Thursday, January 14, 2010

Date Nut Bars

It's been a couple weeks since I've been back into my regular, post-holiday routine.  I cooked and baked all through the holidays but did not do any family and I spent a lot of time together just hanging out so I took a break from that end of it all.  I did some cooking and baking last week too but still did not feel like I was back into the routine of it all yet.  This week...I am and here goes a new entry.

I was at the supermarket last week and saw a display, right when I walked in, of dates.  I grabbed a box and figured I'd do something with them.  As picky as I am, I always liked date bars as a kid and thought that might be something good to try with Simon...I cannot even tell you the last time I had date bars myself.  Well, over the weekend I went to make then and saw that I needed 2 boxes of them, not just my one lonely box of them.  That box sat lonely for a few more days until I picked up another one and joined them together for the recipe. 

I usually like to post a link to someone elses recipe but this one, I cannot find online.  It's a King Arthur one from their All-Purpose Baking Book but it differs from the one they do have on their website.  If you are a baker by any means, pick up this's excellent.  I refer to it time and time again and it's starting to show the love..spatters on the pages, turned up corners, ripped cover...all signs of a well-loved cookbook!!  If you want the other recipe, here is the link to's very similar but does have different steps...I did borrow the added spices from the online version and added it to the book version:

King Arthur Date Nut Squares

And here is the book version:

15 to 16 ounces of chopped dates
1 cup water
1/4 tsp salt
1 tbsp plus 1 tsp lemon juice
2 tsp vanilla

1.5 cups rolled oats
1.5 cups flour
1 cup packed brown sugar
3/4 tsp baking soda
3/4 tsp salt
12 tbsp melted butter
1/2 cup pecans or walnuts, toasted and chopped

Basically what ya do is...put all the filling ingredients in a sauce pan...bring them to a boil on medium heat or so.  Turn down the heat and let it simmer till most of the water has been absorbed, about 3-4 minutes.

While that pot-o-goodness is cooling, you get the crust going.  Put all of the dry ingredients into a bowl and whisk them together.  The spices I added were 1/2 tsp of cinnamon and 1/4 tsp nutmeg.  You would add these in with the dry ingredients.  Stir in your melted butter as best you can then dig in with your hands to get the last bits combined together...don't mash it down, just lighty pull it all together.

Spray your 9x9 pan or whatever similar size you like to use with cooking spray....I have an 11x7 that I love for stuff like this that I could also use and 8x8...just adjust your cooking times.  Take 2 1/2 cups of the oat mixture and pat it in the bottom of the pan nice and evenly.  Once that's done, spread the pot-o-goodness contents (date filling) onto the oat layer.  I like to use an off-set spatula to do this job...gets it nice and even every time!  From there you drop in your toasted nut pieces into the remainder of the oat mixture left in the bowl and sprinkle that on top of the date mixture.

Pop this baby into a preheated 350 degree oven and bake it until the top is golden brown, about 30 minutes.  Let these guys cool completely before you cut them to let the date layer set up.  (When you cut these I love that some of the topping falls off into the bottom of the pan...I like to scoop it up and eat it all when no one is looking...shhhhhh, don't tell anyone cus it's the best part!)

Here are some pics I took along the way:

Filling ingredients just put into the pan

Toasting the pecans.  I put them in the oven right after it's done preheating and set the timer so I don't forget.  Set it for a few minutes and keep checking them OFTEN...there's nothing worse than over-doing it...burnt nuts are so not a good thing...they're ruined and smell horrible!

See how the color has changed?

All the dry ingredients waiting to be mixed up

A few bars to munch on with Simon when he gets home from school

Here you can see the layers, the oats, the nuts...good stuff!

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

A Very Big "HIT"....oh yum!

Saltines, butter, brown sugar, chocolate...I've seen this recipe before many times in the past. It's a mock English Toffee type of thing. It always sounded good but I've resisted making it for some reason...perhaps it's the saltines that made me question whether or not it was worth the time.

The other day in a Facebook "comment" conversation I was having with my friend Michele and her friend Sandy, Michele was making these fantastic sounding neopolitan type cookies and had some concerns about how to go about cutting the dough. Sandy suggested that Michele take a look at an entry on the blog "Smitten Kitchen". I took a look at the blog and fell in love with it.

