en­ter­tain­ing with kids

Food & Drink - - EN­TER­TAIN­ING WITH KIDS -



Ital­ian soda adds sparkle and a hit of flavour, but you can sub­sti­tute plain soda wa­ter if you want to keep the added sugar con­tent low. Com­bine 2 cups (500 mL) fresh pressed pineap­ple juice (the kind found in the gro­cery store’s re­frig­er­ated case), 1 cup (250 mL) mango juice and 1 small, thinly sliced or­ganic lemon in a pitcher. Use a wooden spoon to slightly smash lemon. Add 2 cans (600 mL) nat­u­rally flavoured Ital­ian lemon soda and ice and stir to com­bine.


Caramelize­d sugar is at the base of many Viet­namese dishes. This dish is a sim­pli­fi­ca­tion of the tra­di­tional process but gives the beans a very spe­cial flavour.

1½ lbs (680 g) green beans, stem end trimmed 2 tbsp (30 mL) canola oil

2 shal­lots, halved and thinly sliced

4 gar­lic cloves, thinly sliced

2 tbsp (30 mL) sugar

2 tbsp (30 mL) fish sauce

¼ cup (60 mL) Thai basil leaves

1 Blanch green beans in a pot of boil­ing salted wa­ter for 3 min­utes or un­til ten­der-crisp. Drain and plunge into cold wa­ter to stop them from cook­ing fur­ther. Set aside.

2 Heat oil in a large heavy fry­ing pan over medium-high heat. Add shal­lots and gar­lic and sauté for 2 min­utes or un­til lightly golden. Add sugar and cook, stir­ring, for 1 to 2 min­utes longer or un­til sugar has dis­solved and is be­gin­ning to caramelize. Add drained green beans and fish sauce and toss for 1 minute or un­til beans are hot and coated with gar­lic mix­ture. Add basil leaves and serve.

Makes 10 serv­ings as part of whole menu VIET­NAMESE BBQ


Serve chicken and shrimp on a plat­ter with crusty mini-baguettes or rolls, Quick Pick­led Car­rots and Daikon, Sriracha Mayo and cilantro sprigs so that guests can as­sem­ble a banh mi sand­wich if they de­sire. Grilled chicken and shrimp are also great over the Noo­dle Salad.

⅓ cup (80 mL) fish sauce

¼ cup (60 mL) low-sodium soy sauce

¼ cup (60 mL) canola oil

¼ cup (60 mL) dark brown sugar

¼ cup (60 mL) chopped cilantro

3 tbsp (45 mL) fresh lime juice

1 tbsp (15 mL) grated lime zest

1 tbsp (15 mL) grated fresh gin­ger

1 tbsp (15 mL) grated fresh gar­lic

2 tsp (10 mL) chili paste (sam­bal oelek)

2 lbs (905 g) bone­less, skin­less chicken thighs 1 lb (455 g) large zip­per-back shrimp (peel on) Bam­boo skew­ers (op­tional)

1 Com­bine fish sauce, soy sauce, canola oil, brown sugar, cilantro, lime juice and zest, gin­ger, gar­lic and sam­bal oelek. Set aside ⅓ cup (80 mL) of mari­nade for shrimp and pour the rest over the chicken. Let chicken stand for 4 to 12 hours in the re­frig­er­a­tor. Toss shrimp in re­served mari­nade and soak bam­boo skew­ers in wa­ter for 30 min­utes be­fore grilling.

2 Pre­heat a grill to high (if you have the op­por­tu­nity to grill over char­coal do so—it will add a lot of ex­tra flavour). Thread shrimp onto skew­ers (if de­sired). Turn heat down to medium and grill chicken for 8 to 10 min­utes a side or un­til cooked through and slightly caramelize­d at the edges. Grill shrimp for 2 min­utes a side or un­til pink and just cooked through.

Makes 10 serv­ings as part of whole menu


Whisk 1 cup (250 mL) may­on­naise and 4 tsp (20 mL) sriracha (or to taste) to­gether un­til fully com­bined. Store in the re­frig­er­a­tor un­til ready to serve. QUICK PICK­LED


Pick­led car­rots and daikon are sta­ples of the Viet­namese kitchen and clas­sic ad­di­tions to a banh mi sand­wich. You can make them in min­utes and keep them in the fridge for sev­eral weeks, but keep in mind that the flavour will get stronger over time.

