Monday, October 20, 2008

Soda-Bread Sandwich Loaf

This recipe is a better adaptation of my Gluten-Free Bannock from this site, proportions perfected for a 7-8" cast iron pan. I cut the loaf into 4 pieces and freeze it. Each warmed wedge is perfect for a sandwich with a semi-soft filling of veggies and cheese or tuna salad or hummus and tomatoes or veggie burgers and sprouts.

1/2 cup brown rice flour
1/4 cup amaranth flour
1/4 cup soy flour
1 tsp GF baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
3 tbsp whole flaxseeds
1 or 2 tbsp sesame seeds (optional)

3/4 cup buttermilk
1 egg, lightly beaten
1 tsp oil

Whisk flours, seeds, baking powder, and baking soda into a medium bowl. Make a well in the centre. In a separate bowl, beat egg and buttermilk. Stir into dry ingredients.

Heat oil in a 7 or 8"cast-iron skillet over low-medium heat (4/10 on my stove). Pour batter into pan. Cook, covered with a lightly greased pot lid, over low heat at least 12 minutes, until golden on the bottom and edges are reasonably well-set. Turn and cook until browned underneath, at least another 10 minutes.

A turning tip: This bread is quite tender and can be tricky to flip with just a spatula. Try sliding it, cooked side down, onto a smooth flat saucepan lid with a handle you can grip. Then bring the frying pan to meet the uncooked side of the bread on the pot lid.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Georgian Cheese-Stuffed Bread

We followed the recipes from Nigella Lawson's Georgian Feast in her book Feast for our Thanksgiving Day, and the cheese-stuffed bread was a huge hit. I thought I'd better write down the recipe adaptation before I forget what I did - but I haven't yet had a chance to convert the weights to cups. Sorry -- will do next time.

Serve with a simple salad of bitter greens, cucumbers, and green onions. I added lots of nasturtium blossoms, which are lovely and delicious. This recipe makes half the amount Nigella recommends for eight, but it is rich and will serve at least five or six people as a first course or brunch course. Four for a vegetarian main course.

2/3 cup milet flour
1/3 cup sorghum flour (next time, I'm planning to use amaranth instead)
1/3 cup cornstarch
1/3 potato starch
1/3 cup tapioca starch
1/3 cup soy flour
2 tsp xanthan gum
1 rounded tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup plain yogurt
1 egg
2 tbsp soft butter

100 g ricotta cheese
250 g feta cheese, crumbled
150 g mozzarella cheese, grated
1 small egg

In a large bowl, whisk together flours, xanthan gum, soda, and salt. Work in softened 2 tbsp butter. In a small bowl, beat the egg and yogurt. Beat egg mixture into flour mixture. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate this until you are ready to assemble the bread.

Combine cheeses and small egg in a small bowl. Set aside until you are really, really ready to assemble the bread.

Sprinkle a 9" round cake pan with GF flour. Sprinkle a breadboard with a little bit more GF flour. Remove your dough from the fridge and cut the dough in half. Lightly knead half of the dough into a circle. Press it into the bottom and up the sides of the cake pan. Spread with the cheese mixture. Lightly knead the second half of the dough into a circle approximately 9" round. Set this on top of the cheese mixture with its edges overlapping the dough up the sides of the pan, and seal the edges of the dough all the way around the pan.

Preheat the oven to 425F. Bake the bread for 15 to 20 minutes, until golden brown but still very slightly doughy on the inside. Serve hot, in cheese-oozing wedges.

Crunchy Granola Bars

Conceivably, these granola bars are so seedy that you could replace the cup-and-a-half of oats if you had to, but I love oats and am happy I have some that I can eat. Remember that you must locate gluten-free, uncontaminated oats such as those from Cream Hill Estates. The recipe is pretty adaptable to your tastes and the contents of your cupboard. All sunflower seeds or all pepitas are both great. Any dried fruit is great. It would also be very feasible to make these nut-free. Omit the almond extract and replace the almonds with more pepitas!

