Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Week 9 - Pico de Gallo

I am a Texas girl. I love any form of Mexican or Tex-Mex cuisine, and I firmly believe they are two completely different subsets of food.

Occasionally you will find a magic recipe that over laps into both. Generally the "pure form" is an old recipe passed down by a sweet abuelita and then the Texans start playing with it. This week we showcase one of those recipes. Pico de Gallo (or just Pico, everyone down here knows what you mean) is one of those delicious things that Texans have made our own. It's also ridiculously easy to make.

You'll Need:
2 large Tomatoes (I generally prefer heirloom tomatoes, I like the taste and texture better.)
1 JalepeƱo pepper seeds and ribs removed. (I only remove half the seeds, it gives the Pico a spicier kick.)
1 small red onion

Dice everything up and toss it in a bowl. Done!

Make basic Pico once the way it is intended. It's better to have a base understanding of the flavors before playing around with it. That being said here are a few of my favorite add ins:

1 Tbsp Lime Juice
1/2 ripe mango
4-5 large strawberries
A palmful of minced cilantro
1/4c roasted corn
Substitute JalepeƱos for another type of chile

I generally only add in one or two extras, but experimenting is very fun. Once you have a full bowl grab some corn chips and dig in. (Or spoon it over some oven baked tilapia, talk about delicious!)

Happy eating!

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Week 8 - Pizza Crust

There is no right way to do pizza, but in the gluten free world there is definitely a WRONG way. The crusts either fall apart completely, or are saturated with oil. It's not a pleasant eating experience but you endure for that greasy, gooey, cheesy topping. You don't have to settle for that any more! So this week I hope you get to enjoy some gluten free pizza fun. Oh, I forgot to mention! It's xanthan gum free too!

You'll need:
300g Corn Flour (Corn Flour, not Cornmeal. If you don't like the flavor of corn I would suggest switching it out for sorghum)
100g Potato Starch
100g Millet Flour
2 tsp Salt
4oz Cold Milk (water will be fine for dairy free)
1/2 Pack of Gelatin
4oz Warm Water
9g Yeast
5g Sugar
2 Tbsp Olive Oil
About 8oz water (Or carbonated water if you like a softer, fluffier crust.)

Preheat oven to 400

Bloom your Gelatin in the cold milk.

Combine your yeast and sugar, then let foam in your warm water.

Combine your corn flour, potato starch, millet flour, and salt. Whisk or sift until they become one.

Add your gelatin and yeast mixtures to the dough. Then add your oil. Slowly add in your remaining water until your dough forms a ball and is pulling away from the side of the bowl cleanly. I used a kitchen aid with the dough hook on low for most of the mixing and finished, by hand, with a scraper paddle. It would probably work fine by hand.

Cover with a damp, warm towel and let rise for 20 minutes. It will only be a bit bigger.

Roll your dough out to the desire thickness. It is not going to behave like stretchy gluten pizza dough. You're going to have to plop it on your pan or parchment and ooze it out. It will stay where you ooze it and rise just a little in the oven. Ours was a little too thick for my taste. I would say try to get it to about 1/4" thick. Then bake it at 400 for 10min.

Remove from the oven and reduce heat to 375

Top with your favorite things like you would a "normal" pizza. Return to the oven for 15-18 more minutes, until everything is melty and delicious!

So tasty!

Happy Eating!

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Week 7 - Marshmallows (and more...)

This week I had planned on making marshmallows. Then my husband mentioned graham crackers, and that seemed like good idea. THEN I tried some amazing chocolate pudding from a recipe by Stella at Brave Tart. It is so delicious! (Seriously go here and make it) So I decided to make s'more pie. This weekend was just a tad ambitious. But it has been fun!

So lets dive in!


I hate marshmallows. I've never really liked them unless they were burnt to a crisp and smooshed with some chocolate. For some reason I decided it would be a good idea to make them. I am so glad I did! These mallows are delicious! I was eating the goop by the spoon full. They are springy and fluffy and don't have that funny after taste like Jet Puffed. So this is a recipe worth trying if you hate marshmallows or if you consider yourself a marshmallow aficionado.

What You'll Need:
3 Envelopes Gelatin
4 oz Cold Water
4 oz Hot Water
454 g Granulated Sugar
6 oz Corn Syrup
1/4 tsp salt
2 large egg whites (or reconstituted powdered egg whites if you are nervous about raw eggs)
1 tsp Vanilla
30g Powdered Sugar
30g Cornstarch

Bloom your gelatin in the cold water

While that is getting happy combine your hot water, sugar, corn syrup, and salt over medium heat. Stir until dissolved then increase the heat to high and boil until the mixture reaches 240°.

Pour your sugar mixture over the gelatin and stir until gelatin is dissolved.

Then beat on high until the mixture is thick and fluffy and white. It should triple in volume. You ALMOST have marshmallows!

In a separate bowl with clean beaters whip your egg whites until they form stiff peaks. (Well it is possible to do this by hand if you don't have 2 mixers but I definitely don't recommend it. I suggest beating the sugar mix in a stand mixer and the egg whites with a hand mixer.)

Add your egg whites and vanilla to your sugar mix and beat on low until just combined.

Spray a baking pan with non-stick cooking spray and pour your marshmallow in.

Combine your cornstarch and powdered sugar and dust over the top.

I have also heard of people putting home made marshmallow mixes into piping bags and making long round tubes to cut up. Then they look more like "traditional" marshmallows.

Put the pan uncovered in the fridge for at least 3 hours. Then cut up and enjoy!

These should keep at room temperature in an airtight container for 1 week.

Graham Crackers

You can't make marshmallows without graham crackers. Enough said!

