Welcome to another summer with the Star-Telegram's Kids Cooking Club!
Each week for six weeks in the Thursday Your Life section, we'll present a local chef working in the kitchen with kids, complete with recipes. Our goal is to have kids cook their way through the recipes (with some parental guidance), jot down a few notes and even shoot a photo or two. At the end of the summer, club members will receive a certificate of completion. (See "How to Join" on 3E.)
This week, we're featuring a recipe and guidelines from the chef at one of Fort Worth's most popular restaurants. So wash your hands, put on your apron, and be ready for lots of fun.
Meet the chef
Molly McCook, co-owner and executive chef, Ellerbe Fine Foods, Fort Worth
With assistance from her nephew Hudson Lewis, 5, and niece Hattie Lewis, 3
Chef Molly opened Ellerbe Fine Foods two years ago with her childhood friend and TCU alum Richard King. Together they've built a reputation for excellent food and service, and Molly has become known for her fresh-food menu that features as many local and regional farmers market ingredients as possible.
Their restaurant, which is full of Southern charm, occupies a smartly renovated 1920s gas station. The overall appeal of Ellerbe Fine Foods won the restaurant a spot on Bon Appétit magazine's list of the best new restaurants in America last summer.
When McCook isn't feeding restaurant guests, she enjoys working in the kitchen with her sister's kids. We caught up with her as she was showing Hudson and Hattie how to make a fun Mexican-inspired entree.
Here's what they made that could become a favorite in your family, too.
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 pound extra lean ground beef
3/4 cup chopped yellow onion
3/4 cup chopped carrots
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 tablespoon cumin
2 teaspoons chili powder
1 tablespoon all-natural tomato paste
1 cup water
1 tin of refrigerated low-fat buttermilk biscuits
1/2 cup to 1 cup low-fat shredded cheese
1/2 cup to 1 cup diced tomato
1/2 cup black olives
1/2 cup diced avocado
1/2 cup to 1 cup low-fat sour cream
1. Heat the olive oil in a large saute pan over medium-high heat. Add the ground beef and saute until cooked through. Add the onion, carrots and salt and saute until the onions are translucent, about 5 minutes. Add the cumin, chili powder, tomato paste and water to the mixture and stir well to combine. Cook on medium-low, stirring occasionally, until all the water is evaporated. Remove from heat and let cool while preparing the biscuit cups. 2. Lightly grease a muffin pan and set aside. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
3. Open the tin of biscuits and separate. Roll or flatten each biscuit into a 6-inch circle. Gently place the biscuits into the muffin tin as if they were pie crusts. Make sure that the dough extends over the edges. Fill each dough round with the meat mixture. Top the meat with the taco toppings of your choice. Stretch the edges of the dough over the top and pinch to seal the popover.
4. Bake on the middle oven rack for 20-25 minutes or until the tops of the popovers are golden brown. Let cool for 5 minutes, then remove from the pan.