Sunday, January 13, 2013

Chicken Thighs Braised with Bacon, Shallots, and Riesling

This is so good for wintertime! Christy had me over for dinner and made it. (She will have to edit this and add any specific cook's notes as needed.) Sooo yummy with braised collards on the side. We got this from a Williams Sonoma Cookbook.

serves 6-8

12 red pearl onions
4 lbs whole chicken thighs, bone in, skin-on
sea salt and black pepper
4 slices thick-cut no-nitrate bacon
12 small carrots
2 shallots, minced
2 c Riesling
3 Tbsp unsalted butter at room temperature
3 Tbsp flour
1 1/2 tsp fresh thyme leaves

1. Blanch pearl onions 2 minutes. Drain and rinse the onions. Slip skins off (cut base, not tips) of onions. Cook bacon in a dutch oven until crisp. Remove bacon and set aside.
2. Season chicken with sea salt and pepper. Over med-high heat, cook chicken in bacon fat in the dutch oven, browning on all sides, about 5 minutes per batch. Remove and put chicken on a platter.
3. In the dutch oven, cook onions and carrots 3 minutes. Add shallots and cook until soft, about 1 minute. Add 2 cups Riesling, bring to a boil over high heat. Add chicken, cover; simmer over med-low for 35 minutes.
4. In a heat-proof bowl, mash the butter and flour to form a thick paste. Gradually whisk 1 cup of the cooking juices into the paste. Pour into pot. Add stock if it needs a little more liquid, and simmer until chicken is done (no pink).
5. Move chicken and vegetables to a serving platter. Crumble the cooked bacon and fresh thyme leaves over the chicken, and serve with mashed root vegetables and braised collard greens.

Monday, May 23, 2011

Kasha with Dried Cranberries and Toasted Almonds

Love this...the scents when it is toasting/cooking are so amazing, and the flavor is even better. :)

makes 2 servings

1 Tbsp unsalted butter + a little more for melting over cereal when served if desired
½ c kasha
1/3 c fresh cranberries or 1/4 c dried
1 c water
1/3 c toasted almonds

Melt butter in nonstick saucepan over high heat. Add kasha and cranberries, stir and lightly toast about 2 minutes. Add water; bring to boil. Reduce heat, and simmer, covered, 10 minutes till kasha is tender. Do not overcook kasha. Let sit 5 minutes before serving. Sprinkle w/toasted almonds and serve immediately.

Notes: Kasha is roasted buckwheat, and is a gluten-free grain. Here is a link on amazon (Christy mentioned it being hard to find) in case you can't find any. If you like, you can try toasting the kasha in oil rather than butter, or I actually did it in a nonstick pan without any oil/butter to make it dairy-free.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Best Gluten-Free Products

Several people have asked me to post the gluten-free products that we enjoy. I haven't sampled every gluten-free product in the world, but I've tried a lot--some disgusting, some delicious! Here's the best of the products we've tried, divided into different categories. As a general rule, these are products we've found that people enjoy whether or not they have to restrict themselves to a gluten-free diet. Also, as a general, we have not enjoyed any products with bean flours but far prefer rice-flour, tapioca, and potato starch products.

Best All-Purpose Flour
Better Batter (dairy-free)

This flour is truly amazing. I have only begun to experiment with it, so it may replace some of my other mixes in the future. For now, I can say that it is by far the best flour or mix for any recipe that needs to be rolled out: pie crust, cinnamon rolls, sugar cookies, etc. And it tastes absolutely delicious. I recently made yeast rolls with it using nothing more than the flour, water, yeast, and salt, and the rolls turned out crunchy on the outside and chewy on the inside; the texture inside even had the stretchy bubbles of air characteristic of gluten grains! Yum! I can't wait to try it for pizza crust.

One piece of advice I would give is to use the recipes on the Better Batter website rather than trying to substitute the flour into recipes that normally contain gluten. I tried substituting it in a couple of gluten recipes with moderate results. But every recipe I've tried from their website has been fantastic.