6 oz (170 g) car­rots, sliced ¼ inch (5 mm) thick length­wise, then into ba­tons

6 oz (170 g) daikon radish, sliced ¼ inch (5 mm) thick length­wise, then into ba­tons

3 tbsp (45 mL) sugar

2 tbsp (30 mL) kosher salt

½ cup (125 mL) white vine­gar

½ cup (125 mL) cold wa­ter (or enough to cover veg with brine)

1 Com­bine car­rot, radish, sugar and salt in a bowl, and mas­sage un­til sugar and salt have com­pletely dis­solved and veg­eta­bles have be­gun to soften. Pack into a 2-cup (500-mL) jar. Add vine­gar and wa­ter and let stand 1 hour or in the fridge for up to 3 weeks.



Lightly dressed rice noo­dles make a great side for grilled chicken and shrimp and give guests an al­ter­na­tive to bread. Serve the gar­nishes in small bowls so that guests can build their per­fect por­tion. Fried shal­lots can be bought in bags near the spices in many Asian stores, or you can thinly slice shal­lots and fry them in a lit­tle oil un­til browned and crisp.

1 lb (455 g) thin rice stick noo­dles

½ cup (125 mL) un­sea­soned rice vine­gar

¼ cup (60 mL) canola oil

2 tbsp (30 mL) fish sauce

1 tbsp (15 mL) sugar

1½ tsp (7 mL) grated gin­ger

1 tsp (5 mL) grated gar­lic

1 to 2 bird’s-eye chilies, very finely chopped

(to taste)


Thai basil, cilantro, chopped green onions, chopped peanuts, fried shal­lots, sam­bal oelek

1 Place noo­dles in a large heat­proof bowl and cover with boil­ing wa­ter. Let stand for 15 min­utes or un­til noo­dles are ten­der. Drain and rinse with cold wa­ter. Set aside.

2 Com­bine rice vine­gar, canola oil, fish sauce, sugar, gin­ger and gar­lic in a bowl, and whisk to com­bine. Add chilies. Toss noo­dles with dress­ing just be­fore serv­ing.

3 Put gar­nishes in bowls around noo­dles so guests can top them the way they like.

Makes 10 serv­ings as part of whole menu


Laced with sweet­ened con­densed milk, Viet­namese cof­fee is al­most a dessert it­self. It’s not too much of a stretch to see it as the base of an ex­cel­lent crème brûlée. Served in small por­tions, it’s very easy to make ahead. And while weld­ing a blow­torch in the kitchen makes for ex­cel­lent the­atre, if you don’t feel like mak­ing the sugar crust just leave them as is and call them pots de crème.

1 cup (250 mL) dark roast cof­fee beans 2¾ cups (675 mL) 10% cream (half & half) 1 can (300 mL) sweet­ened con­densed milk 5 large egg yolks

¼ tsp (1 mL) salt

5 tbsp (75 mL) sugar

1 Coarsely chop cof­fee beans us­ing ei­ther a mini food pro­ces­sor or by plac­ing them in a plas­tic bag and crush­ing them with a rolling pin. Trans­fer to a medium pot, add cream and sweet­ened con­densed milk, then heat over medium-low, stir­ring to in­cor­po­rate sweet­ened con­densed milk. Bring mix­ture just to a sim­mer. Re­move from heat. Cover pot and let stand 1 hour to in­fuse.

2 Heat oven to 300°F (150°C).

3 Re­turn pot to medium-low heat and warm just un­til bub­bles ap­pear at the edges. Strain out cof­fee beans.

4 Whisk egg yolks and salt to­gether in a medium bowl. Whisk­ing con­stantly, add cream mix­ture a lit­tle at a time to keep eggs from cur­dling. Pour mix­ture through a fine strainer into a large mea­sur­ing cup.

5 Ar­range 10 small can­ning jars (½ cup/125 mL) or ramekins in a roast­ing pan and di­vide cus­tard be­tween them.

6 Bring a ket­tle to a boil and add enough boil­ing wa­ter to the roast­ing pan to come half­way up the sides of the jars. Cover roast­ing pan with foil and bake for 30 min­utes or un­til set with a slight wig­gle in the mid­dle. Re­move from wa­ter bath and re­frig­er­ate for at least 3 hours or up to 3 days be­fore serv­ing.

7 When ready to serve, re­move cus­tards from re­frig­er­a­tor. Work­ing with 1 at a time, sprin­kle each with about 1½ tsp (7 mL) sugar. Us­ing a kitchen blow­torch, move it over the sugar, tilt­ing the dish as you go un­til sugar is melted and caramelize­d and cov­ers the top of the cus­tard.

Makes 10 serv­ings

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