Creamy Chicken Wild Rice Soup with Gluten-Free Dumplings

This weekend, I’m finally getting around to doing belated American Thanksgiving. We’d actually taken a trip up to Winnipeg a couple weeks ago, so didn’t do anything really Thanksgiving-y at the time.

As with any time I roast a turkey, part of the grocery planning involves what do to with the leftovers – and that generally involves me making bone broth off the carcass. One of my favourite things to do with homemade broth is to make this soup, originally published in my first gluten-free cookbook, Beyond Flour: A Fresh Approach to Gluten-Free Cooking and Baking. This is definitely a favourite at our house – rich, thick, hearty, and one of the ultimate comfort foods.

While the recipe was originally designed to be used with fresh chicken breast – for speed and ease – it’s easy to make this with leftover turkey. Skip the initial browning of the meat, and simply toss in chopped up roasted turkey breast leftovers with the wild rice, broth, and potatoes.

It’s very customizable, even beyond choice of poultry. Sometimes I’ll skip the dumplings, sometimes I’ll add some parsnip with the carrots, and sometimes I’ll toss a couple handfuls of frozen peas in, right near the end.

Whichever way you do it, enjoy!

Gluten-Free Creamy Chicken Wild Rice Soup with Dumplings

2 Tbsp Olive oil
1 Large onion, chopped
3.5-4 lbs Chicken breast, chopped
3 Garlic cloves, pressed
3 Carrots, sliced
5 Celery ribs, sliced
1 1/2 cups Uncooked wild rice
10 cups Chicken broth
2 lbs Red potatoes, chopped
1/2 cup Butter
1/2 cup Brown rice flour
1 cup White wine
3 cups Heavy cream
1 Tbsp Dried savoury
Salt and pepper

In a large, heavy pot, cook onions in olive oil until just starting to go translucent. Add chicken breast, cook until outside browns slightly. Add garlic, carrots, and celery, cook for one minute. Add wild rice, broth, and potatoes, bring to a boil. Set a timer for 35 minutes.

While soup is boiling, make your roux:

Melt butter in a medium sized pot. Stir in flour until smooth. Cook over medium or medium-high heat, stirring constantly, until it starts to turn slightly golden. Add wine, whisk until smooth. Add cream, continue whisking until smooth. Turn heat down to lowest setting, keep warm, while making the dumplings:

1 cup Light buckwheat flour
3/4 cup Millet flour
1/4 cup Potato flour
1 Tbsp Parsley or savoury flakes
2 tsp Tapioca starch
3 tsp Baking Powder
1 tsp Salt
1/3 cup Shortening or butter
1 1/4 cup Milk or buttermilk

In a medium sized bowl, mix together flours, parsley or savoury flakes, tapioca starch, baking powder,and salt. Measure shortening/butter into the same bowl, and cut into the dry ingredients using a pastry cutter or fork(s). The idea is to work it in until it’s evenly distributed throughout, in very small pieces.

Add milk/buttermilk, stir just until dough comes together. Don’t over stir or beat it. If dough is too crumbly, add a small amount of extra milk. If the dough is sticky, add a small amount of flour.

When the timer goes off, add the roux mixture to the main soup pot, stirring to combine well. Add savoury, season with salt and pepper to taste. Drop rounded tablespoons worth of dough into boiling soup. Cover and simmer for 15 minutes WITHOUT LIFTING THE LID. Serve hot.

Interested in Gluten-free cooking and baking? You’ll LOVE Beyond Flour: A Fresh Approach to Gluten-Free Cooking and Baking!

How many times have you come across a gluten-free recipe claiming to be “just as good as the normal version!”, only to wind up with weird textures, aftertastes, etc? Most gluten-free recipes are developed by taking a “normal” recipe, and swapping in a simulated “all purpose” gluten-free flour… whether store bought, or a homemade version. “Beyond Flour” takes a different approach: developing the recipe from scratch. Rather than swapping out the flour for an “all purpose” mix, I use various alternative flours as individual ingredients – skillfully blending flavours, textures, and other properties unique to each flour. Supporting ingredients and different techniques are also utilized to achieve the perfect end goal … not just a “reasonable facsimile”. Order your copy here.

Looking for even MORE fantastic gluten-free recipes? Beyond Flour now has a sequel: Beyond Flour 2: A Fresh Approach to Gluten-Free Cooking and Baking!

Imagine gluten-free foods that are as good – or better! – than their traditional, gluten-filled counterparts. Imagine no longer settling for foods with bizarre after-tastes, gummy consistency, and/or cardboard texture. Imagine graham crackers that taste just like the real thing. Crisp, flaky crackers…without the sandy texture. Hybrid tortillas that: look and act like flour tortillas, with the taste of fresh roasted corn! Imagine chewy, delicious cookies that *everyone* will want to eat! Imagine BAGELS. If you’ve cooked from “Beyond Flour”, you already know that these fantasies can be reality – it’s all in the development of the recipes. Order your copy here.

Gluten-Free Fried Brie Recipe

Sometimes, inspiration comes from the weirdest places.

My husband and I used to play Ingress. One night, we were hanging out in one of the Ingress chat rooms, and the subject of poutine randomly came up. Myself and one other player were adamant about the fact that you *cannot* get legit poutine anywhere in Minneapolis, while some other players asked for details about what poutine even IS.

One guy asked if it used cheddar curds, or if it was something else. My husband was feeling troll-y, so he replied “Brie curds”, knowing full well that such a thing could never even exist, technically. Well, one thing led to another, and we decided engage in some sacrilege – battering and deep frying brie. Rather than a normal beer batter, I decided that this needed a white wine batter, with a little garlic.

