From what I understand, the global dish called chicken parmigiana is a variation on the Italian entree known as eggplant parmigiana. Simply put, you deep fry eggplant, add cheese and tomato sauce and bake it. At some point in time, various regions in the world with large Italian immigrant populations, realized chicken would be an excellent alternative to the eggplant and chicken parmigiana evolved.
In America, the dish became popular around 1958. Often the name has been simplified to just ‘chicken parm‘. Usually composed of fried or breaded chicken fillets, smothered in mozzarella (or provolone), parmesan and tomato sauce all of which is then baked. Another version is using veal instead of chicken. Parmigiana is traditionally served over hot pasta as the main entree but it has also become a sandwich filling favored in subs, hoagies, etc.
In today’s recipe, I’m using parmesan cheese but omitting the mozzarella-tomato sauce. I wanted to accent the flavor with fresh basil in the sauce instead. We quite enjoyed it.
Chicken Parmigiana with Basil Sauce
In a small bowl, combine breadcrumbs, cheese & parsley. Chop bacon finely & fry until crisp; drain. Add bacon to breadcrumb mixture.
Preheat oven to 350 F. In a saucepan, melt butter, add minced garlic, Worcestershire sauce & dry mustard. Mix well. Dip chicken fillets in butter mixture & place in a shallow ovenproof dish. Press crumb mixture on top of each fillet.
Bake, uncovered for 20 - 25 minutes.
In a saucepan, combine oil, vinegar, minced garlic, finely chopped basil leaves & cream; stir until heated through. Add egg yolk & stir until sauce thickens. Do not boil. Season with salt & pepper. Serve over chicken parmigiana.
HAPPY MOTHER’S DAY!
In the food service industry, brunch on Mother’s Day is huge. What better way is there to celebrate your mom then by taking her out of the kitchen on her day. As is the case with many culinary traditions, the origin of brunch is a bit hazy.
There are numerous theories, such as the English tradition of feasting after a hunt, or from the Catholic tradition of fasting before church and having a large meal after services. By 1930, ‘brunch’, that blend of breakfast and lunch had caught on in the United States. From some of the classic dishes restaurants offered such as eggs benedict, brunch evolved into decadent spreads that even included morning cocktails.
Today as we celebrate Mother’s Day, many special memories come to mind. My mother passed away in 1978 but even after 39 years, time has changed nothing. I still miss the sound of her voice, the wisdom in her advice, the stories of her life and just being in her presence. I miss her today as much as the day she left us and I always will.
It is also with loving thoughts, I celebrate my mother-in-law, Dolores, for her loving and kind ways and for raising that ‘special’ man I love sharing my life with. To my sisters, who give so much of themselves to be the great mom’s they are.
In July 2016, I posted a blog entitled ‘Brunch in Thibery, France. It has some more brunch ideas for croissants, crepes and french toast you might like.
For today I have two brunch items in mind. One is BAKED EGGS IN PORTOBELLO MUSHROOM CAPS and the other a SAVORY SALMON & DILL MUFFIN. Enjoy your day!
Salmon/Dill Muffins & Baked Eggs in Mushroom Caps
Baked Eggs in Mushroom Caps
Preheat oven to 350 F. Line a 8-cup large muffin pan with paper liners.
In a large bowl, whisk together flour & baking powder; add grated cheese, salmon & fresh dill. In a small bowl, beat together egg, milk & oil. Make a well in center of flour mixture; add wet ingredients, mix only until combined.
Fill muffin cups half full; divide cream cheese between the 8 cups. Top with remaining batter to evenly fill cups. Bake 15-20 minutes or until they test done.
Baked Eggs in Mushroom Caps
Preheat oven to 350 F. Remove stalk from mushroom caps. Make sure mushrooms do not get cracked so the eggs & sauce leak out. Place mushrooms in a baking dish that will keep them from tipping. Divide pasta sauce between mushrooms & spread. Break an egg into each mushroom. Pour cream over the eggs, drizzling to try to cover the whole surface.
Carefully place mushrooms in the oven for about 20 minutes. When eggs are almost set lay cheese slices on top & continue baking for another 5 minutes.
- Cooking times can vary between ovens; watch eggs closely.
- If you prefer, you can scrape out the mushroom 'gills' to make more room for the filling.
In about 1956, Baker’s Angel Flake Coconut (General Mills) came up with the idea of ‘cut-up cakes’. My mother always had a love for cake decorating and this idea just added a whole new dimension. The company printed a little booklet with a year’s worth of cut-up cake directions.
The cakes were popular because no special tools or pans were needed. Cakes were baked from your own recipe or from cake mixes, usually in either a 13 x 9″ pan or two 8 or 9″ layers. After the cake was cooled, you followed a pattern given in the recipe booklet and cut the cake as directed with a knife, then put the pieces together to form the desired shape. The cake pieces were then covered with frosting, making it appear as one solid cake.
Most of the designs usually incorporated coconut into the decoration. It looked great and of course we loved it. This was the forerunner to the baking industry developing ‘character’ cake pans in shapes of anything imaginable.
Although this old fashioned oatmeal cake came from that time period, it was not used for one of these cut-up cakes. I just thought it would be nice to include it in this blog since it had that wonderful tasting broiled topping made with the well known ‘Angel Flake‘ coconut. This cake was so good but one minute too long under that broiler could destroy it!
Oatmeal Spice Cake with Broiled Topping
A dense, moist, classic oatmeal cake that has stood the test of time.
In a small bowl, pour boiling water over oatmeal & margarine; let stand for 10 minutes.
Preheat oven to 350 F. Grease a 9 x 9" baking dish.
In a large bowl, beat eggs with sugar until fluffy. Add vanilla & oat mixture, blend well.
Sift together flour, baking powder, salt, nutmeg & cinnamon.
Combine flour mixture to creamed mixture, blending carefully.
Pour into prepared baking pan; bake 35 minutes or until tests done. Cool for 10 minutes. Do not remove from pan.
For Frosting: Combine all ingredients. Spread evenly over cake. Broil until frosting becomes bubbly. WATCH CAREFULLY!
Let cake cool enough for the topping to be absorbed into the cake.