Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Honey Soy Nuggets

I got this recipe in my email the other day. The recipe is for chicken nuggets but last night I tried the recipe with Sea Bass and it was wonderful. As always, I altered the recipe slightly. This is a great meal for lunches since it was just as good cold as it was hot and it was easy to make a large amount.

Make a marinade:
1/2 cup soy sauce
1/2 cup honey
2 TB fructose
1/4 teas garlic powder
1 TB louisiana hot sauce (I used Frank's Red Hot to taste)
2 TB ginger (the recipe doesn't say ground or fresh - I used about 1 TB ginger juice instead)

Add cubed chicken or fish (the recipe calls for 3 chicken breast at 8 oz each, I used about 6 filets but I couldn't tell you what they weighed). I added the fish to all the marinade, the recipe has you marinate in 1/3 cup of the sauce and then brush the rest on while cooking.

With fish you don't have to marinate long because it just soaks up the sauce, chicken you want to marinate a couple of hours before cooking. Drain and pat the meat dry.
Put 3/4 cup of coconut flour in a bag. Add dried meat to the bag. Shake until all the meat is fully covered.
Bake at 400 degrees.
The fish took about 15 minutes to fully cook in my oven but may take less time in yours. Check a thick piece before removing from oven.
The recipe says for chicken - bake 15 minutes and then brush with glaze (marinade), cook an additional 15 minutes brushing with glaze often. When done transfer hot chicken to bowl and pour over remaining glaze and toss until fully covered.
Personally I can't see me doing this since the fish came out so flavorful. The coconut gives it a nice tropical taste and I fear that the glaze would take away the coconut flavor but who knows - I let you know when I try this with chicken.

Homemade Laundry Soap

I understand that this isn't really a gluten issue but those with sensitivities may prefer to make their laundry soap to avoid additives. This recipe from Just in Case by Barbara Salsbury (1975) is simple but time consuming (it takes a couple of weeks to make soap so it's not something you make and have the next time you wash laundry). However once you get into routine, you will always have laundry soap.
You will need to start off with 5 pounds of grease. In the past we have purchased fat from a butcher and fried or boiled it. This is a quick and cheap way to get a large quanity of grease, however it is best done outside since it will make your kitchen greasy. When you use homemade grease - you have to melt it in water, let it cool so you can remove the particles that come with grease. When the fat is cool, take it out of the water and flip it over. Scrape off particles. I often do this twice to make sure I got everything - using clean water each time. You can purchase lard, shortening, coconut oil or any oils to make soap. With laundry soap hardness does not matter as much as it does with bar soap but remember the softer the oil, the softer the soap. Also remember some oils can get very expensive. If your cooking oil goes stale, you can use it here - the oils do not have to be in good edible condition (my grandmother once made soap with rotten fat, the soap was ugly but it worked very well).
In addition to 5 pounds of grease/oils you need:
1/2 cup ammonia
1/2 cup powdered borax
1 cup kerosene (lamp oil)
16 oz lye (lye is becoming more and more difficult to get in stores - check your local hardware store first, make sure the product is 100% lye. I was able to special order a case of Red Devil before they stopped manufacturing it. If you can't get it at a hardware store there are many online soap making sites that sell lye).
Dissolve lye in one quart of water in a non-reactive pan. I use enameled metal pans that I save just for soap making. Use only wooden spoons and save them for soapmaking. Lye is toxic so you want to seperate all the things you use for soapmaking from cooking items. Dissolve Borax in 1 cup of water and add to lye. Melt grease (don't heat past melting point - in fact I get it almost melted and remove from heat and stir until all melted). Add ammonia and kerosene to grease. Slowly and carefully pour grease into lye (do not reverse this). Stir until thickened. Now the original recipe has you pour the soap into a mold and then grating it two weeks later when it has hardened. We discovered that if you keep it in the pan and over stir it - the soap turns into a powder. The first night stir it as long as you can after it has thickened and then stir it at least once a day for several minutes. You want to stir out any lumps and keep it loose. After two weeks you can use it as laundry soap. If you try soapmaking and have a failed batch you can grate it for laundry soap as well.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Asian Inspired Chicken Legs

Tonight I threw together a rather tasty asian inspired marinade for chicken legs. In equal parts I mixed together dark brown sugar, fish sauce and sweet chili sauce in a gallon freezer bag. Add the chicken, seal the bag and roll the bag gently to marinate the chicken. If you have more time - let it sit and turn it over now and again. Bake at 425 until the chicken reaches 170 degrees (about 30-45 minutes).

