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Lew Larason: Thoughts from an Epicure

Favorite meals


Most of us have a favorite meal. Mine is nearly anything!

Seriously, I do have a favorite: roast chicken, mashed potatoes and almost any vegetable, with ice cream for dessert. I think my love of roast chicken goes back to my childhood. During the Depression years, we didn’t always have a lot to eat. But on most Sundays, my father would sacrifice a chicken. He’d pluck it and remove the innards. Then my mother would roast it, adding the potatoes and vegetables that we grew.

Patti likes several meals. But her favorite is the chicken tenders I make, along with “smashed” potatoes and lots of butter. Below is my recipe for the tenders:

Lew’s Chicken Tenders

4 chicken tenders

2 ½ tablespoons mayonnaise

2 ½ tablespoons shredded cheddar cheese

1 ½ tablespoons Italian bread crumbs, divided

Black pepper to taste

Garlic powder to taste

Between two sheets of plastic wrap, pound the tenders to one-fourth inch thickness. Lay them on parchment paper on a baking sheet. Mix mayo, cheese, pepper, and garlic powder together. Cover each tender with this mixture, then top each with the bread crumbs. Bake in a 325-degree oven for 20 minutes.

While they’re baking, boil potatoes. Once tender, “smash” each, skins and all, and add butter. If there are leftover tenders, they make great lunchtime sandwiches on Martin’s slider potato rolls.

We recently had dinner with friends. Anna served an item I never had eaten before: baked radishes. She cut them in half, rolled them in olive oil, and baked them in a 350-degree oven for 15 to 20 minutes. Check near the end so you don’t overcook them. I’ve eaten radishes for years, always raw and always with a bit of a “bite.” But these were sweet. If you like radishes, try preparing them this way.

Enjoy and stay safe!

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