Never Stand in the Way of a Teen Who Wants To Cook

One of my teens has taken an interest in cooking lately. He made a wonderful gazpacho this weekend to take advantage of all the area garden produce still in season. The recipe called for avocados as an optional ingredient, and he decided to add them which was a wise call — excellent addition!

The cookbook that has helped spark his interest (along with a father who is a creative whiz in the kitchen) was one I had picked up a few years ago, Anyone Can Cook, published by Better Homes & Gardens. Unfortunately, I do not think it is published any longer. I love a cookbook with the 3-ring binder that lays the recipe open and flat while you cook, and this particular cookbook has great, simple, step-by-step recipes beyond the routine grilled cheese or pigs-in-a-blanket for starting chefs. I do have to laugh that at the bottom of each recipe there’s an “Ask Mom” section with questions that might be helpful to a new chef — in our house, that’s “Ask Dad” (come to Mom for household maintenance and gardening advice).

This week, my son pulled out the cookbook and decided to make Halibut in Crazy Sauce. It’s a basic Neapolitan classic, variations of which can be found on a variety of websites, including this great option on the Mediterranean Cooking website. As noted in the cookbook and on most websites posting a variation of the recipe, the catch of the day would be made in acqua pazza (“crazy water”), which keeps the fish moist during cooking and creates a sauce for drizzling over the top of the final product. The recipe my son made called for red crushed pepper and yellow sweet peppers, which added a nice color for presentation, although the tomato option in recipes like the one from Mediterranean Cooking looks equally attractive!

Not bad for a teen cook, eh?!

Halibut in Crazy Sauce (photo: Kat B./travelgardeneat)
Halibut in Crazy Sauce (photo: Kat B./travelgardeneat)

Halibut in Crazy Sauce provides a relatively quick, healthy option for a family dinner, with less expensive fish like tilapia (which is also a sustainable choice!) easy to substitute.  Hoping my son’s interest in cooking continues, as I am more than happy to make room in the kitchen for another family cook!

Ciao! ~ Kat B.

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