It has been an incredibly long time since I have been to a restaurant and ordered some fried food. This contributes mostly to the fact that I no longer enjoy fried fries and don't really eat food that could be fried other than fish sticks. Since I don't eat burgers, chicken or the sorts it eliminates much of fried selection... excluding the newly introduced fried veggies including tomatoes and pickles... yeah no, I tried a fried pickle and just gross.
We're getting off track here. So back to what I was saying, on the weekend people want to treat themselves. They want to satisfy their cravings and give into temptations that they may not of given into during the week because they wanted to come home right away. Well... here are a few simple dishes that allow you to stay home, not spend a fortune on disgustingly greasy food and allows you to spend time in the comforts of your own home, cooking as much portions as you'd like and keeping your wallet pretty much as full as the day before.
Panko Crusted Grilled Cheese
Recipe adapted from here
I know the title on this post says hello home-BAKED food, however the first post I'm going to writing about is a "grilled" cheese. I mean, I'm sure you could stick it under the broiler and get pretty similar results I just didn't attempt it. Lately I've been in the mood for Panko crumbs, I love them they're such a different taste and texture all around to your regular breadcrumb. I love that with each bite you get a huge crunch of flavour and in my opinion a much better taste all around. With all this bread making that I've been doing lately, it was bound to include a grilled cheese at some point. However, a spin to the regular grilled cheese was a must. I decided to look up if Panko grilled cheese existed (so that I could get something to base of this idea from) and to my delight I found one. So, I jazzed it up only a little bit (I coated all sides of the bread instead of just the exterior sides of the bread). This gave it an insane crunch and all around perfectly beautiful grilled cheese. This was so much better than your mom's grilled cheese, yes, I'm not lying. This sandwich really reminded me of French toast (which... I've been craving lately and... oddly do not like, or perhaps I just haven't tasted good French toast, which I'm sure I will be attempting soon enough to see...). However, yes, with the egg, and the Panko crumbs on all sides of the bread made this taste like a gourmet grilled cheese, if there even is such a thing.
Would I make this again? In a heartbeat.
- 8 slices of homemade white sandwich bread or regular load bread
- 1 cup grated cheese
- 1 cup Panko breadcrumbs
- 1 egg
- 1 tbsp milk
- Salt & pepper
Pour panko breadcrumbs and grated cheese on respective plates. Set aside.
Add some grated cheese on a slice of bread, then layer with sliced tomatoes, then some cheese again and a second slice of bread.
Dip all sides of the breadin the egg mixture and coat it with panko breadcrumbs. Shake of the excess breadcrumbs. In a heated pan greased with some neutral cooking oil, grill both sides of the sandwich until golden brown. Then flip the slices over, add the cheese and continue making the sandwich as you would a regular grilled cheese. Keep the flame on low as we need to ensure the cheese is melted at the same time not burning the breadcrumbs.
Asian Baked Onion Rings
Recipe inspired from here
Now, I have always loved onion rings, for I am a huuuuuuge onion fan. I love onion, honestly, I add them in pretty much any meal I can, whether it be green onion, Vidalia, shallot, red onion etc I love them all. I had an onion sitting in the fridge and I knew just what I wanted to make with it since I was indeed craving some pub food. Now these are baked, so they don't have your typical fried feel to it (you know what I'm talking about right? The sinful, tasty, crunchy just yum taste). However what they do have is a beautiful hint of carrot and ginger (which you could always switch for barbeque, Ranch, blue cheese, Calamata, Thousand Island, really any dressing that you like or have on hand. The base of the onion ring has soooo much flavour, then you add extra spice with your ground ginger in either the flour mixture or in the Panko mixture (or whichever spice you choose be it salt, pepper, cayenne, cinnamon - going on a whim on that one), whatever your little heart desires I'm sure it will aim to please. These were delicious, I definitely gobbled them down. This was most definitely a great alternative to your typical grease-bucket onion rings.
- Cooking spray
- 2 tbsp Ginger Carrot Japanese vinaigrette
- 2 cups Panko Japanese crumbs
- 1/2 tsp ginger powder
- 1 cup soy milk + lemon juice (didn't have any buttermilk on hand)
- 1/4 cup AP flour
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/4 tsp fresh ground black pepper
- 1 large Vidalia onions, peeled
Preheat the oven to 450 degrees. Spray a baking sheet slightly with oil and set aside, if not using a Silpat.
Cut of the bottom and top end of the onion. Remove the skin and slice onion into rings as thick as you like. Separate the rings and place in a large bowl. Save the small onion insides for a salad or something.
Mix onions, ginger carrot vinaigrette, ground ginger, salt and pepper until the onion rings are well coated. Top with buttermilk (or your milk and lemon juice mixture) and flour and submerge all of the rings. Allow to rest for 10-15 minutes.
