Secret Ingredient: Chicken Patties (Quick Japanese Katsu, Curry, Parmesan and Cordon Bleu Recipes!)

Yeah, yeah, yeah.  We cook all the time at our house.  Sometimes, though, we need something fast and filling. Chicken patties are one of my secret weapons in the kitchen. Here are some ways to prepare them beyond the basic chicken sandwich!

Chicken Parmesan 

  • Frozen chicken patties
  • Tomato sauce
  • Mozzarella cheese
  • Italian seasoning
  • Pasta (to serve on the side)

Place frozen chicken patties in a baking dish.  Cover with tomato sauce. Top with mozzarella cheese. Sprinkle Italian seasoning on top. Serve over pasta.

Chicken Piccatta 

  • 6 Frozen chicken patties
  • 2 Tbsp butter
  • 1/2 cup chicken stock or dry white wine (such as a Sauvignon Blanc)
  • 2 Tbsp lemon juice
  • 1/4 cup brined capers
  • 2 Tbsp fresh chopped parsley
  • Pasta (to serve on the side)

Bake the chicken patties to package directions, in a baking dish (you want them to be crispy in the end product).  In the mean time,  in a sauce pan, melt butter. Add stock / wine and lemon juice.  Reduce to half the liquid.  Stir in capers. Take the chicken out of the over just before it’s supposed to be done. Top with sauce and caper mixture.  Place them back in the warmed oven for another 5 minutes while the sauce absorbs slightly into the chicken. Before serving, garnish with parsley.  Serve with pasta.

Japanese Chicken Katsu

  • Frozen chicken patties
  • Kikkoman Tonkatsu Sauce
  • Finely shredded green cabbage
  • Sesame vinaigrette dressing
  • Pink pickled Ginger
  • Rice (short-grained is ideal)

Start the rice. Bake the patties (or fry them if you have time) to package directions.  Shred the cabbage and mix with a tough of sesame vinaigrette dressing.

Plate the cooked rice for each serving, and place the shredded cabbage salad on the side.

When the chicken patties are done, cut each patty into strips that are about 1.5 cm wide.  Place the strips of chicken side by side on the rice so that they resemble the original patty, only cut into strips. Drizzle with tonkatsu sauce. Garnish with pickled ginger.

Japanese Chicken Katsu Curry

  • Frozen chicken patties
  • S&B Hot Curry Golden Sauce Mix (comes in cubes)
  • Vegetables for the curry (see curry package directions – usually variations of onions, bell peppers, carrots, potatoes)
  • Curry pickles aka Fukujinzuke (optional – find them at the Asian grocery store)
  • Mozzarella cheese (optional)
  • Rice

Start the rice. Bake or fry the patties to package directions.  In a sauce pan, make the curry sauce to package directions.  (This usually involves sauteing vegetables, adding water and the curry roux, and then cooking until the sauce thickens.)  Plate the cooked rice into servings. When the chicken patties are done, cut each patty into strips that are about 1.5 cm wide.  Place the strips of chicken side by side on the rice so that they resemble the original patty, only cut into strips. Top with curry and vegetable sauce.  Sprinkle mozzarella cheese on top. Garnish with fukujinzuke.

Chicken Cordon Bleu (Sandwiches…if you want!)

  • Frozen chicken patties
  • Thinly sliced cooked ham
  • Swiss cheese
  • Dijon mustard
  • Sandwich Rolls (OR, omit the rolls and serve with buttered noodles and salad)
  • Dill pickle
  • Potato chips

Place the chicken in a baking dish.  Spread Dijon mustard on the patties. Place slices of ham on top of the patties. Top with swiss cheese. Bake according to the chicken patty package directions, so that the patties are cooked through and the cheese is melted and golden brown.  Place the Cordon Patties on rolls and serve sandwiches with a pickle and chips.

 

 

How Tom Imagined Life Would Be

Smoke rings rose into a little cloud about Tom’s head as he sat, laptop open, at our dining room table. Four of our five children surrounded him with their character sheets and little piles of multicolored dice in front of them — it was their first time playing D&D.

On the other side of the wall, a swiveling butler door between us, I sautéed onions and used my favorite red spatula to encourage droplets of batter through a colander into a large pot of boiling water (and all over my counter and stove top).

My character, Danaë, a Wilden Shaman, will enter the campaign later.

Tomorrow, our church is having an Oktoberfest-themed fellowship meal, and I was preparing our two contributions:

A casserloe made of Spaetzle Casserole with Sautéed Onions, Gruyère and a pinch of Nutmeg
Spaetzle Casserole with Sautéed Onions, Gruyère and a pinch of Nutmeg
Braised Red Cabbage with Vinegar and Caraway
Braised Red Cabbage with Vinegar and Caraway

I brought in a bowl of the Spaetzle casserole mixture and a fork for Tom to try. “Oh, that’s good!” he said. “Hmm… does it need any salt?” he thought aloud. “Nope.. it’s perfect,” he concluded.

A few moments later, I brought in the brazed cabbage. This, too, met his taste-buds’ approval.

“You know, this is how I always imagined life would be,” he said.

“Smoking a pipe, and being your children’s Dungeon Master, while your wife brings in homemade German food for you to taste?” I said, smiling.

“Exactly.”

Reading: The Supper of the Lamb

“The graces of the world are the looks of a woman in love; without the woman they could not be there at all; but without her love, they would not quicken into loveliness.” – Robert Farrar Capon, PAGE 4 of The Supper of the Lamb: A Culinary Reflection

(Only page four! What goodness is yet to come? )

The book began with a lamb dinner recipe including the ingredients+notes:

“Soy Sauce (domestic only in desperation)” and “Sherry (if you have any left)”

May I kiss this cook? Would he want to kiss me and/or eat my pancakes?

I’ve not been so twitterpated over food writing since How to Cook a Wolf.

Supper of the Lamb was recommended by @BekaAJohnson. Follow her, already!

Simple Lunch: Tomato Soup With Basil, Parmesan and Biscuits

Better is a dish of vegetables where love is
Than a fattened ox served with hatred.
Proverbs 15:17

The cupboards are getting bare.

September’s grocery money is nearly gone.

We’re breaking into the canned food.

Today’s lunch was a simple canned (store brand even!) Tomato Soup. However, a pinch of Parmesan cheese and a sprinkling of fresh basil from the garden turned a mundane can of boring into a steamin’ hot feast. The biscuits were from America’s favorite baking mix and took 5 minutes to make. They baked while the soup came to a simmer.

I almost didn’t make the soup today because my children – yes, the same ones who will eat ear-ringing hot sauce and international curries – don’t like tomato soup and the complaints were quite loud.

Still, I insisted that, even though it wasn’t their favorite food, it was sustenance and that perhaps by adding ingredients, it wouldn’t be as bad as they’d imagined.

Empowering them with a plate of biscuits to crumble in, snippets of basil and a container of Parmesan, they each created their own version of the soup.

Every bowl was finished down the last drop.

Don’t merely be content, be creative. It’s easy to look at what is set before us – food-on-a-budget, possessions, parenthood, employment and even relationships – and feel as though we have to suffer through. Yet, there is joy to be found in taking something ordinary and making it better; redeeming it.

Sometimes “making it better” doesn’t involve changing the object or situation itself, but our attitudes. When our mindsets change from drudgery to thanksgiving, we are then free to contribute meaningfully and nurture. Nagging and complaints stem from a root of bitterness. Compliments (finding the good) and nurturing grow from love.

Love is like Parmesan and fresh basil to store brand canned tomato soup.