Thanks to wonderful grandparents, Brock and I just returned from a few days away…with no kids.  The break is always nice but it’s also pretty great getting home and I thought a home cooked meal was in order.  There’s no recipe per se for these 2 items, the chicken is something my Mom makes but I used panko crumbs instead of bread crumbs and the cauliflower is something I saw on a restaurant menu this weekend and after some discussion with those as interested as myself, decided how to approach it, and it worked – especially nice since Brock loves cauliflower.  We enjoyed this with some broccoli and beet pickles.

Panko Chicken Cutlets and Whipped Cauliflower

1 lb. chicken cutlets (or chicken breast pieces cut into similar sizes – you can also pound any size between 2 pieces of plastic wrap to get them all an even thickness)

1 c. flour

1 t. EACH salt AND freshly ground pepper

2 eggs

1-2 c. panko crumbs

2 heads of cauliflower, cleaned and cut into similar sized florets

1/2 package (4 oz/125 g) cream cheese

Start by steaming the cauliflower, I had to do one head at a time and each batch took about 15 minutes – if you need to boil it, do so until tender and drain well – either way, keep some of the cauliflower water in case you need it later.

For the chicken, mix the flour, salt and pepper together in one bowl, beat the 2 eggs in a second bowl and put the panko crumbs in a third bowl.

Heat up a large skillet, and turn the oven on to about 300.  Melt a dab of butter and a bit of oil in the skillet and as it’s heating start dipping the chicken – first the flour mixture, then the egg, then the panko.  If you do this carefully and make sure each piece is well-coated, you’ll end up with ‘the best chicken in the world’ – according to Marlow.  Cook about 6 minutes on the first side, and then flip to finish the other side for a couple of minutes.  As each piece is done, place it on a cookie sheet and pop it in the oven to keep warm.

When the cauliflower is steamed, place it in your food processor – it may not all fit at first but should after it’s been blended.  Pulse and scrape down the sides with a spatula as needed, adding in the cream cheese, a little salt and pepper, maybe a tablespoon of butter and maybe a couple of tablespoons of the cauliflower water, blending until it’s all smooth.  Scrape into a greased casserole (2.3 L Corning Ware) and place in the oven until the chicken and the rest of your dinner is ready.  Yum.

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