Thursday, July 29, 2010

Cottage Biscotti

Cottage Biscotti
Gluten-Free, Dairy-Free, Yeast-Free, Corn-Free, Soy-Free, Peanut-Free

One rainy afternoon at our cottage, Cottage Biscotti was born! This is great on its own, or dip it in an icing glaze or dark chocolate glaze.

3/4 cup brown rice flour (or potato flour)
1/4 cup almond flour
3 tbsp tapioca starch
2 tbsp arrowroot flour
3/4 tsp guar gum
1/2 tsp gluten free baking powder
1/4 tsp sea salt

2 whole eggs (or 3 egg whites)
1/2 cup sugar
2 tbsp sunflower oil
2 tbsp rice milk

Nuts and Fruit
1/3 cup prunes, pitted and finely chopped (or use other dried fruit of choice)
1 cup pecans, coarsely chopped (or use other nuts of choice)

Optional Icing Glaze
1 cup icing sugar (corn and gluten-free)
1 tsp almond extract
1 tbsp rice milk

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F. Oil an 8 X 8 inch baking dish with sunflower oil and set aside. Line a baking sheet with baking parchment and set aside.

In a medium bowl, blend all dry ingredients well using a whisk. Set aside.

In a large bowl, using an electric mixer, beat the wet ingredients until blended. Add the dry ingredients to the wet a little at a time. The batter will be VERY thick. Fold in the nuts and fruit using a spatula and distribute evenly. Press the mixture into the prepared baking dish as evenly as possible and bake for 30 - 35 minutes or until the top just begins to turn brown. Remove from oven and cool for about 5 minutes.

Slice the layer of biscotti into three equal pieces in the pan. Remove each section from the pan and cut it again, on the short side, into four pieces, each 2 inches wide. In all you should have approximately 16 pieces.

Place each piece, wide side down on the lined baking sheet and continue baking for about 15 minutes or until they are crisp (could take a bit longer depending on humidity).

Icing Glaze
In a small mixing bowl, combine corn-free icing sugar, almond extract and rice milk. Stir it until it is smooth (all lumps are absorbed). If the glaze is too thick for dipping, add 1 tsp of rice milk at a time until it is thin enough to coat the biscotti, but not so thin that it drips off.

When the biscotti is cool, dip each one into the glaze coating only 1/2 of it (one end). The uncoated end can be used to handle the cookie. Place each one on a wire rack or a parchment lined cookie sheet to dry. If desired, melted chocolate can be used to dip the biscotti instead of using the icing glaze.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Cheese-Like Sauce

Cheese-Like Sauce
Gluten-Free, Dairy-Free, Yeast-Free, Corn-Free, Soy-Free, Peanut-Free

This is a great recipe for making about 1/2 cup of cheese-like sauce to have over vegetables or on pasta. It is a favourite of my little girl and her dad. For adults, get adventurous and use more spices to give it some zing!

1/2 cup rice milk
2 slices vegan rice cheese
2 tsp tapioca flour
1/4 tsp dried mustard
Sea salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
**Optional: a pinch (1/8 tsp) of any of the following onion powder, garlic powder, celery salt, ground fennel seed

Heat the rice milk to hot (not boiling) either in a small pot over medium heat, or in a large cup in the microwave on high for about 30 seconds. Add the "cheese" and dry mustard (and any other spices) and heat again until the cheese is mostly melted (about 20 seconds in the microwave). Remove about 3 tablespoons of the hot liquid and place in a small cup or bowl. Add the tapioca flour to the cup and stir until it is fully absorbed by the hot liquid in the cup and there are no lumps. Stir the mixture back into the pot of "cheese" sauce and continue to heat until the mixture thickens (about 20 seconds in the microwave, stirring after 10 seconds). Adjust the seasoning with sea salt and freshly ground pepper.
Note: There is no need to boil the sauce to thicken it.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Duck Soup

Duck Soup
Gluten-Free, Dairy-Free, Yeast-Free, Corn-Free, Peanut-Free
** Does contain gluten-free soy sauce

This very robust soup has a lot of wonderful flavour (many of the same spices used in the duck patties), but it is not a hearty (thick) soup. It can be used as an appetizer, or paired with gluten-free bread and a salad to make a complete meal.

