Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Savoury Ricotta Muffins

Another savoury muffin recipe. I must admit these required too much work for me to commit to making them very often. Hours after cooling, though, they were still moist (a wee bit sticky) and still nicely crunchy on the edges. Cottage cheese would probably work just fine rather than ricotta -- it would leave some nice wee lumps of curd in the mix.

3/4 cup brown rice flour
1/2 cup amaranth flour
1/2 cup potato starch flour
1/4 cup tapioca starch flour
1/4 cup flaxseed meal
1/2 tsp xanthan gum
1/2 tsp salt
3 tsp baking powder
1 tsp dry mustard powder (check that it's gluten-free)

3/4 cup milk
3 tbsp melted butter
1 large egg, lightly beaten
3/4 cup ricotta cheese
1 small onion, minced finely
1/4 cup parsley, minced finely

1/2 cup grated very old Cheddar
1/2 tsp paprika

Prepare 12 muffin tins by greasing them well. Preheat the oven to 400F.

In a medium bowl, whisk together flours and starches, xanthan gum, flaxseed meal, salt, mustard, and baking powder. In a larger bowl, wuickly beat together milk, butter, and egg; fold in ricotta, onion, and parsley. Stir in dry ingredients until just combined.

Spoon into prepared muffin tins, dividing evenly. Sprinkle evenly with Cheddar cheese and sprinkle with paprika. Bake in the preheated oven for 20 minutes.

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Sticky Date Pudding with Toffee Sauce

This famous recipe from a local swanky eatery at Dalvay-by-the-Sea has been published in Gourmet magazine and is a favourite at PEI supper parties. It is fruity and sticky enough to adapt well to gluten-free flour. Make sure to serve it warm.

1 3/4 cups packed pitted dates (about 10 oz)
2 cups water
1 1/2 tsp baking soda
3/4 cup rice flour
1/2 cup amaranth flour
1/4 cup tapioca starch
1/4 cup soy flour
1/4 cup potato starch flour
1 tsp xanthan gum
1/2 rounded tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp ground ginger
1/2 tsp salt
1/3 cup butter, softened
1 cup sugar
3 large eggs

Preheat oven to 375F and butter and rice-flour an 8” square baking pan, knocking out excess rice flour.

Coarsely chop dates and simmer with water in a saucepan, uncovered, 5 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in baking soda. (Mixture will foam.) Let mixture stand 20 minutes.

Meanwhile, in a medium bowl sift together flours and starches, xanthan gum, baking powder, ginger, and salt.

In a large bowl beat together butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in eggs 1 at a time, beating very well after each addition. Add flour mixture in 3 batches, beating after each addition until just combined. Fold in date mixture and until just combined well. (This bit will be a bit sticky with gluten-free flours. Be patient and steadfast.)

Pour batter into prepared pan and set pan in a larger baking pan. Add enough hot water to larger pan to reach halfway up sides of smaller pan and bake in middle of oven until a tester comes out clean, 35 to 40 minutes. Remove smaller pan from water bath and cool pudding on a rack. Serve warm with toffee sauce.

Toffee Sauce:
7/8 cup butter
1 1/2 cups packed light brown sugar
1 cup heavy cream
1/2 tsp vanilla

In a heavy saucepan over moderate heat melt butter. Add brown sugar. Bring mixture to a boil, stirring occasionally; then stir in cream and vanilla. Simmer sauce, stirring occasionally, until thickened slightly, about 5 minutes.

Friday, June 22, 2007

Herbed Rice Muffins

Savoury quickbreads to serve on their own or with cheese or soup or other deliciousness. Much simpler to put together than yeast bread, and a great way to use leftover rice. If you wished to add to these muffins, some chopped sun-dried tomato in oil would be lovely, or, alternatively, some minced red and/or green sweet pepper.

