Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Quinoa Tabouli

To make tabouli gluten-free, I use quinoa instead of bulgur. It’s more delicious that way, if more expensive! I love the texture of little bitty quinoas, with their little bitty tails.

1 cup dry whole quinoa
1 1/2 cups water
1 tsp salt
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
1/4 cup olive oil
2 medium cloves garlic, crushed
black pepper, to taste

4 green onions, finely minced (whites and greens)
1 packed cup minced parsley
10 to 15 fresh mint leaves, minced (or 1 to 2 tbsp dried mint)
2 medium ripe tomatoes, diced
1 medium cucumber, seeded and diced
Optional: 1/2 cup cooked chick peas

Cook quinoa in boiling water in a rice cooker or saucepan until water is absorbed and quinoa is tender. Add salt, lemon juice, olive oil, garlic, and black pepper, and mix thoroughly. Cover tightly and refrigerate until about 30 minutes before serving.

About 30 minutes before serving, stir in remaining ingredients and mix well. Serve cold.

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Marjorie's Pumpkin Loaf

My mother-in-law made a special request for an adaptation of this recipe for pumpkin loaf. I made it with dried cranberries instead of the raisins called for in the original recipe, and I think it was very successful. It is a moist dessert bread, perfect to serve with some aged Cheddar.

2/3 cup rice flour
1/3 cup potato starch flour
1/4 cup soy flour
1/4 cup tapioca starch
2 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp xanthan gum
1/2 tsp salt

3/4 cup vegetable oil
1 cup brown sugar
3 eggs
3/4 cup pumpkin puree
1 cup dried cranberries

Grease a loaf pan (or line it with parchment paper). Set aside.

In a large bowl, whisk dry ingredients: flours and starches, cinnamon, xanthan gum, soda, salt.
In a smaller bowl, whisk vegetable oil, brown sugar, eggs, and pumpkin. Stir wet ingredients lightly into dry ingredients; fold in cranberries. Pour into prepared pan.

Bake at 325F for about one hour, cheking after 50 minutes.

Saturday, October 13, 2007

Pumpkin Pies

Why go to the bother of making one pumpkin pie when, for the same amount of effort, you can make two? Two delicious custardy smooth pies in gluten-free crusts. And why make a 9" pie when you can make a 10" pie? This recipe makes two ten-inch pies. Here's the crust recipe.

The filling's smoothness and lightness rely on a tip from Mark Bittman -- slowly warming the custard on the stovetop until it is hot to the touch, then pouring the warm filling into a freshly baked, still warm crust. This makes the custard the smoothest you can imagine -- and prevents burning the crust's delicate edges when you bake the pie. Warm the filling while baking the pie crust.

5 eggs
1 1/4 cups sugar
1 tsp cinnamon (or more)
1/4 grated nutmeg
1 tsp ginger
pinch ground cloves
pinch salt
3 cups pumpkin or squash puree (canned okay)
3 cups half-and-half, light cream, or whole milk

In a medium, heavy-bottomed saucepan, beat the eggs with the sugar, spices, and salt. Whisk in the pumpkin and then the milk or cream. While the crust is baking, warm the filling mixture over medium-low heat, stirring occasionally, until it is hot to the touch; do not boil.

Place two pie plates with two warm crusts on a baking sheet. Pour the pumpkin mixture into the crusts and bake 30 to 40 minutes at 350F, until set but still moist. Cool on a rack and serve warm or at room temperature, with whipped cream.

Flaky Pie Crust

This gluten-free pie crust is derived from a Bette Hagman recipe with a few flavourful adaptations and some notes from personal experience. I must admit, I was no wizard with wheat-based pastry, but this GF version makes me feel like a pastry goddess. The recipe makes two 10" pies or one double-crusted pie.

Notes: Gluten-free pie crust can’t be overworked like wheat-flour crust, but it can get too warm or have too much water. Start with the recommended 3 tbsp of water (or even less) and then decide if you need more, if the dough is too dry. The dough also needs to be good and cold when you roll it out. Refrigerate the dough for at least 1 hour before rolling it, then roll it out on rice-floured plastic wrap or wax paper. It is too delicate to drape over the rolling pin and lift into the plate after rolling, so bring the pan to it instead. Invert the pie plate onto the rolled-out dough on the plastic wrap, then slide your hand under the plastic wrap and flip the whole shebang right-side up. Press the dough into the plate, remove the plastic wrap, flute the edges, and voilĂ . If it all falls apart, it’s pretty easy to patch together, too.

