Cooking Up Deliciousness

Experimenting in the kitchen this week has been fun. My Sweet Babboo has been eating pretty well, with new dishes to try and being my guinea pig for the coffee cake contest. I made an Apple Coffee Cake with some apples I had from the basket we got a couple of weeks ago using a recipe I developed a few years ago. Still not a contest winner, but My Sweet Babboo enjoyed it.

There was still a sweet apple left, and I had some ham bits in the freezer from the last one we had. I got that out, defrosted it, chopped it up, added chopped apple to it and dressed it with sriracha mayonnaise. This is just a tablespoon of sriracha sauce in one cup of mayo, spicy and flavorful. I served it in tortillas just like last time. See my post Ham Apple Salad Wraps for the complete recipe and pdf.

I mentioned before that I got an advance copy of Milk Street’s new The World in a Skillet cookbook, and found a dozen recipes right off the bat that I wanted to try.

I had all the ingredients for this dish, and the idea of toasting panko breadcrumbs sounded good. I thought it would do just as well with fish, as the tilapia fillets take about the same amount of time to cook as an egg. Add a few shrimp and we would have a winner.

It was easy to use only half the amounts called for to make 2 servings instead of 4. This recipe goes fast, so having a mis-en-place with all the elements is helpful. I stirred the panko breadcrumbs with the cheese, herbs and oil, then cleaned the fish and shrimp, and trimmed the spinach before I started cooking.

The recipe starts with toasting the panko mixture in a skillet. This only takes a minute or two.

When it is barely starting to brown, add the protein and spinach.

Cover and let cook on medium heat for about 5 minutes.

Dinner in about 30 minutes, including the prep time.

This was SO good! A flavorful and healthy meal with fresh ingredients. I served some jasmine rice on the side. Here’s a pdf of the original Milk Street Recipe – Eggs Fried in Panko Breadcrumbs with Wilted Spinach.

I’m still using panko crumbs for my chicken wing experiments, as I am trying to find a way to make them crispy without frying them. This time I used the same combination as that recipe, adding herbs and Parmesan cheese. I baked these for 30 minutes at 400º. Better, but they are still soft on the bottom.

It would be more work, but I think if I baked them first, then tossed them in panko that I toasted on the stove top in a skillet like this recipe, they might be better. Still, they were a good snack while watching some USFL football games last Sunday.

I like watching cooking competitions, too, and found a new one that is really fun. It is called Rat in the Kitchen, and it is on TBS on Thursdays. The premise is six cooks (both amateur and pro) cook two rounds in the kitchen together. Five of the cooks are legitimate contestants trying their best, while one is a rat in the kitchen trying to sabotage the dishes without getting caught. Each dish is worth money, and the ones that pass put money in the contestant’s bank, while each ruined dish earns the rat bank the cash. At the end of the show, the contestants vote on who they think is the rat. If they are right, they get their bank, but if they are wrong, the rat walks away with the money in the rat’s bank. Each week there are six new cooks. I have only correctly guessed the rat one time in five episodes! These guys are clever! Below is a youtube video of the trailer for the show.

Thank goodness there isn’t a rat in my kitchen! I’m making more from Milk Street’s new The World in a Skillet cookbook very soon, maybe a Japanese chicken dish next.

If you are a fan of Stanley Tucci, his Searching for Italy series has started season 2 on CNN. And you know I highly recommend his book, Taste: My Life Through Food .

Are you cooking up some deliciousness this week?

12 thoughts on “Cooking Up Deliciousness

  1. Mary Stori

    Wow….what a concept for a cooking show. Doubt I’ll watch that one but do enjoy many others.

  2. Julie

    I must admit I don’t watch cooking shows, but I do enjoy cooking. Did you try baking your wings on a little rack so they’re above the juices that accumulate?

    1. Yes I have. The rack still didn’t get them crispy on the bottom. The ones before this came out better because they ‘fried’ in the oil in the pan, but these didn’t do as well because I didn’t coat them in flour.

  3. That looks fabulous! Yum. And “poor guinea pig.” I bet we’d all exchange places with him! The apple cake looks good and so do the ham wraps.

    Thanks for the heads up on Rat in the Kitchen. I hadn’t heard about it but it sounds like a clever, fun premise on the cooking contest!

  4. Donna Hindle

    I wonder if you used an iron skillet for the chicken wings in the oven, if that would help to brown them some. I love using my iron for a lot since I was told how great it is.

  5. I use the whole wheat panko crumbs by 4C. They have seasoning and pecorino cheese in them. I have a suggestion for your wings. 1) Oven 375. If you have a fan setting on your oven, use it. Make sure you preheat. 2)put a rack under the wings in a larger pan so the heat can move around instead of sitting in their juices. 3) Turn them over 1/2 way through. 4) spritz top & bottom with oil spray. I use Pam Coconut spray and would spray the tops when I put them in the oven, then 1/2 way through turn over and spritz again. (This is basically what I do in my Emeril 360 air fryer, but I am cooking on parchment paper in a wire rack). Good luck.

  6. Sue Hodges

    Hi Carole, A recipe I found for Orange chicken uses chicken breasts cubed, coated in cornstarch and then dipped on egg whites. They are then rolled in Panko to fully coat and placed on a baking sheet and baked for 15-20 mins. at 400 F. until light brown and crunchy. I have not tried yet,but am thinking this may work for you.
    I always enjoy your creative recipes.

  7. The best part of cooking is being creative and coming up with your own recipes and variations as you’ve showed…I have seen the ads for Rat in the Kitchen, I want to check that show out! Thanks Carole!

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