1/3 cup corn syrup
1/3 cup honey
1/3 cup veg. oil
1/2 tsp almond extract
1/2 tsp vanilla

1 1/2 cups pure, uncontaminated rolled oats
1 cup GF rice crispies
1 cup sunflower seeds (unsalted)
1 cup dried cranberries or raisins
1/2 cup pepitas (pumpkin seeds) (also unsalted)
1/2 cup shredded unsweetened coconut
1/2 cup sliced almonds
1/4 cup sesame seeds
a pinch of sea salt

Line a metal lasagna pan or other pan about 12x15" with parchment paper on the bottom and up the sides.

Combine corn syrup, vegetable oil, and honey in a small, heavy-bottomed saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium heat and boil for five minutes. Remove from heat and allow to cool slightly. Stir in almond extract and vanilla after the few minutes of cooling.

In the meantime, combine the oats, sunflower seeds, rice crispies, cranberries, pumpkin seeds, coconut, almonds, sesame seeds, and salt in a large bowl.

Pour the syrup over the dry ingredients and stir to mix very well. Pour into paarchment-paper lined pan and press in firmly and evenly.

Bake at 350F until golden brown, 20-25 minutes. Remove from oven and allow to cool completely. Cut into bars, preferably with a rotary pizza cutter. I cut them into six 2" pieces lengthwise and then into three 5" pieces crosswise to make 18 bar-shaped bars. Save any bits that crumble off the edges to sprinkle on yogurt. These freeze very well.

Sunday, August 31, 2008

Carrot Loaf for Kids

I tried this recipe as yet another attempt to find another breakfast or mid-morning snack my almost-two-year-old would enjoy. Today's Parent is always a good source for kid-friendly recipes. I liked this loaf a lot -- and my daughter ate a whole piece. That's no guarantee she will ever eat it again, but it's a start!

1/3 cup brown rice flour
1/3 cup amaranth flour
1/3 cup potato starch
1/4 cup flaxseed meal
1/2 tsp xanthan gum
1 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp nutmeg
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt

1 packed cup grated carrots (2 medium or 1 large carrot)
1/2 cup very well-drained crushed pineapple
1/2 cup plain yogurt
2/3 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup vegetable oil
3 eggs

Preheat the oven to 350F and grease a loaf pan.

In a large bowl, whisk flours and starches with flaxseed meal, xanthan, baking powder, baking soda, spices, and salt.

In a medium bowl, whisk carrots, pineapple, yogurt, sugar, veg oil, and eggs until well-blended.

Fold wet ingredients into dry ingredients. Stir until just combined. Pour into the greased loaf pan and bake for 50 to 55 minutes, or until the loaf tests clean. Allow to cool for 10 minutes in the pan before turning out onto a rack to cool. Cool completely before slicing to serve. (Or, if serving warm, cut fat, not thin, slices, because the bread is delicate when hot.) This loaf is especially delicious spread with cream cheese.

Saturday, August 30, 2008

Cornmeal Pancakes

These are light, thin pancakes of the kind I tend to prefer. I've never liked the thick, gluggy, stodgy kind of pancake from a mix. This recipe is adapted from the Fannie Farmer Cookbook. It strikes me these pancakes could be used as thick crepes. For instance, I think an oblong cornmeal pancake (with reduced sugar) could be wrapped warm around a gluten-free breakfast sausage and topped with onions, relish, or sauerkraut in place of a bun.

1/2 cup cornmeal
1/2 cup boiling water
1/4 cup amaranth flour
1/4 cup cornstarch
2 tbsp flaxseed meal
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp xanthan gum
1 tbsp sugar
1 tbsp baking powder
1/4 cup melted butter
1 large well-beaten egg
1/2 cup milk

In a large bowl, pour the boiling water over the cornmeal. Stir well. Pour in the dry ingredients followed by the wet ingredients and beat well, until the batter is thoroughly mixed.

Heat pan to medium-high heat (less hot than for some other pancakes) on a lightly greased pan. Use about 2 tbsp of batter per pancake. As for other pancakes, cook the first side until bubbles on the top break but do not fill back in, then flip and cook until lightly browned on the other side. Drizzle with molasses or maple syrup or fruit sauce to serve. These freeze and re-toast well in a toaster oven.

