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.



Sarah’s Mustard & Herb Beef Stew: Pressure Cooker Recipe

Last night, Tom and I went to see the Brandywine Roller Girls’ All Stars in Elkton, MD. While we had wanted to attend, we had a lot of work to do yesterday and actually going was a last minute decision. This meant that I was in a bit of a scramble for dinner… again.

I skimmed through my pantry and fridge, and whooped with delight over my remaining buy-one-get-one-free London Broil.

Utilizing the fast-acting magic of my trusty pressure cooker, below is the recipe I came up with… and it was so yummy, I had to write down for posterity’s sake.

This well-seasoned stew that tastes like it’s been roasting all day long. (Shh! It does! Pressure cookers really are magical!) The thickened stick-to-your-ribs broth is way more enjoyable than plebeian clear pan juices, not to mention much more fun to mop with a crusty piece of bread.

When washed down with some frothy autumn ale, you might even feel a bit rustic while you enjoy this meal and, for a moment at least, forget that your heating bills are about to increase.

Sarah’s Mustard & Herb Beef Stew

(Pressure Cooker – Approx. 30 min total cook time)
10 Servings

Main ingredients:
3 lbs London Broil, cut into 2″ cubes (Beef roast or other stew meat would work, too!)
4 lg celery stalks, cut into 2″ pieces
4 lg carrots, cut into 2″ pieces
10 medium thin-skinned potatoes, halved
1 large onion, thinly sliced
32 oz beef broth

Flavoring ingredients:
2-3 TB brown mustard
2 TB Worcestershire sauce
5 fresh sage leaves
2 bay leaves
1 tsp dried Italian seasoning

Prepare in Ziplock bag and SAVE remainder:
2 cups flour
2 tsp salt
1 TB garlic powder
1 tsp freshly ground black pepper

Cooking oil

In small batches, place cubed beef into Ziplock bag and shake to coat with flour mixture. SAVE the remaining flour mixture!

Pour oil into the pressure cooker pot Рenough to coat the surface. When the oil is hot, saut̩ the onions to al dente. Remove the onions with metal tongs and set them aside in a mixing bowl.

Brown the floured beef in the hot oil in small batches until the meat has a bit of crusty goodness. Place browned meat in the bowl with the onions.

Deglaze the fond with the beef broth. Whisk in mustard, Worcestershire and dried herbs. Add remaining flavoring ingredients and bring to a boil. TASTE and adjust seasoning (salt may be needed if your broth is bland) as needed.

Add to pot in this order: Beef cubes & onions, potatoes, carrots & celery. (The majority of the potatoes should be covered with the broth.)

Bring to a boil.

Secure pressure cooker lid and cook on high heat until the pressure regulator begins to rock. Lower the heat to medium, or enough to keep the regulator rocking gently.

Set the timer for 15 minutes.

Follow the procedures in your pressure cooker’s instruction manual to quickly depressurize your pot.

Using a colander, separate the cooked meat and veggies from the broth. Return the broth to the pot. Scoop out about 1 cup of broth into your mixing bowl and whisk in about 3 Tb of the reserved seasoned flour mixture. Add the flour slurry back into the pot of broth, and bring it to a boil to thicken.

Add the cooked ingredients back to the thickened broth.

Serve steaming hot with crusty bread and your favorite autumn beer.

Pepperoni Rigatoni : A One-Pot Meal

“I’m tired of my mother
in my dreams
playing Rita Hayworth leaping
on restaurant tables stomping
a fiery flamenco barefoot
on half-eaten pepperoni pizzas.”

Pepperoni Pizzas & Salsa Dancers (excerpt) by Bob Genevro

Sometimes 3lb bags of pepperoni at the bulk food store cost just as much as the half-pound bag at the regular-old-grocery stores.

According to my panel of five amateur food critics, today’s made-up dinner recipe needs to added to the list of acceptable weeknight dinner foods.

Pepperoni Rigatoni

2lbs of Rigatoni (2 boxes)
Jar of tomato sauce (about 3 cups )
1 cup mozzarella cheese (Stella is my favorite authentic-tasting brand)
Pepperoni (I used three Sarah-sized handfuls. I promise you, your hands are bigger than mine.)
3 TB olive oil (cheap stuff is fine)

1. Cook rigatoni according to package directions for Al Dente firmness, drain and set aside.
2. Drizzle some olive oil in the bottom of the pasta pot and add pepperoni slices. This releases the pepperoni’s flavor goodness into the oil and warms them through.
3. Add the pasta to the pepperoni and stir to coat with the pepperoni and olive oil.
4. Add the sauce and cheese. Stir until sauce evenly coats pasta and cheese is melted.

You could make this dish more gourmet by dumping it in a baking dish, topping with additional mozzarella cheese, and baking it at 350F for 20 minutes or until the cheese is a beautiful golden brown. However, if daddy’s not home… it’s perfectly fine to spoon it right into bowls :)

Serve with a side salad and a buttered piece of crusty Italian bread.

“Thanks, Mom! This is awesome!” – Tabitha
“Can my friend Ethan try this? I think he’d LOVE IT!” – Thomas
“I like this spice, Mom. May I have some milk?” – Micah
“Would it be okay if I had thirds?” – Leah
“Tastes kinda like pepperoni pizza… only it’s pasta.” – Aiden