Often breaded preparations in supermarkets are ultra-processed products. One of the simple health alternatives is to make it yourself or to take the time to choose your products.
The list of ingredients is long and important, including for the breadcrumbs when there should only be flour, eggs and bread.
There are 2 things to look out for on packaging:
- The amount of breadcrumbs. Some cordon bleu type products advertise 25% or even 30% breadcrumbs-coating.
- The quality of the breadcrumbs, there are often modified starches, celluloses which provide crispness, a lot of fat, flavors and colorings, etc. Everything is reconstituted, with additives and low-end ingredients, and therefore a catastrophic nutritional profile.
Make your own breadcrumbs!
Dip the chicken fillet or fish in the flour.
Don’t forget to season the meat before this step for more flavor. You can also add the spices to the flour. It is much more effective to flavor through the core than cooked.
Alternatives for flour
Potato starch, cornstarch, rice flour (rice starch) also work very well. It will even be a little more crisp.
The breadcrumbs will also be a little lighter than with wheat flour. The precaution remains the same, you must not overload the flour, you must pass the meat in the flour and tap lightly to remove the excess. You need a fine deposit.
The starch will absorb the residual water of the meat, swell and make a starch paste (a little sticky part). The starch layer should be very thin so as not to have an excess of sticky breadcrumbs.
Eggs for breading
- Eggs, well beaten, will ideally be passed through Chinese. You can add a little milk or water to dilute them, this lightens the recipe a bit. You also have to think about seasoning.
- Pass on all sides, without excess, then immediately coat with breadcrumbs.
- Place all the breaded pieces of meat on a plate previously sprinkled with breadcrumbs. Before cooking everything together for example.
You can customize your recipe and make gourmet healthy recipes. You can of course buy ready-made breadcrumbs, but this is often not of great nutritional and taste quality.
The initial idea was to give a second life to stale bread.
- Mix dry bread, or crush it with a rolling pin, according to the desired grain size: fine breadcrumbs, or on the contrary a little “rustic” with large pieces, which will be more crisp.
- For crispiness, there is a Japanese breadcrumbs widely used by Chefs: panko. They are very crispy flakes.
Other cooking tips
Flavor your breadcrumbs with aromatic herbs and spices. Ex: tandori, Provence herbs, finely chopped garlic, paprika or smoked pepper powder… The journey begins immediately from the first bite. No need to go to the big fast food chains to eat spicy wings and nuggets.
If the breadcrumbs are well flavored, accompanying sauces such as mayonnaise or ketchup are avoided.
Incorporate crushed cereals such as oatmeal, corn, puffed rice even more original. There is a lot of protein in these products so very interesting flavors that develop during cooking, and a perfect crunch.
Finally, also add seeds and dried fruits: squash seeds, pine nuts, chia seeds, sesame, but also dried apricots in very small dice, almonds, crushed hazelnuts… Have the granola spirit.
- Chicken, multi-grain bread crumbs with sesame seeds, dried apricot.
- Fish, puffed rice, which you serve with a Japanese-style salad: ginger, sesame oil, soy sauce. Simple but it works great.
- Turkey fillet, thyme and rosemary, a touch of garlic, wholemeal bread crumbs with flax seed. It’s delicious and healthy.
Healthy as long as it is not fried
Baking a breaded product is quite technical because it must be soft and soft on the inside but very crisp on the outside and it is this contrast that is appreciated by all. In addition, the coating around the meat acts as a barrier and thermal insulator. The starch forms a poison, then dries and crisps, the eggs coagulate, and the whole finally forms a barrier which retains a little water contained in the meat.
Passing in a frying pan in a little butter, or a butter-oil mixture allows a nice color and especially the appearance of beautiful flavors. You must not overload in fat and cook completely in a pan: the cooking times are longer, you must be careful not to burn the breadcrumbs. You only need to make a quick passage to the pan.
Finish cooking in the oven, at around 150 ° C, there is a really melting texture to the heart. Example: 15 min for cordon bleu, 10 min for fish or homemade nuggets.