As a few of you might know, I found out 2 weeks ago that my job was being eliminated. I’ve never actually been laid off before so it was a weird feeling to say the least, and I immediately kicked into savings mode. What can I cut-out that will allow us to stretch our money further? I’ve always said I was going to use the existing food I have in my tiny little pantry, refrigerator and freezer before buying anything new to add to our stock pile but have neer actually done it. This seemed like a great time to start this project. I know I’ll have to continue buying fruits, vegetables and dairy products but I probably have enough food to last us for a very long time.
It was a bit cold in Dallas last night so I decided to make us a soup for dinner. I had on-hand: chicken soup stock, miso paste, Pareve Soy cheese (Follow your Heart Vegan Gourmet Mozzarella) that I’d recently used in my experiment with Kosher Chicken Cordon Bleu, soy sauce and a few green onions.
I’ve always wanted to make Susie Fishbein’s Miso Soup recipe (page 98) from her Kosher by Design Lightens Up so I decided to give it a whirl with the ingredients I had. Here’s how it went:
- 6 cups chicken stock or water (I used 5 cups of chicken stock and 1 cup of the Imagine no-chicken broth)
- 1/2 cup light miso (I used Mellow White Miso by Cold Mountain purchased at Wholefoods and originally used to make Miso Glazed Cod)
- 2 tablespons low-sodium soy sauce
- 3 ounces firm tofu, cut into 1/2-inch dice (1/4 of a 14-ounce block) (I had about half of a block of the Follow your heart vegan gourment mozzarella from my Chicken Cordon Bleu so I used that. It is soy after all and it really doesn’t have much taste but it does have the same consistency as tofu).
- 4 medium shiitake mushroom caps, thinly sliced (I didn’t have any mushrooms so I left out this ingredient. My 6 year old won’t touch mushrooms anyway).
- 3 scallions, thinly sliced on the diagonal
Bring the water or chicken stock to a boil over medium heat. Lower the heat. Add the miso and stir to help it dissolve. Add the soy sauce and the tofu. Stir. Add the shiitake mushrooms and scallions and heat through.
My husband was loving the soup until I told him the “tofu” was actually pareve soy cheese. Then he decided he liked the stock but not the “marshmellows” as my daughter calls tofu. But to me, the fake cheese cubes tasted very similar to tofu and were a nice substitute. Overall, it was not bad considering I had to make do with what I had. In the future, I’d like to make this recipe with the actual ingredients it calls for and include sushi with the meal. Yum.
Have any of you made Miso Soup? Do you have any tips or tricks you want to share?
On a happy note, about a 1 1/2 weeks after I was laid off, I received a job offer within the same company, so thankfully my unemployment did not last long. I’m thrilled to be back at work, but I’m not giving up on my “use what’s in my pantry” challenge. Anyone want to take it with me?
Many years ago, I went to work for a company that was in process of relocating from New York City to Dallas. They temporarily moved me and a coworker (who I didn’t meet until we were at the airport) to train in NY for several weeks. We had the opportunity to work in the city and explore like tourists after work. We had a blast. We lived in a great apartment at 53rd & 7th. There was a Ray’s Pizza on the 1st floor of our building that seemed to stay open all night – and we didn’t mind one bit. This was long before my Kosher-keeping days.
One evening, a NY coworker offered to cook us dinner. He banged around in our kitchen for a while and finally came out with the most unbelievable food. It was my first experience with Chicken Cordon Bleu and I was in love. It was the most juicy, yummy chicken (and ham and cheese) I’d ever tasted. Said coworker later taught me how to make this amazing chicken and I prepared that dish several times later before starting to keep Kosher. Of all the foods I miss now, Chicken Cordon Bleu has to be at the top of my list.
I’ve been thinking about recreating Chicken Cordon Bleu in a kosher form for some time now and finally got around to trying it for Friday night dinner this past week. When I did a Google search, I found a kosher version on the Joy of Kosher site by Ahuva Staum but she used a mayonnaise based dressing as a substitute for the cheese. I wasn’t ready to give up on the cheese part of this dish so I found a regular recipe for Chicken Cordon Bleu on Allrecipes.com and combined the two. Here’s how it went:
Kosher Chicken Cordon Bleu
- 4 or 5 skinless, boneless chicken breasts
- Slices of deli meat. (I used 3 thin pieces of Salami in each chicken breast)
- Pareve Soy cheese (I used Follow your Heart Vegan Gourmet Mozzarella)
- 2 eggs beaten
- 1 cup white flour
- 1 cup breadcrumbs
- 1 cup Panko
- Spices to taste (I used salt & pepper)
So freaky to see chicken, salami and cheese all together when prepping a Kosher Dish! OK, the cheese is fake : )
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Coat a 9 x 11 baking dish with nonstick cooking spray.
- Fold parchment paper around chicken breasts and pound them to ¼ inch thickness. Be careful not to rip the flesh.
- Mix together the breading mix, spicing to your taste – white flour, breadcrumbs, Panko and spices such as salt, pepper, Italian seasonings.
- Sprinkle each chicken breast on both sides with salt and pepper. Place 1 slice “mock” cheese and 3 slices of deli meat (salami) on top of each breast. Roll up each breast, and secure with toothpicks. The Vegan Gourmet Mozzarella comes in a block so I sliced it into fairly thick slices about ¼” thick. I wrapped 3 thin slices of the Salami around the slice of cheese and added to center of chicken breast.
- Gently dip each rolled chicken breast into the egg and then roll in the breading mix until completely covered and lay in your 9 x 11 baking dish. Lightly spray each breast with Pam or other cooking spray.
- Now here’s where I was a bit lazy. The Joy of Kosher recipe says to fry the Chicken Cordon Bleu and this is exactly how I was taught to make it back in NY but I wasn’t in the mood to deal with flying grease so I chose the baking method from the All Recipes directions. I think the chicken would have turned out better if I’d gone the frying route and I will definitely try this next time.
- Bake for 30 – 35 minutes or until chicken is no longer pink. Remove from oven and place ½ cheese slice on top of each breast. Return to oven for 3 to 5 minutes or until cheese has melted. I ended up having to broil the chicken on high for about 3 minutes to get the cheese to melt. That darn pareve cheese is stubborn.
- Remove toothpicks and serve immediately. Now I learned an interesting lesson when I removed the toothpicks and you can probably see it in the photo. I used colored toothpicks so the chicken has some blue spots on it where I inserted blue toothpicks. So good rule to remember … don’t use colored toothpicks : )
Overall, it was not a bad first attempt at making Kosher Chicken Cordon Bleu. The cheese inside the chicken breasts did not melt so that yummy, oozing cheese/salami mixture was definitely missing. And the breading was not as crispy as I remember from my Treif days. I’m wondering if frying would have taken care of both of those problems.
I’m thinking for the next round, I might use the same cheese, which has a nice taste by the way, and also add the mayonnaise mixture that Ahuva Staum suggested. Also, the original Chicken Cordon Bleu recipe calls for Swiss cheese and I couldn’t find a mock Swiss cheese at Wholefoods but I love Mozzarella so went with that.
Have any of you attempted Kosher Chicken Cordon Bleu? If so, please share how you made it.