Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Shiitake Bruschetta for #FoodieExtravaganza



This month, for #FoodieExtravaganza, Wendy of A Day in the Life on the Farm is hosting. She picked mushrooms as our theme. Yum I love mushrooms. I had initially hoped to use a variety of wild mushroom, but when it came time to make the dish, I only had shiitake mushrooms at my fingertips.

If you are a blogger and you're interested in joining in the fun, visit us at our Facebook Foodie Extravaganza page. You can also visit our past party submissions on our Pinterest Foodie Extravaganza board . We hope you will enjoy the recipes we are sharing this month.

Just look at all the wonderful Mushroom recipes being shared today!



The key to making this dish is to crisp the mushrooms. Here's How to Crisp Mushrooms

Ingredients
  • mushrooms, crisped
  • bread, thinly sliced (I used a gluten-free baguette for my Love)
  • savory jam (I used a smoky bacon-tomato jam)
  • parmesan cheese, thinly sliced
  • freshly ground salt
  • freshly ground pepper

Procedure
Lightly toast the bread. Then, assemble: bread, jam, cheese, jam, and mushrooms. That's all there is to it. Sprinkle with salt and pepper just before serving.

Monday, August 31, 2015

Gluten-Free Pannekoeken


Yesterday we added dairy back into our lives as Jake decided he's going to continue gluten-free but wanted to ease back into dairy and see how it goes. First up: the boys asked for pannekoeken with whipped cream. Yes! The gluten-free flour made the pannekoeken a little bit more gummy than ususal, but it still puffed up nicely. I simmered some almost-ready-to-turn apricots into a quick sauce. Delish....

Ingredients

  • 2/3 C milk
  • 3 eggs
  • 2 T salted butter, melted
  • 1 t apricot brandy (or pure vanilla extract)
  • caviar from one vanilla bean
  • 1/4 t baking powder
  • 2/3 C gluten-free flour (blend your own or I used Glutino*)
  • whipped cream, for serving
  • apricot jam, for serving

Procedure
Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Butter a baking dish and set aside. In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the milk, eggs, melted butter, vanilla caviar, and apricot brandy. Blend in the flour and baking powder. Whisk for a full minute.

Pour the batter into your prepared dish and bake until the pannekoeken is puffed and golden, approximately 30 to 35 minutes. Cut into slices and serve with smear of apricot jam and a dollop of whipped cream.

*Below is an affiliate link for some of the products I used in this recipe. If you choose to purchase this way, I do receive a small portion of the sale.

Sunday, August 30, 2015

SRC Tailgate Reveal: Baked Mac'N'Cheese Balls


The Secret Recipe Club has started a new - fifth Monday - event that blurs the lines between the groups. You can be assigned to any other participating blogger in groups A through D. Naturally, I jumped right in.



Our theme this month: Tailgate Eats. I was assigned to Burnt Apple, a blog written by Traci. This is a totally new-to-me blog. Woohoo.

I chuckled aloud at her story about why 'burnt' is part of her blog name. She shares: "Twelve years ago, my husband threw one of my muffin creations at the wall of our apartment and made it go right through the wall. ...I couldn’t cook to save my life. I hated cooking and we ate out at least three days a week." I love that she is an admitted master recipe manipulator, making recipes healthier and still great-tasting. That is an art!

I feel I should admit that I don't tailgate. I'm not a big sports fan. But I can always get behind any gathering that involves food. So, I imagined what I would want to eat huddled around a parking lot while drinking beer out of cozies. Her Honey Garlic Meatballs, Southwest Deviled Eggs, Ultimate Beef Nachos all caught my eye. But in the end, I decided to make a version of her Baked Macaroni and Cheese Balls. I love that her recipe includes pureed butternut squash. It's almost pumpkin season; I'll definitely make this again with pumpkin puree! I did have to change somethings around to make this gluten-free and dairy-free for my husband.


Ingredients
  • 12 ounce package elbow macaroni (I used Bionaturae's organic gluten-free pasta)
  • 1 C pureed butternut squash
  • 3/4 C chicken broth
  • 3/4 C milk (I used my homemade hazelnut milk)
  • 1/4 t pepper
  • 1/2 t salt
  • 1 C cheddar cheese (I used Daiya's cheddar style shreds)
  • 1/4 C parmesan cheese (I used GoVeggie!'s parmesan style topping)
  • 1/2 C flour + 1 T (I used Glutino's all-purpose gluten-free flour)
  • 2 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1 C bread crumbs (I used Ian's gluten-free panko breadcrumbs)
  • 4 T olive oil

Procedure
Cook macaroni according to package directions. Drain, then set aside.

In a saucepan, combine the pureed squash, broth, milk, pepper, salt and 1 T flour over medium heat. Heat until it boils, then reduce heat to low and slowly stir in cheeses. Once cheese is melted, stir in the pasta and coat in the cheese mixture. Place mac'n'cheese in the fridge to cool. 

