Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Gluten free "graham cracker" crust

My husband decided he wanted cheesecake. I wasn't sure how to go about this. I cheated, a lot. This recipe is not dairy free but I came up with a nice crust that really worked. This is also not a cheap recipe since I purchased the filling. I bought raspberry filling and Ready Made Cheesecake filling.
The crust recipe I borrowed from a Walnut Chocolate Torte recipe with some alteration.
Take 3 cups walnuts and crush fine (as fine as possible). I tried this in the blender and it didn't work well because the walnuts turn gummy and prevent the blender from really working. I put the walnuts in a ziplock bag (the one they came in but you can easily use a gallon freezer bag) and crushed them with a rolling pin. It only took a few minutes and was less work than fighting with the blender.
To the crushed walnuts, add 6 Tablespoons of melted butter and 2 Tablespoons "syrup". I used agave syrup but you can use corn syrup or a simple syrup. Mix well and press into a pie pan. Freeze for 15 minutes and use as you would any graham cracker crust.
My husband and I were discussing the possibilities and they are endless. We are going to try using pecans and making a pecan pie.

Gluten Free Rolls

I purchased the Culinary Institute of Art's Gluten Free Baking. I highly recommend it. Their soft rolls recipe is very good. I played with it a little and still had success. The big trick with this recipe is that you make the rolls in cupcake pans and it really works. The recipe makes 24 rolls but I found that it filled the pan too full and had problems with dough flowing over as it rose so I would suggest trying for 30-36 rolls.
The recipe is as follows and has a few glitches:
1 3/4 cup white rice flour
1 1/4 cup tapioca starch
1 3/4 cup soy flour
1/2 cup whey powder (I used powdered milk)

This flour blend makes 5 1/4 cups of flour - the roll recipe calls for 5 3/4. The first time I made the rolls I just used the 5 1/4 cups of flour and they came out just fine. The second time I used what was left of my pound of soy flour (about 1/2 cup) and 1 3/4 cups oat flour and it came out pretty much the same. A pound of soy flour is a little over 2 cups so you can use a whole pound if you wish.

Roll recipe:
5 3/4 cups flour #5
1 TB plus 1 teas salt (I always omit the salt)
1/3 cup sugar
3 TBs Guar gum
2 TBs instant yeast
3 1/2 cups water
2 eggs
3/4 cup butter, melted

I used the fermented method which has you put two cups flour, two cups water and one TB yeast in a bowl and let sit for an hour prior to making the dough. At this time I measure all the dry ingredients together since I have everything out.
After the first hour, pour the yeasty water into the dry ingredients and add the remaining wet ingredients. Mix for several minutes (if using a mixer then about 6 minutes on low).
If you want it flavored somehow - this is the time you add to the dough. The second rolls I made I added a little more sugar (1/2 cup vs the 1/3 cup) and cinnamon to the dough (and then sprinkled the top with sugar and cinnamon just before baking).
Scoop the mixture into greased cupcake pans (about 1/2 full or they will overflow during the rising).
Let rise in a warm, humid environment. I always heat my stove on warm while I am mixing the dough and then turn it off and put the pans in the stove. I recommend putting cake pans underneath to catch any overflow.
Let rise about 1 hour and remove from stove (if in stove). Preheat to 350 and bake about 15 minutes. Let rest on counter for 5 minutes or so before removing from pan. Temptation prevents all the rolls from resting and that's okay too.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Lime Pickles

I got this recipe from Nigella Lawson's cookbook. It is a great seasoning. Don't let the fear of pickled foods stop you from trying this. The limes are "pickled" in oil infused with tumeric and cumin.

Lime Pickles
10 limes
4 1/2 cups pickling salt
2 1/4 cup cheap olive oil (I use canola for everything)
1 tablespoon turmeric
1 teaspoon cumin seeds
3 dried red chili peppers, crushed (I actually omit this since we don't like it spicy)

Cut limes into eighths. Layer them in a 12x8 glass pan. Cover with salt and freeze overnight (or longer which happens). Thaw, put in colander and rinse thoroughly. I save the salt and put it in a bag in the freezer for future needs. Put into jars. Add spices to oil and pour over limes. Cover limes with oil completely or they will mold. Put in dark place for 3 weeks. The longer you save them the more tender they will be.
I check mine regularly to make sure they have enough oil. If the 2 1/4 cups oil is not enough, divide the seasoned oil amongst the jars and top off with unseasoned oil. When I use the limes and oil I always add more oil to make sure it's covering.

Yesterday, I used some of the oil and limes to make lunch.
I poured some of the oil in a deep skillet and heated it while I cut up raw steak into strips. I fried the steak in the oil while I prepped the remaining ingredients. I chopped an onion and about 5 of the lime pickles. I removed the steak and added some nucoa to regrease the pan. I fried the onions and limes until the onions were tender. I then added some leftover rice to the pan (enough to serve 3). I served the rice with a little soy sauce to balance the tartness of the limes and it was so good.

Teriyaki Sauce

Most commercial teriyaki products have gluten because soy sauce is often made with wheat. We use La Choy which does not use wheat. The only problem I have with La Choy is that it's not as natural as other soy sauces - it has corn syrup and caramel color to make up for the wheat but it is cheap where other gluten free varieties are not. We use a lot of soy sauce so I hate to pay $4 for a little bottle when La Choy is about $2 and is a decent sized bottle (we used to buy it by the half gallon but have yet to find a gluten free bottle that size).
I wanted teriyaki chicken and came up with a fairly simple recipe. I used this as a marinade for my chicken so it does not have a thickener. After marinating the chicken I boiled it down and it was a fine sauce. If you want it as a sauce exclusively you will need to add cornstarch to it before cooking.
*note - I made this up as I went along and did not measure so use your own judgment but this is pretty close.

Teriyaki Sauce
1 20oz can crushed pineapple
1/4 cup brown sugar
2 teaspoons minced garlic
2 teaspoons minced ginger
1/2 cup soy sauce
Puree pineapple in blender until it's the consistency of a smoothie. Pour into sauce pan and add remaining ingredients. Heat over med heat to melt sugar and to give all the flavors a chance to blend. I cooked it over low heat for about 30 minutes while prepared the chicken. Pour over raw chicken and marinate 2-4 hours. Bake chicken at 350 until cooked fully. Heat remaining marinade in saucepan until boiling, boil a few minutes or reduce to low and let cook while chicken is cooking.