Thursday, December 29, 2011

Gluten free Christmakah: GF Lasagna, GF Potato Latkes and GF Chocolate Pudding Pie

This holiday season I spent the time with husband's family in the Midwest - Milwaukee to be exact.  This has got to be one of the most #glutenfree friendly cities around!  From high end restaurants like Roots to the Bradley Center's gluten-free kiosk, to an abundance of GF options at local grocery stores like Metcalfe's Sentry, Pick-N-Save and Outpost, I had no troubles finding good gluten-free eats.

Our Christmas/Chanukah dinner consisted of gluten-free lasagna and freshly made potato latkes.  However, these recipes take a lot of if you are willing to devote the time, you will have some good rewards!  The potato latkes took about 2 hours from start to plate, but came out really good.

The best part was the dessert.  It was my first time making this pie, with a special recipe from my sister-in-law (recipe coming as soon as she emails it to me!) to make fresh creamy chocolate pudding with Kinninnick gluten-free graham style crumbs.  And I have to say wow - the guests loved it and especially made comments about how good the crust was!  The only thing I would have added would be some whipped cream to top it off.

Hope you enjoy these dishes.

Gluten-free lasagna


Gluten-free chocolate pudding pie (recipe coming!):

Gluten-free potato latkes

Gluten free ham (we just used one from the store and followed the directions for the glaze):

A total meal, with roasted carrots:

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Gluten-Free Holiday Sugar Cookies

If you are looking for an easy way to make Gluten free sugar cookies for the holidays, check out Gluten Free Essentials Vanilla Sugar Cookie Mix.  I found this at The Gluten Free Trading Company in Milwaukee, WI - where my in-laws live - a few years back and I look forward to making these cookies every year!

All you need to make this mix is a stick of butter and 2 eggs.  The trick to doing this right is to chill the dough.  The recipe is on the back of the cookie mix bag.

I usually add a little bit more of GF Vanilla Extract as well to make it just a bit sweeter and to take away any grittiness which sometimes happens with all GF baked goods.

The recipe calls for the melted stick of butter to be mixed with 2 beaten eggs.  Then you add in the dry mix (I do this slowly and with a hand mixer) until it is all incorporated.  I then add the little bit more of Vanilla extract.

At this point, you can refrigerate the dough for at least 30 minutes, but it can go longer if you need to.

Then, pre-heat the oven to what it says on the package (I think it's about 375).  On a non-stick cookie sheet, lightly grease the pan and roll the dough into balls.  Place the dough on the cookie sheet, allowing room in between each for them to expand.  Cook for about 10-12 minutes.

When they come out of the oven, allow them to sit for about a minute.  Then gently use a spatula to lift them off the cookie sheet to a drying rack.  They will get a bit more brown during this time.

The mix should yield about 18-20 cookies. Let them cool completely before frosting with your favorite GF frosting!  I used Betty Crocker's vanilla (and it says Gluten Free on the label!!) with red and green sanding sugar.  Very festive and delicious!!

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Braised Chicken with Mushrooms in a White Wine Sauce

I had an idea to make something with chicken drumsticks and thighs, and came across a braised chicken recipe in the Healthy Family Cookbook, that I modified for gluten-free.  It came out amazing...thanks to a bit of help from some Greek wine (from my honeymoon) and a little help from my husband!

You can cook this in a Dutch oven which makes cooking and clean up easy since it's all in one pot.  

I made this along with some spinach and re-heated the gluten-free stuffing we had leftover from Thanksgiving - the sauce was amazing with it!!  

GF Braised Chicken with Mushrooms in a White Wine Sauce

1 1/2 pounds bone-in chicken drumsticks and thighs, skin on.
         Salt and pepper
1 teaspoon extra virgin olive oil
1 onion, minced
1 cup mushrooms sliced
6 garlic cloves, minced
2 teaspoons dried thyme
1 teaspoon herbes de Provence
2 tablespoons corn starch or GF flour
1 1/2 cups chicken broth or one package of Herb Ox chicken bouillon (make as directed on package)
1/2 cup dry white wine (or - in this case - Greek Muscat!)
2 bay leaves

1. Adjust the oven rack in the lower - middle position and heat the oven to 300 degrees.  Pat the chicken dry with paper towels and season with salt and pepper.  Heat the oil in the Dutch oven over medium-high heat until just smoking. Add the chicken and brown on all sides, about 7-10 minutes.  If your chicken doesn't all fit in one round, do this in batches.  Transfer the chicken to a plate.