I clicked on the "candy" category and the first recipe I looked at was a recipe called "chocolate caramel crack(ers)". Check it out, I dare you. Okay....are you back now? How does it look? Great, right? Yeah, I thought so too.

You guessed it....I made it. I loved, loved, loved that it was made with Matzo Crackers and I actually had a box of them here on hand so I thought to myself, "what the heck". I had bought the Matzo for another recipe and only used a few sheets of it so what better way to use more of these?

This is the final product, all ready to be sealed up in an airtight container so not one little, precious bit of it becomes stale!

I pretty much followed the recipe to a T. The pan size it calls for does not correspond with what I ended up using and what the pictures in the blog appear to be using. I used a typical jelly roll/cookie sheet type of pan and with how many Matzo sheets (should "Matzo" be capitalized...hmmm...I don't know so I will keep doing it) it appeared the pan held in the blog pictures, it appears she used the same size pan as me. I was a bit worried there would not be enough toffee to go over it but it was all good...plenty of it.  I strongly recommend that you skip all oiling and buttering of pans and use her suggestion of lining the sheet with foil and then lining it with parchment paper.  Once these were ready to be pulled out of the pan and cut up they were 100% trouble free.

I used salted Matzo and salted butter so I skipped the sea salt step...good thing I did. The salt from the Matzo was just enough to give it that subtle saltiness that goes well with this kind of stuff. The toffee mixture boiled up nicely and smelled soooooo very good in the house. I had no problems at all with the baking part of it...however, I did forget to set the timer so I probably did not have it in there as long as 15 minutes fearing that I would overcook it. My end result does indicate that it could have probably cooked just a few more minutes....there's just a bit of chewiness where the toffee is's still good, mind's just not the completely crunchy, melt in your mouth toffee like you get where it's a little thinner. I used toasted pecans for the top because it's what I had. I was able to toast them in a frying pan while I was waiting for the toffee mixture to boil so it was no problem at all to take that extra step...I think it's always worth it to give your nuts a toasting....the flavor is so much more for that few minutes work.

I am happy I made this but on the other hand, it's just one more of those very easy to do type of recipes that you can whip up in a small amount of time and that you can seriously overindulge with in about the same time it takes to pull it together. It's dangerous stuff, I tell ya, but definitely one of those things to make if you need to bring a dessert/baked good can have your few pieces and get it OUT of the house!!


Monday, December 7, 2009

Yummy Chicken Burgers

I've been eating ground chicken for a very long time. I never got used to ground turkey....something about it always weirded me out. Always seemed to be a bit of gristle or bone in it...blech. I had the same fears about the chicken but found it to be, in my opinion of course, 100% better than ground turkey. Now, my husband does not feel the same way at all. He will eat it but does not love it. I know he'd much rather NOT be having it. So, when my son broke the news to him last nite we were having chicken burgers, he suggested I do something "good" with them. I think they are "good" on their own but I was in the mood to be creative so I set out to look for a recipe.

I ended up taking a few ideas and mixing them together. I saw a recipe for a garlic rosemary chicken burger and a recipe for a Cordon Bleu chicken burger that both sounded good. I decided to mix it up and do both on my own.

Here's what I used:

~1 pound Perdue ground chicken (not the ground chicken breast but I am sure that would have been great as well)
~dried rosemary
~crushed garlic (I used Trader Joe's this stuff)
~sea salt
~deli ham
~Swiss cheese (I used Finlandia light Swiss)

As you may have noticed, I have no measurements for anything. I don't measure too much when I cook. Rather, I tend to just put what looks good in. This is hard to retell as a recipe of course, and hard to remember what I did if it turns out great and I want to do it again but I just can't bring myself to do it when I cook. When I bake, I do it faithfully for fear that the recipe will not turn out properly...but cooking, nah...I wing it!

So...on to what I did.

I made 3 burgers out of the pound because there were 3 of us eating. I am guessing it would work for 4 burgers, you'd just have to be aware of the thickness and size as you shape the burgers. 

I put the chicken in a bowl and put in the salt (about 1 tsp), pepper (about 1/2 tsp), garlic (about 1.5-2 tsps) and the rosemary (about 1 tbsp). I mixed this all together and let it sit while I got the ham and cheese ready.

