Garden Fresh Tomatoes and Gluten Free Pasta

I love summer. Fresh fruits and vegetables, homegrown in the garden, really what could be better? We decided to take advantage of our tomatoes last night, with a deliciously simple pasta and tomato sauce. I tried a new gluten free pasta from a local gluten free bakery, Maninis. It’s available at our local stores and farmer’s markets, and they also have mixes that can be purchased online. 

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Ingredients:

  • 5 small tomatoes
  • about a tablespoon of olive oil
  • 1/4 small onion, chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • good pinch of salt
  • a small pour of red wine
  • a teaspoon or two of dried oregano
  • dash of balsamic vinegar

Directions:

First, used a food mill to de-skin and de-seed fresh tomatoes from the garden (alternatively, use canned tomatoes).

Then, heat the oil, soften the onion, sauté the garlic briefly, and add the tomatoes, salt, and red wine.

Let simmer down, add tomato paste and finish with some dried oregano and a dash of balsamic vinegar.

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Verdict? The gluten free pasta was absolutely delicious! It definitely tasted like real pasta. The only real difference that Nick noticed was that it started to break down slightly in the colander. I will definitely rely on them in the future when Nick doesn’t want to bother with making homemade pasta. 

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Quick and Easy Chicken “Parm”

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I love using leftovers to make something delicious. I was craving chicken parmesan, but wanted a version that was both low-carb and gluten free.

We had a leftover tomato base (tomatoes, salt, garlic, and olive oil) from making pizza as well as fresh mozzarella, so he made a very simple version. He used chicken breast, topped with the tomato base and a bit of oregano, and then put fresh mozzarella slices on top.

Baked at 325 until done (took about 30 minutes).

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He served it with steamed broccoli.

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Simple can be best….

Sometimes a simple dinner is exactly what you need….

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Our farmers market has been full of delicious fruits and vegetables, so we had an extremely straightforward dinner of braised kale and salmon filets.

To make the kale (about 1 1/2 lbs, coarsely chopped), Nick used oil (~1/4C) and chicken stock (~3/4C), added salt and pepper to taste, and simmered covered in a saucepan until tender. Once tender, remove the lid and cook until the liquid has evaporated. (about 10 minutes total)

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The salmon was cooked sous-vide, and sprinkled with finishing salt to plate.

Grilled Steak and Domino Potatoes

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My sister’s boyfriend was visiting this weekend, so on Saturday night we had them both over and enjoyed a roof-tip dinner on our deck.

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Rib-eye has become our favorite cut of steak to grill. The flavor is perfection, and the slightly fattier cut makes it perfect for grilling. The steaks are pretty massive, so they each serve 2.

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Nick modified this recipe for domino potatoes from Bon Appetit to work on the grill. He used Yukon gold potatoes, and prepped them like the recipe by cutting them into rectangles and then slicing. He then put them in a foil pack with a bit of olive oil, butter, garlic, and rosemary.

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They were on the grill for about an hour or so, and the steaks were cooked to rare and medium rare.

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He plated the potatoes in rows, and topped with finishing salt.

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Fantastic company, and incredible views.

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Pork Schnitzel with Asparagus

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I love schnitzel in all forms, but can never order it in restaurants since it uses breadcrumbs. Luckily, Nick decided to make me a gluten free version using gluten free breadcrumbs (found at our local co-op).

First, he took the pork chops and pounded them thin with a meat mallet.

Then, he coated them with egg, and a mixture of gluten free breadcrumbs with salt and oregano, and then fried them in peanut oil.

To make the asparagus, he first blanched them, and then sauteed them with red wine vinegar.

Finally, the mustard sauce is a blend of coarse grain mustard, olive oil, a little bit of salt, and a dash of balsamic vinegar.

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Seared Lamb Lollipops with Duck-fat Glazed Turnips

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Glazing root vegetables has turned into my absolute favorite preparation. I love how the glazing brings out the flavor, but makes the texture just melt-in-your mouth delicious.

For the final course of our dinner party, Nick paired his seared lamb lollipops (served here with cauliflower couscous and here with sous-vide glazed sunchokes) with duck-fat glazed turnips.

For the turnips, he used the recipe for glazed vegetables from the French Laundry Cookbook by Thomas Keller. Combine peeled and sliced turnips with salt, sugar, and rendered duck-fat in a vacuum sealed bag. Sous-vide at 185F until tender (probably about 40 minutes). To finish, pour all contents into a sauce pan and reduce until the liquids coat the turnips in a glaze.

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Gluten Free Beer and Bailey’s Cupcakes

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We had a little St Paddy’s day themed get together at work, and when I saw these amazing Irish Car Bomb Cupcakes from Smitten Kitchen, I knew I had to try them. The name definitely bothered me (the history of car bombs in Ireland is not something to celebrate), so since I was making them after work and limited on time, I decided to skimp on the ganache and turn them into “Beer and Bailey’s Cupcakes.”

I made two versions, one using my King Arthur Bread Flour and a Black Raven porter, and then a gluten free version. One of the tricks with making baked goods gluten free is to think about what you’re trying to recreate. Chocolate cake is one of those that tends to do really well gluten free, since it’s dense and moist instead of light and fluffy.

Chocolate Beer Cupcakes

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup gluten free beer (your favorite porter or stout if not gluten free)
  • 226 grams of butter (2 sticks)
  • 64 grams Dutch-process unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 250 grams Cup4Cup flour (or your favorite gluten free flour blend)
    • For the regular cupcakes, I used 240 grams of bread flour
  • 400 grams of sugar
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 3/4 tsp salt
  • 2 large eggs
  • 151 grams sour cream

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Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

First, melt the butter in a sauce pan and mix with the beer. Then whisk in the chocolate powder.

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Mix together the sugar, flour, baking soda, and salt with a whisk in a large bowl.

Using your stand mixer with the paddle attachment, mix the sour cream and eggs together on medium until combined. Slowly pour in the chocolate/beer/butter mixture (slightly cooled). Reduce speed to low, and add the dry ingredients. Mix until just combined.

Pour mixture into lined cupcake pan, and fill about 1/2 to 2/3 of the way full. Don’t overfill!

Bake at 350 degrees for 17 minutes or until toothpick inserted comes out clean.

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Bailey’s Buttercream Frosting (makes enough to frost two batches of cupcakes)

Ingredients:

  • 226 grams of butter (2 sticks)
  • 900 grams powdered sugar
  • 6 T Bailey’s
  • 6 T heavy whipping cream

Using your stand mixer, mix the butter on high until it is light and fluffy. Slowly add the powdered sugar. Finally, add the cream and Bailey’s.

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Verdict: INCREDIBLE. They were delightfully moist and delicious. We were having fun at work having folks guess if the one they were eating was gluten free, and no one was able to guess correctly. The only time you could tell the difference was when they were tasted immediately side-by-side and while trying to actually tell what the difference was.

Recipe adapted from Smitten Kitchen. A few notable substitutions:

  • Gluten free: Subbed Cup4Cup flour and gluten free beer ( Used Fox Tail Gluten Free Ale, since I was worried my favorite TweasonAle would impart too much of a fruity flavor)
  • Did measurements by weight instead of volume (weight chart)
  • Regular: Subbed Guinness for the porter since that’s what we currently have on tap