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Posts Tagged ‘Gluten-Free’

Luscious Spanish Rice

This is a simple and flavorful recipe for Spanish rice, a favorite in our family.  It is prepared by browning the rice first with onions and garlic, before cooking it in rich chicken stock and tomato.  The browning is essential to the nutty flavor of the rice.  While Elise at Simply Recipes says you can use chicken bouillon to flavor the cooking liquid, nothing will add the depth and richness of homemade stock.  Don’t let its simple appearance fool you – this side dish can certainly stand alone.  But, if you know us well, it’s usually a side to be served alongside fajitas or pulled meat, vegetables, and some spicy refried or whole beans.  Yup, that’s what for dinner tonight.

Spanish Rice adapted slightly from Simply Recipes

Ingredients

2 tbsp – 1/4 cup olive oil (you determine how much oil you wish to add)
1 onion, chopped fine
2 garlic clove, minced
2 cups of medium or long-grain white rice
3 cups chicken stock (or vegetable stock if vegetarian)
1 heaping tablespoon tomato paste or 1 cup of diced fresh or cooked tomatoes, strained
Pinch of oregano
1 bay leaf
1 tsp salt
1 chili pepper, minced (optional)

Directions

  1. In a large skillet brown rice in olive oil, medium/high heat.  Add onion and garlic.  Cook onion rice mixture, stirring frequently, about 4 minutes, or until onions are softened.  (If using chili pepper, add now.)
  2. In a separate sauce pan bring stock to a simmer.  Add tomato sauce, oregano, bay and salt.  Add rice to broth.  Bring to a simmer.  Cover.  Lower heat and cook 15-25 minutes, depending on the type of rice and the instructions on the rice package.  Turn off heat and let sit for 5 minutes.
  3. Note:  I find that a rice cooker also works well.  Simply place the toasted rice/onions in the rice cooker and add tomatoes, stock, etc.  Set it and forget it!

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Golden, tender, and coconut-packed with just a hint of sweetness, these are decadent and delicious.   And much healthier than a similar-tasting coconut macaroon (which I was dreaming about while I was flipping these).  Made with gluten-free coconut flour, these pancakes are high in fiber and packed with protein.  If you haven’t used coconut flour it is an absorbent flour with tremendous thickening power, so you’ll use much less of it than you would all-purpose or whole wheat flour.  Why, you ask?  Good-for-you fiber.  And we can all use more fiber, right?

Well, if you don’t need more fiber, I’ve also included a coconut pancake recipe sans coconut flour.  One of the most tender pancake recipes I’ve come across, these have an intoxicating coconut essence.  And I used light coconut milk.  I can only imagine how dessert-worthy these would be with luscious, coat-the-back-of-your-wooden-spoon, full-fat coconut milk.  Too sinful.

Note:  The pancake batter can be made ahead of time and stored in the refrigerator.  

 Coconut Flour Macaroon Pancakes, from Nourishing Days

Ingredients

4 eggs, room temperature
1 cup milk (regular, soy or coconut milk all work)
2 tsp vanilla extract
1 tbsp honey or agave nectar
1/2 cup coconut flour
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp sea salt
1/4 cup sweetened or unsweetened shredded coconut, toasted (optional)
Coconut oil, canola oil, or butter for frying

Directions

  1. Preheat griddle over medium-low heat. In a small bowl beat eggs until frothy, about two minutes. Mix in milk, vanilla, and honey or stevia.
  2. In a medium-sized bowl combine coconut flour, baking soda, and sea salt and whisk together.  Stir wet mixture into dry until coconut flour is incorporated.  Add shredded coconut.
  3. Grease pan with butter or oil.  Turn head to medium or medium-high.  Ladle a few tablespoons of batter into pan for each pancake.  Spread out slightly with the back of a spoon. The pancakes should be 2-3 inches in diameter and fairly thick.  Cook for a few minutes on each side, until the tops dry out slightly and the bottoms start to brown.  Flip and cook an additional 2-3 minutes.
  4. Serve hot with your choice of toppings.

Coconut Pancakes, adapted from Cooking Light

Ingredients

1 cup all-purpose flour (or white whole wheat flour or a mix)
1 tbsp honey or agave nectar
2 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1 cup light coconut milk (regular coconut milk would be more decadent)
1 1/2 tbsp canola oil
1 egg
1/4 cup sweetened or unsweetened shredded coconut, toasted (optional)

Directions

  1. Whisk together coconut milk, canola oil, and egg.  Combine with dry ingredients.  Cook as usual for pancakes – except that these brown faster than typical pancakes. 

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I’ve spoken fondly of the much-maligned cauliflower.  Truth is, as much as I adore the common white variety, my heart skips a beat when I come across the striking purple, orange, and Romesco varieties.  Today, the little fingers in my kitchen selected a beautiful head of orange cauliflower.  In shape alone, it resembles any old cauliflower.  But it’s color – ranging from coral to sunburst orange - is anything but pedestrian.  The hue comes from extra beta-carotene naturally stored in its florets (which also gives this cauliflower 25 percent more vitamin A than the more common white variety).  It tastes slightly more sugary and creamier than its cousin and it’s an easy way to surprise and delight the little ones (or your dinner guests). 

Inspired by my friend, Rani, who swears Indian cooking is simple to prepare, I paired the beautiful orange cauliflower with sweet potatoes and savory, sense-awakening spices.  Perfect for a hot day in May!

