Full Belly Sisters: September 2016

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Kettle Corn Crusted Chicken Tenders

Slightly sweet, slightly salty, and totally crunchy, PopCorners make a delicious breading for my gluten-free Kettle Corn Crusted Chicken Tenders. It's an easy, kid-friendly dinner!

I just received my latest Degustabox, a surprise subscription food box company based in Barcelona. They've recently launched in the United States and I'm lucky enough to receive my very own box of goodies. 

If you follow us on Instagram, you've already had a sneak peek at what I found in this month's box. Of all the tasty foods in my Degustabox, I decided to make a recipe using one of my son's favorite special treats: Carnival Kettle PopCorners. This is the snack my son requests if we're hosting a special playdate or a movie night. Of course, I admit that I'm also a sucker for the slightly sweet, slightly salty flavor of this crunchy snack. 
I thought the Carnival Kettle PopCorners would make a great, crispy breading for chicken fingers. These popped corn chips are gluten-free, made with non-GMO ingredients, and taste amazing. There's just a hint of sweetness and a hint of saltiness so the chips are just perfectly salty-sweet. Although my family isn't gluten-free, we do have friends—both kids and adults—who are; these Kettle Corn Crusted Chicken Tenders are a great option for them.

serves 2 to 4
  • 3 cups Kettle PopCorners
  • 1/2 cup gluten-free flour* (or substitute all-purpose)
  • 1 large egg, beaten
  • 1 pound boneless, skinless chicken tenders (about 7 or 8 strips)
  • 1 Tablespoon ghee or butter
  • 2 Tablespoons vegetable oil
  • salt
  • pepper
  • Tabasco or other hot sauce (optional)

*I use this gluten-free baking mix, it makes for a light and crispy coating.
In a food processor, pulse the PopCorners chips until they look like coarse bread crumbs. Transfer to a shallow bowl. Place flour, with some salt and pepper, in a second shallow bowl. Place the egg—with a few dashes of Tabasco, if you're using it—in a third shallow bowl. (I use pie plates as my shallow bowls.)

Dredge each chicken strip in flour and shake off excess, then dip it in beaten egg, then in the PopCorners crumbs. Turn each chicken tender to coat fully. Transfer to a large plate and repeat with the remaining chicken tenders. Throw out any leftover flour, egg, or crumbs.
In a large skillet over medium to medium-high heat, add ghee and oil. Once the ghee melts, add the chicken tenders. Do not crowd the pan; you may have to work in batches. Cook, turning one time, until chicken is golden brown on each side and is cooked through, about 8-10 minutes total. If you'd like, sprinkle some additional salt on top of the Kettle Corn Crusted Chicken Tenders while they're hot.

I served my Kettle Corn Crusted Chicken Tenders with honey mustard for dipping; it has a similar savory-and-sweet flavor profile to the chicken. But you can use any dipping sauce you like!

If you're interested in trying Degustabox, check out their website or follow them on Instagram. If you sign up to receive your own Degustabox through one of our links, I'll receive a referral fee and you'll help to support this blog!
For recipes inspired by my previous Degustaboxes, check out my Chipotle Fried Egg Avocado Toast:

Friday, September 9, 2016

Spinach Artichoke Puff Pastry Galette

Flaky puff pasty is the perfect crust for this easy, cheesy Spinach Artichoke Galette. Just 20 minutes in the oven and you've got an impressive savory appetizer, a rustic brunch dish, or a hearty meatless meal.

Each time I participate in Freaky Friday, I have so much fun. In case you don't remember from my previous #FreakyFriday posts, this event is a "blog hop," in which a bunch of food bloggers are assigned to another's blog; we choose a recipe, recreate it, and share it on our own blog. Best of all, it's a secret, so we don't know who is assigned to each blog! I can't wait to find out who is making a Full Belly Sisters recipe this time around. And special thanks to Michaela, from the wonderful An Affair from the Heart, who organizes this fun foodie event.

I was lucky to be assigned to LeMoine Family Kitchen. Angela, the brain and palate behind the blog, loves family-friendly recipes that are simple, tasty, and packed with veggies. And they usually have an Italian flair, thanks to Angela's roots. A girl after my own heart, that's for sure.

There were lots of recipes that were calling my name: the Balsamic Chicken Salad looked like a wonderfully light and flavorful summer meal; Black Bean Burgers with Cheddar, Avocado and Scallion Crema feature some of my very favorite ingredients, all in one dish; and the Tortellini in a Portabello Mushroom Cream Sauce sounds so delicious and hearty. 

Those all would've been good choices and yet...I couldn't say no to Angela's Spinach Artichoke Puff Pastry Cups. Spinach and artichoke (both great sources of folate, for you pregnant gals out there) and cheese and flaky, tender, easy-to-use puff pastry? Count me in! I decided to switch her recipe up a teensy bit and make a galette—a rustic, freeform tart—instead of the hors d'oeuvres. I figured this savory tart would be an amazing brunch dish, alongside perhaps a green salad and some fresh fruit. Or top this Spinach Artichoke Puff Pastry Galette with a runny egg for an amazing vegetarian dinner. Bonus: it's a great way to get your kids to eat spinach!

makes one galette
  • 1 sheet puff pastry (1/2 a package), thawed according to instructions
  • 3 ounces baby spinach, finely chopped
  • 2/3 cup chopped, marinated artichoke hearts*
  • 2 ounces cream cheese, slightly softened
  • 1 egg
  • 4 ounces Italian blend shredded cheese
  • about 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 to 2 cloves garlic, grated
  • a couple of pinches of red pepper flakes
  • freshly-grated black pepper, to taste
  • 2 Tablespoons chopped chives, plus more for garnish
*drain marinated artichoke hearts before chopping

Preheat the oven to 400°F.  

In a bowl, mix together the cream cheese and eggs until incorporated. Stir in the spinach, artichokes, shredded cheese, garlic, salt, pepper, chives, and red pepper flakes until evenly combined.

Unfold the thawed pastry on a parchment-covered baking sheet. Roll the dough out just slightly. Using a sharp knife, score a line about 1/2-inch inside the edge of the pastry sheet to form a border. Prick the pastry sheet inside the border with a fork. And remember: this is a rustic dish, it doesn't have to be perfect.

Place dollops of the spinach artichoke mixture on the pastry inside the border. Lightly spread the mixture so the whole area inside the border on the dough is covered.

See all those yummy chunks of artichoke??

Bake for 20 minutes or until the crust is golden brown and the spinach-artichoke-cheese mixture is hot and melted.  

Sprinkle with freshly-ground pepper and fresh, chopped chives before serving. Cut and serve warm. I cut mine into nine pieces, but you could certainly cut them into smaller, bite-sized pieces to serve as finger food.

And check this out: I had some leftover pieces of the galette and they reheated wonderfully the next day. I did it in the toaster oven, so the pastry would stay crisp; I think a microwave would make it soggy. Angela mentioned that she ate her leftover pastry cups with a runny egg. And, since my blog's unofficial motto is "Everything is Better with a Fried Egg on Top," guess what I did?

This Spinach Artichoke Puff Pastry Galette with a fried egg was a beautifully hearty—and super scrumptious—vegetarian meal! It would be perfect for Meatless Monday. Thanks to Angela and LeMoine Family Kitchen for the great recipe.

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