Polenta Pie! Another gluten-free kitchen experiment.

I make a lot of other peoples’ gluten free recipes, but every now and then I take something into my head and it won’t leave until I make it.

I’m not the hugest fan of polenta, like cream of wheat, the texture bugs me out a little bit…and even fried it’s just never done anything for me. But this week, I had a polenta epiphany!!

I was out checking on the garden, and noticed that my basil plant was starting to go a little crazy. Crazy basil= pesto.

I had a bunch of pasta last week, so I decided to try something different….and polenta came to mind. Without even googling to see what anyone else had done, I set to work on my polenta pie.

The first step is making the pesto. I used this pesto recipe without the pine nuts (I just didn’t have any, and it’s fine without). My only change was an extra clove of garlic and a splash of milk because I like my pesto creamy.

Once the pesto was done, I browned a diced chicken breast in garlic and oil.

I covered that pan to keep the heat in, set the oven to 350, and put water to boil for the polenta.

I made a single portion of polenta to package instructions, and as soon as it had thickened, scooped it into a pie plate I had waiting.

Using a rubber spatula, I smoothed it into a layer about an inch thick, then I “iced” the polenta cake with a generous pesto layer. After that, I sprinkled on the chicken, placed two fistfuls of baby spinach on top of that, layered on some slices of fresh mozzarella, sprinkled on my diced Roma tomato and then spritzed the whole creation with balsamic vinegar.

When I was done, it looked like this:

IMG_6351

Then I popped it into the oven for just long enough to melt the cheese, which took about 12 minutes. Just long enough to clean up the kitchen!

IMG_6352

This little guy should serve 4! 🙂

Advertisements

Gluten-Free Coconut Chicken with Mustard-Lime Sauce

I’m super obsessed with coconut and always jealous when I’m at a restaurant where there’s coconut shrimp and not coconut chicken.  I’m working on seafood as a concept, but generally struggle with it.

4599344038_f4569b5176

So that’s coconut chicken, sweet mustard-lime sauce, fried yucca, and some raw spinach (pre-balsamic coating).  I’m really loving yucca right now – I always, however, love coconut and lime.

Coconut Chicken
Package of Chicken Tenders (or breasts, cut up)
2 cups shredded, unsweetened coconut
1 cup cornflake breadcrumbs
1 egg lightly beaten
lime juice
salt and pepper
olive oil

Combine 1 cup coconut, a half cup of breadcrumbs and a few pinches of salt & pepper on a large plate – the crumbs will sort of coat the coconut as you mix and that’s ok. Put lightly beaten egg into a shallow bowl or onto a plate. Squeeze a little lime juice on both sides of the chicken, dip into the egg and then dredge in the coco/crumb mixture. Repeat this until all pieces are covered. When you run out of coating, mix the remaining coconut and breadcrumbs into a second batch – I like doing it in two stages because I think the mix is more even and it provides better coverage.

Pre-heat the oven to 350 degrees and put a cookie sheet with some olive oil in it. Heat some olive oil in a skillet and brown the chicken on both sides. As the chicken is browned (becomes white) put it into the oven for about 15-20 minutes to cook through. The smaller the chicken pieces and the longer they were in the pan, the less time it will take – so check them periodically.

Sweet Mustard-Lime Sauce
Yellow Mustard
Dijon Mustard
Lime Juice
sugar, honey, or stevia

Mix one part yellow mustard with one part dijon mustard – squeeze in enough lime juice to thin the texture down quite a bit – add a little sprinkling of sweetener. You could probably add a little mayo in there to make it creamier, if you’d like – but then I’d half or leave out the sweetener.

Also, for a good yucca prep method – peel it, boil it for about 20 minutes, cut it into pieces and then fry it in a little olive oil and a LOT of garlic. I need to work on my yucca as a whole, maybe a nice sauce or something…and I know you can mash it like potatoes…I’ll add that to my to-do list.