Worms and Eyeballs? The name will have them giggling, but they'll wind up gobbling up this spicy, Asian-inspired spaghetti and chicken meatballs dish. Make your kid the chef -- let her don an apron as you work -- and you can be her assigned Grownup Helper (GH for short!). Bust out of your dinner rut with one of the following.
From Rachael Ray's Cooking Rocks!
Worms and Eyeballs
Makes 4 servings
- 1 pound bucatini (hollow spaghetti that looks just like worms)
- 1 small red bell pepper
- 1 1/2 pounds ground chicken breast (1 package)
- 2 cloves garlic, chopped
- 2 tablespoons chopped ginger
- 2 scallions, finely chopped
- 2 tablespoons hoisin sauce (Chinese-style barbecue sauce, available in the Asian foods aisle)
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- 3 tablespoons vegetable oil
- 1 cup preshredded carrots
- 1 cup bean sprouts (a couple handfuls)
- 1 cup snow pea pods, cut into pieces with kitchen scissors or knife
- 1/2 cup tamari (dark soy sauce), eyeball it
Have your GH preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Put a large pot of water on to boil for the pasta. Cut off about a quarter of the bell pepper, and have your GH chop it finely. Slice the rest of the pepper yourself.
Combine the chicken, garlic, ginger, scallions, finely chopped red bell pepper, hoisin sauce, salt, and pepper in a bowl. Roll the mixture into meatballs the size of chicken eyeballs and place balls on a nonstick cookie sheet, coated lightly with 1 tablespoon of vegetable oil. Roast the chicken eyeballs 10 to 12 minutes.
When the pasta water comes to a boil, add the pasta and cook according to package directions, just until al dente, that is, with a bite left to it -- just like Dracula would like, right?
When the pasta is almost cooked through and the meatballs are about 5 minutes from coming out of the oven, start stir-frying the veggies. If you are not used to cooking at the stove, have the GH do the frying of the veggies; you can hand over the veggies as the GH needs them. Heat a large nonstick skillet over high heat and add the remaining 2 tablespoons vegetable oil (2 turns of the pan). Add the sliced red bell pepper, the carrots, sprouts, and pea pods. Stir-fry veggies 1 minute. Have the GH drain the noodles and add the worms to the vegetables. You pour in the tamari while the GH tosses the worms and veggies to combine and evenly coat.
Transfer noodles to a serving platter. Remove the eyeballs from the oven and roll them on top of the worms, then serve.