2. Pour off some of the oil and fat until about 2 teaspoons is left and heat over medium heat until shimmering. Add the onion and mushrooms and cook over medium heat until softened, about 5 minutes.  Stir in the garlic, thyme, herbes de Provence, and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds.  Stir in the corn starch, a small bit of water and whisk for about 30 seconds.  Whisk in the broth and wine, scraping the bottom for any browned bits.

3. Stir in the bay leaves and add the chicken back to the pot, along with any chicken juices that may have accumulated.  Bring to a simmer, cover, and transfer to the oven for about 30 minutes.  Check on the chicken, rotate in the pot and continue cooking until the chicken is falling off the bone, about another 15 minutes.  

4. Transfer the chicken to a serving plate and tent with foil.  Finish off the sauce (if needed) by letting it rest for about 5 minutes, skimming off any fat, and simmer until slightly thickened, about 5 minutes.

5. Take off the heat, discard the bay leaves, and season with salt and pepper.  Pour sauce over the chicken and enjoy!

Friday, December 9, 2011

Snoopy, turkey, stuffing - perfect holiday!

I know it's a bit late to post this but I think I just got out of my food coma that ensued after the amazing gluten free Thanksgiving I had with my husband!

Our menu included Brined Turkey using the kit from Bed Bath & Beyond, Mashed Potato Casserole, Aleia's GF Stuffing (savory), Pumpkin Pie with GF crust from Jillian's, Sauteed Green Beans and Honey Glazed Carrots with Almonds.  We also made GF Turkey Gravy.  I have to say that the pie crust for the pumpkin pie was not as good as years past.  We tried to brown it by brushing a layer of oil on it.  NOT Recommended - it tasted like fried chicken!

The mashed potatoes came out great but I think the asiago cheese was a bit  too strong for this meal.  I think I should have kept it as mashed potatoes to keep the flavors of the meal more consistent.  The bold taste of this dish was overwhelming when eaten with the rich and heavy turkey with gravy.

The stuffing was a bit more crumbly this year than in the past, and I think that had to do with excess of chicken stock I used to make it.  Instead of the stuffing getting more flavorful, it just fell apart.  I'd keep it pretty consistent to what the recipe calls for.

The honey glazed carrots were new this year.  I first dry roasted the almonds in a 12" skillet to give it more of a smoky flavor.  It really enhanced the dish.  The recipe is from the America's Test Kitchen Healthy Family Cookbook and is listed below.

Honey Glazed Carrots with Almonds

This string bean dish has become a new staple in my house.  So easy to make and very flavorful! You simply need to buy about one pound of fresh green beans, wash them and cut off the ends of each bean strand.  Then you heat up a little bit of oil in a 12" skillet and add the beans.  Saute them until they begin to get a little brown and then in the center of the pan, add a tablespoon or so of more oil with minced garlic.  Let this cook about 30 seconds until it becomes kind of like a paste.  Once that is ready, mix it all together and cook for about another minute or two.  Remove from the heat and top it off with a bit of lemon juice.

Sauteed Green Beans

Honey Glazed Carrots with Almonds
1 1/2 pounds carrots (about 9), peeled and sliced 1/4 inch think on the bias (slanted)
1/2   cup chicken broth
        salt and pepper
2      tablespoons honey
1      tablespoon unsalted butter
2      teaspoons fresh lemon juice
2      tablespoons sliced almonds

1. Add the almonds to a 12" skillet to dry roast them.  Stir them around until they turn light brown in color, about 5-7 minutes.

2. Bring the carrots, broth, and 1/4 teaspoon salt to a simmer in a 12" skillet over medium-high heat.  Cover and reduce the heat to medium, and cook until the carrots are almost tender, about 5 minutes.

3. Uncover, increase the heat to high, and simmer rapidly until the liquid measures about 2 tablespoons, 2-3 minutes.  Stir in the honey, butter and almonds and continue to cook, stirring often, until the carrots are completely tender and the sauce has reduced to a light golden glaze, about 4 minutes.

4. Off the heat, stir in the lemon juice, season with salt and pepper to taste, and serve.