Tag Archives: Breadcrumbs

Milanesa a la Napolitana

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The milanesa is a dish common in Latin American countries where generic types of breaded meat fillet preparations are known as a milanesa.

As with much of Argentine cuisine and culture, the roots of the Argentine milanesa are traced back to Italy. The milanesa was brought to the Southern Cone of South America by Italian immigrantspict--political-map-southern-cone-southern-cone-political-map.png during the mass emigration called the Italian diaspora between 1860-1920s. Its name probably reflects an original Milanese preparation, cotoletta alla Milanese, a thin steak or veal chop, dipped in breadcrumbs and friedwhich is similar to the Austrian Wiener Schnitzel.

Generally, a milanesa consists of a thin slice of beef, chicken, veal, or sometimes pork, and even eggplants or soy. In its most basic form, the Argentine milanesa is a simply breaded, thin slice of prime beef from the peceto(round roast cut) or the nalga (eye of round). When selecting your steaks, make sure to look for steaks with little fat and no sinew, which makes the milanesa curl up as you cook it.Ask your local butcher to thinly cut the meat for your milanesas to about 1/4-inch. Once you get them home, soak them in the fridge for an hour or so in a mixture of beaten egg, a splash of milk, a sprinkle of salt, and some finely chopped parsley and garlic. Add a touch of oregano or dried chilies if you crave a spicy taste. When you are ready to cook, dip cutlets in the breadcrumbs (or occasionally flour). I personally like to use Japanese Panko breadcrumbs. You can use whatever yo unlike, as long the breadcrumbs are dry.

Traditionally, milansesa are shallow-fried in oil, one at a time. Some people prefer to use very little oil and then bake them in the oven as a healthier alternative.

There are a million if not more recipes and variations for milanesas. If you wcaballo.jpgant the pure and traditional milanesa experience, squeeze lemon over the crispy hot delicacies and serve with creamy mashed potatoes or fries. But if you want to go a bit fancy, serve it a caballo – on horseback – where a fried egg tops the delicious concoction.

Milanesa napolitana is a variation of the breaded fried steak dish that is popular in Argentina and Uruguay. Milanesa a la Napolitana did not originate from Milan or Naples – it’s thought to have been invented in the 1940’s at a Buenos Aires restaurant called “Nápoli”.

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                                                                       Sandwich de milanesa.   Photo Credit:  Ian Carvell, 2015

Milanesa napolitana is also very  similar to veal Parmesan, but with South American touches – after the steak is breaded and fried, it’s topped with a slice of ham, tomato sauce, and melted mozzarella cheese, and served with french fries.Leftovers make great sandwiches, especially when paired with a soft but crusty roll, just like the lunchtime classic – the sándwich de milanesa. For a basic sandwich, add tomato and lettuce, and you are good to go. Milanesa completa is the slightly souped up version with lettuce, tomato, cheese and ham.

 

Serves 6
 
Ingredients:

6  thinly sliced skillet steaks, such as top round
3 eggs
Dried  oregano, to taste
Kosher salt, to taste
Ground black pepper, to taste
2 1/2  cups panko  bread crumbs
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
2 cloves garlic, finely minced
1/3 cup olive oil
1/2 cup tomato sauce
6 slices of deli ham (or proscuitto)
2 cups grated Mozzarella cheese
Lemon wedges, for serving
Fresh chopped  or sliced tomatoes,  for garnish (optional)
Oven baked fries, for serving

Directions:
Whisk together the eggs, parsley, milk, garlic and oregano. Add salt and pepper to taste.Place the steaks in the egg mixture, cover with plastic wrap and leave the steaks soaking for 30 minutes to one hour in the fridge. The more time the better.

In another shallow pan, stir the Parmesan cheese and garlic into the bread crumbs and set aside.

Remove the steaks from the egg mixture and one by one, dredge the steaks in the crumbs, turning and pressing firmly until they are well coated.

Heat the olive oil in a cast iron skillet, and cook steaks for several minutes on each side, until golden brown and crispy. Drain steaks on paper towels. See the Cook’s Notes for the oven baked cooking method.