With the chicken we served dill cornbread (not gf but from a mix) and candied carrots. To make the carrots - drain 2 cans of sliced carrots (can use fresh, just add to the sauce before heating). In saucepan, add about 2 cups apple juice, 1 cup orange juice, 1/2 cup or more of honey, 1/2 tea cinnamon, 1/2 teas ginger juice. Heat sauce to boil and let simmer until reduced about 1/3 (or until carrots are tender). Add canned carrots just before taking off the burner to heat the carrots.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Pork and Mushrooms

This was a neat little experiment that came out really good. My meat didn't brown the way I would have preferred but it didn't come out tough.

Melt 1/2 cube of nucoa in a deep skillet. Saute 1 chopped onion, 1-2 pounds cubed pork (I had purchased pork stew meat so I am not positive what cut it was), and sliced mushrooms (I buy mine pre-sliced since it's the same price as whole mushrooms - I think it's 8 oz). Cook until the onions are translucent and the pork is cooked thoroughly. Mix 2 TBs cornstarch into 2 cups milk (I used soy just fine). Pour over meat and veggies. Stir carefully until the sauce is thick. Season with gluten-free soy sauce and serve over rice. It wasn't overly saucey so if you want more sauce add 1 TB cornstarch to each cup of milk and mix together before adding to pan.

Apple Snickers Salad

My mother made this once after trying it at a potluck. I re-discovered it at a local deli. It's super easy and the right combination of healthy and sinful.
This is how I made it - feel free to add more or less of any ingredient.

4 granny smith apples, chopped
1 11.29 bag of fun size snickers (remove from wrappers and cut into thirds).
8 oz mini marshmallows
16 oz cool whip
1 1/2 cups chopped walnuts
butterscotch or caramel ice cream syrup

In a large bowl, combine apples, snicker, marshmallows and walnuts. Mix in cool whip. Drizzle syrup over the top (I used about 1/2 of a standard smuckers jar).

You can chill ahead of time but becareful because the cool whip can get gooey if not properly covered.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Beef Stew

One thing I have missed has been beef stew. Our family has traditionally made stew with pre-packaged mix but it has wheat in it. Tonight I made a stew that was so simple and so good, I can't imagine ever using a package again.

1 package stew meat (I think the package I used was just over a pound)
1 sweet onion, chopped
2 pounds baby carrots
5-6 celery stalks, chopped
8 medium potatoes, cubed
1 quart canned tomatoes (I can my own and this particular jar had zucchini with it)
Beef Bouillion

Heat oil in large pot. Brown stew meat in batches to get them good and browned. Add onions and fry for a few minutes until the onions begin to brown. Add tomatoes and about 5 quarts water. Add vegetables. Add bouillion to taste (I added about 1/2 cup for all that water). The broth should just be a little salty and beefy without being overpowering. Bring to a boil on high, turn down to medium and let cook for a couple hours. The longer it cooks the better the flavor. Keep an eye on the liquid and don't let it boil down below the top of the meat and veggies.

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Tator Tot Casserole

We love Tator Tot Casserole but hadn't eaten it since I went Gluten Free. Traditionally I would make the casserole with Cream of Mushroom soup which had wheat as a thickener. Add to that problem - my husband is dairy free and we just gave up on a favorite (happens all too often). I had a brainstorm this past week and came up with an idea.
I used a modified Almond Sauce as the base and made the casserole. It's a little different and doesn't have that mushroom flavor (which my son was grateful to have gone). It's a bit more time consuming that the traditional version but still fairly simple. I am using dairy ingredients in this version of the recipe - substitute non-dairy any way you'd like (I used Nucoa and Soy Milk).

To make the sauce:
2-4 tbs butter
2 cups milk
2 tbs cornstarch
2 tsp onion powder (or to taste)
2 TBs soy sauce
Melt butter in saucepan. Measure 1 cup milk and add 1 tsp cornstarch. Mix well and pour into saucepan. Repeat with 2nd cup of milk. Add seasonings and cook until starting to get thick (it will continue getting thick when you bake the casserole).

