Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Gluten Free Brownies

I have a terrible sweet tooth. Anything with butter, sugar, and chocolate is always welcome in my home. Since brownies have an abundance of all three of my favorite ingredients, they are welcome house guests. Now you may be thinking, "hey Brian there are all these gluten free brownies mixes available, why would you make them from scratch?" Good question. A- They are super easy to make. And B- These brownies taste better than any store bought mix I have ever tried. You just have to make them to see for yourself.
Gluten Free Brownies:
from Joy of Baking modified to be GF
5 ounces (140g) semisweet or bittersweet chocolate- chopped
1/2 cup unsalted butter (1 stick or 113 grams)- cut into pieces
2 Tbs (15g) cocoa powder
1 cup (200g) granulated sugar
1 tsp vanilla
3 eggs
3/4 cup (95g) gluten free flour mix
1/4 tsp salt
1/8 tsp xanthan gum
It's best to get your ingredients all together before you start. Whisk the salt and xanthan gum into your gf flour mix and you can add the cocoa powder to the granulated sugar.Place a stainless steel bowl over a pot of simmering water (double boiler.) Melt the butter and chocolate together until smooth.
Take the bowl off the heat and stir in the sugar and cocoa powder. Next, whisk in the vanilla and eggs, one at a time. Finally, stir in the gf flour mix that has the salt and xanthan gum in it.
Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F. Pour the brownies mix into a lightly greased 8inch X 8inch pan. Bake for 25-30 minutes or until an inserted toothpick comes out mostly clean.
Allow to cool for a few minutes before serving. Enjoy!!!
For more gluten free recipes visit Linda over at The Gluten Free Homemaker

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Gluten Free Naan Bread

Alright, who ran right out and made the Lamb kebab recipe that I posted the other day? Go ahead raise your hand.........No one, not one person. Pfffft. Well then, allow me to push you one step closer to a meal that will have your taste buds dancing and jumping for joy. If you are not into lamb I understand. As I said before, the marinade works well with chicken too. To send the whole kebab meal into overdrive, you need to make naan to go with it. What is naan you ask? Great question. Naan is a flat bread native to Indian and Middle Eastern cuisine. It is similar to a pita bread but not exactly the same. If you make up this naan bread recipe along with the lamb kebabs and tzatziki, you will find yourself with something that resembles a Greek Gyro. Seriously, who can pass that up?
Gluten Free Naan Bread:
.25 ounces of quick rising yeast(about 2 tsp)
2 Tbs sugar
1/2 cup warm water (103-106 degrees F)
2-1/4 cups GF flour mix
1 tsp minced garlic
1 tsp salt
1/8 tsp xanthan gum
1/8 tsp garlic powder
1 egg
1-1/2 Tbs milk
butter for frying
In a stand mixer, whisk together the flour, salt, xanthan gum, minced garlic, and garlic powder. Add 1 lightly beaten egg and the milk.
In a bowl or Pyrex measuring cup, add the warm water, sugar, and yeast. Proof the yeast for about 3-4 minutes. The mixture should foam up slightly.
Add the yeast mixture to the dry ingredients and mix with a dough hook until thoroughly combined.
Lay parchment paper over a baking sheet or cutting board and lightly dust with gf flour. Use your hands to divide the dough evenly into four pieces. Lightly flour your hands and press the dough into four flat rounds a bit larger than your hands. Cover the pressed dough with a clean towel and place in a warm area to rise for about 20-30 minutes. The dough will not rise dramatically.
Next, preheat a heavy skillet, I used cast iron, add 1/2-1 Tbs of butter to the skillet. Fry your naan bread on each side for 3-4 minutes per side. Add a little more butter to the skillet and repeat with the next piece of bread. Finally, take all the cooked naan and wrap it in foil. Place the bread in a warm oven (250-275 degrees F) for about 4-5 minutes. The steam inside the foil will add a nice chewiness to the naan. Now the combination of the naan, lamb, and tzatziki will have your family carting you around the house on their shoulders singing your praises. I'm not joking, it's that good. Enjoy!!!

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Gluten Free Lamb Kebabs with Tzatziki

I'll be honest here, I don't stray very far from beef or chicken when I make a meal. In fact my family eats a lot of chicken. Sometimes it is nice to break up the monotony of chicken dishes with a fresh new idea. I made lamb kebabs the other night and they were incredible. The meat has such a great deep flavor and the accompanying marinade was perfect; with lemon, garlic, and mint. I also made Greek tzatziki sauce to go along with the kebabs. The combination of the light sauce and rich meat is outstanding. The marinade I used worked well on chicken also. I guess I can't stray too far from the old standby.
Lamb Marinade
makes enough for 3-4 pounds of meat
3/4 cup olive oil
2/3 cup fresh lemon juice
6 cloves of garlic-minced
2 Tbs fresh mint-chopped
4 tsp salt
4 tsp lemon zest
2 tsp black pepper
2 tsp ground coriander
1 tsp ground cumin
Mix all ingredients together
I used a 1 pound lamb steak and 1 pound of chicken breasts for my kebabs. Cut the meat into roughly 2 inch cubes.
Place the meat in a medium bowl and cover with marinade. Reserve some of the marinade for the vegetables. Allow the meat to marinade for at least 2-3 hours covered in the refrigerator. Cube up some of your favorite vegetables; I used green and red bell peppers, onion, and zucchini.
Preheat your grill. I like to make kebabs with all vegetables or all meat on the skewer for easier cooking since the meat takes a little longer to cook than the vegetables. I cooked the meat kebabs for about 6-7 minutes, flipped them over once and cooked them for another 6-7 minutes. Before you put the vegetables on the grill, give them a quick brushing with the reserved marinade. Cook the vegetables for about 4 minutes per side.

