Zucchini Parmesan Crisps, Regular and Gluten-Free

Heather says

Did you think oven fried goodness was out of reach just because you have to go gluten-free?

Here’s a simple, magic substitution for you… swap crushed Rice Chex for Panko crumbs and you’re set. No other changes, no mixing a bazillion different flours or buying special bread to make your own crumbs. Take out your aggression on a handful of cereal and call it a day.

Tested. Tasted. Proven.

I really like oven-fried zucchini chips, but find them a bit too fiddly for most occasions. If you have older kids, make them bread the zucchini, it’s a great exercise in patience with a decent pay off. I see these often suggested for parties, but unless you want to keep the oven on until serving time, save them for a rainy afternoon with a craving for some savory, crispy deliciousness.

zucchini crisps

 

: Zucchini Parmesan Crisps (Gluten-Free)

: Crisp, cheesy, oven-fried zucchini chips

  • 2 medium – large zucchini sliced thinly (use the slicer on a grater)
  • 2 eggs
  • splash of milk or water
  • 1 cup grated parmesan -yes, the cheap stuff
  • 1 cup Rice Chex, crushed  -if you don’t have a wheat allergy / you can use Panko crumbs
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • pinch of salt
  • fresh ground pepper

Instructions:

  • Spread the sliced zucchini on paper towels and lightly sprinkle with salt
  • Turn the oven on to 450°F
  • Beat the eggs with either a splash of milk or water in a shallow bowl to create an egg wash.
  • In a second shallow bowl or dish, combine the crushed cereal, parmesan cheese, garlic powder, a pinch of salt if desired, and a few turns of fresh ground pepper. (If you want to kick up the heat a little, cayenne pepper is a nice addition)
  • Grease a baking sheet.
  • Roll or blot the zucchini in the paper towel to absorb the moisture it sweated due to the sprinkle of salt.
  • Dip the zucchini slices in the egg wash and then the breading.
  • Arrange in a single layer on the baking sheet.
  • Bake at 450°F for 10 minutes and flip the zucchini slices with a fork or tongs. Bake for another 8 – 10 minutes depending on how done / crispy you like your cheese. Watch them carefully toward the end.
  • Serve immediately.

Cooking time: 20 minute(s)

Number of servings (yield): 4

How to Fry an Egg

Heather says:

Today we’re covering fried eggs -as new projects to procrastinate develop- I’ll also address: scrambled eggs, omelets, frittatas, quiche, and my as yet unnamed hybrid of the three techniques that feeds my family on a busy evening when I have no interest in effort.

So what is a fried egg? Well there are five ways to have them, in this tutorial:

The Great Fried Egg TutorialGot that?

If you do not have a nonstick pan before you even pull the eggs out of the fridge, you have a little prep work. Grab a bottle of vegetable oil, a paper towel, salt, and your pan. Wipe the pan with a thin coat of vegetable oil. Heat the pan over medium high heat until it is very hot, but not smoking. Turn off the burner and let it cool completely. Your pan is now conditioned and primed for use.

You must do this if you are using a stainless steel pan or the eggs will stick in the tiny scratches and pits on your pan’s surface. The vegetable oil seals these cracks and lets the eggs fry without making a horrific stuck on mess. If some bits of egg do stick to your pan, scrub with a little bit of salt and a paper towel between batches. If you use soap and water, you’ll have to recondition your pan before cooking more eggs.

Now we’re ready to fry some eggs.

Whether the eggs are basted, sunny side up, over light (easy), over medium, or over hard they all start the same:

Gather your conditioned or nonstick pan, your fat -butter, bacon grease, coconut oil, or vegetable oil,- and a spatula. Flipping eggs without a spatula will be covered in a future post. Just hang tight if that’s your goal.

The amount of fat you’ll use depends completely on the size of your pan. You want 1/8″ of fat / oil, less than that and the eggs may stick with more, they may be greasy.

Turn your burner to medium or your griddle to 325F. Allow the pan and fat to heat. To check and see if the pan is ready sprinkle a TINY -you read that right? TINY- amount of water. It should sizzle. If it pops, turn the heat DOWN.

Oil that is too hot causes brown, crispy edges.

Oil that is too cool lets the eggs spread too far which makes them harder to flip.

