Pre-population

So far we’ve got 2 items on the 100% list, and though they’re not exactly what we’d consider gourmet fare, they definitely beat what most of my friends consider their “go-to kid-friendly” meals of fish sticks or (gag) meatloaf.

#1: Mustard-Rubbed Pork Tenderloin with Mustard-Blackberry Sauce

Mustard-rubbed pork tenderloin with mustard-blackberry sauce

This is an old Martha Stewart find (all hail Martha Stewart in the 90’s…at least in this house.  We’ve since moved on to the likes of Thomas Keller and Suzette Gresham-Tognetti, but Martha’s reign will be ever remembered as the first to enter the hallowed 100% List).  Despite the fact that the word “mustard” appears in the title not once but twice (see a later post about how to aptly name dishes so that kids will eat it), this dish was first on the list and to this day remains probably the house’s favorite meal.  In fact, I regularly quadruple the spice rub ingredients and save the leftovers for a quick mid-week meal.  Some people buy ground hamburger in bulk when it goes on sale; we buy pork tenderloin.  The potatoes in the recipe are winners too, but the real star is the tenderloin.  Save some blackberries to throw in the sauce at the last minute, in case some kid has a bathroom emergency and can’t get to the table before the cooked berries get a bit soft and squishy.  Find the recipe here on the Martha Stewart site, or here, on my site.

#2: Catalan Chicken

Yes, I know it’s brown.  And yes, I know it looks like dogfood.  And yes, I know there are prunes in it.  But this brings us to another rule at our dinner table…I never lie to the kids about what is in a dish, but they all know to taste it before they ask.  I refuse to influence their “decision” about whether or not to like something based simply on the fact that it contains something they’d prefer to keep believing they hate.  I mean, it’s cool to hate prunes, right?  So after everyone tastes a dish and decides on its 100% List fate, I tell them what is in it.  Once they vote, they cannot change their vote based on the dish’s ingredients.

So this chicken dish was a leap of faith, and it worked.  Stuck with a post-camp pantry full of dried fruit, especially prunes (ever spent two weeks camping and hiking at 8000 feet elevation?  Even stalwart prune haters there can be convinced of their beauty and value), I turned to a Spanish-style dish that took little prep and filled the house with a wonderful can’t-wait-for-dinner aroma.  Once the kids voted and decided to make this our second entry onto The List, I softened the “holy crap I ate a prune” blow by reminding them of the camp prune song (“little seed inside a pru-inn, is it night, or is it noo-in?  What ya doin’ pru-inn, stew-inn, hmmm?”  Guess you had to be there).  When I made this a second time, I infused the dried fruit with a little leftover homemade limoncello. To die for.  Find the recipe here on the About.com site, or here on my site.

The List currently sits at 2…

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One thought on “Pre-population

  1. Pingback: Mom’s version of fast food « 100 Percent List

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