Sure a nice roast makes a great dinner, but sometimes you want fried food. Whether chicken, fish, or veggies - everything tastes better when it has a crispy coating on it. To get a flavor-enhancing coating that is gluten-free may seem almost impossible. However, if you look to other cultures’ recipes and cooking techniques, it turns out that gluten-free deep-fried deliciousness has been around for a while. Here are some that are easy to do at home.
1. Many Chinese recipes use egg whites and corn starch to coat meat or fish, then stir-fry it. The outside of the protein turns into a light, crispy coating as it cooks. Also, cornstarch and water slurry is used to thicken sauces in Chinese recipes, too. Argo Cornstarch (in business over 100 years) has a website with over 55 recipes for gluten-free cooks. A favorite is Szechwan ‘Chicken and Shrimp with Peanuts’. See their website for variety of delicious, simple, economical recipes. http://www.argostarch.com/search_results.asp?theSearchTerm=&gobut.x=39&gobut.y=14&categories=67
2. Traditional Middle Eastern and Indian recipes use chickpea (aka garbanzo bean) flour as a coating for veggies and meats, and also as a base for fritters. Bob's Red Mill offers this flour packeged in a moderate size and has recipes, too. (for Falafel see http://www.bobsredmill.com/recipes.php?recipe=1611)
3. Taking tips from other cultures, you can make Italian entrées, too. One easy recipe uses one (8-10 inch) washed and sliced eggplant (about ½” thick slices and trim off the top and bottom ¼” stem and butt of the eggplant). Then, combine the following ingredients in a medium bowl and whisk together until smooth:
1 cup chickpea or garbanzo bean flour
3/4 cup water
3/4 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. of each: cayenne pepper, garlic powder (not salt), turmeric, and cumin
1 extra large egg
Heat 1/3 cup olive oil in a skillet until medium-high/hot. Dip in batter and coat well. Let excess batter drip back into the batter bowl while holding the eggplant from one edge over the bowl and fry. Adjust heat to medium if necessary and fry until deep golden on both sides. Drain on paper towel lined plate, then enjoy.
For another variation, top the fried eggplant slices with shredded mozzarella and some jarred marinara sauce that has been warmed up like Classico Sauces that are all gluten-free for an easy 'Eggplant Parmigiana'. See their link for more ideas. http://www.classico.com/products.aspx.) This same recipe works for sliced green zucchini, then fried crisp and sprinkled with 2 tablespoons of parmesan cheese for a snack or side dish.
On Friday, drop by for a gluten-free weekend recipe that uses what you already have in your pantry. To get a free email with a link to it, just hit the ‘subscribe’ button at the bottom.