So my 1st recipe is Chicken Parmigiana,
I chose it, not because it’s a recipe that I make often, but because I had sauce and cheese leftover and I’m trying really hard not to waste. When I was young and I lived in Melbourne my favourite restaurant was La Lucciola in Chapel St. I still go their everytime I’m in Melbourne because their food is so good. One of my favourite dishes is Chicken Parmigiana which is why I thought I’d give it a go .
So here we go;
2 packs of chicken breasts — organic — about 1kg, cut in 3's through the breast and then whacked with a meat mallet till flattish.
Roughly 4 to 5 cups of breadcrumbs, (more never hurts you’ll have extra to freeze) either from a good bakery or from your collection of leftover bread that you keep stored in the freezer. Just dry them out in the oven 150c for 15 min, then let cool and put into a whizzer and blitz till they are fine crumbs.
Add 1 cup of finely chopped parsley and half a cup of good quality grated parmesan cheese.
That’s the crumbs done.
You'll also need 2 cups of Organic plain flour seasoned with salt and pepper. And 2 large eggs and half a cup of whole milk — preferably unhomogenised (much better for everyone and way more digestible).
Grate 2 cloves of garlic into the eggy mixture and mix well to combine.
My leftover red sauce from the night before:
1 bottle of Passatta or a couple of tins of chopped tomatoes, 2 cloves of garlic fried off in extra virgin olive oil, with a small twig of fresh rosemary a bay leaf and 3 leaves of sage (but I only used these because I happened to have them). Then pour in the tomatoes and let simmer on lowest heat for 20 min. Salt and pepper to taste.
2 balls of buffalo mozzarella sliced
Step 1: make your schnitz, dip in flour then egg then crumbs — set aside on plate, repeat till all finished.
Then fry those little babie’s in a mixture of olive oil and grapeseed oil till golden,( remember to bring your oil up to a high heat before putting your schnitz in, you can always test the temp of the oil by placing some of the breadcrumbs in, if they sizzle straight away your ready to go) then rest on paper towel till ready to use.
Once they are all done get your baking pan or dish and assemble as follows;
One shnitz, a large spoonful of your sauce on top of the breast and then lay your cheese on top of the sauce, sprinkle with parmesan. Place under the grill till the cheese has melted and is starting to bubble and brown - just a little.
My table last night went like this;
Frankie Doyle - 2 plain shnitz with a tonne of salad and tomato sauce.
Wilco Doyle - on wee Wilco size schnitz cut up with 1/2 an avocado scooped out ready to go — oh and a wilco size parmigiana cooling down on the side ready to be devoured.
Max, Jemima and Me - Chicken Parmigiana and the left over rocket from Frank's salad.
Some shnitz left over to freeze, crumbs to freeze and tomato sauce left too.
Family of 5 fed and happy!
Job done for today..... now what will I cook tomorrow ?!
Using leftover sauce and cheese from the pizza the night before.
Making extra bread crumbs and extra scnitz for the freezer — for those nights when you can't be bothered shopping or making something from scratch.
Making portion sizes to suit everyone even the baby. Wee ones for Wilco!!
And different meals for fussy eaters..i.e, Frank.
Then ways of mixing it up — like my paprika and garlic scnitz or my mozzarella and bacon stuffed snitz.....
Instead of my Italian version you can do the ones I make most;
Don't add cheese to the crumbs I just do parsley and take the garlic out of the eggy mixture. Add sweet Hungarian paprika about a tablespoon and the same in garlic flakes to the flour. Coat the same way and fry, then serve either with rice or mash and salad - Yummo!!
My stuffed one even Frank will eat - Preheat your oven to 180c. Prepare the same as the Italian way but before you coat it, make a slit in the middle of the chicken breast ( tip; only cut the chicken breast in half for this one as they need to be a bit thicker) put a piece of mozzarella, bacon and a basil leaf or sage inside — then coat as normal the egg should seal it together when you fry it. After they are browned pop onto greaseproof paper on a baking tray or in a skillet and in the oven for another 10 min just to make sure they are cooked through.
Always using Organic or Bio Dynamic seasonal & local ingredients. Eating seasonally will cut your costs down, you will find that Organic produce when bought seasonally will be marginally more expensive and on occasion be cheaper, as I found out yesterday.
Trying really hard to not waste things that we buy - which is something I am really starting to make an effort with, but it is a leaning process and I have a long way to go….
Also making sure our little ones eat healthy, well balanced meals — if it's always on their plate, from the start — "They will eat it "eventually.....
Making smart food choices for them and letting them make them for themselves.
Growing as many things in the garden as possible — even if your garden is as small as mine!! And you kill everything you touch. Give the job to someone else i.e, like your partner or kids? And learn along with them what works in the space you have. Ours is so tiny but we have, Rocket, Cos lettuce, Tomatoes, all herbs, strawberries and my favourite - Raspberry's.
Involving them in that process and getting them involved in choosing what goes in, picking and tasting, watering etc......
Because mine are so varied in ages and sizes I can give them different things to do — for instance - Wilco loves to help Daddy in the garden watering and digging, Frank likes to help Daddy plant and then help me by picking the lettuce for our salad (which just happens to be her favourite thing to eat - I know a little strange for a 7 year old). And then my biggest Mima who is 11 is really into food she will pretty much eat anything or at least try it. She helped tonight with this, my 1st ever blog post. She helped me wash and clean the salad and transfer to the salad bowl, then she proceeded to make the dressing with a little guidance.
And take a few great photo's while I was cooking.
Anyway I hope my recipes and tips help in feeding your family's healthy & yummy food for all age. If I can do it in my disorganised chaos anyone can.
|Bread cooling down ready to be whizzed|
|Getting everything ready for the schnitz|
|Ready to start|
|Wilco helping daddy in the garden with the watering|
|Leftover crumbs for the freezer|
|Chicken ready to go, big ones and wee ones|
|Wilco watering himself|
|Sweetest boy in the world|
|Leftover sauce from the pizza last night|
|leftover buffallo mozzarella|
|oil hot, lets start frying|
|Frank's dinner ready|
|Happiness is......Mummy making the dinner I will eat !|
|Assembling the Chicken Parmigiana|
|Wilco's first course|
|Schnitz and cado|
|Frank having seconds of schnitz with the dreaded tomatoe sauce|
|Yum ! Just out of the oven.....|
|Mummy's must have|
|Wilco seems to think it's ok to.|
©Michelle Schoeps 2013
Photo's taken by Jemima Doyle and me - Great job honeyxx