Gluten Free Cooking for those you Love: Destination Anacortes, Washington

September 10th, 2007 yum Posted in About Me, Dinner Party, Mushrooms, Vegetables, Vegetarian, portobello mushrooms 4 Comments »

grandpa.jpgThis Labor Day weekend we decided to drive all the way from Mountain View, California to Anacortes, Washington. The inspiration? My grandparents live in Anacortes and enjoy a quiet seaside life where Grandpa can watch the boats from his living room window. Unfortunately they can’t travel much anymore, so we try to make it up at least once or twice a year. I just wish we could go more often. gsplate.jpg If you’ve been wondering where I got my cooking bug look no further than my Grandparents. When I was a kid, they got cooking magazines, watched cooking shows on Channel 9, and experimented with tofu before tofu was cool. After years of them cooking for/ providing for me, now that I can actually cook one of the joys of going to visit Grandma and Grandpa is cooking a nice meal for them. This time we went out to the local store and picked up some beautiful local Sockeye Salmon and fresh Dill gone wild. DH was in charge of making seared salmon and a dill sour cream sauce, while I made a roasted asparagus portobello salad, fresh rosemary polenta topped with roasted portobello mushroom onions, and my version of Rachel Ray’s Chili Garlic Roasted broccoli. My Mom was also able to make it up, so I made everything dairy optional- she’s dairy intolerant. It was easy to put all the cheese on the side so people could add their own. The meal was a big hit, and was declared “better than a restaurant.” I think they may possibly have been biased, but it was pretty yummy!

Both on the way there and back, we stopped at Portland for some delicious gluten free dining- more on this later!

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Ancho Vinaigrette Asparagus Mushroom Salad
1 bunch asparagus, washed, with tough bottom of stalk snapped off,
Olive oil
1/2 cup diced onions
1 pound assorted mushrooms (portobello, crimini, shitake) coarsely
2-3 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon chopped fresh herbs
Salt and pepper
2 tbsp or 1/8 cup white wine to deglaze pan
1/4 cup toasted pine nuts
1 large tablespoon Feta
1 large tablespoon Blue Cheese (If anyone likes it)

Red Chile Mustard Vinaigrette:
2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
1 tablespoon ancho chile powder
sugar to taste
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
1/4 + 1/8 cup olive oil

Take asparagus, diced onions, a dash of olive oil and combine
thoroughly in a baking pan. Try to make sure the asparagus is in a
single layer in the pan. Roast in the oven at 350 for ten minutes and
remove from oven. Let cool. Separate asparagus from cooked, diced
onions and sautee the onions in a pan if not sufficiently caramelized.

Heat your olive oil in another pan (cast iron is best) and sautee your
mushrooms in a single layer until they are soft. Add salt and pepper
to taste. You may need to do multiple batches. When they all seem to
be cooked then add white wine to deglaze pan and add flavor. Remove
from pan and leave on a plate to cool. Toast the pine nuts in a dry
pan. When ready to serve, combine mushrooms, roasted asparagus, and
caramelized onions. Either drizzle with vinaigrette or put vinaigrette
on side for people to add their own. Place spoonfuls of the feta and
blue cheese (separate) next to the dish so people can add their own
cheese or leave it off.

Whisk together all ingredients except oil. Then slowly whisk in
vinegar to emulsify. Taste and adjust seasonings as needed.

I just made this delicious recipe for my grandparents, along with
fresh rosemary polenta and roasted portobello mushroom onions, seared
fresh northwest salmon with dill sour cream sauce and my version of
Rachel Ray’s Chili Garlic Roasted broccoli. Everything was really good
but this new recipe for salad was excellent. I adapted it from a Bobby
Flay recipe.

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The Gluten Free Vegetarian Sandwich Recipe: Grilled Portobello and Sundried Tomato Feta Sandwich

August 25th, 2007 yum Posted in Lunch, Mushrooms, Sandwiches, Vegetables, Vegetarian, portobello mushrooms 3 Comments »

sammieingred.jpgFor some time now I have suspected that I was in a vegetarian sandwich rut. When I get busy, I make one of two things- either a GF vegetarian burger with GF bread or a bagel, ketchup, mayo and mustard with fresh basil and tomato slices, or a I make a hummus/avocado/basil/cheese sandwich. They are good, don’t get me wrong, but considering all the variety I usually enjoy in my gluten free feasts, it has occurred to me that my sandwiches/burgers are a little boring. This is why I recently picked up a copy of the cookbook Vegetarian Sandwiches: Fresh Fillings for Slices, Pockets, Wraps, and Rolls and started experimenting with some more interesting sandwiches. This week I made both a black bean veggie quesadilla and a grilled portobello and sun dried tomato feta sandwich inspired by my new book. Of the two, the Portobello sandwich was the real star, and scored big points with the DH, who had freshly returned from an extended camping trip with his dad. The ingredients are simple, but result in an uber flavorful vegetarian burger- and I’ve modified the recipe to be extra calorie conscious. Enjoy!

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Grilled Portobello Sandwich with Sundried Tomato Feta Spread
2 tbsp minced sun dried tomatoes, packed in oil
2 tbsp fresh goat cheese or feta (or well seasoned Mediterranean style tofu)
1 tbsp red wine vinegar
1 tsp olive oil
2 cloves roasted garlic, OR 1 finely chopped fresh clove
1 tsp diced capers
1 tsp mustard
1 tsp water or veg. broth
sugar to taste

2 large portobello mushroom caps
1/2 of a red onion, thickly sliced (or whole onion, I like leftovers)
Pasta seasoning blend (Trader Joes or Spice Hunter)
One tablespoon olive oil
balsamic vinegar, to taste
freshly ground black pepper

4 slices GOOD GF bread, toasted (I used Sesame Bean Bread a la Bette Hagman) OR 2 GF bagels, microwaved and/or toasted, cut in half OR 2 GF crumpets/hamburger buns, etc. [You get the idea]

Fresh basil leaves or your favorite lettuce/arugula leaves etc.
Sliced fresh tomatoes, optional
totally optional: 2 slices vegan cheese OR regular cheese (or not)

Take your spread ingredients and process them in a food processor. Use the strong blade in the main bowl of your food processor. The more power the better. If you used a raw garlic clove, consider microwaving the resulting spread right before using for 30 seconds to a minute to take the edge off. (optional)

Heat your grill. Clean your mushroom caps and prepare a vinaigrette by sprinkling a bit of pasta seasoning in a dish, then adding your olive oil and whisking in as much balsamic vinegar as you want. In an effort to reduce calories, I have been using more vinegar than oil lately, but it’s up to you. Drench or brush your mushroom caps and sliced red onion rounds with the vinaigrette and then grill them until the mushroom is tender and onion has caramelized slightly and both are well done. Don’t forget to turn them over.

Take your toasted GF bread and spread one side or both with your mixture. Layer your grilled portobello mushroom, grilled red onions, fresh tomato slice, OPTIONAL cheese, and fresh basil leaves to taste.

Enjoy your monster burger! If you want to go totally crazy you could add some basil pesto as an additional condiment.

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