Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Great Cook Book that happens to be gluten free!

This evening I made spaghetti sauce using the section of Italian recipes in this bookThe Gloriously Gluten-Free Cookbook: Spicing Up Life with Italian, Asian, and Mexican Recipes

While I can't help but embellish with my own personal cooking style, I have to say this is a great book for ideas.  It also isn't in the style of so many cookbooks that expect you to make even your pasta from scratch.  It does a good job of recommending gluten free shopping items and providing reasonable recipes for a busy family.  While the Asian and Mexican cooking sections seem too easy for me (I already feel all these dishes are naturally gluten free) this book would be great for those that haven't thoroughly explored those options.

And the spaghetti sauce from tonight was possibly the best I've ever served!  

The pasta I used was from my local grocery store, and I liked it more than most (perhaps it was the rice/soy/potato combination).  Try it!
bionaturae Organic Spaghetti, Gluten Free, 12-Ounce Bags (Pack of 6)

Gluten Free French Bread (and more!)

Oh my goodness.  Tonight I made the gluten free version of the most gluten packed dinner I can think of - spaghetti with garlic french bread.  I've been trying this (and yes, cheating on occasion and poisoning my body - I always regret that)... but I've been trying to perfect this dinner since going gluten free and tonight I nailed it.  It was so good, it was better than it has ever been before!

It's hard to say which part was the best, but I'll start with the bread because that's been so hard to replicate.  I reluctantly bought a bread mix at my local grocery store.  I will never buy it reluctantly again - in fact I want to buy a case of it.  The bread mix is:

I had my doubts about a mix.  Would it be simple enough to make after a full workday?  Would it crumble into a gritty mess?  Would my husband who doesn't have to eat gluten free like it?  All my fears were absorbed by the ravenous fury that took us over when we sunk our teeth into this bread.  It looked gorgeous, it cut beautifully without crumbling, and it was oh so tasty!  It was moist, soft, and tasted better than I remember most wheat based breads tasting.  Not sold yet?

How about after this picture?

 Yes!  It was everything I could ever ask for.  This is the kind of bread that makes me want to find a way to bake for a living.  We put a little butter and garlic on ours to work with the spaghetti, but I'd love to make French Toast with this.  It would work well for many things, even as sandwich bread.  If you want to order yours now, get it here: The Gluten-Free Pantry Country French Bread Mix, 22-Ounce Boxes (Pack of 6)

The Gluten-Free Pantry Country French Bread Mix, 22-Ounce Boxes (Pack of 6)

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Recipe for Gluten Free Enchiladas Suizas

These are my favorite enchiladas - in a delicious, fresh green tomatillo sauce.

1 T Organic Canola Oil
1 lb tomatillos
1 poblano pepper, seeded and chopped
1 large white onion, chopped
4 cloves garlic
1 tsp Ground Cumin
1/2 tsp salt
1 C sour cream
1-2 lb shredded chicken (you can boil, grill, or bake this before shredding)
1 1/4 C grated Monterrey Jack Cheese
1 large can diced tomatoes, drained
8+ 6 inch corn tortillas

Heat oven to 400 degrees.
Heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat.  Add the whole husked tomatillos, onion, poblano, garlic, cumin, and salt.  Cook, stirring occasionally until vegetables are tender.  Transfer to a Food Processor (this may have to be done in batches depending on the size of the processor).  Add sour cream and puree.

In a large bowl, combine cooked shredded chicken, tomatoes, 1 C cheese, 1/4 tomatillo sauce and 1/2 tsp salt and pepper.

Warm tortillas over a skillet.  Put some sauce on the bottom of a 9x13" baking dish.  Roll chicken mixture in tortilla and place in dish, repeat until dish is full.  Top with the remaining tomatillo sauce and cheese.  Bake 15 minutes. 

