Thursday, July 29, 2010

Gluten Free and Vegan Peanut Butter Chocolate Pie

Looking for a good celiac and vegan friendly dessert recipe, I decided to try a chocolate pie. I find vegan chocolate desserts to a bit rich so I decided to find a pb recipe to balance it out. So the crust makes one crust and the 2 fillings make a full pie each. So you can cut the recipe in half or make 2 pies. Whatever floats your boat.
I found the chocolate pie and crust recipe on the Elana's Pantry blog. The pb is from here. So the end result is pretty tasty. Still a little rich, but decent.

Gluten Free and Vegan Peanut Butter Chocolate Pie

Gluten Free/Vegan Crust
1½ cups blanched almond flour

¼ teaspoon celtic sea salt
¼ teaspoon baking soda
¼ cup grapeseed oil
2 tablespoons agave nectar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

In a medium bowl, combine almond flour, salt and baking soda. In a small bowl, combine grapeseed oil, agave and vanilla. Stir wet ingredients into dry. Pat dough into a 9.5 inch glass pie dish. Bake at 325° for 10 to 15 minutes, until golden brown

Chocolate Cream Filling

2 cans coconut milk (14 ounces)
pinch celtic sea salt
¼ cup arrowroot powder
½ cup agave nectar
2 tablespoons vanilla extract
2 cups dark chocolate chips 73% cacao

Bring coconut milk and salt to a boil in a medium pot. Sift arrowroot powder into the pot, whisk vigorously by hand or with a hand blender for 2 minutes. Whisk in agave and vanilla. Remove from heat and let stand for 1 minute. Add chocolate, stirring vigorously until completely melted. Chill in refrigerator for ½ hour until cool. Place in cooled pie crust and serve.

Peanut Butter Pie Filling

1 pound extra-firm silken tofu (I just used the refrigerated silken tofu)

1 cup creamy peanut butter
3/4 cup sugar
2 tablespoons soymilk
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
Chocolate or carob chips

Combine all of the filling ingredients in a food processor or blender and blend until smooth. Spoon into pie shell. Decorate with chocolate (or carob) chips. Refrigerate for at least two hours.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Black and White Bean DIp

This dip is pretty easy to make. The hardest thing is chopping a couple of tomatoes. It's yummy and it's very party friendly. You can add some peppers if you like it a little spicy.

Black and White Bean Dip

1 can of black beans
1 can of white beans (I used Great Northern beans)
1 can of corn
1 7oz can of (Herdez) salsa verde
2 cups of shredded Colby Jack cheese
4-6 chopped roma tomatoes (squeeze liquid out of tomatoes before chopping)
garlic salt to taste (I used about 1/2 teaspoon)
Avocado (optional, didn't use)

Rinse and drain both cans of beans. Also drain the can of corn. Make sure to squeeze liquid out of tomatoes before chopping so the dip doesn’t turn runny. Put everything (except for the avocado) in a bowl and mix together. Spray a shallow baking dish with nonstick spray before spooning in the bean mixture. Sprinkle a little cheese on top and pop into the oven. Bake for 20 minutes until the cheese is melted and it is all warm and bubbly. Remove from oven and sprinkle with diced avocado and serve with tortilla chips.
Source: My Kitchen Cafe

Monday, July 19, 2010

Alton Brown's Taco Seasoning

This recipe came from a current episode of Good Eats. I couldn't find it on the Food Network website so if you missed the episode here it is. I think this is a good seasoning mix. It might be a little bit salty. Next time I might try it with a little less salt.

Taco Seasoning

2 T chili powder
1 T cumin
2 tsp corn starch
2 tsp salt
1&1/2 tsp smoked paprika
1 tsp ground coriander
1/2 tsp cayenne

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Baked Macaroni and Cheese

I have to say that if I had a choice, I would pick the Kraft style of macaroni over baked macaroni. My favorite is Back To Nature. My husband really liked this recipe. I thought it was pretty good.

Baked Macaroni and Cheese

1/2 pound elbow macaroni

3 tablespoons butter
3 tablespoons flour
1 tablespoon powdered mustard
3 cups milk
1/2 cup yellow onion, finely diced
1 bay leaf
1/2 teaspoon paprika
1 large egg
12 ounces sharp cheddar, shredded
1 teaspoon kosher salt
Fresh black pepper
3 tablespoons butter
1 cup panko bread crumbs

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
In a large pot of boiling, salted water cook the pasta to al dente.

While the pasta is cooking, in a separate pot, melt the butter. Whisk in the flour and mustard and keep it moving for about five minutes. Make sure it's free of lumps. Stir in the milk, onion, bay leaf, and paprika. Simmer for ten minutes and remove the bay leaf.

Temper in the egg. Stir in 3/4 of the cheese. Season with salt and pepper. Fold the macaroni into the mix and pour into a 2-quart casserole dish. Top with remaining cheese.