Oh, these were *fantastic*. So much so, that they ended up in my cookbook, Beyond Flour 2: A Fresh Approach to Gluten-Free Cooking & Baking

The first time we made this, we used the cheapest brie we could find – we were feeling a bit guilty about what we were about to do to it! It turned out so well, we tried it again with a name brand, mid grade brie. We definitely recommend going with a nicer brie, rather than the cheapest you can find. It really did make a difference, and the finished product is SO good, I don’t think it ended up counting as sacrilege.

Try to use a pretty fresh brie – you want it relatively firm. Once the center starts liquifying, it would be very difficult to work with.

Not gluten free? You can make this with gluten, just use 1 cup of all purpose flour in place of the garbanzo and rice flours. It won’t have quite as nice of a flavour, but it will definitely taste great!

Gluten-Free Fried Brie

Serves 4

Frying oil

1/2 cup garbanzo (chickpea) flour
1/2 cup rice flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
pinch black pepper
1/4 tsp garlic powder
1 large egg, beaten
3/4 cup white wine
1 lb Brie

1/2 cup corn starch, for dredging

Apricot preserves for serving

Start heating your oil to 350F – you’ll want at least 2-3″ of oil in your pot or deep fryer.

In a large bowl, combine flours, baking powder, salt, pepper, and garlic powder. Add egg and wine, stir well to form a thick batter. All batter to sit for 15 minutes or so, to soften the flours.

Carefully cut the rind off the brie – freezing it for a few minutes can make this easier. Slice into small wedges.

Gently dredge cheese wedges in corn starch, shaking excess flour back into the bowl. One piece at a time, dip into batter, allowing excess batter to drip back into bowl for a few seconds, before carefully transferring to heated oil.

Fry for a few minutes on each side, until golden brown and cooked through. Use a slotted metal spoon to transfer fried cheese to paper towels. Allow oil to come back up to temperature between batches.

Serve hot, with apricot preserves.

Interested in Gluten-free cooking and baking? You’ll LOVE Beyond Flour: A Fresh Approach to Gluten-Free Cooking and Baking!

How many times have you come across a gluten-free recipe claiming to be “just as good as the normal version!”, only to wind up with weird textures, aftertastes, etc? Most gluten-free recipes are developed by taking a “normal” recipe, and swapping in a simulated “all purpose” gluten-free flour… whether store bought, or a homemade version. “Beyond Flour” takes a different approach: developing the recipe from scratch. Rather than swapping out the flour for an “all purpose” mix, I use various alternative flours as individual ingredients – skillfully blending flavours, textures, and other properties unique to each flour. Supporting ingredients and different techniques are also utilized to achieve the perfect end goal … not just a “reasonable facsimile”. Order your copy here.

Looking for even MORE fantastic gluten-free recipes? Beyond Flour now has a sequel: Beyond Flour 2: A Fresh Approach to Gluten-Free Cooking and Baking!

Imagine gluten-free foods that are as good – or better! – than their traditional, gluten-filled counterparts. Imagine no longer settling for foods with bizarre after-tastes, gummy consistency, and/or cardboard texture. Imagine graham crackers that taste just like the real thing. Crisp, flaky crackers…without the sandy texture. Hybrid tortillas that: look and act like flour tortillas, with the taste of fresh roasted corn! Imagine chewy, delicious cookies that *everyone* will want to eat! Imagine BAGELS. If you’ve cooked from “Beyond Flour”, you already know that these fantasies can be reality – it’s all in the development of the recipes. Order your copy here.

Mushroom and Goat Cheese Braid with Balsamic Glaze

A couple weeks ago, one of my friends shared a post from the local renaissance festival. The post described a fancy dinner they were having, which included a description of a mushroom puff pastry thing. I made a comment about how I was pretty meh on most of it, but would like to spend some quality time with that mushroom pastry.

She replied in kind, and we both kind of got… whatever the food equivalent of “lecherous” is … about it. We decided that we would have to finally make some time to get together, and make one of them.

This weekend was the big day.. and she and her husband came down with a virus. BOO!

So, to not let the ingredients go to waste, I went ahead and made one for my husband. I took inspiration from my mushroom turnovers, and the filling was *SO* good. I really have to figure out how to make a gluten-free puff pastry… Hmmm.

Anyway, we glazed and drizzled it with balsamic vinegar. We had a bottle of fancy, expensive stuff that I’ve been afraid to even open – oh, it was good stuff! I’m still a little afraid / hoarding it, but at least I took the first step and used it once!

Enjoy!

Mushroom and Goat Cheese Braid
Serves 2 as a main course, 4 as an appetizer

1 lb baby bella mushrooms, sliced
1/2 medium onion, thinly sliced
1-2 cloves garlic, pressed or finely minced
2 Tbsp olive oil
1/4 cup dry white wine
2 tsp fresh thyme, finely chopped
salt and pepper
1 sheet puff pastry, thawed
1/4 cup+ crumbled goat cheese
1 egg
1 Tbsp+ nice quality balsamic vinegar

Heat oven to 400F, line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

In a large pan, saute mushrooms, onion, and garlic in olive oil, until the liquid comes out and mushrooms are very soft. Add wine, continue to cook until all wine has boiled off. Stir in thyme, season with salt and pepper to taste. Remove from heat.

Unfold thawed pastry sheet onto parchment lined pan. Roll out a little to elongate it slightly in both directions.

Use a sharp knife to make cut 1″ wide strips (like a fringe) along the two long edges, ending 1/3 of the way towards the center, like this:

Evenly spread filling over the center 1/3 of the dough, sprinkle with goat cheese.

Take one of the end strips and fold it across the filling, at a slight diagonal. Take the top edge strip from the other side, and fold it across the filling, ending just over top of the first one. Continue, alternating sides, until the whole thing is “braided”.

