Grain Free, Gluten Free, Crumbed Fried Chicken

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This is barely a recipe but it is something I love to eat when I am craving something with the texture of a good old fashioned chicken burger or chicken wrap. Nowadays I forgo the bun or tortilla wrap in favour of  a butterhead letture leaf having seen this nifty idea used for Korean Wraps. The lettuce allows you to pile lots of falvours into one tasty package but without overwhelming the taste or texture which I find can sometimes happen with gluten free bread products.

These grain free chicken strips would also be a great finger food at a party and served with mashed potato or homemade fries would also please the palate of even the fussiest celiac child or adult.

I first starting using ground almonds (almond meal)  to coat chicken when I found I always seemed to have a few tablespoons left over in the end of a bag and didn’t want it to go to waste but it has since become my preferred option. You can flavour this with any herbs or spices you like, a little GF cajun spice or some Old Bay Seasoning would be perfect.

You can forgo the coconut flour altogether or use corn flour instead if you aren’t keeping grain free but I find that dredging the chicken in a little flour gives the eggwash something to cling to.

The amount here was enough to cover 2 large free range chicken breast cut in to strips but you can adjust by adding a little bit more of each ingredient if you feel like you are about to run out. You could also bake these in the oven if you are more health conscious than I am but I absolutely love the flavour of the pan fried version.

 

Ingredients

2 large chicken breasts

 

4 tablspoons ground almonds (almond meal)

1 heaped tablespoon of grated parmesan

1 teaspoon of salt

fresh ground black pepper to taste

1 heaped teaspoon of fresh thyme leaves

 

2 tablespoons of coconut flour

2 eggs beaten

olive oil for frying

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  • Put the almond meal, cheese, thyme, salt & pepper in a flat bottomed pan or plate and stir with a fork to combine
  • Place the chicken breasts between two pieces of cling film or parchement paper and beat with a rolling pin until the flatten out, you don’t want the chicken too thick or the crumb will burn before the chicken is cooked through.
  • Slice the chicken in to trips, about one inch wide
  • Place the eggs in a bowl and the two tablesppons of coconut flour on a plate
  • Dip each chicken strip  first in the coconut flour, flipping over to cover both sides, then submerge in the egg wash and then place the chicken in to the almond crumb and again flip it over to make sure it is fully coated. Put the coated strips on a plate while you heat your oil

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  • Heat your pan over a medium high heat and coat the base with oilve oil, when the oil starts to shimmer gently add the chicken strips, a few at a time as you don’t want to crowd the pan.
  • Allow to cook for four minutes on each side before turning them over and cooking for another four minutes. If you feel like they are browning too fast reduce the eat under the pan.
  • Check for to see if they are cooked through be slicing in to the thickest part of the one strip, if they are fairly uniform in size they should all cook in the same time.
  • Place the cooked strips on a plate in a warmed oven while you fry the next lot, adding more oil to the pan with each batch and continue until they are all cooked.

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Serve with  salad and cheese in a wrap or a bun, with fries or mashed potatoes or simply on their own with a green slad or even more simply with some dipping sauce to be nibbled on while enjoying a chilled Gluten Free Beer.

 

Gluten FreeRoasted Tomato & Goats Cheese Tart

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Sometimes I get to write for other sites and this article appeared last year on Savour.ie, given the sudden emergence of the sun I thought this would be a good recipe to share.

As soon as there is a bit of heat in the sun and the days start to stretch in to long relaxed evenings my mind turns to summer flavours. Tomato’s, basil, olives, crisp green salads, fresh goats cheese and mozzarella all served on platters with bread or crackers and chilled rose.

 

The combination of tomato’s, tapenade and goat’s chefs smeared on a crust of bread, eaten while sitting in the sun is one of life’s easily achieved pleasures but I wanted to pull those flavours together in to something more structured, something good for a picnic lunch or a light supper. My first thought was a sandwich but as gluten free bread can be hit or miss I decided on a tart with a lovely crumbly butter crust, a layer of tapenade covered in with a creamy goats cheese mousse all topped with roasted cherry tomato’s.