This recipe is best made over two days. The first day, make the broth and cook the duck meat. The second day, skim the fat off of the broth (and discard), and continue to prepare the soup. This is a great recipe to make to use up all the left over duck parts after making duck patties (if you start with a whole duck).

1 duck, uncooked (or the leftover, uncooked parts from making duck patties will do)

3 cloves garlic, chopped
1 onion, coarsely chopped
2 stalks celery, chopped up
1/4 tsp peppercorns, whole
1+1/2 tsps sea salt (or to taste)
1/4 tsp cloves, ground
2" x 2" piece of fresh ginger, chopped into small pieces
1 tbsp soy sauce (gluten-free)
Freshly ground pepper to taste

Add near the end of cooking
1+1/2 tsp fennel seed, finely chopped or crushed (also called anise)
2 fresh plums, peeled and cut into thin slices
Duck meat

Just before serving add...
3 cups cooked rice (white or wild)

Day 1. Cover the fresh (uncooked) duck meat with water in small stock part or large dutch oven. Bring the water to a slow boil over medium-high heat, skimming the foam off from time to time. When the water has boiled, turn down the heat to medium-low, and continue to simmer for 1 + 1/2 hours. The meat should be cooked through. Do not add sea salt to the water while simmering.

Cool the broth, strain the meat and bones out of it using a colander over top of a large bowl, and refrigerate overnight. Cool the duck meat and refrigerate overnight discarding any large bones and large pieces of skin/fat.

Day 2. Skim the cold, congealed fat off the broth and discard (unless you have another use for it). return it to a large pot over medium heat. Add the chopped onion, and all the other seasonings to the pot. Reduce heat and simmer for 2 hours. Strain the seasonings from the soup (using a colander and large bowl) and return it to the soup pot again.

While the broth is simmering, strip any usable duck meat from the bones, cut into bite sized pieces and reserve.

Add the reserved duck meat, plum slices and crushed fennel seed to the strained soup and simmer for 20 minutes. Taste the soup and adjust the seasonings if necessary.

Just before serving, add the rice to the pot. If you think you will have leftover soup, do not add the rice to the pot, place a little in each bowl before serving. The rice will soak up any leftover broth if left in it long enough (like overnight).

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Duck Patties

Duck Patties
Gluten-Free, Dairy-Free, Yeast-Free, Corn-Free, Peanut-Free
** Does contain gluten-free soy sauce

I have always been a fan of duck, but have never been terribly adventurous in preparing it. I came across a recipe for duck burgers and simply had to try to adapt it for our life-style. The result was absolutely delicious. If you are cost conscious, purchase a whole duck (not just the expensive boneless breast meat), remove the breast meat for this recipe, and make soup with the remaining parts!

2 duck breasts, boneless
1/3 cup crispy rice cereal (gluten free), crushed

1/4 of a small onion, chopped very finely
1 tsp fresh ginger, grated
1 tsp soy sauce, gluten free
1 tsp garlic, minced
1/4 tsp fennel seed, crushed or finely chopped
1/8 tsp cloves, ground
Sea salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

Cut the duck breasts into quarters, but leave the skin on. Place the duck chunks into a food processor and pulse only until the the meat is chopped up, but not a mushy paste. If there are large chunks of skin or fat that are not processed, take them out and discard them. Put the chopped duck in a medium sized bowl.

Add all the seasonings to the bowl and blend well. Add the sea salt and pepper to taste, last. There is quite a bit of flavour already, so use sparingly.

Finally, fold in the rice crumbs a little at a time to help combine the duck bits and make it easier to handle. Form 6 small patties with the mixture and place them in a medium sized skillet over medium heat.

As the skin and fat were left on during processing, there will be plenty of oil in the pan before long. You may want to drain some of it off during cooking. Brown well on one side, then flip and brown the other. Do not turn more than once as the patties may fall apart. Cook for about 5-7 minutes, or until they are cooked through.

Serve with rice, on a bun (like Joel's burger buns), or make them smaller and serve them as appetizers.