Whisk together egg and 1 Tbsp balsamic vinegar, use a pastry brush to liberally spread it over the whole braid.

Bake for 30 minutes, or until puffy and golden brown.

Remove from heat, drizzle with more balsamic vinegar if you like. Serve hot!

Hoppy Citrus French Macaron Recipe

Today’s post is a great example of how unbelievably spoiled my husband is at times 🙂

Last week, I was craving macarons. As there was nothing open / nearby, I decided to just make my own. I find that commercially made ones don’t have enough flavour, anyway.

So as I was deciding what kind of macarons I wanted to make, somehow the subject of cooking / baking with hops came up. I hadn’t done any hop recipe development in a while – the Hoppy Citrus IPA Glazed Wings and Hoppy IPA BBQ Sauce recipes were the last I’d done up, and that was during the harvest last fall – our current hop growth is already starting to threaten our entire side yard, this season!

Anyway, I ended up developing two separate hop flavoured macaron recipes yesterday. These were especially made for my hop head husband, who really believes that “The more bitter, the better!”. Hops, chocolate, whatever – that’s his thing.

This first recipe uses Centennial hops, known for their citrussy notes. Cascade hops would also work well, especially if you’re less into the bitterness – Cascade has all the flavour of Centennial hops, but with less bitterness.

If SUPER hoppy IPAs aren’t your thing, you’ll probably want to cut back the hops to about 1 Tbsp worth. I’m not a huge fan of hops on their own, and these are only slightly too bitter for me – the filling really balances it out. The bitterness builds and leaves a nice aftertaste.

As a final note, I recommend you read my first post about making macarons if you are at ALL intimidated by the idea of making these: The Easy Way to Make Macarons. The only change I’ve made since then, is that I sifted the ingredients together, on account of the hop leaves. They turned out perfectly!

Oh, and I did eventually get to put on a batch of macarons for ME, after all of this hop macaron craziness 🙂

Enjoy!

Hoppy Citrus Macarons Recipe
(Makes 20-24 cookies)

1 1/2 cup powdered sugar
1 cup finely ground almonds *
2 Tbsp finely ground dried hop leaves – Centennial or Cascade**
3 large egg whites
4 tbsp white sugar
Green gel food coloring, if desired

Preheat your oven to 300 degrees.

Mix together powdered sugar, ground almond meal, and hop powder. Sift through a wire strainer, discarding any large pieces. set aside.

Mix egg whites and sugar in a *very clean* metal mixer bowl. It is very important that not only is the bowl and whisk attachment VERY clean, but that no specks of egg yolk are included with the egg white. The presence of any egg yolk or grease on your bowl or whisk will prevent the egg whites from properly whipping up. This is the only “rule” you really need to be concerned about!

Affix your bowl to the mixer, and whip eggs on high until stiff peaks form. The whites will be pillowy, thick, and marshmallowy. When you remove the whisk from the meringue, it should leave a very definite “peak” – if the tip flips over a little, that’s ok. Add a small amount food coloring, if desired, whisk in.

Dump bowl of dry ingredients into the meringue. Use a wooden spoon or spatula to gently stir the mixture until everything is well incorporated and very thick.

Once mixture is fairly uniform, beat it until it’s still thick, but oozes a bit. You don’t want to beat it till it’s fully RUNNY, but you’d like it to settle back into place if you remove some and drop it back into the mix. It’s better to under-beat it than to over-beat it.

Spoon macaron batter into a pastry / frosting bag with a 1/4″ or so opening – whether a metal tip, or just the end cut off the bag.

Pipe ~ 1.25″ – 1.5″ rounds onto a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper. If the batter isn’t running all over the place, there’s no real worry about placing them close together – I’ll leave an inch or so between the rounds.

Pick up the sheet of piped cookies, and rap it against the counter a couple of times to dislodge any air bubbles.

Bake cookies for 13-16 minutes, or until they lift easily from the parchment. (Undercooked macarons will stick). Remove from oven, cool to room temperature, and prepare the filling.

Orange-Lemon Buttercream Filling

1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, softened
1 Tbsp Orange zest – about 1 orange worth
1 tsp lemon zest – about 1 small lemon worth
1 Tbsp orange juice
1-2 cups powdered sugar

Whip butter until smooth. Add zests and orange juice and mix until incorporated.

Slowly add 1 cup of powdered sugar a bit at a time, until incorporated completely. If mixture seems too thin, add a bit more powdered sugar, continuing to mix until thick (but spreadable!) and smooth.

To assemble Macarons

Spoon or pipe about a Tablespoon worth of filling onto the flat underside of one cookie. Top with the underside of another cookie. (Rounded sides facing out). Holding cookies by the edge, twist gently to force frosting out almost to the edge.

* Finely ground almonds may be referred to as almond meal” or “almond flour”, depending on where you find them.

** I like to use a spice / coffee grinder to get dried hop leaves down to a fine powder – even my mini food processor doesn’t work so well, just blowing the leaves around in the bowl. Blitz to a fine powder, then measure.

Fan of hops? You’ll LOVE my latest cookbook, Hedonistic Hops!

Hops are prized for their ability to impart varied, complex flavours to beer… but did you know they can also be used culinarily? While hops may seem like a bizarre or exotic item to cook with, it’s the same as using other herbs and spices in your kitchen… you just have to know what to do with them. Appetizers, main dishes, beverages.. even desserts can be uplifted with hops!

Even those who are not fans of beer will love the unique flavours that various types of hops can bring to their plate. Floral, earthy, peppery, citrusy… Cooking with hops is a great way to expand your seasoning arsenal!

Interested in boozy culinary experiments? You’ll LOVE my first cookbook, The Spirited Baker!

