Technique #1 – Standard Breading Procedure
One of the most useful techniques used in the kitchen is Standard Breading Procedure. It is called this because the same techniques are used in a large variety of recipes including Chicken Parmesan, breaded fish, Mozzarella sticks and fried green tomatoes. Standard breading Procedure consist of three components, flour(seasoned), egg and milk mixture and breadcrumb. The idea is that the flour will stick to the Food being breaded. The food is then dipped in the egg and milk mixture and sticks to the flour. Finally, the food is the dredged in the breadcrumbs. One of the fine points if this procedure is the use of both hands in the process. For me this means that my left hand (my “wet” hand) moves the food into the flour to be coated, then into the egg mix and then into the breadcrumb mixture. This is where my right hand (dry hand) will coat the food with the breadcrumbs thoroughly. The reason this is important is that if the right hand (dry hand) becomes wet the breadcrumbs will stick to your hand and your food will not be coated properly. By the same token if your left hand gets coated with flour the egg will not stick (if this happens just wash and dry your hands and continue). Also if you are not comfortable working from left to right just switch your station around and work right to left
Within this framework there are a number of things that can be done to spice up the process. I have added cheese and herbs to the breadcrumbs or used crushed tortilla chip instead of breadcrumbs. I have also used instant potato flakes instead of breadcrumbs for fish. There are also Panko (Japanese) breadcrumbs that are available in almost every supermarket these days. Once breaded the food should be allowed to sit for about 10 minutes to allow a “glue to form that bond the flour,egg mix and breadcrumb together before cooking. At this point your food can also be individually frozen. This allows you to prep ahead of your meal. At the appropriate time just remove from the freezer and cook.
One of the points that are important in cooking foods that are breaded is to make sure not to overbrown your coating. For me this means either sealing my breading in a pan with some oil or “flash frying” in my deep fryer ( there are many fine home models on the market these days) until I get the desired light brown color. I actually take my foods out a little lighter than I want them do to the fact that they will keep browning after being seared. Also, it is important to not overfill your fryer or your oil temperature will drop and your coating will not set. Because many of the items I prepare this way are somewhat larger(chicken or fish) than a slice of zucchini or tomato I prefer to finish these foods on a sheet pan in the oven. This way I get a great color without burning the breading before the food is actually cooked. I “flash fry” these items one or 2 at a time. They will still finish well in the over even if they have been pre fried.
I hope you have enjoyed this post and will try some of techniques discussed. If anyone has questions I can be contacted at Detroit Eats
Until Next time..