Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Gluten Free Apple Stuffed Chicken

Chicken is a pretty big staple in my family's diet. I feel like I am on a never ending quest to find new and inventive ways to turn a plain chicken breast into something different yet delicious. I started playing around with the idea to do stuffed chicken breasts. I looked over several recipes but couldn't find something that looked easy and sounded good. I'm usually a pretty big recipe follower. However, for this one, I just took a few simple ingredients and roughly gauged the amounts. The results were surprisingly good. The chicken was moist, the apples were not mushy, and the other spices complimented everything else nicely. Be sure to check out the Gluten Free Homemaker for some other great gluten free meal ideas.

I have a small family. This recipe was just right for 3 medium sized boneless, skinless chicken breasts. Feel free to adjust for your family size.
Apple Stuffed Chicken:

1 medium Granny Smith apple (coarsely chopped with the skin on)
2 cloves of garlic (pressed)
2 green onions (coarsely chopped)
1/2 tsp sage(dried or fresh)
1/2 tsp thyme (dried or fresh)
1 tsp lemon juice
1 tsp olive oil
salt and pepper
3 medium boneless, skinless breasts sliced horizontally and pounded flat. 1/4 inch thick.
1 tsp olive oil
Heat oil in a medium or large skillet over medium high heat. Saute apples, garlic, green onions, lemon juice, sage, and thyme for about 1-2 minutes. Do not cook the apples until they are mushy.
Slice the chicken breast horizontally and fold open. Make sure you don't cut them all the way in half. Place the chicken in a large Ziploc bag. I used a rolling pin to pound the chicken to about a 1/4 inch thickness. If you pound them too thin, they will fall apart.
After you have sauteed the apple mix for 1-2 minutes, remove from the heat and pulse in a food processor 2-3 times. You want to break the apples down a bit but you don't want to create a paste. Spread 1/3 of the apple mix onto a chicken breast. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Repeat with the 2 remaining chicken breasts.
Roll the chicken up lengthwise and tie it with kitchen string every few inches to hold the roll together. Repeat with the remaining chicken breasts.
Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F. Add 1 tsp of oil to a large oven proof skillet over medium heat. Place the chicken in the skillet. Brown the chicken on all sides, turning every few minutes. This should take about 10 minutes. After the chicken is thoroughly browned, place the skillet in the oven to finish cooking, about 10 minutes. Check the internal temperature with a meat thermometer. Cook until the center reaches 165 degrees F. Remove from the oven and let the chicken rest on a cutting board for about 3-5 minutes before slicing.
Slice away. Make sure you cut the string off so you don't accidentally eat it. Serve with your favorite side dishes. Enjoy!!!

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Gluten Free Lemon Meringue Waffles

I must admit I have been a bit of a blog slacker lately. Little things like family, work and life in general seem to get in the way of devoting the time needed to keep this little gluten free recipe machine running. I do want to sincerely thank everyone who does find the time to stop by my blog and leave a comment or check out my recipes. I appreciate all the support.

My wife really wanted a Belgian waffle maker for Christmas this past year. I wasn't real excited about adding another small appliance to our kitchen. I assumed that it would just be another dust collector taking up room in a cupboard. But, if there's one thing I've learned over the years, it's that my wife usually gets what she wants and she often chooses wisely. I can't believe I just put that in print. I hope she doesn't read this. Anyway, the waffle maker has made several appearances since Christmas. My wife would be more than content to make simple waffles with butter and syrup. I on the other hand, can not leave well enough alone. I can and must tinker with everything to try something new and different. The one thing I won't mess with is the basic waffle batter recipe. We use Pamela's Baking and Pancake Mix and follow the recipe for pancakes or waffles. The pancakes are pretty good. However, the same mix made into Belgian waffles is outstanding.

