Tuesday, May 31, 2011

16 Gluten Free Beignets

This past month has been quite an exciting food experiment with the Gluten Free Ratio Rally. The Gluten Free Ratio Rally is a group of gluten free bloggers who work together to figure out how to perfect various recipes without the use of traditional wheat flour. The common variable between all the experiments is the use of measuring ingredients by weight instead of volume. Read more about the effort in my post from last month, located here.
Designed by Anile Prakash
This month we worked together on quite the huge challenge - gluten free pate a choux. A basic pate a choux involves the process of cooking flour in liquid (similar to a roux) and then adding eggs and other flavors once its cooled. Once the pate a choux is baked, the paste puffs up and becomes light and airy. Pate a choux is a wonderful method of producing cream puffs, eclairs, and any other light pastry that you would normally fill.

For this challenge, I wanted to produce beignets, which are made either with a traditional yeast dough or based on a pate a choux (what most American beignets are based on). Beignets are light, airy fried pastries similar to doughnuts. They're most commonly dusted with powdered sugar or filled with fruit. In American culture, beignets were made famous by Cafe du Monde, a simply amazing and cultural restaurant in New Orleans. I traveled to Nola a few years back to volunteer in Katrina relief. I instantly fell in love with the culture and food of New Orleans, especially the Cafe Du Monde coffee and beignets. I wouldn't be surprised if half my diet was actually coffee and beignets while I was there...
It's snowing sugar! Coffee + gluten free beignets + powdered sugar = PURE BLISS (and a little bit of a sugar rush...)
Which leads me to my inspiration for this Ratio Rally, to try to create gluten free beignets that fulfill my need for some good old Louisiana culture. It took me three trials to create a good choux. The first trial was not starchy enough and quickly deflated once removed from the fryer. The second trial I modified my flour ratio a bit and experienced a bit of an improvement, but still had too wet of a dough. This led me to my current recipe, which held up the best structure and was not too wet. Let me know what you think, I'd love to continue to perfect the recipe!
Yields: ~25 medium beignets
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: ~3-4 minutes per beignet, approximately 30 minutes depending on the size of the fryer

210g water
114g butter
38g tapioca starch
38g brown rice flour
28g sweet (glutinous) rice flour
10g almond flour
227g egg
1.5 tbsp sugar
1. Preheat a deep fryer or deep pot of vegetable oil to 350F. There needs to be at least 2-3 inches of oil in the pot.
2. In a medium pot, add the water, butter, and sugar, and simmer on high heat. 
3. While the water simmers, measure the flour out into a small bowl, and measure your eggs and place them in another bowl.
4. Once the water mix is hot and about to start boiling, reduce to medium heat and add the flour. Vigorously stir the mix as it begins to turn into a paste. After the paste begins to pull away from the pot and forms a ball, continue cooking for another 1-2 minutes to remove more water from the paste.
5. Remove from heat and let the batter cool for a few minutes so the eggs don't scramble when added to the mix. I transferred mine to another bowl to assist in this.
6. Mix one egg at a time into the paste, adding the next egg only until the last has been combined. At first the paste will look as though it falls apart, but as more eggs are added it will come back together into a lighter dough. Refrigerate the dough for about 10 minutes. (I've noticed refrigeration helps it maintain shape.)
7. By spoonfuls, carefully drop the choux into the hot oil.
My first few were oddly shaped, but the shape turned out better the more I made.
8. Flip after about 2 minutes, or until the side in the oil is golden brown. After flipping cook for another 2 minutes then remove and drain the oil on a plate with paper towels. 
9. When serving, stack the beignets on a plate and dust with powered sugar. 

Thanks to Erin Swing for hosting this month! This was a really difficult month, so thank you for all the time and advice you gave this month! Her Churros are located here, as well as her gougeres with herbed goat cheese mousse.

Along with the rest of the Gluten Free Ratio Rally:
Amie of The Healthy Apple | Pate Choux with Creamy Macadamia Icing           
Caleigh of Gluten Free[k] | Savoury Paris-Brest
Caneel of Mama Me Gluten Free | Key Lime Cream Puffs
Claire of Gluten Freedom |  Chocolate Eclairs
Jenn of Jenn Cuisine | Gruyère & Herbed Gougères
Lisa of Gluten Free Canteen | Cracked Pepper & Cheese Gougères
Meaghan of The Wicked Good Vegan | Cardamom and Rose Water Cream Puffs (with Rad Whip!)             
Pete & Kelli of No Gluten, No Problem | Almond Choux Florentines
Rachel of The Crispy Cook | Cream Puffs Filled with Coffee Cream
Robyn of Chocswirl | Gruyere & Parmesan Gougeres with Sage & Thyme    
Silvana of Silvana's Kitchen | Gluten-Free Spinach Gnocchi Parm
Tara of A Baking Life | Parmesan & Black Pepper Gougères | Frangipane Puffs

I'd love any additional suggestions to further better the recipe! I hope you enjoy these as much as I have!

