Cut, Dip and Crunch: How to Crust Like a Pro

May 21, 2015 – Texture and taste are key components for an out-of-this-world dish, so why sacrifice one for the other? Our friend Chef Brigitte Nguyen showed us how crusting can make for the perfect balance of flavor and crunch! The secret lies in three steps: meat choice, dip choice and crust choice.

091714_PretzelPecanChickenSchniChoose Your Meat
Start with thinner, boneless cuts of meat like chicken, pork or boneless fish. Chicken tenderloins are great for crusting, or you can tenderize chicken breast or boneless pork chops. Pretzel and Pecan Chicken Schnitzel with Honey Mustard Beer Sauce uses this technique to achieve the ultimate crispy bite.

Choose Your Dip
Instead of first dipping in milk and egg, try a blend of mustard, mayonnaise and hot sauce for even more flavor. Clashing flavors like Sriracha and honey also blend well for a pre-crusting dip and goes especially well with an Asian-inspired crust like panko.

HL2014_Crusted_Salmon_Recipe_HeChoose Your Crust
When crusting, think crunch! Bread crumbs and panko are both classic choices, but chopped nuts like pecans or almonds make a flavorful gluten-free crust. For a crispy option, try crushing cereal like corn flakes or rice squares. You can even get creative with crushed potato chips, pretzels or any type of cracker. The possibilities are endless when you add dried herbs, citrus zest, Parmesan cheese or spices like garlic powder or paprika to your mixture. Crusted Salmon from the ALDI Test Kitchen uses three tasty crusting choices for every palette.

Do you have a favorite crusting combo? Tell us in the comments!

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