Emeril Gets the Whole Family Cooking

Learn some recipes anyone in the family can make from Emeril Lagasse.
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Emeril Lagasse has a soft spot for kids. His book, Emeril's There's a Chef in My Family! is subtitled Recipes to Get Everybody Cooking, and that's exactly what he wants to do.

"One of the greatest joys of cooking is that it brings people together and makes them feel connected to each other," he says.

To that end, Emeril's There's a Chef in My Family features 76 recipes that include steps in which every member of the family, no matter how young or old, can take part.

Here are three recipes for your family to try:



Totally Sloppy Joes

"These make a super Father's Day treat for dads and granddads," Emeril writes. "I know when my friend Mallory makes them for her dad, Tony, she's the apple of his eye! They're the perfect thing to make ahead of time, too – all you need to do on the day of the party is heat up the sauce and buns and you're there!"


1-1/4 to 1-1/2 lbs. lean ground beef
1/2 cup chopped yellow onion
1 Tbs. minced garlic
1/2 cup red-wine vinegar
one 14.5-oz. can tomato sauce
2 Tbs. brown sugar
1 Tbs. Baby Bam (recipe follows)
1/2 tsp. Emeril's Italian Essence or other dry Italian seasoning
1/4 tsp. ground black pepper
1/8 tsp. salt
6 hamburger buns

Materials and Tools:

12-inch skillet
wooden spoon
cutting board
chef's knife
measuring cups and spoons
can opener
small baking sheet
oven mitts or potholders


Heat a skillet over medium heat. Add the ground beef and cook, stirring, until brown, about five minutes. Strain the meat through a colander set over a bowl and return the meat to the pan. Discard the fat.

Add the onions and saute until soft – about three minutes. Add the garlic and cook until fragrant – about 30 seconds. Next comes the vinegar, stirring to loosen the browned bits on the bottom of the pan, and cook for about one minute.

Add the tomato sauce, brown sugar, Baby Bam, Italian Essence, pepper and salt. Stir to mix, and bring to a gentle boil. Reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer for 15 minutes. Meanwhile, position rack in center of oven and preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Place the buns on a baking sheet and warm them in the oven for about five minutes.

Using oven mitts or potholders, remove the baking sheet from the oven. Serve the Sloppy Joes by spooning 1/2 cup of the meat mixture onto the bottom half of each bun and top with the other half. Serve warm.

Serving size: 6 sandwiches

Baby Bam


3 Tbs. paprika
2 Tbs. salt
2 Tbs dried parsley
2 tsp. onion powder
2 tsp. garlic powder
1 tsp. ground black pepper
1 tsp. dried oregano
1 tsp. dried basil
1 tsp. dried thyme
1/2 tsp. celery salt

Materials and Tools:

measuring spoons
small mixing bowl
wooden spoon
airtight container


Place all the ingredients in a small mixing bowl and stir well to combine, using a wooden spoon. Store in an airtight container for up to three months.

Yield: about 3/4 cup

Lemon Icebox Pie

"Iceboxes were the very first refrigerators. They were really just big metal boxes with chunks of ice inside to keep things cold," Emeril says. "Well, this pie is an old-fashioned dessert from the time when iceboxes were still used, and like they say, it's hard to improve on a good thing. Have a bite, and you'll see what I mean."


1-1/2 cups graham-cracker crumbs
1-1/4 cups sugar
4 Tbs. (1/2 stick) melted unsalted butter
two 14-oz. cans sweetened condensed milk
1 cup fresh lemon juice
2 large eggs, separated
4 large egg whites
fresh mint sprigs and/or lemon slices for garnish (optional)

Materials and Tools:

2 medium mixing bowls
measuring cups and spoons
wooden spoon
small saucepan
9" pie pan
oven mitts or potholders
wire rack
can opener
juicer (optional)
large mixing bowl
electric mixer
rubber spatula
dull knife


Position rack in center of oven and preheat the oven to 350 degrees. In a medium bowl, mix together the graham-cracker crumbs, 1/2 cup of sugar and the melted butter until the mixture resembles wet sand.

With clean hands, firmly press the mixture across the bottom and up the sides of the pie pan. Using oven mitts or potholders, place pie pan in the oven and bake until the crust is brown and firm – about 15 minutes.

Again with mitts or potholders, carefully remove the piecrust from the oven and let cool completely on a wire rack before filling. In a separate bowl, whisk together the condensed milk, lemon juice and egg yolks. Pour into the cooled pie shell.