I was afraid of cheese seepage if I was going to stuff these burgers with the ham and cheese as I had wanted to. What I did to lessen the chance of seepage was this....I cut each cheese slice into quarters. I laid the each piece of ham out on the counter and in the middle of each piece I put the cheese...all 4 quarters stacked on top of each other. I then folded the top of the ham down over the cheese, folded the left side over, folded the right hand side over and then the bottom up. Now the cheese was all wrapped up in the ham like a little package.

The chicken had gotten quite sticky as I mixed it with the other ingredients. I was trying to figure out how on earth I was going to make 6 thin patties and assemble them without a disaster on my hands. This is what I ended up doing and it worked out wonderfully....I divided up the chicken in 3 equal portions. I tend to get a bit obsessive about things being even so I did this with a scale. I then took each third and divided it in half, again with the that I type this I realize I could have just used the scale the first time to divide it into 6 portions but it was a process and I wasn't quite sure where I was going with it all at the time!!!, take 1/6 of the chicken and pat it out onto the frying pan into a thin, burger sized layer. Next, take your lovely ham/Swiss cheese package and put it in the middle of the patty. Take another 1/6 of the chicken and put it on top of the package and pat it out and around the package to meet up with the patty underneath and press a bit to seal then push in the flattened edges a bit so it's all one uniform thickness...make sense? I hope so. I hadn't intended on blogging about this so I didn't take any picture to demonstrate. It should not be taller in the middle than it is on the edges where you sealed it...I wanted it an even thickness for more even cooking. Repeat with the rest and cook over a fairly high heat, medium high maybe, until all is done.

Like I said, hadn't intended on blogging at all about these but I keep thinking of them today, the day after I made them, and really want to make them again so I figured it was worth sharing.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Pasta, Sauce and Bread

I had no errands to run or any place to go today so I decided to make cavatelli pasta.  When I went to the store to get the ricotta for the pasta and some stuff to make sauce for it, I thought it'd be nice to have some sort of fresh bread with it so I started looking for that too but decided I'd make my own at home.  It's been a long day of cooking and here are the results!

I got the bread dough going first.  This is the recipe I used:

Italian Sesame Bread

I made it just as instructed except that I put some vital wheat gluten in with the flour.  I did not have any of the dough improver that was optional so I threw 4 tsps of the gluten in there instead.  Would it do the same thing...have no idea but I figured it wouldn't hurt at all.

Here are some pics:

This is the dough shaped with the first of 2 egg washes on it.

This is the dough after rising and with the second egg wash and sesame seeds on it.

Here the bread is done.  The left end split a little bit as it rose while baking but it looks like it will be a nice, soft loaf of bread.  I had in mind to make crusty bread but this will do...I never turn any kind of bread away.

Next, I got the pasta dough started.  Here is the recipe I used:

I won't go into too many details as to the process here because the page the recipe is on does.  I will tell you though, it is a long process the author of the recipe states.  I did not deviate at all from the recipe as this was my very first time making homemade pasta and I wouldn't even know what to do if I were to change it up.

Here are some pics:

I had to weigh out the ricotta...could not find a 16 oz container, they were all 15 oz, so I bought a 2 lb container and weighed out the 16 oz I needed.

Can you see the little guys?  They kinda blend in with my counter and the flour...look closely though, they are there. (You can click on the pics to make them bigger to, if you want)

Here the little guys are after being shaped with the dough's pretty cool to see them transform into their final shape.

Here's the whole crew.  There are 3 layers of them in the baking dish with plastic wrap or wax paper in between to help them from sticking to each other.  They are now in my fridge awaiting their swim in my big pot.

As I was shaping these, I noticed that I am not the best at keeping the sizing consistent and that they were holding onto a lot of the flour I was using to keep them from sticking to each other.  I decided a test run was in order so I boiled up a few to see if it was just a disaster waiting to happen and I should be making alternate plans for dinner.

What a little bowl of lovely...they cooked up very nicely and tasted great.  I put some sauce on them that I've had simmering and I can say that I am sooooo looking forward to dinner tonite.

The sauce I made is nothing special.  I am an extremely picky and will only eat sauce that I make so I know what is in it.  I don't like, let me rephrase that, I H-A-T-E ONIONS.  I also don't like chunky tomatoes or chunky anything else in my sauce either.

This is what I do for my sauce....I know it's not anything authentic or way out there for deliciousness, but it's what I like and therefore, it's what I make....

