Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Quick Fixins

While I love a good home made morsel sometimes I don't want to go through the entire hullabaloo. That's when I turn to quick mixes. I'm not talking about the premixed flours I keep in my pantry either. I am talking about store bought quick mixes. They have their place in every tired mommy's kitchen and here's a few I love.

Gluten Free Bisquick

Mix with one egg and 10oz Redbridge Gluten Free Beer and use as a batter for fish. Deep fry for about 3 minutes.

Follow on box instructions for pancakes and pour 1 Tbsp pancake batter into mini muffin tin compartments. Pancake balls! (Toddlers love these, try adding things in like bacon bits and brown sugar)

Mix 2c bisquick, 2 eggs, 2/3-1c water. Make a double decker ham, american cheese, turkey, and swiss cheese sandwich. Cut in half diagonally and then dip your sandwich in your batter. Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least an hour. Deep fry in 375° oil for 7 minutes total, flipping half way through cooking. Top with a dusting of powdered sugar and enjoy your monte cristo.

Pamela's Ultimate Brownie Mix

Follow instructions for cake like batter and separate into muffin tin, bake for 20min and freeze extra brownies. Heat back up in the microwave for 45 seconds whenever you need a pick me up.

Tinkyada Pasta

Some people assume that because I know how to make pasta, I always make pasta. Nope! I love Tinkyada. (I use their spaghetti weekly) Cook according to the package instructions and add your favorite sauce. They even have some pasta that is made up of fun shapes called little dreams. It's pretty fantastic!

Thai Kitchen

Thai Kitchen brand carries several rice noodle bowls, pouches, and curry kits. It's like ramen gone fancy and gluten free.

Other than that, all I can say is find a restaurant near you that has a gluten free menu. We all need to take the quick and easy road sometimes.

Happy eating!

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Pie Crust in Progress

Many times when you search for gluten free items it's not the things you can't find that are most disappointing. It's the things you find that don't taste good. While it can be delicious once or twice a gluten free ginger snap or "graham" cracker crust does not work for all pies. Those frozen GF pie crusts just don't taste good, and the garbanzo heavy gluten free pastry flours really can't compare. (Am I the only one who thinks garbanzo bean flour smells a bit like diesel fuel?)

To make things clear, if you are looking for an easy pie crust recipe this is not the recipe for you. Yes, this crust tastes good. Yes, this crust will hold together if (and that's a big if) you let it cool long enough. No, I have not perfected this recipe. No, this is not something that you can whip up in 20 min. If you are new to the blog, don't start here.

With the seasons changing (except here in Texas where it is "still summer") pie has been on my mind. Apple pie, sweet potato pie, blackberry pie, and especially pumpkin pie. Next week we are heading out to the pumpkin patch and I wanted a vessel for my roasted pumpkin goodness. (Using canned pumpkin is heresy in my house.) Naturally, I got to work. I did some research (aka looked up about 50 pie crust recipes), figured out some ratios, and then got my hands messy. The result is a tender and flaky crust that has a great taste.

To be clear this is not the pie crust end game. While I am very happy with this "first draft" of sorts, I would love to have something more manageable so I don't yell at every little tear and can transfer it to a pie plate without it being frozen solid. Baby steps, I'll master it soon enough.

You'll need:
307g Brown Rice Flour
77g Sweet Rice Flour
340g Vegetable Shortening
1 egg beaten
75ml Boiling Water
5ml White Vinegar
6g salt

Measure out your sweet rice flour into the bowl of a stand mixer, then turn the mixer on low with the paddle attachment. Slowly add in your boiling water and turn the speed up to medium. This will gelatinize your flour and make it sticky. Perfect for making your crust stable sans xanthan gum. Let that continue to mix while you work.

Measure your brown rice flour and crisco into a separate bowl. Cut the crisco into your flour with a pastry mixer or two knives.

When your brown rice flour and crisco are fully mixed and have the consistency of course meal add in your gelatinized sweet rice flour, egg, white vinegar, and salt. Mix together with a rubber spatula or your hands until it is fully incorporated and can form a ball. Split this ball into 4 smaller balls, Put each in a ziploc or plastic wrap, flatten out your ball to about 1/2" thick, and put it all in the freezer.

After 1hr take out one frozen crust and place it on a well floured surface. (I used the brown rice flour. If you can, do this on a pastry rolling sheet or a cutting board. The crust will be easier to manipulate later if you can freeze the crust again. If the dough is getting tough to roll it also helps to put it back in the freezer for a couple minutes.) Carefully start rolling in even strokes. Don't roll the pin back and forth, start from one end and roll all the way across your dough. Then pick up your pin and start again. Rolling back and forth will make the dough more likely to stick to the pin.

If you can place your dough in the freezer do, for 5 min. After freezing quickly transfer your crust to your pie dish. (I froze it to my rolling sheet and flipped it upside down into my dish.) The edges will most likely break off instead of hang prettily over the sides. That's okay. Crimping a pie crust is purely decorative.

Fill your pie then repeat the rolling process with your top crust if needed.

Feel free to mess with the recipe some. If you want to add some xanthan gum, go for it, xanthan gum just gives me an upset stomach. All I ask is that you let me know what works for you!

Happy eating!