Saturday, March 21, 2009

Recipe - Savory Style Crepes

The last couple of days, especially with summer coming around the corner, I have been thinking more and more on how can I make gluten free tortilla shells or corn tortillas. I haven't gotten a really good out come yet but I have gotten something good enough to make a recipe I've had twice in the last 24hrs :P

What I end up with is more of a savory version of gluten free crepes. So they are not nearly firm enough for making tacos out of but for a plate style Casadias, this works wonderfully. I think they would make some great sandwiches in the summer too. Only suggest is do NOT make these and 'store' them. If you are going to make these, make them and use them the same day. They will get either really soggy in the fridge or really hard left on the counter.

1 1/2 cups GF flour mix
1 cup milk (room temp or a bit warmer)
2 tsp GF baking powder
2 TBS oil
dash of salt

Combine all ingredients and whisk by hand. When all lumps are whisked out, let it rest for 10mins like I suggest for any style batter. This will tell you if you need to add any more milk or flour respectively.

While letting rest, pre-heat a frying pan or griddle to a high heat. For easier use, pour batter into a measuring cup or other pooring style container. Then on hot griddle, pour about a 5inch round circle of batter and then rotate pan to spread the batter out as flat as you can. Fry until lighly browned and top is semi dry. Flip and continue until other side is lightly browned.

Repeat the above step until all batter is used. Recipe does not keep well over night or longer... I again suggest to make these the same day/time you plan to use them.

Recipe - Taco Seasoning

I have for a long time stopped buying pre-made 'taco seasoning', even before I started eating gluten free. Why you might ask, simple, the sodium content wasn't worth it! There is so much salt in the pre-made 'powders' you get in any chain of supermarkets that you could choke a horse with it.

Then later on one day on thinking 'it's been a long time since I had any tacos' I came to look at the label out of sure wonder if it would or would not contain wheat... guess what... it does! The brand I could get around here has wheat. I mean comeon, how damn hard or expensive is it to sell a taco seasoning mix that doesn't have fillers or salt?!

Not too long ago (sometime since last summer I figure) I had found and made my own variation of taco seasoning. The recipe called for plain black pepper as well as salt but frankly you'd never miss not adding it. I haven't since the day I made it and even now, I can't tell it's in there or not.

The recipe below makes enough for 1 pound of ground meat but if you're any thing like me, I double the recipe so I have seasoning pre-pared and ready to go for next time... I mean what's the difference if the seasonings are sitting on your self in their own bottles or if they are in 1 bottle melding their flavors for next time? :)

1 TBS chili powder (this is the AMERICAN style chili powder! If using stronger stuff, reduce the amount you use!)
1/4 tsp garlic powder
1/4 tsp onion powder
1/4 tsp oregano
1/2 tsp paprika
1 1/2 ts cumin
salt/pepper to season (VERY optional)

This is a no brainger, place all ingredients into a small bowl and combine well. Sprinkle over ground meat as it's cooking and add 1/4 cup water to moisten. Goes well and in a number of dishes, this is just a basic taco seasoning mix.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Many More Recipes To Come

LOL I have SOOOO many more photos and recipes to add but for now that is all I will post for now. Just looking at the recipes I have on back stock so to speak I think I counted something over 10 more that I have made and have photos to. Of course and don't forget that I just got my new oven so there are certain to be more. My first 'recipe' made with my new oven of course was my beloved peanutbutter chocolate chip cookies. I just adore peanutbutter and chocolate!

I have plans to try all sorts of new things. The egg recipe posted earlier today was one of them. I also want to make fresh and exciting new salads for the summer if it gets warm enough this year and I plan to have as many picnics as I can also so I'll make sure to get nice picnic shots of some of the recipes. I have plans to post a pizza recipe that I started to make just before my oven gave out a few months ago! It'll be an easy recipe but it's ever so good and will feed a 2-4 people easily.

I'm glad to be back on the go, feeling better then I have in a long time, sleeping better, pain free, finding out that I am for sure gluten intolerant (tested this myself a few weeks ago and had some bad reactions to it so there is no doubt now if it was actually gluten or my gallbladder), I've been losing weight, my skin is better and just all in all, I suggest if someone thinks they are living with a problem they shouldn't be, get help for it! Don't just think 'it's in my head, I'll live with it'! I did it for over 2yrs thinking it was what I was eating gluten style, cross contamination from my husband and such, when the 'pain/bloating' I was experiencing was actually gallstone/bladder attacks! GET TO YOUR DOCTOR and if he/she doesn't help, go to another, be demanding and make sure they test you the way YOU think you should be.... after all only YOU know how YOU feel!