Add your Panko crumbs in a Ziploc bag or a plate. Add onions and shake to coat. Dip onions 1 at a time into Panko crumbs and place on baking sheet.
Panko Crusted Baked Crab Cakes
Recipe inspired from here
Next on our lists are one of my all-time favourite foods; crab cakes. I love crab. Well, I love imitation crab, real crab gives me hives which I don't appreciate so I stick to imitation crab which is fine with me because it tastes' wonderful and is friendlier to the average persons' wallet. As I've mentioned before I really dislike cooking with grease, it seriously frightens me so I wanted to have some baked crab cakes. These definitely hit the spot. They were crunchy, packed with tons of flavour from the sweet and savoury French Onion Heluva Good, to the tart lemon, to the crunchy red peppers, Panko crumbs and crisp green onions to the all around heartiness of the crab, these were fantastic and will definitely be making these again.
- 1/4 cup French Onion Heluva Good
- 2 stalks chopped green onion
- 1 large egg
- Juice and zest of 1 lemon
- 3 strips of red pepper cut into chunks
- 1 packet imitation crab meat
- 1 tsp dried dill
- Salt and Black Pepper to taste
- 2 cups panko breadcrumbs, divided
Whisk together all the ingredients up to the Panko crumbs. Add in 1 cup of panko breadcrumbs.
Form into patties of desired size. At this stage, I actually spread the crab meat mixture out onto a sheet pan (about 1/2 inch thick). Using the remaining 1 cup of breadcrumbs, coat each crab cake with panko. Chill for at least 1 hour.
Bake at 400 degrees for 15 - 20 minutes turning once halfway, on a parchment lined baking sheet. When they are almost done set the broiler on high to brown. I did this for about 1 minute on the first side, then flipped and broiled for another 30 seconds on the second side. Watch them carefully at this point because they brown quickly!
If you're just wanting something takes barely any time at all to make, is still healthy and still want all the flavour, look no further than this Salmon Sandwich.
- Two pieces of homemade white sandwich bread or regular loaf bread
- 1 piece of Salmon
- Sea salt and pepper
- Sandwich toppings (I used spinach, onion sprouts, and cucumber)
Pat salmon fillets dry and add a bit of salt and pepper. Heat a clean pan to medium-high. When hot, coat with a thin film of oil. When oil is hot, place salmon in pan and cook, undisturbed, for 3 minutes. (Reduce to 2 minutes if fillet is thin.) Flip once, and cook for another 2-3 minutes, depending on desired degree of doneness and the density of fillet.
In the mean time, toast your bread and get your toppings ready. When the fish has done cooking, set on the bread with desired toppings.
I've been trying more and more recipes at home that I could order at a restaurant but trying to revamp them so I can enjoy them at home without the guilt.
Baked Panko Crusted Spinach Crab Cakes
Recipe by me.
My mom liked the Crab Cakes I made so much that she had asked me to make another batch. I decided that since last time the concept worked so well that I would spruce this batch up even more. I used the basic recipe that my mom and I make for our crab dip and formed it into patty form with Panko crumbs and did they ever work out well. These were delicious. We went out and bought the same ingredients again so that we could make them sometime this week for lunch. They are quick, easy, and pretty "healthy". Not only that, they are even better than the previous crab cakes. Delicious.
- 2 cups spinach
- 1/4 cup Heluva dip
- 1 whole wheat thin burger bun
- 1/2 cup Panko crumbs
- Handful of shredded TexMex cheese
- Chopped red pepper
- One package of crab
- Salt and pepper
Add all of the ingredients but the Panko crumbs into your food processor. Once the mix starts to come together, stop processing.
Form into patties and dip in Panko crumbs. Let sit in the fridge for 30-60 minutes so the flavours can mesh well.
Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.
Bake for 20 minutes, flipping once. Once done, broil for 1 minute on each sit.
Spinach Crab Dip
Recipe by mom and me
No word of a lie, this beats any restaurant crab dip ever. It is sooooo delicious. However, if you are on any sort of diet or watching your weight this is not for you. If however, you aren't and are interested in some cheesy, creamy, dippy, yummy goodness than this is so for you! We make this every holiday/get together and it is always a hit.
- 1 container of sour cream (2% is better since it is thicker and not as runny)
- 1 tub of Philadelphia Herb and Garlic Cream Cheese
- 1/4 cup white wine
- 2 packages of crab (we use 1 shredded and one torn crab)
- 2 green onion stalks
- 3 cups spinach - chopped
- Lots of cheese
- Optional: cut one more green onion stalk to sprinkle on top
- Extra cheesy: sprinkle more on top
Blend together room temperature cream cheese, wine, sour cream, spinach, package of crab and cheese. Spread in baking dish. Top with additional green onion and cheese. Bake in oven at 350 for 15 minutes, or until bubbly.
Serve with nacho chips and/or pita bread broken down into triangles.