Reduce the heat to low, unless you’re using a griddle, in that case just leave it alone, but know you’ll have to flip sooner.

Now here’s where the methods diverge.

Baste with a lidFor basted eggs, sprinkle a few drops of water over the eggs and cover. Cook just until the whites are set. The steam will create a thin film of cooked white over the yolk.

For sunny side up eggs cook slowly until the whites are set, then use a spatula to remove from the pan. This is boring, but effective.

To fry eggs over light, medium, or hard they must be turned.

Egg Flip Slide the tip of your spatula all the way around the edge of the white, to ensure the egg is not sticking the pan. Then, slide the spatula halfway under the eggs, in one motion lift up and turn over toward the side of the egg that does not have the spatula under it. That edge (marked in my ever so spiffy illustration with a blue arrow) should never lose contact with the pan.

Remember! Flip gently or suffer the consequence of broken yolks. Remember you will probably break a few before you get the hang of the turn.

Ready to flipFor over light / easy eggs leave them alone until the edge of the white is set, there will still be a pool of unset white surrounding the yolk. Let the egg cook for only a few seconds to set the rest of the white and transfer it to a plate to serve.

Over medium eggs should cook until the white is mostly set, then turned and allowed to cook for 15 – 20 seconds. The yolk should be thick and partially, but not fully cooked. If you break it with a fork, it should still flow, but not be super runny.

Break YolksFor over hard eggs, break the yolk with a fork, then flip and allow to cook until the yolk is completely set.

Enjoy!

Related Post:

How to Hard Boil an Egg

Easy Grilled Foil Vegetable Packets

Heather says:

Get ready to grill.  Today we’re using foil packets to to turn a pile of vegetables into a fantastic summer side dish. Actually if you look at the portions, the grilled vegetables were the main feature. I would like, at least while we’re rolling in produce, for you to consider treating vegetables as your main dish. Spend your time and energy planning your meals around the available, seasonal produce rather than treating slapping a can of green beans in the microwave as an after thought. Just give it a try, you may discover a new world of flavor or you’ll hate it, but you won’t have caused any harm.

 

This tutorial is a guide rather than a strict recipe as the amounts are going to vary widely, but the technique remains the same.

Gather your vegetables and slice or mince as appropriate. These vegetable packets will contain: bell peppers, zucchini, yellow squash, onion, garlic and mushrooms. *Note* Do not be lazy and assume your chef knife can go one more day without sharpening, even good cooks get distracted with less than fun results. Sharpen your knives regularly.

Place the vegetables in a bowl and toss with a little olive oil or homemade Italian dressing.  If you choose to omit the dressing and go with straight olive oil, don’t be scared to add a sprinkle of your favorite herbs, some rosemary, thyme,  basil etc. Choose your seasoning based on the other items being served. Try to carry the same flavors throughout. Since we’re serving these packets with grilled Italian sausage, I went with an extra sprinkling of Italian seasoning. If I’d had fresh basil on hand, that would have been in there, too. Let the flavors mingle for a little while. A pinch of salt can be added now or at the table, either way works. While vegetables have wonderful flavor, herbs and aromatics like garlic and onions can go a long way to making them even better. This was almost a summer version of one of our favorite recipes, sausage, peppers, and onions.

Grab a sheet of heavy duty foil, don’t get the wimpy stuff, you don’t need it tearing on the grill. Arrange a couple of healthy handfuls of vegetables in the center of the foil. Bring the long sides together and fold over in an accordion or pleat type fold. You want to keep the steam that will develop inside your packet. Fold the short side over a couple of times to close the packet tightly.

Do not juggle with your packets. They are not that sturdy. They should be sturdy enough to handle being turned over.

Heat your grill, these should be grilled 10 – 15 minutes per side on a hot grill. If you cut your vegetables very thinly or used butter, you may want to grill indirectly or pay close attention and grill for less time. Packets with tender vegetables like zucchini and squash will be done faster than packets with sturdier vegetables like carrots and celery.

Enjoy!