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Orange-Glazed Zucchini Loaf

It's almost fresh zucchini season, so it's definitely time to use up that last two cups of the frozen grated zucchini from last year's avalanche of zukes. While the zucchini seems to thaw to a puddle of green-flecked water, it bakes up fine and adds much-needed moisture to gluten-free concoctions. I recommend the cardamom in this recipe.

1 cup brown rice flour
3/4 cup amaranth flour
1/2 cup potato starch
1/4 cup tapioca starch
1/2 tsp xanthan gum
1 tsp gelatin
2/3 cup brown sugar
2 tsp (rounded) baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp ground cardamom or cinnamon
1/4 tsp salt
2 cups grated zucchini
1/2 cup butter, melted
1/4 cup milk
3 eggs
2 tsp grated orange rind
1 cup chopped walnuts

1/4 cup gluten-free icing sugar
2 tsp orange juice

Line loaf pan with parchment paper or grease. Set aside.

Whisk together flours, sugar, baking powder and soda, cardamom, and salt. In a separate bowl, whisk together zucchini, butter, milk, eggs, and orange rind. Pour wet ingredients over flour mixture. Sprinkle with walnuts and stir just to combine. Pour into prepared pan. Bake at 350F until tests clean, about 1 hour. Let cool in pan for 15 minutes. Turn out on a rack to cool completely.

Combine icing sugar and orange juice to make glaze. Brush over hot loaf. Let cool.

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Rhubarb Streusel Cake

Okay. So it has been awhile. I've found myself content with my existing supply of recipes (my own and others'). Rhubarb cake awoke a wish for an old family stand-by, which we called "rhubarb cake" (imaginative, non?) but which is a rhubarb streusel cake and could, in some parts of the world, be better described as a "pudding." This was my aunt Catherine's staple spring cake. It is alternately too tart, too gooey, too sweet, and too cakey in a way that comes together deliciously.

1/2 cup butter
1 1/2 cups sugar
2 eggs
1 1/2 tsp vanilla

3/4 cup rice flour
1/2 cup potato starch
1/4 cup tapioca starch
1/4 cup amaranth flour
1/4 cup soy flour
3/4 tsp xanthan gum
1 slightly rounded tsp soda
1/2 tsp salt

1 cup buttermilk
2 cups chopped rhubarb

1/2 cup brown sugar
1 tsp cinnamon
1/4 cup melted butter

Grease a 9x13" pan and preheat the oven to 350F.

Cream butter and sugar for one minute. Add eggs and vanilla and beat for one minute more at medium speed on an electric mixer.

Pour in well-whisked-to-combine dry ingredients. Also pour in buttermilk. Beat well for at least one full minute, until the batter is silky smooth and sticky in the annoying way that gluten-free batter gets sticky and rides up the beaters. Fold in rhubarb.

Spread batter evenly in the prepared pan. Mix topping ingredients and sprinkle them over the top in small streuselly dollops. Bake for about 45 minutes, until the centre tests done with a toothpick.

Sunday, March 30, 2008

Quinoa Herb Muffins

Based on herbed rice muffins that are somewhere else on this blog, these quinoa-stuffed muffins are great with soup. I am not fond of quinoa flour, but I love quinoa itself, so when I wanted herbed rice muffins but had no brown rice cooked, the best idea seemed to be to cook up some quinoa and swap it into the recipe.

1/2 cup quinoa, cooked in 1 cup water until tender and water is absorbed, then cooled a bit

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

3 tbsp olive oil
2 eggs
1 cup milk
1/4 cup (generous!) freshly, finely grated Parmesan cheese

Grease 12 muffin tins.

In a medium bowl, whisk flours and starches, flaxseed meal, xanthan gum, baking powder, salt, herbs, and cheese.

In a large bowl, combine quinoa (making sure it's cool enough to not cook the eggs), oil, eggs, milk, and cheese. Whisk until well combined.

Stir into dry ingredients, just to mix.

