Monday, February 28, 2011

Seared Scallops with Lime Cilantro Butter

Today was a lazy day. It has been 60 degrees and sunny here in SoCal, but to us here, that is FREEZING. It is definately the coldest month I have experienced here in Cali. When it is chilly, I am less active. I did really good this week exercising and starting all back up, I just want to get my body back in the ocean. I am ready for our normal 80 degrees and sunny again. Since I am lazy today I am going to make an easier dinner. Some people think scallops are a hard dish to make. They are pretty easy and quick. Tonight it is Seared Scallops with Lime and Cilantro Butter

2 tablespoons cooking olive oil
1 pound sea scallops
Juice of one lime
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
Handful of cilantro (leaves only), coarsely chopped
Kosher or sea salt and freshly ground pepper
Arrange the scallops on a plate, and season them with salt and fresh pepper.
Put an empty glass casserole dish into the oven and set the temperature at 200° F which is warm enough to keep food warm but not cook it further.
In a large fry or sauté pan, heat one tablespoon of the olive oil, and let the pan get hot although not smoking.
Add about eight scallops to the pan, leaving a fair amount of room between each as they cook. Cook them for approximately two and a half minutes per side, or until a nice golden color.
Put the first batch of scallops in the empty casserole dish to be kept warm in the oven.
Add the second tablespoon of oil to the pan, and repeat the process with the second batch of scallops.
Once all the scallops are in the oven, do a quick wipe of the pan, not cleaning it, just clearing the surface a bit. Add the butter and melt it.
Add the lime juice and cilantro to the melted butter and let it simmer for about 30 seconds.
Return the scallops to the pan, and toss them so they’re coated in the lime/cilantro butter.
Serve immediately.
I served mine over the cilantro lime rice.

Cheesey Cauliflower

I am in the mood for mac and cheese. Not good. I am taking baby steps in reducing how much processed food I eat. Even though this dish is fattening, at least it is with a vegetable and not enriched macaroni. Baby steps right? I am giving in to my craving with an adjustment. =)

Ingredients

1 tsp salt
1 large head cauliflower, cut into small florets
Vegetable oil spray
1 cup heavy cream
2 ounces cream cheese, cut into small pieces
1 1/2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
1 1/2 cups shredded sharp Cheddar, plus 1/2 cup for topping the casserole
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/8 teaspoon garlic powder

Directions
Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Season the water with salt.
Spray the baking dish with vegetable oil spray.
Cook the cauliflower in the boiling water until crisp-tender, about 5 minutes. Drain well and pat between several layers of paper towels to dry. Transfer the cauliflower to the baking dish and set aside.

Bring the cream to a simmer in a small saucepan, and whisk in the cream cheese and mustard until smooth. Stir in 1 cup of the cheese, salt, pepper and garlic and whisk just until the cheese melts, about 1 to 2 minutes. Remove from heat, pour over the cauliflower, and stir to combine. Top with the remaining 1/2 cup cheese and bake until browned and bubbly hot, about 15 minutes.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Yummy Gooey Gluten Free Chocolate Cake

It is time for some chocolate around here. Something warm and gooey is preferred. I am going to try a go at a
Gooey Gluten Free Chocolate Cake. Better to feed the cravings right? My daughter and I are sore from working out, what better way to get comfort than from chocolate cake! Even though it is going against our exercising, I am making it. It is ok though, because I am doing 2 desserts each week. This is dessert one. It is really yummy, but serve it hot. Once it cools it is hard to get back the magic.

1 cup all-purpose flour ( I use gluten free all purpose flour blend)
1/2 tsp xanthan gum (omit if not using gluten free flour)

3/4 cup white sugar
6 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt

1/2 cup milk
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 cup packed brown sugar
1 3/4 cups hot water


In a bowl, add flour, white sugar, 2 tablespoons cocoa, baking powder, and salt. Mix.
Add milk, oil, and vanilla extract and mix until smooth.

Spread the batter in an ungreased Pyrex dish.

In a separate bowl, add brown sugar and 4 tablespoons cocoa powder and mix.
Sprinkle this over your batter in the dish.
Pour hot water over everything in your dish but DO NOT stir.

Place your dish in the oven and bake at 350 degrees for about 40 minutes.

