The summer weather is finally here and we are all excited to head outside for warm weather picnics and barbecues! Here are some new and fun summertime recipes that are sure to become year round family favorites.
“BUTTERMILK FRIED” CHICKEN
(GFE - Perfect for the Gluten Free Eater)
Perfect for your summertime picnic, here’s a lip-smacking, lighter (gluten-free) fried chicken that everyone in your family will go crazy for! This recipe calls for marinating the chicken in a mock “buttermilk” blend to tenderize and flavor the chicken. “Flash frying” browns the outside of the chicken and crisps the coating, but doesn’t add as much fat and calories as frying the chicken until it is completely cooked through. “Flash frying” also seals the chicken, leaving it moist and tender after baking in the oven.
- 4 tablespoons white vinegar
- 3 ¾ cups parve soy milk
- 2 whole chickens, cut into 8ths, skin removed – around 2 pounds each
- 2 cups corn meal
- 1 tablespoon seasoned salt
- 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 1 cup canola oil, or enough for ½ inch in the frying pan
- non-stick vegetable spray
Combine vinegar and soy milk in a large measuring cup, or small bowl. Set aside. Place chicken, bone side up, in a 9x13” glass casserole dish. Pour “buttermilk” mixture over chicken. Cover and refrigerate for at least 2 hours.
Preheat oven to 400° F. Line a large baking sheet with aluminum foil, then spray with non-stick vegetable spray. Set aside.
In a shallow baking dish, combine corn meal, seasoned salt, and cayenne pepper. Heat the canola oil in a large skillet. Remove one piece of chicken from the “buttermilk”, shaking off excess liquid. Roll the chicken in the seasoned cornmeal, coating on both sides. Place the chicken into the hot oil. Repeat until skillet is full, with a little space between each piece of chicken. Fry the chicken until lightly browned, around 2 minutes on each side, then place on the prepared baking sheet. Repeat with remaining pieces of chicken, until all the chicken is browned in the oil.
Place the baking sheet into the hot oven, and bake for 45 minutes until chicken is golden brown and cooked through.
- For a less “crispy and brown” but lower fat version of this recipe, skip the frying step and place the coated chicken directly on the baking sheet. Spray the chicken with non-stick vegetable spray before placing in oven. Bake for 60 minutes until browned and cooked through.
- If making this recipe for the GFE use gluten-free corn meal and gluten-free seasoned salt.
GRILLED POTATO SALAD (GFE)
The warm summer is the perfect time to head outside and fire up the grill, enjoying the outdoor weather with friends, and family (and mosquitoes!). This is a grilled twist on one of my favorite potato salads – and no mayonnaise required! For those that love anything grilled – this is the salad for you!
- ½ cup Italian dressing
- 2 pounds assorted salad potatoes, washed, dried and cut in half
- 2 ears corn, husked, washed and dried
- 3 large scallions, sliced
- 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
- ¼ teaspoon black pepper
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ¼ cup olive oil
- 1 teaspoon dried parsley
Preheat grill to 350° F. If using a gas grill set the heat to medium.
Place potatoes in a large bowl. Pour the dressing over the potatoes, then toss to coat. Place the potatoes cut side down on the grill. Reserve any remaining dressing from the bottom of the bowl to coat the corn. Grill the potatoes for approximately 15 minutes until grill marks appear on the potatoes and are mostly cooked through. Turn the potatoes over and grill for an additional 5 minutes until fork tender. Remove potatoes from the grill and place in a large bowl. Set aside.
Coat the two ears of corn with the remaining dressing in the bowl, then place on the grill. Grill for 5 minutes, then turn the corn and grill for an additional 5 minutes. Remove from grill and allow to cool.
Using a sharp knife, cut the kernels from the ears of corn, then place them in the bowl with the grilled potatoes. Add the scallions, mustard, olive oil and parsley, then toss to combine. Best served at room temperature.
- You can use any other of your favorite mustards such as sweet or spicy brown mustard instead of the Dijon mustard.
- For additional color you can also add diced red or green pepper to the salad.
- To make this recipe gluten-free for the GFE, use your favorite gluten-free mustard and Italian dressing.