Fill prepared muffin tins about 3/4 full. Bake muffins at 400F for 20 to 25 minutes.

Anna's Chicken Noodle Soup

I've been relying lately on my stand-by recipes, no time for trying new baking. But here's my one-and-a-half-year-old's favourite chicken noodle soup. We make our own low-sodium chicken broth on a regular basis, but bought would probably be just fine. When the recipe says "diced" this means small enough for a toddler to angle onto a spoon -- but too small for a toddler to choke on at all. Think about just bigger than 1/4" or just smaller than 1/2" dice.

2 oz. brown rice spaghetti (approx. 1 cup cooked spaghetti)

Bring a pot of water to a boil. Break spaghetti into short lengths and cook for nine minutes, until not quite done.

Meanwhile, in another pot, heat
4 cups chicken stock
1/2 to 3/4 cup (or 1/2 a 398 mL can) plain tomato sauce
1 tsp dried basil

1 large leek, whites and light greens only, diced
1 medium carrot, diced
1 stalk celery, diced
and cook until beginning to get tender.

1/2 cup mushrooms, diced
and cook until all vegetables are just tender.

Stir in
1/2 cup frozen peas
1/2 cup cooked chicken, diced, or cooked and drained ground beef (optional)
1/4 cup Parmesan cheese, freshly grated
and the drained noodles.

Heat until piping hot and noodles are al dente.

Cool enough to serve to a toddler.

Monday, February 18, 2008

Oatmeal Banana Bread

Here's a yummy moist banana oat bread you can add extras to, if you like -- dried cranberries, walnuts or pecans, or even chocolate chips. It is inspired by a recipe in Today's Parent magazine, which recommended the chocolate chips (perhaps unsurprisingly). I bet this could be made dairy-free very easily with soy milk -- though skip the baking soda in favour of extra baking powder in that case.

3/4 cup gluten-free (pure, uncontaminated) old-fashioned rolled oats
3/4 cup brown rice flour
1/2 cup potato starch
1/2 cup flaxseed meal
1/4 cup tapioca starch
1/2 cup brown sugar
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp xanthan gum
1/2 tsp baking soda

2 medium overripe bananas, mashed
3 large eggs
1/2 cup buttermilk
1/3 cup canola oil
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 cup extras (nuts, dried fruit, or chocolate chips)

Preheat oven to 350F and grease a 9x5" loaf pan.

In a large bowl, whisk flours, starches, flaxseed meal, xanthan gum, sugar, baking powder and soda.

In a smaller bowl, whisk bananas, eggs, buttermilk, oil, and vanilla.

Stir wet ingredients into dry ingredients just until moistened throughout. Fold in extras. Bake at 350F for about 60 minutes, until a toothpick in the centre tests clean. Let cool in the pan a few minutes, then turn out on a rack to cool completely.

Saturday, January 19, 2008

Cinnamon Rolls

I have been craving sweet, biscuity cinnamon rolls for two weeks and finally got time to make them today, with much success! The dough is mostly Rebecca Reilly's delicious scone recipe from Gluten-Free Baking, with adaptations and additions as needed. If you're the kind of person who glazes cinnamon rolls, then glaze away, but these rolls don't need a glaze.

[This recipe is much easier to deal with than the other cinnamon roll recipe on this site. By a long shot.]

3 tbsp butter, softened
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 1/2 tsp cinnamon

1/2 cup brown rice flour
1/2 cup amaranth flour
1/2 cup sweet rice flour
1/2 cup almond flour
1/4 cup potato starch
2 rounded tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp xanthan gum
1/4 tsp salt

1/4 cup butter, cold
2 large eggs
1 tbsp liquid honey
1/2 cup whipping cream

First, blend softened butter, brown sugar and cinnamon in a small bowl. Set aside.

Combine flours and starches with baking pwder, xanthan gum, and salt in a large bowl. Whisk until well blended. Cut in cold butter with a pastry blender or two knives until finely crumbed. Beat eggs, honey, and cream with a fork until well blended. Pour over crumbed mixture. Stir well, to make a well-mixed, moist but workable dough.

