Monthly Archive: December 2007

Chicken Melt

Simple yet tasty. At lunch yesterday I had the kids by myself, so I thought about giving them tuna, despite Sadie’s “no!” when asked. That made me think of tuna melts to be different, especially given the presence of a chunk of sharp cheddar – almost too sharp – that the kids seem to love.

Then I remembered a boneless chicken breast with sweet barbecue sauce I had leftover from the oven a couple days ago.

I sliced that thin, across the grain, and laid it out on two slices of bread in the toaster oven tray. I topped it with large crumbs of sharp cheddar, not covering it completely, as with slices or a coherent layer of shredded cheese, though YMMV.

In it went for a top brown cycle. With tuna I’d often do part of a second top brown cycle to make the cheese especially melty and bubbly, but for the chicken that was enough.

It was delicious. A shame the kids weren’t enthusiastic, distracted instead by the Terra vegetable chips I noticed we had and served with it. Speaking of unexpectedly tasty things that perhaps shouldn’t work, but do. Sadie wouldn’t eat hers but guarded it with her life. I ate half of Valerie’s, and she did eat most of the rest.

Anyway, it turned out to be a cool thing to do with leftover chicken.

Sweet Potato Fritters Experiment

A couple days ago I came up with an idea, inspired by plain old potato hash browns Deb made not long ago, and the zucchini fritters I tried. Why not something has brown/fritter/potato pancake-like with sweet potatoes?

So I risked one modest sweet potato on an experiment. I peeled and then shredded it into a bowl. I diced finely a couple slices of s small to medium onion

, guessing correctly that it would go well. I added an egg, just a dab of oil, a couple heaping tablespoons of flour, a glop – probably a couple tablespoons – of maple syrup, and a handful – probably a quarter or third cup – of brown sugar. Also a dash of ginger and about half the size dash of nutmeg. Mixed it all thoroughly, which gave me something about the right texture.

I cooked flat round globs of the mix in some oil in a frying pan until they seemed to be done, which due to sugar caramelizing tended to mean they were unexpectedly dark. Flipped a couple times as needed and then put them on a plate.

I would love to say they were perfect, but they need further experimentation. However, I was on the right track. They were delicious, if too sweet and too caramelized, and got raves from Deb, who thought the onion was inspired and in perfect proportion. Since onion itself tends to fry up sweet, it’s not as weird as it might sound.

Doing them again, I would probably cut the syrup and/or brown sugar out almost completely, relying on native sweetness. I was thinking the sugar would also contribute to holding them together in patties, but it probably wasn’t enough of a factor to matter.

I’ll have to try it again soon, as I still have a few sweet potatoes that will need to be used. It does make a good sweet potato extender. One small to medium potato was enough for the four of us to have plenty. It’s also a taste sub, at least with so much sweetener, for candied sweet potatoes, but with less work. We had them with oven barbecued chicken (par cooked on the stoved, smothered in sauce of my off the cuff making, then baked at length, drumsticks for me and the kids and boneless breast for Deb), mashed, and corn.