>Lemon Panko Giveaway and a Recipe for Stuffed Eggplant

>What type of crumb do you use when you want to add a little crunch to your dishes?

I used to crush up stale baguettes, but switched to using Panko five years ago when a Japanese friend handed me a package at a Japanese supermarket. For a few years, I was a Panko evangelist, telling all my friends to hunt down this amazing product that gives food such a perfect crunchy topping, but now I can rest. Panko has gone mainstream and can easily be found at your neighborhood supermarket in a variety of brands.

Progresso has even launched a few brands of seasoned Panko, and I’m hosting a giveaway today to call attention to their newest flavor: Lemon Pepper Panko. It gives a nice sophisticated twist to your favorite dishes. When I’m making baked chicken nuggets for my kids, I make half with this lemon pepper version to kick up the adult nuggets a notch.

 Bottega: Bold Italian Flavors from the Heart of California's Wine Country
Today I’m giving away a prize pack consisting of one package of Progresso Lemon Pepper Panko and an autographed copy of Michael Chiarello’s Bottega cookbook. It’s a gorgeous cookbook filled with dozens of dishes to help you pretend that you’re living in Napa, cooking healthy Italian food. I received the same prize from General Mills as compensation for hosting this giveaway.

To enter to win, please leave me a comment about your favorite breaded dishes and whether you’ve ever tried to cook with panko. I’ll select the winner at random after midnight on Monday, January 31.

And there’s many ways to earn additional chances to win, just make sure to return here to leave comments for each additional entry. You can:

    • Follow @Frenchfoodiemom on Twitter
    • Tweet about this contest using either this tweet, “Win a copy of Michael Chiarelli’s Bottega Cookbook and a box of Lemon Pepper Panko from @FrenchFoodieMom.” or another tweet of your choosing.
    • Like the Chefdruck Musings Fan Page
    • Post about this contest on your Facebook page.
    • Post about this contest on your blog.
    • Subscribe to Chefdruck Musings.
    • Tweet about this contest on multiple days, and you’ll get multiple entries. Just don’t forget to leave me a comment each time you perform an entry action so that you get credit.

and to inspire you a little, I’m including a recipe from Michael Chiarello, just the type of comfort food needed on a cold winter day like today.

    Mama Chiarello’s Stuffed Eggplant
    Recipe by Michael Chiarello for Progresso® Foods

    Prep Time: 30 Minutes
    Start to Finish: 1 Hour 20 Minutes

    1 large eggplant
    3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
    1/2 teaspoon gray sea salt
    1/4 teaspoon black pepper
    1/2 lb ground beef
    1 onion, diced small (about 1 cup)
    1 red bell pepper, diced small (about 1 cup)
    3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
    1/2 cup chopped fresh parsley
    1/2 cup chopped fresh basil leaves
    1 1/4 cups grated pecorino Romano cheese
    1/2 cup Progresso® Italian style panko bread crumbs
    1 whole egg
    2 small tomatoes, chopped

    1. Heat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
    2. Cut the eggplant in half and scoop out the center, leaving enough meat inside the skin so that it holds its shape when baked. Chop eggplant that has been scooped out of the inside; place in saucepan, cover with water and boil until very soft, 10 to 12 minutes.
    3. Meanwhile, in a medium saute pan, heat 1 tablespoon of the olive oil over medium heat. Salt and pepper the beef. Add the seasoned ground beef to the pan, and saute until all of its liquid is evaporated and the beef begins to brown slightly. Let cool briefly, and chop the cooked beef so that there are no large chunks of meat. In another medium saute pan over medium heat, add the remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil, and saute the onion, pepper and garlic together in the oil.
    4. In a bowl, mix together the cooked eggplant, vegetables, beef, herbs, 1 cup of the cheese, 1/4 cup of the bread crumbs and the egg. Fill the scooped-out eggplant halves with this mixture, dividing it evenly between the two halves.
    5. Top with chopped tomatoes, the remaining 1/4 cup cheese, remaining 1/4 cup bread crumbs, and season with salt and pepper. Place on an oiled oven tray or baking dish, and bake for 50 minutes. Let cool briefly; slice widthwise and serve.

    Copyright 2010 Michael Chiarello

    Recipe provided by Chef Michael Chiarello June 2010.

    30 Responses to >Lemon Panko Giveaway and a Recipe for Stuffed Eggplant

    1. >I had to laugh when I read that you had been telling everyone about Panko but now you could rest. I can appreciate that, I tell friends about food items/techniques that I think everyone should know and they look at me like I'm talking in a foreign language!

    2. >Hey…. I use any bread, toasted and then crumber. ALternatively Whole foods have a myriad od flavoured crumbs that I use for the crunchy taste..
      This is definitely worth a try!

    3. >My favorite breaded dishes are fried chicken and chicken fried steak. Basically comfort foods mmmm. We are having chicken fried steak for dinner tonight. Oddly enough I have never SEEN panko in our grocery store. I've looked for it, as i wanted to try a twist on wienerschniztel (sp)

    4. >Chicken and fish are nice, but I really start to crave lovely crisped up discs of eggplant in the summer! (with panko or homemade italian bread crumbs!)

    5. >I've been looking all over Columbus for those lemon pepper panko crumbs, but no luck so far. I have some fish to fry that's begging for some of that.

      I love to use panko for breading/frying chicken breast and for crab cakes (as a way to keep the outside crunchy and the whole thing together.

    6. >I love breading zucchini – the lemon panko would be a good fit with zucchini!

      Also, I find myself making homemade chicken nuggets for my kids at least once a week…

    7. >I've used panko for homemade chicken nuggets. My husband is our chicken parmasean expert, and he likes panko for that, too. Thanks! jenalber @ hotmail dot com

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