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If you are nervous about making gluten free pastry it is good to know that the flours that are available now make it much less of a panic inducing chore than it used to be. This all butter pastry made with a whole egg comes together easily and bakes beautifully. You could make your own tapenade but to make life easy I picked up a fresh tub in the market while getting the tomato’s and parsley,  as long as you use one that is good quality the tart will be fine. If you are not a fan of olives you can substitute pesto.

 

9 inch gluten free pastry shell

Ingredients

6 ounces of Doves Farm gluten free plain flour

3 ounces of cold salted butter

1 large egg

Butter a 9 inch loose bottomed tart tin

 

  • put the flour in a clean chilled bowl
  • grate or slice in the cold butter and using your finger tips rub the butter in to the flour until you get the consistency of fine bread crumbs
  • beat the egg with a fork in a small bowl and add to the flour, mixing with a knife, use enough of the egg to bring the dough together
  • wrap the dough in cling film and leave in the fridge to chill for at least an hour
  • preheat the oven to 180, Gas 4, 350f
  • remove the dough from the fridge and taking it from the cling film press it in to the buttered tin using your fingers
  • trim around the edges but leave enough of the pastry above the edge of the tin to allow for the fact that the pastry will shrink while baking
  • line the pastry shell with foil or baking parchment and fill with baking beans
  • bake on the top shelf of the oven for 15 minutes and then remove the shell from the oven. Lift the foil and beans out of the par baked she’ll and brush the pastry with egg wash.
  • return the pastry shell to the oven, on the middle shelf for a further 15 minutes until nicely browned
  • leave the baked pastry shell to cool in the tin

 

Roasted tomatos

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  • slice the cherry tomato’s and toss them in a spoon of olive oil
  • place the tomatoes, cut side up on an oiled tray and sprinkle with sea salt.
  • place the tomato’s on the top shelf of the pre heated oven for 15 minutes. To be super efficient you can roast the tomato’s on the top shelf while the pastry is baking for its final fifteen minutes on the middle shelf.
  • after fifteen minutes remove the tomato’s from the oven and leave to cool on the tray

 

While the pastry shell and tomatoes are cooling make the goats cheese mousse

 

Goats Cheese Mousse

Ingredients

8 ounces of goats cheese at room temperature

1/4 cup of crewm

1 ounce of grated parmesan

a good handful of parsley finely grated

salt and pepper to taste

 

  • place the goats cheese in a bowl with the parsley and parmesan.
  • pour in half of the cream and using a mixer beat together, adding more cream to make a smooth mousse. You don’t want the mousse to be too soft or it won’t hold its shape when you slice the tart
  • add slat and peeper to taste and place in the fridge to chill

 

To construct the tart

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  • Take the cooled tart shell and smear the base with tapenade
  • Remve the mousses from the fridge and beat with a wooden spoon to soften, spoon the mousse in to the tart and spread gently over the tapenade with a flat knife
  • carefully place the cooled roasted tomato’s in a circle on top of the mousse

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When you are ready to serve remove the tart form the loose bottomed tin and transfer to your serving plate. Serve at room temperature with a crisp green salad simply dressed and a chilled glass of wine.

 

 

Cleriac, Kohlrabi and Green Apple Remoulade

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Apologies for the lack of a post last week, I took an impromptu holiday for St Patrick’s Day!

There is an amazing variety of fruits and vegetables available in Ireland right now and occasionally I get a bit annoyed at myself for not taking more advantage of this new bounty. It is easy to fall in to a trap of knowing what you like and the best ways to prepare that but I want to try new tastes and find new favourites.

I was in a market recently and found myself staring at Kohlrabi and wondering what could be done with this pale green slightly alien looking vegetable with its trailing green leafed stems. Having done a bit of internet research and finding that the flavour was good in coleslaw I decided to try mixing it with some celeriac in a remoulade, at least that way I figured if the flavour wasn’t great it would be mostly disguised by the mustardy mayonnaise dressing. For extra flavour and texture I added a crisp granny smith apple.

Kohlrabi smells like broccoli and has a somewhat similar flavour but the texture is more akin to the watery crispness of watermelon and is nicely refreshing and I can see why it is added raw to summer salads. You can cook the leaves as you would spinach but mine were a bit wilted so to the compost they went, there is a tough outer skin which is easily peeled away.

