Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Mustard-breaded Turkey Breast

We don't go out much to eat. Not that I don't like eating out : on the contrary (but who does not?)... but you see, I enjoy sitting down for a meal and having a proper conversation with my husband and children. A conversation that is not interrupted by rugby-player-like catches, water floods, or just the usual "fais attention, prend ta fourchette, non pas les doigts dans la sauce". And even if my children behave, the idea of having to rush through my meal because, let's face it, 40 minutes of good behavior is what we can expect from young children, takes away the fun. I'd rather stay home and have a nice glass of wine with cheese while my children decide to clean the bathroom floor with a full bag of wipes sleep.
Besides, when we go out,  I am really appalled by the limitation of the children's menu. It invariably offers:  macaroni & cheese, grilled sandwich, chicken nuggets, hot-dog or/and pizza. Why? Tell me why?
I know that we want our children to eat and behave, i.e. avoid the food-throwing and/or tantrum that could go along with new food...  but please, there is always something else on the menu that a child could eat, no? And in the country of doggy bags, if your child does not eat all of her appetizer/entree, you can always take it back with you... so why persist with the children's menu? As a matter of fact, I don't think French restaurants have children's menu : you just pick from the regular menu!! And they definitively don't offer doggy bags!
Me being me, if I go out, I want to try food that I don't generally cook... Going out is a new experience...and I want it to be the same for my children. So where do we go when we go out with our children? Cela dépend. It depends why we are going out. If it's because we are celebrating something that is important to them, we go to the places they like, that is to say: having a hamburger/hot dog and French fries with ketchup! If we have guests and want something healthier different, we take them to Phở. Yes, Phở, the big Vietnamese bowls of broth with meat (and to a lesser extent seafood), noodles with bean sprouts, basil, and lime. First of all, it's really affordable. Second of all, it's generally super fast : the time-to-table is only second to fast-food chains (which we avoid at all costs unless on the road)... and if you are able to ask the waiter for two extra bowls, forks and spoons and LOTS of napkins, you are all set ready to avoid major soup flooding! We generally order fried dumplings as an appetizer and then share some of our soups with our children.  It's fun; it's good; it's different!
Because I don't enjoy eating something that I can make myself with ingredients I control (yes, that's me: an ingredients control-freak!!), I have started to cook the food my children like when we go for hamburgers or pizza :  sauteed potatoes, hot dogs, pizza, etc.
French people eat a lot of breaded turkey/veal/chicken breasts (escalope de dinde/veau/poulet panée) together with breaded fish (poisson pané). While the traditional way of breading meat is to dip it in flour, then in eggs+ milk, then in bread crumbs, I have started my own breading recipe. I use plain yogurt (for dampness) mixed with wholegrain Dijon mustard (for spiciness). I started using the Japanese plain Panko crumbs (for flakiness) and cook the breaded meat in the oven (for healthiness). It's an easy-to-make recipe (for success). It's fun; it's good; it's different! Bon Appétit!
- Turkey breast, thinly cut (to speed up cooking time)
- 1 cup (250 ml) whole milk plain yogurt
- Dijon Mustard (preferable whole grain)
- Panko crumbs (or bread crumbs)
- Salt

  • Preheat oven to 350 F (160 C)
  • In a bowl, mix the yogurt and Dijon mustard and salt (to taste).
  • Dip the meat into the yogurt mixture, coating all sides.
  • Then dip into the Panko crumbs. Be generous!
  • Put on a baking dish.
  • Cook in the oven for about 15-20 minutes (or until the meat is properly cooked)
My Personal Comments:
  • If your children are not used to spicy food, just add a teaspoon of mustard to give it some flavor. Add more if your family can eat more spicy. I think that I used about 3 Tb for us.
  • You have to be generous withe bread crumbs.


  1. salut! i just discovered your blog and love it...even though i have no kids (maybe just the immature palate of a child?)

    i've begun cooking a lot with panko. i never used to like breadcrumbs, but the japanese are changing my mind...

  2. Just found your blog and it looks great - I have a one and a three year old, and I've always tried very hard to feed them fresh, homemade meals, though it's a lot harder now that I'm working full time!

    I share your complaints about children's menus. I wouldn't eat most of the things on there, so why should I ask my kids to? My one year old's favorite food is steak, followed closely by chicken and pork. He does love dipping things in ketchup, but he also loves any other kind of dip, sauce or gravy. I hate feeding him junk when we eat out (and paying $5 for the 75 cent box of Kraft macaroni and cheese!).

  3. This looks delicious! I am always looking for fun and healthy ways to add variety to the meals I cook-since I don't eat red meat I consistently make chicken and turkey. Thanks for sharing such a great recipe-can't wait to try it!

  4. Speaking of feeding children outside the house: my three year old just began a pre-school where she'll eat lunch and I've been working on coming up with ideas for her lunch box. I'd love to hear your suggestions.

  5. I am in complete agreement with you regarding children's menus! When we go out to eat my husband and I just order for us and split whatever we order with the kids, we just ask for extra plates. I never order off the kids menu for the children. The whole point of eating out is to experience new foods and flavours. I can do mac and cheese at home myself for a lot less money:-)