Gluten Free With Crunch

Being gluten free isn’t so bad. Right? What about texture? What about crunch? What about frying food and the batter falling off?

Manufacturers have come a long way in making it easier to be gluten free. There are more and more gluten free products on the market. Unfortunately, one cannot always rely on the same cooking techniques for gluten free as for glutenous foods.

There is no one flour that will satisfy all the requirements of gluten free cooking. In the beginning I had some real disasters. Bread that didn’t rise or that crumbled or was dry. Then there were biscuits. While I can do a pretty good gluten free biscuit some of the properties are still missing. I also felt like a mad scientist. Mixing and remixing gluten free flours using less of this and more of that.

I really like King Arthur Flour Gluten Free Products and for a cup for cup flour Pamela’s Artisan Flour Blend is good. These are all great for baking and I have learned that by adding eggs or additional eggs it helps with structure. But they just don’t hold up to frying.

Awhile back I purchased a cookbook at Costco for $16.99. The main reason I purchased the book was for 2 recipes. One was for Fried Chicken which is found on page 147. The other was Crispy Pan-Fried Pork Chops found on page 150. The chicken is yet to come.

For whatever reason this gem of a cookbook was relegated to my collection of cookbooks and I soon forgot about it. I have searched the web and found recipes that looked promising but never quite worked for me. I did learn with the onion rings that if the batter was to thick that it wouldn’t crunch. A test sample was important.

The other day I made the Crispy Pan-Fried Pork Chops. Oh yes! Now that was gluten free with crunch. I have hesitated to post the recipe on the web because the cookbook is “The How Can It Be Gluten Free Cookbook” from America’s Test Kitchen. Introductions to recipes can have a copyright but recipes can’t. I’m not sure about techniques. So I will post my version of the recipe which worked awesome and while it does use some of the techniques referenced in the cookbook the wording is all mine.

Will I be making other recipes in this book?  Oh yes!!!  I have made a couple now and the Fried Chicken is on my to do list.

Crispy Pan-Fried Pork Chops
(Serves 2)

3 1/2 cups cornflakes (Gluten Free)
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
2 to 3 tablespoons cornstarch (Gluten Free)
2 (3 to 4 oz) boneless pork chops cut 1/2 inch thick
seasoning salt, to taste
1/3 cup buttermilk
1 1/2 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1 teaspoon sugar
1 garlic cloves, finely minced
1/3 to 1/2 cup vegetable oil

  1. Place the cornflakes, salt and black pepper in the bowl of of a food processor and process until finely ground. You will not use all of crumb mixture for this recipe but it makes a nice crunch topping for casseroles.
  2. Rinse the chops under running water and pat dry. Place on a plate and season both sides with seasoning salt to taste. Take a serrated knife and lightly score the chops in a cross-hatch pattern on both sides.
  3. Put the cornstarch in a paper bag add in the chops, close and shake until chops are thoroughly coated. Remove chops from cornstarch, shaking off any excess.
  4. In a shallow bowl pour in the buttermilk. In a separate shallow dish, measure out some of the cornflake crumb mixture. Dip the cornstarch coated chops in the buttermilk then into the crumb mixture pressing down to coat well.
  5. Place chops on a rack and allow to rest for 10 minutes. Preheat oil to 350°. Add in the breaded chops and cook until golden brown and crispy. This should take 3 to 5 minutes. Carefully flip the chops and continue to cook on the other side till golden brown. Remove cooked chops from oil and blot with a paper towel before placing on a rack to cool down a little or serve immediately.

Prep Time:  25 minutes

Cook Time:  10 minutes.

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