Recipe - Chocolate Dipped Macaroons

How about something sweet and just sinful? I just LOVE cookies. They almost always give the sense of 'satisfaction' that I love to have from a fresh baked good. They are usually salty some how, buttery in another and savory all in one. This recipe was found on the GlutenFreeda website under Macaroons but I have made a couple of edits to it like the fact that these are more like a coconut meringue then a macaroon but I promise you'll like these over the store bought macaroons! The page linked above for the cookies you can even see my comment on the recipe and how long ago it was that I first made these :P

4 large egg whites
1 ts vanilla extract
1 cup powdered sugar
2 cup finally shredded coconut
1/2 cup GF flour mix
1 cup dark or milk chocolate, melted (optional, dark works better though)

Pre-heat oven to 325f or 160c. I have found that if you can find a silicone baking sheet (you know those really soft sheets that almost feel like slippery rubber under you touch... they are making all sorts of molds for the oven out of them as well) that this works the BEST for this recipe. If you don't have or can't find one of these sheets, you just end up having to grease and flour your cookie sheet and repeat the process of it with each sheet of cookies baked. With the silicone baking sheet, you don't need any grease or flouring processes.

With an electric mixer, beat egg whites until stiff peaks start to form. You want the beginning process of meringue when you are finished beating them. Add vanilla extract and mix well. Add powdered sugar slowly, I suggest no more then 1/4th cup at a time. Mixing still with the electric mixture, making sure to mix the sugar in very well before adding more. Don't reduce the sugar in this recipe, it needs it and you will not notice there is an entire cup of it in the end.

Fold in the coconut and GF flour to the now prepared egg whites. Do this gently as you want to keep as much of the air in the egg whites as possible but make sure you coat the coconut well.

Drop batter (egg white mixture with coconut) by rounded teaspoons on your cookie sheet. You can add more to the sheet then you normally would if you were making other drop cookies. These will puff out a bit but they won't 'spread' like normal drop cookies. You can add spoon fulls in the middle of the rows as well (see photos).

Bake in pre-heated oven for 25mins or until set and just starting to turn light brown. It is VERY easy to over bake this cookie! Be careful to keep a watch on them about 20mins into it. Ovens vary a great deal when it comes to this cookie so you must watch toward the end to ensure this doesn't happen. You can see in one of the photos how easy it is, the cookies that are a bit darker were less then 5mins longer then the rest.

Remove cookies and let rest for 5 to 10mins so they are able to set a bit. Do NOT try to remove these cookies before they are set or they will lose their form completely. Once removed, they are ready to eat as is (and are just sinful if eaten while still warm!) but this recipe calls to chocolate coat them.

Once cooled, drip them any way you want into the melted chocolate. I usually do the bottom of them but the recipe on the site also shows dipping the 'side' of it. It all depends how much chocolate you want on them. You can even dip the entire cookie if you really want to be sinful or choose to place some chocolate between 2 cookies to make a sandwich and then dip them both on their side. It is how ever you want to do them.

Place dipped cookies on wax paper (on a plate, cookie sheet or what ever but on something hard) and place in the fridge until chocolate is hard. I suggest keeping these in the fridge until you want to eat them. Rest them 30mins outside of the fridge if you don't like cold cookies or chocolate but they will start to melt a bit. They get messy with the chocolate on them :D

Fennel - Fall To Spring Veggie

I didn't know where to start in my archive of photos/recipes so I thought I would bring the light of at least one new ingredient that I started to use earlier this year... it's a called Fennel. It's a bulb style vegetable that seems to have it's peak season in the fall to spring. I started using this ingredient when I started watching my first season of Jamie Oliver recipes DVD's and he was making a fennel and radish salad. It looked really good and I love radishes.

This vegetable has a kind of light black licorice taste to it but it is very light. The texture is more like celery. It can be used raw or cooked in a number of ways. So far for me though I have only used it in the one recipe but as time goes on I plan to try some other things with it as well.

Recipe - Breaded & Fried Chicken Strips

I use to LOVE eating KFC chicken strips when I lived in the states. Even if I were to visit there again any time in my life time, I most likely can never have these again BUT there is light at the end of the tunnel and I personally think this recipe is much better then the commercially made stuff from KFC anyhow!

This recipe is from my 'stock' of photos that I took while cooking/baking ect but I never had time or the want to post them. I figured since I am taking today as 'me' day, I'd enjoy spending some time here at my blog that is has been very badly neglected! Although this recipe says 'breaded' it's not actually done in bread but in gluten free flour mix.

2 pounds chicken breasts (cut length wise into 'stripess', either your local butcher can do this for you or you should be able to find them cut like this in your local super market as well)
2 cups gluten free flour mix
2 eggs, lightly beaten with 2TBS water
1 TBS salt
1 TBS pepper
3 cups oil (for semi deep frying effect)

I like to make these in a semi deep frying pan (I use my favorite Tafel frying pans in fact for the heat resistant factor). Add the 3 cups of oil to the frying pan and bring it up to a high heat while preparing the chicken strips themselves.

