Welcome to Week 5 in our summertime Star-Telegram Kids Cooking Club!
Each week for six weeks in the Thursday Your Life section, we're presenting a local chef or food specialist 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 shoot a photo or two, if you like. At the end of the summer, club members will receive a certificate of completion. If you missed previous recipes, go to our Kids Cooking Club blog to catch up. The link is at the top of the page at www.star-telegram.com/living.
This week, we're featuring a hearty menu from the Wild Mushroom, an upscale steakhouse in Weatherford. If you love steak and macaroni and cheese (and who doesn't?), you'll be excited about these recipes. Not only does Chef Jerrett Joslin tell you how to make these taste good, he also gives you great cooking techniques.
Meet the cooks
Jerrett Joslin, owner-chef, The Wild Mushroom in Weatherford
With help from his son, Charlie, 8, and daughter, Layla, 21/2
In making the fillet of beef with blackberry sauce, you'll learn how to properly grill a steak to a particular temperature or "doneness," and how to make a fancy fruit sauce for the steak. When making the mac with three kinds of cheese, you'll learn how it's done from scratch -- and you'll see why this is so much better than the kind from the box!
You can visit Joslin at The Wild Mushroom, 1917 Martin Drive in Weatherford. 817-599-4935; thewildmushroomrestaurant.com.
Fillet of beef with blackberry sauce
1 large shallot or small onion, finely diced
1 cup fresh or frozen blackberries, divided
2 cups port wine (or white grape juice)
1 teaspoon granulated sugar
2 cups beef stock (see note)
4 beef tenderloin steaks, 4 to 6 ounces each, 1 inch thick
1 teaspoon cornstarch, if needed
1 tablespoon butter, softened
1. In a saucepan, bring diced shallot, 3/4 cup blackberries, wine (or juice) and sugar to a boil. Boil gently over medium-low heat for about 15 to 20 minutes to reduce wine to 1/2 cup. Strain and set liquid aside.
2. Boil beef stock in a separate pan over medium-low heat to reduce by half. This will take approximately 15 minutes. Set aside. (Note: Beef stock is available at Central Market, Whole Foods, Market Street and other grocery stores.)
3. Grill steaks or pan-broil them over medium-high heat in skillet 6 minutes per side. Meanwhile, whisk blackberry reduction into reduced beef stock. If sauce is too thin, dissolve 1 teaspoon cornstarch in water, then stir into sauce and bring to a boil. Whisk in 1 tablespoon softened butter. Serve steaks with sauce and garnish with remaining blackberries.
Homemade mac and cheese
8 ounces uncooked elbow macaroni
1/4 cup butter
21/2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
3 cups cream or milk
2 cups shredded sharp cheddar cheese
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1 small package (8 ounces) golden velvet cheese (such as Velveeta)
3/4 cup bread crumbs, optional
1/2 cup grated Parmesan or cheddar, optional
1. Cook macaroni according to the directions. Drain and set aside.
2. In a saucepan, melt butter over medium heat. Stir in flour to make a white sauce called a roux. You may need to add more flour if the roux is too runny.
3. Add cream or milk to roux slowly, stirring constantly.
4. Stir in cheeses, and cook over low heat until cheese is melted and the sauce is a little thick. Butter a large casserole dish, transfer the macaroni to the dish, pour the cheese sauce over the pasta and mix well. If you want, you can top with bread crumbs and extra cheese, then bake at 400 degrees for 5 to 10 minutes until the top is melted and a little bit crunchy.