This year my parents are celebrating their 50th anniversary and to mark this momentous occasion they took the whole family on a Caribbean cruise. Honestly, I was a little apprehensive about setting sail with our brood for seven long days. But it turned out to be a fantastic voyage.
There are lots of fun things to do on a cruise but by my calculations about 90% of the time is spent eating. And by eating I mean, elaborate three-course meals, even for breakfast. If you don’t like to EAT – a cruise is not the vacation for you!
We ditched the kid’s menu and took the opportunity to have the boys try new foods every day. Personally I’m not a fan of the kid’s menu. But that’s a topic for another day….
The menus had endless options to sample. If the kids didn’t like their order, another meal was always around the corner so no worries they would go hungry. We did bribe with dessert at every meal (including breakfast!), so they were “on board” to try most of the dishes. In the end, no one ever left the table without eating something, even if it was only the fresh baked sourdough rolls (big hit!)
One standout was Chicken Cordon Bleu – quite a fancy name for breaded chicken stuffed with ham and cheese! We had such a relaxing dinner that night – no whining -no tears – so clearly this is something to try at home.
Chicken Cordon Bleu with Pickle Chips
For the pickles:
1/2 tsp kosher salt
1/2 tsp sugar
1/4-cup rice wine vinegar
3 small cucumbers, sliced in 1/4 inch rounds
For the chicken:
8 chicken breasts, skinless & boneless, thin sliced
8 slices ham, thinly sliced
8 slices Gruyere cheese, thinly sliced
1-cup all-purpose flour
Kosher salt & black pepper
2 cups panko bread crumbs, seasoned
2 Tbsp butter, melted
Combine salt, sugar, and rice wine vinegar in a small bowl. Microwave for 15-20 seconds and mix well until sugar and salt are dissolved. Add the cucumbers, cover and let sit until chicken is cooked.
Preheat over to 350 degrees. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper.
Top each piece of chicken with a slice of ham and cheese. (If you are not starting with thinly cut chicken flatten the chicken to 1/4-inch thickness.) Roll up and tuck ends; secure each side with toothpick.
Make your assembly line: In first shallow bowl place the flour, season with salt and pepper. In the next bowl, whisk the eggs, season with salt and pepper. In third bowl, mix the breadcrumbs and melted butter.
Dip each piece of chicken in the flour, then the egg, and gently coat in the breadcrumbs.
Place on baking sheet and bake for 25-30 minutes until browned and cooked through.
AND THE VERDICT IS:
Matthew (age 5): “Mmmmmmmmmmm,… more please!”
Liam (3 days till age 4): “Yummy, I feel like we never had this before… Dylan, why do you like pickles so much?
Dylan (3 days till age 4): “I love pickles – I was born like that”
I might just send this recipe to Royal Caribbean – maybe they can add it to the kid’s menu!