Best Quick Rise Baking Mix
Pamela's Baking and Pancake Mix (contains dairy)

This mix makes the best pancakes; Belgian waffles (absolutely delicious! Follow the recipe on the back of the bag. My husband, who can eat gluten, loves them); quick breads like banana bread, zucchini bread, pumpkin bread, and muffins; coffee cake (you MUST try this recipe from Pamela's website, only I usually cut the sugar in half); and cookies (check out my recipe for oatmeal chocolate chip cookies).

Best Sandwich Bread

With dairy: Against the Grain Rolls
Without dairy: Udi's bread (pre-made) or Pamela's Gluten-Free Bread Mix (works great in a bread maker)

Best Pasta
Tinkyda Brown Rice Pasta

Best English Muffins
Food for Life Wheat and Gluten-Free Brown Rice English Muffins

Best Oatmeal

McCann's Steel Cut Oats

Yes, oatmeal can be gluten-free. We have had trouble with all other oatmeals, even the ones that are labeled gluten-free. McCann's has been great and a wonderful addition to our breakfast choices. We like the 5-minute quick cooking oatmeal.

Best Pizza Crust
Gluten-Free Pantry French Bread and Pizza Mix

My family loves our homemade pizza. It outshines every store-bought GF pizza we've ever tried (Udi's, Against the Grain, Uno's, etc.). But I'm looking forward to trying pizza with Better Batter, which may even be better since it's such a great flour for rolling out.

Best Chocolate Cake Mix
Gluten-Free Pantry Decadent Chocolate Cake Mix

This cake mix used to have a recipe on it that included 1 cup of yogurt or buttermilk. I highly recommend adding yogurt or buttermilk to the recipe as it makes an exceptionally moist cake and enhances the flavor of the chocolate. My husband and neighbors (none of whom eat gluten-free) love this cake.

Best Vanilla/White Cake Mix

Bob's Red Mill Gluten Free Vanilla Cake Mix

We love the lightness and sponginess of the texture of this cake. We've made it for many a birthday party and all the kids, gluten-free or not, gobble them up happily. The mix is an exception to many of Bob's Red Mill gluten-free products which we generally do not like because of the bean flour this brand often uses.

Best Prezels


They taste like regular prezels!

(This is a note from Kate now; sorry for the confusion! I told Christy I would link these Gluten-Free Dinner Rolls for her. She has tried them as well, and thinks they are delicious. :) They are made from my favorite pizza crust mix; the Pamela's Gluten Free Bread Mix.)

Friday, November 27, 2009

Orange Walnut Salad

I served this salad at Thanksgiving this year, and it was delicious! For a special salad, a great rule of thumb is start with a base of excellent, organic greens and serve with a fruit, nut, and cheese that compliment each other. For this salad, I used oranges, walnuts, and sharp cheddar. You might try cranberries, pecans, and chevre (or other soft goat cheese). Another favorite combination is pears, pecans, and smoked Gouda. Let your imagine run wild! Then pair it with a homemade vinaigrette that enhances the flavors you've chosen for your salad. With this salad, I used orange champagne vinegar to compliment the oranges in the salad. The basic rule of thumb for vinaigrette is Dijon mustard mixed with a 3 to 1 ration of oil to vinegar (or as much as a 5 to 1 ratio). Follow the directions below for making a vinaigrette from any kind of vinegar.

baby romaine or spring mix, pre-washed and ready-to-serve
1 bag candied walnuts (from Trader Joe's)
4 oz. Organic Valley sharp cheddar cheese, cut into chunks
2 oranges, peeled and cut into slices
Orange Champagne Vinaigrette (see recipe below).

Combine all ingredients in large salad bowl. Toss with vinaigrette.

Orange Champagne Vinaigrette

1/2 tsp Dijon mustard
1 Tbls Trader Joe's Orange Muscat Champagne Vinegar
3 to 5 Tbls extra virgin olive oil

1. Dip tines of fork into Dijon mustard (should be about 1/2 tsp). In a small, shallow bowl, whisk vinegar and mustard together until combined.
3. Slowly pour oil into the mustard and vinegar mixture, constantly whisking the oil with the fork as you pour into order to emulsify the oil. This method makes a creamy, thickened dressing but you must take care to add the oil very slowly in a very thin stream.