I think we’ve all had nights where nothing sounds better than “kid food.” Macaroni and cheese, hot dogs, French toast, pancakes… and in my case, chicken fingers and fries.
See, this time of year rolls around every year, and even being nearly 8 years removed from college graduation, this weather and the stress in the air of finals always reminds me of good times at Bradley University studying (or not) for finals. I talked before about my first semester of finals there… today, you’ll hear about my last.
Terrible flashback photos…. now:
As an education major, my last semester of finals was actually the winter before I graduated. My last semester was spent student teaching, and my “final” was to successfully complete student teaching, which I did. My last semester of finals was a grueling and stressful time, as I was completing the last classes I needed to qualify for student teaching, which in turn would qualify me to be a certified teacher. I spent hours upon hours writing lesson plans, thematic units, classroom management plans, and the dreaded Project Based Learning (PBL) project that took weeks upon weeks of stressful math-related work. Most of my classes required a huge project in addition to a written exam with due dates only days apart. The stress was enormous, and therefore, so was my appetite. I returned to my old haunts to indulge in chicken fingers and fries… and “study” with endless pots of coffee.
My nostalgia got the best of me today and I just had to indulge. Don’t worry, I didn’t fry up chicken fingers and fries… rather, I made a fairly “gourmet” twist on them. I first saw the idea for these potatoes on Wiggs’ blog and they had this way of haunting me. Tonight was the night. I did a bit of research and found that they were called “Hasselback potatoes” and are a traditional Swedish method of cooking potatoes.
* 5-6 medium white or red potatoes
* 1 clove garlic per potato
* 1/2 tsp. butter per potato
* 1 tsp. olive oil per potato
* Salt and pepper
The process is simple: slice potatoes almost all the way through about 2mm to 3mm apart. It helps to lay the potato in a large kitchen spoon. The edges of the spoon help keep the depth even. Slice garlic thinly and insert 1 slice between each slice in the potato. Drizzle with olive oil and top with butter, then sprinkle with salt and pepper. Bake at 425* for about 45 minutes, until the edges are crispy and the inside is soft. Top with your choice of toppings, I used some herb garlic Chavrie.
I also made some panko-crusted chicken fingers, and I have to say, these were the best I’ve ever made!
I rolled some chicken tenders first in flour, then egg wash, then some panko bread crumbs. I baked them on a rack with the potatoes for the last 20 minutes, and ate them with these delightful grape tomatoes. Too bad I can’t enjoy an endless pot of coffee and hot fudge sundae like I used to… but my nostalgia? Totally quenched…