Prior to serving, Cut out square slices and place them in a dish and pour the syrup over them.
 Top off with whipped cream. You can also add berries.
Serve warm.

Veggie Spring Rolls

One of my favorite appetizers when I go to Thai food is Veggie Spring Rolls. They are light and healthy and yummy! They also are naturally gluten free, so that is a plus around here. Today I am teaching my daughter how to make them. She is slowly learning how to make more and more gluten free food. This recipe is easy. You can change the ingredients to whatever you like. I love it because it is salad wrapped up in a rice noodle.
I used:

7 ounces (uncooked) rice noodles
7 ounces shredded cabbage
3 medium-small carrots, cut into batons
1/2 medium cumber, peeled, seeds removed and cut into batons
1 medium sweet pepper, stem and seeds removed, cut into batons
1/2 teaspoon sugar
40 cilantro leaves
20 spring roll skins

Prepare noodles according to package directions, rinse with cold water and drain.
Slice your veggies into thin batons. I taught my daughter Taylor how to do Batons today. Here is a pic of her cutting:

Sprinkle carrots with sugar and let sit. (you can always use a little agave instead here).

To assemble the rolls, fill a pie pan about halfway with warm water. One at a time, soak a skin in the water until it is pliable. Lay it out on a plate and, in the 1/3 closer to you, add filling. Roll up 2/3 of the way and fold in ends, finish rolling. Be sure the rolls don't touch as you assemble them, they'll stick together.

I like to dip them in thai peanut sauce. I served mine as a "salad" with my gluten-free dumplings. So good.

Marinated Mushrooms

When I visited Chicago, Devon's sister packed our lunches for our long trade show day. (love you!) She put these yummy Marinated Mushrooms in the lunch sack. I have not been able to find them here in California. So it is time to make my own. Perfect thing to add to my hubby's lunch since he is trying to eat healthier. They are the perfect healthy snack or appetizer.

What I used:
1 large sprig of rosemary
1 lemon
4 garlic cloves
1/4 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
2 tsp kosher salt
1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper
1/2 cup white wine vinegar
1 1/2 cups dry white wine
1 pound mushrooms
9 tbsp Extra Virgin Olive oil

To prepare the marinade, break the rosemary down into smaller sprigs and put them into a bowl.
Fully zest the lemon, add zest to the bowl.  Squeeze out the lemon juice into the bowl. Peel and lightly crush each clove of garlic. Place everything into a bowl, along with the crushed red pepper flakes, salt, pepper, white wine vinegar and white wine. Mix to combine. Set aside.

Clean the mushrooms and then cut in half.

To sear the mushrooms, preheat a large, stainless-steel pan over medium-high heat until very hot. Add 1 tbso oil, immediately followed by the mushrooms. Let sit for a minute or so without moving to ensure they brown nicely. Toss a few times until nicely browned on one or two sides. Do not cook the mushrooms all the way through.

 Return the pan to the stove and turn the heat down to medium. Add the marinade to the pan and simmer for approximately 5 minutes to infuse the flavors.

Transfer the mushrooms and marinade to a heatproof container. Let cool to room temperature. Cover and refrigerate over night.

Drain the liquid from the mushrooms and discard the marinade. Place the mushrooms, along with the aromatics into a jar. Add enough olive oil to cover.
Mushrooms can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 1 month.

Three-Cheese Baked Macaroni & Cheese

Mac and cheese is my ultimate comfort food. I love that you can make it gluten free, or regular. Bionaturae elbow noodles are the BEST gluten free noodles out there. Here is a pic of the gluten free ones:


Here is a pic of the non gluten free mac and cheese:


Both are wonderful. The only difference is the noodles. Bionaturae is where it is at if you are gluten-intollerant.


Three-Cheese Baked Macaroni and Cheese

Ingredients:
1/2 pound elbow macaroni (here is where you choose gluten free noodles if needed)
1 tablespoon butter
2 cloves garlic, minced
3 eggs
1 can (12 ounces) evaporated milk
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 1/2 cups (6 ounces) shredded Wisconsin Sharp Cheddar Cheese
1/2 cup (2 ounces) shredded Wisconsin Monterey Jack Cheese
1/2 cup (1 ounce) grated Wisconsin Parmesan Cheese
1/2 cup powdered parmesan
Directions:
Preheat oven to 475°F. In a large pot of boiling salted water, cook the macaroni for 6 minutes (will be cooked to al dente). Drain.

