Go Ahead Honey: GF Cauliflower Cheese Pie in Hash Brown Crust Recipe

June 23rd, 2008 yum Posted in American Homestyle Cooking, Blog Event, Cauliflower, Easy, Eggs, Go Ahead Honey Event, broccoli, cheese 12 Comments »

When I heard about the latest edition of “Go Ahead Honey, It’s Gluten-Free” hosted by Ginger Lemon Girl I was thrilled, because this month’s theme was one-pot meals. As you know I’m something of a savory-foods girl so I had lots of ideas from the start. I looked over two cookbooks for inspiration- The Vegetarian Meat and Potatoes Cookbook and The New Moosewood Cookbook I like the idea of the former cookbook, with its hearty take on vegetarian cooking, but I haven’t yet found a recipe I loved in there. The latter book, a classic from Moosewood, is another story. Their recipes are not excessively complicated, but are high on flavor and always seem to satisfy. When I saw their recipe for Cauliflower Cheese Pie in a Hash Brown Crust I knew I had to give it a try. It didn’t hurt that I’d picked up some beautiful cauliflower (Actually, broccoflower, shh) at the farmer’s market. What is broccoflower? Broccoflower is a general name for a plant that is a cross between broccoli and cauliflower, having a light green color. There are two main types, one which looks more like standard cauliflower (but is green) and then a second called Romanesco broccoli that has funky and beautiful green spiral florets. The nutritional facts? According to my friend Wikipedia, “like other members of Brassica oleracea, broccoflower is highly nutritious. One cup of broccoflower florets provides 20 calories, nearly two grams of protein, four grams of carbohydrates, two grams of fiber and is an excellent source of vitamin C.” Not too shabby, and a great candidate for a one-dish meal. The recipe turned out very well, and DH was especially enthused. Cheese just makes him so HAPPY! lol. We both enjoyed this recipe, and I hope you will also.

*Vegan Version to follow, stay tuned*

Cauliflower Cheese Pie in hash brown crust Recipe
Potato Pie Crust:
2 cups grated raw potato (with skin)
1/2 cup grated onion
1/2 tsp. salt
1 egg white, lightly beaten
teff flour to dust
olive oil
Your favorite seasoning blend (i like pasta seasonings by trader joes)

1 tbsp. olive oil
1 cup chopped onion
2 medium minced garlic cloves
1/2 tsp salt
black pepper to taste
fresh thyme to taste
fresh basil, julienned, to taste
1 medium Broccoflower or other pretty cauliflower, cut into small florets
2 eggs (or combo of egg whites + yolk)
1/4 cup lowfat milk
1 cup grated cheddar
smoked paprika

Grease your pie pan with oil or whatever you like. Heat oven to 400 degrees F.

Grate your potatoes and rinse briefly and drain water. Shake dry or spin in salad spinner briefly. Mix up your grated potato, onion, salt and egg white in a bowl. Then put it into your pie pan, sprinkle it with teff flour, and press it into a pie crust shape up the sides of the pan. Bake it for 30 minutes and then take it out of the oven.

Sprinkle some of your favorite seasoning blend in a small bowl, pour a little olive oil on it, mix and use to baste the potato crust. Bake for 10 more minutes at 375 degrees F.

While crust is baking, you can heat your oil in a cast iron pan and sautee your onion, garlic, seasonings and herbs. Add your small brocoflorets (haha) and let them get a little brown, then covering and letting cook for ten minutes or so.

Sprinkle your prepared potato crust with half of the cheese and then layer the vegetable sautee on top. Add your remaining cheese. Whisk the two eggs and milk together in a small bowl until completely combined and then pour over the cheesy pie. Season with your smoked paprika and pepper to taste.

Put back in oven and bake for another 25 minutes or so, or until eggs are set. (Thanks Gina!!!)