Sunday, May 29, 2011

4 Foodbuzz 24x24: Gluten Free Spring Cookout

Hi everyone! I last participated in the Foodbuzz 24x24 event in January (that post is located here) so I was excited to be given the opportunity to join another. For those who may not know, Foodbuzz 24x24 is an event held by Foodbuzz where 24 people from around the world hold food events within the course of 24 hours. 
For this 24x24, I decided to invite some of my closest friends over for a cookout to celebrate the spring and the warmer weather. With this post, I'll share a handful of recipes that are perfect for the grill and the warm weather. The other common theme of the night was light, fresh, healthy food, which I believe was a total success!

I've had a few friends ask me how I'm able to put together events like these, so I wanted to compile a video with a few tips on how to organize food event and minimize the stress of doing so.

We had tons of fun relaxing and catching up with one another, and were excited to start the grill  for some delicious food. The central theme was fresh and light, food that would fill you up without weighing you down. Better yet, all of it is proudly gluten free, and only the sorbet is high in sugar. So come with me on a journey through an amazing springtime dinner filled with chicken, vegetables, mac and cheese, and fresh dessert.

Grilled Herb Marinated Chicken
Go here for the recipe!

Fresh Corn Salad
Go here for the recipe

Grilled Seasoned Vegetables
These are really easy to make. I have a variety of vegetables that I recommend, but feel free to use whatever veggies you prefer!
2 bell peppers
5 assorted squash
1 medium onion
4 Portobello mushroom caps
5-6 small tomatoes
3-4 bay leaves
3-4 sprigs of rosemary
2 tablespoons garlic powder
2 teaspoons chili powder

The greatest tool for grilled vegetables is a mesh grill basket. By using a mesh basket to contain the veggies, you don't have to worry about veggies falling into the grill or with having to deal with skewers. 

Slice the peppers and onions into squares or wedges, the squash into 1/4 inch slices. Place into a Tupperware container with the bay leaves, rosemary, and powders. Let the veggies sit for anywhere between half an hour and 2-3 hours. Slice the mushrooms into thick 1/4 inch slices.

When ready to grill, place the peppers, onions, and squash into the basket and grill under tender and charred. Once these veggies are done, grill the mushrooms and tomatoes with some salt and pepper. They'll be done once the mushrooms have shrunk in size and the outsides of the tomatoes are charred.

Gluten Free Mac and Cheese
Go here for the recipe

Gluten Free Lemon Mint Sorbet
Go here for the recipe

I hope y'all enjoy the assortment of springtime/summertime recipes as much as I enjoyed making them!
My favorite ended up being the Lemon Mint Sorbet, which one would you most want to try?

4 Gluten Free Lemon Mint Sorbet

I'm definitely a fan of rich desserts, but during the summer there's nothing like a sweet and refreshing dessert to finish a dinner. Sorbets are easy to make, and are amazingly delicious. The combination of lemon and mint create a vibrant refreshing flavor perfect for a warm summer day. 

Ice cream makers are a great tool to shorten the amount of time you have to wait for the sorbet to be ready (my maker takes about 30 minutes to create sorbet). If you don't have one, you can put the sorbet mix into the freezer and it will be ready within 24 hours.

Prep Time: 1 hour
Servings: 12

2 cups water
1 cup sugar
1 cup lemon juice
~10 mint leaves diced

1. In a small saucepan, heat the water and sugar over medium heat until the sugar is dissolved.
2. Remove from heat, and add the lemon juice. Place into the refrigerator to fully cool. 
3. Once the mix is cool, pour into an ice cream maker, and add the mint leaves. Let the maker run for 30 minutes, or until the sorbet has fully formed.

0 Gluten Free Corn Salad

Fresh, colorful produce may be the best part of the spring. After a cold winter filled with tons of soups and root-based dishes, the brightness of spring vegetables is a welcomed change to the palette. This colorful salad is a light, healthy, and refreshing side dish perfect for the spring and summer. Definitely a salad that I don't feel guilty about if I eat an entire bowlful.

Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 5 minutes
Serves: 4-5

1 heirloom tomato
1 green bell pepper
5 cobs of corn
1/2 of a medium Vidalia onion
4 leaves fresh basil, diced
1 tablespoon lime juice
2 teaspoons chili powder
2 teaspoons paprika
dash salt and pepper

1. Finely dice the tomato, pepper, and onion into the size of corn kernels, and place into a medium bowl.

Tips for finely dicing peppers: To easily get a consistent dice for your peppers, do the following. Cut the tops and bottoms off of the pepper, and slice into thin strips. Then, in groups of 3-4 strips, cut the strips into equally sized squares.
2. In a large pot, boil some water. Add the corn cobs and let them cook for about 5-6 minutes. Drain the water and let the corn cool for about 10 minutes. Using a knife, cut the corn kernels off the cobs and add the corn to the vegetables.
3. Stir in the juice and spices into the vegetables, and stir together until well combined.

0 Gluten Free Mac and Cheese

Mac and cheese is one of those guilty pleasures that I miss from my gluten-filled days. Well here's a delicious recipe for mac and cheese that uses gluten free rice noodles and almonds for a crunchy, cheesy delight.

In this recipe I use sharp cheeses because I love the amazing flavor that aged cheeses provide. If you don't have Robusto cheese, feel free to substitute it with your favorite hard cheese. I hope you enjoy!

Preparation Time: 15 minutes
Total cook time: 30 minutes
Serves: 8

16 oz elbow rice pasta
1 pint light cream
2 tsp dry mustard
1 tsp paprika
1/2 tsp chili powder
about  6oz sharp yellow cheddar cheese, grated
about 6oz sharp white cheddar cheese, grated
about 2 oz Robusto cheese, grated
handful grated Parmesan
2 handfuls of slivered almonds

1. Preheat the oven to 350F.
2. In a large pot, cook the noodles until al dente, reducing the minimum suggested cooking time by 5 minutes. This prevents the noodles from falling apart when they are added to the cheese sauce. After they are done cooking, drain the water and add the noodles to a shallow baking dish.
3. While the noodles are cooking, heat the cream in a small saucepan over medium low heat. Stir in the mustard, paprika, chili, cheddars, and Robusto. Simmer the cheese mixture until all the cheese has melted. The mixture will look almost like a creamy Alfredo sauce. Add a dash of salt and pepper to the sauce.
4. Pour the cheese sauce over top of the noodles, and sprinkle with the Parmesan and the almonds. Bake in the oven for about 20 minutes, or until the almonds and Parmesan topping begin to turn to a golden brown. Remove from the oven and let sit for 5-8 minutes before serving.

0 Grilled Herb Marinated Chicken

It's Memorial Day Weekend, the unofficial beginning of the summer! Yesterday I had a fun cookout with some close friends, and no cookout is complete without grilled protein.
So here's a really simple and easy marinade full of freshness that's sure to please any chicken lover. Marinade for up to 8 hours. The flavors will develop the longer you marinade, but be careful to not marinade longer than 8 hours or else the chicken will become mushy.

Active Prep Time: 10 minutes
Inactive Prep Time: 8 hours
Cook Time: ~30 minutes
Servings: 6-8

6-8 chicken breasts
1 cup olive oil
1 cup apple cider vinegar
4 bay leaves
1 tablespoon paprika
1 tablespoon garlic powder
2 teaspoons onion powder
8 fresh leaves of basil, sliced (or 2 tablespoons basil)
1 teaspoon chili powder
2 teaspoons oregano
2 sprigs rosemary
dash salt and pepper

1. In a medium bowl, whisk all of the ingredients, aside from the chicken.
2. In shallow baking dishes or marinating Tupperware, lay the chicken out flat. Pour the marinade over top the chicken so that the chicken is submerged in the marinade. Place the chicken in the fridge and let marinade for 8 hours.
3. When you are ready to cook, heat the grill or preheat a pan over the stove top. Remove the chicken from the marinade, and remove any bay leaves that may be stuck to the chicken. Grill the chicken for about 30 minutes total or until done through. Flip the chicken halfway through cooking to develop beautiful grill marks on each side.

Friday, May 27, 2011

0 Gluten Free Basil Sun-Dried Tomato Pizza

I made some Gluten Free Stuffed Pork earlier this week (link here), but ended up with a ton of leftover Feta cheese. Thus, I took the filling recipe from the stuffed pork, and used it to top a pizza. I used gluten free store bought crust, and all together it resulted in a quick and tasty pizza that can be used for a dinner or a snack. Just top with some slices of pancetta and follow the directions for baking your pizza crust!

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

2 Basil Sun-Dried Tomato Stuffed Pork

After attending an amazing wedding this weekend, it was time for me to make a good home cooked meal that could last as leftovers during a busy week. This goes well with a hearty vegetable such as asparagus or with a light, refreshing salad.

