The Kids Cook Monday – January 10, 2011

 The goal today was to cook Vietnamese food with my daughter for its healthiness, and because  we are part Vietnamese. Well, Alessandra had other ideas of what she wanted to eat. She wanted pasta topped with cheese, and served with steamed peas. Hard to fault a kid for eating healthy. As a results she helped me cook dinner for the adults, homemade buns with pancetta and carrots. For condiments we put a small coating of hoisin sauce and some fish sauce to round it out. Alessandra also made her own pasta noodles with a hand-held pasta maker for her dinner. For the money, a pasta roller is a great way to make your own fresh pasta and it’s safe enough for a child to use.

The best quote from my 3-year-old during the cooking time was, “I cannot wait to cook all by myself, without any help.” At least she wanted to cook for mom and dad.

After making the dough for the buns, (see last week’s recipe) and some pasta dough, I pulled out the pasta roller. Alessandra excitement was fun to see and she was ready to make the pasta. Grabbing the dough I kneaded it slightly and then gave it to my daughter. She grabbed it and put it through the roller on the widest setting and folded it three ways. I set the roller to the next notch and we repeated this process until she got to the 4th notch. We then spread flour on the pasta noodle attachment and ran the flattened dough through the pasta machine to make  the pasta noodles.  We covered the pasta with a coating of flour to prevent sticking and hung it up to dry while making the buns.

For the buns, I use a 2×4 inch cake mold and simply roll out the dough through the pasta roller until I get to the 3rd notch. Using the mold, we cut out circles and slightly coated one of the inside halves with butter or some sort of fat to prevent the sides of the bun from sticking. If you don’t want to use this, you could stick a small piece of parchment paper as you fold the bun in half. Alessandra had a blast rolling out the dough, running through the roller, and then cutting out circles. She made a total of 25 buns and placed them on individual squares of parchment paper or tin foil. To cook these buns place them in a steamer.

Alessandra did such a great job making the buns it allowed me time to cook the pancetta. In the end, Alessandra got her homemade pasta and she made a lot of buns for dinner. Great job!! Next time we will be cooking Vietnamese…

Looking with Anticipation

Work in Progress

Buns Made by Alessandra

Dinner Is Served!


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