Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Gluten-Fuggedaboutit Chicken Cutlets with Peppers and Onions

I'll never forget my first attempt at cooking for my husband. We were in our early twenties and had been dating for about 3 months. We were watching a movie at my apartment and the clock ticked dinnertime and I seriously was not prepared to cook. I suggested we have some linguine with white clam sauce. His eyes lit up and he said "that sounds perfect." I run into the kitchen and put the linguine in the pot to boil. Next thing I know he walks in on me opening the can to the "white clam sauce." My husband is New York Italian and knows good Italian food. This is a guy who never had Ragu or Prego and I was serving him white clam sauce from a can. I thought he was going to collapse out of shock. He couldn't think I would make it fresh? Would I really have fresh clams in the fridge ready to go? The look of fear on his face as I brought the linguine over to the table told me I needed to really learn to cook. So I started to learn with the help of Food Network, cookbooks, many calls to my mom mid-recipe, experimentation, and intuition.

My husband loves Italian breaded chicken cutlets and after a meal in a famous New York City Italian restaurant, I thought to myself: I can make that. I'll never forget the first time trying to make this. I bought the chicken breasts, a mallet, some eggs, and Italian bread crumbs. I laid the chicken breasts on the cutting board and started to pound them with the mallet. With every pound I would get sprayed with chicken juice. I thought about how disgusting this was and could not understand how people do this. Then I took each piece of the thinly pounded chicken and dipped it in the beaten eggs, then in the breadcrumbs, and then into a hot skillet of olive oil. They really weren't bad. Luckily we did not get food poisoning and no worries - I totally disinfected the kitchen and myself. The day I learned about placing the chicken in saran wrap before pounding was a turning point. Over the years, I perfected that gluten-full Italian chicken cutlet topped with red peppers and onions sautéed in olive oil and oregano.

Like many of you may have found, making separate gluten-filled meals for your family can be time consuming and to find gluten-free foods your family likes can be impossible at times. Luckily I found a new gluten-free product that has saved my life!  This product is as close as it gets to gluten-full breadcrumbs and I am compelled to share it with you if you haven't tried it yet. Aleia's Gluten Free Foods began when owner/creator, Kim Snow, a culinary trained chef who is herself gluten intolerant opened a restaurant in 1993 in CT and later a bakery. All of their products are manufactured in a dedicated gluten-free facility and are all natural and kosher certified. Their products range from cookies, to stuffing mix (yes, you heard me right - STUFFING!!!) and my favorite, Italian bread crumbs. Now, I can make the Italian chicken cutlets my husband and I have loved for so many years gluten-free. My husband says they are just as good as regular gluten-full cutlets and he can't tell the difference. Yes ... these are NY Italian approved!! Now, I can also make breaded eggplant, chicken parmesan, eggplant parmesan, mozzarella sticks and even fried green tomatoes all gluten-free!!

Behold the Gluten-Fuggedaboutit Chicken Cutlets with Peppers & Onions:

Gluten-Fuggedaboutit Chicken Cutlets

6 skinless, boneless chicken breasts (preferably organic)
3 large eggs
1/2 cup shredded or grated parmesan cheese (fresh - not pkg as pkg may not be gf)
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil + possibly more depending on the size of your cutlets and your pan
1/4 cup canola oil + possibly more depending on the size of your cutlets and your pan

1) Rinse chicken and place on a plate. Begin placing one cutlet at a time in between saran wrap on top of a plastic cutting board and pound with mallet until about 1/2" thick.

2) Heat both canola and olive oil in large skillet at about medium high heat. The oil should come up about 1/4" in the pan.

3) In a small - medium sized container beat 3 large eggs and 2 TBSP water. Tip: Best for the container to be shallow and have a wide opening as this is where you will dip your chicken first.

4) In a small - medium sized container combine the bread crumbs with the parmesan cheese. Tip: Best for the container to be shallow and have a wide opening as this is where you will dip your chicken next.

5) Set up your assembly line! Chicken, then eggs (yes, the chicken before the egg), then bread crumbs, then skillet. Start dipping the chicken first into the egg, then into the breadcrumb mixture. Make sure you press the bread crumb mixture into the chicken on both sides then place into the skillet. Flip once the bottom is medium golden and cook the other side until medium golden.

6) Place cooked chicken on a plate lined with paper towels to absorb extra oil.

7) Set oven to 200 degrees.

8) As chicken starts to drain off some of the oil, place in casserole dish, cover with foil and place in the oven to keep warm while the others cook.

9) Top with the sautéed peppers and onions and serve with a green vegetable or salad.

Sautéed Peppers and Onions

1 large onion sliced
4 red peppers, seeded and sliced
3 TBSP extra virgin olive oil
4 TBSP oregano

1) Heat large saute pan with olive oil and oregano over medium heat

2) Add onion and red peppers and toss with oil to coat

3) Cover and cook for about 15 minutes. Check from time to time to toss with tongs.

4) Cook until they are too your liking... Or look like the picture above.

Mangia! Mangia!

