Archive for the ‘Gluten Free (or Almost Gluten Free)’ Category

Mystery Apple Pancakes

Tuesday, November 9th, 2010

The sleepy child can barely manage to pour syrup on his pancakes.

In my continuing celebration of apple season I decided yesterday to try putting apples into pancakes. My nephew Michael was sleepy when he got up for school but endorsed the idea as well as a drowsy child could. 

Michael’s mother Leigh had to go run an errand as I was preparing to throw the pancakes together. I found most of the ingredients in her kitchen, but the flour was a mystery. I had NO IDEA what Leigh had in her flour bin.
 
It looked like plain old flour—but Leigh has been known to use white whole wheat flour and even gluten-free flour in her cooking. The child was stirring in his bed so I decided to take a chance and use whatever it was.
 
When Leigh returned home she informed me that I had in fact made the pancakes with King Arthur Flour’s gluten-free multi-purpose flour blend. This blend worked like a charm. I’m a little fussy about consistency, and I had nothing to fuss about here.
 
Young Michael—and everyone else—pronounced the apple pancakes a roaring success. He even finished the meal looking much more perky than he does in the photo above.
 
The Pancakes
 
Ingredients:
 
1 cup gluten-free flour (or the flour of your choice)
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1 tablespoon sugar
1 egg
1 cup buttermilk
2 tablespoons melted butter
1 medium apple, finely chopped
butter as needed for heating
 
Instructions:
 
Using a whisk combine the flour, baking soda, salt, baking powder, cinnamon, and sugar.
 
In a separate bowl whisk together the egg, buttermilk, and melted butter.
 
Gently stir the wet ingreidents into the apple mixture. Do not overmix. Stir in the apple pieces.
 
Heat a frying pan or skillet to medium heat (375 on an electric skillet), and melt a small amount of butter into it.
 
Dollop a generous serving spoon of batter onto the pan for each pancake. Do not crowd the cakes in your pan.
 
Turn the pancakes after a minute or two, when they are nice and bubbly on the surface and easy to lift. Add a bit more butter as needed to prevent sticking. Remove and serve with butter and warm maple syrup. 

Makes about 12 pancakes.

Sue’s Enchilagna

Friday, October 15th, 2010

 
There’s a chill in the air. We have had our first frost, and comfort food is on the menu of the day.
 
Luckily for me, Sue Haas of Seattle has come forward with another tasty recipe—a layered version of enchiladas that saves prep time over rolling. She says she was inspired by Mexican food she ate in Los Angeles.
 
Sue adds that one can substitute 1 pound of cooked chicken or 10 ounces frozen spinach (thawed) for the browned ground beef. I haven’t tried either, but both sound good.
 
I received photos of Sue’s own enchilagna, which looked a lot neater than mine (presentation was never my forte), but unfortunately her camera’s focus was off so readers are stuck with my messy version.
 
I added the chili powder and cumin, which didn’t overwhelm the dish at all. Next time, I think I’ll use a little more cheese (I skimped a bit on cheese so the top of my tortillas dried up a little) and try using the green chili salsa Sue suggested. I like my enchiladas wet! 

The basic flavor of the dish as written worked very well, however. And its warmth and heartiness made my guests (and their hostess) very happy last night. Thank you, Sue!

 
 
The Casserole
 
Ingredients:
 
1 pound ground beef
1 large yellow onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
olive oil as needed
3 green onions, chopped (2 for sauce; 1 to sprinkle on top before baking)
2 4-ounce cans diced green chile peppers, mild (or use green chile salsa for a spicier flavor)
1 14.5-ounce can stewed tomatoes, chopped
2 fresh medium tomatoes, diced (optional)
1 8-ounce can tomato sauce
salt and pepper to taste (about 1 teaspoon of salt and a dash of pepper should be enough)
1/ 2 teaspoon chili powder
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
8 ounces Monterey jack or cheddar cheese, grated (about 2 cups)
1 dozen small corn tortillas (yellow or white corn tortillas)
1 pint sour cream
3 tablespoons fresh cilantro, chopped (optional)
 
Instructions:
 
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
 
Brown the ground beef and drain it. In a separate pan cook the onion and garlic in just a little olive oil until the onion pieces are translucent. Add the 2 green onions, the green chiles, the stewed tomatoes, the tomato sauce, the fresh tomatoes (if you are using them) the salt, the pepper, and the spices. Simmer about 10 minutes and keep warm on low heat.
 