This trio of celeriac, apple and kohlrabi worked really well together and the resulting remoulade was a great side to serve with a good thick pan fried pork chop and I think it would be excellent with sausages, black pudding or pulled pork.

Ingredients

½ a celeriac

½ bulb of kohlrabi

1 sharp crisp green apple

1 cup of good mayonnaise , make your own if so inclined

3 – 4 heaped teaspoons of wholegrain Dijon mustard

Juice of one lemon

Salt & Pepper

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Peel the kohlrabi and slice thinly, stack the slices and cut in to thin strips, repeat the process with the celeriac and the apple but leave the skin on the apple for a bit of colour.

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In a bowl mix together the mayonnaise, mustard and the lemon juice. I like a good punch of heat from my mustard and a sharp dressing so I add a lot of mustard and lemon so here is where you need to start testing the dressing as you are mixing. Start small and then keep adding and tasting until the dressing tastes right to you.

Once you have the ratio of mayo to mustard to lemon correct then add salt and pepper to taste.

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Place the thinly sliced vegetables and apple in a bowl and pour over the dressing, mixing until everything is well coated.

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This is less a true remoulade than a slaw with a remoulade style dressing but it is crisp, bright, creamy and full of flavour,  serve with your meat of choice as a side or tucked in to a hearty sandwich.

 

Pork, Potato and Coconut broth stew

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While it is still very much winter out there I am starting to crave the tastes I associate with Summer, fresh ginger, coriander and the happy fresh zing of lime juice but being that is absolutely bitter out I wanted to find a way to combine these flavours in a warming winter stew. What I came up with is a mishmash of a few of my favourite recipes, one of those being the Hill Station Curry from Alastair Hendy’s stunning book Asia, this calls for the addition of potatoes to the finished curry and what could please my Cork Irish soul better than that.
If you time it well this is a really simple and quick dinner and while I had enough carbs in the potatoes you could always boil some basmati rice to bulk this up and make it stretch. This was more than enough for 2 good dinners with leftovers for 2 lunches the next day.

 

Ingredients

 
Meatballs

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I pound of pork or turkey mince
1 egg
1 & ½ tablespoons of coconut flour
1 tablespoon of grated ginger
2 cloves of garlic, grated
1 tablespoon of fish sauce
1 tablespoon finely chopped coriander
½ teaspoon of salt

 

I pound of small salad potatoes, quartered

Broth

I tin of coconut milk
2 cups of  gluten free chicken stock
1 tablespoon of fish sauce
2 inch piece of fresh ginger, peeled and sliced
2 chilli’s, cut in half
I stick of lemon grass, peel off the outer leaves and chop in to one inch pieces
Zest and juice of 1 lime
2 to 3 teaspoons of honey / sugar , or to your own taste
A good handful of mint, finely chopped
A good handful of fresh coriander finely chopped
Salt

For the Meatballs

Preheat oven to Gas 7, 220, 425 f

Oil a large baking sheet

Place all of the meatball ingredients in large bowl and mix until thoroughly combined.

Scoop out some of the mixture using a table spoon measure and roll in your hands to form a ball, using the tablespoon measure will ensure all ofthe meatballs are the same size and will cook evenly

Place the rolled meatballs on the oiled tray and continue until you have used up all of the mixture

Place the tray in the heated oven and bake for 15 minutes

At this point you can put your potatoes on to boil in plenty of salted water.

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For the Broth

Place the coconut milk in a wide based, high sided pan or large sauce pan over a medium heat

Add in the rest of the ingredients, at this point add only the juice of half the lime, you can always add more later.

Bring to the boil and then reduce the temperature and allow to simmer for 15 minutes.
At this point your meatballs should me almost cooked through and the potatoes tender so you can remove them from the heat, drain the water from the potatoes and have them both ready to add to the broth.

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Use a slotted spoon to remove the solid ingredients from the broth and add 2 teaspoons of honey, taste for seasoning and then adjust the sweet / sour ratio with lime juice and honey until you get the flavour you want.

 

Stir in the chopped mint and coriander in to the broth and spoon in the meatballs and potatoes, and allow the stew to simmer for another fifteen minutes until the meatballs are cooked through and the potatoes have absorbed the flavour of the broth

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Spoon the stew into bowls, over rice if the weather demands double carbs and curl with this warm winter stew made with summer flavours.