(We had some great shots of Rice Kernel breaking up the head of cauliflower and of the finished dish.  Then the memory stick in the camera decided to fail.  My phone captured the remants of the dish…. hardly does it justice!)

Indian-Spiced Orange Cauliflower and Sweet Potatoes, adapted from Epicurious

1 (1 3/4-lb) head cauliflower, cut into 3/4-inch-wide florets (I used orange cauliflower)
1 lb sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch cubes (I used Japanese sweet potatoes)
3 tbsp vegetable oil
1/2 tsp cumin seeds
3/4 tsp salt
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
2 tsp minced fresh jalapeño, including seeds
2 tsp minced peeled fresh ginger
1 tsp ground cumin
1/2 tsp ground coriander
1/4 tsp turmeric
1/4 tsp cayenne

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees F.
  2. Toss cauliflower and potatoes together in a bowl with 2 tablespoons oil, cumin seeds, and1/4 teaspoon salt.  Spread on baking pan and roast, stirring occasionally, until cauliflower is tender and browned in spots and potatoes are just tender, about 15-20 minutes.
  3. While vegetables are roasting, cook garlic, jalapeño, and ginger in remaining tablespoon of oil in a skillet over moderate heat, stirring frequently, until garlic loses its pungency, about 2-3 minutes.  Add ground cumin, coriander, turmeric, cayenne, and remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt and cook, stirring constantly, 2 minutes.  Stir in a splash of water or stock (about 1/8 cup to 1/4 cup), scraping up any brown bits from bottom of skillet.  Then stir in roasted vegetables.  Cook, covered for another 1-2 minutes and serve.

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Several large storms sidelined our trip to Lake Tahoe this past weekend.  We were planning to go with friends who, earlier in the week, had stocked up on groceries in anticipation of the the trip.  (Four boys and two sets of parents.  Plenty of mouths to feed.)  With the trip cancelled and the skies fully opened and dumping rain in the Bay Area, we decided to have pajama day and a potluck.  I threw open the pantry and knew this would be the perfect rainy day dessert.

Mochi is sweet glutinous rice flour.  Someone probably intended to call it “gluttonous” rice flour but mispelled it.  It is the key ingredient and it cannot be substituted.  Really, no substitutions.  I used Koda Farms Mochiko, which is a Japanese American family-owned farm in California.  You can find it in most grocery and health food stores (it’s gluten free), including Safeway and Whole Foods.  It’s great for savory or sweet dishes and is often used as a thickening agent. 

The preparation of this cake is as simple as it gets – dump, whisk, and bake.  It does take significantly longer than a standard cake in the oven, however, clocking in at one and a half hours.  Place it in the oven, walk away, and enjoy the sweet custard smell permeate the house. 

The result is delicious in taste and texture.  The coconut milk and eggs add a rich, creamy flavor and the texture is delicately chewy with a crunchy edge.  FHE suggested a topping or filling and my neighbors concurred.  (FHE topped his share with pistachio gelato tonight.)  To stay with the Asian profile, next time I’ll add a middle layer of red bean paste and a green tea frosting.  But even in pure form, good luck practicing self-restraint when faced with a pan of these chewy bars.  It’s not easy.  What is easy is whipping up a batch.  Which I encourage you to do. 

Sweet Rice-Flour and Coconut Cake, adapted from Gourmet Magazine, May 2005

Ingredients

3 cups mochiko (sweet glutinous rice flour; 1 lb)
2 1/2 cups granulated sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 (14-oz) cans unsweetened coconut milk (I used low-fat; the original recipe calls for full-fat)
4 large eggs (original recipe uses 5, but I found it a bit too eggy)
1/2 stick (1/4 cup) unsalted butter, melted and cooled
1 teaspoon vanilla

Directions

  1. Put oven rack in middle position and preheat oven to 350°F.
  2. Whisk together mochiko, sugar, baking powder, and salt in a large bowl.  Whisk together coconut milk, eggs, butter, and vanilla in another bowl.  Add coconut mixture to flour mixture, whisking until batter is combined.
  3. Pour batter into an ungreased 13- by 9-inch baking pan, smoothing top, and bake until top is golden and cake begins to pull away from sides of pan, about 1 1/2 hours.
  4. Cool cake completely in pan on a rack, about 2 hours.  Cut mochi into 24 squares before serving.  Leftovers will keep, covered and chilled, 3 days.

Matcha Green Tea Frosting, adapted from Cupcake Bakeshop

Ingredients

2 sticks butter, softened at room temperature
1/4 cup heavy cream or half-and-half
1 tbsp matcha green tea powder
3 cups confectioners sugar, sifted

Directions

  1. In the bowl of an electric mixer, whip butter until fluffy.
  2. In a small bowl, mix cream and matcha until well combined.
  3. To the electric mixer, add 1 cup sugar and beat until combined. Scrape down bowl, then add 1/3 of the cream-matcha mixture. Beat to combine, scrape down bowl, then add another cup of sugar. Continue alternating until you have used up all of the remaining ingredients. Turn the mixer to high, and whip until frosting is light and fluffy.
  4. Top on fully cooled cake.

 

Red Bean Filling

Ingredients
1 jar Red Bean Paste (found at Asian supermarkets)
1/2 cup confectioner’s sugar
2 tbsp heavy whipping cream

Directions

  1. Whip ingredients together until a frosting-like consistency is reached.  Add additional sugar if necessary.
  2. After preparing the cake batter, spoon 2/3 of the batter in the pan.  Then carefully add the red bean filling.  Top with remaining 1/3 of the batter.  Bake as directed.

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