Turn out on a sheet of parchment or other pliable material that is well dusted with rice flour. Knead the dough 8 to 10 times. Pat out with fingers to a rectangle approximately 12" long and 9" to 10" wide, ensuring the dough is not too thin or weak at any point.

Crumble the reserved butter, sugar, and cinnamon mixture as best you can and sprinkle it over the dough as evenly as you can. Spread gently with fingers to ensure coverage, leaving one lengthwise edge uncovered so it will seal. Be careful not to tear dough. Roll the dough gently into a log lengthwise. Cut the 12" tube into approximately 16 pieces, 3/4" each. Set 2" apart on a parchment or silicone-lined baking sheet.

Bake at 400F for 10 to 12 minutes, until puffed outwards and golden on top.

Makes 16 rolls to serve with hot tea.

Potato-Sweet Potato Bake

One more casserole. I always make this as a vegetarian dish, but I was once told the original recipe (from I know not where) called for a pound of cooked garlicky sausage, sliced into 1/2” chunks. It's often hard to say if sausage is gluten-free, unless you are on close terms with your sausage-maker. And let's face it -- that sounds kinky. Be generous in measuring the potatoes and sweet potatoes. There's plenty of tomato sauce.

about 2 pounds potatoes, diced and peeled
about 1 pound sweet potatoes, diced and peeled
2 tbsp olive oil
2 medium onions, sliced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp oregano
1 (19 oz) can tomatoes
1 1/2 tsp red wine vinegar
1 tsp sugar
salt, to taste
1 cup old Cheddar cheese, grated

Steam potatoes and sweet potatoes until just tender. Pour into a casserole.

Meanwhile, in a saucepan, heat oil and add onions and garlic. Sauté until soft. Add spices and sauté several more minutes. Add tomatoes, vinegar, sugar, salt, and simmer for 15 minutes. Pour over potatoes and sweet potatoes. Stir to cover vegetables. Sprinkle on grated cheese.

Bake at 400F for 20 to 25 minutes. Serve hot or at room temperature.

Friday, January 4, 2008

Vegetarian Shepherd's Pie

It's casserole week! Comfort food for the winter. Here's a simple vegetarian "shepherd's pie," because you can't spend all that time caring for woolly little sheepies and then eat them. My old flatmates in New Zealand deserve credit for this recipe!

6 medium potatoes, peeled and quartered
2 tbsp milk, cream, or buttermilk

2 medium onions, chopped
2 to 3 cloves garlic, minced
1 tbsp oil
300 g diced mushrooms
1 tsp brown sugar
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp marjoram
1/4 tsp thyme
lots of freshly ground black pepper
1 tbsp arrowroot flour (or cornstarch)
1/2 cup potato cooking water or low-salt veggie stock
2 tbsp sour cream (optional)
about 2 cups cooked kidney beans (1 large can, well drained and rinsed)
1/2 cup grated Cheddar (optional)

Cook quartered potatoes in water until tender; reserve 1/2 cup of the drained cooking water. Mash potatoes with the cream, milk, or buttermilk.

Sauté the chopped onion and garlic in oil in a large frying pan. Add the diced mushrooms and sugar and cook until the onions are well browned. Stir in the salt, herbs, pepper, and arrowroot. Pour in the reserved potato cooking water slowly, stirring constantly, until the sauce is the consistency of thick gravy; remove from the heat and add the sour cream, if desired. Stir in the cooked drained beans. Pour into a 2L casserole. Top with mashed potatoes and sprinkle with cheese, if desired.

Bake at 400F for 20 minutes, until nicely bubbled up.

Makes about 6 to 8 servings, depending on appetites.

Garden Vegetable Lasagna

More stuck-together-food. With fresh (or frozen) garden tomatoes, the natural sweetness can be overpowered by meat, so we make a rich vegetarian lasagna. Brown rice noodles work best when pre-cooked only long enough to be flexible, so it is important to ensure there’s enough moisture in the lasagna to prevent the noodles from drying out. If you find your sauce is not liquid enough and your noodles are beginning to buckle, take the pan out of the oven and sprinkle some water (preferably reserved pasta-cooking water) on top.

