5@5 - Chef Marc Murphy
July 27th, 2010
05:00 PM ET
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5@5 is a daily, food-related list from chefs, writers, political pundits, musicians, actors, and all manner of opinionated people from around the globe.

Today, we may have learned that Anthony Bourdain's three-year-old daughter can sit in a French brasserie, slurp down some oysters and generally enjoy herself. But before that, we found out parents told lotsa food fibs to entice picky palates to eat certain foods.

If your pint-sized eater falls into the latter, fussier category, Marc Murphy (with two children of his own) might be the chef to turn to.

Murphy is chef and owner of three New York City restaurants — Landmarc [TriBeCa], Landmarc [Time Warner Center] and Ditch Plains. He also frequently appears as a judge on Food Network's "Chopped."

5 Favorite Dishes to Make with Kids: Marc Murphy

1. Lamb chops with Moroccan couscous (recipe follows)
"It's fun to teach them about all the different spices that go into Moroccan couscous. I like to make them smell each one individually and talk about what they smell. And lamb chops are just fun to eat with your hands!"

2. "Ditch dogs," or hot dogs smothered with macaroni and cheese (recipe follows)
"This one is fun because what kid doesn't like hot dogs and Mac 'n' cheese? My kids help me cut and grate the cheese so they really feel involved."

3. Watermelon, mint and feta salad
"My kids love watermelon so this was an instant hit. I have them pick the mint from the garden and combine all the ingredients."

4. Shrimp toast (recipe follows)
"Shrimp can be tricky for kids to like, so creating a little paste on the toasts makes it more fun to eat. Kids think it's like pizza."

5. Green eggs and ham
"My kids loved pesto on their pasta so I thought adding pesto to the eggs would get them to try another protein. It worked! Also, scrambling eggs is a fun thing for kids to do."

Lamb Chops with Moroccan Couscous and Chermoula
(serves eight)

For the couscous
1 10-ounce box Moroccan couscous
1/4 cup olive oil
1 small red onion (fine dice)
1 carrot (small dice)
1 rib celery (small dice)
2 cups tomato juice
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon cumin
1/4 teaspoon cayenne
1/4 tsp ground coriander
1/4 teaspoon ground cardamom
1 cup canned chickpeas (drained)

In a bowl, toss the couscous with half of the oil. Heat the other half in a sauce pot and add the onions, carrots and celery. Cook until soft. Add the tomato juice, spices and the chickpeas. Bring to a simmer. Pour over the couscous and mix well. Cover and let sit in a warm place for about 10 minutes. Uncover and fluff with a fork.

For the chermoula

1 teaspoon paprika
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
1 bunch cilantro (chopped)
1/2 bunch mint (chopped)
1 tablespoons roasted garlic (mashed)

Mix all and set aside.

For the lamb
3 racks of lamb (cut into chops)
2 tablespoons chopped garlic
1/4 cup olive oil
1 bunch chopped rosemary
1 teaspoon ground cumin

Marinate the chops in the garlic, oil, rosemary & cumin. Heat a grill on high for 10 minutes. Season the chops with salt and pepper and grill for 5 minutes on each side. Serve on top of the warm couscous and drizzle chermoula over the chops.

Shrimp Toast
(serves 8 to 10)

2 pounds shrimp (peeled and deveined)
2 scallions (whites and greens chopped)
1 small clove of garlic
1 tbs chopped ginger
1 teaspoon Sriracha
2 tablespoons chopped cilantro
2 tablespoons cornstarch
1 egg white
1/4 teaspoon sesame oil
1 tablespoons white sesame seeds
1 tablespoons black sesame seeds
6 slices white bread
1 tablespoons canola oil

Combine the shrimp, scallions, garlic, ginger, Sriracha, cilantro, cornstarch, egg white and sesame oil in a food processor. Purée until smooth. Spread the shrimp mixture on the slices of white bread and sprinkle with the sesame seeds.

Heat the oil in a sauté pan and place the toasts shrimp side down for 2 to 3 minutes, then turn over and toast the bottom of the bread until golden brown. Cut into bite size pieces and serve.

Ditch Dogs
(serves 6)

6 hot dogs (Chef Murphy recommends Sabrett)
6 hot dog rolls (Chef Murphy recommends Martin's Potato Rolls)
Homemade macaroni and cheese (recipe follows)
1/4 cup heavy cream

For the macaroni and cheese
1 tablespoons butter
1/3 cup all purpose flour
1/2 quart milk
1/2 quart heavy cream
1/2 pound white American cheese (diced, at room temperature)
1/2 pound Gruyère (grated, at room temperature)
1/3 cup Parmesan (grated, at room temperature)
1 pound elbow pasta cooked al dente in salted water, drained well and cooled

Make béchamel: In a medium sauce pan, heat the milk and heavy cream. In another pan, melt butter over medium heat. Add flour to the butter and stir until incorporated - cook for about 5 to 6 minutes making sure that it doesn’t brown. Add the warm milk and heavy cream and whisk until incorporated. Bring to a simmer and cook for about 15 minutes. Add the cheeses and whisk while the béchamel is still on the stove, but do not boil after you add the cheese. Cook until cheeses are melted, then remove from the heat and purée until smooth. Cool to room temperature and mix with the pasta.

To assemble: Grill hot dog for 5 to 7 minutes. Heat macaroni and cheese in a sauce pan with the 1/4 cup heavy cream. Season to taste. Place the hot dogs on the buns and top each with macaroni and cheese.

Got a favorite dish to make with the kids? Share what's cooking in the comments.

Is there someone you'd like to see in the hot seat? Let us know in the comments below and if we agree, we'll do our best to chase 'em down.

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Filed under: 5@5 • Kids • Make • Recipes • Think


soundoff (115 Responses)
  1. Happy

    Denhunter: You might be the greatest troll of all time, and I bow before you!

    Now tell about how you confit babby's you big huggable troll you!

    (Oh noes – too expensive – then how you you need to confit in velveeta because that is all a working parent can afford)

    July 30, 2010 at 11:58 am |
  2. beenz

    The main point is to let kids help out. They may not consider eating salad, etc if you put it in front of them, but if they help prepare it, they will. It doesn't have to be kiddy-gourmet (or junk), just let them be a part of things.

    July 28, 2010 at 12:20 pm |
  3. misslissa

    ok – all you people crack me up. Yes this article was a bit ridiculous and yes I was a bit excited to maybe read about some goodfoods to cook with my 2 1/12 year old that i have not though of before but was gravely disappointed. May I will cu tup some watermelon or plant some mint next year. Yes it is fun to cook with the kids. No most kids don;t eat weird cheeses and lamb...etc... and most can't afford that anyhow even if they feed their kids good food all the time. I skimp on other stuff just to buy the dirty dozen as organic and lamnb chops certianly arent on the budget. and yes some of you sound snotty. So I will stick to having my son help me pick the vegies from the garden. cut up some and enjoy them and stir the dough for homemade cookies and bread.....

    July 28, 2010 at 12:57 am |
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