Combining liqueurs with more traditional baking ingredients can yield spectacular results.Try Mango Mojito Upside Down Cake, Candy Apple Flan, Jalapeno Beer Peanut Brittle, Lynchburg Lemonade Cupcakes, Pina Colada Rum Cake, Strawberry Daiquiri Chiffon Pie, and so much more.

To further add to your creative possibilities, the first chapter teaches how to infuse spirits to make both basic and cream liqueurs, as well as home made flavor extracts! This book contains over 160 easy to make recipes, with variation suggestions to help create hundreds more! Order your hard copy here, or digital edition here.

Interested in Gluten-free cooking and baking? You’ll LOVE Beyond Flour: A Fresh Approach to Gluten-Free Cooking and Baking!

How many times have you come across a gluten-free recipe claiming to be “just as good as the normal version!”, only to wind up with weird textures, aftertastes, etc? Most gluten-free recipes are developed by taking a “normal” recipe, and swapping in a simulated “all purpose” gluten-free flour… whether store bought, or a homemade version. “Beyond Flour” takes a different approach: developing the recipe from scratch. Rather than swapping out the flour for an “all purpose” mix, I use various alternative flours as individual ingredients – skillfully blending flavours, textures, and other properties unique to each flour. Supporting ingredients and different techniques are also utilized to achieve the perfect end goal … not just a “reasonable facsimile”. Order your copy here.

Looking for even MORE fantastic gluten-free recipes? Beyond Flour now has a sequel: Beyond Flour 2: A Fresh Approach to Gluten-Free Cooking and Baking!

Imagine gluten-free foods that are as good – or better! – than their traditional, gluten-filled counterparts. Imagine no longer settling for foods with bizarre after-tastes, gummy consistency, and/or cardboard texture. Imagine graham crackers that taste just like the real thing. Crisp, flaky crackers…without the sandy texture. Hybrid tortillas that: look and act like flour tortillas, with the taste of fresh roasted corn! Imagine chewy, delicious cookies that *everyone* will want to eat! Imagine BAGELS. If you’ve cooked from “Beyond Flour”, you already know that these fantasies can be reality – it’s all in the development of the recipes. Order your copy here.

Gluten-Free Coconut Shrimp with Spicy Ginger-Orange Sauce

SO it’s been almost two months since I’ve blogged. Whoops!

It’s been insanely busy here. First, we took advantage of a local spay and neuter promotion – free surgeries for the month of April! – to get 60% of our backyard feral colony fixed. Then a week or so later, we found out we were a little too late – we discovered 3 kittens! We’ve been raising them ever since – checkout the colony’s Facebook page for all kinds of ridiculously cute photos!

Aside from that, I’ve been working on cosplay costume orders, and getting ready to promote my cookbook at a Gluten-Free expo this past weekend. Gave the most awkward demonstrations ever, sold some books, met some cool people – was great!

One thing to come from the weekend was a request for a Coconut Shrimp recipe, so we decided to splurge a little and do one up… using LARGE shrimp.

We’re usually pretty frugal with food, so snarfing $25 worth of shrimp in a sitting was a BIG treat… but hey, cheaper than going out, right? 🙂

This recipe came together quickly, easily, and tastes GREAT! I’m especially a fan of the dipping sauce I worked up, using ingredients we happened to have on hand. Demonstrating my Sesame Chicken recipe this weekend still had me in the mood for ginger/spicy, and telling people about my Spicy Orange Chicken had me craving something like THAT. Decided to combine the two cravings and come up with something to scratch both itches.

We like to use a lot of ginger, and go with 1 Tbsp… but you can use as little as 1 tsp if you want.

Enjoy!

Gluten-Free Coconut Shrimp with Spicy Ginger-Orange Sauce
Makes 4 servings

Oil for deep frying – we used vegetable oil

2 lbs medium to large peeled, tail on shrimp
Salt and pepper
1/2 cup garbanzo bean flour
1/4 cup corn starch
1/4 cup white rice flour
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
2 eggs
1 cup gluten-free beer (or chicken broth)

2/3 – 1 cup garbanzo bean flour
3 cups unsweetened coconut flakes

Start heating your oil to 350F – you’ll want at least 2-3″ of oil in your pot or deep fryer.

If shrimp has peel on, remove it. For straight lengths of shrimp tempera, make a series of small cuts along the inside curve of the shrimp. Be careful not to cut all the way through! Season with a little salt and pepper, tossing to coat.

In a large bowl, combine flours, corn starch, baking powder, and salt. Add eggs and beer/broth, whisk to form a medium-thick batter. All batter to sit for 5-10 minutes, to soften the bean and rice flours.

Place remaining bean flour in a separate bowl, and the coconut in a third bowl.

Dredge shrimp in reserved garbanzo flour, shake off any excess flour, then dredge in rested batter. Allow excess batter to drip off before rolling shrimp in coconut. Place prepared shrimp on a baking sheet, repeat battering steps with remaining shrimp. Once all shrimp is battered, chill for 15 minutes.

Carefully transfer chilled shrimp to the preheated oil, cooking in batches. Fry for 1-2 minutes on each side, until golden brown and cooked all the way through. Use a slotted metal spoon to transfer fried shrimp to paper towels.

Serve hot!

Spicy Ginger-Orange Sauce:

1/2 cup orange marmalade
1/4 cup honey
1 tsp- 1 Tbsp grated ginger
Pinch of salt
1 tsp crushed pepper flakes

Whisk together all ingredients in a small saucepan, until smooth. Bring mixture just to a boil, reduce heat and simmer for two minutes. Remove from heat, serve warm or cool.

Interested in Gluten-free cooking and baking? You’ll LOVE Beyond Flour: A Fresh Approach to Gluten-Free Cooking and Baking!

