Panko Chicken with Savoury

Savoury Panko Chicken

This is quick and crunchy and very handy if you’ve got a harried husband on his way out the door.

About an hour and a half before you want to eat, submerge 2 chicken breasts in about 1 1/2 cups buttermilk.  Add in some hot sauce (and/or tabasco) as well and leave that to marinate for an hour.  The acid in the buttermilk makes for a tender, juicy chicken that is hard to beat.

Savoury Panko Chicken

When the chicken is marinated, preheat your oven to 400°F and generously spray a baking sheet.

Savoury Panko Chicken

Pour about 1 cup panko crumbs (or other bread crumbs, brown rice ones if you are going for the gluten-free version) into a bowl with a pinch of sea salt and a tablespoon of dried savoury (or other dried herb of your choosing).

Savoury Panko Chicken

Mix that all together.  Lift one of the chicken breasts out of the buttermilk and let it drain before dredging it in the panko crumbs until completely coated.

Savoury Panko Chicken

Place the chicken on the baking sheet and repeat with the other breast.

Savoury Panko Chicken

Bake for about 25 minutes, until the chicken is cooked through and the crumbs are starting to turn golden.  We served ours with some corn and carrots.  Mmm, tasty!

Savoury Panko Chicken

Advertisements

“Cactus-Cut” Potatoes

Cactus-Cut Potatoes

I had some leftover potatoes that I’d cut for the gratin I showed you on Monday.  The Pie suggested that we attempt to fry them up as thick potato chips, not unlike those of a popular restaurant chain.

Cactus-Cut Potatoes

So we did.  This is a few inches of vegetable oil in a large saucepan. You heat it on medium-high (like at 7 or 8) until a pinch of flour dropped in goes all fizzy.

Cactus-Cut Potatoes

Then I fried the potatoes in batches until they were slightly crispy, but not too dark.

Cactus-Cut Potatoes

Stirring often with my big mesh spoon.

Cactus-Cut Potatoes

Plop them on a paper towel to drain and immediately salt them.

Cactus-Cut Potatoes

We had them with a chicken sandwich and some salad.  It makes up a bit for the grease.

Cactus-Cut Potatoes

Artichoke and Asiago Dip

Artichoke & Asiago Dip

This quick dip is easy and has only a few ingredients.  All you need is a food processor and a cheese grater and you’re ready to go.

Artichoke & Asiago Dip

Start with some artichoke hearts.  These usually come in a jar or a can, preserved in brine or oil.  Grab yourself 12 ounces of these.

Artichoke & Asiago Dip

Plop them in the food processor with 1 package (250g) plain cream cheese that has been brought to room temperature.

If your artichokes were in brine, add in a dollop of olive oil.  If they were packed in oil you probably won’t find this necessary.  Sprinkle in some dry mustard and a few spoonfuls of sour cream. Pulse that sucker silly.

Artichoke & Asiago Dip

Grate up some asiago cheese and stir that in afterwards.

Artichoke & Asiago Dip

Top with some fresh basil if you’ve got it and serve (or wrap up and store in the fridge for a few days). We had ours alongside some baba ghanouj and the five minute flat bread I showed you on Monday.  Tasty!

Five-Minute Gluten-Free Flatbread

Gluten-Free Yellow Cake Batter

Gluten-Free Cake Batter

Everybody needs a basic cake batter recipe to work from, even those who have a low tolerance for gluten.  Fussellette was coming for Easter and I wanted to serve a cake for dessert.  So I needed to come up with a cake that she could enjoy along with the rest of our guests.

Gluten-Free Yellow Cake Batter

This recipe is adapted from Martha Stewart’s Easy Cake Batter.  I replaced the flour in the recipe with a gluten-free mix I came up with myself, with a little bit of help from Ellen’s Kitchen.  If you are curious as to the right proportions when combining gluten-free flours, check out her suggestions — they are very useful.

Gluten-Free Yellow Cake Batter

First we want to bring all our liquid ingredients to room temperature: 1 cup butter, 4 large eggs plus 2 large egg yolks, and 1 1/2 cups buttermilk (or soured milk). If you want to warm up your ingredients a little faster, try placing them in a warm water bath.

Gluten-Free Yellow Cake Batter

In a bowl, whisk together 2 cups white rice flour, 2/3 cup almond meal (I find that the coarseness of the almond meal gives the cake crumb a springy, solid texture, with no fear of it falling if handled too roughly), 1/3 cup tapioca starch/flour, and1 tablespoon baking powder.  So the final result of this particular combination tastes like a sweet, more tender version of cornbread — it has a finer texture but that’s the best analogy I can come up with.

Gluten-Free Yellow Cake Batter

In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat together your butter with 1 3/4 cups granulated sugar, until it’s light and fluffy and creamy.  Don’t rush this process.  Let your mixer go on high for about 6 minutes, and you will see the difference between butter and sugar that are just well-combined versus butter and sugar that are well and truly creamed together. This is the just-combined stuff.

Gluten-Free Yellow Cake Batter

This is the truly creamed stuff.  It makes all the difference in a cake, especially one where you need all the help you can get to keep the structure light and fluffy.

Gluten-Free Yellow Cake Batter

Mix in your eggs, one at a time, until they are well-combined.  Again, you add the eggs a bit at a time so that the mixer paddle will have a chance to properly emulsify all of it.

Gluten-Free Yellow Cake Batter

Add in at this point 1 tablespoon vanilla extract.