2 tbsp olive oil
1 large onion, chopped
6 cloves garlic, minced
1 medium zucchini, diced small (or one small eggplant, peeled and diced small)
200 g mushrooms, diced small (portobello mushrooms are ideal)
1 good-sized red pepper, diced small
1 hot pepper, minced (optional)
1/2 tsp salt
1 lg. can tomatoes (or equivalent frozen homegrown tomatoes), broken up with spoon
1 small can (6 oz) tomato paste
1 tbsp dried basil (or 1/4 cup fresh chopped)
2 tsp dried oregano (or 2 tbsp fresh chopped)
1/2 tsp dried thyme (or 2 tsp fresh chopped)
lots of freshly ground black pepper
2 tsp balsamic or red wine vinegar
1 tsp brown sugar

18 oz brown rice lasagna noodles (a box and a half of the brand I buy)
1 400 g pkg mozzarella cheese, grated
1 500 g pkg cottage cheese
1/4 tsp freshly grated nutmeg
10 oz fresh spinach, stems removed, leaves washed and coarsely chopped
1/2 cup Parmesan cheese, grated
freshly ground black pepper

In hot oil in a heavy-bottomed pot or pan, sauté the chopped onion and garlic 5 minutes. Add the zucchini (or eggplant), mushrooms, and red pepper and sauté an additional 5 minutes, until vegetables are just beginning to be tender. Add tomatoes, tomato paste, herbs, vinegar, and sugar, and stir, breaking up tomatoes with a spoon or snipping them with scissors as needed. Simmer for a good long while, until slightly reduced and thickened. When you draw a spoon across the bottom of the pan, you want the sauce to fill in the gap in about 5 to 7 seconds.

In a pot with plenty of boiling water, precook lasagna noodles until pliable enough to handle and to shape easily into the pan, but not tender, a maximum of five minutes.

Skim some juicy sauce off the top and moisten the entire bottom of a 9x13” baking pan until well-coated with sauce. Spread on a layer of the lightly precooked lasagna noodles. Trim noodles with scissors as needed to make them fit snugly. Top with 1/2 the sauce and 1/2 the mozzarella cheese.

Add another layer of lasagna noodles. Cover with spinach, pressing down so it doesn’t fall out of the pan. Spread the spinach with the whole container of cottage cheese, grind on lots of black pepper, sprinkle with freshly grated nutmeg, then top with another layer of noodles, again trimming the noodles to help them fit.

Top the noodles with remaining sauce and remaining mozzarella, and sprinkle liberally with Parmesan and more black pepper.

Bake 40 minutes at 350F.

Serves 9 to 12, depending on appetites.

Chicken and Black Bean Casserole

My brother Patrick and sister-in-law Tara developed this yummy mixture, and my daughter, always happy to eat casserole (or, as we call it, "stuck-together food") was very pleased to taste-test it for them several times over the holidays. Writing down the proportions for the recipe seems to go against the spirit of how Tara and Patrick put it together. They are much more free-spirited in their approach. They have made it deliciously with beef or with chicken. The only ingredient they absolutely insist on is the salsa: it must be authentic Herdez Mexican salsa.

1 1/2 cups uncooked brown rice

1 can (19 oz/540ml) black beans
1 bottle (16 0z/453 g) salsa
1/2 cup sour cream

500 g chicken thighs, diced (or equivalent amount of leftover cooked chicken, diced)
1 red pepper, diced
12 or so medium-sized mushrooms

Cook rice in a rice cooker in 3 cups of water. Pour into a casserole that will hold about 3 L.
Stir in rinsed and drained black beans, salsa, and sour cream.

In a small saucepan over medium-high heat, saute diced chicken in two batches until lightly browned. Stir into casserole. Saute red pepper and mushrooms lightly until just tender, 5 minutes. Stir into casserole.

If the casserole needs more moisture, add a bit more sour cream.

Bake at 350F for 30 to 40 minutes, until bubbling and hot all the way through. Allow to sit for 10 minutes before serving.

Makes 10 to 12 servings, depending on appetites at your house.