Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Quinoa pasta with French garlic breard

Nothing super exciting here, unless you are like me and haven't had French bread in years. I made the spread out of butter, olive oil, garlic powder, salt and parsley. Oh man, you guys! It tasted just like the bread we used to buy at the grocery store bakery. It is far from gourmet, but it took me right back to my childhood.

Also, I can't get enough of this Ancient Harvest quinoa pasta. It is leaps and bounds better than anything else I have tried. Bionaturae makes the best penne, I think, but nothing beats quinoa spaghetti. Truth.

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Banana bread! And beer!

We had waaaay too many bananas -- I had spent the day before at the park with some kids for a work assignment, and I way overestimated how much fruit they would want for snack. So I busted out Peter and Kelli Bronski's "Artisanal Gluten Free Cooking" for their Banana Nut Muffins and turned it into banana bread. I used potato starch for corn starch (I was out) and left out the potato flour (I wasn't out, but I couldn't find it). It still turned out so awesome, you guys. Fifty minutes at 350 degrees, and it was done. It has a great flavor, and we demolished the whole loaf in a day while bottling Nate's latest beer.

I'm on a Bronski kick anyway right now -- I just got their new cupcake book in the mail, and am tackling a couple recipes today. Will post about that later! (Dudes, I'm such a Bronski fan girl. Their recipes are some of the best I've tried.)

It's just so beautiful.

In other gluten-free news, HOLY CRAP, my homebrewing husband made his black IPA gluten free! Sort of. Apparently, there is this new clarifying product in homebrew land called Clarity-Ferm that allegedly breaks down proteins in the homebrew, including gluten. You dump it in with the yeast at the tail end of the first brewing day, and it works its magic during fermentation. Science!!!!!

Nate has been brewing for a year and a half. I gave him his beer kit for Christmas 2009, a couple months before I got diagnosed with Celiac. I was able to try his very first beer in March, and after my April diagnosis, it was all off limits. We tried our hand at sorghum beers, and while they compared favorably to store-bought gluten-free brews.... they were still sorghum beers, which generally suck. We also tried cider, which is promising, but needs work.

Still, I wanted to try the other stuff he makes, and this potentially makes it possible. Nate had secretly dumped in a vial of Clarity-Ferm while brewing and surprised me with it during bottling day. We tested two samples with a gluten detection kit -- one for 20 ppm, one for 5 ppm. Both passed. I was so happy, I cried.


Clarity-Ferm is sort of controversial, I guess -- It's new on the market and isn't marketed for Celiacs because further testing is needed, and so on. And note that this is a product for homebrewing and works during fermentation, so you can't just sprinkle it in a bottle of Miller Lite or on a panini and make them magically gluten-free. But I can say this: I'm super ridiculously sensitive to gluten, and after drinking about 4 ounces of black IPA yesterday, I have no glutenation symptoms at all.

Nate blogged about the process. Check out his post for some incredibly unflattering pictures of me.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

A flexible recipe for tortillas, wraps and crepes

These wraps are my current food obsession. I’ve made them at least three times a week for the last month, and I’m not even close to sick of them yet.

This started out as a tortilla recipe from my mother-in-law. The tortillas were different than any I had ever had -- they come from a batter instead of a dough and look more like crepes. Still, they’re delicious, and they forever ruined store-bought corn tortillas for me.

One day, I ran out of corn starch and replaced it with potato starch, resulting in a totally different bread. We started playing around with the flours -- the original recipe called for ⅓ cup medium grind corn flour and ⅓ cup masa harina, but whatever we have on hand works.

Usually, I bake by weight, but I don’t stress with these -- they always turn out awesome, regardless of imprecision. With the potato starch, the wraps are spongier and crepe-like, while the corn starch makes them more like tortillas. Play around with the corn flours, or replace them with different flours altogether. Every combination we've tried has resulted in a different bread, and all are good. Potato starch is heavier than corn starch and makes a thicker batter -- if you want a thinner batter, use less of the starch.

Depending on which flour blend you use, they lend themselves well to taco fillings (we use guacamole, spiced lentils, cheese, salsa and lettuce) or veggies with hummus and brown rice.

Gluten-free wraps

3/4 cup corn or potato starch (NOT potato flour)
2/3 cup corn flour (any combination of masa harina, medium grind corn flour, or blue corn flour)
Pinch of salt
1 cup almond milk
2 eggs
2 tablespoons butter or vegan butter substitute, melted
Olive oil

Heat a small dollop of oil in a small skillet. Whisk together dry ingredients, then add milk, eggs and melted butter and whisk until the batter is thin and runny.

Pour 1/3 cup of batter into the skillet and swirl around until it coats the pan. Cook for 60 seconds on each side. Serve hot.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Christmas cookies, part one

Gluten free lemon sugar cookies! Recipe adapted from Living Without. I tweaked the flour blend -- slightly more white rice, slightly less potato -- and skipped the glaze, because the cookies tasted so damn good without them and I didn't want to add too much sweet. Instead, I dusted them with powdered sugar.

The verdict: The best effing sugar cookies I've ever made in my life. I brought them to work and everyone loved them. No one thought they were gluten-free. I'm definitely making another batch before the holiday season is over.

Friday, December 10, 2010

Back to blogging

Dudes! It's been a while.

Thinking about Christmas cookies has brought me back to the blog. During recent holiday seasons, I haven't had the energy or strength to make more than a batch of fudge. Post diagnosis, I see how much potential my kitchen truly has.

So I'm making a real baking list this season. My awesome husband, Nate, is giving away homebrew for Christmas, and I want to tuck in some cookies with his six-packs. I doubt anyone will notice or care that they're gluten-free -- most of our friends just like to put food in their mouths and don't care if it's made with wheat flour or amaranth, as long as it tastes good.

So here's my list:
Thin Mints (using Gluten-Free Girl's Oreo recipe for the wafer, and Heidi Swanson's Thin Mint recipe for the coating.)
Sugar cookies
Gingerbread women
Peanut butter fudge (Alton Brown's recipe)
Macarons (from Hisako Ogita's "I Love Macarons")

Will I get to the whole list? Probably not. But I'll post pictures of what I end up making.

In the meantime, latkes:

Thursday, June 3, 2010

A fine beer alternative

Here is my secret: I've never been a huge beer fan.

So compared to other culinary losses I've faced, giving up the barley-based brews wasn't a huge deal for me. It did, however, break my husband's heart. He has thrown himself into homebrewing over the past year. Since my diagnosis, he's been researching sorghum-based beers and plans to make one for me in the next month. We'll share recipes if we're successful.

Not a fan of sorghum beer? Me neither (with one exception, which I'll post about later). It's cool, though -- There is always hard cider.

Hard apple cider, like this one from Portland's Lucky Labrador, is naturally gluten-free. It's also naturally freaking delicious. I'm also a fan of Ace Pear Cider, which is available on-tap at several bars in Idaho -- unlike gluten-free beer, which is hard to find around these parts.

So yeah, I'll take the easy-to-find, deliciously fruity cider over the rare, kind-of-icky gluten-free beer on tap. With a side of pub fries, please.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

A diner breakfast

I visited Bob's Red Mill in Milwuakie, Ore. on Memorial Day weekend. Along with a store front (and awesome prices on baking mixes), they have a cafe that serves breakfast and lunch. I got home fries, scrambled eggs, and GF toast -- the first toast I'd had since my diagnosis.

Side note: My husband's uncle apparently goes to Model A club with Bob's Red Mill owner, Bob Moore, and introduced me to him. He sports a red coat, cap and trimmed white beard, just like on the company logo. I was a little star-struck.