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F. Place the flour, eggs, and breadcrumbs in three separate bowls on your counter, then make tablespoon-sized balls out of the mac'n'cheese. Dredge each ball completely in the flour, then the eggs, then the breadcrumbs. Place the balls on parchment-lined baking sheets.


Place the balls into the oven and cook at 425 degrees for 10 minutes. After 10 minutes, flip each ball to the other side to allow for even cooking. Cook for an additional 10 minutes. For crispier ball, turn the broiler on and broil them for an additional thirty seconds to a minute after cooking before flipping and broiling on the other side. The balls are done when crisped and browned.


Remove from the oven and serve warm with marinara sauce.

The first time I made these, I sent a photo to a friend. He requested them for a potluck dinner we were attending with some friends from high school. Done. These were a hit then, too.

Friday, August 28, 2015

The Science of Cooking with a Food Writer & an Engineer

One of the benefits of having a best friend whose kid attends school with my kids: we can co-teach a class! Our boys' school has 6-week elective courses that are volunteer-led called SEMs or Schoolwide Enrichment Models. I've taught several through the years; Jenn is new to the SEM world since this is the first year that G can take one. So, she wanted to teach together. Perfect. Naturally it has to involve food...and science.


To include all three of our kids, this is going to be an all grades class. Yikes! I've never had the span of 1st graders to 8th graders. This will be a culinary adventure.

We are still working on our syllabus, but we plan to cover emulsification, fermentation...not sure what else. It's a good thing we have till February to plan. Stay tuned.

Homemade Tomato Sauce

What do you need to make a great pasta dish? Great tomato sauce! This is the sauce I used in my Spaghetti and Meatballs for Brian and Jakey.


I love making homemade tomato sauce. I sometimes make a super quick version, but this one has more complex and developed flavors. It's worth the two to three hours if you have the time! I also love that the tomatoes can be a little bit battered. If you have some ripe, but bruised, tomatoes, this is the perfect things to do with them.

Ingredients
  • 6 ripe tomatoes
  • 2 to 3 T olive oil
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/4 C fresh basil, chopped
  • 1/4 C fresh parsley, chopped
  • 2 t fresh oregano
  • 1 t fresh thyme
  • 1/2 C red wine
  • 2 bay leaves
  • brown sugar to taste




Directions

Chop all by one of your tomatoes. Puree them in blender until smooth. Chop the last tomato and set aside. 


In a large pot or Dutch oven, cook onion and garlic in olive oil until the onion starts to soften and become translucent, approximately 5 minutes. Pour in pureed tomatoes and wine. Stir in chopped tomato and herbs. Place bay leaves in the pot. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to low, cover and simmer for 2 hours. Stir in brown sugar and simmer - uncovered - for another 30 minutes. The sauce will reduce, thicken, and turn darker as the tomatoes caramelize. Adjust seasoning as needed. Discard bay leaves before serving.

Thursday, August 27, 2015

Cashew Cream Alfredo {Dairy-Free}


As Jake's gluten-free, dairy-free experiment continues, I am having to do some experimenting of my own. Earlier this week I decided that I wanted a creamy alfredo penne with my roasted salmon. As it was, I told the minis it was gluten-free and dairy-free; it was received with a roll of the eyes. Had I not told them, I'm not sure they would have made a peep. It was good...and easy! Actually, making this dairy-free alfredo was easier than making a regular alfredo.

Ingredients

  • 1 C raw cashews
  • 1 C water
  • 2 T dairy-free butter
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 3/4 C grated parmesan cheese dairy-free topping + more for sprinkling
  • cooked pasta (I used gluten-free)
  • freshly ground salt
  • freshly ground pepper
  • olive oil

Procedure
Soak the cashews in water over night. Drain. Place soaked cashews and 1 C water in a blender. Blend till completely combined and smooth.

In a large, flat-bottom pan, melt the butter and cook the garlic until softened. Pour in the cashew cream and stir to combine. Add in the cheese and stir again. Season to taste with salt and pepper, then fold in the cooked pasta. Add a splash of olive oil to make it glossy. Serve immediately with another sprinkling of cheese.

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Rhubarb Tart {Gluten-Free, Dairy-Free}


Rhubarb tart is pretty much my family's favorite dessert of all time. I don't know if it's because rhubarb season is so fleeting that this tart is something they dream about for the rest of the rhubarb-less year - or if it just really is everyone's favorite. There's the puckering tartness of the rhubarb, the toothy bite of the crust, and the slightly caramelized crisp of the brown sugar on the top. It is pretty fantastic.

