"Dad, you're doing reckless magic!" - Tastemaker Video 3

That's that first thing Fury said when he watched my third and final video for the US Potato Board's Tastemaker Challenge. Nice to know my 7-year old has stricter boundaries for absurdity than I do. And I carry that absurdity into the kitchen for my recipe as well. Because I am consistent. This latest challenge's theme was "nutrition in a time crunch." We had to create a dish that would take less than 30 minutes to cook. I could have gone baked potato or shepherd's pie but they wouldn't be different. I wanted to go out with a bang (or a WTF, I'm not picky). I figured if you only had 30 minutes to cook something, you'd want to be able to eat it quickly as well. Like with your hands. So I present you with this:

The above is what I like to call the Frankenstein of meals. Essentially a nice meal of pesto mashed potatoes, herbed chicken tenders and bruschetta... that got into a car wreck. Think Reese's, but with more garlic. At least you can eat it with your hands.

And this is how we got there:

I hope you had fun watching my Tastemaker Challenge videos. Please be sure to rate them if you have a YouTube account. This is a contest and I get a vote for each person who rates my videos. I don't actually win anything, unless you count recognition in potato innovation. But hell yeah, that's better than money and fame!

For the brave souls who would like to try making this, here's the recipe (really, I ate the above, and they are good, just like a cheeseburger, fries and shake is still a cheeseburger, fries and shake if you put it in a blender).

Pesto/Chicken/Bruschetta Open Faced Thing

Chicken:

  • 1/2 lb. chicken tenders
  • Flour to coat
  • Italian herbs (anything you like - I used basil, oregano, thyme, parsley) - enough to mix with the flour to make it herby in appearance
  • Salt and Pepper

Bruschetta

  • 4 Roma tomatoes, insides scooped out, chopped
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 2 tsp minced shallots
  • 1/2 cup chopped basil leaves (fresh)
  • squeeze of lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • Shredded parmesan, for sprinkling
  • 4 slices of good crusty bread

Pesto Mashed Potatoes

  • 1 lb potatoes
  • 2 tablespoons butter melted
  • 2 tablespoons pesto
  • 3.5 oz half and half

The trick to getting this done in under 30 minutes is integrating the steps amongst the 3 items rather than making these things sequentially. I found this to be quickest:

  • Pour flour into a bowl. You don't need that much, maybe a cup or so. Then add the herbs, salt and pepper into it. I never measure, but it's hard to mess this up.
  • Coat the chicken lightly with this flour mixture, set aside.
  • Wash hands.
  • Scoop the insides of the tomatoes out, and chop.
  • Chop garlic, shallots and basil.
  • Throw it all into a mixing bowl and add olive oil and lemon juice.
  • Stir it up, add salt and pepper to taste, and refrigerate.
  • Peel potatoes and put into a covered dish. Microwave high for 8 minutes.
  • During this 8 minutes, heat up oil in a skillet and place chicken in it.
  • After 3 minutes or so, flip the chicken tenders over.
  • They should be done around the same time as the potatoes.
  • Toast the bread.
  • Remove dish from microwave. Mash potatoes. Add butter, half and half, pesto as you mash. Salt and pepper to taste.
  • Toast should be done by the time you finish mashing.

To assemble, take the toast, plop some mashed potatoes on top, add a chicken tender, pile on some bruschetta topping and sprinkle parmesan on top.