Gluten Free Popcorn Chicken

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The fast food Friday challenge is upon me again!

A certain international fast food chain is held in very high regard by the boys. Apparently, their popcorn chicken is delicious, unfortunately, I can’t check as there isn’t a gluten free option.

After a bit of experimenting we came up with this recipe and it’s a winner!

Ingredients

For the chicken…..

750g chicken breast, diced into 2cm pieces

1 teaspoon Cajun spice rub

1 teaspoon smoked paprika

For the flour mix…..

340g gluten free plain flours

180g besan/chickpea flour

2 tablespoons Cajun spice rub

For the egg mix…….

3 eggs, beaten

200mls buttermilk

Serves 6.

Method

In a large bowl combine chicken, 1 teaspoon spice rub and smoked paprika, mix well and leave to marinade for an hour if you have time.

In another large bowl mix the flour, besan and 2 tablespoons of spice rub, use a whisk to mix it really well.

In a smaller bowl whisk the egg and buttermilk.

Heat your oil to 180 degrees Centigrade.

The next bit is easiest if you keep one hand clean, I can guarantee the phone will ring if both hands get dirty!

Take each piece, dip it into the flour, into the egg mix then into the flour again, set aside and repeat with the rest of the chicken. I find a large baking sheet the best place to set aside the prepared chicken, it must be kept in a single layer.

In small batches fry the chicken until golden brown, remove with a slotted spoon and spread on a baking sheet lined with kitchen towel.

Serve the chicken with wedges and some sour cream to dip and obviously eat with your fingers!

 

 

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Sweet Corn Fritters

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These are the best corn fritters, using fresh corn they have a lovely crunch about them but the whipped egg whites make them as light as a feather.

Use your imagination with toppings salsa, guacamole, black beans, ham, cheese, smoked salmon, bean stew, chicken and salad, the list goes on!

Makes 12-14.

Ingredients

3 ears of sweet corn, shucked

3 spring onions, topped and tailed, finely sliced

1 large red chilli, deseeded and diced finely

2 teaspoons smoked paprika

1/2 teaspoon cayenne

50g gluten free breadcrumbs

2 limes, juiced

4 eggs, separated

2 teaspoons gluten free baking powder

Method

Heat a large non stick frying pan over a medium heat.

In a large bowl combine the sweet corn, spring onions, chilli, paprika, cayenne, gluten free breadcrumbs and lime juice.

Add the four egg yolks and combine very well.

In a separate large bowl, whisk the egg whites to stiff peaks.

Gently fold the egg whites into the sweet corn mixture.

Using a large spoon, spoon fritters onto the frying pan, do not over crowd.

Cook until the top looks set and then flip over and cook will medium brown.

Top with your favourite toppings and serve.

Gluten Free Rhubarb Muffins

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I love rhubarb, rhubarb fools and crumbles are a standard pudding choice.

Muffins are also well eaten in this house!

Great for lunch boxes and I think these ones would be lovely for a gluten free breakfast too, especially as they look like the “real” thing!

Ingredients

300g ground almonds

1 tablespoon gluten free baking powder

75g caster sugar

4 stalks rhubarb, around 320g, washed, topped and tailed, cut into 1cm slices

4 eggs, beaten

100g butter, melted and cooled

2 tablespoons milk

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Method

Preheat oven to 170 degrees Centigrade, prepare a 12 hole muffin tray with paper cases.

In a large bowl combine the ground almonds, baking powder and sugar.

In a jug combine the eggs, butter, milk and vanilla extract.

Add the rhubarb to the dry ingredients followed by the wet ingredients and mix well.

Spoon into the prepared muffin tin.

Bake for 35-40 mins until risen and browned.

 

 

Leek and Potato Soup

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There is something medicinal with soups that really bring out the flavour of really good chicken stock.

With the addition of leeks and potatoes this soup is a favourite in our house  especially if the boys are sick!

You could add a good handful of chopped parsley at the end to boost the vitamin c content but I tend to leave it out for the boys, they aren’t into parsley, yet!

This serves 8-10 depending on your portions and freezes well.

Ingredients

100g butter

3 leeks, trimmed

1kg waxy potatoes, peeled and diced, 1cm

2litres chicken stock

salt and pepper to taste

Method

Split the leeks in half lengthwise and then into quarters, chop into 1cm slices.

