Anne Byrn, Author of, "Unbelieveably Gluten-Free!"
Tuesday, January 22nd at 7 pm
Schuler Books and Music
2660 28th St. SE
Grand Rapids, MI 49512
Smashed Chicken Gluten-Free Style
Prep: 20 minutes
Cook: 8 to 10 minutes total
After ordering chicken milanese in a favorite restaurant, I was determined to come up with my own version of the recipe at home. Now I have mastered the art of smashing chicken breasts with a heavy rolling pin. Dredged in seasoned bread crumbs and then sautéed, my kids love them. Because gluten-free bread crumbs are so easy to make yourself-or to buy-I wanted to include a gluten-free version of this easy recipe. I have never met a child, teenager, or adult who doesn't like smashed chicken.
4 skinless boneless chicken breast halves (11/4 pounds total), frozen slightly
2 cups coarse, dry gluten-free bread crumbs (see Note)
1/2 cup (2 ounces) grated Parmesan cheese
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 teaspoon dried oregano (optional)
1/4 teaspoon dried basil (optional)
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/2 cup olive oil, or more as needed, for frying
Arugula leaves and chopped fresh tomatoes, or your favorite pasta sauce, warmed, for serving
1.Place each chicken breast in a separate gallon-size resealable plastic bag. It is easier to smash the chicken if the chicken is cold, preferably a little frozen. Place the bags on a sturdy kitchen counter and smash the chicken breasts with a mallet, heavy rolling pin, or cast-iron skillet until they are G inch thick. This will take about 2 minutes per chicken breast. Set the chicken aside or, if you like to plan for future meals, place the smashed chicken in the plastic bags in the freezer until you need to cook them.
2.Place the bread crumbs, Parmesan cheese, garlic, oregano and basil, if using, and the salt and pepper in a large mixing bowl and stir to mix. Set the crumb mixture aside.
3.Pour the olive oil in a large frying pan and place the pan over medium-high heat. Carefully remove the chicken breasts from the plastic bags as they are delicate and can tear. Place 1 breast at a time in the bread crumb mixture and dredge it on both sides.
4.Line a platter with paper towels. When the oil is hot, slide the breaded chicken breasts into the pan, 1 or 2 at a time, depending on how many will fit in the pan. Cook the chicken breasts on one side until golden, 2 to 3 minutes, then turn them with tongs and cook them on the second side until the chicken is cooked through and the bread crumbs are golden, 1 to 2 minutes. Transfer the chicken breasts to the paper towel-lined platter to drain. Repeat with the remaining chicken breasts, adding more olive oil to the pan, if necessary.
5.Remove the paper towels and serve the chicken on the platter, garnished with arugula and chopped tomatoes or with pasta sauce on the side.
Note: Buy panko-style gluten-free crumbs, or make your own. I use whatever gluten-free white bread I have on hand, toast it, then pulse it in the food processor until it forms coarse crumbs. You can put the garlic into the processor first, pulse to finely mince it, then add the toasted bread and pulse the processor to make crumbs. Stir in the Parmesan cheese and seasonings and you are ready to go!
Leftover smashed chicken is superb sliced atop a salad or placed in a shallow baking dish, covered with your favorite pasta sauce, and topped with shredded mozzarella and Parmesan cheese. Bake it in a hot oven until the cheese bubbles and you have chicken Parmesan.
Omit the Parmesan cheese when making the bread crumb mixture and the chicken will be dairy-free.
The Best Skillet Lasagna
Prep: 30 minutes
Bake: 45 to 50 minutes | Rest: 15 minutes
I have been intrigued by skillet lasagnas ever since I saw a recipe for one in a Williams-Sonoma catalog. Such a great way to make the dish, I thought, although I never seemed to give it a try. So when testing recipes for this book, and thinking pasta and lasagna, I thought back to the skillet method and concocted my own delicious version. It is based around a very simple red sauce with turkey, onions, carrots, and garlic, which you layer in a large oven-proof skillet along with uncooked brown rice lasagna noodles, ricotta, and cheese. In about an hour you have the most yummy lasagna imaginable.