Brown 1 pound or so of ground beef. Feel free to drain the fat off - I don't because I am a little lazy. Add sauce. Add vegetables (usually I use a can of green beans that has been drained but tonight I used 1/2 pound of frozen mix veggies). Pour into casserole dish and top with tator tots. I like to lay them out in rows. Bake at 425 for about 30 minutes or until the tator tots are fully cooked.

Monday, August 2, 2010

Zucchini Bread Pudding

As I mentioned in the Zucchini Bread - I made a double batch of the zucchini bread in a 9x13 pan and took it out too early causing it to fall. So I thought instead of dumping the pan that I would turn it into bread pudding and it was great.
I attempted to dry the bread in the oven but it was so dense it didn't really dry out.

double batch of zucchini bread cut into 1" squares (approximately)
1 3/4 cups 1% low-fat milk
1 cup sugar
1 tablespoon vanilla
1 (12 ounce) can evaporated skim milk (I didn't have evaporated milk so I just used regular milk)
2 large eggs -- lightly beaten
Mix together wet ingredients and add bread, pressing it down to soak up some of the mixture. Let set for about 15 minutes. Grease a 9x13 baking dish. Pour mixture into pan and bake at 350 for about 35 minutes or until set. I added a splash of Irish Whiskey to give it a little extra flavor.

Zucchini Bread

I learned something very important making this bread - if you freeze your zucchini, measure before it thaws. Otherwise, it's a big mess.
This recipe is from Gluten-free Baking with the Culinary Institute of Art.
Flour Blend #3
3/4 cup white rice flour
4 cups potato starch
5 TB guar gum
1/2 cup powdered egg whites

Zucchini Bread
3/4 cup flour blend #3
1 cup sugar
1/4 cup + 3 TB oil
2 eggs
2 cups zucchini, shredded
2 teas cinnamon
2 1/2 teas baking powder
Preheat oven to 350. Combine all dry and wet ingredients in a mixing bowl and blend completely until smooth. Pour into greased loaf pan and bake for 1 hour or until skewer comes out clean. Cool completely and unmold.
(I made a double batch in a 9x13 pan but took it out too early which caused it to fall so I turned it into bread pudding).

Pumpkin Muffins

This recipe is from Gluten-Free Baking with the Culinary Institute of Art. This recipe is really good and tastes good the next day (after that I can't tell you because I never got them in the freezer).
Flour Blend #5
1 3/4 cup White Rice Flour
1 1/4 cup Tapioca Starch
1 3/4 Soy Flour
1/2 cup Whey (I used powdered milk this time but you can use soy milk powder)

Pumpkin Muffins
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup + 1 TB oil
2 eggs
1 cup pumpkin (canned works fine - a can that makes 2 pies makes 3 batches)
3/4 cup + 2 TB flour blend #5
1 TB cinnamon
1 1/4 teas baking soda
Preheat oven to 350. Mix sugar, oil, eggs and pumpkin with a whisk until fully combined. Add in flour, cinnamon, and baking soda. Mix by hand until fully combined. Pour into prepared muffin tins (I used paper cups and they peeled away really nicely). Bake 15 minutes of until skewer comes out clean. Cool for 5 minutes and then remove from pan. If you use a loaf pan bake 50-60 minutes.
You can ice with cream cheese frosting but these were great with just butter (or nothing).

Fruit Cobbler

Well, after a long hiatus and a brief gluten breakdown, it's my goal to get back in the swing of things. Maybe I can keep this up this time.
This past weekend I was a baking fool. I had a box of blueberries that needed to be made into something. Originially I was going to make muffins since the family was eating muffins like crazy but I was running low on muffin ingredients and opted to try fruit cobbler for the first time (we are a fruit crisp family). The recipe calls for a gf glour mix. I used a basic rice flour mix and it wasn't as good as it should have been but I promised the recipe so here it is - from Special Diets for Special Kids.
Fruit Cobbler
5 cups fruit
1/2 cup sugar
2 Tb gf flour
1 Tb Lemon juice
1 tsp Vanilla
1/2 tsp Cinnamon
1 egg
1/2 cup gf flour
1/2 cup sugar
2 Tb margarine, melted
1/2 tsp baking powder

Mix together fruit with the next five ingredients. Pour into a 2 qt casserole dish. Mix together topping ingredients and spoon onto fruit, covering as much as possible. Put on cookie sheet to prevent spills and place in a 375 degree oven. Bake 45-50 minutes or until topping is golden brown.