Sunday, April 28, 2013

Mama's GF Chicken Tenders

One of things that is probably a staple for a child growing up in America is battered and fried chicken.  Whatever it is called or whatever shape it may come in, kids like it.  There are a few GF brands that you can buy and keep in your freezer but we wanted something a little more fresh and natural.

The nice thing about this is that it makes for a great hot meal the day it is prepared.  But, placed in the freezer it makes a great lunch or dinner when the kids are hungry or when time is limited - defrost - bake in toaster oven - place in front of hungry child - gone!

This is my wifes domain.  My wife usually gets this done when I'm at work and the kids are at school.  This time I was able to help a little because we were away on vacation.

This is not only for kids.  We use it for a quick pasta and chicken parmesan night.  I have made sandwiches with it - chicken parm, buffalo chicken & lettuce, tomato, onion with bbq sauce (we like Bone Suckin Sauce).

For starters buy some chicken.  We get a few pounds of boneless, skinless, organic farm raised chicken breasts.  If you are going to the trouble you might as well make a large batch that is good for about two weeks.  For this batch we were visiting my parents in Florida so we made enough for the week for both adults and kids.

Trim off any remaining skin or tendon and cut into your desired shape.  We usually make long slender strips.


Next, make a breading station.  We have really cool breading station tins that stack within one another for easy storage. (Here is the link to Williams-Sonoma but it says they are no longer available Breading Pans.)  At my parents we used paper plates to make clean up easy.  First plate with seasoned GF flour - seasoned with garlic powder, onion powder (we use Spicely) and salt.  Next, make an egg wash bowl.  Lastly, make a breading bowl or plate.  We use Ener G GF Bread Crumbs and usually have a few boxes in the house at all times.  It is seasoned with garlic powder, onion powder and salt.


Okay time to get dirty.  Chicken into the flour then dust off any excess.  Dip into the egg wash and let the excess drip off.  Into the bread crumb mixture.  Then into the oil - we usually use canola or sometimes peanut or grape-seed oil.  Brown each side.

Words of caution - Be careful of splatter when cooking with the hot oil and keep the little kids away.  Although our kids help with cooking this is one that is done sans-kids.  Make sure to clean your prep area and hands after using the raw chicken.  Chicken should be cooked to 165 degrees and usually is easily done if the pieces are small.


Viola, homemade chicken tenders are done.  Serve whatever you are eating for that meal.  Let the rest cool and then keep in freezer.  If you dump them in a bag and into the freezer it will become one large frozen mess; if you have room freeze them on a baking pan then store in a bag or container.  We usually keep them about 2-3 weeks before it is time for another batch.


Things to get
chicken
GF flour
eggs
GF Breadcrumbs (we use Ener G)
Seasonings (we use Spicely)
Oil (Canola, Peanut or Grape-seed)
lots of paper towels

Meal Ideas
chicken tenders with assorted dipping sauces (don't forget you Bone Suckin Sauce)
Chicken parmesan
Chicken Sandwich (made with Udi's hamburger buns)
Buffalo Chicken (use my buffalo sauce - recipe here)

Hope you enjoy,

The Un-Gluten Guy

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Organicville

I ran out of mustard and had to pick up a new bottle.  I was looking through the shelves and saw Organicville dijon and stone ground mustard.  Both were labeled Gluten Free.  I hate products that go so far as to boldly list that they are gluten free to only find that no gluten ingredients are used and they are produced on a line with wheat and may potentially have cross contamination.  But these mustards are not those.

Their mustards are gluten free and Certified GF.  I used the dijon mustard first.

I was making coleslaw and I use dijon as opposed to mustard powder.  It was delicious - just the right spice and acid from the vinegar.  I'll plan to use this in my ceasar salad dressing and when I make my tuna fish with cilantro, lime juice and red onion.

But I also picked up their stone ground mustard.
I just wanted to try it so I dipped some GF pretzels.  Super good.  Even better than Gulden's which I tend to consider a baseline in the stone ground market.