Sunday, January 31, 2010

Recipe for Gluten Free Macaroni and Cheese

Home baked macaroni and cheese was one of my favorite dinners growing up.  We never had mac-n-cheese from a box around our home.  Once you try this, you will know why.  I was terrified I couldn't eat things like this when I first learned of my reactions to gluten, but lucky me... they make elbow macaroni for the gluten intolerant!

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Combine in a butter greased baking dish:

6 C hot drained boiled Gluten Free Elbow Macaroni (don't fully cook- should be slightly undercooked)
2 T butter cut into small dots/cubes
2 C diced Sharp Cheddar cheese 

Combine and pour into baking dish over noodles/cheese:

4 beaten eggs
2-3 C milk (start with 2 C, add more if you can't see the milk/egg mix in the noodles)
2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp freshly ground pepper
dash of paprika 
dash of chili powder

Sprinkle freshly ground parmesan cheese over the top of the mixture.

Bake for 40-50 minutes.  When checking doneness, use a spoon to move aside some noodles, if liquid has not thickened continue baking 5-10 more minutes.

This dish is delicious with kielbasa (sauteed in gluten free beer).

Recipe for Gluten Free Creamy Fried Tofu

This tofu recipe will be well liked by everyone- tofu enthusiasts and skeptics alike.  It is perfect for adding to the end of a stir fry recipe (coming soon!).

1 lb tofu, cubed
Peanut Oil
2 C Bob's Red Mill All-Purpose Gluten-Free Baking Flour
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp fresh ground pepper
1 egg yolk (beaten)
1 C ice water (cool water in a bowl with ice then measure to 1 C)

Cut tofu into cubes about 1 inch thick.  Dry well with paper towels.  Place oil in a large saucepan or skillet, deep enough to submerge cubes of tofu.  Heat on Medium High heat.

In a plate or dish, combine 1 C Gluten Free flour, salt, and pepper.  In a bowl, beat egg yolk and 1 C ice water.  Add remaining flour to egg/water mixture and stir, but do not try to remove all lumps.

Dredge tofu in flour mixture dish, then in batter, then fry.  Don't crowd pan.

Drain on paper towels, then combine with your favorite stir fry recipe/ingredients.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Recipe for Gluten Free Pizza

I am never buying pizza again!  That's what I announced to my husband upon tasting this pizza (along with "and I need to quit my job" because cooking gourmet food all the time takes awhile).  Unless someone can convince me there is something else worth trying out there, it's homemade pizza from now on.

I can't tout the many benefits of  Pamela's Wheat-Free & Gluten-Free Bread Mix enough.  For the crust of this recipe, I followed the instructions on the package of Pamela's.

This is what it looks like before you cook it:

1/4 C oil
1 1/2 C warm water
2 T Italian Seasoning
1/2 C grated fresh Cheddar Cheese

Yield: 2 12-14 inch crusts.  Preheat oven to 375.  Combine dry mix, yeast, oil, water and Italian seasoning.  With a heavy duty stand mixer, mix on medium for 3 minutes.  Stir in cheese on low speed.  Pour 1/2 dough onto heavily greased baking sheet.  To spread dough into crust shape, use oil on hands to keep from sticking.  Let rest 1 hour.  Bake for 20 minutes on lower rack, then add sauce and toppings.  Continue baking pizza 10-15 mintues until cheese melts.

The sauce may have been the best part.
1 T butter
2 T olive oil
1/2 Onion, chopped
3 Garlic Cloves, minced
1 8 oz can tomato sauce
2 T shredded Parmesan cheese
1 tsp dried basil
1 tsp dried oregano
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp sugar
1/4 tsp black pepper
1 bay leaf
1 tsp fennel seed

In large skillet melt butter and olive oil.  Add chopped onion and garlic, saute until soft.  Add tomato sauce and tomato paste, stir until smooth.  Add Parmesan, basil, oregano, salt, sugar, pepper, bay leaf, and fennel seeds.

Simmer 30 minutes.  Spread on pizza dough.

