The Nights the Boy Cooked… for his GF wife

October 10th, 2007 yum Posted in Vegetarian, Whole Foods, the boy cooked 4 Comments »

dhbaking.jpgdhpiemixing2.jpgYou might have noticed a little lull in my posting for a bit, some time back. Truthfully, other obligations were pressing on me- being a full time graduate student with deadlines to meet, I wasn’t cooking much, much less posting … And a few projects had to take the back burner for a bit. But a busy gluten-free woman’s got to eat, right? And frozen meals, even those as yummy as Amy’s, can’t really make up your entire diet, right? Luckily I have the best husband ever, and when I started moping about eating nothing but instant meals, he’d pull up his sleeves (metaphorically, since Ca weather means a lot of short sleeved shirts) and whip up something for us. In my time away from the kitchen, he made us chocolate chip cookies, following the tollhouse recipe but using Bette Hagman GF blend. The recipe is good as is, with a little extra flour added if needed, but if you freeze the dough and bake it later it’s even better, texture wise. He also made pan seared, seasoned salmon with rice and green peas (his favorite vegetable), and began making pies on a fairly regular basis. Lest you faint with the shock of a non GF boy making GF pie crust from scratch… let me share his secret with you.

piecrust.jpgdhpie.jpgYes, that’s right. Whole Foods now sells very tasty gluten free pie crusts in their Gluten Free Bakehouse line. The ingredients? Lots of weird preservatives and crazy ingredients, right? No! It’s actually made from stuff I would use if I were to make pie at home: butter, sweet rice flour, tapioca starch, cornstarch, eggs, potato starch, water, lemon juice, salt, xanthan gum, baking powder (sodium acid pyrophosphate, sodium bicarbonate, cornstarch, monocalcium phosphate), sugar. Sounds good, right? And it is! I still think homemade pie crust is the best, but this stuff is a good second choice, and it sure makes it easier for people who love their gluten-free family to make them pie! DH has made an apple, pumpkin, and another apple pie so far, and I see lots more in our future. And, unlike some of their products, even in California with high shipping rates attached to the price, the pie crust is a not-entirely-horrible $3 per crust. ($6 for two crusts). I know it seems a bit pricey, but it means pie on an otherwise pie-less day, and rolling out pie crust is such a pain, I’m just as happy to buy one. And DH is DEFINITELY happier to pick one up for his last-minute baking urges. So, we’re both pretty happy about this whole foods pie development.

salmondinner.jpgLast night, he really surprised me with his latest creation using Mrs. Leeper’s Gluten-Free Creamy Tuna. I feel my vegetarian guests sighing and turning away- but wait! He made it vegetarian style (because we were out of tuna). I admit, I was skeptical- with no tofu or anything, how flavorful could it be with just a creamy sauce and the corn pasta? Well, my sly DH had some tricks up his sleeve- he got out a gratin set of dishes and after adding his favorite green peas, he put the cooked casserole in the gratin dish and topped it with a little extra cheddar cheese. He put it in the oven, and then under the broiler for extra browning, and suddenly we had a fancy, shmancy corn pasta gratin for dinner. Corn pasta is DH’s favorite anyway, and he’s loving the leeper’s pasta that is made in Italy- I have to admit, it’s pretty good stuff. And prepared as gratin, vegetarian style- I’m pretty impressed. You can play a lot with the veggies for extra oomph, and you could even add gluten-free bread crumbs to the top if you have some around. Just goes to show, even prepared gluten-free meals can be fancy if you prepare them in a new way. We like to add coarse ground black pepper, vietnamese hot sauce and fresh chopped tomatoes or red peppers for extra flavor. So, why not see how you can transform that not-terribly-inspiring box of gluten free something in your pantry? Post and tell us all about it!


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The Gluten Free Brewery: Our First Gluten Free Beer Recipe

July 29th, 2007 yum Posted in Alcohol, Gluten Free Beer, Sorghum, the boy cooked 9 Comments »

beerbarrel.jpgyummy.jpgSince I seem to be revealing secrets today I thought I would surprise everyone with an entirely different kind of post. You see, DH has been pursuing a new hobby. Since we both love hard cider, some time ago he tracked down ingredients and instructions on how to brew hard cider. Due to the relative success of this experiment recently he decided to take the next step and create a recipe for a gluten free Sorghum beer. We drove to Beer,Beer, and More Beer in Concord, Ca. for supplies, and I somehow managed to work in a visit to the lovely Harvest House health food store. (More on them to follow…) DH selected an assortment of ingredients, including the loveliest blue bottles you’ve ever seen, and we returned home to conduct our first experiment in gluten free beer brewing. DH ended up creating a warlock’s brew of bubbling, brown liquid, which is even now bubbling away in a fermenter. Glup… Glup… I can make no promises about the following recipe, but creating it was fun, and we will definitely be reporting back on the quality of our Book of Yum Brew. Apparently it will be ready in about three weeks.

I am hardly a beer aficionado, and am actually more of a Cider girl. But, so far I’ve tried the commercial Bard’s Tale (yuck), Ramapo (also yuck), and Redbridge, which I found drinkable, if not as tasty as my beloved Ace Cider. What’s your favorite brew?

Justin’s 5 and 50 Gluten Free Beer Recipe
Ingredients
2 lbs of Pure Beet Sugar (we used Belgian Soft Candi Sugar Blond)
3 lbs sorghum extract
2 16 oz bottles of Belgian Candi Syrup Dark
5 gallons spring water
2 pkgs of Hop Pellets- Kent Goldings (1 oz each)
1 test tube of yeast for making beer (enough for 5 gallons)
Directions
Note: Total cooking time is one hour.

Bring 2.5 gallons of water to boil. Add all beet sugar, sorghum extract, and Dark Candi Syrup. Set timer for 60 minutes. After 5 minutes, add 1 package of hops (1 oz). Let boil, stirring occasionally. After 50 minutes, add the rest of the hops (one more oz.) and boil for the remaining ten minutes. When timer goes off, turn off heat and let cool on stove to 100 degrees F. (This may take a while.) In the meantime, sterilize your fermenter (with bleach). Add the remaining 2 1/2 gallons of water to the fermenter and then pour the Wort (cooked syrup mixture) through a sterilized strainer into the fermenter. Liquid should be at room temperature, around 70 degrees F. Pitch (add) the yeast. Seal fermenter and set airlock. Ferment for about 3 weeks. Sterilize bottles and equipment (including hoses, tubes, bottles, everything) and bottle your beer. Enjoy! You have now made your first gluten free beer.

Notes
There will be some sediment in the bottom of your beer bottles so you should pour the beer into a glass to drink it.

THIS IS OUR FIRST EXPERIMENT WITH GLUTEN FREE BEER. WE CANNOT GUARANTEE YUM FACTOR BUT WILL REPORT BACK TO YOU IN 3 WEEKS ON DRINKABILITY AND GIVE IT A YUM RATING!

This Batch Before Fermentation has:
11% Percent Sugar by weight
6% Potential Alcohol
Specific Gravity of 1.045

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