I looked further and they have a ton of products that I want to find and try.  They have GF Teriyaki sauce, GF BBQ sauce and GF Sriracha sauce to name a few.

Check them out.  I found them at my local Whole Foods.

Enjoy,

The Un-Gluten Guy




Sunday, April 21, 2013

Traveling By Car

If you read my blog you saw my post about Travel Anxiety.  We took a trip to Lake Arrowhead last summer (which is when I started this post but forgot about it).  Lake Arrowhead is a private man-made lake in the San Bernadino Mountains of California that we can drive to from San Diego.  The lake has a lot of really neat history.  We found a house right on the lake that we rented for the week.  We packed everything and brought it with us since we could not find any restaurants with GF offerings.  We did good and not so good but I wanted to share what I learned for next time.


We brought our toaster oven.  It was easy to make toast, pizza, garlic bread.  We didn't have to worry what went in their oven or toaster oven.

1.  Bring Toaster Oven.

We planned what we were going to eat and did our shopping at home; but, I was unsure about their wooden cutting boards, wood utensils and scratched plastic tools.  I had some vegetables and meat to cut up so I used a plate.

2.  Bring a small cutting board, spatula, spoon, measuring cups.

Next time in preparing our meals I will make it more like camping.  For our shishkabobs and salads I will cut up the vegtables and meat at home and store in containers.  I would also store the meat in ziplock bags which will make it easy to marinate the night before.

3.  Cut, dice, chop anything you can and place in containers or bags before leaving.  If not bring some ziplock bags to use instead of beat up old tuber-ware containers.

Things that used to be taken for granted like using the salt, pepper and other condiments in someones kitchen is not always safe.  We brought some things but not everything.  Mustard for the hotdogs, sugar and some other seasonings we had to buy or go without.  We had ketchup and forgot the mustard that we found at a small grocery store in town.

4.  Seasonings and condiments.  I know travel with a container of salt and another with a blend of paprika, onion powder and garlic powder.  Mustard, ketchup, sugar, syrup.  List your meals and what condiments you might need for each.  Don't forget things like butter (or butter substitutes) and oil.

In the future I will plan out the meals to an exact science.  It will include what pan I'll use (we luckily brought a pan for pancakes because their non-stick pan was super scratched), oil or butter for the pan and what utensil I may need (tongs, spatula, etc).  Seasonings are something I will think about too.  I would make my garlic bread mixture (garlic powder, paprika, salt and oregano) at home and bring in up in a tuberware container.

5.  Consider what you are cooking and bring limited pans.  Non-stick for pancakes + spatula (their scratched pan and scratched plastic spatula could harbor gluten protein).

Paper towels and lysol wipes too.  We cleaned the kitchen a lot when we arrived.  The simple one or two rolls of paper towels provided by the home owner would not have been enough - luckily we brought our own.

6.  Paper towels and lysol and/or lysol wipes.

We brought a container that we put all of the kitchen supplies in and packed it into the car and they right into the kitchen after we had cleaned the surfaces.  We found at this place and many other rentals that the nice plastic organizer for silverware is filled with crumbs.  We placed all of the silverware and the organizer into the dishwasher when we arrived.  I usually rewash some plates and bowls just to be safe.

7.  Wash silverware and the organizer and any dishes you might use that could possibly be dirty or contaminated.

If you use the oven (we didn't on this trip but have on other trips) you can use the self cleaning option.  They had a grill and the grill brush was filthy and so used it was not helpful.  I cranked up the heat and charred everything then took the grates and scrubbed them down with a brillo.  They owner never saw his grill so clean.

8.  Clean ovens and/or grill before using.

If you are visiting Lake Arrowhead plan accordingly.  We did not find any restaurants that had GF offerings and the local store did not have anything in the way of GF food unless you were going paleo.



As for the trip - we had a great time fishing, kayaking and hiking.  A great idea for someone with some time and a programming background would be to create a GF time sharing website.  How nice would it be to visit some other part of the country or world and stay in someones house that was GF and know that there was no risk of cross-contamination.