1 cup sweet rice flour
1/2 cup tapioca flour
1/2 cup cornstarch
1/4 cup potato starch flour
1 rounded tsp xanthan gum
1/2 tsp salt
dash sugar
1/2 cup lard or shortening (what's your issue? transfats or animal products?)
1/2 cup butter (cold)
1 egg, beaten (cold)
1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
3 tbsp ice water
extra sweet rice flour (for rolling)

Whisk dry ingredients together. Cut in butter and shortening until soft crumbs form. Mix in egg, vinegar, and water, and gather dough into a ball. If the dough is too dry, add an additional tbsp of water, but read the note above before you do . . . Chill the dough one hour. Divide in two and roll out each half. Press into the pie plates. Prick all over with a fork.

For a pre-baked crust: To bake, line the pie crusts with foil to cover and weigh the foil down with dry beans or pie weights. Bake at 400F for 12 minutes; remove the weights and foil, and bake an additional 10 to 15 minutes at 350F, until lightly browned. You must weight the crust down to cook it as a pre-baked crust, or it will lurch upward in the middle as it cooks.

Otherwise, follow the regular cooking instructions in your favourite regular pie recipe and cook until lightly golden and flaky. Be sure to create wide steam vents in double-crust pies -- GF pie crust likes to seal itself back up as it cooks.

Pumpkin Roll

A jelly-roll type of deal, with pumpkin in the sponge cake and lots of cream-cheese frosting instead of "jelly." You could put lots less sugar in the frosting, I think, but I recreate the original recipe because I haven't tested a lower-sugar version.

1/4 cup each amaranth, rice, and soy flours
1/2 tsp xanthan gum
1 rounded tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
2 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp nutmeg
3 eggs, separated
1 cup sugar
2/3 cup cooked, pureed pumpkin
1 tsp lemon juice

Combine dry ingredients in a large bowl. Whisk egg yolks and sugar in a smaller bowl; add sugar and lemon juice and stir. Mix lightly into dry ingredients. In a separate bowl, beat egg whites until soft peaks form. Fold gently into batter.

Spoon out onto a parchment paper-lined jelly roll pan or rimmed cookie sheet (11x17") and spread evenly with a spatula.

Bake at 350F for 15 minutes. Roll in a towel while still hot. Cool.

Spread the cooled pumpkin cake with cream-cheese frosting, blended until free of lumps:
6 oz cream cheese
1/4 cup butter
1/2 tsp vanilla
1 cup icing sugar (or less)
. . . and roll up like a jelly roll.

Makes 1 log of pumpkin-cream cheese goodness.

Friday, October 12, 2007

Blackbottom Cups

These rich cupcakes have a chocolate base, a chocolate-chip cheesecakey filling, and a sprinkle of nuts on top! They are ba-a-a-ad for you and have almost no redeeming health benefits, unless you are so deprived of calcium that cream cheese counts as your daily intake. And almonds are reputedly good for us these days . . . Hmm. I've almost convinced myself . . .

For cheesecake filling:
6 oz cream cheese
1/3 cup sugar
1 egg
6 oz chocolate chips

Cream together until well combined.

For topping:
2 tbsp sugar
1/2 cup slivered almonds

Mix in a small bowl. Set aside.

For black-bottomed cups:
3/4 cup rice flour
1/2 cup tapioca starch
1/4 cup soy flour
1/2 tsp xanthan gum
1 cup sugar
1/4 cup cocoa
1 tsp salt
1 1/2 tsp soda
1 cup water
1/3 cup vegetable oil
1 tsp vanilla

Combine dry ingredients in a medium bowl. Combine wet ingredients in a separate bowl. Add wet ingredients to dry ingredients. Mix well, without overmixing.

Half-fill 18 muffin cups with blackbottom mixture. Spoon some cream cheese mixture into each. Sprinkle with nut and sugar topping. Bake at 350F for 20 to 30 minutes.

Tuesday, October 2, 2007

Egg and Cheese Brunch Pie

If you use leftover gluten-free pasta in this easy quiche, warm it in the microwave before adding to the pie.

1/2 cup sweet rice flour
1/4 cup potato starch flour
1/2 tsp dry mustard
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp xanthan gum
3/4 cup sharp Cheddar cheese, grated
1/4 cup butter, melted

1 tbsp butter
1 medium onion, chopped
6 mushrooms, finely chopped
3/4 cup Cheddar cheese, grated
1 cup hot cooked brown rice or corn noodles (spaghetti or fettucine)
pepper, to taste
2 very large or 3 medium eggs, well beaten
3/4 cup hot milk

Preheat oven to 325F.

To prepare crust, mix together flours, xanthan, cheese, mustard, salt, and butter. Use more butter if needed to hold it together. Press firmly into a 9” pie plate.

Lightly sauté onions and mushrooms in butter until browned. Pour over crust. Top with a layer of warm noodles and sprinkle with cheese, dusting with pepper. Pour beaten eggs over the pasta. Slowly pour in the hot milk. Bake for 40 to 45 minutes, until well set.