In my house, cute goes a long way. These two-inch crispy yum nuggets went over very well with my three and four year-old (and my husband who saw them and literally said, “Wow! Yum!”) Within minutes their plates were clean! I’m loving this because in each two-bite morsel, they ate a well-rounded meal– protein, vegetables and grains. And on top of that it was so easy to make!
I was inspired by the cooking show called Chopped where two chefs battle against each other to make the best dish using whatever ingredients are in their basket. The chef from Portland made some kind of potato cakes out of random ingredients and they looked fabulous.
My battle was similar, using whatever I happened to have in my refrigerator, I found purple potatoes, a tiny bit of leftover chopped green onion, a yellow onion, cilantro, leftover cornmeal/panko that I had mixed for a past meal, and three salmon filets in the freezer. Sure, I could have just baked the salmon, boiled the potatoes, and enjoyed a simple meal. But the Portland chef’s potato cakes popped into my head and I knew this combo could work.
While my kids and I were making a pirate ship out of a milk carton, I boiled the potatoes and stuck the frozen fish fillets in hot water. (These were the kind that come sealed in plastic soaking in a red pepper marinade.) This hot water immersion is the quickest and easiest way to cook this type of fish. No pans to clean afterward! Once the fish was cooked, I tossed it into a large bowl with egg, chopped cilantro, both green and yellow onions, the purple potatoes smashed and added some cumin, cayenne, chili powder, lemon juice, salt and pepper.
Next, I formed little patties and dusted them with the cornmeal/panko mixture.
The little cakes turned golden brown in coconut oil cooked over medium heat. From start to finish (with child interruptions) it took about an hour to prepare and cook. I dropped a dollup of marinara sauce on each cake, placed in on a lettuce leaf and voila! Dinner is served!
The next time you don’t know what to make for dinner, think about throwing your random odds and ends into a potato pancake! You could use almost any meat ground, chicken or fish; most vegetables diced small, and a variety of herbs and spices which could range from Mexican flavors to Italian Flavors to New American to East Indian or Asian Flavors. It is definitely the cutest, most versatile, easy dinners that I’ve conjured up while cleaning out the leftovers in my fridge! Now that is a sensible meal!
Your Sensible Girlfriend