Chef Rick Bayless has long been a hero of mine. He is the nicest guy, a great humanitarian, but for our purposes, the most important thing is, I think the guy couldn’t cook a bad dish if he tried. I’m not even sure he does mediocre. It’s just all exceptional or better. I’m not the only one who thinks Bayless is something special… check this out.
Years ago when I wrote a story for Prevention Magazine, I had to collect recipes that might be suitable for children from a handful of high-profile chefs. I was intrigued when, though Bayless is known for Mexican cooking (if you are ever in Chicago, I recommend trying out one of his restaurants: this one, this one, or this one, for example) he submitted this recipe for Moroccan lamb meatballs. And I liked that about him, too—he didn’t always have to showboat how much the whole Mexican thing is part of his persona; he’s just a regular guy who has raised a kid, who has had to get dinner on the family table from time to time.
Now, I hadn’t thought about it in years—I wrote this story before I had my own children. But the other night I decided to put it to the test, and made it for dinner. Quite frankly, I never expect much from my kids at the dinner table—I am used to making their favorite meal, only to have them declare themselves full after one bite; or just as often making something that I think will mostly be for myself and my husband, and having them wolf all of it down before we can get any. I would have been happy just to eat this tasty dinner, and who cares if they touch it. But, reader, if we are going to go there, and sample a supposed kid recipe, I have to report the results. Drumroll please: All 3 kids ate these meatballs! 100% success rate. Do you know how rare that is with children?! I should have known that Superhero Bayless would be the one who could pull it off.