How many times have you come across a gluten-free recipe claiming to be “just as good as the normal version!”, only to wind up with weird textures, aftertastes, etc? Most gluten-free recipes are developed by taking a “normal” recipe, and swapping in a simulated “all purpose” gluten-free flour… whether store bought, or a homemade version. “Beyond Flour” takes a different approach: developing the recipe from scratch. Rather than swapping out the flour for an “all purpose” mix, I use various alternative flours as individual ingredients – skillfully blending flavours, textures, and other properties unique to each flour. Supporting ingredients and different techniques are also utilized to achieve the perfect end goal … not just a “reasonable facsimile”. Order your copy here.

Looking for even MORE fantastic gluten-free recipes? Beyond Flour now has a sequel: Beyond Flour 2: A Fresh Approach to Gluten-Free Cooking and Baking!

Imagine gluten-free foods that are as good – or better! – than their traditional, gluten-filled counterparts. Imagine no longer settling for foods with bizarre after-tastes, gummy consistency, and/or cardboard texture. Imagine graham crackers that taste just like the real thing. Crisp, flaky crackers…without the sandy texture. Hybrid tortillas that: look and act like flour tortillas, with the taste of fresh roasted corn! Imagine chewy, delicious cookies that *everyone* will want to eat! Imagine BAGELS. If you’ve cooked from “Beyond Flour”, you already know that these fantasies can be reality – it’s all in the development of the recipes. Order your copy here.

Next-Level Scalloped Potatoes

Today’s recipe has a bit of a weird inspiration/backstory – it all started with a Boxing Day trip to Walmart to snag cheapo gift sets for an upcoming party and gift swap.

It was early enough that the store was blissfully empty and quiet, but we were in a rush to get home and get to work. We decided to pick up a couple food items needed for the coming days. En route to pick up the cheapest, smelliest tuna they had (the cats prefer it that way!), I noticed something from the corner of my eye: Jalapeno cheddar instant scalloped potatoes. It kinda stopped me dead in my tracks- why hadn’t I ever thought to put jalapeno in scalloped potatoes. It was an epiphany!

We ALMOST bought it, but (at least!) one too many childhood experiences with dehydrated “Hamburger Helper” type potato products got in the way. Besides, we had potatoes and almost a litre of heavy whipping cream at home left over from other recipes, I’d just make my own from scratch.

After adding everything I wanted to it – beer, because I LOVE beer as an ingredient when it comes to cheese (even if I won’t drink beer as a beverage!), onions, garlic… it was amazing. The sauce almost didn’t make it to the potatoes, from uh.. “quality control”. 🙂

The smell coming out of the oven was maddening. Why is it that the recipes that put out the most tantalizing smells seem to start doing so the earliest in their cook times, and have the LONGEST cook times? I was very frustrated, and was pretty ravenous by the time it finished cooking – maybe not the best thing to make first thing in the morning, for breakfast!

Actually, I lie. It WAS the best thing to make for breakfast. SO GOOD. I love potatoes almost any way you could come up with making them (Yes, I live up to most stereotypes for my Irish heritage!), but this was WAY beyond any scalloped potatoes I’d ever had/made before. Hey, let me ask my husband for a 6 am, getting ready for work, several days after the fact food review!

“Well, they’re obviously much better than anything I’ve had from a box, all fancy and shit. I liked the little bit of zip from the 2 large jalapenos – it was great heat level for breakfast or lunch. For dinner, I like this a little more spicy so would add more jalapenos.”

So there you have it. “All fancy and shit”. 🙂

Enjoy!

Jalapeno Scalloped Potatoes
Makes ~ 8 servings

2-3 large jalapenos, seeded and finely chopped
1 small onion, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, pressed or minced
1 Tbsp butter
1/4 cup white rice flour*
1 cup gluten-free beer*
3 cups heavy cream **
1 cup grated Monteray Jack cheese
Salt and pepper
4 lbs red potatoes, washed
Pan spray
1 cup grated sharp cheddar cheese

Preheat oven to 400 F

In a medium or large saucepan, combine jalapenos, onion, garlic, and butter. Sautee for a few minutes, until onion and peppers soften up a little. Add rice flour, whisk until well distributed and free of clumps.

Add beer, whisking well until smooth. Add heavy cream, continuing to whisk, until smooth. Bring to a boil. As mixture starts to boil, add shredded jack cheese, continue stirring until melted and smooth. Remove from heat, season with salt and pepper to taste.

Peel potatoes if you like – we don’t bother, we like the skins! – and slice VERY thinly. Spray a 9 x 13 baking dish, and layer about a third of the potatoes in there. Pour a third of the sauce over it, tilting the pan to let it seep through the layers.

Layer another third of the potatoes, pouring another third of the sauce over it. Repeat one more time, using up the remaining potatoes and sauce. Cover with foil.

Bake for 1 hour. Remove foil, return to oven for another 20 minutes. Remove from oven, scatter cheddar cheese evenly over the top, and return to the pven for another 10 minutes, or until nicely browned.

Serve hot!

* You can use regular flour and/or beer if you don’t need this to be gluten-free

** You can use Half and half or milk, if you prefer.

Interested in Gluten-free cooking and baking? You’ll LOVE Beyond Flour: A Fresh Approach to Gluten-Free Cooking and Baking!

How many times have you come across a gluten-free recipe claiming to be “just as good as the normal version!”, only to wind up with weird textures, aftertastes, etc? Most gluten-free recipes are developed by taking a “normal” recipe, and swapping in a simulated “all purpose” gluten-free flour… whether store bought, or a homemade version. “Beyond Flour” takes a different approach: developing the recipe from scratch. Rather than swapping out the flour for an “all purpose” mix, I use various alternative flours as individual ingredients – skillfully blending flavours, textures, and other properties unique to each flour. Supporting ingredients and different techniques are also utilized to achieve the perfect end goal … not just a “reasonable facsimile”. Order your copy here.

