Every now and then I decide to seek expert advice for my dinner instead of winging it into a new recipe myself. I visit the "library," a small collection of nearly 200 cookbooks between my husband and I. Oh, the cookbook club people probably shed a tear the day I quit. I likely put someone's kid through college.
So, I pulled one off the shelf I had never cooked from, The New Way to Cook, a self-described revisionist look at Julia Child's masterpiece, The Way to Cook. It has lighter and healthier dishes in a very thick volume. I picked a butternut squash (yeah, we have few squash still around here) and garbanzo bean stew with saffron, cinnamon raisins and ginger. This was good.
From my cooking love, Mario Batali, I picked Pollo al Vin Cotto out of his excellent book Molto Mario. The translation is chicken in cooked wine. It also has raisins in it, plus almonds. The sauce is a wine and vinegar and honey reduction. Very good. You know the thing about not serving chicken to "company?" Forget that. Serve this one.
But, I wasn't cooking for company. Just my husband and child and myself. So, if you are wondering, did my child eat that? It sounds pretty "adult." The answer is yes, and she liked it. And yes, the alcohol cooks out of the wine!
Other than the wine, it's really not anything challenging. Kids like raisins, and cinnamon, and honey and almonds. Chicken? Sure. Butternut squash? Yes, unless you are in the throes of your own Battle Orange.
It's easy to buy into the idea of "kid food" with a whole marketing industry ready to sell you a ready-made solution. It's a myth, I tell you, a myth. If it tastes good, they will eat it. Might take a try or two or fifteen, but they will.