When I was a little girl, I would close my eyes and wish that the fairy tales my mother told me before bed would come true. I'd wish that a prince on a giant white stallion would rescue me from my second floor bedroom and whisk me away into a magical forest. Although I've grown up some, the idea of living in a modern day fairy tale, like Emma Swan in ABC's Once Upon a Time, is very enticing. Since the probability of me being rescued from corporate America by a tall, dark and handsome prince is quite low, I'll create my own wonderland with these fairy tale foods!
Whether your fairy tales are more Happily Ever After or have a darker edge like those in NBC's haunting new series Grimm, try one of these recipes for a magical meal that will take your taste buds to an enchanting new world.
Jack's magic bean soup
Since it's too cold to plant your magic beans now, use them in a hearty soup! Lentils may not sprout wings, but this superfood is full of healthy, disease fighting antioxidants! Plus, who has the time to escape the paws of an evil giant these days?
Yields: About 7 (1 cup) servings
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 onion, finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
2 tablespoons crushed red pepper
1-1/2 cups canned diced tomatoes, not rinsed
1-1/4 cups red lentils
1 red bell pepper, chopped
4 cups chicken stock (low-sodium)
Salt and pepper
Sour cream (as garnish)
Heat oil in a large saucepan and add onion, cooking until browned and tender, about three minutes. Add garlic and bell pepper, fry another minute.
Add tomatoes, lentils, chicken stock, red pepper and salt and pepper. Bring to a boil.
Reduce heat and simmer for about 30 minutes, or until lentils have opened and are fully cooked. Add more salt and pepper to taste.
Remove from heat and serve with a dollop of sour cream as garnish.
Hansel and Grettle's crispy oven fried chicken
Instead of traipsing through the forest with a can of breadcrumbs, use them to make deliciously crispy oven fried chicken! The result will be so good you'll find no need to disappear in the haunted trees nearby. Let the witch in the candy castle eat some other portly passersby.
Yields: 5 pieces of chicken
1 cup flavored Panko (Japanese breadcrumbs)
5 chicken drumsticks
1/4 cup low-fat buttermilk
1 teaspoon Cajun seasoning
Salt and pepper
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Grease a baking dish with cooking spray.
Pour breadcrumbs onto a plate. In another bowl, pour buttermilk, salt, pepper and Cajun seasoning.
One by one, dip the drumsticks into the buttermilk mixture and then liberally cover in breadcrumbs. Place onto the baking sheet.
Once all chicken has been covered, bake for 60-65 minutes until chicken is fully cooked and crispy on the outside.
Snow White's poisoned apple cider
Unlike the poison apple in Snow White, this cocktail is incredibly delicious and only poisonous to children! I warn you, these are strong and may cause you to think the animals are talking to you or little dwarves are following you around.
Yields: 4 poison apples
About 2-1/2 cups apple cider (either store bought or prepared with this recipe)
4 shots spiced rum, like Captain Morgan's (about 1 cup)
4 large apples
4 cinnamon sticks
Cut the top off the apples, set aside. Using an apple corer (or spoon), remove the insides of the apples, leaving about a 1/2 inch on the bottom (so it doesn't leak out).
Mix together 3/4 cup of cider and 1 shot of rum (or gauge the amount depending on the apple's size).
Pour mixture into the cored apples and serve with a fresh cinnamon stick.
Your happily ever after never seemed so close!
Watch: An edible house for a fairy tale feast!
Chef Heston Blumenthal comes up with ingenious ways of making building materials from edible things for this fairy tale dessert.