What You'll need:
150g Almond Flour
75g Sorghum Flour
75g Sweet Rice Flour
75g Corn starch
1 tsp Xanthan Gum
176g Dark Brown Sugar (or 159g Granulated Sugar and 17g Molasses (about 1 Tbsp) if you are a ditz and forget to put dark brown sugar on the grocery list)
6g Baking Soda
4g Salt
7 Tbsp Butter (cut into 1/4 slices and frozen, cut first freeze after.)
1/3c honey (I broke the mold and used maple syrup, it was a good idea)
5 Tbsp Milk
2 Tbsp Vanilla

Combine your flours,xanthan gum, sugar (or sugar and molasses), baking soda, and salt in the bowl of a food processor. Pulse a few times until everything is very well combined.

Then add your butter cubes and pulse until your mix is fully incorporated. It will look almost like corn meal.

Add your honey, milk, and vanilla then pulse until the dough just comes together. It will be super duper sticky.

Pour your dough onto some plastic wrap and manipulate it to form a cylinder about 1" thick. Chill your dough for at least 3 hours, but I suggest over night.

Unwrap your cooled dough and put it on a well floured (flour with corn starch or powdered sugar) surface or parchment paper. Roll out, flouring liberally, to 1/8" thick. Then cut lines in your dough to the desired size. At this point I should have chilled the dough again so I could move the crackers and spread them out a little. Mine came out all mushed together so I had to recut them while they were warm.

Preheat your oven to 350°

Bake for 15-20min or until firm.

Let cool and top with marshmallows and chocolate...


Make a simple graham cracker crust (1/2c graham 2 Tbsp butter). Tamp down in a pie plate. Bake at 530° for 10min. Top with half of this pudding. Chill for a few hours. Then top with marshmallows (I poured the marshmallows on the top of the pie instead of into a baking dish). Chill for a few hours. Flambe the top and you have s'more pie!

Hope you enjoy ALL the recipes!

Happy eating!

Monday, February 6, 2012

Week 6 - Chips


This week we talk crispy. Perhaps even extra crispy. We're going to talk chips. Now if you are anything like my husband your logic works like this:

Chips are Crispy        Bacon is Crispy
       \                                           /
         \                                       /
                 Bacon is Chips?

Now as much as I appreciate the savory goodness of bacon I have to disagree. But bacon and chips have something in common! They are both widely viewed as unhealthy. But who said chips are only deep fried potato chips (although we are going to talk about those too). So if you like savory, sweet, or healthy there's a chip recipe for everyone.

Kale Chips

I am not a patient person. Half of my chips turned out soggy because I didn't wait for my washed kale to dry. The other half were crispy and delicious. If you are looking for something with the texture of a potato chip that's a little lower on the guilt scale, these are a great alternative. They are light and crispy and you can flavor them virtually any way you want.

You'll Need:
1 Bunch Kale
2 Tbsp Olive Oil (or enough to evenly coat the leaves)
1 Tbsp Salt
Other seasoning of choice (I made a batch of plain chips with just salt, and a batch with 1 Tbsp Jamaican Jerk seasoning. The Jamaican Jerk was incredibly tasty.)

Preheat oven to 350°

Cut the ribs out of the leaves of kale then cut into bite size pieces. I used kitchen scissors.

Rinse with cold water.

Let dry or put in a salad spinner (very important)

Toss in a bowl with Olive Oil and seasoning

Lay on a cookie sheet in one even layer. You will probably need 2 sheets or you will need to split this up into two batches.

Cook for about 10 minutes until crispy.

Let cool and enjoy!

Potato Chips

Good old fashioned deep fried potatoes

You'll Need:
3 or 4 small potatoes
Oil for deep frying

Heat your oil to 375°

Slice your potatoes as thin or as thick as you like

Rinse with cold water

Drop in the oil and fry until golden and crispy. The time will vary depending on the thickness of your chips. Ours took about 5 minutes and we flipped them over half way through.

Sweet Potato Chips

A sweet and crispy treat. I like them with a little bit of cinnamon sugar. I guess it's like a healthier churro?

You'll Need:
1 or 2 Sweet Potatoes
Oil for deep frying

Heat oil to 375°

Slice your potatoes the way you like them

Drop in your sweet potato slices. Fry for about 5 minutes flipping half way through. The chips will become a lighter yellow color, and almost look like they have fine wrinkles on them. It's okay they smooth out.

Enjoy your chips with a nice burger and call it a night!

Happy eating!

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Week 5 - Brown Gravy

Brown gravy is one of those things I have always had in my arsenal. I rarely (if ever) have used those pouches at the store. But when I asked people what recipes they would love to have gluten free brown gravy kept coming up. I was surprised, but my mom spoiled me with cooked from scratch meals most of my life. She and I have very different food tastes but most of what I know I learned and adapted from her. So here's a few gravy recipes for all of you!

Easy Brown Gravy

You'll need:
2c Beef or Chicken stock (you can also use drippings from a roast, turkey, chicken, this is a versatile recipe)
1 Tbsp Cornstarch
1/4c Cold water

Bring your stock or drippings to a boil

Mix your cornstarch and cold water then add to your stock.

Reduce heat to low and stir until thickened.

That's it! Easy peasy!

Slightly More Labor Intensive Brown Gravy

You'll need:
2 Tbsp Butter
1Tbsp cornstarch
1/2 tsp Thyme
2 c Broth, stock, or drippings

Melt your butter in the bottom of the sauce pan over low heat until slightly browned. Then add cornstarch and stir until it forms a paste.

Bring the heat up to medium and slowly pour in your broth whisking vigorously until everything is incorporated. Add in your thyme. then remove from heat and let thicken.

That's it! Now you can make brown gravy.

Maybe I'll figure out a replacement for those packets someday.....

Until then, Happy eating!