All right, let's tackle this tasty Dinner/Dessert/Breakfast. First, you need to make up some Lemon Curd. This is so simple and I can't believe I've never made it before.
Lemon Curd:
from the Joy of Baking
3 large eggs
1/3 cup fresh lemon juice (2-3 lemons) (avoid the bottled juice if possible)
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1 Tbs lemon zest
4 Tbs unsalted butter (room temperature, cut into small cubes)
In a stainless steel bowl placed over a pan of simmering water (double boiler), whisk together the eggs, sugar and lemon juice. Stir constantly to prevent the eggs from curdling. The mixture will begin to thicken up, like sour cream. This can take anywhere from 5-10 minutes. Check the temperature of the mixture. It needs to cook until it reaches 160 degrees F. I just dipped an instant read thermometer into the mix. Once it reaches 160 degrees, remove from the heat and strain the mix through a fine mesh strainer into a bowl to get any little cooked egg pieces out.
Whisk the butter in until it is completely melted and stir in the lemon zest. Cover with plastic wrap. Push the plastic wrap down onto the top of the lemon curd to prevent a skin from forming. Refrigerate for at least an hour. This can be made a day or two ahead of time. The lemon curd will thicken a bit more as it cools. This makes about 1-1/2 cups of lemon curd.

Gluten Free Lemon Meringue Waffles:
from Crepes, Waffles and Pancakes!
Waffle Batter:
Make a double batch of Pamela's waffle batter
1 tsp lemon zest
2 egg whites (room temperature works best)
1/8 tsp cream of tartar
1/4-1/2 cup superfine granulated sugar (you can use regular white sugar as well)
Waffle Topping:
6 Tbs plain Greek or whole milk yogurt
6 Tbs lemon curd
small pieces of toasted meringue

For the waffles: add the lemon zest to the waffle batter, cook until golden brown.

For the Meringue: using a stand mixer or hand mixer with a whisk attachment, whisk the egg whites and cream of tartar until soft peaks form. Add the sugar and continue whisking until firm peaks form. I then toasted pieces of the meringue over a gas stove burner using wooden skewers. Kind of like roasting marshmallows. A small kitchen torch would work a little better.
For the rest of the topping; mix equal parts of lemon curd and Greek yogurt together.
Spread a little lemon/yogurt mix over the warm, fresh waffle and top with some toasted meringue. Mmm, Mmm Good. Enjoy!!!

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Gluten Free Vietnamese Meatball Sandwiches (Banh Mi)

I know you must be in shock that I can cook something besides dessert. Thanks to my wife, I am a recent subscriber to Bon Appetit magazine. In the first issue that I received, the cover featured meatballs and included "5 Amazing Recipes" for them. I don't know about you and your relationship with meatballs. For me personally, meatballs have been challenging. I've made them a few times for pasta and I'm always disappointed. I'm worried that they will be raw or undercooked in the middle so I tend to cook them into little dried out prunes. But hey, I'm always up for a challenge. When I saw "5 Amazing Recipes" to choose from, I had to go for it. I decided to make Pork Meatball Banh Mi sandwiches. As with any gluten free sandwich, the biggest obstacle is the bread. I did something that I can't believe I haven't thought of before. I made my French bread recipe but divided the dough into 4 smaller sub-sandwich sized loaves in the pan.
The original French bread baking instructions call for 35 minutes of baking, cover with foil, and bake another 35 minutes. I reduced the time by 5 minutes before covering with foil and reduced by 5 minutes after covering with foil for a total 60 minutes of baking. The results turned out great. I ended up with 4 hearty, rustic, sub-sandwich loaves.
Here is the recipe for the inner working of this incredible sandwich:
Pork Meatball Banh Mi
inspired by Bon Appetit
Hot Chili Mayo:
2/3 cup mayonnaise
2 green onions (finely chopped)
1-1/2 tsp Sriracha hot chili sauce (I used Huy Fong brand)
1 pound ground pork (not Italian sausage)
1/4 cup finely chopped fresh basil (I used 3 Tbs dried basil)
4 garlic cloves (pressed)
3 green onions (finely chopped)
1 Tbs fish sauce (mmm mmm good)
1-1/2 tsp Sriracha hot chili sauce
1 Tbs sugar
2 tsp cornstarch
1 tsp pepper
1 tsp salt
1 cup coarsely grated carrots
1 cup coarsely grated peeled daikon radish (I used red radishes)
1/8 cup unseasoned rice vinegar
1/8 cup sugar
1/2 tsp salt
1 Tbs sesame oil
4 GF loaves of bread(see above)
1 thinly sliced jalapeno chili
16 large sprigs of cilantro