Looking for even MORE fantastic gluten-free recipes? Beyond Flour now has a sequel: Beyond Flour 2: A Fresh Approach to Gluten-Free Cooking and Baking!

Imagine gluten-free foods that are as good – or better! – than their traditional, gluten-filled counterparts. Imagine no longer settling for foods with bizarre after-tastes, gummy consistency, and/or cardboard texture. Imagine graham crackers that taste just like the real thing. Crisp, flaky crackers…without the sandy texture. Hybrid tortillas that: look and act like flour tortillas, with the taste of fresh roasted corn! Imagine chewy, delicious cookies that *everyone* will want to eat! Imagine BAGELS. If you’ve cooked from “Beyond Flour”, you already know that these fantasies can be reality – it’s all in the development of the recipes. Order your copy here.

Southern Comfort Glazed Ham Recipe

Last week, we celebrated Thanksgiving. Well, the first of two, anyway – the joys of being a 2-nationality marriage! Last week was Canadian, then we celebrate US Thanksgiving in November. Life is good 🙂

Anyway, we decided to have a ham for Canadian, turkey for American this year. For the ham, we were trying to pick out which whiskey we wanted for my usual ham glaze – we didn’t have any Jack Daniels, and my husband’s usual whiskeys are too peaty.

I had a crazy idea: what about Southern Comfort? The fruitiness of it would work well with the flavours of both the ham, and my usual glaze ingredients.

…it was fantastic! I made a HUGE ham, using the leftovers for a big batch of French Canadian Pea Soup, one of my ultimate favourite comfort foods. (Just be sure to cut off the “crust” of the ham you’ll be using in the soup – I’m not big on mixing the flavours of the glaze into it!)

Enjoy!

A note on Southern Comfort: Southern Comfort is a spirit that is tends to be distilled from – in part – fermented wheat. While it doesn’t cause a reaction in MOST people with gluten sensitivities – and the leading Celiac associations have deemed it gluten-free – a few experts disagree. If you have noticed a reaction, or just want to play it extra safe, it could be a good idea forgo it in favour of juice, rum or brandy.

Southern Comfort Glazed Ham

1 fully cooked smoked ham
Whole cloves, optional
1 Tbsp olive oil
1 small onion, grated
3 cloves garlic, minced or pressed
1/2 cup southern comfort
2 Tbsp Dijon mustard
1 cup pineapple juice
1/2 cup packed brown sugar

Preheat oven to 350 F.

Carefully slice 1/2″ deep cuts across top of ham, spaced about 1 1/2″ apart. Cut another series of 1/2″ deep cuts crosswise to the first set of cuts, creating a diamond pattern all over the top surface of the ham. If you like, push a whole clove into each spot where the cuts intersect – I usually don’t bother, though. Place ham in roasting pan, along with about 1 cup of water – this will prevent the drippings from burning.

Follow the directions on the ham for baking – usually about 15 minutes per pound. Set your timer for 40 minutes less than the recommended baking time.

About 20 minutes before the timer goes off, prepare the glaze:

Heat oil in a medium saucepan. Cook onion and garlic in heated olive oil, until onion starts to go translucent. Add remaining ingredients, whisking until smooth. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, simmer for 5-10 minutes.

When the timer goes off, spoon half of the glaze evenly over the top of the ham, return to the oven for 20 minutes.

At the 20 minute mark, spoon remaining glaze over the ham, continue cooking for 20 more minutes. Remove from oven, allow to sit for a few minutes before slicing and serving.

Interested in Gluten-free cooking and baking? You’ll LOVE my latest cookbook, Beyond Flour: A Fresh Approach to Gluten-Free Cooking and Baking!

How many times have you come across a gluten-free recipe claiming to be “just as good as the normal version!”, only to wind up with weird textures, aftertastes, etc? Most gluten-free recipes are developed by taking a “normal” recipe, and swapping in a simulated “all purpose” gluten-free flour… whether store bought, or a homemade version. “Beyond Flour” takes a different approach: developing the recipe from scratch. Rather than swapping out the flour for an “all purpose” mix, I use various alternative flours as individual ingredients – skillfully blending flavours, textures, and other properties unique to each flour. Supporting ingredients and different techniques are also utilized to achieve the perfect end goal … not just a “reasonable facsimile”. Order your copy here.

Hoppy Citrus IPA Glazed Wings

Eek, it’s been over a week since I posted my Hoppy IPA BBQ Sauce Recipe… guess I should get to posting the other deliciousness that resulted from that day in the kitchen!

While the BBQ sauce was kind of a last minute “Ooh, you know what we should try making?” thought, these wings were a recipe idea I’d been tossing around in my head for a WHILE. We were actually in the grocery store buying ingredients to make these, when having the idea to make BBQ sauce!

I’ve said it before… I’m not a fan of drinking beer, but I do LOVE it as an ingredient. That BBQ sauce was amazing, Jalapeno Beer Peanut Brittle is probably my favourite brittle ever, and I frequently use beer as an ingredient in soups, fondues, sauces, etc. In these wings? Completely fantastic! The flavours went together so well, complex but coherent, and definitely unique. It was sweet and savoury with a little heat and a little bit of bitter hop bite – perfectly balanced, and so, SO good.

Let me share what the hop heads had to say about it, though:

“I would first like to say, I love hops, the more hoppy the beer the better. I however have never had anything really made with hops beyond a hop candy sold from my local brewing supply shop. I was excited for my first dive into cooking with hops, also nervous, I had never really heard of anything besides a tasty beverage made with hops.

