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Switch to Forum Live View Favorite special ingredients?
7 years ago  ::  Apr 13, 2008 - 8:52PM #11
boodlebear
Posts: 1,053
[QUOTE=boodlebear;400932]I like to use cracker crumbs. I'll brown them in butter and add chopped onion and place over warm eggs. Or combine cracker crumbs with Herbs du Provence. I don't know the herb mixture but lavender buds had been added. That's great on chicken or any light meat. And, don't forget garlic powder. sigh....[/QUOTE]

Addendum: Make sure the crackers are not too off-brand, if that is what you prefer to buy. I picked some up at a dollar store, and though they were crispy, they lacked taste. pbbt
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7 years ago  ::  Apr 16, 2008 - 5:55PM #12
rasphila
Posts: 784
Lately I've been experimenting with Panko bread crumbs for breading. They are originally a Japanese product but are now available in the U.S. without going to a specialty store. San Giorgio, for instance, makes quite good ones.

Panko crumbs are lighter than regular bread crumbs and not always useable where you would use regular ones—but if a recipe needs bread crumbs, they are always worth a try. My favorite way to use them is breading boneless chicken breasts—I just pound the chicken a little between two sheets of wax paper to make it more thin and tender; dip it in beaten egg; dip it in panko bread crumbs; let it set for a few minutes, and then cook it for about 5-6 minutes a side in olive oil. Not a diet dish, although you don't need to add any seasoning; but it is very good.

As to other ingredients, my all-time favorite is fresh garlic, followed closely by onions and shallots. Fortunately, we have good sources in Philadelphia for all of these. My favorite herbs are parsley, basil and thyme. Our garden is mostly too shady to grow anything but carefully-chosen flowers, but we get good crops of basil and thyme during the summer, and reasonably good crops of parsley. We have a good vegetable store on the corner of our street that has fresh basil all the time, along with parsley. Unfortunately, no fresh thyme, but we dry the extra from the garden, and thyme is one herb that works well dried.
"Prediction is very hard, especially when it's about the future."—Yogi Berra
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7 years ago  ::  Apr 16, 2008 - 6:01PM #13
boodlebear
Posts: 1,053
What are they made of, if you don't mind my asking? I know it's probably bread but how are they lighter?
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7 years ago  ::  Apr 17, 2008 - 9:01AM #14
IreneAdler
Posts: 2,849
[QUOTE=boodlebear;439274]What are they made of, if you don't mind my asking? I know it's probably bread but how are they lighter?[/QUOTE]

Panko is bread crumbs (like from white bread)  but they are very dry and, if I recall correctly, they are a little larger than homemade bread crumbs. Almost flake-like. Makes for an excellent crust/coating.

Irene.
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7 years ago  ::  Apr 17, 2008 - 10:13AM #15
rasphila
Posts: 784
[QUOTE=IreneAdler;440444]Panko is bread crumbs (like from white bread)  but they are very dry and, if I recall correctly, they are a little larger than homemade bread crumbs. Almost flake-like. Makes for an excellent crust/coating.

Irene.[/QUOTE]

This answers the question. I think the difference is in the processing—panko appear to be dried out from a slightly larger grind of fresh bread than the usual commercial crumbs. I like fresh bread crumbs, but I find that they don't stand up well to some kinds of cooking. Also, we don't have a lot of leftover bread to make them from.
"Prediction is very hard, especially when it's about the future."—Yogi Berra
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7 years ago  ::  Apr 17, 2008 - 7:08PM #16
boodlebear
Posts: 1,053
Thank you very much. I appreciate it.
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7 years ago  ::  Apr 17, 2008 - 7:08PM #17
boodlebear
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Thank you very much. I appreciate it.
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7 years ago  ::  Apr 19, 2008 - 4:16PM #18
appy20
Posts: 10,165
I realized this rather late but garlic is a wonderful economy spice.  Bulk garlic at grocery stores is ridiculously cheap.  When I discovered it, suddenly being broke was not a disaster any more.  One of my favorite economy recipes is to put one bag of dried green peas, fresh garlic, peeled and either chopped, mashed or whatever, fresh ground pepper and sea salt (to taste, I usually use about a teaspoon), faovrite sausage ( I usually go for a hot, spicy cheap locally/regionally made sausage) into a crockpot. Fill with water to a fraction from the top.  Let it cook on high all day.  I don't put much sausage in it. Once again, that can be up to individual choice. 

You can use chicken breasts and chicken broth instead of water to make a healthier version of this.  The sausage does add some grreat flavor, though.

Fantastic winter fair with fresh homemade bread which I would make in my breadmaker.  And inexpensive.
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7 years ago  ::  Apr 22, 2008 - 12:59AM #19
MsCGheartofohio
Posts: 745
Folks, you're making me want to cook, and I should be going to bed :)

My aunt made a great salad this weekend with mixed greens, pecans and thin slices of granny smith apple.  The viniagrette she made for it contained a splash of maple syrup!  You would never have guessed, it blended so well into the dressing - it just gave it a very subtle hint of sweetness.
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7 years ago  ::  Apr 22, 2008 - 12:46PM #20
appy20
Posts: 10,165
One of my favorite salads consists of green bell pepper (can add red and yellow if you want to splurge), mushrooms of choice, pineapple, purple onion, pecans or almonds.  I use Catalina Dressing by Kraft which goes really great with this. If a vinaigrette is preferred, I like raspberry vinaigrette. A local regional chain carries a raspberry vinaigrette of some obscure name that is delicious but Kraft's will do.
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