I take one 29 oz can of tomato puree and add this to it:

crushed garlic
grated cheese (I used freshly grated romano today)

Add however much of whatever you want to the puree and warm it through or let it simmer for a's up to you.  I don't know that I notice too much of a difference if I let it simmer vs. just getting it nice and hot and then eating it.  It just felt right today to let it simmer on the stove while I was doing all the other work.

This is what the pan looks like before I stir it up.

I will be making meatballs as well but have not made them yet...I usually use this recipe:

So, that's it for today...I think that's enough though.  I am wiped out and hungry.  Can't wait for 6:00 to roll around so I can eat...yum!

Happy Cooking.......


Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Found Some Fiber One Cereal....

...and since I won't eat it as cereal, I decided to bake with it.

As I mentioned in yesterday's post, I have all my extra food in the corner of my living room.  My unopened box of Fiber One cereal was calling to me.  I know I bought it for something...I always have ingredient lists in my head of things I'd like to make.  I have made a lot of things with it...I use it for breading when I'm being "good" with my diet and I have made haystacks with it...also some very interesting muffins using a brownie mix, water and a bunch of the cereal.  I'm afraid to eat a bowl of it in the morning with some milk as intended, but I am not afraid to cook or bake with it.

I went to the Fiber One website and found their recipes.  I know I just got an email with a great looking coffee cake recipe using FO but did not see anything that resembled it on the site.  Instead, I went with this:

Double Chocolate Muffins

Anything double chocolate has to be good, right?  Even if it has a bunch of FO in it, right?  Yeah, you and I are both right...they are good.

These are easy enough to mix up.  I used my trusty Sacco Buttermilk Powder for the buttermilk.  Usually I just add the called for powder to the dry ingredients and add the called for water to the liquid ingredients.  For this, I did mix it up.  In a glass liquid measuring cup I measured the 1 1/3 cup of water and added 5.25 tbsps of the powder to it.  Once mixed up, I put my FO in it that I had already crushed in the food processor.  I set the cup aside and set the timer to 5 minutes and then went on to whisk all the dry ingredients together in a mixing bowl.  After the 5 minutes was up, I put the vanilla, egg and the oil in the liquid measure and mixed it in with the very lovely looking buttermilk/FO looked even better with the addition of the oil, egg and vanilla...thick, glossy and smooth...(insert sarcasm if you didn't get was pretty gross looking).  I poured that in the dry ingredients, mixed it a few times, threw in the mini chips and finished it off as directed.

These cooked about 15 minutes or so and they were ready to come out.  They looked just like regular ol' chocolate cupcakes...rose up nice, crackly tops, soft to the touch...yum!

The recipe said these were to be served warm.  Well, you don't have to tell me twice to not wait for them to cool completely.  I pulled off the paper liner and it did stick a bit...probably because I did not wait for them to be warm, instead I chose to eat them while still slightly hot.  No problem though...that's why you see the fork below...used it to scrape all the yum that was left inside the liner.  Notice I did say "yum".  They were really good.  There is that something to them that indicates they are not a chocolate cup cake, as they look to be.  The FO is well mixed in and you cannot notice it at all but it must be between that and the whole wheat flour that you use that you notice a slight taste difference.  It's not bad at all, it just doesn't taste exactly what it looks like, a Betty Crocker, PIllsbury or Duncan Hines mix cupcake.

See...I cleaned my plate and paper liner.  I will make these again...perhaps another batch with what's left of my now opened box of Fiber One.  I am hoping the rest of my family will like these as well...while they aren't "better-for-you" in the sense that they are low fat/fat free, the Fiber One does add fiber (of course), 28 grams to the entire recipe to be exact, and it's fortified with vitamins and minerals so it adds a wee bit of nutrition to it as well so in a way, they are better for you than Betty or Duncan's finest.

I hope to post another recipe soon...I have it in my head that I want to try to make gnocchi or cavatelli pasta.  Don't aske me why because I cannot tell's just there in my head.  While I was looking for a recipe for the cavatelli, I found a recipe for homemade cheese crackers, like Cheez-It's, and I am dying to try those now too.  They looked flaky and, who knows what will be next and when it will be...until then, happy baking!

