Kids Corner… Fun Foods Fast!
Favorite recipes from my “Cooking for Kids”™ show:
Playing with Pita Bread
Pita Bread is one of the most versatile breads around. It is great for people who don’t like thick bread on sandwiches or thick crust on their pizza…in these days of the low carb diet, PITA RULES!
Pita Pocket Sandwiches (Taco Pockets, Salad Pockets, Antipasto Pita Pockets)
Place in separate bowls:
sliced black olives (can be purchased already sliced)
sliced jalapeños (can be purchased already sliced)
coarse chopped lettuce (or your favorite salad greens)
Brown 1 lb lean ground beef (or turkey) in a sauté’ pan, breaking it up until it is crumbled. Drain excess grease. Add 1 cup water, ½ cup catsup, 4 tbsp chili powder, 4 pinches of granulated garlic or garlic powder, dash of red wine vinegar, pinch of cumin & sauté’ on med-low heat until the meat sauce is thick, stirring regularly.
Shredded sharp cheddar cheese (or your favorite taco cheese; check out the dairy isle for a large selection of shredded cheeses)
Salami, pepperoni, ham (or sopressata, capicola, or any of your favorite Italian meats), Provolone cheese (the sharper the better!); you can also try some chunks of aged Grana Padano or Parmagiano Reggiano If you have a favorite pickled or marinated Italian vegetable or Gardinera, go for it
Just lose the meat and go for your favorite veggies above (add some cheese if you like)
Cut pita bread (pocket bread) in half (TIP: look for any cracks on the edges or imperfections on the edge of the pita; start your cut there, keeping the bottom free from holes so toppings can’t leak out. Also, try to select the freshest pita bread, it is less likely to be brittle…I zap them in the microwave for just a few seconds to soften them up before I try to open them to prevent them from breaking). Pitas usually come in various sizes and flavors, such as white, wheat, garlic, etc…so try what you would like (I think white allows the full taste of the ingredients to come through).
To make Taco Pockets:
Place the lettuce or salad greens on the bottom first (TIP: try using a whole leaf or two of lettuce to line the bottom of the pocket to prevent “leaks”). Place the taco meat on top of the lettuce; this will help to prevent the meat sauce from soaking through the bread. Top the hot meat with your favorite taco cheese, so you will get a little “melting action” going on. Next go for the diced tomatoes and whatever other taco ingredients you like (i.e.: onions, jalapeños, olives, etc.).
Finish it off with a mild, medium or hot taco sauce or salsa (jar sauce is fine…if you would like a recipe for salsa, send an E mail). Give it a shot of a hot sauce (such as Tabasco or Frank’s Red Hot) to heat things up a little!
To make Antipasto Pockets:
Just place all of your favorite antipasto ingredients listed above in a pocket and top with (some salt, pepper, garlic powder, basil…all based on your taste) some extra virgin olive oil and some balsamic (or red wine) vinegar.
To make Salad Pockets:
Just fill your pocket with your favorite vegetables listed above and use the same dressing as used on the Antipasto Pocket above (or your favorite dressing or lemon juice).
Use your imagination! The sky is the limit with a pita pocket sandwich! Mix and match; try a meatball pita pocket (with what ever meat you would like to use), a BBQ chicken pita pocket, a roasted vegetable pita pocket; don’t be afraid, go for it!