Dubbed the ‘papa-chef’, David Rathgeber heads up restaurant L’Assiette in Paris and has been invited to cook at some of the world’s top restaurants. The acclaimed French chef has devised 85 beautifully put together and easy recipes to make with the Beaba Babycook Steam Blender.
His book, The Babycook Book, was written for his kids Alphonse and Charlotte and all parents who want to give their babies the best market-fresh fruits, vegetables and ingredients. Each delicious recipe is designed to take your little one past a milk-based diet, gradually introducing the seven food groups and also takes into consideration their requirements for water, proteins, fats and carbohydrates (for energy and the building blocks), and vitamins, minerals and fibres.
He created the recipes in the same way that he devises his restaurant’s menu: “by season, with good ingredients from the market” and says that “each recipe highlights the flavour of one product, sometimes seasoned with a herb, seasoning or spice, or enhanced with a special paring”.
Here are our favourite recipes from the book for little gourmets in the making:
SALMON BRANDADE WITH SWISS CHARD (pictured above)
At the market: 3 oz wild salmon filet, 1 large Yukon Gold potato, 2 leaves French Swiss chard, 1 sprig thyme, 1 garlic clove
At the grocery store: 2 tbsp prepared milk-based pediatric nutritional supplement, 1 tbsp breadcrumbs, 1 small pat butter, 1 tiny pinch salt
Small gratin dish, cutting board, paring knife, vegetable peeler, saucepan, slotted spoon, mixing bowl, fork
Preheat the boiler. Butter the gratin dish.
Separate the green part of the Swiss chard leaves from the white (which we won’t use in this recipe). Wash the green part under running water and cut it into strips. Rinse the potato in water, peel it, wash it, and dice it. Place the vegetables in the steamer basket and cook for 10 minutes (water level 2).
Pour the milk into a saucepan and add the thyme and unpeeled garlic clove. warm over a low heat. When the milk starts to simmer, add the salmon, and turn off the heat. Poach the salmon for no more than 5 minutes so that it remains tender. Remove the salmon with a slotted spoon. Place it in a mixing bowl, break it up with a fork, and set it aside.
When the vegetables are cooked, throw the cooking juices away, and transfer the vegetables to the blending bowl. Pulse 3 times. Mix the salmon with the vegetables. Season to taste with a tiny bit of salt, if necessary. Transfer the mixture to the gratin dish. Sprinkle some breadcrumbs over the top and brown under the broiler for 5 minutes.
COD PETALS AND FORK-SMASHED ZUCCHINI (pictured below)
At the market: 1 small zucchini (courgette), 1 small Yukon potato, 1 sprig of flat leaf parsley, 1 small filet of cod (1.4 oz)
At the grocery store: 1 bay leaf, 3/4 leaves of thyme, 3/4 coriander seeds
Cutting board, paring knife, scissors, 2 plates, plastic wrap, mixing bowl, fork
Cut the ends off the zucchini. Wash thoroughly under running water (leave the skin on to give the dish colour). Cut into quarters lengthwise. Remove the seeds with a knife and cut the quarters into small pieces.
Rinse the potato. Peel with the potato peeler and wash again. Cut into small pieces. Put the vegetables into the steamer and cook for 10 min (water level 2), and no more (to maintain the zucchini’s green colour). Throw away the cooking juices.
Cook the cod filet in the steamer for 3 min and no longer (water level 0.5), so it remains firm. Throw away the cooking juices.
While the cod is cooking, wash the parsley, shake dry, pick off the leaves and cut them into small pieces using the scissors. Place the raw parsley, and cooked potato and zucchini in a container. Smash with a fork. Use a mold to form the smashed vegetables into a circle and drizzle with olive oil.
Push on the cod filets with fingertips to separate the petals. Place them on the circle of smashed zucchini.
RASPBERRY YOGURT SHAKE (pictured below)
Basic: 1 ‘just for baby’ yogurt for kids 6-12 months old or 1 yogurt made with whole milk for children over 1, 1 tablespoon crushed ice
At the market: 0.33 oz ripe raspberries (6 berries)
At the grocery store: about 1 teaspoon sugar
Small knife, cutting board, shatterproof glass
Carefully wash the raspberries and place them in the blending bowl. Blend slightly (1 short pulse).
Add the yogurt, crushed ice, and a little sugar (very little if the raspberries are very ripe). Pulse once more.
Taste and add a bit more sugar, if necessary. Pour into a glass and serve.
Good points: A pretty pink colour, and a good dose of vitamin C.