Hop wings! These little treats were deep fried chicken wings and drummies, they were covered lightly in a light orange glaze, they looked really good. My first bite was a great crisp feel followed by first a nice honey taste, followed with the fresh taste of citrus from an orange, it was then all combined at the end with the bitterness from the hop. Very much like a very good beer the taste had the distinct front, middle and end tastes you would expect. It was truly delicious!”Trevor

“These hop wings are delicious! The flavors explode in your mouth, with sweet honey and orange popping up first and the slightly bitter citrus finish with a little bit of spice. I tore through my wings super fast, this is an addictive sauce! It’s not simply a variation of another sauce or a replication of a commercial sauce, this stands out on its own so well. I love trying new flavors of wings, but this is one where I’d keep coming back to it over and over, it quickly became my favorite.” – Porter

An interesting note about my husband: He has some weird “top of the food chain guilt” thing going on. He doesn’t mind eating meat, he just doesn’t want to be reminded that it used to be an animal… so he hates eating food off the bone, etc. I think this is the first time I’ve seen him seem totally OK with eating non-boneless wings!

A note about hops: While we used fresh hops – as that’s what we had readily available – you can also use dried. Use about half as many, if you’re going with dried. Dried (and sometimes fresh, too!) hops are available from home brewing supply stores everywhere.

Hoppy Citrus-IPA Glazed Wings

Vegetable Oil for deep frying
4 lbs chicken wings & drummies
Salt
1 cup IPA of choice
1/2 cup fresh hops, divided (We used Centennial)
1 cup liquid honey
1 jalapeno, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, pressed or finely minced
Juice and zest of 1 orange

Heat oil 375 degrees F. You can use a deep fryer, or a heavy pan. If not using a deep fryer, use a deep, heavy pot, filled to at least 3″ deep. Sprinkle chicken generously with salt, allow to air dry while preparing glaze.

In a medium saucepan, bring IPA and 1/4 cup of the hops to a boil. Turn heat down to medium-low, simmer until it has reduce to about half the original volume. (Just eyeball it!).

Once IPA has reduced, add honey, jalapeno, cloves, orange zest/juice, and a pinch of salt. Bring back up to a simmer, simmer for about 10 minutes. Add remaining hops, simmer for 5 more minutes. Pour glaze through wire strainer, discarding solids left behind. Return to pot and keep warm while preparing chicken wings.

Fry chicken wings in batches of about a dozen pieces each – allowing oil to come back up to temperature between each batch – until golden brown. (About 10-15 minutes per batch). Transfer fried wings to a large bowl, toss with glaze, and serve hot!

Fan of hops? You’ll LOVE my latest cookbook, Hedonistic Hops!

Hops are prized for their ability to impart varied, complex flavours to beer… but did you know they can also be used culinarily? While hops may seem like a bizarre or exotic item to cook with, it’s the same as using other herbs and spices in your kitchen… you just have to know what to do with them. Appetizers, main dishes, beverages.. even desserts can be uplifted with hops!

Even those who are not fans of beer will love the unique flavours that various types of hops can bring to their plate. Floral, earthy, peppery, citrusy… Cooking with hops is a great way to expand your seasoning arsenal!

Interested in boozy culinary experiments? You’ll LOVE my first cookbook, The Spirited Baker!

Combining liqueurs with more traditional baking ingredients can yield spectacular results.Try Mango Mojito Upside Down Cake, Candy Apple Flan, Jalapeno Beer Peanut Brittle, Lynchburg Lemonade Cupcakes, Pina Colada Rum Cake, Strawberry Daiquiri Chiffon Pie, and so much more.

To further add to your creative possibilities, the first chapter teaches how to infuse spirits to make both basic and cream liqueurs, as well as home made flavor extracts! This book contains over 160 easy to make recipes, with variation suggestions to help create hundreds more! Order your hard copy here, or digital edition here.

Hoppy IPA BBQ (“Hop-BQ”) Sauce Recipe

This past weekend, we finally got around to harvesting our hops. They’d grown *insane* this year, and it was a task that had been easy to procrastinate on. One look at the abundance of hops, twisted vines, and leaves everywhere… it’s hard NOT to say “eh… LATER!”. Luckily, one of our hop-head friends was willing to come help out, and we got it all done!

As the guys were picking and sorting hops, I was in the kitchen, busily developing from fresh hop recipes we’d conceptualized a while ago. It’s always exciting when we finally get to turn a crazy idea into reality! Both recipes we were looking to create turned out amazingly well, and we even ended up with a 3rd recipe. Well… half recipe, anyway. (Hard to look at 3 ingredients and like 30 seconds of work as a recipe, right?)

This is my Hoppy IPA BBQ Sauce. Based with IPA and fresh hops, it has a wonderfully complex taste, while still being a legit BBQ sauce. I’ll let the guys give you their two (four?) cents on the sauce…

“This is a delicious sauce that has a great complexity. It starts out sweet with hints of orange and pepper then fades away with a delicious hop flavor…

.. I don’t think you need to be a hop-head to enjoy this, but if you are – like I am! – then this will be right up your alley. The flavors compliment each other so well and will taste great on almost anything. I’m pretty sure I could just grab a spoon and dig into the jar when nobody is looking.” – Porter

“Being a Midwesterner, I had never had any seafood with BBQ sauce on it, sure ribs or pork slathered in the stuff but never any fish, let alone shell fish. I have to say the smell and look of the shrimp looked amazing, nicely seared with a light brushing of sauce. I was excited for the first bite. It was fantastic, the tangy smokey flavor was certainly making a showing, followed by the hot spicy flavors I love in any BBQ sauce, then the hops took the end and merged all the flavors with that of the shrimp. Just like a good hoppy pint of joy, the front, middle and end were present. Maybe it was because of the addition of the hops that I noticed this more than I have in other foods as a hop head I always look for more of a flavor profile in my beer than I usually do my food, but its addition definitely added excitement, taste and enjoyment. I was so surprised and would definitely keep an eye out for more foods and recipes with hops to try.”Trevor

With the citrussy notes in this sauce, it worked ridiculously well on some grilled shrimp and scallops we made that night. It would also be great on pork and chicken, in particular – though I’m sure you could enjoy it on just about anything!

