Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Gluten Free Corn Bread Muffins

3 TBSP liquid honey
1/2 cup melted butter
3 large eggs
1 can 428g canned creamed corn
1 to 1 1/4 cup milk
1/2 cup sour cream
1½ cups gluten free flour
1 cup fine cornmeal
½ cup corn starch/flour
1 1/2 TBSP baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1 tsp sugar
*Chopped Jalapeno (optional)
*Cheddar Cheese (optional)

Preheat the oven to 425˚F (220˚C) In a mixing bowl, whisk together honey and melted butter.  Add the eggs and creamed corn to combine. 

In a separate bowl, mix together all the dry ingredients. Slowly incorporate the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients using a whisk. Stir well to ensure there are no lumps.  

As gluten free flour needs more moisture than regular flour, ensure mixture is not too dry.  Add additional milk if required. Batter should be thick (not runny).  For a zesty version, add 1/4 cup Jalapenos or 1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese to the batter.

Pour into 12x muffin tin lined with holders.  Bake for 20 to 25 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean.  Remove from the oven and cool before serving.

Dead-easy gluten free chicken fingers can make these in your sleep.  Make a bunch and toss them in the freezer.  You'll be happy you have them on hand for those crazy busy days.

  • 4 Skinless Chicken Breasts 
  • 1/2 cup Hellmann's Real Mayonnaise (company website confirms this product is gluten free)
  • 1 cup Nature's Path Organic Gluten Free Corn Flakes or your favourite gluten free crunchy cereal 
  • 1 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1 clove crushed garlic
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Good quality olive oil
Crush corn flakes in a mini processor or by hand.  In a small bowl, whisk together mayo, spices, garlic, salt and pepper.   Transfer corn flakes to a plate.

Dry chicken breasts with a paper towel to remove any moisture.  Cut into approximately 1/2 to 1 inch thick strips.  Dredge each chicken strip in the mayo mixture, then press into the corn flake mixture so each strip is completely covered.

Transfer to a non stick baking sheet and lightly drizzle with olive oil. Do not over crowd on sheet,  as you want to make sure any moisture has room to escape.  Bake at 400F (200C) for approximately 30 minutes or until done. Flip over half way through if desired (not necessary).  Chicken should be cooked through and golden brown.

TIP:  These can be made ahead and frozen.  Cool on a cookie rack and place in the freezer uncovered until frozen.  Place strips in an air tight zip lock bag and freeze for future use.  To reheat, bake on cookie sheet in a 400F (200C) oven for 10 to 12 minutes or until hot.

Enjoy with your favourite dipping sauces!

Peanut Butter Chocolate Ice Cream Cake

This is an awesome dessert for anytime of the year.  Great for dinner parties or a great birthday cake option.  Can be made in a square pan for smaller square portions, or in a pie plate for a pretty presentation. Use gluten free rice krispies for a gluten free version.  Either way you slice it, this is delicious!!!

1/4 cup corn syrup
2 TBSP brown sugar
3 TBSP butter or margarine
3 cups Nature's Path Organic Crispy Rice (do not use Kellogg's Rice Krispies as they contain gluten!)
1/2 cup chocolate ganache*
1 quart vanilla ice cream
Caramel sauce and chopped peanuts for topping

For the ganache:

  • 200g good-quality dark chocolate
  • 284ml carton double cream (pouring type)
  • 2 TBSP icing sugar  
  • 1/2 cup peanut butter
  • 3 TSP corn syrup                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         

Make the ganache: chop the chocolate into small pieces and tip into a bowl. Pour the cream into a pan, add the sugar, and heat until it is about to boil. Take off the heat and pour it over the chocolate. Stir until the chocolate has melted and the mixture is smooth. Add peanut butter and corn syrup.  Mix til smooth.  Cool.

Make the caramel sauce:  You can use store bought if you'd like, or boil a can of sweetened condensed milk for about 4 hours for a really decadent treat.  Be sure that the can is fully submerged under water the entire time or the can may explode! Let cool before opening.

Make the cake:  In a saucepan, combine corn syrup, brown sugar and butter. Bring to boil, stirring constantly and remove from heat.  Add syrup to puffed rice and mix well. Press evenly into greased pie plate or pan.  Cool in freezer or fridge for about 10 minutes to set/cool.   Top with the ganache and let cool again in the freezer for an additional 10 minutes.

