Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Gluten Free Fried Chicken Tenders

Here is a recipe that my kids devour and ask if I could cook it every night.  It is gluten free and totally delicious.  Since I don't take my kids to Kentucky Fried Chicken, (there is nothing but corn on the cob I can eat there)  my kids begged for the longest time for me to make homemade fried chicken.  We don't eat it that often because it is fried, but when I do, I have to make a big batch because the kids gobble it up faster that a hungry dog. 
This week I made it and as my oldest daughter helped she was asking how I came up with the recipe for it to be gluten free.  I started thinking a long time ago about how I could cook something with cornmeal and it not taste to corny.  So I started experimenting with a combination of flours until I came up with this one.  It fries normal, and you can't taste a difference in the fried product.  
I have 4 kids that are growing, one of them being a teenage boy, so I double this recipe for my family, but you can adjust it for your family.  
Gluten Free Fried Chicken Tenders

1 1/2 cup corn meal
1 cup gluten free flour mix (see previous recipe for this)
1 tsp powdered onion
1 tsp powdered garlic
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
1/2 tsp curry
4 eggs, beaten
3 tbsp water
10-15 chicken tenders, depending on size
Oil in cooking pan

Thoroughly mix first 7 ingredients in a medium bowl.  In another bowl, beet eggs and water.  Heat oil in a medium to large pan over medium heat for about 3-4 minutes. Drop a pinch of flour in oil to see if it bubbles.  When oil is hot enough, start dipping the tenders in the egg mixture, making sure that the tender is thoroughly coated.  Then dip in flour mixture, making sure it is thoroughly covered.  Carefully place in oil.  Fry for 4-5 minutes, and then flip over and fry for an additional 2-3 minutes until flour mixture is turning a golden brown.  Put on a plate coated with a paper towel to help collect any oil that drains off of the fried chicken.
This serves about 4-5, depending on the size of the tenders.

I also at one point in my adult life was re-reading the grapes of wrath and developed a gluten free form of fried mush with the left over flour and eggs that I some times have,  if I run out of chicken tenders first. This recipe is not exactly like in the book, but it is a gluten free form that helps prevent wasting any of the expensive flour.

I will mix the leftover flour with the eggs.  If it is too thick, I just add some water to make it the consistency of pancake dough.  I then drop it off in small portions in the already hot oil to fry for 3-5 minutes on each side.  It makes for a delicious breakfast fasty when I am in a rush in the mornings.  Just re-heat and go!  My kids like it, too.

Friday, January 6, 2012

Time with kids!

As a working mother of 4, I do not get much time alone, nor much time to spend on the computer typing.  My  days are very busy combining, kids, work, household chores, their school work, and everything else that life throws at you.  If you let it, time steals the most precious moments away from you.

So, the time I spend with my kids has always been important to me.  I try to find the time in this busy life to always do something small with, or for them.  Usually it is play time, but this past weekend I took the time to make something for my youngest daughter that she had been asking for.  

She recently fell in love with bags of navy beans and lentils and everytime I'd bring some home from shopping, she'd find the bag while I am putting groceries away and would carry it around the house saying it was her baby.  So, I asked her if she wanted me to make a baby with the beans for her, and her face lit up.  She then asked every day if I had made one yet.  Well, I don't sew that often, so coming up with ideas of how to actually so this was not that easy for me.

One morning, I thought, well I could just fill and sew some old socks together and crochet a dress for that, draw a face and maybe she would like it.  Later that day, when she was occupied in the other room, I started to sew it together.  Before I had the dress made and the face painted, she came in, picked up the sewn sock and started carrying it around like a baby.  I then asked her when I was done with the dress to bring it back, and said, "if you go in the other room for a minute, I will have a surprise for you."  When she came back, I gave her the new homemade doll and she won't put it down now.  She loves it so much and now my son wants me to make a bear for him.  (out of brown socks, of course)

I knew kids were easy to please, and sometimes the smaller, the better!!!  And their being pleased can be even more pleasing for the parent when you take the time to watch them and learn from them as well.  Kids have so much to teach all the adults in the world!!!!

I plan to  post a picture of the "Sock babies, or bears or frogs", what ever the are called, when I finish making them all, (cuz I have more that one request right now) so keep an eye out for them soon.

Monday, January 2, 2012

Being Gluten Free is not always Easy

Being gluten free is not always easy.  Have you ever noticed that you go to a restaurant to eat out and there is nothing you can eat?  This is always frustrating.  I have been to places were there are foods available, but the waiter doesn't appreciate the fact that my food must be prepared differently.  One time, I ordered a salad with out croutons, explaining that I can not eat them.  (The salad was all I could eat.)  My salad came back 15 minutes later with croutons, and I asked for a new one.  The waiter took the salad to the back, took off the croutons and brought me the same salad back.  Needless to say, he did not get a good tip that night and I still had to wait an additional 15 minutes for a new salad. Frustrating!

I drive buses for a living and when I know I am going out of town on a trip, I try to plan ahead and bake some goodies for just in case we stop somewhere I can't eat.  I love to take my quick breads and/or muffins, because breakfast always seems to be the hardest meal to find GF in a restaurant.  I am now adding one of my favorite, the one I get so many comments about how people can not believe it is gluten free.

Try it out and let me know how you like it.

Pumpkin Bread

3 1/2 cups gluten free flour (See previous post for the flour that I use)
3 cups sugar
2 tsp baking soda
2 tsp salt
2 tsp ground allspice
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp ground nutmeg
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground cloves
4 eggs
1 can (15 oz) solid packed pumpkin
3/4 cup vegetable oil
2/3 cup water

Pre-heat oven to 350*.  Combine all the dry ingredients.  In another bowl, combine the eggs, pumpkin, oil and water.  Whisk until combined thoroughly. Stir into dry ingredients just until moistened.  Pour into three greased 8X4X2 inch pans.  
Bake for 50 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean.  Cool for 10 minutes before removing from pans.  

Enjoy and then share, if there is any left.