Mom and dad, Niccole and Dave Rolls, will delegate cooking duties to their children, Jarrett and Hollister, 10. Jarrett and Hollister already know their way around the kitchen. Both have competed in statewide barbecue competitions. Hollister's Bay wings won fourth place in a barbecue contest this summer.
But your kids don't have to be competitive grillers to help make meals. Welcoming kids in the kitchen fosters family bonding, especially if you're already planning to watch the Super Bowl with family. You might be surprised at how well your kids can cook.
"I think people overrate how hard it is, and they underrate how good the kids can be," Niccole Rolls said.
The recipes they offer are easy for any cook, young or old. That brings us back to meat on a stick.
"It really is as it sounds," said Dave Rolls, the ringleader in the kitchen.
Marinated strips of pork are skewered, then slapped onto a grill.
"It's great for tailgate parties," he said. "You don't need a plate. You just grab it and go. The only dangerous part about it is that the sticks are pointy."
Also, mom or dad (usually dad) slices the meat beforehand.
Bay wings are another kid-friendly meal.
They can be fried (by an adult) then seasoned, basted and oven-baked by the little one. Or they can be tossed on a grill (coals and flames handled by an adult) before baking. The Rollses offer the grilled version of Hollister's Bay wings recipe.
"If you're like me, you'll give it a shot of apple juice," Hollister said.
Why apple juice?
"Because it's sweet, like me," she said.
Dave Rolls said this year's Super Bowl plans will be low-key, though friends of the family are coming to watch the game.
"We're Steelers fans, so if we had to pick a team, it's the Giants," Dave Rolls said. "The Patriots beat the Steelers."
10 10-inch flour or whole wheat tortillas
2 cups shredded cheddar-Monterey jack cheese
1/2 cup mushrooms, sliced
1/2 cup onions, chopped
1/2 cup jalapeno pepper, chopped
1/2 black olives, sliced
1/2 cup salsa
1/2 cup refried beans
1 jar pickled cactus (nopalitos)
1/2 cup guacamole
1/2 cup chicken chunks, cooked
1/2 cup cubed beef, cooked
1/2 cup chorizo sausage, cooked
Sour cream, to taste
Guacamole, to taste
Salsa, to taste
Place one tortilla in a large skillet or on a grill over medium heat. Place fillings on tortilla, about 1 cup per quesadilla. Scatter shredded cheese on the filling. Place second tortilla on top. Cook five to seven minutes until cheese starts to melt. Flip, carefully, with a large spatula. Continue to cook until golden brown. Place the quesadilla on a cutting board and cut into wedges with a pizza cutter. Serve with sour cream, guacamole and salsa.
- The Rolls family
Meat on a stick
10 country pork ribs
30 wood or bamboo skewers
For the marinade:
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup teriyaki sauce
1/2 cup pineapple juice
1/2 cup barbecue sauce
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon ginger
1 tablespoon liquid smoke
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1/2 teaspoon apple pie spice, optional
Place ribs in freezer for 45 minutes or until stiff. Mix marinade ingredients in 2 1-gallon storage bags. Remove ribs from the freezer and slice into 1/4-inch-thick slices lengthwise, cutting around the bones. Place into marinade and mix. Refrigerate for about 24 hours.
Place wood skewers in a tall glass of water for 20 minutes. Thread the meat onto the skewer, leaving about 2 inches of stick on one end. Cook on a grill over medium-high heat for about 10 minutes. Wrap in aluminum foil until ready to serve.
Yields 30 meat skewers.
- The Rolls family
4 1/2 pounds of chicken wings
Old Bay spice
1 stick unsalted butter
1 clove minced garlic
blue cheese dressing
Rinse chicken and pat dry. Sprinkle Old Bay season on chicken, turning to coat, in a nonreactive dish. Grill wings over medium-hot coals for 30 to 40 minutes until brown and crisp.
Melt butter in microwave; add garlic. After the first 20 minutes of grilling wings, baste with melted butter and garlic every five minutes until the meat is done.
Check for doneness using a meat thermometer; internal temperature should be 180 degrees. Serve with blue cheese dressing and celery sticks.
Yields about 40 wings.
- The Rolls family