While oil is heating. Place beaten eggs with water in a shallow bowl, mix the pepper, salt and GF flour mix together and make sure the seasonings are throughly mixed through the GF flour mix. The seasonings may seem to be a lot but they aren't when you start mixing them through the GF flour and you do end up almost always throwing some of the finished GF flour mixture out. I usually use some foil for placing the GF flour mixture on but I turn the sides up to try and prevent making a mess with it... if you don't mind the dishes though, also place the flour mixture into a shallow bowl.

Once oil is hot, start out by placing one chicken strip in flour mixture, coat well and shake off excess, you just want to dust them at this point. Then dip flour dusted chicken strip into the egg mixture and coat well. Then roll flour dusted and egg dipped chicken strip into flour mixture again and make sure the strip is very well coated this time. You can repeat the process of egg dipping and the 2nd flour coating for more 'breading' but even just the once works nicely. Just adjust you ingredients accordingly.

Only prepare chicken strips as many as you will place in the frying pan at once. You don't want the chicken strips sitting waiting to be placed in the oil because the flour will become more of a pancake mix instead of a crisp light breading. As you finish the last flour coating above, place directly into the oil to start browning. Work quickly to make enough strips to fill your oil filled frying pan.

Cook/fry the strips until golden brown (they will turn golden if you are using a deep frying pan for this because they will be touching the bottom), if your chicken strips sit above the oil, you will have to turn them once or twice to cook the other side. Again until golden brown. Once cooked through, transfer strips to a paper towel covered plate to drain. Repeat coating chicken strips and cooking process until all chicken strips are cooked.

This recipe goes well with the BBQ sauce recipe mentioned earlier in my blog. It also goes well with ranch dressing, honey mustard dressing and even chili sauce if you like it hot :D

Recipe - Egg, Bacon & Potato 'Tortilla'

Hello all... I'm back at least for now with a new recipe. I know it's been a LONG while since I was here but I'm still not back to 100% with every thing. In fact I'm working with a 2 burner 'movable' stove top but hey at least I have my new and better yet WORKING oven! YEA! :D Hopefully within the next 2weeks I'll have a brand new stove top as well that won't have to be moved LOL

Today's recipe was inspired by something we have out here called an 'egg tortilla'. Now being American as I am, I thought 'tortilla' and expected this to have some kind of white flat bread style thing but out here it isn't. It's this egg and potato thick style pancake type thing. All egg, potatoes and the one I usually go for is with onion as well but no crusts and better off no flour at all in it.

What I didn't like with this is that is had no seasonings at all except perhaps some salt (don't remember off hand... it's been too long since I bought one), that is had LOTS of excess fat in it that isn't needed at all and then the price tag on it. It's flipping egg, potatoes and onion and they wanted up to 4euro a piece for something that barely feeds 1 person.

So with no internet this morning, some need to be used eggs, a bag of pre-blanched potato cubes... I figured why not mess around in the kitchen for some lunch.

I have those wonderful 'removable handle' style Tafal frying pans so I was able to do this all in one pan but for those of you that don't, a round 8inch cake pan would work best for this. You do need a special mixer attachment for this recipe. I have a stick blender and this works best for it but if you really want, just pre-mash about 1/2 the potato cubes asked for below with a fork. The directions below are for using my Tafal pan.

4 large eggs
1/4 cup milk
1 small onion, diced
1 small package pre-blanched potato cubes (about 3cups worth)
1/2 pound bacon cubes (can also fry bacon strips and pull apart into pieces)
1 cup cheese (cheddar or mozzarella work best but I think colby or even colby-jack would work too... what ever cheese you like to go with eggs basically but make sure it's shredded style!)
Seasoning (this is up to personal taste... remember there is bacon flavor going on though)

Preheat oven to 350f or 180c to start off with. In your small Tafal frying pan (mine was the 18cm one) fry the bacon pieces until cooked to your wish, if there is oil left over, drain it.

While bacon cooks, in a small beaker style container (stick blenders usually come with a container to use with them... well at least mine did) combine the eggs, 1/2 the potato cubes, milk and seasonings. Mix them until fairly well blended and just before your finished add 2TBS more of the potatoes but just give it a VERY quick wiz... you're looking for something with a bit of chunks in the end but the first hit of potatoes is to thicken the eggs. Add 1/2 cheese at end but use a fork to mix it through, not the stick blender!

In frying pan with bacon, add the onion and left over potato cubes. Give a quick toss and then add egg/potato mixter. Give another nice mix to make sure every thing is moved around and every place has a bit of every thing.

Place in pre-heated oven for 25mins. After 25mins, take the egg 'tortilla' out and sprinkle with remaining cheese, return to oven and turn tempature up to 400f or 200c and cook for an additional 15mins or until the top if lightly browned.

This recipe can be made almost any way and with any thing you want. Just remember to keep reading your lables! If you're adding an ingredients even such as potato cubes, they might have hidden flours in it.... always lable read with this kind of eating plan!

I like to add a mix of mild salsa and sour cream to it... mmmm works nicely but this time I left it plain... My photos don't show it with cheese throughout because I simply forgot to and instead placed it all on the top!