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Panko Has Arrived!

Oct 13, 2007 | From the kitchen of Rose

I’ve been enjoying panko for many years now—since my friend David Shamah who owned a restaurant (and is always up on the latest wonderful ingredient and equipment) shared some with me. Panko is a bread crumb, originally from Japan, that is made from the heart of the bread, i.e. no crust. It is also slightly larger and more even in size than the average bread crumb.

I discovered the importance of bread crumbs without crust when I studied strudel baking in Austria. It’s actually entirely logical: The crust of bread is browned to the optimal degree for flavor—more and it would become bitter. When you brown bread crumbs in oil to toast them lightly, any crust mixed in with the crumbs would become too dark.

I was delighted to discover that Progresso, the manufacturer of plain and seasoned bread crumbs that I used prior to panko, is now producing panko in both plain and seasoned variety. This is proof that panko awareness has reached the heartland and will now be available to the consumer as well as food service!

Here is a recipe for one of my favorite dishes into which bread crumbs have made their way by sheer chance. One evening I was eating an oven-crisped baguette with linguine and clams and some of the crispy crumbs fell into the pasta. Now I add them intentionally every time and I’ve since discovered that bread crumbs are often added to pasta dishes in Italy. I wondered if perhaps they discovered this the same way as I did!

Linguine & Clam Sauce with Bread Crumbs
Serves: 2 as a main course

INGREDIENTS

MEASUREMENTS

WEIGHT

2 dozen small (2-inch) little neck clams, rinsed and scrubbed

              .

12 ounces

340 grams

extra virgin olive oil

scant 2 tablespoons

.

.

2 large cloves of garlic, very thinly sliced

2 tablespoons

0.5 ounce

14 grams

optional: hot pepper flakes

1/4 teaspoon

.

.

black pepper, freshly ground

a few grindings

.

.

no salt chicken stock

1 cup

.

.

bottled clam juice

1/2 cup

.

.

fresh flat leafed parsley, finely chopped

2 tablespoons

0.37 ounce

10 grams

linguini (such as #7 De Cecco)

               .

8 ounces

227 grams

fresh basil, en chiffonade

about 1 tablespoon

.

.

panko or 2 day old baguette crumbs (page 00)

3 tablespoons

.

10 grams

extra virgin olive oil

1 teaspoon

.

.

Equipment: A 12 inch frying pan or wok

Do not salt the water for the linguine as the clam juice from the clams is very salty. (The bottled clam juice is lightly salted.)

1) Heat the oil over low heat in the 12 inch frying pan or wok. Add the garlic, hot pepper flakes and black pepper and fry on low heat for about 30 second or until the garlic softens. Do not allow it to brown.

2) Add the chicken stock, clam juice, parsley, and the clams. Cover and cook until the clams pop open widely (5 to 10 minutes). Throw out any that do not open. Remove the clams to bowls and keep them warm in a low oven. If any clam juices are in the bowls drain it back into the skillet.

3) Bring the pan juices to a boil and reduce until just about 1/2 cup remains. Remove the pan from the heat.

4) Boil the linguine in a large kettle with a generous quantity of unsalted water, just until only a little white appears in the center when a strand is cut (13 minutes if using the same brand and size).

5) While the linguine cooks, in a small skillet over low heat, sauté the bread crumbs in the olive oil, stirring often until golden brown, about 5 minutes. Set them aside.

6) Drain the pasta and add it to the 12 inch skillet. Cook on medium heat, tossing constantly until the linguini is well coated in the oil and juices and most of the liquid has been absorbed. The pasta will still be al dente but if a strand is cut it will no longer have any white uncooked part inside.

7) Add the linguine to the serving bowls and toss to mix in the clams. Garnish with the basil and sprinkle with the bread crumbs.

Comments

they will not be available in louisiana until some time next year.

REPLY

Pat salatich
Pat salatich
11/11/2007 06:54 AM

Where did you purchase your Progresso Panko crumbs? I'm in Louisiana and am not able to find them

REPLY

Doreen Nordstrom
Doreen Nordstrom
11/11/2007 01:24 AM

Re: the use of bread crumbs in pasta dishes: they were used to "bulk up" the ingredient list in lieu of meat, for example when times made it difficult for people to buy meat. Now, people continue to use bread crumbs because they like them!

REPLY

yes but please don't ask any more questions from me until i get back from the trip or i won't get to leave on the trip!

REPLY

Rose, I may need to bombard you every now and then with 'short' question:

For the Graavlax, I may use coarse Hawaiian Sea Salt instead of Kosher?

http://www.islandergifts.com/hawaiian-sea-salt.html

REPLY

ewwww that raw onion taste, thanks for the saver.

I will be making the entire Thanksgiving menu from Rose's Celebration, starting the prepping today!

REPLY

yes hector this is right up your ally! and i think you'll love it. just one thing, sauté the shallots in butter or they will have a raw taste. i've found that any memeber of the onion family develops a weird and unpleasant taste when added to a dish without cooking it first! oh your lucky guests!

REPLY

THAT is a finding! Perhaps I can make my Basic Sourdough Bread panko!

Since we are talking savory, I am planning for Turkey with Sausage and Chesnut Stuffing from your book Rose's Celebrations. The surgery required to remove the breast meat and stitch the bird together is satisfying my crave for challenge!

I season and roast my turkey in a different way, and I always roast only until the breast is cooked, leaving the tights with red! Glad to read this finding published saying that it is impossible to 'not' overcook the breast if you wait until the tights are done. I don't tell my guests this, but I never carve/serve more than the breast and the surface of the drum sticks, for a good reason!

REPLY

Gregory Lyons
Gregory Lyons
10/13/2007 09:28 PM

Tonkatsu tip: crush fresh garlic with coarse salt and season the pork slices with it before breading. Oh, and deep fry in peanut oil, NOT "Canola" (rape seed oil).

REPLY

Yet Another Anna
Yet Another Anna
10/13/2007 08:50 PM

I've always bought my Panko at the local asian food market. Much cheaper than the gourmet stores, plus there are all those other goodies to sample!

I recently discovered the yumminess that is Tonkatsu, a pork cutlet breaded with Panko, that you eat with rice, and plenty of Tonkatsu sauce. Delicious! Amazingly enough, my dad really, really likes the Tonkatsu sauce. (says it reminds him of a blend of Worcestershire sauce and Chutney, which seems reasonable, given the ingredient list.)

REPLY

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