Saturday, November 26, 2005

Holiday Favorites #1: Glazed Almonds

The holidays can be a tough time, when everyone seems to be baking and giving away cookies. These almonds make a wonderful "instead of cookies" holiday gift for your gluten intolerant friends. Just place in a nice jar and they have a sweet snack they can enjoy (but they may have to hide them from the rest of their family.)

Prepare a cookie sheet by covering it with foil and lightly buttering the foil. Place 2 Tbsp. butter, 1/2 cup sugar, and 2 cups whole almonds in a large, sturdy pan (cast iron works well if you have one). Heat on meduim, stirring constantly, until sugar melts and turns a light brown color.(5-7 minutes) Remove from heat and immediately stir in 1 Tbsp. good quality vanilla. (The Real Stuff, not vanilla flavoring). Spread immediately on cookie sheet and allow to cool 1-2 hours. Break apart into small chunks and enjoy. This is such an easy recipe that I always make at least two batches.

THE SHOPPING LIST: (for 1 batch... you may want to double it.)

1. 2 cups whole almonds
2. 2 Tbsp. real butter
3. 1/2 cup sugar
4. 1 Tbsp. real vanilla
5. aluminium foil

Wednesday, November 23, 2005

Dessert #1: Chocolate Mousse Pie

Here is a wonderful chocolate pie that your guests won't even know is gluten free until they see YOU eating some! The chocolate cookies are easy to come by in the gluten free web sites and grocery isles. This is a Do Ahead, and is good for when guests are expected, as it can sit happily in the freezer for a couple of days, with just the whipped cream to do on dinner party day.

Crust: 1 box gluten free chocolate cookies of any kind
1/2 cup melted butter

Filling: 2 large eggs
14-16 oz. semisweet chocolate, melted and cooled
4 large egg yolks
4 large egg whites, room temperature
3 cups old fashioned heavy whipping cream
9 tablespoons powdered sugar

DO 1-2 DAYS AHEAD; Mix crumbs with butter and press onto bottom and sides of pie plate. Refrigerate 30 min.
In a large heavy mixing bowl, beat whole eggs into melted chocolate. Add 4 egg yolks and beat 4-5 minutes. In a small mixing bowl, beat 4 egg whites until stiff. In another small mixing bowl, whip 2 cups heavy cream with 6 Tbs. powdered sugar until stiff peaks form. Stir 1/4 of egg whites and 1/4 of whipped cream into chocolate mixture. Fold in remaining whites and whipped cream, blending thoroughly. Pour into crust. Refrigerate overnight.

THE DAY YOU SERVE IT: Whip remaining heavy cream and powdered sugar. Top pie with whipped cream and cookie crumbs just before serving. :)

SHOPPING LIST;
1. 1 box gluten free cookies
2. 1/2 cup butter
3. 16 oz. senisweet chocolate chips
4. 6 eggs
5. 3 cups old fashioned heavy whipping cream
6. powdered sugar

Sunday, November 20, 2005

Meal #3: Thai Spicy Coconut shrimp and rice

This has a few "exotic" ingredients, but don't be put off. A good Asian food store will have all of it, and if you are gluten intolerant you will find that being familiar with the Asian food market in your area is a very good thing. If you don't have one, much of it can be mail ordered. I will try to put in a link for this once I figure out how :).

Anyway, this tastes like a dream and takes only 1/2 hour to make.

1. Cook rice (You will want about 3 cups cooked rice here. I strongly recommend a rice cooker for the gluten intolerant. We eat a lot of rice and these make perfect rice every time, freeing you up for making great sauces and such)
2. Slice 3-4 lime leaves into thin strips (as thin as possible)
3. slice 1/2 of a red pepper into thin strips
4. Heat one can of coconut milk (250ml) in a large pot until simmering, then add 2Tbsp. red curry paste and stir to dissolve.
5. Add 1Tbsp. sugar and lime leaves to pot. cook 1-2 minutes
6. add 1 Tbsp. fish sauce (yes, it's supposed to smell like that. It really does add to the flavor, so don't skip it)
7. Add second can of coconut milk and the red peppers
8. add the shrimp. (16-20 large, deveined and peeled shrimp. Fresh is good of course, but the quick frozen pre-cooked shrimp in a bag from the grocery store work just fine in this case and are a real time saver) Simmer gently for 3-5 minutes.
9. Finely chop or shred fresh basil leaves.
10. Dish up rice into a bowl and ladel shrimp mixture onto it. Top with shredded basil leaves. Serves 4

SHOPPING LIST:
1. rice (I like white rice best for this particular recipe) Enough for 3 cups cooked rice
2. lime leaves
3. two 250ml cans unsweetened coconut milk
4. 1 small can red curry paste
5. sugar
6. fish sauce (check the Thai aisle)
7. 16-20 large shrimp, deveined and peeled.
8. 1 red pepper
9. 8-10 fresh basil leaves

Meal #2 curried carrot soup and salad with baked feta

This is a great and surprisingly filling meal to make when you won't be home for long and want a warm and delicious meal quickly. Great for when you've been out skiing.