Yields: 2 pork tenderloins, serves 4-6
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: ~50 minutes at 375F or until 160F in the middle

2 pork tenderloins
3 tablespoons diced pancetta, sauteed
3-4 cloves garlic\
6 leaves of fresh Basil, diced (or 2 tablespoons dry)
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1/2 cup crumbled Feta cheese
6 diced sun dried tomatos
1 tablespoon dry oregano
1 tsp dry thyme
1 tbsp olive oil
pinch salt and pepper

1. Preheat the oven to 375F.
2. In a medium bowl, combine all ingredients aside from the pork.
3. Using a very sharp parry knife, slice the tenderloins down the middle, and spread open (like a butterfly). Spread the filling into the openings of each tenderloin.
4. Using twine, tie the pork closed at the ends and in the middle (see picture below.) Place in the oven and bake for 50 minutes at 375F, or until a thermometer reads 160-165F when inserted into the middle of the tenderloins. 
5. Let them sit 5-10 minutes before slicing, and enjoy!

Thursday, May 19, 2011

1 Gluten Free Magic Cookies

One of my roommates loves these types of cookie bars called "seven layer" or "magic cookie" bars. I posted a gluten free variety of these last fall (feel free to check them out here), and with his birthday in the past month I wanted to transform these bars into actual cookies. 

I used Ruhlman's basic cookie ratio, 1 sugar:2 fat:3 flour. This basic ratio creates a chewy cookie, which is a desirable texture since seven layer cookie bars are chewy as well. It is a fairly easy ratio that achieves the flavor of the cookie bars once you add the chocolate, butterscotch, nuts, and coconut.

I also got a little creative with some of the photography, so let me know what you think of the photography. What improvements should I make?

Yields: 2 1/2 dozen cookies
Prep Time: 5-10 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes

2 oz white sugar
2 oz light brown sugar
8 oz butter, room temperature
2 tsp vanilla
1 egg
4 oz white rice flour
2 oz tapioca starch
3 oz almond flour
3 oz millet flour
1 oz gluten free graham cracker crumbs
2 oz shredded coconut
1 oz chopped walnuts
3 oz semi-sweet chocolate chips
2 oz butterscotch chips

1. Preheat the oven to 350F.
2. In a medium bowl, whip the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Whip the egg and vanilla into the butter until well combined.

3. In a medium bowl, mix all of the flours together. Slowly stir the flour into the butter until well combined and a dough forms. 
4. Stir all of the chips, coconut, and walnuts into the dough until thoroughly distributed. Scoop into evenly sized tablespoons, and place onto cookie sheets lined with parchment paper. Bake in the oven for 15 minutes or until slightly browned around the edges.

I hope y'all enjoy the photography in this post, and please let me know what you think of the recipe!

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

0 1 in 133 at DC

Between Blogger being down for half a week and a rather busy month of work, I'm finally able to write about an amazing event from two weeks ago, the 1 in 133 event to raise attention with the media and the FDA about gluten allergy food labeling.

The center attraction to this event was a gigantic gluten free, dairy free cake. Jules (from Jules Gluten Free) with the collaboration of many wonderful sponsors and Whole Foods spent the morning and afternoon stacking and decorating this beautiful cake that towered over 11 feet.

This event is one of the reasons I love that I have the opportunity to live so close to DC. While there I had the chance to socialize with members of Maryland and DC celiac groups, and with the people that engineered the cake tower.

It was an amazing event in DC that was able to gather the attention of the FDA, which is such an exciting success. However, just because 1 in 133 gained the FDA's attention, the journey to achieving Gluten Free labeling is not complete. If you have friends, family, or are a celiac, please visit the 1in133 website to learn how you can help.

Also, a huge thanks again to Jules and company for organizing the event! Visit Jules's blog here to learn more about the event, and to see more pictures of the cake!

Saturday, May 14, 2011

0 Gluten Free Beef Stew

I believe soups and stews are wonderful foods to make when you don't have a lot of time during the week to cook but still want to have a healthy meal. During busy weeks, I cook a stew on Sunday so I can microwave it for dinner the next few nights.

One stew recipe I like is one of Paula Deen's (recipe link here), with a few modifications.
Browning the beef
1. Before browning the beef, brown about 3 ounces of diced pancetta or bacon. The addition of the pancetta adds a wonderful salty pork taste to the stew.
2. Substitute the 2 cups of water with 1 cup of beef broth and 1 cup of a good red wine.
3. When adding the wine and beef broth, add 2 tablespoons of balsamic vinegar.
When the vegetables are added
The stew after cooking for several hours
I hope you all enjoy! Its an easy recipe to follow, and rather delicious!