Meanwhile, heat a small skillet over medium heat and melt the butter. Add the garlic and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute. With a slotted spoon, remove the garlic to a medium bowl. Add the macaroni to the bowl and stir to combine.

In a large bowl, whisk together the eggs and evaporated milk. Add the salt, cayenne pepper and cheeses; mix well. Add the macaroni mixture and stir well to combine.

Transfer mixture to an 8- or 9-inch square baking dish or 2-quart gratin dish. With a spoon, gently spread mixture to form an even layer. Sprinkle the top with powdered parmesan. Bake just until sauce bubbles at edges, about 12 minutes. Let rest for 10 minutes before serving

Red Velvet Cheesecake Brownies Gluten-Free

One of my friends husbands LOVES red velvet cake. I am going for a gluten free version and since my husband loves cheesecake, why not mix the two? Here is what I came up with. Make sure you use really good chocolate. You can't tell they are gluten-free.

Red Velvet Cheesecake Brownies
Ingredients:
1/2 cup butter
2-oz dark chocolate, coarsely chopped
1 cup sugar
2 large eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 1/2 tsp red food coloring
2/3 cup gluten free all purpose flour
1 tsp xanthan gum (omit if you are not doing gluten free flour)
1/4 tsp salt
8-oz cream cheese, room temperature
1/3 cup sugar
1 large egg
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
Directions:
1.Preheat oven to 350F. Butter the bottom and sides of a 8 inch metal baking pan. Put a long piece of parchment paper in the bottom of the pan, letting the parchment extend up two sides of the pan and overhang slightly on both ends. (This will make it easy to remove the bars from the pan after they have baked.) Butter the parchment.

2.In a small, heatproof bowl, melt butter and chocolate together. Stir until combined and very smooth. Set aside to cool for a few minutes.

3.In a large bowl, whisk together sugar, eggs, vanilla extract and red food coloring. Add chocolate mixture and stir until smooth. Add flour and salt and stir until just combined and no streaks of dry ingredients remain.


4.Pour into prepared pan and spread into an even layer.

5.To prepare cheesecake mixture, beat cream cheese, sugar, egg and vanilla extract in a medium bowl until smooth. Distribute the cheesecake mixture in 8 dollops over batter in the pan.
Swirl in with a knife or spatula.

6.Bake for 35-40 minutes, until brownies and cheesecake are set. A knife inserted into the cheesecake mixture should come out clean and the edges will be lightly browned.

7.Let cool completely in pan on a cooling rack before lifting out the parchment paper to remove the brownies.

Stuffed jalapeño

I took these to this years Superbowl party.

Mix together 8oz cream cheese, 4oz shredded cheese, 4oz parmesan cheese and 4 oz baco's (fake bacon bits) you can use regular bacon bits if you want. I was going for the whole vegetarian thing.

First things first, buy some nice, fresh jalapeño peppers:

Then, slice them in half:

Using a paring knife or a spoon, remove the seeds and the white membranes. If you like things spicy, leave a few seeds behind:

Then fill the inside of each half with the cream cheese, shredded cheddar and parmesan and bacon bits (we use fake soy bacon bits).

Bake at 350 degrees for 20 minutes. Easy and yummy.

Crème Brûlé without a torch

Crème Brûlé

Adapted From Ina Garten
6 ramekins
1 egg
4 egg yolks
1/2 cup sugar, plus about 1 teaspoon sprinkled over each ramekin
3 cups heavy cream
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Directions

Start with separating your egg yolks. Then combine your egg, egg yolks, and sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer. Mix on medium until combined. Meanwhile, warm your cream in a small sauce pan over low/medium heat until scalding. It will be very hot to the touch, but not boiling. Then add your cream to your egg mixture. Then add your vanilla and mix until combined.

Place your ramekins in a baking dish and spoon the batter into your ramekins filling it almost to the top. Meanwhile, boil some water in a medium sized pot. Pour your water into the baking pan, filling the water half way up the side of the ramekin. Bake at 300 degrees for 35-40 minutes or until your Crème Brûlé appears set when you gently shake the pan.