THE DO AHEAD:
Saute 1 chopped onion, 1 rib celery, 1 Tbsp. curry powder(check label to avoid gluten), & 1 tsp. tarragon together. Place in a slow cooker along with 1lb. roughly chopped carrots, 1 bay leaf, 1/2 tsp. salt, 2 Tbsp. chopped fresh parsley, 1/4 cup white rice and 5 cups broth. Slow cook on low for the day while you are out.

WHEN YOU RETURN:

1. Slice feta into 1/2 inch thick slices and place on cookie sheet. Roast in 350 degree oven for around 5 minutes, or until cheese is just beginning to melt and brown a bit at the edges.
2. Transfer soup to blender and blend until creamy. Return to crock pot (now set on high) to warm
3. Place 2 Tbsp olive oil and 1 Tbsp vinegar in wok (Beware, as Basalmic vinegar is often contains gluten. Red wine vinegar or rice wine vinegar both work well here.) Heat until oil ripples when swirled, then turn off heat and quickly add salad greens all at once. Toss quickly until greens are just barely wilted, then remove to salad plates and top with slices of melted feta. Top with fresh ground black pepper.
4. Serve soup and salad. (Soup recipe serves 4-6)


SHOPPING LIST;
1. 1 onion
2. celery
3. curry powder
4. 1lb. carrots (buy baby ones and you won't even have to chop them)
5. 5 cups broth (I like the organic stuff from Trader Joe's, but boiling last night's chicken carcass with salt to taste also works well. Be sure to use enough salt... good broth needs it.)
6. bay leaf
7. salt
8. fresh parsley
9. white rice (1/4 cup only. This is the thickening for the soup, instead of flour)
10. vinegar
11. olive oil
12. salad greens (tuscan mix and/or spinach work well. No iceberg!)
13. feta cheese (enough for each person to have a 1/2 inch thick slice)

Saturday, November 19, 2005

Meal #1 : Beef flank steak with sesame marinade

THIS WEEK'S MEAL: Beef flank steak with sesame marinade, pan roasted potatos and green salad
** this takes a lot more "at-home-just-before-dinner" time (50 minutes) but it's dinner party fancy and worth it. Good for the holidays.

THE DO AHEAD:
1.marinade:
Grind 1/2 cup sesame seeds with 1/2 teaspoon salt (food processor or, even better, wipe out the coffee bean grinder well and use this). Place in plastic gallon bag. Add 1/4 cup wheat-free soy sauce (San-J makes a good one, found in natural or Aisian food stores), 1 Tbs. minced fresh ginger, several dashes lemon pepper, 2 cloves crushed garlic, 1Tbs. brown sugar, and 1/4 cup olive oil. Seal up bag and shake well, then add 1 good quality beef flank steak and place the bag in the fridge to marinate (at least 3 hours is best). Great to freeze at this point, so I usually do two at a time and freeze one for later.
2. slice 1 medium onion and about 2 cups mushrooms. Place in sealed container in fridge.
3. Wash 1 medium potato for each person and set aside

45 MINUTES TO MEAL TIME:
1. preheat oven to 350 degrees
2. pour 2 Tbsp. oil in pan and sautee mushroom and onion mixture along with 2 Tbsp. sugar, until lightly browned.
3. slice potatos in half lengthwise and place cut side down on an oiled and lightly salted cookie sheet.
4. lay flank steak out flat and cover with cooked muchrooms & onions. Roll up and tie with string. (You can just fold it and stuff it in a glass loaf pan, but it looks so much fussier rolled and tied). Pour remaining marinade from bag over meat. Convection bake 40 min for medium. May take slighlty longer on regular bake of if you like well done.
5. place potatos in oven with meat
6. make green salad (I just love those companies that make salad-in-a-bag, don't you?) Open red wine and taste test.
7. After 40 min, remove meat from oven. Let stand 5-10 minutes, if you have the time. Maybe serve the salad ahead? Slice meat into 1 inch thick slices and serve with potatos (scoop these off with a spatula, to preserve that lightly browned surface).


SHOPPING LIST:

1. good quality flank steak
2. 1 meduim onion
3. about 2 cups sliced mushrooms
4. wheat free soy sauce
5. fresh ginger
6. lemon pepper
7. garlic
8. brown sugar
9. olive oil
10. 1/2 cup sesame seeds
11. salt
12. potatos
13. salad greens
14. salad dressing (Your choice, check ingredients for things like "natural flavorings" which can contain gluten. Oil and vinegar made at home is also nice... recepies to follow at a later time...