Gluten Free Support Groups and Potlucks: Gluten Free Pizza and Beer Night with GF Breadstick Recipes
Last night we had another meeting of our local Celiac SF Bay Area Support Group. Our kind host and hostess provided an amazing array of delicious dishes for our “Gluten Free Pizza and Beer Night”. This was no simple pizza and beer night, though.
The menu included:
4 vegetarian pizzas, including a deep dish bean and sorghum crust vegetarian pizza with cheese and tomato sauce, as well as Annalise Robert’s rice and millet thin crust pizza crusts.
2 pasta dishes, one with corn quinoa rotini pasta and one spaghetti dish
Amazing Torta de ceci with basil pesto
A delicious marinated artichoke salad
A greens salad
A roman feast of grapes
Artichoke spinach dip with corn chips (YUM!)
2 kinds of bread sticks, one from an adapted Risotteria breadstick recipe and another recipe made with onion garlic chebe decorated with fresh parsley (my contributions)
Wine, soda, water, and beer
And for dessert? Yummy sweet sugared pecans, Delicious crispy cookies and a heavenly cranberry one-bowl pie and pumpkin bread.
You can tell we’re something of a food oriented group- there was enough food for a gluten free army! We had a huge turnout and it was a really fun event, thanks to our gracious host and hostess. Next month I may host our gathering, and in December one of our intrepid members will arrange a restaurant outing for us. I know it will be fabulous. I just may have to diet between now and then, because all this gluten free camaraderie comes with lots of calories! The food is wonderful, but getting the chance to chat with other gluten-free people is the best part. If you haven’t already, I would really urge you to seek out a gluten-free support group in your area. Even if you feel comfortable with the diet and don’t feel you need support per say, it’s a great way to meet some really nice local people and compare notes on food, restaurants, and life.
But what about THE FOOD, I hear you asking. Although I intended to bring my favorite Carol Fenster pizza dish, Thursday is a bit busy for me, so I ended up only making two things- two recipes for gluten free bread sticks. You know, I don’t know that I’ve ever had proper bread sticks before yesterday. I decided to try Jane Oswack’s version of the Risotteria bread sticks recipe that was posted in the New York times, and I also made Chebe’s onion garlic bread sticks for the first time.
Here are the risotteria style gluten-free bread sticks that I made. The only changes I made to the recipe were substituting Trader Joe’s Pasta Seasoning for the dried herbes de Provence and leaving out the gelatin to make it a vegetarian recipe. Also, rather than using a pastry bag, I used a large ziploc bag with a corner cut out to pipe the dough out into sticks. The result? A somewhat dense, chewy bread stick. Justin said they looked like traditional bread sticks, which may explain why they disappeared like hot cakes at our meeting, but I was a little disappointed with how heavy they were. I’m not sure I would make the recipe again. I would give it a 6. It was a fairly easy and foolproof recipe, though.
My favorite bread sticks ended up being those I made with the Chebe Onion-Garlic Bread Stick Mix. I bought it at our local Country Sun Health Food Store, but you can also buy it online. I followed the instructions on the back, adding milk, eggs, and olive oil to the package. (I tend not to add cheese to their mixes, although you can.) This mix is dairy, bean, yeast, and soy free- it’s basically tapioca starch! Then I rolled out the dough in a large ziploc bag to a 1/4 inch thickness or so (twice as thick as I’d roll out a thin pastry dough or knish dough). I cut some into inch wide strips and others into skinny sticks like most of those in the large picture above. Then I brushed them all with either an egg white wash or olive oil and carefully added some fresh, organic parsley leaves from my balcony, and baked them for about 20 minutes. The result? Light, fluffy bread sticks with a delightfully delicate flavor. DH suggested I add sea salt next time, and I probably will, but they were good as is. The thing about Chebe is it is best fresh out of the oven, and is still good for another 4 or 5 hours, but after that you’ll want to pop it in the oven for 5 or 10 minutes to add crunch and avoid gumminess. I’d give these lovely bread sticks a 9/10. DH enjoyed them as well. I’ll definitely be making them again.
I think I’ve just become a convert to bread sticks. They are perfect self contained individual bread servings, and they’re also fairly easy to make. So, now it’s your turn to share. What are your favorite recipes for gluten free bread sticks? Feel free to post recipes or recommendations in comments!
Also, check out Rachel’s review of this recipe over at Wheat-Free Meat-Free.
Click here for posts about our meetings with menus and recipes.