My childhood home was always full of the most wonderful smells. In the morning, I’d often be awoken to the aroma of fresh chocolate-chip pancakes or French Toast. After school, I’d often walk into my house to the sweet smell of my mom’s special apple cake in the oven. At night, I cherished catching a whiff of my mom’s homemade tomato sauce bubbling on the stove top.
When I got to college, I missed these familiar smells and the conversations I would have with my mom in the kitchen. Cooking became a comfort to me– it was my connection to the home I was away from. As it connected me to my home, it also made wherever in the world I was start to feel like a home. If I could sit down with a home-cooked meal in front of me, it felt like I could belong there.
Today, I’m sharing an altered version of my mom’s chicken parmesan, which I call chicken parm tenders.
Ingredient List for Chicken:
1 cup of flour
1 jar of your favorite tomato sauce (I use Trader Joe’s three cheese pomodoro sauce)
1 beaten egg
2 chicken tenderloins (not breaded)
1 cup of Panko bread crumbs (I use bread crumbs with Italian seasoning)
½ cup of shredded mozzarella
- Preheat your oven to 350 F.
- Place your flour, egg, and bread crumbs in three separate bowls next to each other. Take each piece of chicken and first put it in flour, then the egg, and finally the bread crumbs.
- Once your chicken has been breaded, spray a frying pan with cooking spray and set the pan to medium-high heat. Fry both your pieces of chicken until golden brown and you can see that they are cooked through.
- Place your pan-fried chicken onto a tray and spoon tomato sauce onto the pieces of chicken so you are covering the entire top of the chicken.
- Top with shredded mozzarella– you can put on as much or as little as you want.
- Bake your chicken for 5-7 minutes, or until cheese is melted.
- Serve with your favorite side.
I served my chicken parmesan with my favorite simple pasta dish which I call parmesan pasta. It’s light while still being filling and takes no longer than thirty minutes to make.
1 cup of your favorite pasta shape (I used linguine)
1 cup of parmesan cheese
1 tablespoon of Olive Oil
¼ teaspoon of garlic powder
¼ teaspoon of ground pepper
- Boil your pasta.
- Set your heat to medium-high and drizzle a frying pan with your olive oil and add your cooked pasta to the pan. Move the pasta around so all of it is covered by the olive oil.
- Add your garlic powder and ground pepper.
- Add a touch of your parmesan and stir through.
- Gradually, add more parmesan, stirring through each time. Your goal is to get the pasta slightly crispy.
- Once you have the pasta at your desired crispy level, serve.
I hope you enjoy these recipes that have helped me feel at home no matter where I am. They may not be my mom’s amazing recipes, but they are great quick meals that will be done within forty-five minutes of starting.