HOT DOG FLOWERS (GFE)
When asked by my family what one of my all-time favorite foods is, they’ll answer – hot dogs! We are lucky to have the outstanding Romanian Kosher hot dogs nearby here in Chicago, and they offer a mouth-watering assortment of kielbasas, polish hot dogs, and beer sticks – perfect for the grill! I tend to buy the lower fat chicken hot dogs more frequently though, then I can eat more hot dogs without the guilt! These cute and unusual Hot Dog Flowers are super easy to make and are a great centerpiece for your table. Kids of all ages love them and they’re a fabulous way to add fun to your summertime barbecue.
- 8 hot dogs
- 1 cup barbecue sauce
- 16 peeled pearl onions, or cherry tomatoes
- 16 wooden skewers
Preheat your grill to 350° F.
Cut the hot dogs in half. Carefully make 3 cross cuts in the top of the hot dog halves, slicing ¾ of the way down the hot dog. You will have 6 “petals”. Repeat with the remaining hot dog halves. Place the hot dogs cut side down on the grill, spreading out the “petals”. If using pearl onions, place them on the grill at this time also. Grill hot dogs and onions for 5-10 minutes until the hot dogs are cooked through, brushing with sauce frequently. Remove from the grill.
Place a skewer through the hot dog until there is ½ inch pointed end showing through the “petals” of the “flower”. Place an onion or tomato on the end of the skewer. Serve with additional barbecue sauce.
LAYERED CREAMY FUITY DESSERTS/POPSICLES (GFE)
Perfect for your summer or July 4th patriotic barbecue, this recipe can be made frozen for a refreshing fun, fruity, creamy, red-white-and-blue icy-cold pop, or can be chilled in dessert cups for an elegant and delicious end to your festivities! You can also make these using different fruit flavors, keeping the ratios of fruit and cream the same as directed below. The possibilities are endless…just like the endless fun you’ll have this summer!!
- 1 pint blueberries, washed & dried
- 1 pound strawberries, hulled, washed, dried and cut into halves
- 4 cups heavy whipping cream
- 2 3.4 ounce packages instant vanilla pudding mix
- 2 tablespoons sugar, divided
- 1 teaspoon blueberry extract (optional)
- 1 teaspoon strawberry extract (optional)
- blue gel food coloring (optional)
- red gel food coloring (optional)
- additional blueberries and strawberries for garnish
Using a food processor, coarsely chop the blueberries and 1 tablespoon of sugar. Place the blueberries in a medium bowl and set aside. Rinse and dry the processor bowl and blade, then set aside.
In a large mixing bowl, whip the heavy whipping cream and pudding mixes until stiff peaks form. While the cream is whipping, coarsely chop the strawberries and the remaining tablespoon of sugar.
Divide the pudding-cream mixture into four even portions, folding ¼ into the chopped blueberries and ¼ into the chopped strawberries. Fold the blueberry extract and blue food gel into the blueberry cream. Fold the strawberry extract and red food gel into the strawberry cream.
Alternately spoon the blueberry, vanilla, then strawberry creams into dessert cups. For a neater dessert, place the blueberry cream, strawberry cream, and vanilla cream into separate pastry bags or Ziploc bags. Cut a ¼ inch hole in the bottom of the blueberry cream bag, then pipe the blueberry cream into the dessert cups. Cut a ¼ inch hole in vanilla cream bag, then pipe the vanilla cream over the blueberry cream. Cut a ¼ inch hole in the strawberry cream bag, then pipe the strawberry cream over the vanilla cream.
For mini cream pops:
Pipe the creams as directed above into 2” mini dessert cups. Place a small dessert spoon or popsicle stick into the center of the cream. Tap the cup to remove air pockets and evenly distribute the creams. Place in the freezer for at least 3 hours. Carefully remove from cups and serve at your favorite patriotic barbecue!
For individual dessert cups:
Pipe the creams as directed above into individual dessert cups. Tap each cup lightly on the counter to eliminate any air pockets in the desserts and to evenly distribute the creams. Refrigerate for at least 3 hours. Garnish with additional cream, blueberries and strawberries.