. Toss that bad boy into a 450 degree oven. Then whisk together three eggs, ¾ cup of milk, ¾ cup of flour, one teaspoon of vanilla extract and ¼ teaspoon of salt. Cut your favorite pears into ¼-inch slices and toss the sticky fruits in a mixture of sugar and cinnamon.
Dawn an oven mitt, pull the skillet from the fire and swirl two tablespoons of butter into the skillet until melted. Lay down a layer of sugar-coated pears, pour the batter over the layer and return to the oven for about 25 minutes. The pancake will puff up in golden brown perfection. That is your cue to pull the treat and serve to those pear-loving monsters.
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