Place the chopped leek into a basin of cold water and rinse well to get rid of any soil or grit. Drain in a colander.

In a large soup pan, melt the butter.

Add the leeks and cook gently over a low heat until softened.

Add the potatoes and the stock.

Bring to the boil and gently simmer over a low heat for 30mins.

Season with salt and lots of freshly ground pepper.

Serve with crusty bread.

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Quesadillas

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I often make these at the weekend instead of a toasted cheese sandwich.

Using corn tortillas makes these gluten free and the fillings vary depending on what’s in the fridge.

I use a sandwich press or a large non stick frying pan to cook the quesadillas, a sandwich press is easier but the frying pan works well too, just flip the quesadilla when the bottom tortilla has crisped up.

This recipe is is for the quesadilla in the picture. Other filling ideas are, drained black beans, chopped avocado, spinach, jalapeño, leftover fajita chicken or beef. As a family we all have favourite fillings and the boys  make their own!

Ingredients

2 corn tortillas

2 Roma tomatoes,  deseeded and diced

handful of cooked chicken, diced

small bunch of coriander, leaves and stalks roughly chopped

40g Cheddar, finely grated

1/4 red onion, peeled and finely sliced

1/4 teaspoon Cajun spice rub, recipe in the blog

 Method

With one tortilla as a base top with your ingredients.

Top with the second tortilla and place on the sandwich press.

Bring the lid down to sit just above the top tortilla and toast until golden brown and the cheese has melted.

Basil Pesto

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The quickest meal in a family of five often involves pasta for 4 and a Gluten Free option for one.

I always have jars of pesto in the fridge  not just for pasta, spooned into a baked potato, smeared on to fish and chicken, used as a dip and there’s alway potato gnocchi!

Possibly the best reason for making this is it’s fridge life……. A year lurking, hopefully labelled, and it will still be good to go!

Leftover pasta? Great for school lunch boxes cold or hot or, stir through some drained, tinned beans, butter beans  work well, and you have another meal happening!

Makes 3 x 375g jars. One jar covers 500g dry pasta which serves 4-6 depending on appetite!

Ingredients

180g basil leaves

500mls olive oil, plus extra for sealing

200g pine nuts

8 cloves garlic, crushed

250g Parmesan, finely grated

salt and pepper

Method

Process the basil, oil, nuts, garlic, Parmesan and seasoning.

I process till it is still a little lumpy, but  process it to the way you like!

Check the seasoning, I add quite a bit of freshly ground pepper, not so much salt as the cheese adds salt.

Spoon into clean jars and pour some oil over the top to seal.

Put a tight fitting lid on, label and stick at the back of the fridge.

 

 

 

 

Bean Burgers

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Over the years we have tried a lot of variations with this recipe but I think this is the best.

Full of hidden green vegies, gluten free, dairy free and still full of flavour these are often chosen by the boys when we have a vegetarian meal.

The vegetable of choice is always edamame in their shells, these are found in your local Asian food stores freezer and they are yummy, as ever, eaten with your fingers makes them taste so much better according to the boys!

Makes 12-14 burgers.

Ingredients

2 x 400g tins of cannellini beans, drained and rinsed

6 spring onions, topped and tailed, sliced

2 cloves of garlic, peeled and chopped

1 piece of lemongrass, white part only, sliced

150g fresh coriander, leaves and stalks

150g fresh baby spinach

1 green chilli, deseeded and chopped

1 tablespoon ground coriander

1 tablespoon ground cumin

2 teaspoons salt

freshly ground pepper

80g besan/chickpea flour

150g fresh gluten free breadcrumbs

oil to fry in

Method

Process the spring onions, garlic, lemongrass and chilli.

Add the beans, fresh coriander and spinach, process to a paste, scraping down the sides as needed.

Add the ground coriander, ground cumin, besan and salt and pepper, process again.

Tip the mixture into a large bowl and add the breadcrumbs, mix well.

Heat the oil in a large frying pan over medium heat, once heated fry the burgers until brown and crispy on the outside.

Set aside on kitchen towel to absorb the oil.

Serve with rolls or pittas, salad, edamame and yogurt dressing.

 

 

 

Feeding a hungry family!