1 cup cooked, cooled brown basmati rice
3 tbsp olive oil
2 eggs
1 cup milk

3/4 cup brown rice flour
1/2 cup amaranth flour
1/2 cup potato starch flour
1/4 cup tapioca starch flour
1/4 cup flaxseed meal
1 tsp xanthan gum
4 tso baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp each dried basil, marjoram, and oregano
1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper

1/4 cup (generous!) freshly, finely grated Parmesan cheese

Grease or line 12 muffin tins.

In a large bowl, combine rice, oil, and milk. Whisk until well combined.

In a medium bowl, whisk flours and starches, flaxseed meal, xanthan gum, baking powder, salt, herbs, and cheese. Stir into wet ingredients, just to mix.

Fill prepared muffin tins about 3/4 full. Bake muffins at 400F for 20 to 25 minutes. (The colder the leftover rice is, the longer the cooking time.)

Parmesan "Shortbread"

A whole new take on icebox cookies, these "shortbreads" are a decadent appetizer to serve with a savoury jam or jelly. Adapted from Canadian Living, December 2002.

1/4 cup amaranth flor
1/4 cup brown rice flour
1/4 cup sweet rice flour
1/4 cup cornstarch
1/2 tsp xanthan gum
1/2 cup finely grated Parmesan
1/2 cup butter, softened
1 tbsp cracked peppercorns

Whisk flours and starches with xanthan gum and Parmesan. Cut in butter until crumbly. Press crumbs into a neat ball, wrap in plastic wrap, and refrigerate for 30 minutes.

Divide dough in half. On a lightly rice-floured surface, form each into an 8" log, pressing crumbs together as tightly as possible to form a coherent log. Roll each log in cracked pepper, wrap in plastic wrap, and refrigerate until firm.

Cut into 1/4" slices using a serrated knife and place about 1" apart on a pan lined with parchment paper or a silicone sheet. Bake in the centre of 250F oven until lightly browned and fragrant, about 1 hour.

Gluten-Free Herbed Chicken Burgers

These burgers are moist but still ultra-lean. And, as a bonus, they hold together on the grill. Perfect for those just-ready to eat fresh herbs.

If I buy gluten-free "buns" at all, I buy English muffins, which toast up to the nicest texture and are the right size and shape for burgers.

1 lb lean or extra lean ground chicken or turkey

4 medium mushrooms, very finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 cup fine, dry gluten-free bread crumbs
2 tbsp fresh chives, chopped
1 tsp fresh marjoram, minced
1/2 tsp fresh rosemary, minced
1 tsp each balsamic vinegar and GF soy sauce
freshly ground pepper to taste

Stir together mushrooms, garlic, breadcrumbs, herbs, vinegar, soy sauce, and pepper until evenly mixed. Fold in ground chicken.

Form into six patties, and cook on a greased grill until well done.

Friday, June 15, 2007

Cool Curried Quinoa Salad

On to the healthy recipes, the ones you can make a meal of rather than a dessert! This is a yummy summery salad. Quinoa costs an arm and a leg, but it’s really, really good for you. And filling and whatnot.

1 3/4 cup quinoa
3 1/2 cups hot vegetable (or chicken) stock
4 tsp curry paste
1 tbsp minced ginger

1/2 cup each fresh, chopped coriander and parsley
1/4 cup lemon juice
2 tbsp vegetable oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
pinch of salt

3 green onions, chopped
1 6” chunk (or more) cucumber, diced (and seeded, if necessary)
1/2 a red or yellow pepper, seeded and diced
1/2 cup raw snow peas, chopped in bite-sized pieces
1/2 cup slivered almonds, lightly toasted
1 small to medium carrot, peeled and grated

In saucepan or rice cooker, combine stock, curry paste, and ginger. Add quinoa and cook until liquid is absorbed and the disturbing little curlicues in the quinoa have emerged. Let cool; fluff with a fork.

In a large bowl, whisk coriander, parsley, lemon juice, oil, garlic, and salt. Stir in cooled quinoa, green onions, cucumber, red pepper, snow peas, and 1/4 cup of the almonds. Toss to coat.

Serve cold, topped with grated carrot and remaining 1/4 cup almonds.