DH enjoyed this and stole the piece I was saving to photograph tomorrow. Bad DH!
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Gluten Free Chinese Food: Spicy Chili Tofu and Chinese Mushroom Broccoli Recipe

June 29th, 2007 yum Posted in Chinese, From the Earth, Vegetables, Vegetarian, broccoli, tofu 12 Comments »

chinesemealtrio.jpg There are two really cool things about my DH. One is that he is willing to try almost any food once, and even if he doesn’t like it the first time, he’ll try it a few more times to make sure. The other thing is that when he found out I was Gluten Intolerant (Celiac, actually), he didn’t even blink and continued with his efforts to sweep me off my feet- with gluten free foods instead of gluten foods. As I got to know him better, I found out that his favorite thing in the entire universe is actually Chinese food, which was rather sad as I rarely have success dining at most Chinese places. Even when friends have tried ordering for me (in Cantonese, no less), simple things like vegetables stir fried in salt and oil somehow don’t escape the contamination monster, resulting in me feeling icky all evening. Boo. In recent years I’ve discovered the joys of Chinese American Restaurants like P.F. Chang and their sister restaurant, Pei Wei with their gluten free menus, but when DH and I were first dating I didn’t know of anywhere where I could eat Chinese food safely. So, when DH had a craving for Chinese food, I’d drink tea and eat plain rice and, let’s be honest, mope a little bit. When DH proposed and I suddenly had a fiancee facing years of Chinese food deprivation, I decided that it was high time that I learn how to prepare Chinese food properly. I started experimenting with a book by Eileen Yin-Fei Lo, who wrote what in my opinion is the best Chinese Vegetarian Cookbook ever, (out of print) book, From the Earth: Chinese Vegetarian Cooking. I learned new techniques like blanching vegetables and incorporating them in corn starch thickened sauces to avoid blandness- I learned how to season oil with scallions or fresh garlic clove- and I learned how healthful and delicious Chinese vegetarian food could be, and grew to love it as much as DH. There have been some failures. I can’t help but think of my first time steaming bok choy, when I misread the directions and steamed the life out of that poor baby green for 30 minutes, resulting in slime that could possibly have been used in a horror movie as a stand in for gelatinous goo trailed by some nightmarish creature. It also took several times working with a recipe to perfect the steaming time and balance of sauce to ingredients, but once I mastered each recipe we’d have another regular favorite for our Chinese meals. One of the first recipe I mastered is this recipe for Broccoli and Mushrooms. The freshness of the mushrooms are key, and I prefer to use whole broccoli stalks, cutting my own florets, as the ones you buy precut are usually slightly wilted and mopey by the time you get them to your fridge at home, while the whole broccoli remains more robust. We often increase the sauce by about 1/3rd or so, as DH likes a lot of yummy sauce with his vegetables. I just love this dish, as it incorporates two of my favorite veggies. I made a P.F. Chang Style tofu recipe to accompany it, of course using fresh, delicious toofu from the farmer’s market. (For those allergic to tofu, the original at PF Changs is made with chicken or shrimp, so you could try the recipe substituting your favorite ingredient.) What delicious Chinese foods do you prepare at home?

broccoliyum.jpgyumtofu.jpg broccside.jpg

Best Ever Chinese Broccoli Mushroom Recipe
1/3 cup vegetable stock (I use Vegetable boullion)
2 tsp low sodium San-J wheat free tamari
1 1/2 tsp sherry
1/2 tsp sugar
2 1/2 tsp cornstarch
pinch of pepper

3 quarts water
One slice of fresh ginger
2 tsp salt
3/4 lb brown or white mushrooms, caps only
3/4 lb broccoli flowerets (fresh cut is best, and I like to include some stem cut at an angle to retain crunch)
2 tbsp scallion oil or peanut oil
2 halved whole garlic cloves, skinned
2 tsp minced ginger
2 tsp minced garlic 1/4 tsp salt

Mix sauce ingredients and reserve.

Bring water, salt, and ginger in pan to a boil and blanch mushrooms for a minute or so, then draining. Bring water back to boil and blanch broccoli briefly (30 seconds or so) until bright green- don’t overcook! strain and rinse in cold water, drain.

Heat wok over high, add scallion oil or peanut oil and heat. Add whole garlic to oil and turn over when brown, removing when both sides are brown and oil has been infused with flavor. Let white smoke appear above oil and add minced ginger, garlic, and salt, stirring briefly. As garlic turns light brown, add mushroom caps and broccoli, stir frying for up to two minutes. Create space in center of wok for sauce, stir sauce to make sure cornstarch hasn’t clumped, and pour in. Mix ingredients as sauce thickens, remove from heat, put in serving dish and enjoy with rice.

We love this. Sometimes I increase proportion of sauce to ingredients for additional yum.
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