Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Gluten Free Carne Asada

I don't know about you, but for my wife and I, Mexican food may as well be one of the essential food groups. My taste for Mexican food has certainly been shaped by my wife's Celiac disease. I love all the fresh flavors incorporated into Mexican cuisine as well as the ability to make easy gluten free meals. Here in the Portland area, you can buy meat in the grocery store labeled as carne asada. Other names for carne asada are; skirt steak or flank steak. Carne asada is simply a lean cut of beef sliced very thin. Let the meat marinate for a while and throw it on a hot grill and you are in business for an easy and delicious meal.
Gluten Free Carne Asada:
From Simply Recipes
2-3 pounds of carne asada meat
4 garlic cloves, minced
1/2-1 jalapeƱo chile pepper, seeded and minced
1 teaspoon freshly ground cumin seed
1 large handful fresh cilantro, leaves and stems, finely chopped
1/2 tsp Kosher salt
1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
2 limes, juiced
2 tablespoons cider vinegar
1/2 teaspoon sugar
1/2 cup olive oil
Start by lightly toasting cumin seeds until fragrant. Grind the cooled seeds into a powder. You could also use powered cumin if you don't have whole seeds.
Next, in a large bowl, combine the rest of the marinade ingredients.
Add the carne asada meat to the bowl and thoroughly coat each piece with marinade. Cover and refrigerate for at least 1 hour and up to 4-5 hours.
Preheat your BBQ to 375-400 degrees f. Cook each slice of carne asada for 2-3 minutes per side. Carne asada is very thin so be careful not to overcook it and turn it into shoe leather.
Let the meat rest for about 2 minutes and then slice it across the grain. Because the meat is so thin it cools down very fast. So, after slicing the meat, I threw it in a pan on the stove top to reheat. I also sauteed some bell peppers and onions to go with my carne asada.
Wrap it all up in a warm corn tortilla with some fresh salsa verde and sour cream and you have just created a little Mexican masterpiece. Enjoy!!!
For more gluten free meal ideas, visit Linda over at The Gluten Free Homemaker

Monday, August 9, 2010

Gluten Free Lemon Cake

Have you completely given up on me yet? I know it's been a while. I guess I just needed a little break and what better time to take a break than during the Summer. I've been busy with other things besides my blog. My family went to Lake Chelan in central Washington to celebrate my parents 40th anniversary back in mid July.
My daughter had a great time playing in the water and hanging out with her cousin.
My wife's birthday was a few days ago and since I let off with a cake post, I thought I would start back up with one. I made a nice little lemon cake by following one of Martha Stewart's jailhouse recipes, with a few alterations. It was delicious. There was a nice balance of sweet and tart from the lemons.
Gluten Free Lemon Cake:
From Martha Stewart modified to be GF
For the Cake:
2 1/2 cups GF flour , plus more for pans
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon xanthan gum
1 tablespoon lemon zest
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature, plus more for pans
1 1/2 cups sugar
2 large eggs plus 3 large egg yolks
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 cup low-fat buttermilk
For the Lemon Syrup:
1 large lemon sliced thin and seeded
1/2 cup water
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
Follow this link for the Lemon Curd filling
For the frosting:
I used Betty Crocker GF Lemon frosting per the birthday girl's request
Baking Directions:
2- 8 inch round cake pans buttered and floured with gf flour
Bake in a 350 degree F oven for 30-35 minutes
Start by making the lemon curd for the filling. I know the lemon curd recipe link is about waffles, which are delicious by the way, just follow the recipe for the lemon curd portion. Then, whisk together the gf flour mix, baking powder, baking soda, salt, xanthan gum, and lemon zest in a medium bowl, set aside.
Next, cream the butter and sugar together. Beat in the eggs and yolks. Add the 2 Tbs of lemon juice to the buttermilk. Alternate mixing in the buttermilk and the flour mix until thoroughly combined. Prepare two 8 inch round cake pans by buttering and flouring them with gf flour. Divide the batter between the two pans. Place in a preheated 350 degree F oven and bake for 30-35 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean when inserted into the middle of the cake. When the cake comes out of the oven, allow them to cool in the pan for 10 minutes before inverting them onto a cooling rack. While the cake is baking, make the lemon syrup. For the lemon syrup, thinly slice and seed one large lemon. Next, place 1/2 cup water and a 1/2 cup of sugar in a sauce pan over medium high heat, bring to a boil. Add the lemon slices and simmer for 25 minutes. After 25 minutes, use a slotted spoon to scoop out the lemon slices and place them on parchment paper. Finally, stir in 1/4 cup of fresh lemon juice into the syrup and set aside. To assemble the cake, start with the bottom layer of cake. Use a toothpick to poke several holes in the top of the cake. Brush half of the lemon syrup over the top of the cake. Next spread an even layer of lemon curd over the cake. Place the top layer of cake on, poke holes in the top and brush on the remaining lemon syrup. I also found that the top layer wanted to slide off of the lemon curd filling, so I pushed a couple toothpicks down through the top of the cake to stabilize the two layers. Just make sure your guests don't eat the toothpicks when you cut them a piece. I frosted the cake with Betty Crocker Lemon Frosting which is GF. I placed my candied lemon slices around the outside and then I wrote Happy Birthday with the neatness and pizazz of a 1st grader learning to write. Delicious Lemony Goodness. Enjoy!!!