Melt the butter in a saute pan and toss the bread crumbs to coat. Top the macaroni with the bread crumbs. Bake for 30 minutes. Remove from oven and rest for five minutes before serving.

Source: Alton Brown

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Napa Cabbage Salad

I hate cole slaw, potato salad, those vinegar pasta salads. This recipe is about the only "bring to a barbecue" salad that I like (other than the regular green variety). It's sweet so you don't taste that overpowering vinegar taste. This makes a pretty big batch so I only make half at a time. It really doesn't do well as a left-over.

Napa Cabbage Salad

1 head Napa cabbage--regular cabbage works just fine
1 bunch green onions
1 packet Chicken Ramen Noodles (crushed) and seasoning packet
1 cup sliced almonds
2 tbs sesame seeds
1/3 c butter
1/4 c vinegar
3/4 c vegetable oil
1/2 c white sugar
2 tbs soy sauce

Finely shred the head of cabbage. Combine chopped green onions and cabbage in a large bowl, cover and refrigerate until ready to serve. Crush noodles, place them in a medium skillet and brown in butter over medium heat. Add almonds and sesame seeds. Stir often to prevent burning. Add half of Ramen seasoning mix and cool.

Make the dressing: In a small saucepan, heat vinegar, oil, sugar, remaining half Ramen season packet and soy sauce. Bring the mixture to a boil, let boil for 1 minute. Remove the pan from heat and let cool.

Combine dressing, crunchies, and cabbage immediately before serving. Serve right away or the crunchies will get soggy.


Friday, July 9, 2010

Sauteed Swiss Chard with Parmesan Cheese

This is only the second time I have cooked with Swiss chard. The last time it was creamed and amazing. This time I wanted something a little lighter. Overall, I am a fan of the chard. It is a substantial leafy green and holds up well to the "wilting process." It doesn't become what my husband calls "slimy." I wouldn't say that this dish is amazing, but I liked it. And I felt like I was eating some healthy greens.

Sauteed Swiss Chard with Parmesan Cheese

2 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon minced garlic
1/2 small red onion, diced
1 bunch Swiss chard, stems and center ribs cut out and chopped together, leaves coarsely chopped separately
1/2 cup dry white wine
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice, or to taste
2 tablespoons freshly grated Parmesan cheese
salt to taste (optional)

Melt butter and olive oil together in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Stir in the garlic and onion, and cook for 30 seconds until fragrant. Add the chard stems and the white wine. Simmer until the stems begin to soften, about 5 minutes. Stir in the chard leaves, and cook until wilted. Finally, stir in lemon juice and Parmesan cheese; season to taste with salt if needed.

Source: All Recipes

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Cuban Sandwiches

I was inspired by this Cuban sandwich that I had at The Deli in Queen Creek. It was soooooo good. So I found this recipe to try my own version. We took a few liberties: used bolili rolls, used good deli ham, used a pork roast, used regular olive oil and used a slow cooker to cook the roast. They were pretty awesome. Warm and crunchy, yum. Authentic enough for my taste.

Cuban Sandwiches

Cuban bread or (Substitute French bread if you must, but NOT a baguette!)

Butter, softened
1 pound ham sliced (Use a good quality ham.)
1 pound lechón asado (roasted Cuban pork) sliced (Follow the lechón asado link or see the following recipe)
1/2 pound Swiss cheese, sliced (Use a mild Swiss -- we like Baby Swiss -- it has only a few holes.)
Sliced dill pickles (dill "Sandwich Stackers" work great)
Yellow mustard (optional)
Mayonnaise (NEVER!!)

To make four generous sandwiches:

Preheat a pancake griddle or large fry pan. Cut the bread into sections about 8 inches long. Cut these in half and spread butter on both halves (inside). Make each sandwich with the ingredients in this order: pickles, roasted pork, ham, and cheese. Be generous!

NOTE: Most people use a sweet cured ham (jamón dulce) or bolo ham for Cuban sandwiches. If you can find these hams in your area, great. Otherwise, look for a slightly sweet, soft textured ham with a mild taste. You don't want the flavor of the ham to overpower the rest of the ingredients! Also, never use shaved ham or pork in a Cuban sandwich!

Place the sandwich on the hot griddle (fry pan) sprayed with a little "Pam" or lightly greased. Place a heavy iron skillet or bacon press on top of the sandwich to flatten. (You really want to smash the sandwich, compressing the bread to about 1/3 its original size!)

Grill the sandwiches for two to three minutes on each side, until the cheese is melted and the bread is golden. Make sure your griddle or fry pan is not TOO HOT! Otherwise, the crust will burn before the cheese melts. Slice the sandwich in half diagonally and serve.

Lechon Asado (Roast Pork)
One "fresh ham" with bone in (or have your butcher butterfly it for you!) and skin on.

You can also use a small pork roast with a good layer of fat on it. A pork shoulder is nice!