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Boilers, Brownies and Bagels....oh my

It's been an eventful few days here since I last posted.  Having work done to your house is never an easy thing and it's making me crazy because my house looks like one of those houses in the show "Hoarders".  Okay, so not every room is to that extreme but the rooms that are, or are almost to that extreme, are really making me shake my head at how anyone can live like that all the time and to those!

So, what we live in is a Campanelli ranch.  There's loads of them in this city and in some of the surrounding towns.  It's on a slab so that means no basement and there's not attic either.  To top it off, they're small so there's very little storage.  We were lucky, the one we found had already had some work done on it to convert half of the garage into a nice sized dining room.  That other half of our garage is our only storage and I'm grateful they did not convert that to yet another room. 

What else is a bit quirky is that the boiler unit is in the kitchen (along with the washing machine, mind you).  It's underneath a rather retro looking cover and it's noisy and makes a lot of dust.  We have long wanted to move it out of the kitchen but had never really looked into it.   In the last month or two, we were considering remodeling the kitchen and because of this, we felt it was the time to look into it.  We did look into it and we put a 50% deposit down on the work to move the boiler but the we decided that the kitchen was going to cost too much at this time.  Sure, it will cost too much when we do want to do it at another time but we want to get some of the nuisance work done a little bit at a time so when we do the kitchen, it's not so very overwhelming.  So, because we had already paid a deposit on the boiler we went ahead and got that work done as a start to what we eventually want to do with the kitchen.

Last Thursday and Friday they worked...Friday they were here until 7:30 even.  They are coming back tomorrow afternoon as well to finish it.  Meanwhile, all the stuff that was in my garage is in my very small house that is comfortably full when there is not all the garage stuff in it.  My dining room is like a maze...paths between boxes and boxes of who knows what.  I have a corner in my living room that is full of the excess food that I had stored out in the garage that was duplicates of what I had un my cupboards already and I also have a bunch of Rock Band and Guitar Hero gear on the other side of the living room.  The bedrooms and cat's room/office are full as well.  I have managed to keep the kitchen no more cluttered than it usually is and for that I am means I can still do my laundry and cook with out too much aggravation!

What I did manage to cook this weekend were two things.  First off, Simon slept over at a friend's house on Saturday nite so I made him some caramel brownie cups to takeover.  I have done this before with mini peanut butter cups but was inspired to try them with Rolo's when I walked by a bag that was whispering, "buy me" as I passed it by.  Candy does that to me ALL the time.  I thought, if I buy them I can have a few and bake with the rest.  I listened to that bag of Rolos and bought it.

What you do's so simple it's not even really a recipe:

~1 box brownie mix (the size for a9x13 size pan)
~1 bag of Rolo's or mini Reese's peanut butter cups

See...that's it...not much to it at all.  You prepare the brownie mix as directed on the package and preheat the oven as directed.  I was lucky enough to find some inexpensive mini muffin tin paper cups recently...if you don't have any of these, just spray the tins well.  Plop some of the batter in each cup them push a candy piece into each one.  Bake for about 10-15 minutes or until they start to look done.  You can't really test them for doneness with a candy being in the middle so you have to just keep an eye on them and use your best judgement about pulling them out when the look done.  In my opinion, an underbaked brownie is a good thing so I'm okay with it if I get them out a bit too early.

The Rolo's were good in these.  However, overall I do like the peanut butter cups better.  The Rolo ones were best when they were out of the oven long enough to cool so that you could handle them but warm enough so that the caramel was still gooey.  Oh was wonderful!  As they completely cooled, the Rolo's firmed right back up.  I don't like the peanut butter cup ones right out of the oven but room very wonderful.  They are both good...don't get me wrong, but they only stay just warm enough for so long and are room temp for much longer of a time so the peanut butter wins out with me!  (Unless of course I were feeling incredibly gluttonous and ate ALL the caramel ones at the right temp while they were still gooey!)  I was going to frost these as well with either caramel or chocolate frosting but I ran out of time and oomph.

Saturday night Keith was busy getting insulation up in the garage.  Now that the boiler is out there we do need to take steps to make sure that none of the pipes freeze.  There was really nothing I could do to help so I went ahead and made bagels.  

Here is the recipe:

Michele's Bagels

These are from my friend Michele with whom I have reconnected...or should I say connected with on Facebook.  We went to high school together but hardly knew each other then.  We became Facebook friends and have found that we have many, many things in common...including baking!  I hope you'll visit her blog often after looking at her bagels.  She's always creating something and I know I look forward to seeing what it is she's up to on her blog and hope you will too!

