It is the third week in March, and I am sick of brassicas. Three months ago I told a co-worker that I craved brussels sprouts on a daily basis and he stared at me in horror. This from a man who subscribes to a CSA and refuses to own a car. You would think a fellow like that would understand a brussels sprouts addiction. Anyhow, I ate bowlfuls of brussels sprouts throughout the winter. My love for them has been exhausted. The same is true of kale. I have about 30 kale plants in my garden, and I don’t know what to do with them anymore. It’s probably time to start sharing.
That said, the miniature brussels sprouts culled from my garden were quite the darling of the evening at dinner last night. Their tininess is accidental – I can’t get them to grow any larger. I tucked them into a quinoa pilaf so that I wouldn’t have to confront them singly. It’s a fair compromise.
But it was the insanely delicious chicken fritters that did me in. They are almost like cafeteria chicken nuggets, except that they are baked, and they taste a thousand times better, crusted in bread crumbs, parmesan, herbed salt, and pepper. The smell of them baking in the kitchen was absolutely irresistible.
Rounding out the meal was Clarissa’s delicious black bean soup. Generally, black beans do not excite me. But this soup was wildly flavorful for being so simple: beans cooked in chicken stock with tomatoes, onions, carrots, some cumin, pureed, then finished with cilantro and feta. Wow.
Herbed Chicken Fritters
1 lb. chicken breast meat, cut into chunks
1/2 stick butter, melted with 3 cloves garlic
equal parts bread crumbs and grated parmesan cheese
salt and pepper to taste
rosemary, thyme, lemon zest, etc
Crush garlic and add to butter. Saute over low heat until just melted. Separately, combine bread crumbs, parmesan, herbs and enough salt and pepper to flavor. Dip the chicken pieces first into the garlic, and then dredge them in the breadcrumb mixture. Arrange on an oiled sheet and bake at 425 degrees, uncovered, until golden brown.
Serve with any number of dipping sauces: honey mustard, ranch, bbq, curried ketchup, etc.