The toppings may have been the best part.  For our toppings, we used Isernio's fresh ground hot Italian sausage (browned in a skillet), and sliced Hot Pepperoncini.  Topped it all off with shredded mozzarella cheese.

Bake it until the cheese melts, around 15 minutes.

The crust was by far, the BEST part!  Not only will everyone say it's the best pizza they've tried, they will also never know it's gluten free.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Recipe for Tortilla Española (naturally gluten free)

This recipe is very sentimental to me.  It was taught to me by my Spanish host-mother Amparo when I lived in Cádiz, Spain.  Typically it was served as a main course at dinner, although sometimes it would be packed for lunch (when you would eat it cold and it was just as good).  In Spanish, the word tortilla does not exclusively refer to what we typically think of as the corn or flour wrap that tacos are contained in.  Tortilla simply means food that is flat and round.  Tortilla española is a flat egg and potato dish, about an inch thick.  The best recipes have the fewest ingredients.  This one has only 4:

Good Olive Oil

Eggs (3-4 per tortilla)

Peel potatoes.  Halve them lengthwise.  Slice very thin- about 1/4" or less.  A very good knife works best for this: Wusthof Classic Ikon Santoku.  Heat 1/4" to 1/2" olive oil med-high in 8-Inch Omelet Pan for each tortilla.  When hot, layer in potato slices 2-3 layers deep.  Cook on med-high heat until slightly brown.  Turn once.  Lower heat to med-low and pour 3-4 beaten eggs over potatoes in each pan until coated.  Be sure to pour egg slowly and evenly.  Add a sprinkle of salt.  When the first side is done- it will begin to brown slightly and sides will curl- flip tortilla.

Flipping is the most difficult part.  Amparo would always use a pan lid.  I usually use a plate and cover the pan while holding it over the sink (some oil will run out).  Move the tortilla from the plate or lid back into the pan to cook the other side.  Once both sides are done, serve.

Amparo would often serve with a side of fresh tomato slices.  Her tortilla was always the best out of all the local women.  I hope by sharing her recipe I can do her justice.  She was a wonderful woman who always longed to travel as her host students did.  In a way she did travel, by absorbing as many details of each students life and home country as she could.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Gluten Free Chicken Coconut Curry

Curries are very rewarding dishes; easy to make in large quantities and full of complex flavors.

1 14 oz can of Pure Coconut Milk
1 tsp salt
1 Tblsp of Bob's Red Mill All-Purpose Gluten-Free Flour
2 Tblsp of Curry Powder
1/4 tsp Chile Flakes
1/4 tsp Coriander Seed
1 lb boneless chicken
2 tsps Peanut Oil
1 onion
1 small tomato
2 cloves garlic
3 carrots
1 cup cucumber
1 cup squash or chayote
Basmati Rice

Cook 1 cup basmati rice with 1 1/2 cups water and 1 tsp butter. Boil, cover, then simmer on low for 20 minutes.

Meanwhile, combine salt, gluten free flour, curry powder, red pepper flakes, and coriander in a bowl or plastic bag. Cut Chicken into 1/2 inch strips, then dredge in dry ingredients until coated.

Cook whole tomato on a skillet, turning to soften each side. Combine cooked tomato, onion, and garlic in a Food Processor. Set aside.

Cut carrots, cucumber, and squash of your choice julienne style.

Heat peanut oil in a large sauce Pan. Add chicken, cook for 5 minutes, stir in coconut milk. Pour in tomato, onion, and garlic mixture. Add carrots, cucumber, and squash. Simmer for 7 minutes or until sauce has reduce slightly.

Serve over rice.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Some Useful Information About Gluten

What is gluten?  Why are people gluten intolerant?  Why was La Gringa spending so much time feeling sick, and so much money going to doctors?  Why didn't they help her (until she went to a naturopath)?

A dear friend sent me this compelling and well written article on the subject.  I recommend it for anyone looking for more information.

Huffington Post article by Mark Hyman

The same author also has some books that look interesting - see them here: Mark Hyman Books.

