Did you ever have Shake ‘n Bake chicken, or possibly pork chops when you were a kid? I can only remember having the name brand stuff a couple of times, but I loved the way it made a regular chicken breast into a crispy on the outside, juicy on the inside, delectable experience. I thought that stuff was seriously deeeeluxe and I remember begging my Mom to buy it so that we could be fancy. Always frugal, my Mom typically resisted and would make her own DIY version of the coating out of crushed Corn Flakes. It just wasn’t the same to me, and I lamented not having the stuff of TV commercials on my dinner plate. What a bratty kid right? I know, I’ve since apologized.
By the time I was old enough to cook my own meals, I had become a vegetarian and dreams of Shake ‘n Bake chicken dinners were but a distant memory. It wasn’t until I got a craving for some crispy tofu that wasn’t deep-fried that I realized Shake ‘n Bake could be just the thing I needed. So off I went to the grocery store, only to discover how much hydrogenated oil and sodium is in that stuff. What a bummer. Turns out Mom was really doing me a favor by not feeding me that crap. Thanks, Mom.
Still wanting to work a little Shake ‘n Bake magic I tried my hand at making my own breading. Opting for some organic, hydrogenated oil free bread crumbs, and seasoning magic in place of the processed blue box I got to work slicing and coating. The results were a plate full of yummy crispy tofu cutlets achieved without having to deep fry. Success!
They are delicious served as an appetizer with any sort of dipping sauce you have on hand (we ate some hot out of the oven with a sweet chili sauce), or chopped up atop a salad for added protein and texture. Give them a go and you just might bring back some Shake ‘n Bake memories.
DIY Shake ‘n Bake Tofu
1 pound firm or extra firm tofu, drained and water pressed out
1 cup breadcrumbs (look for a hydrogenated oil free version like Ian’s and if you want to make these gluten-free, use crushed Corn Flakes like my Mom used to)