My Dear MTL Kitchen Diary,
I made us some Shake n' Bake back on Thursday for dinner. It's a typical weeknight dinner for most families but it wasn't for me until not too long ago.
If I think about it, I've only tried the real Kraft Shake n' Bake a handful of times. Actually, less than the fingers on one hand. It wasn't until two years ago that I've tried it for the very first time. My chef was pretty surprised realizing I got 30+ years under my belt and never tried such a dinner staple in most North American homes. Well, that's the thing. My geographical location wasn't North America until I was 10. Even then, I can only imagine what it tastes like from the television commercials. The reason being my mom insisted on cooking what she knows and mainly she thought it was too pricey for a box of seasoning.
I didn't think much of it and I never really had any urges to try it. I figure it will probably be similar to fried chicken. I soon realized I didn't miss out too much when my chef finally made me a dinner with it. My very first bite of chicken done in the real shake and bake style tasted rather similar to Japanese Pork Katsu. They both had that crumbly texture on the surface and had very similar fried orangy colour. There are two distinction between the two though. Pork Katsu is dredged in flour and dipped in egg before coated by panko crumbs. This ensures the batter doesn't peel off like skin which I've noticed the shake and bake coat peels off or even falls off from the chicken. Shake n' Bake got this flavour from the spices, making the Pork Katsu rather bland in comparison.
I was having a slight craving for both Pork Katsu and Shake n' Bake the last while and thought it would be fun to combine the two. I know I want to use Pork for sure and give it the paner à l'anglaise treatment. To get the katsu style, I used Panko crumbs instead of regular bread crumbs obviously. But to achieve similar spices and scent as Shake n' Bake, I found out from the blog Kitchen Simplicity that paprika, sage, and parsley are used. Those I got but I don't have the onion or garlic powder as the recipe suggested. I also don't have any freezer bags to do the shaking in.
So instead, I used what I got in the pantry and did this. Three pork chops dredged in flour, dipped in egg and then thrown into a mixing bowl with lid along with the following:
1/2 cup Panko Crumbs
1 tbsp. parsley
2 tsp. sage
1 tsp. paprika
1 tsp. pepper
1/4 tsp. celery salt
1/4 tsp. onion salt
1/4 tsp. garlic salt
1 tbsp. steak spice
I closed the lid. I shook and I baked (400 F/20 mins). The pork chops were fragrant and tasted great. I think next time I will test out other variations like an Italian style with basil and oregano, maybe even a Chinese style with five spice.