Flip the mixer to its lowest setting and mix in about a third of your flour mixture.  Pour in half the buttermilk and let that get mixed in as well.  Then another third of your flour, mix that in, and the rest of the buttermilk.  When that’s mixed in, add the last of the flour and mix until just combined.  You may need to scrape down the sides of the bowl. This picture is blurry because I like to cook in motion.

Gluten-Free Yellow Cake Batter

Now you have a basic batter with which you can do pretty much anything.  You can turn it into a layer cake, or mix it with other flavours like chocolate or fruit.  Or you can make it into cupcakes, like I did here (the frosting is a package of cream cheese mixed with a cup of icing sugar and some coconut).

Gluten-Free Cake Batter

This cake here I wrapped up and froze for a future event.

Gluten-Free Cake Batter

For Easter I poured the batter into two pans and then layered the cake with whipped cream mixed with raspberries.  DIVINE.

Five-Minute Gluten-Free Flat Bread

Five-Minute Gluten-Free Flatbread

One of the benefits of having a friend who has a gluten intolerance is that I get to learn all sorts of new recipes.  This one I served up as an appetizer at Easter dinner.  At first, it seemed questionable and I doubted it would work, but when I did it, I was pleasantly surprised.

First, preheat your broiler (the top grill in your oven) to its highest setting and move the top rack as close to it as possible.

Then, using a scale, measure out 150g gluten-free flour.  For the purposes of this recipe I used half white rice flour and half soy flour.

Five-Minute Gluten-Free Flatbread

So you have your flour.  Now you also need olive oil, sea salt, and some warm water.  The amount of water you will need will vary but on this particular occasion I needed about 1 cup.

Five-Minute Gluten-Free Flatbread

Slowly add the water to your flour mixture, stirring the whole time.  When you come up with a mixture closely resembling cake batter then you’re all ready to go.

Five-Minute Gluten-Free Flatbread

Pour some olive oil onto your baking sheet and spread it around with your fingers.  In retrospect I would have used an older sheet where the oil would have stuck better to the surface.

Five-Minute Gluten-Free Flatbread

Roughly spoon your bread batter onto the oiled sheet and drizzle some more oil over top.  Make your hands nice and oily too — it helps.

Five-Minute Gluten-Free Flatbread

Use your fingers to spread the batter to the edges of the pan.  You will get some areas where the batter is translucent — this is a good thing — and this is where your big bubbles will happen when the bread cooks.

Five-Minute Gluten-Free Flatbread

Sprinkle it with sea salt and whatever spices you want.

Five-Minute Gluten-Free Flatbread

Place the bread under the broiler and keep an eye on it.  When it starts to char in places, after a few minutes, take it out.

Five-Minute Gluten-Free Flatbread

So this is the top:

Five-Minute Gluten-Free Flatbread

Use a spatula and your fingers to flip it over.  You can see how, because the oil moved away from the surface of the pan, I had some sticking issues.  This wouldn’t happen in an older pan.

Five-Minute Gluten-Free Flatbread

Pop that under the element again until it’s nice and charred as well.

Five-Minute Gluten-Free Flatbread

Use a pair of scissors to cut it into pieces and serve warm.

Five-Minute Gluten-Free Flatbread

On this night, when I was experimenting, I had it with home-made artichoke and asiago dip (recipe to come soon) and some goat cheese we got on sale.

Five-Minute Gluten-Free Flatbread

Surprisingly tasty and not too filling!

Five-Minute Gluten-Free Flatbread

Spicy Spring Carrot Soup

Happy Easter!

Spicy Spring Carrot Soup

It’s spring.  Well, I shouldn’t say that.  It’s spring in some parts of Canada.  Here in Newfoundland we are still clearing up snow from our blizzard last week.  In most parts of the country the markets are full to bursting with new spring vegetables: tender carrots, tiny potatoes, fresh peas.  Here in St. John’s it’s time to clean out the dregs of our winter supply, and most produce around here is either flaccid or unripe.  So we make soup.

This soup will be served as a starter at our Easter dinner on Sunday.  If a soup could be considered to be light and fluffy, it would be this one.  In fact (and I may have texted this to the Pie when I made it), I bet if you put the Easter Bunny in a blender and heated him up he would taste a lot like this soup: sweet, a little bit spicy, a hint of ginger, and chock-full of carrots.

Spicy Spring Carrot Soup
This recipe is simple, and takes very little time.

I have here 2 bunches of “new” carrots (which in reality were bendy and dried-out), 4 Bosc pears (which I unsuccessfully tried to ripen for three days), a handful of mildly hot peppers, and 2 onions.

Spicy Spring Carrot Soup

Chop those puppies up and toss them in a pot.  Add a whole carton of chicken broth (about 4 cups, or a litre), and top the rest up with water.

Spicy Spring Carrot Soup

Chuck in as well a few teaspoons of minced ginger (two will probably do it, as the minced stuff is wicked strong) and a healthy dollop of dijon mustard.

Spicy Spring Carrot Soup

Add in a few tablespoons of sweet chili sauce as well.

Spicy Spring Carrot Soup

Simmer that like crazy until all the vegetables are tender.

Spicy Spring Carrot Soup

Remove it from the heat and use an immersion blender (or a regular blender) to turn it all into an orange pulp.

Spicy Spring Carrot Soup

If you’ve picked a really hot pepper for your soup, you might want to serve it with a dollop of sour cream, or maybe some green onions for garnish.  It’s also lovely just as it is.  You can freeze it easily and bring it out whenever you need a taste of spring.

Spicy Spring Carrot Soup