In the meantime, remove ice cream from freezer to left soften.  Once soft, evenly spread over chocolate base.  Finish with a drizzle of caramel or chocolate sauce and chopped peanuts.  You can also use chopped SKOR bars as well for a little extra crunch.

Cover and freeze until ready to serve.  YUM!

Friday, October 22, 2010

Le bon viveur: Chicken Wing Threesome - Gluten free

Le bon viveur: Chicken Wing Threesome - Gluten free: "Sorry if you were searching for some 'other' website!!! Since you are here, why not give these birds a try! These chicken wings are fantast..."

Chicken Wings - Gluten Free trio

These chicken wings are fantastic for parties.  You can play with various sauces depending on your tastes. This trio has a bit of everything - hot, sweet/tangy and crrrunchy! They'll be the life of the party!!!!

Serve with your favourite sporting event and lots of beer.

Soy/Ginger Wings (far left)

Crispy Party Wings (front center)

Buffalo Hot Wings
(top right)

Super Soy Ginger Wings:
This recipe was adapted from the Best of Bridge cookbook and has been modified to be gluten free.  The sauce is enough for about a dozen wings so make sure you adjust the recipe depending on your numbers.

15 chicken wings
1/2 cup sugar
3 TBSP cornstarch
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp ground ginger
1/4 tsp pepper
2/3 cup lemon juice
1/4 cup gluten free soya sauce

Cut wings in half at joint.  Discard tips.  Place on broiler rack and bake at 400F for 15 minutes, turn and bake for an additional 15 minutes.

Mix the remaining ingredients together and cook over medium/high heat until mixture thickens.  Be sure to stir constantly. Boil for an additional two minutes and remove from heat.  Brush over wings and continue to bake wings for about 35 minutes.  During baking, brush soy mixture on wings frequently.  Serve warm or cold.

Crispy Party Wings / Buffalo Hot Wings:

24 chicken wings (same process as above)
1/4 cup cornstarch
1 tsp salt
1 tsp pepper
1 tsp onion powder
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp smoked paprika
1 TSP dried chili flakes
3 to 4 TBSP olive oil
3 to 4 TBSP vegetable oil

In a small bowl, mix together cornstarch and spices.  Toss in chicken wings and to evenly coat.  Add olive oil and ensure all wings are coated with the mixture.  Let stand for 5 minutes.

Heat a shallow non-stick frying pan or wok with vegetable oil over medium to high heat.  Add chicken wings one at a time and fry until lightly brown.  Place chicken wings on non stick try and bake in the 400 degree oven for an additional 35 minutes.  Remove from oven and cool.

Toss half the wings in your favourite sauce.  Try hot, bbq or sweet chili - The possibilities are endless.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Terrific gluten free turkey stuffing

What is a Thanksgiving or Christmas dinner without indulging in some moist turkey stuffing smothered in gravy.  You can easily make a mouthwatering gluten free version in addition to your regular stuffing if you need an alternative.  
  • 1 loaf gluten free bread. Cut into cubes and dried
  • 1 large onion
  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter
  • 4 ribs celery
  • 2 carrots
  • 1 cup sliced mushrooms
  • 1/4 cup dried cranberries* (optional)
  • 15 fresh sage leaves
  • 4 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 2 tsp poultry seasoning
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 tsp freshly cracked pepper
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2.5 cups stock (turkey or chicken)
  • 1 tbsp Unsalted butter
To prepare the stuffing, preheat your oven to 350° degrees Fahrenheit.  Dice the onions, celery and carrot.  Melt the butter in a large fry pan over medium-low heat and add veggies.  Cook until translucent and mushrooms have released their water.

Chop the fresh sage and thyme. Add all of the herbs and spices and let cook until translucent. When done, add to the bread and toss to combine. Whisk the eggs and stock together. Add the mixture, a bit at a time, over the bread and toss. Add dried cranberries.  Butter a large casserole dish, add the stuffing and cover.

Cover and bake the stuffing for 30 minutes. Then remove the lid and bake uncovered for an additional 30 minutes. Once the stuffing is golden brown, remove from the oven and let cool slightly before serving.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Gluten Free Mini Meatballs

These little meatballs are a sure-fire hit at any party.  They can be served as an appetizer in a chafing dish or slow cooker (on toothpicks), or can be served hot on their own.  Everyone is always asking for the recipe.  Now everyone can ask you for the recipe too.