Prepare the hot chili mayo in a small bowl, cover, and refrigerate for at least an hour, even 1 day ahead of time. I reduced the amount of sriracha sauce from the original recipe. I like spice and flavor but I don't like to burn my mouth off. (The amount listed in the recipe above is the amount I used.) Feel free to add more or less as you see fit.
In a medium bowl, combine all the ingredients for the meatballs. Mix thoroughly with your hands.
Line a baking sheet with plastic wrap. Using a Tablespoon, scoop out 1 spoonful of meatball mix and shape into a roughly 1 inch diameter meatballs. Note: use a little water in the palm of your hand to help roll the meatballs without them sticking to your hand. Also, try to roll the meatballs just until firm and held together. Avoid compacting the meatballs too tightly. Place the finished meatballs on the plastic wrap lined pan. Cover the raw meatballs with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes prior to cooking. The meatballs could even be made the day before you plan to eat them.
For part of the sandwich filling; combine the carrots, radish, rice vinegar, sugar, and salt in a medium bowl. Set aside.
To cook the meatballs, heat 1 Tbs of sesame oil in a skillet over medium high heat. Working in batches, cook the meatballs, leaving plenty of space between each one. Turn the meatballs frequently to cook all sides. it should take about 15 minutes per batch of meatballs. I used an instant read thermometer to check the internal temperature. Pork should be cooked to an internal temperature of 160 degrees F. Preheat your oven to 300 degrees F. As the batches of meatballs are cooked, placed the finished ones in a baking dish in the oven to stay warm.
Let's put it all together. Slice the bread in half lengthwise, leaving the back of the loaf attached like a little hinge. Spread the hot chili mayonnaise on the inside top and bottom of the bread. Drain the liquid from carrot/radish mix. Place 1-2 heaping spoonfuls of carrot/radish mix along with 4-5 warm meatballs inside the sandwich. Add a few sprigs of cilantro and some slices of jalapeno (if desired.) I can't even begin to accurately describe how all the flavors explode in this sandwich. You get some heat from the sriracha, a little sweetness from the pickled carrots and radish, tenderness from the meatballs, and crunch from the bread. This is one incredible sandwich. I can't wait to try some of the other amazing meatball recipes from Bon Appetit. Enjoy!!!

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Gluten Free Chocolate Chip Cookies

There are many great cookies out there in the world. When I think of the quintessential comfort cookie, nothing compares to the original Toll House chocolate chip cookie recipe. Crispy golden brown on the outside, warm and chewy on the inside....mmm! mmm! mmm! These cookies are so easy to make gluten free. My wife and I have shared them with many people that could not tell that they were gf. Stop by the glutenfreehomemaker for other cookie and meal ideas. Let's get started.
Gluten Free Chocolate Chip Cookies:
inspired by the Original Nestle Toll House recipe
2-1/4 cups gf flour mix
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
1-1/2 tsp xanthan gum
1 cup (2 sticks) butter (softened)
3/4 granulated sugar
3/4 cup brown sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 large eggs
1/8 cup milk
2 cups (12 ounces) Semi-Sweet Chocolate Chips (I use Guittard)
Baking Directions:
Bake in a 375 degree F oven for 9-11 minutes In a small bowl; combine gf flour, xanthan gum, baking soda, and salt. In the bowl of a stand mixer; add butter, both sugars, and vanilla. Beat until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Note: I usually reduce the amount of butter by 3-4 tablespoons. Add eggs one at a time, beating well after each one. Beat in the flour mix, about a 1/3 of the mix at a time. Next, beat in the milk. Note: The milk is an addition my wife found online. It is not part of the original recipe but it adds to the texture of the cookie quite nicely. Finally, stir in the chocolate chips.
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Place rounded tablespoons of dough on a well greased or parchment lined cookie sheet.
Bake for 9-11 minutes or until golden brown.
Despite my mothers repeated warnings that I may die from Salmonella poisoning in the raw eggs, I can't resist raw cookie dough. Sorry mom.
There is nothing more satisfying than a warm, fresh chocolate chip cookie and a glass of cold milk. Well, except for maybe the cookie dough. Enjoy!!!