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 cup finely chopped onion
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 carrot, peeled and finely chopped
1 pound ground turkey
4 cups (32 ounces) good gluten-free marinara (pasta) sauce
2 tablespoons red wine (optional)
1 container (15 ounces) part-skim ricotta cheese
1 large egg
½ cup (2 ounces) grated Parmesan cheese
9 brown rice lasagna noodles (see Note)
3 cups (12 ounces) shredded mozzarella cheese
1. Place the olive oil in a large ovenproof skillet that is 12 inches in diameter, at least 3 inches deep, and has a lid that fits securely. Heat the oil over medium heat and add the onion, garlic, and carrot and cook, stirring, until the onion softens and begins to brown, 4 to 5 minutes. Crumble the turkey into the skillet and cook, stirring, until the turkey is cooked through, 5 to 6 minutes. Add the marinara sauce and red wine, if using. Reduce the heat to low and let simmer, stirring occasionally, until the flavors come together, 5 minutes.
2. Place a rack in the center of the oven and preheat the oven to 400°F.
3. Leave about a third of the sauce in the skillet, transfer the remaining two thirds to a bowl, and set it aside. Place the ricotta, egg, and Parmesan cheese in a medium-size bowl and stir to combine. Break 3 of the lasagna noodles into 3-inch pieces and distribute them over the sauce in the skillet. Spoon a third of the ricotta mixture on top of the lasagna noodles and spread it out thinly to nearly cover them. Sprinkle 1 cup of the mozzarella cheese evenly over the ricotta mixture. Repeat the layers of sauce, noodles, and cheese 2 times, ending with the mozzarella.
4. Place the lid on the skillet and carefully place the skillet in the oven. Bake the lasagna until the noodles have cooked through, the sauce bubbles, and the cheese has melted, 45 to 50 minutes. Remove the skillet from the oven and let the lasagna rest, covered, for 15 minutes before slicing and serving.
Note: I used the DeBoles gluten-free rice lasagna noodles, made from rice flour and rice bran extract. I did not preboil the noodles, but I did break them into 3-inch pieces to distribute them more evenly around the pan.
Extra! Extra!: I love lasagna made with ground turkey because it is lighter than beef. Use this recipe as a basic plan and add sliced mushrooms to the sauce or a layer of lightly steamed fresh spinach in the middle. Or change up the cheeses, adding a little feta to the mozzarella-so many possibilities.
Dairy-Free: It is not possible to make this lasagna dairy-free.
Gluten-Free Saucepan Brownies
Makes: 16 small or 8 large brownies
Prep: 10 minutes
Bake: 25 to 30 minutes
Naturally gluten-free, these brownies are so fudgy, chewy, and chocolaty, you'll never miss the flour. That's because the cocoa and cornstarch in the recipe give just the right amount of structure to the brownies. The flavor comes from the butter, cocoa, vanilla, and chocolate chips. And the ease comes from making them in one pan on top of the stove, then pouring into a square pan and baking.
Vegetable oil spray, for misting the baking pan
1/4 cup cornstarch, plus cornstarch, for dusting the baking pan
8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder (see Note)
1/2 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
2 large eggs
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup semisweet chocolate chips
1.Place a rack in the center of the oven and preheat the oven to 350°F. Lightly mist an 8-inch square baking pan with vegetable oil spray, then dust it with cornstarch. Set the baking pan aside.
2.Place the butter in a medium-size saucepan over low heat and stir until melted. Add the cocoa powder and stir until thickened and smooth, about 15 to 20 seconds. Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the brown sugar, granulated sugar, and vanilla until smooth. Break the eggs into the pan and stir to combine well. Add the G cup of cornstarch and the salt and stir until the batter is smooth. Fold in the chocolate chips.
3.Pour the batter into the prepared baking pan and place the pan in the oven. Bake the brownies until the edges are firm, the top is shiny, and the center is just set, 25 to 30 minutes. If you like your brownies gooey, bake them for 25 minutes and if you like them more chewy, bake them for 30 minutes.
4.Remove the baking pan from the oven and let the brownies cool for 1 hour before slicing them into 1-inch squares, if desired. (Some people eat them straight from the pan!) Store the brownies, covered with plastic wrap or aluminum foil, at room temperature for up to 5 days.
Note: For the best flavor, use the best cocoa powder you have. I bake with Hershey's day-to-day, but when I want more flavor I use Ghirardelli cocoa.
Instead of vanilla, use half almond extract and half vanilla extract. Or use a teaspoon of espresso powder instead of the vanilla.
To make brownie sundaes, bake the brownies ahead of time, let them cool, then cut them into large squares and cover the pan to keep the brownies fresh. To serve, place a brownie in the bottom of a shallow microwave-safe bowl and microwave on high power for 8 to 10 seconds. Remove the bowl from the microwave and top the brownie with a scoop of vanilla ice cream and a drizzle of your favorite chocolate sauce.