Mini Meatballs:

2 lbs lean ground beef (1000g)
2 eggs
1 cup fine gluten free bread crumbs
6 Tbsp chopped parsley
1 cup chopped onion
Salt and pepper to taste
2 tsp Worcestershire sauce*

NOTE:, Canadian Worcestershire sauce contains gluten whereas the UK and US brands do not.  Please check the origin of your sauce.  This ingredient can be omitted or you can use a homemade Worcestershire sauce if desired.  Recipe for homemade Worcestershire sauce to follow soon.

Chili Grape Sauce:

12 oz bottle chili sauce
10 oz jar grape jelly
1 tsp lemon juice
2 tbsp brown sugar
1 tbsp gluten free soy sauce

Mix ground beef with eggs, bread crumbs, parsley, onion, worcestershire sauce, salt and pepper. Roll into small balls, no more than one inch in diameter.  Heat chili sauce, jelly, lemon juice, brown sugar and soy sauce in a large pot.  Bring to a boil and add uncooked meatballs.  Simmer meatballs in sauce for at least 30 minutes or until all meatballs are cooked through.

These can be made days ahead and either frozen or refrigerated the night before.  Delicious!

Friday, October 8, 2010

Gluten Free Lemon Tarts

These are a bit finicky to make but well worth the effort.

Lemon Curd:
Juice and zest from two (2) lemons - try to get Meyer lemons as they are the best. If not, organic are nice too!!!
3 eggs
3/4 cup sugar
1 tsp cornstarch
1/2 cup cold butter cubed
A few crushed tarragon or basil leaves

Do not turn the stove on just yet.  In a small bowl, mix together sugar, cornstarch, lemon zest and crushed aromatic of choice.  In a pot, whisk eggs and add lemon juice.  Add the sugar mixture to pot and turn the stove onto low. Add the butter slowly, one bit at a time.  Continue to stir until mixture becomes thick.  Remove from stove and push mixture through a sieve.  Transfer to bowl and cool in fridge until ready to use.

Shortbread Tarts:

1 cup butter
1/2 cup icing sugar
1 1/2 cup gluten free flour
1 Tsp cornstarch

Blend all ingredients really well with hand mixer until light and fluffy.  Gently press dough into small tart moulds with your fingers.  You can either blind bake these or poke a lot of holes in the bottom of the tarts to prevent them from puffing up.  This is the fiddley part.  Bake for about minutes until brown.  Let cool and carefully remove from pan.

Add filling and enjoy.

Home made energy bars

These home made energy bars are delicious and a fraction of the cost of what you'd pay for something similar in stores. They are really easy to make and they keep well in the fridge or freezer long term.

Look for Medjool dates as they are very tender, tasty and easy to work with.

12 Medjool dates (approx. 1 cup)
1/2 cup cashews
1 cup plain almonds
1/4 cup dried cranberries, blueberries or raisins
1/4 cup shredded coconut
1/4 cup puffed rice
1 heaping tablespoon organic peanut or almond butter
1/4 tsp salt or to taste

In a large bowl or pestle, mush pitted dates into a paste.  In a food processor, roughly chop cashews and almonds.  Don't over process or you'll be left with butter!!!!

Add all ingredients to the date mixture and mix well with hands.  Place mixture into cellophane lined pan.  Press well to ensure all ingredients are tightly packed.  Cover with remaining cellophane and refrigerate for about one hour.  Remove bars from pan and cut into desired portions.  Individually wrap and enjoy when you want a healthy snack!  Keep in the fridge to extend the shelf life.

Note:  Experiment with variety of ingredients!  Some ideas include:

  • Toast the nuts for a more intense flavour!
  • Add chocolate or yogurt chips for a kid friendly version
  • Other ingredient ideas - try adding flax, chia, pumpkin and sunflower seeds!

Million Dollar Gluten Free Pizza

This pizza was inspired by friends of mine from Monaco.  It's packed full of flavour especially when using high quality/flavourful toppings.  It's meant to be eaten with a fork (gold plated or silver preferably) and a bottle of your best bubbly.  Mind you, they'd spend more than $100 on toppings but you can achieve the same million dollar experience on a pauper's budget. 

