They wrap foods in one golden crust, which crunches under the teeth making every bite greedy. It's breading which also, or above all, have the function of protect food from high frying temperatures. Thus, you get a crunchy exterior that packs a soft heart. Based on bread, as the name suggests, they can be enriched with different ingredients and even made in a gluten-free version.
What to bread
The classic cutlet, as well as the simplest of breaded slices, are a simple and quick second course, which is the delight of young and old. Between the cuts of meat indicated, of course, is the veal cutlet, but also the rump (always veal or turkey), the chicken breast and the pork loin. Tasty cutlets are also obtained from rabbit fillets and by the scottadito of Lamb. If, on the other hand, you love the nuggets you can successfully bread morsels made from chest or thighs skinless chicken. THE fish the most pulpy and firm ones are suitable: hearts of Cod, fillets of hake, slices of salted cod, shellfish shelled like prawns and prawns. Also excellent anchovies And sardines whole or, better still, boned and open like a book. Between vegetables, superfine results are obtained with the eggplant and the celeriac, cut into fairly thick slices (about half a cm). Among the funniest preparations to bread and fry are the skewers: prepared with tiny morsels (arrosticini style) or with thin slices of meat, skewered in a zig zag pattern (see photo above). They are also breaded a whole series of croquettes: from simple potatoes or béchamel-based ones up to supplì Romans and the arancini (or arancine!) of Sicilian cuisine. And, of course, several types of meatballs, like the Milanese modeghili based on boiled meat.
The basis, not just of eggs
To make the breading cling to the chosen food, it must first be wrapped in a veil of beaten eggs or only egg white, suitable for more delicate fish products for which the yolk flavor may be too opaque. Wet ingredients like eggplant or fish can be done first flour: the thin layer will dry them, allowing the egg not to slip off. Specialties like arancini and arancine are wrapped in one batter rather liquid of water and flour, which makes the crust very crunchy.
Which breadcrumbs to use?
In many recipes it is simply said "breadcrumbs". But there are many versions, each with different results. Let's start with the simplest type, the one we can prepare at home by grating the stale bread: very crunchy and rightly coarse, it will be necessary pass it through a sieve because, if larger crumbs remain, they risk detaching and burning in the cooking fat. Practical is what you buy ready, from the baker or packed at the supermarket (also in the gluten free version): it has a fine and homogeneous grain but the defect of becoming “can”, or rather stale, quite quickly. The advice is to keep it in a tightly closed jar and don't forget it in the pantry for too long. Always a good choice is to use fresh crumb, also of bread, passed at the moment to the mixer: the crumbs, once fried, will be very light. If you love to browse in Asian product stores you must try the Japanese panko, which is a rather coarse flaked bread with a very crunchy effect. The only flaw: it takes a little effort to keep it attached to food. For this you can mix it with a small part of "local" breadcrumbs, finer. Milanese fashion, you can use crumbled breadsticks finely, but also cracker: pay attention only to the quantity of salt (some of the bread substitutes are very salty) and to the fact that, being already golden at the start, they darken faster than other compounds: cooking must therefore take place over a very moderate heat and be constantly monitored.
How to enrich breading
Bread mixes and other ingredients are a good choice for increasing taste and crunchiness. In the first case, just add a handful of herbs dried, or fresh and finely chopped: parsley, thyme, marjoram, oregano, perhaps together with a pinch of chilli, will immediately give a special touch to the most banal of scallops. A hold of turmeric you hate paprika it aromatizes and makes the crust super colored. The salt, which never spreads on the meat (on pain of condensation which would cause the coating to peel off), can be combined in very small doses with breadcrumbs or egg, although many prefer to salt the fried food just a moment before serving. For rich crusts, you can add 20 percent of corn flour, grain or thin lamellae of dried fruit, such as almonds or hazelnuts, or seeds lowercase (poppy, sesame). Also indicated i cereal flakes: if corn flakes seem a bit of a gamble, due to the overly distinctive taste, try the corn flakesoats, with a more neutral flavor.
The right moves
Finally, let's review the steps for perfect results. It is essential that the pieces are all of the same size. In particular, it thickness it must be uniform otherwise the cooking will not be and we will have slices or morsels all with the same degree of external browning, but some raw inside, or all cooked inside, but some burnt outside. The passage in the egg, or in the flour and water batter, it can be extended to about ten minutes, during which the wrapping will adhere better to the food, slightly impregnating it. Before getting to the breadcrumbs, the food must be well drained from excess. The next one step in breadcrumbs it must only be done just before frying, otherwise the external mixture becomes moist and does not fry. Press gently with your hands to to join the breading. The cooking fat (peanut oil or clarified butter) must not be too hot but around 140 °, to allow a complete cooking without darkening the crust too much. As soon as it is ready, the breaded fried food is transferred to a special paper and gently dabbed to dry it even on the surface. It's time to serve it: still hot, super golden, practically irresistible!