Monday, January 4, 2010

Gluten Free Dinner Rolls

Hold the phone!  I was in the middle of finishing my Crab Cakes recipe post, but I made some Gluten Free Dinner Rolls that have put everything on hold...

The rolls are not an amazing unique recipe of my own creation.  They are not glamorous because they involve a mix... but they are so incredibly luscious, moist, perfect bread texture eat-them-until-your-tummy-hurts good that I have to post them.

The key to these rolls is Pamela's Products Wheat-Free & Gluten-Free Bread Mix.

This mix has me stunned.  It was recommended to me by a coworker who's sister is GI and says she can't live without it.  Now I understand why.  I bought the 6 pack myself, and I am very glad I did.  I will be using every bit- it makes pizza crust, pie crust, rolls, bagels, and various kinds of bread.

I served the rolls at dinner for my husband and two friends who are not GI- they all ate at least two, then asked for extras to take home!  I wanted some for breakfast but let them escape with 3 extras.  I can't wait to try this mix for other recipes and create my own with it.

My GI friend Ann had one later and she was jumping with joy- this stuff is better than anything sold at the local gluten free bakeries!  Here's a photo of the rolls:

Make them as soon as you can, you will love them.

Recipe for Northwest Gluten Free Crab Cakes

We get a lot of fresh crab from my in-laws wonderful place on Whidbey Island.  That makes this recipe extra special!

1 lb. Fresh Cracked Crab (Whidbey Island is recommended)
1 egg
1/4 C Minced Cucumbers (I recommend Persian run through a food processor)
1/2 C Minced Onion
1/4 C Mayonnaise
1 Tblsp Dijon Mustard
Salt & Pepper to taste
2 Tblsp (maybe more) Gluten Free Bread Crumbs (I recommend these Gluten Free English Muffins)
1 C Bob's Red Mill All Purpose GF Baking Flour
1 Tblsp Lemon Pepper
1 Tblsp Curry
2 Tblsp Olive Oil
2 Tblsp Butter

Mix crab, egg, cucumber, onion, mayonnaise, mustard, salt & pepper. Refrigerate mix until ready to cook. Season flour with salt, pepper, lemon pepper, and curry. Heat oil and butter in a large skillet. When butter is melted, shape crab mix into palm sized cakes and dredge in flour mix. Cook and turn only once when golden. Serve with lemon and parsley to garnish.

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Recipe for Gluten Free Coconut Cupcakes

I've been gluten free for over a month. I've had some nagging cravings for a few of my old favorite gluten filled items. These delicious coconut cupcakes cured that!

For the cake batter:
1/2 C Butter (soft)
1/2 C Sugar
1/2 tsp Vanilla Extract
1/4 C Canola Oil
4 egg whites
1 box Arrowhead Mills Gluten-Free Vanilla Cake Mix
3/4 C toasted Unsweetened Shredded Coconut (toast on baking sheet for 5 minutes at 350º)

Preheat the oven to 350º. Beat the butter on medium for 30 seconds. Add sugar and vanilla and beat until combined. Add egg whites and Canola Oil and beat well. Slowly add the cake mixture mixing as you go. Stir toasted Coconut Flakes into batter. Fill cupcake liners 1/2 to 3/4 full. Bake for 10-15 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into a cupcake comes out clean.

For the frosting:

Be sure to let the cupcakes cool before frosting them.

2 sticks Butter - soft
1 box Cherrybrook Kitchen Gluten Free Vanilla Frosting Mix
2 C Powdered Sugar
1/3 C Coconut Milk
1 tsp vanilla
1/3 C Coconut Flakes

Beat butter on medium until smooth. Slowly add Frosting Mix and Powdered Sugar, beating well. Beat in Coconut Milk and Vanilla. Mix in Coconut Flakes last. If frosting is not thick enough to put on cupcakes, chill for 15 minutes.

Frost cupcakes and enjoy!

These smell so great while baking that it will be hard to keep your family from eating them before you frost them.