The secret is in the sauce, the quality of your ingredients, how the pizza is assembled and cooked.  I love it because it's packed full of healthy veggies and very hearty. I've adapted the pizza to be gluten free but you can get similar results on wheat based crusts as well.  To achieve optimum results, wheat based pizzas should be cooked on a hot pizza stone.

Million Dollar Pizza Sauce:
1 large can San Marzano Tomatoes (de-seeded through a food mill)
1 tube good quality tomato paste
1 onion finely chopped
4-5 cloves garlic finely chopped
2 anchovies finely chopped
3-5 softened sundried tomatoes finely chopped
2 TSP Oregano
1 TSP thyme
Fresh Basil (6-8 leaves)
Salt to taste
Olive Oil
1/2 cup cold water if needed

On medium to low heat, saute onions and garlic in a bit of olive oil until transparent. Add sun dried tomatoes, anchovies and tomato paste and cook for another couple minutes. Add San Marzano tomatoes, oregano, thyme and salt to taste. 

The key to the sauce is to cook it on low heat for a long time until the sauce reduces to a flavourful, thick sauce packed with flavour (minimum 1 hour).  Keep an eye on the sauce and add more water if needed.  Once the sauce is almost done, add ripped basil leaves and finish with a swig of olive oil.  Your finished sauce should not be runny and have a wonderful, intense flavour.

Million Dollar Gluten Free Crust
This crust is thicker than most pizza crusts, however, it works well with this pizza as it holds the toppings well and is very flavourful.  It's important to par-cook the crust. From my experience, if you want to pile on a ton of toppings, make a thick crust.  If you want something a bit lighter, this recipe can be make into a thin crust as well.  

11⁄2 teaspoons active dry yeast
3⁄4 cup warm milk (110°F)
1  teaspoon sugar 
11⁄2 cups gluten free flour blend 
11⁄2 teaspoons xanthan gum
1  teaspoon dried thyme, crushed in your palm
1⁄2 teaspoon onion powder
3⁄4 teaspoon salt
2  large eggs
2  tablespoons olive oil
1  teaspoon cider vinegar

1  tablespoon olive oil
11⁄4 teaspoons Italian seasoning
1⁄4  teaspoon kosher or coarse sea salt

Dissolve yeast and sugar in warm milk. Set aside to foam for 5 minutes. Generously grease a 11x7-inch nonstick pan. 

Combine all remaining bread ingredients in a large mixing bowl, add yeast mixture, and beat with electric mixer about the dough thickens, about 1 minute. Dough will be soft and sticky and have the consistency of runny mash potatoes.

Transfer dough to pan that has been sprinkled with the cornmeal and smooth top with wet spatula. Cover loosely with aluminum foil tent and let rise in warm place (75 to 80 degrees) for 40 to 50 minutes or until desired height. 

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Sprinkle dough with topping ingredients. Par cook for around 15 minutes or until top starts to turn light golden brown and the crust is almost cooked through.  The second part of baking is only to darken/crisp up the sides and bottom of the crust.

Guidelines for Assembly:
  • Ensure all your veggies are thinly cut and uniform in size. 
  • Start assembling your pizza with the crust, lots of sauce, cheese and then veggies.  This allows for the veggies to caramelize, cook and release their moisture into the oven, not into your pizza crust!
  • When using mushrooms, make sure they are thinly sliced. Mushrooms release a ton of water when cooking.  These always need to be put on last.
  • Use the correct type of mozzarella cheese.  Yes, there is a difference and it's important that you use stretchy mozzarella not pressed mozzarella. Stretchy mozzarella is mild in flavour and will give you that nice smooth, stretchy consistency you've come to love from your local pizzeria.  If you use pressed mozzarella which is usually really high in fat, the cheese will release a ton of oil and become hard quickly.  
  • Place any meat slices on pizza the last ten minutes of cooking.  This prevents the meat from overcooking and releasing excessive oil into your pizza.  
  • Place any complimentary cheeses such as Parmesan, goats cheese or any other specialty cheeses on pizza the last five minutes of cooking. 
  • Once done, let sit for five minutes - dig in and enjoy!!!
Ingredients used on pizza shown above:
  • Red, Yellow and Green Peppers
  • Red Onion
  • Roasted Garlic Cloves (already cooked)
  • Red Chilies
  • Jalapeno peppers
  • Finished with Parmesan cheese