Use margarine instead of butter and H cup of carob chips in place of the semisweet chocolate chips.
Red Velvet Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting
Prep: 20 to 25 minutes
Bake: 21 to 25 minutes
When I was testing recipes for my gluten-free cake book, I considered including a red velvet cake but thought, no, gluten-free cooks won't like a recipe that contains red food coloring. Boy, was I proven wrong once I hit the book tour. At each and every stop, once it was time for questions, someone would ask either how to make a red velvet cake using a gluten-free cake mix, or more to the point, why did I omit red velvet? So here it is, a luscious red velvet beginning with a cake mix, adding cocoa for flavor and butter for texture, and the de rigueur cream cheese frosting.
For the red velvet cake
Vegetable oil spray, for misting the cake pans
Rice flour, for dusting the cake pans
1 package (15 ounces) gluten-free yellow cake mix (see Extra! Extra!)
1 package (3.4 ounces) vanilla instant pudding mix
2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
1 cup water
8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature
3 large eggs
1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
31/4 teaspoons (from 1-ounce bottle) red food coloring (see Note)
For the cream cheese frosting
1 package (8 ounces) cream cheese, at room temperature
4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature
3 cups confectioners' sugar, sifted
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1. Make the red velvet cake: Place a rack in the center of the oven and preheat the oven to 350°F. Mist two 8-inch round cake pans with vegetable oil spray and dust them with rice flour. Shake out the excess rice flour and set the cake pans aside.
2. Place the cake mix, pudding mix, and cocoa in a large mixing bowl and whisk until well combined. Add the water, butter, eggs, vanilla, and food coloring and beat with an electric mixer on low speed until just combined, about 30 seconds. Stop the machine and scrape down the side of the bowl with a rubber spatula. Increase the mixer speed to medium and beat the batter until it is smooth and well combined, 1 to 1H minutes longer, scraping down the side of the bowl again if needed.
3. Divide the batter evenly between the 2 prepared cake pans, smoothing the tops with the rubber spatula. Place the pans in the oven side by side. Bake the cake layers until the tops spring back when lightly pressed with a finger, 21 to 25 minutes. Transfer the cake pans to wire racks and let the cake layers cool for 15 minutes. Run a knife around the edge of each cake pan and shake the pans gently to loosen the cakes. Invert each layer onto a wire rack, then invert it again onto another rack so that the layers are right side up and let cool for at least 20 minutes longer.
4. Make the cream cheese frosting: Place the cream cheese and butter in a large mixing bowl and beat with an electric mixer on low speed until creamy, about 30 seconds. Stop the machine and add the confectioners' sugar and vanilla a little at a time, beating with the mixer on low speed just to incorporate the sugar. Increase the mixer speed to medium and beat the frosting until it is creamy and light, 1 to 2 minutes longer.
5. To frost the cake, place one layer, right side up, on a cake plate or stand. Spread the top of that layer with I cup of frosting, spreading it evenly to the edges. Place the second layer, right side up, on top of the first and, using a long metal spatula, carefully spread a thin layer of frosting around the side of the cake just to seal the crumbs. Do not let the crumbs rub off into the frosting or they will turn the frosting pink. Spread a second thicker layer of frosting around the side of the cake. Spoon the remaining frosting on top of the cake and spread it evenly to the edge, adding a decorative pattern of swirls to the top with the metal spatula or the back of a spoon.
6. For easiest slicing, refrigerate the cake uncovered for 1 hour. To store the cake for longer than
6 hours, place it in a cake saver in the refrigerator. It's best eaten on the day it is baked.
Note: You can buy all-natural red food coloring made by India Tree. It is made from highly concentrated vegetable colors.
Extra! Extra!: Most gluten-free cake mixes are smaller (15 ounces) than regular cake mixes. (I used Betty Crocker's Gluten Free Yellow Cake Mix for this recipe.) Because of this, the yield is a little smaller and a layer cake needs to be baked in 8-inch pans. These smaller pans make the cake layers taller, making the cake look more impressive when frosted on your cake stand.
Dairy Free: Use margarine instead of butter in the cake. And for the frosting, use a dairy-free cream cheese, such as Better Than Cream Cheese, for the cream cheese, use margarine instead of butter, and increase the confectioners' sugar to 4 cups.
Courtesy: Anne Byrn