Place the  cooked steaks on a  baking sheet. Turn on the oven broiler. Top each steak with a slice of ham, 2-3 tablespoons tomato sauce, and 1/4 cup grated Mozzarella cheese. Sprinkle with oregano  over the cheese and place steaks under broiler until cheese melts.

If desired, top the finished dish with chopped  or sliced tomatoes and serve warm, with fries.

 

Cook’s Notes:
Alternative Oven Baked Cooking Method:

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Lightly brush   a baking sheet with oil and heat it up in the oven.

Place the milanesas on the prepared baking sheet and place the steaks in the oven and cook for about 5 minutes, or until the bottom is golden brown.

Turn over the milanesas and spread on a layer of 2-3 tablespoons tomato sauce, a slice of ham, 1/4 cup grated Mozzarella cheese and  sprinkle with oregano. Turn on oven broiler. Place steaks under broiler until cheese melts.

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Lobster Stuffed Chicken Cushions

 

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The culinary history of chicken cushions have yet to be thoroughly researched, but it is believed that are French  in origin.

The closest cousin of this culinary creation may have been “Paupiettes of Veal” which were made from thin slices of veal approximately 5 in (12 cm) long by 2 inches (5 cm) wide cut from either the cushion or under cushion. After having lightly flattened and trimmed the slices, cover them with a layer of forcemeat in keeping with their preparation, roll up into the shape of a cork, wrap in a thin layer of salt pork fat and tie them round with thread so that they keep their shape while cooking.

330px-Auguste_Escoffier_01The description of the veal  recipe was written by Georges Auguste Escoffier (1846 – 1935)  a French chef,restaurateur and culinary writer who popularized and updated traditional French cooking methods. He is a legendary figure among chefs and gourmets, and was one of the most important leaders in the development of modern French cuisine. Le Guide culinaire was Escoffier’s attempt to codify and streamline the French restauran225px-Guide_culinaire_fr_2001.jpgt food of the day.The first edition was printed in 1903 in French.  The second edition, an abridged English translation was published in 1907 as A Guide to Modern Cookery. By  1912, the third  edition and the current fourth edition were published in 1921, respectively. This usage of the book still holds today; many culinary schools still use it as their culinary textbook.

In any event, I discovered these chicken cushions while on holiday in London and was complete taken by them. My first experience with a chicken cushion was chicken breast, stuffed with a bread filling and neatly wrapped in a slice of bacon. It was amazing.chicken-cushions

With this recipe, I experimented a bit using a lobster stuffing which had spectacular results. It is the perfect dish that you can use to impress your friends and family at your next dinner party.

 

Serves 6 to 8

Ingredients:

1 steamed lobster (1 1/2 pounds)
4 Tablespoons unsalted butter
6 scallions, finely chopped
1/2 cup white wine
1  1/2 Tablespoons all-purpose flour
1/4 cup heavy cream
A Pinch of cayenne pepper
Salt, to taste
Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
2 ounces fresh breadcrumbs
1 egg yolk
8 boneless chicken  leg and thigh quarters, with skin
8 slices bacon
Olive oil

Special Equipment:
Meat mallet
Kitchen twine

Directions:
Preheat the oven to 375°F.  Position rack in center.

Remove all the meat from the lobster and roughly chop. Set aside.

Melt 2 tablespoons of butter in a small skillet over medium heat. Add scallions and saute for 2 to 3 minutes. Add lobster meat and wine, stir quickly to combine over high heat. Drain mixture, reserving the liquid. Set lobster and scallion mixture aside. Melt remaining better in another skillet. Add flour and cook slowly to make blonde roux, without deep brown coloring or for about 5 minutes. Add reserved liquid to the cream. Cook, constantly stirring until mixture begins to thicken. Stir lobster meat back into the roux, add cayenne and season with salt and pepper to taste. Allow the mixture to cool completely. Add the breadcrumbs and egg yolk;  mix with a wooden spoon. Cover  with plastic wrap and place the lobster filling in the refrigerator for 20 minutes.