Place pie in oven and bake until set – about 15 minutes. Remove from the oven and transfer to a wire rack to cool. Turn off the oven. While the pie is baking, make the meringue by placing the egg whites in a large clean bowl and beating them with an electric mixer until soft peaks start to form.

Slowly add the remaining 3/4 cup of sugar while beating constantly. Beat until stiff, glossy peaks form. Be careful not to over-beat the meringue, as it will appear grainy or clumpy instead of smooth and glossy and will be difficult to spread. (If you're not sure when the meringue is stiff enough, turn off the mixer and remove the beaters from the meringue. If they leave glossy, peaked mounds when lifted then the meringue is done.)

Use a rubber spatula to spread the meringue evenly over the warm pie filling, smoothing out to the edges so the meringue won't pucker or get runny during baking. Make decorative peaks in the meringue with a dull knife.

Using oven mitts or potholders, position rack in the upper third of oven and preheat the broiler. If your broiler is separate from your oven, have an adult show you how to use it. Place the pie under the broiler and cook until the meringue is golden brown – about one minute. Make sure to keep an eye on this--it will brown quickly!

Carefully remove the pie from under the broiler. Refrigerate until thoroughly chilled, at least two hours. Serve garnished with a sprig of mint and/or a lemon slice if desired.

Yield: 9" pie, 8 to 10 servings

Ooey Gooey Blueberry "French Toast"

Writes Emeril: "This dish is really a cross between French toast and bread pudding--two of my favorite things to eat any time of the day! It is rich and creamy and ooey and gooey and chock full of blueberries all at the same time. It's a great dish to make for a crowd and can be put together the night before and then baked in the morning, so that it's fresh and hot when you serve it. Don't skip the blueberry topping – it's the crowning glory!"


1 Tbs. unsalted butter
14 slices home-style white bread, crusts discarded and bread cut into 1" cubes
two 8-oz. pkgs. cold cream cheese, cut into 1" cubes
1 cup blueberries, picked over and rinsed
10 large eggs
2 cups half-and-half
1/3 cup maple syrup
1/4 cup fresh-squeezed orange juice

Materials and Tools:

cutting board
serrated bread knife
9 x 13" baking dish or casserole
chef's knife
juicer (optional)
measuring cups and spoons
large mixing bowl
aluminum foil
oven mitts or potholders


Butter the baking dish. Arrange half of the bread cubes on the bottom of the baking dish. Top the bread cubes with the cream cheese cubes and blueberries and arrange the remaining bread cubes over the blueberries.

In a large bowl, whisk together the eggs, half-and-half, syrup and orange juice. Pour the egg mixture evenly over the bread mixture. Cover with aluminum foil and refrigerate for at least an hour and up to overnight.

Remove the baking dish from the refrigerator and allow to come to room temperature for about 20 minutes. Position rack in center of oven and preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Bake the "French toast" with foil cover for 30 minutes.

Using oven mitts or pot holders, remove the baking dish from the oven. Remove the foil and return to the oven until toast is golden brown and puffed, about 30 more minutes. Remove the baking dish from the oven and allow to sit until slightly cooled – about 15 minutes.

Serve in bowls with blueberry sauce ladled over the top.

Yield: 10 to12 servings

Blueberry Sauce

"This is a truly delicious blueberry sauce that would be a wonderful addition to many other dishes," Emeril writes. "Try it spooned over pancakes or waffles for a real treat. And hey – this can be made in advance and kept refrigerated for up to one week and then rewarmed just before serving."


1-1/2 cups sugar
1-1/2 cups water
1/2 cup fresh-squeezed orange juice
3 Tbs. cornstarch
1-1/2 tsp. orange zest
1-1/2 cups blueberries, picked over and rinsed
1-1/2 Tbs. unsalted butter

Materials and Tools:

measuring cups and spoons
juicer (optional)
zester or box grater
small saucepan
wooden spoon
oven mitts or potholders
large spoon or ladle


In a small saucepan over medium-high heat, stir together the sugar, water, orange juice, cornstarch and orange zest. Cook, stirring occasionally, until thickened--about five minutes.

Stir in the blueberries and simmer the mixture, stirring occasionally, until the berries have burst--about five minutes. Add the butter and stir until melted. Remove from heat and spoon or ladle over warm Ooey Gooey Blueberry French Toast.

Yield: 3 cups

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