Friday, December 11, 2009

Snowy Morning with Scrumptious Crumpettes

I started today thinking about how you never know where life will take you. I am from California. Ambition pulled me to New York City for school and a career and my husband's job moved me to Pennsylvania. When I first heard "Pennsylvania" I thought "this is going to be interesting." Little did I know what the past 11 months would be like. I look out the window this morning to see a blanket of snow. I think back to living in New York City and what this morning would be like if I still lived there and we had this much snow. I would be probably be a little miserable, dreading the day ahead and sloshing through "dirty snow" to try and catch a cab to work. About 2 cabs would probably get stolen from me before I'd get one and I would be cursing each person that took those cabs from me. This morning in Pennsylvania is different. I get up, see the snow and see the beauty in it. Winter is really here and now I have been through all Pennsylvania seasons. I pour myself a cup of hot coffee and look out the window onto the backyard to see the bunny rabbit's small paw prints in the snow and I smile.

A couple of months ago a good friend asked me what my idea of happiness was. For some reason I pictured Snow White baking pies and singing and dancing with all of her little critter friends in the forest. Perhaps that is what happens when you "grow up Disney?" Hmmm… I think that would make me happy... but wait I can’t have gluten so that means NO GLUTEN which means NO PIES & NO BAKING & NO SINGING IN THE FOREST WITH CRITTERS! Luckily I have learned that is not necessarily true thanks to innovative gluten-free bloggers, chefs, and food companies out there which make our lives a little easier which is why I started this little blog- Gluten Free Crumpette. It’s my attempt to help people out there just like me live happily ever after in our own little gluten- free world.

Now, onto the food - that is really why you are here right? 

How could my first recipe not be a gluten-free crumpet? Or as I like to call them…

Scrumptious Crumpettes

1/3 cup + 2TBSP white rice flour
1/3 cup tapioca starch/flour
1/4 cup coconut flour
¾ tsp xantham gum
1 tsp baking powder
pinch salt
2 eggs
3 TBSP sour cream
1/3 cup cottage cheese (make sure gluten free)
¼ cup water
½ cup unsweetened Almond Milk – I use Almond Breeze

1) Heat skillet over medium heat and spray with a gluten-free cooking spray (preferably canola). Also spray egg rings or crumpet rings and place on skillet.

2) Whisk all dry ingredients together in small bowl.

3) In a separate medium size bowl, beat eggs & sour cream. Add cottage cheese then milk and water.

4) Slowly add the dry ingredients into the wet until incorporated. The batter should be the consistency of a thick pancake batter.

5) Spoon batter into egg rings (about 3/4 full) as they will rise slightly. Let cook until the tops start to look dry. You can slide a thin spatula underneath to check them.

6) Once they are a medium golden brown on the bottom, remove the egg rings and flip the crumpettes.

7) Cook on other side until medium golden brown. They should be spongy and little doughy but also crispy on the outside.

8) Serve warm with butter, jam or syrup. Makes 8 Scrumptious Crumpettes! To reheat, it is best to toast them in the toaster or toaster oven.

And what goes better with Scrumptious Crumpettes than fresh jam? About 2 months ago, I made Gluten Free Girl's Raspberry Vanilla Jam which is AMAZING and I highly recommend you try it if you haven't. This month, the raspberries didn't look so hot at my market so I tried something a little different. The blackberries at the market were beautiful so I made a blackberry- vanilla jam, and it is really, really good.

Blackberry Vanilla Jam

4 cups of blackberries
1 TBSP vanilla bean paste or 1 whole vanilla bean
2 cups fresh squeezed orange juice
1/4 cup sugar

1) In a small saucepan, bring orange juice and the vanilla bean to boil (split and scrape vanilla bean into orange juice adding both the shell of the bean and the little vanilla specks to the oj)

2) After the orange juice has reduced (about 15 minutes or so) add all 4 cups blackberries and bring to boil.

3) Reduce to simmer and stir occasionally for 2 hours

4) Remove the bean and store in a tupperware like container for up to 30 days in refrigerator.

There is a lot you can do with this jam, from glazes or sauces on pork, to pb& j sandwiches (on gf bread of course). Try shaking a ½ tsp of the jam with vodka for a blackberry vanilla martini!

I hope you enjoy these and I look forward to sharing more with you soon!

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

New Gluten Free Crumpette Blog!

Hi there!

If you have reached this blog it is probably because you know me from Twitter? I am working on getting this blog up and running so I can bring you gluten free recipes, events, product reviews, and news.

Why "Gluten-Free Crumpette" you may ask? Well, my maiden name is Crump. As a kid, I loved the Smurfs, and my first boss in New York City gave me the nickname, CRUMPETTE! (Thanks Tom!) And who doesn't love a good crumpet with jam? (don't worry, I am working on a gluten free version!)

My motto - If it's Gluten-Free, it's for me!

Hope you have a delicious day and I can't wait to get this journey started with you.

In the meantime, follow me on Twitter - gfcrumpette

Gluten Free Crumpette