Rinse chicken quarters and pat dry. Put the de-boned chicken  quarters on a large chopping board with the skin downwards. Trim any fat from around the edges. Place the quarters, 1 at a time, between two sheets of waxed paper and gently pound with a meat mallet until about 3/8-inch thick. Remove wax paper and season with salt and pepper to taste.

Remove the lobster filling from the refrigerator.

Spoon the filling in the  center of the chicken. Fold the chicken so that the stuffing is enclosed. Take a slice of bacon and wrap around the circumference of the bundle. Tie with string, like the spokes of a wheel, adjusting the string and patting the chicken into shape to form a round cushion.

Lightly oil a 13 x 9-inch baking pan. Place the cushions skin side up in the baking pan. Brush with the oil and season lightly with salt and pepper. Cover with foil and roast in a preheated oven,  at 375°F  for 20 to 35 minutes. Remove the foil for the last 30 minutes and baste the chicken once or twice with pan juices until a deep golden brown and cooked when tested.

Allow the cushions to cool, remove the string and cut into wedges and serve with your favorite side dishes.

 

Cook’s Notes:

To learn how to de-bone a  whole chicken  see this video at the following link at The Scott Rea Project

To learn how to de-bone a chicken quarter, see the video at the following link: Good To Know

Baked Chicken Kiev

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Chicken Kiev is considered “the pinnacle of Russian cooking.”
The dish has traditionally been considered Ukrainian in origin since its name comes from Kiev, the capital of Ukraine. However, the Russian food historian William Pokhlebkin claimed that Chicken Kiev was invented in the St. Petersburg Merchants’ Club in the early 20th century as Novo-Mikhailovsky Cutlet, and was subsequently renamed Chicken Kiev (котлета по-киевски, kotleta po-kiyevski, lit. ‘Kiev-style cutlet’) by a Soviet restaurant.

The original Chicken Kiev has a bone that sticks out like a handle, and is for presentation purposes only. When eaten, the first cut into the chicken releases a flavorful stream of hot butter which makes the chicken incredibly tender.

This recipe is a modern version of the Russian Tea Room’s recipe, having omitted the bone, using skinless chicken breasts. Like with any recipe, this dish takes a little bit of preparation and some practice to get the technique just right, but it will be well worth it when you serve it on special occasions for family and friends at the dinner table.

Serves 4

Ingredients:
4 Boneless skinless chicken breasts
2 garlic cloves, finely minced
Zest of 1 lemon
1 Tablespoon lemon juice
2 sticks unsalted butter, softened
4 Tablespoons parsley, chopped (fresh if possible)
1 clove garlic, minced
Kosher salt, to taste
Black pepper, to taste
4 Tablespoons flour
2 eggs, beaten
1 1/2 cups Japanese Panko breadcrumbs
Fresh parsley sprigs, for garnish
Lemon slices, for garnish

Directions:
In a medium bowl, mash or cream together 8 tablespoons of softened butter with 1 garlic clove minced, 1 tbs lemon juice, 2 tbsp finely chopped fresh parsley, ½ tsp salt and ½ tsp pepper. Shape into a log ¾” thick, cover with plastic wrap and place in freezer, for 15 minutes, but over night will yield the best results.

Pat dry the chicken. Remove the tenderloins from the chicken breasts.Place the chicken between two pieces of wa paper or plastic wrap. Using a meat mallet or a rolling pin, carefully pound them to ⅛” thick. Remove the wax paper and sprinkle the chicken with salt and pepper.

Divide the compound butter evenly between the chicken breasts and carefully roll up and secure with kitchen twine.

Coat the chicken in the flour, dip in the beaten egg and coat in the breadcrumbs, pressing firmly to make sure they stick. Return to the freezer for 30 minutes.

Preheat oven to 190°C/375°F.

Bake the chicken for 30 to 40 minutes or until the outside is golden and crisp.

To serve, plate the chicken and drizzle a bit of the butter sauce over it before serving. Garnish with lemons slices and fresh parsley sprigs.

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