Meanwhile, cut the tortillas into quarters. Put a generous dab (about 1 tablespoonful) of sour cream on each piece of tortilla and make a layer on the bottom of a lightly oiled 9″ x 13″ baking pan.
 
Add a layer of the meat mixture; then add a layer of grated jack cheese. Continue layering the tortillas with dabs of sour cream, meat (or chicken or spinach) mixture, and grated cheese, until all is used. There should be about 3 layers. End with a top layer of tortillas dabbed with sour cream, grated cheese, and 1 chopped green onion (and chopped cilantro, optional).
 
Bake until the casserole is bubbly and hot, and the cheese and sour cream are slightly browned, about 30 minutes. Serve with salsa, as desired.
 
Serves 6 (large servings) to 12 (small servings).

Dishpan Cookies

Tuesday, September 21st, 2010

 
I recently heard from Ramona Lynam, a reader of this blog who lives in Iowa and write about life, food, family, and books on her own blog, Chances R.
 
Ramona had just written about her mother’s “dish pan” cookies and wondered whether I could use a recipe for my “Twelve Cookies of Christmas” series.
 
Could I ever! I’m actually BEHIND on the series, having neglected to post a cookie recipe in August.
 
Ramona recently put her mother’s recipe on her blog, and I definitely urge you to try it as she wrote it up. Her cookies look lovely and chewy. Ramona thinks their name comes from the fact that a whole recipe (this is only half) could probably fill a dish pan.
 
I altered the recipe a bit when I tried it. Ramona, this has nothing to do with you, just with my family’s circumstances!
 
My nephew Michael’s nutritionist has asked him to cut back on gluten for the moment. So I decided to reduce the gluten in the cookies. 

I started out with a fun new product from Trader Joe’s, peanut flour. (I’m sorry about the weird photo; the flour really looks all scrunched up like this when one buys it.)

 
Peanut flour is basically ground up peanuts that have had some of their fat taken out. It’s a bit lumpy so I was glad Ramona’s mother’s recipe involved sifting the flour. (Note: if you try this with peanut flour, make sure you use a fairly wide sieve. The peanut flour doesn’t go through a tiny one.)
 
The end result was darker than Ramona’s version and tended to be crunchy rather than chewy. It also tasted a bit like a peanut-butter cookie. We all LOVE peanut-butter cookies in the Weisblat household so this was just fine with us. Michael ate the first one and couldn’t stop smiling.
 
If you’re thinking about playing with less gluten, or even if you’re not, I urge you to try it.
 
While you’re munching, think about your own mother or grandmother. Here’s what Ramona had to say about her mom:
 
She was the sweetest, kindest, do anything for anyone woman you could meet. Probably much like your Mom. When Dad died and we kids were out on our own, she shared her almost daily cooking creations with her neighbors. She lived 66 years on the farm she and Dad moved to after they married in 1937 continuing to raise pigs, cattle and chickens and a big garden on her own when she was widowed at age 59. I miss her every day.
 
Thank you, Ramona, for sharing your memories and recipe. Your mother sounds like a lovely person, and I enjoyed trying her cookies. (I’m going to try them with regular flour soon!) 

Here’s a photo of Ramona’s mother, courtesy of Chances R. She obviously loved to feed everybody around……

 
Ramona’s Mom’s Dish Pan Cookies (altered to be ALMOST gluten free)
 
Regular Ingredients:
 
1 cup canola oil
1 cup sugar
1 cup brown sugar (I packed mine, but not super firm)
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 cups peanut flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup oatmeal (Ramona uses quick, but I only had regular, which worked fine)
2 cups cereal—I used rice cereal, which is ALMOST gluten-free, having only a small amount of barley
 
Optional Ingredients:
 
3/4 cup coconut
1/2 cup raisins
1/2 cup chocolate chips
1/2 cup pecans or other nuts
 
Instructions:
 
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Cream together the oil and the sugars. Beat in the eggs, followed by the vanilla.
 
Sift together the flour, baking soda, and salt. Stir them in to the wet mixture, followed by the oatmeal and cereal. Stir in any or all of the optional ingredients. I used a generous cup of chocolate chips since that was the only option I was using.
 
The dough will get stiff and a bit hard to stir. Drop teaspoonsful of batter onto greased or silicon-lined cookie sheets. You will probably have to press the individual clumps of dough together with your hands to make them stay together.
 
Bake for 8 minutes. Remove the cookies from the oven and let them cool for a few minutes before removing them from the cookie sheets. 

Makes about 4 dozen cookies. Eat them quickly; like most low-gluten foods they grow stale quickly.


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