Carefully remove your ramekins from the baking pan and allow to cool to room temperature. Then refrigerate until the custard appears firmed. Once firmed, sprinkle the top with sugar and broil in the oven for about 2-4 minutes or until the surface browns. Broiling time may vary depending on the temperature of your oven. Make sure to watch them carefully because it will not take long to brown and you don't want them to burn. Remove from the oven and serve immediately

I am back ... TWINKIES!

Warning.... this is not a gluten free recipe.

OK, I know I have been gone for a while know. Car Accident, Injury, Physical Therapy, Surgery.... Recovery, a trip to Oregon... That has been my life since October 25th. I got my stitches out, I am on the mend, just started doing some slow exercises. Time to finally get my hands back in the kitchen (take out for 3 weeks is not my idea of fun). I was dying to do some cooking/baking... I actually have been doing some, I just haven't blogged. Baby steps. First I am going to make twinkies. Well I am making twinkie cupcakes. Because I don't have a twinkie pan. My friend in Oregon shattered my taste buds when she sent me an article about how there is no real ingredients in a twinkie. They really are gross. But they are good. So here is a take on an organic yummy twinkie that is still dessert .... but at least it is made with all real ingredients. Sorry folks, this version has gluten.

Twinkie Cupcakes
2 cups cake flour
1-1/2 cups granulated sugar
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup vegetable oil
3/4 cup cold water
7 egg yolks
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
7 egg whites

Twinkie Filling
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1/2 cup milk
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
4 tablespoons salted butter, cold
4 tablespoons shortening, cold
1/2 cup granulated sugar

Directions for Twinkie Cupcakes:

Preparing the cupcakes. Preheat oven to 350° F. Spray cupcake pans with nonstick cooking spray.
Place egg whites in a medium bowl and beat with an electric mixer until very stiff.

Place all cupcake ingredients except for the egg whites in a large mixing bowl (or bowl of a stand mixer).

Beat with an electric mixer on medium speed until smooth. Working in thirds, gently fold the egg whites into the cake batter. Be careful to not deflate the batter as you fold.

Fill each section of the prepared pans 3/4 full.
 The cakes will puff up quite a bit during baking but will shrink while cooling. Bake cupcakes in the preheated oven for 15-18 minutes, or until golden brown.

Remove pans from the oven and let baked cupcakes cool in the pan for 5 minutes. Using a small spatula or knife, gently remove each cupcake and allow them to completely cool on a wire rack.


Preparing the Twinkie Cupcake Filling. In a small saucepan, cook flour and milk over medium heat until they form a paste. Stir constantly and don’t let the mixture turn brown. Remove from heat and allow flour mixture to cool for 1 minute. Add vanilla extract and stir until smooth. Gently press a piece of plastic wrap over the surface of the frosting paste to prevent it from forming a skin.

In a large mixing bowl (or bowl of a stand mixer), beat butter, shortening and sugar until fluffy. Scrape sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula and add the cooled flour mixture. Continue to mix on medium-high for 5 minutes, or until smooth and creamy.

Filling the Twinkie Cupcakes. Place the prepared frosting into a small zip-top storage bag or pastry bag fitted with a round pastry tip. Gently insert the tip into the underside of each cupcake, about halfway through the cake. Gently squeeze a small amount of filling into the cupcake. You should feel the cake expand under your fingers. Don’t overfill the cake or the frosting will burst through the top. Store cupcakes tightly covered at room temperature for up to 4 days.

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Gluten Free Sweet And Sour Sauce

One of my favorite bloggers (TheWannaBeChef) Posted this recipe for Sweet And Sour Sauce. My daughter loves Sweet and Sour. This sauce is good on veggies and meats and it is quick and easy to make.

•1/2 cup rice vinegar
•1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons brown sugar
•1 tablespoon gluten free soy sauce  or BRAGGS amino Acids
•1 tablespoon tomato paste
•1 tablespoon orange or lemon juice

Combine all the ingredients in a sauce pan and bring it to a slight boil. Continue boiling it until it has reduced half of its volume and the sauce has thickened.

Be careful not to over boil and turn this into a candy. In that case, remove it from the heat and stir in some hot water until it reaches the right consistency.

Store this in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks.

As he said, "This doesn’t make that much sauce, so you might want to double the recipe if you’re going to use it a lot."
It was a hit with my family. I made some sticky rice to go with it, and a refreshing cucumber salad.

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