In my household we have a game – a food challenge really – and we always try to fit in a few rounds before Passover.
This Jewish holiday keeps us busy as we clean the whole house, switch over to our once-a-year set of dishes, pots, and cutlery, and start over with a whole new stock of food. In the lead up to Passover, our Pantry Game gets more extreme as we try hard not to buy any new groceries and see what meals we can create based purely on what we’ve got in the house.
Like many Jews, my family eats a Thanksgiving-style meal twice a week for Friday night dinner and Saturday lunch, so on the final Friday before Passover, I needed to figure out how to make two big and delicious meals with two onions, two dozen eggs (I have a fried egg every morning for breakfast), panko crumbs, two frozen chicken breasts, and an assortment of condiments and spices. We also try to keep ground beef in the freezer for times like these.
First things first – I searched Pinterest for recipe ideas! One of my favorite features of the platform is actually that it functions as a massive visual search engine, so you can see the final meal appear right before your eyes. Typing in my basics, I found a meatloaf recipe which I repinned to my board of Kid Friendly Foods for future reference.
Meatloaf is seriously one of the easiest dishes to make. All you need to do is chop up a few onions and mix them together with the other ingredients. (Never be afraid to mix it up with your hands – that’s what soap is for!)
Next up: classic schnitzel. Use a mallet to tenderize and thin the chicken, then add avocado oil, which has a higher smoke point that makes it better suited to cast iron cooking. Shake it up and marinate for a few minutes.
I added basil, oregano, garlic powder, kosher salt and pepper to panko crumbs in a big bowl. I don’t usually measure, so go with your gut. Toss each piece of chicken in the panko mix and turn over to get it fully coated. Try to use one hand for picking from the bag and one for the mix, unless you want to end up with a “claw hand”.
Get a pan good and hot, add enough oil to coat it, and put a first piece of chicken in. It should cook and sizzle, but not burn up right away – give it 45 seconds to a minute on each side. Once you are happy with the heat and sear on your test piece, get the rest of the chicken going. Your kitchen will probably get super smoky like mine always does, but it’s 100% worth the trouble.
Bon appétit and Happy Passover 🙂
Dave – resident chef and CEO of loop88
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