Now for a great, light and fresh sauce to accompany our kebabs.
Greek Tzatziki Sauce:
can be made a day in advance
14 ounces Greek yogurt
1 English cucumber- finely shredded (seeded but not peeled)
1/4 cup sour cream
2 Tbs fresh lemon juice
1 Tbs white wine vinegar
1 Tbs fresh dill-minced
1-1/2 tsp garlic-minced
2 tsp kosher salt
1/2 tsp black pepper

Combine all the ingredients in a medium bowl.
Serve your kebabs with the tzatziki sauce on the side to dip the meat in. The combination of the cool fresh tzatziki and the rich marinated lamb is out of this world. Enjoy!!!

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Gluten Free Crack Pie

Today I bring you; (drum roll please.......................) another dessert. But this is not just A dessert, it is THE dessert. I bring you Crack Pie, slightly modified for gluten free enjoyment. Crack Pie is the dessert that all other desserts will now be compared to. For example; a friend may say:"Wow, I had this amazing chocolate cake for my birthday! My husband made the chocolate himself from scratch using organic cocoa beans flown in from South America. It was soooo amazing!!!" Then you would say; "Was it better than Crack Pie?" Your friend; " it was not."

Just for clarity, Crack Pie derives it name for the addictive nature of this dessert, not because of fissures forming as it bakes. I have never actually tried real crack cocaine, so I can't give you an accurate side by side comparison between Crack Pie and real crack. But here is my breakdown; real crack is a dirty little rock, crack pie is a brown monochromatic mess. I imagine real crack gives you a euphoric high, followed by crushing guilt and self loathing. Crack pie- same. Real crack-illegal, Crack Pie-legal for now. Real crack- need to find shady people to get a fix, Crack Pie- need to go to the grocery store. Enough already, lets make this thing.

I will warn you, if you are faint of heart, the butter and sugar quantities may cause palpitations.
Gluten Free Crack Pie
from Christina Tosi @ Momofuku Milk Bar modified to be GF
Oat Cookie for the Crust:
6 Tbs unsalted butter (room temp)
4 Tbs brown sugar
2 Tbs granulated sugar
1 egg
3/4 cup plus 2 Tbs GF oats (I use Bob's Red Mill)
1/2 cup GF flour mix
1/8 tsp baking powder
1/8 tsp baking soda
heaping 1/4 tsp salt
Oat cookie- crumbled
3 Tbs unsalted butter- melted
1-1/2 Tbs brown sugar
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1/2 brown sugar- packed
1 Tbs non fat dry milk powder
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter- melted
6-1/2 Tbs heavy whipping cream
4 large egg yolks
1 tsp vanilla
powdered sugar for dusting
Makes one 9inch diameter pie
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Start by making an oatmeal cookie for the crust. Using a stand mixer, combine 6 Tbs of room temp butter with 4 Tbs of brown sugar and 2 Tbs of white sugar. Mix until light and fluffy, about 2-3 minutes. Next, beat in one large egg.
In a separate bowl, combine the gluten free oats, 1/2 cup of gluten free flour mix, 1/8 tsp baking powder, 1/8 tsp baking soda, and a heaping 1/4 tsp of salt. Stir the dry ingredients a little at a time into the mixing bowl with the butter, sugar, and egg. Mix thoroughly. Line a 9x13 metal baking pan with parchment paper and spray it with nonstick spray. Spread the batter out evenly in the pan. This can be a little tricky because everything wants to slide around and the batter is pretty gooey. Do the best you can, if you have gaps or holes in the batter it's OK, everything will melt together as it bakes. Pop the cookie in the preheated oven for 17-18 minutes or until golden brown. My cookie baked for about 12-13 minutes. Remove the cookie from the oven and allow it to cool completely in the pan on a cooling rack. I mean it, don't sit there and pick at it, I know you'll want to.
When the cookie is completely cool, crumble it with your fingers into a medium sized bowl. Next, add 3 Tbs of melted butter and 1-1/2 Tbs of brown sugar. Mix everything together with your fingers and then press the mixture evenly into a 9inch baking pan, go up the sides as well.
For the filling; in a medium bowl, whisk together 3/4 cup of white sugar, 1/2 cup of packed brown sugar, 1 Tbs of nonfat dry milk powder (you can find this in the baking section of most groceries stores and it's cheap) and 1/4 tsp salt. Add 1 stick of melted butter and whisk until blended. Finally, add 6-1/2 Tbs whipping cream, 4 egg yolks, and 1 tsp of pure vanilla extract. Whisk until well blended.
Pour the filling into the crust. Place the pie dish on a rimmed baking sheet and into a preheated 350 degree F oven for 30 minutes. Reduce the oven temperature to 325 degrees F and continue baking for 15-20 minutes or until the filling is brown in spots and set around the edges but the center should move slightly when shaken gently.
Remove from the oven and allow to cool on a rack for at least 20 minutes. Dust with powdered sugar. Refrigerate any left overs.
Crack Pie is meant to be served cold. However, if you have no will power like me, it may not make it to the refrigerator in one piece. I think this pie is actually served best a little warm. It's not very pretty but trust me, one bite and you'll be hooked. Enjoy!!!