Nutella No Bake Oatmeal Cookies

Heather says:

I was recently thinking about ways to incorporate Nutella into every day? (Kidding, but what day isn’t improved with a spoonful or pretzel-ful of this stuff?) Why not use Nutella in my favorite cookie of all time? If the Santa Claus in your household is a fan of Nutella and a fan of No Bake Oatmeal Cookies, I can pretty much guarantee extra presents for the good little boy or girl who leaves Nutella No Bake Oatmeal cookies out with a glass of milk.

If you have someone on a gluten free diet on your cookie list, good news. This recipe can work for them. If you use Gluten Free Rolled Oats, these cookies are safe! Just be careful to avoid cross contamination with other items in your kitchen. Just as an fyi, regular rolled oats are not acceptable for many people on a gluten free diet. There are often trace amounts of wheat from the processing.

Nutella No Bake Oatmeal Cookie Recipe

Ingredients:
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 4 TBSP Nutella
  • 1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 3 cups uncooked oatmeal (rolled oats)
Directions.
In a large mixing bowl stir together the oatmeal, Nutella, and chocolate chips.
In a medium sauce pan heat the butter, sugar, milk, and vanilla over medium low heat. Stir often and be sure to use the spoon or spatula to scrape the bottom of the pan to prevent scorching. Bring the mixture to a full boil, to do this you will need to slowly increase the heat. Be patient, don’t just crank it up to high.
You may notice a distinct change in the feel of the mixture just before it begins to boil, this is normal. Allow the mixture to boil for one minute, then pour over the oats and stir.
The heat from the butter and sugar will melt the Nutella and chocolate chips. Be sure to continue stirring until the oats are thoroughly coated.
Spoon by rounded tablespoon onto a sheet of wax paper and allow to cool. I find a cookie scoop works perfectly for these cookies. Scoop, then squash slightly.
The chocolate will become much firmer as the cookies cool. You can speed the process by placing in the refrigerator, but it is not necessary. If the weather is exceptional humid they’ll be softer.
This yields 3 dozen cookies.
Enjoy.

Gluten Free Shrimp Etouffee

Heather says:

I love to have people over for dinner; opening my home and sharing my table is my favorite way to show people I care and want them to be a part of our lives. As that circle of people expands -and ages, heh- I’m finding that more and more often I have friends and family with specific dietary needs: wheat allergies,  gluten intolerance, and celiac disease are showing up more and more often, so I’m working on expanding my repertoire of recipes I can share.

The pictures of this dish are for the the regular Shrimp Etouffee I posted several years ago. I found the wherewithal to cook, but not photograph this recipe. I’m sure you understand. The final dish is slightly lighter in color as brown rice flour does not stand up as well as the wheat version in roux and I didn’t want to risk the roux breaking as company was en route and my patience was on the wane.

Just like the regular version of shrimp etouffee don’t be put off by the number of ingredients, it’s not as complicated as it looks, the bell pepper, celery, and onion are known as trinity. (If you really want to take a shortcut you can find it the frozen section of some Southern grocery chains)

Gluten Free Shrimp Etouffee

Ingredients for Gluten-Free Shrimp Étouffée:

Before you even turn on the stove, do all of the dicing and deveining. You’ll thank me later. It’s a good time to practice mise en place. Once your shrimp has been peeled, season it with 1 TBSP of the Cajun seasoning and set it in the refrigerator.

Heat the peanut oil over medium heat. When the oil starts to shimmer add the brown rice flour and reduce the heat to low. Whisk thoroughly and continue to stir until there are no lumps. Unlike traditional roux you cannot cook it to a peanut butter or a brick color without losing the thickening properties. Stir it for a few moments until a slightly toasted odor begins to be detectable.

Turn the heat up to medium and add the trinity (the bell peppers, onions, and celery). Stir the mixture until the onions are translucent and the celery has begun to soften.

Add the shrimp or fish stock slowly, stirring constantly. The mixture will become very thick during this and then thin to a stew like consistency. If you want to make it thicker, you can add additional brown rice flour about ten minutes before serving to thicken the dish.

Add the other two tablespoons of Cajun Seasoning, the Worcestershire sauce, the bay leaves, and the garlic. Bring the mixture just to a simmer and cook, stirring occasionally for 15 – 20 minutes. This allows the flavors to develop.

Add the shrimp and stir. Cook until the shrimp is pink and opaque. Serve immediately over rice with hot sauce and green onions for garnish, if desired.

Enjoy