So, when Jake decided to do a gluten-free, dairy-free experiment and the boys and I found rhubarb at the market, they whined: "You can't make rhubarb pie because Daddy's gluten-free and dairy-free!!" I assured them that I could certainly try to make one. Making the shift to gluten-free and dairy-free baking has been a lot of trial and error for me. But, with this, I think I got it!

Ingredients
Gluten-Free Crust

  • 2 C gluten-free flour (blend your own or I used Glutino*)
  • 1/2 C ground almonds
  • 3/4 C dairy-free butter (I used Earth Balance, but will be posting my vegan butter recipe soon)
  • 3 T cold water
  • 2 T cold gin

The Filling

  • 6 C sliced rhubarb
  • 3/4 C organic dark brown sugar, lightly packed
  • 1 T gluten-free flour
  • 2 T dairy-free butter
  • more organic dark brown sugar for sprinkling

Procedure
Gluten-Free Crust
Using a pastry blender, or the tines of a fork, blend all the ingredients - except the water and gin - together to form pea-sized chunks. Add the liquids and gently press together until it forms a ball. Press the dough into a greased tart pan and place it in the freezer.

Preheat the oven to 375 degree F. Place in the oven and bake for 20 minutes. Prepare the filling while the tart crust bakes.

The Filling
In a large mixing bowl, toss together the rhubarb, brown sugar, flour, and butter. Spoon the mixture into your tart crust - it will be rounded over the top of the crust - and bake for 15 minutes. Gently press down on the rhubarb, compressing the pieces down into the crust. Bake for another 15 minutes. Press down on the rhubarb again. Then sprinkle the top with brown sugar. Return the tart to the oven for another 10 to 15 minutes. The crust should be firm and lightly golden, the rhubarb soft, and the brown sugar caramelized and bubbling. Let cool slightly. Serve warm.

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Spaghetti and Meatballs {Gluten-Free, Dairy-Free}


Earlier in the summer, Brian and Jakey embarked on a culinary adventure of their own - to find the best spaghetti and meatballs on the peninsula. I offered to be the last stop. La Cucinotta di Camilla. Last night was my night.

I initially planned to make everything from scratch, but I had stripped the gears on my pasta maker earlier but, my new one didn't show up until two hours after they left. Boo. I guess that means that I'll have to have them over for another round. Soon.


Let's just start with this, though: 'spaghetti and meatballs' is not an authentic Italian dish. Spaghetti would be served as a primi piatti while polpetttine would be served as a secondi piatti. So, yes to spaghetti and meatballs being Italian...just not served together. That said, it's a favorite dish on our table and obviously is with the Garneaus as well. I did have to adapt the recipe so it would be gluten-free and dairy-free for my Jake.



Ingredients makes 2 dozen golf ball-sized meatballs
  • 1 pound ground pork
  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 4 cloves fresh garlic, minced
  • 4 C fresh spinach, blanched, squeezed dry, and roughly chopped
  • 1/2 C finely grated Parmesan (or dairy-free parmesan cheese topping)
  • 1 whole egg
  • 1 T fresh basil, minced
  • 1 T fresh parsley, minced
  • 1/2 t fresh oregano, minced
  • 1 t salt
  • 1/2 t pepper
  • 1/2 t smoked paprika
  • 1/2 C gluten-free bread crumbs, divided in half
  • homemade tomato sauce
  • spaghetti (I did one batch of gluten-free for Jake and regular for everyone else)
  • finely grated Parmesan (or dairy-free parmesan cheese topping) for serving

Procedure
In a large mixing bowl, combine pork, beef, spinach, garlic, cheese, egg, fresh herbs salt, pepper, smoked paprika, and 1/4 C bread crumbs. Use your hands to mix all ingredients until well-combined. refrigerate for at least an hour and up to 24 hours, if you can.

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.

Place the remaining bread crumbs into a small bowl. Use your hands to shape the meatballs into rounds*, roll in the bread crumbs and place the meatballs on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes - until golden and cooked through.

While the meatballs roast, heat your homemade sauce and cook the pasta. To serve, toss spaghetti in as much as you like. Roll the meatballs in the remaining sauce and spoon on top of the pasta. Serve immediately with cheese on the side.


*I made my meatballs golf-ball sized. If you make them smaller, or larger, adjust your time as needed. I've found that meatball preferences are very, very different!


No verdict yet on how my spaghetti and meatballs stacked up to seven local restaurants who have it on their regular dinner menus. Brian and Jakey said they would complete their spreadsheet and let me know. They did talk about how they rated the restaurants and, so far, they thought that Gusto Handcrafted Pizza and Pasta had the best pasta while Il Vecchio had the best meatballs, I think. I will at least win on the 'best value' considering La Cucinotta di Camilla was free. And I will also win in the dessert category since I made Brian's favorite - rhubarb pie. Jenn told me that I was cheating and swaying them with my rhubarb pie. I consider it creating a strategic advantage; it's not cheating!

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