Safe Travels,

The Un-Gluten Guy



Monday, April 15, 2013

Kung Pao Chicken - The GF Asian Kitchen

I like chinese food.  Kung Pao Chicken was an easy take out item - nuts, chicken and spice.  When I had the craving recently we turned to Laura Russells' The Gluten-Free Asian Kitchen.  You can find her website at laurabrussell.com.

Pepper, chicken, we added zucchini.  Her directions are easy to follow.  The garlic, ginger, scallions and red pepper flakes add a nice heat and spice to the dish.  Use your favorite GF soy sauce and it makes a nice sticky sauce.


My wife is not a huge fan of chicken so we made her dish with shrimp.  Pick up the book.  Its a great cookbook to have and covers all sorts of asian cuisine.  You can see my blog post reviewing the book here.


Topped with rice it made a great dinner.  I used the leftovers for lunch the following day.

Thanks again Laura,

The Un-Gluten Guy

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Homemade Pizza

We used to have pizza night.  Every sunday morning I would make dough, let it rise, make sauce, shred cheese and toss pies.  The kids would help make their own pizza and onto the stone on the grill for delicious thin crust pizza.  I had the dough perfected.  Then I had to go gluten free.  We have tried and tried to remake the perfect GF pizza dough.  I have had some that were terrible, some that fell apart and a few that are okay or good.  Some day I'll have a GF dough that tastes like regular pizza and has the right texture.

But we haven't stopped eating pizza.  We keep Udi's Pizza Crust in the freezer and I'll occasionally make up a new flour blend to make a dough but the toppings are easy and never ending.

Here is a simple tomato sauce that we make and keep in the refrigerator to whip up an easy pizza right in the toaster oven.

1.  One 28oz Can San Marzano crushed tomatoes
2.  1 tsp garlic powder
3.  1 tsp kosher salt
4.  1 1/2 tsp sugar
5.  1/2 tsp oregano
6.  1 Tbsp tomato paste

Add all of the ingredients to a blender and mix until it has a smooth consistency.  Keeps for about 2 weeks in the refrigerator.

I like more garlic and oregano than the kids so i'll add it to my pizza when I make it.  Use this as a starter and adjust to you liking.  Different tomato will need different amounts of salt.

We tend to top our cheese with fresh basil when it comes out of the oven.  Another classic is pepperoni.  We use Hormel and it is labeled gluten free and we have never had a problem.  They have a page on their website that lists their gluten free items - here (Hormel Gluten Free).   This is one of my dough attempts.  It had the right chew but the flavor was off.


Out of pepperoni?  Try prosciutto.


Another favorite of mine.  Top the crust with your favorite BBQ sauce, cover with grilled chicken, top with gouda (sometimes I'll mix cheddar and mozzarella), add sliced red onion and cook.  Top with fresh cilantro and more BBQ sauce when it comes out of the oven.


A great veggie pizza.  Coat the crust with olive oil and fresh minced garlic.  Spoon on some of the red sauce with dollops of fresh pesto.  Top with tomato slices and broccoli.  Cheese is optional

Hope you like the ideas.  Leftovers make great lunch ideas for work and school.

Enjoy,

The Un-Gluten Guy

Saturday, April 6, 2013

The Best GF Ice Cream Cones

I attended the Celiac Awareness Tour in Del Mar, California and stopped by the booth for Keil's Food Store.  They have two stores in San Diego and they offer a ton of GF products.

They had a sample of their GF items but one that I had not seen before was Goldbaums GF Ice Cream cones.  The have sugar cones, cocco cones and jumbo cones.  The also make meals and pasta and all are gluten free.


These are the best cones I have had, hands down.  Many GF cones are just terrible - but not Goldbaums.  Not one cone was broken, as many fragile GF products tend to break during shipping.

It was so good that I took a bite and went back to the box to make sure it was GF.  My wife and kids liked them too so they have become a staple in my house.


Unfortunately, others must have found out that these are good because the last time we went to Keil's they were sold out.  So if you are going to the store - leave me one box, please.

Scoop some ice cream in your cone,

The Un-Gluten Guy