Monday, July 12, 2010

Sydney's Mac and Cheese-Like

Sydney's Mac and Cheese-Like
Gluten-Free, Dairy-Free, Yeast-Free, Corn-Free, Soy-Free, Peanut-Free

This was an instant hit with my little girl. She especially liked the rice crumbs on top. The sauce does have a light, cheesy flavour to it, even though it is dairy and soy-free!

450 gms rice pasta (elbows or shells work well)
1 cup frozen peas

1 small onion, finely minced
2 tbsp olive oil
3 tbsp tapioca flour
1 tsp dry mustard powder
2+1/4 cups rice milk
3/4 cup non-dairy, rice cheese (no soy) - I used 7 of the sandwich slices.
1/4 tsp nutmeg, ground
1 tsp sea salt
Pepper to taste

1 cup crispie rice cereal (gluten free), crushed

Pre-heat oven to 325 degrees F. Oil a medium sized baking dish with olive oil.

Bring a large pot of water to a boil and cook the rice pasta according to the directions. Cook only until tender, but firm. When done, rinse under warm water to remove the starch and pour into a large bowl. Add the frozen peas and set aside.

In a medium sized pot over medium heat, add the olive oil. When hot, cook the minced onion until it is tender, then add the mustard. Slowly whisk in the rice milk and nutmeg and heat until warm. Add the rice "cheese" and continue stirring until it melts, and the sauce begins to get hot.

To thicken the sauce, remove 4 tablespoons of the sauce and place it in a small bowl or cup. Add the tapioca flour and stir until the flour is fully absorbed and there are no lumps. Whisk the tapioca mixture back into the "cheese sauce" and stir gently until it gets hot and thickens. Season with 1 tsp sea salt and add pepper to taste.

Pour the sauce all over the pasta mixture and toss lightly until it is well coated. Pour the entire mixture into the prepared baking dish and top with the crushed rice cereal.

Bake for 20 minutes to allow the "cheese" sauce to absorb and the frozen peas to heat up.

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Sydney's Endless Energy Bars

Sydney's Endless Energy Bars
Gluten-Free, Dairy-Free, Yeast-Free, Corn-Free, Soy-Free, Peanut-Free

There are a lot of gluten-free energy bars on the market, but we haven't found many that our little girl, or her dad enjoy. These "eat" more like rice crispy squares, but are packed with protein and fruit, and none of the sugar!

Dry Ingredients
4 cups crispy rice cereal, gluten free
1+1/4 cups pecan pieces, no salt
1/8 cup sunflower seeds, roasted, no salt
1/8 cup pumpkin seeds (also called pepitas), no salt
3/4 cup freeze dried strawberries, chopped up
1/4 cup mixed berry fruit bar, cut in to very small pieces (no sugar added)

3/4 cup brown rice syrup
3/4 cup almond butter
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 tsp sea salt

Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper (not waxed paper!)
In a very large bowl, add all the dry ingredients and toss together thoroughly.
In a small saucepan, add the brown rice syrup and almond butter and mix together well over medium-low heat. Continue to stir until the sauce has melted and begins to bubble - watch that the mixture does not scorch. Continue to cook and stir for one more minute. Remove from head and add the vanilla and salt.

Drizzle the hot sauce over the dry mixture and combine quickly using a large spatula. Work quickly as the sauce cools and thickens fast. When the dry mixture is thoroughly coated with the sauce, scrape the mixture onto the prepared baking sheet. Spread the mixture as evenly as possible over the entire sheet.

To flatten the mixture, cover them with waxed paper (or parchment) and use a rolling pin. Leave the waxed paper on and chill the entire sheet for about 2 hours. When chilled, cut them into energy bar sized pieces (using either a knife or pizza cutter), and store them in a covered container in the refrigerator with waxed paper between each one, or insert each into a snack bag sized baggie, so they are ready to grab and go.

Yield 16 large or 32 small bars.

Rosemary & Apple Roast Chicken

Rosemary & Apple Roast Chicken
Gluten-Free, Dairy-Free, Yeast-Free, Corn-Free, Soy-Free, Peanut-Free

This flavourful chicken is perfect for family dinners or entertaining!

