You 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.
Yes, 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.
Last 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!