Mojo Marinade
20 cloves garlic
2 teaspoons salt
1 1/2 cups sour orange juice
(If you can't get sour orange juice in your area, use two parts orange to one part lemon and one part lime)
1 cup minced onion
1 teaspoon oregano
1 1/2 cups Spanish olive oil Mash the garlic and salt together with a mortar and pestle.
Add dried oregano, onion, and the sour orange to the mash and mix thoroughly.

Heat oil in small sauce pan, add the mash to the oil and whisk. Pierce pork as many times as you can with a sharp knife or fork.

Pour garlic mixture (save a little for roasting) over pork, cover and let sit in refrigerator for 2-3 hours or overnight.

Place the pork fattest side up in an open roasting pan. Place pan in oven and reduce temperature to 325 degrees F. Spoon extra marinade over the roast occasionally as it cooks. Using a meat thermometer, roast should be removed from the oven when the temperature reaches 155 degrees F.
Immediately cover with foil and let rest for 10 minutes before slicing and serving. The roast will continue to cook after you remove it from the heat. A perfectly cooked pork roast will be pale white in the middle and the juices will run clear.

Use a covered grill, such as the Webber kettle or a covered gas grill. Bank the coals to each side, leaving an empty space beneath your ham. If using a gas grill, use front and rear burners only. The idea is to cook with indirect heat.

Spoon extra marinade over the roast occasionally as it cooks. If not using a gas grill, add charcoal to the sides as needed to maintain roasting temperature. Using a meat thermometer, roast should be removed from the grill when the temperature reaches 155 degrees F.

Immediately cover with foil and let rest for 10 minutes before slicing and serving. The roast will continue to cook after you remove it from the heat. A perfectly cooked pork roast will be pale white in the middle and the juices will run clear.

Place ham in a large Dutch oven, or a covered stock pan -- whatever you have that the pork will fit in. Add about one cup of marinade to the pan. Bring to a boil. Adjust the heat to low, cover and cook until completely done. Add additional marinade as needed to keep at least one inch of liquid in bottom of pan -- otherwise the roast will burn.

Serves: Servings based on the size of your ham. Allow about 1/4 to 1/2 pound per person, depending on side dishes

Source: Three Guys From Miami

Monday, July 5, 2010

Gnocchi with Chicken Sausage, Bell Pepper, and Fennel

Gnocchi are so good. Little pillowy dumplings. I have yet to make them from scratch, but you can find them at most grocery stores these days. They cook really quick--2 to 3 minutes in boiling water. The sausage can be any sausage you prefer. I think ours was Italian chicken sausage. We also skipped the fennel cause my husband doesn't like it. It wasn't missed. Pretty easy recipe and very good.

Gnocchi with Chicken Sausage, Bell Pepper, and Fennel

1 (16-ounce) package vacuum-packed gnocchi

2 teaspoons olive oil, divided
6 ounces basil, pine nut, and chicken sausage (such as Gerhard's), casing removed and sliced
1 cup thinly sliced fennel
1 cup thinly sliced red bell pepper
1 cup thinly sliced onion
1/2 cup (2 ounces) freshly grated Asiago cheese
1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley

Cook the gnocchi according to package directions, omitting salt and fat. Drain the gnocchi in a colander over a bowl, reserving 1/4 cup cooking liquid. Keep gnocchi warm.

Heat 1 teaspoon olive oil in large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add sausage to pan; sauté 3 minutes or until lightly browned, stirring frequently. Remove sausage from skillet using a slotted spoon.

Heat remaining 1 teaspoon oil in pan. Add fennel, bell pepper, and onion to pan; cook 13 minutes or until tender, stirring occasionally. Add sausage, gnocchi, cheese, black pepper, and reserved cooking liquid to pan; cook 1 minute or until cheese melts, stirring constantly. Remove from heat; stir in parsley.

Source: Cooking Light

Saturday, July 3, 2010

Man Hash Browns

Whenever we make hash browns from the frozen ones, they never turn out right. I think it may be partly due to the overcrowding of the pan. My husband followed this recipe exactly--except using olive oil instead of bacon fat-- and they were perfect. He even weighed the grated potato to get close to 4 ounces. Super yum and crispy. Thanks Alton Brown!

Man Hash Browns

4 ounces Idaho or Russet potatoes, scrubbed, rinsed but not peeled

Pinch kosher salt
1 tablespoon bacon fat (or olive oil)

Place a 10-inch cast iron skillet over medium low heat for 5 minutes.

While the pan is heating, grate the potato on the largest hole of a box grater. Squeeze the grated potatoes in a tea towel to remove excess moisture.

Add the fat to the pan and scatter evenly with the potatoes. Sprinkle with salt and cook for 5 minutes without disturbing. Decrease the heat to low, flip the potatoes, and cook for another 5 minutes. Serve immediately.