Wedge Salad with Blue Cheese Dressing

There are certain times of year when I crave this salad. Sometimes it’s due to the hot weather and a desire for the cold, crisp crunch of iceberg lettuce. Sometimes it’s because I want to indulge in the absolute creamy, salty flavor of the dressing. Sometimes…it’s both.

I love serving this salad at barbecues because it’s easy to make for a crowd. It’s also the perfect accompaniment to a well-cooked steak. And, of course, the blue cheese dressing can be used on other types of salad.

I know there is some concern in the gluten-free community about whether or not blue cheese is gluten-free. Generally, these cheese are safe to eat. For your information, I discuss this issue and list blue cheeses that are gluten-free here (and a few that are not) here.

Gluten-Free Fried Chicken

I don’t remember how many years ago it was, but one of my friends brought Kentucky Fried Chicken to our monthly bookclub meeting. Prior to this, the height of decadence in bookclub came in the form of our local so, so bad-for-you Chinese restaurant. With the exception of our vegetarian member, everyone, after noting they hadn’t had KFC in years, dug into the chicken. And the biscuits.

Before long, fried chicken became a regular feature at bookclub. And I am not ashamed to say the one thing I regretted most about going gluten-free was…yes, no more KFC. Which meant I had to get over my fear of frying.

Needless to say, making fried chicken is a personal thing. Everyone has a recipe they swear by. The trick is to gussy up the flour mixture with herbs and spices and tasty stuff to give it lots of flavor. The other trick is to use really hot (350 degrees) oil to get a good seal on the chicken — that way the juiciness stays in while the oil stays out.

You can fry in a deep fryer, on the stove in a deep skillet or Dutch oven, or even bake this version of fried chicken. And, of course, make it your own by mixing up the seasonings to your own taste. And while you can use any and all part of the chicken, remember that breasts tend to dry out more than legs and thighs.

Broccoli Slaw with Buttermilk Ranch Dressing

This is a quick and easy way to serve broccoli on a hot summer night (or any other time!). It’s a great salad for parties as well. The buttermilk dressing is creamy and refreshing. The nuts and berries add tastiness, and experimenting with flavors is a definite bonus in this salad.

The broccoli can be just the florets or a mix of florets and stem (the stems add a lot of body to this salad. If you aren’t into the stems, omit them.

You’ll probably end up with more dressing than you need. If it’s too thick for your taste, thin it with a bit more buttermilk. If you’re making the salad in advance, use some of the leftover dressing to freshen up the salad right before serving. Or, use the dressing on you favorite green salad.

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