1 whole chicken
1 large onion, coarsely chopped
3 Granny Smith apples, cored and sliced with the skin on
3-4 springs of fresh rosemary

Flavoured Coating
1/4 cup olive oil
1/4 cup apple juice
1 tbsp maple syrup
1/4 tsp freshly ground pepper
1/4 tsp sea salt
1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
1/8 tsp ground cloves

Additional spice for sprinkling over the apples.
Optional: 2 tsp tapioca starch for thickening gravy

Preheat the oven to 475 degrees F. Have the bottom half of a roasting pan ready with a rack in the bottom. Prepare the chicken by removing any giblets and rinsing it under cold water. Pat it dry with paper towels (and discard the towels).

Flavoured Coating
In a small bowl or measuring cup, combine all the ingredients for the flavoured coating well using a fork. Put several pieces of apple and onion into the cavity of the chicken. Truss the legs to keep the onion and apple inside.

With a cooking brush, brush the flavoured coating all over the chicken and drip some inside the chicken too. It is fairly thick so it should stick well.

Place the chicken, breast side up in the roasting pan (on top of the rack) and pour any remaining coating over the chicken. Adjust the seasonings (additional sea salt and freshly ground pepper) if desired. Place the remaining apple slices and onion pieces around the chicken, and sprinkle cinnamon, nutmeg and ground cloves over them. Carefully pour 1 cup of water into the bottom of the pan. Break the sprigs of rosemary into large pieces and place some directly onto the top of the chicken, and some into the bottom of the roasting pan with the water.

Put the roasting pan, uncovered, into the oven and roast for 20 minutes at 475 degrees to seal in the juices, then reduce the temperature to 325 minutes for an additional 1 +1/2 hours, or until the chicken is cooked through and the juices run clear.

**Hint: I like to baste the chicken every 30 minutes or so, and make sure there is liquid in the bottom of the pan for making gravy or au jus. If too much has evaporated, add 1/2 cup at a time.

At the end of cooking, the liquid in the bottom of the pan will be very flavourful (fruity and spicy) and likely does not need flavour added. If you wish to thicken the liquid for gravy, drain it into a small pot through a sieve or strainer to remove the rosemary leaves and cook over medium heat. Remove 4 tbsp of the hot liquid and add 2-3 tsps of tapioca flour. Stir until the flour as been absorbed and there are no lumps. Whisk the tapioca mixture back into the gravy and stir while it is cooking until it begins to thicken.

Chicken Shish-Kabob

Chicken Shish-Kabob
Gluten-Free, Dairy-Free, Yeast-Free, Corn-Free, Soy-Free**, Peanut-Free

Tired of burgers? Shish-Kabobs are a great alternative. Let each dinner guest prepare their own kabobs, then they get exactly what they want! Even kids like to make their own.

2 boneless chicken breasts, cut into 1 inch chunks (approx.)
8 baby potatoes, skin on
1/2 green pepper, cut into large chunks
1/2 yellow pepper, cut into large chunks
1/2 red pepper, cut into large chunks
8 grape tomatoes
(add or substitute any other veggies or fruit you like that can be barbecued)
3 tbsp olive oil
Sea Salt and Freshly ground pepper

**Optional marinade: 1/4 cup soy sauce, gluten free
1/4 cup water

Before the barbecue, gather 8-10 skewers. If you are using wooden skewers, submerge them in water for at least an hour to prevent them from burning on the barbecue. If you wish to marinate the chicken before barbecuing it, place the chicken in a bowl and add the soy sauce and water. Cover and let stand in the refrigerator for one hour.

Boil the baby potatoes until they are tender (they give when you squeeze them) before the barbecue. This can even be done the day before. Allow them to cool .

In the meantime, prepare all the vegetables (and/or fruit) for skewering. On a small plate or in a tiny bowl, mix the olive oil with some sea salt and freshly ground pepper. Arrange all the items to skewer to make it easy for the dinner guests to reach them.

When the chicken is ready, invite the dinner guests to wash their hands, then grab 2 skewers and pierce and slide onto the skewers the items of their choice. Remind your guests to take note of what they put on their skewers so they will get the right one back after they are cooked! When they are finished their creations, using a basting brush, lightly brush on the oil and seasonings mixture. This is very important to prevent the chicken from sticking to the grill. Cook the kabobs about 12-15 minutes, or until the chicken is cooked through.

Serve with rice or a salad.