Sweet and savory, nothing beats the comfort of an easy soup on a cold day.
The kids have been sick recently – moreso than I’d care to admit. Rice Kernel had an ear infection and pneumonia and Claire had a terrible cold. Rice Kernel is a pretty easy-going, energy-filled sick patient so he’s the easy part. But my little one? She doesn’t sleep well when her nose is drippy and her throat coarse, and that makes for many blurry nights and days for the rest of us. I’d go so far as to say this has been the most difficult stretch of parenthood since Claire’s birth – it was easier with a newborn. Thankfully, I think we’re slowly getting over it…. and there’s nothing like a comforting meal when appetites return. A healthier, flavorful meatball baked to perfection with a light coating of Rice Kernel’s favorite Italian-spiced Japanese panko breadcrumbs. Who says fusion doesn’t work?
Meatball recipe here.
As much as FHE loves old-fashioned beef hamburgers, I don’t make them often. I’m not the biggest beef burger fan and neither is Rice Kernel. Instead, our go-to ground meat is chicken. It’s lean and its inherently subtle profile easily absorbs whatever flavors suit you. Today we spiced the burgers with flavorful Greek seasonings, which not only produced moist burgers but also colorful ones.
Greek Chicken Burgers
1 pound ground chicken
1 egg, slightly beaten
1/2 cup frozen spinach, chopped
1/4 cup sundried tomatoes, chopped
1/2 cup feta cheese, crumbled
1/2 teaspoon dried parsley (or 1 -2 tablespoons fresh)
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano (or 1 tablespoon fresh)
1 teaspoon kosher salt
A few cranks of freshly ground pepper
Panko, for coating, optional
Yogurt, cucumbers, tomatoes, optional, for serving
Sure, you could buy blackening seasoning. But, if your curious, this is a fresher, inexpensive way to create your own.
Blackened Chicken with Potatoes and Brussels
1 tablespoon olive oil, plus more for grill
1 teaspoon paprika
2 teaspoons ground pepper
1 1/2 teaspoons coarse salt
1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
1 garlic clove, minced
4 bone-in, skin-on chicken breast halves, preferably organic (2 1/2 pounds total)
Rice Kernel only wants fish and chicken that is coated and pan fried these days. He doesn’t like baked proteins; he doesn’t even like deep fried proteins. (My in-laws have introduced him to McDonalds.) Breaded homemade fish or chicken, sausage, or steak. Those are his favorites. I don’t typically offer much of a choice, but on this particular day my Dad was around. And my healthnut Dad also asked for something encrusted. Low on panko, I thought about a nut crust. Instead I spied sesame and cornmeal next to each other. Together they provide a wonderful textured crust that is a fragrant change from our usual panko topping.
Sesame- and Cornmeal-Crusted Chicken Tenders
6-8 chicken tenders
1/3 cup cornmeal
3 tablespoons Sesame seeds
Coarse salt and freshly cracked black pepper to taste
2 tablespoons grapeseed oil
1 egg, beaten