Seeing the pictures of Michele's bagels inspired me.  I have tried to make bagels in the past and while they were not inedible, they were not as bagel-ish as I would have like them to be.  Michele's were lovely to look at and she has said how much her and her husband enjoy them so I knew they were just as good as they looked.

I set out to do this and found that I really enjoyed the whole process of making these.  I like things that take a lot of steps...I like to see the progress as you complete each step.  With the bagels there was not a lot of down time and when there was, it was only 10 minutes or so at a time and there was plenty to do to get ready for the next step so you were always doing something.

I had, what I consider, a great success with this recipe.  I had a few that looked like they had shrunk and I'm not quite sure what I did wrong with those ones, but the majority of them were indeed bagels and they were bagel-y!  They looked like bagels, they tasted like bagels, they had the consistency and texture of bagels.  They were so very good...I am so excited that I now have a great bagel recipe.  It will be a great thing to play with as the winter looms and I am more in the mood to do things like this.  You can add just about anything you want so there's lots to explore.  For this batch I did a couple things to them.  I topped a few with sesame seeds and to a couple, I topped them with some shredded asiago cheese.  I have long loved Au Bon Pain's asiago cheese bagels so I just had to try this out.  For the rest of the batch, I lef them plain.  All of them were great in their own way.   I would like to do a cinnamon swirl one at some point, I would also like to try some with a topping similar to the one Michele mentions in her blog and, I would love to do a chocolate chip one...Finagle A Bagel has the most wonderful chocolate chip bagels and I think I can give it a whirl now that I have a great base recipe.  Thanks again to Michele for sharing this!!

Happy baking til next time!


Thursday, October 22, 2009

Pecan Crusted Fish

My first "cooking" entry is the following recipe:

I have no desire to try trout so of course, I did not have any in the house.  What I did use instead, is below.... 

I first bought this fish a few years ago at Trader Joe's and have loved it ever since.  Sometimes it goes missing from their shelves for a while but it usually shows back up and I'm thrilled to say it's been back again the last few times I've been there after being away for a bit again. 

As the packaging indicates, there really is no fishy smell when cooking and it doesn't taste fishy at all.  While I don't mind my seafood tasting like seafood, I do prefer it to be on the more mild side with fish.  I love strongly flavored shellfish but I'll pass on really fishy fish!

So, onto the recipe.  As you may have noticed, I tend to deviate from most written recipes and do my own thing.  Even with baking where you have to more or less keep certain ingredients the same to ensure proper rising and such, I like to tweak the ingredients that won't affect that kind of stuff.  Usually the reason is just that I am picky and don't like certain things that are called for or I just plain ol' don't have it in my cupboards so I change it so I can make it with what I do have.  This recipe, however, I did a few things just because I wanted to!! 

I did not just "crust" the fish, I breaded it, so I began by dipping the fish into flour, then buttermilk and then finally the panko/pecan mixture.  Before doing so, I did add salt, pepper, garlic powder and a tiny bit of cayenne pepper to breading mixture.  I put a tiny bit of olive oil in my heated, non-stick pan and browned the first side.  Before I flipped them over, I sprayed the fish with some cooking spray so that the other side would brown as well without adding anymore fat than I had to.  


The fish was clearly not done on the inside after browning the second side and I did not want to over-brown (burn!) the breading so I put them on a baking sheet and threw them in the oven since I had baked potatoes in there anyway.  I can't tell you how long I let them continue to cook in there...the oven was at 400 and I just kept checking them until they were clearly done.

The little guy on the top row, at the end, doesn't have any breading...I ran out since it was supposed to only be on top of the fish so I just dredged him in some flour and cooked him up too....that's why he looks a little different than the rest of them.  They finished cooking up really nicely in the oven...I did spray the pan before I placed them on it and glad that I did...a couple of them did give me a bit of trouble when I went to take them off but all it took was being careful and most of the breading stayed in tact.

I will tell you that this dish got a thumbs up from everyone!  I would venture to add more seasonings next time but what I did add was pleasant enough.  It's not a super crispy breading, I imagine the way I prepared it had something to do with that outcome, but I still liked it and would definitely make it again.