Monday, May 6, 2013

A Tasty Gluten-Free Duo

A Tasty Gluten-Free Duo
Holy Yum Chicken & Garlic Lemon Green Beans

The two recipes I road-tested this week come to you courtesy of Pinterest. Well, that's where I found them anyhow. Technically, I guess, they come courtesy of the lovely ladies at Table For Two (Holy Yum Chicken) and She Wears Many Hats (Garlic Lemon Green Beans). Since Julie and Amy did such a great job writing the recipes, you will want to pop over to their blogs for the full instructions.

Notes on Holy Yum Chicken

When I first read this recipe, I knew my husband would love it. He is a big fan of chicken in all its forms, and loves anything with a good sauce. I, however, am a little pickier--at least when it comes to chicken. In my opinion, chicken is only as good as the sauce it is in. In this case, that means chicken is very, very good.

  • boneless, skinless, chicken thighs
  • Dijon mustard*
  • 100% pure maple syrup
  • rice wine vinegar
  • salt
  • ground black pepper
  • cornstarch
  • fresh rosemary for garnish**
*See note below--I couldn't find gluten-free Dijon mustard

If you want to try it out, here are some things to keep in mind:
  1. Read the entire recipe before you get started, including the disclaimers. Julie gives some pretty good advice, and she explains herself well.
  2. Try as I might, I could not find any gluten-free dijon mustard. Instead, I substituted a combination of Koop's brand Honey Mustard and Spicy Brown Mustard--both of which are available at Target and at least one Dollar Tree location. I used 1/4 cup of each, but you could play with the ratio based on your preferences. (Personally, I love honey mustard, but I think my husband would have preferred a bit more spice.)
  3. The recipe instructs you to use cornstarch to thicken the sauce--make sure you don't use too much. My sauce was thickening much, so I kept adding more and more and wound up with a gritty texture. In the future, I plan to stick to the recommended amount of cornstarch and live with a thinner consistency.
  4. Trimming the fat adds considerable time to your prep work--especially if your knife is dull. Plan for at least 10-15 additional minutes unless you trim it in advance.

Notes on Garlic Lemon Green Beans

My mother is, what I consider, a gourmet cook, which means she has high standards. Specifically, she thinks vegetables should be fresh, or at the very least, frozen--never canned. While I think this is a great attitude to have, it also intimidates the heck out of me. I mean, how does one even prepare, for example, fresh asparagus?

To try to overcome this fear of mine, I pinned this recipe, planning to finally show vegetables whose boss. Apparently, it's them. While the green beans I produced were edible, they were rather crunchy and bland. Now don't get me wrong--I still think the recipe is great. Proof of this is the fact that they were soft and flavorful the next day when I nuked them in the microwave. However, what I am saying, is that I need to take a couple more whacks at this before I can rock this recipe to it's fullest potential. If you have a little more experience in the kitchen, I am sure you will do fine.

  • fresh green beans, cleaned and trimmed
  • olive oil
  • butter, salted*
  • fresh lemon juice**
  • garlic powder
  • salt
  • ground black pepper

*I am lactose-intolerant as well, so I substituted margarine
**I substituted lemon juice in a bottle (cringe if you must--it was already in the fridge)

Here are some things I may change on the next go-round:
  1. Use steamed frozen green beans instead of fresh The process of parboiling green beans seems simple, but I evidently didn't do it correctly. They way I figure it, I could probably defrost a bag of frozen green beans, dump it in to my steamer basket, and save myself some time and stress.
  2. Thoroughly cook and drain the green beans before adding the butter, lemon juice, etc. As I mentioned, my green beans turned out a little bland. My theory? All of the seasoning and flavor got left behind in the pan (which smelled delightful, by the way). Adding the final ingredients once the green beans have been drained and plated up should help make sure those tasty flavors will stay where they are supposed to be--on the green beans!
  3. Test the green beans to make sure they're done Yes, I know how obvious this seems. But this is exactly the kind of stuff a non-chef like me forgets to do. You live, and you learn.

Looking for more great recipe ideas?
Follow my Pinterest gluten-free recipe board, Kitchen (Mis)Adventures To-Be

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