… and for those who don’t grow hops at home, they’re usually available for purchase at most homebrew supply stores – and they’re in season right now!

Hoppy IPA BBQ Sauce

1 tbsp olive oil
1/2 small red onion, grated or finely chopped
1 small jalapeno, grated or finely chopped
1 cup IPA of choice
1/2 cup fresh hops, divided (We used Centennial)
2 garlic cloves, pressed or finely minced
2 cups ketchup
1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
2 Tbsp fresh OJ
Zest of 1/2 or 1 orange
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
2 Tbsp granulated sugar
1 tsp black pepper
1/2 tsp mustard powder

Saute onion and jalapeno in olive oil until translucent. Add beer, 1/4 cup of hops, and garlic, simmer for 5 minutes.

Add all remaining ingredients except for the 1/4 cup of reserved hops. Stir well, turn heat down to low, cover simmer for 1 hour – stir frequently.

Add remaining hops, simmer for 5 more minutes. Press sauce through wire strainer, discarding solids left behind. Chill until use.

Fan of hops? You’ll LOVE my latest cookbook, Hedonistic Hops!

Hops are prized for their ability to impart varied, complex flavours to beer… but did you know they can also be used culinarily? While hops may seem like a bizarre or exotic item to cook with, it’s the same as using other herbs and spices in your kitchen… you just have to know what to do with them. Appetizers, main dishes, beverages.. even desserts can be uplifted with hops!

Even those who are not fans of beer will love the unique flavours that various types of hops can bring to their plate. Floral, earthy, peppery, citrusy… Cooking with hops is a great way to expand your seasoning arsenal!

Interested in boozy culinary experiments? You’ll LOVE my first cookbook, The Spirited Baker!

Combining liqueurs with more traditional baking ingredients can yield spectacular results.Try Mango Mojito Upside Down Cake, Candy Apple Flan, Jalapeno Beer Peanut Brittle, Lynchburg Lemonade Cupcakes, Pina Colada Rum Cake, Strawberry Daiquiri Chiffon Pie, and so much more.

To further add to your creative possibilities, the first chapter teaches how to infuse spirits to make both basic and cream liqueurs, as well as home made flavor extracts! This book contains over 160 easy to make recipes, with variation suggestions to help create hundreds more! Order your hard copy here, or digital edition here.

Bananas Foster Pavlova

Just flew back from an INSANE trip to Dallas this past week. Stayed with friends, enjoyed great company, great food, … Vanilla Ice, Ninja Turtles.. drunkenly prank calling some of my MasterChef “prison buddies” with Matt Orsini (remember him from my videos?).. and more. Truly epic trip.

One thing that I was particularly looking forward to, was meeting Ben Starr for the first time. As you may recall, Ben was my “Haymitch”, as I prepared for my brief stint on MasterChef. I realized this week that it’s been almost a year and a half since first contact!

After I arrived in Dallas, we planned to meet up on our second last night in Dallas – he would have my husband and I over for dinner, along with John – one of our friends that we were staying with. I was honestly kind of nervous – meeting people always makes me nervous, but Ben was even beyond that – someone I owed a good chunk of my sanity to, over the whole course of the past year and a half.

I don’t *ever* get star struck, but apparently I DO get “Starr” struck!

So, with a few hours to go before dinner, I texted him to once again ask if there was anything I could bring, hoping that I could get my mind off of “Man, I wonder what this whole thing would have been like, if I’d never contacted him”. I offered to bring dessert, and he accepted. Yes! Distraction!

Relief soon turned to stress, as I realized that I was in a kitchen that was not my own, with no real access to grocery stores, not a whole lot in the way of available ingredients, and only a few hours to go. Yay for speaking before thinking things out, eh?

We’d purchased the stuff to make a bananas foster bread pudding the following day – erring on the side of too much in the way of ingredients, as I hadn’t created the recipe yet. I quickly worked things out and could tell I had enough to make a bit of bananas foster… and I could easily make a pavlova. Done and done – and Pavlova IS my favourite dessert ever, afterall. Less than 10 minutes later, the pavlova was in the oven, and the wonderful aroma of bananas foster was wafting off the stovetop.

The hour+ drive to his house, I was so nervous. Would I say something stupid? What if I got really emotional about the last year and a half and just bawled on sight? What if he really hated my dessert?

Then, he answered the door in his underwear. I’d actually been so nervous I didn’t even notice, til he pointed it out. We laughed, and my social tension disappeared!

His business partner – from his underground dining venture, “Frank” – Jennie was there. They were both all kinds of awesome. Later on, Ben’s partner Christian arrived, and HE was all kinds of awesome. The whole evening was unbelievably awesome, and yes – I know I’m overusing awesome. IT WAS AWESOME. So much laughter. Such great food! An illicit absinthe collection, a chicken on the table… good times!

Anyway, I could yap all day about that evening (Did I mention that we had an AWESOME TIME?)… but I’m here to share a recipe!

So, here’s the bananas foster pav. Contrary to my early worries, it went over VERY well with the others!

This recipe is a bit different from a normal pavlova, in that I swap out half of the white sugar, for brown. This changes the texture – the inside of the meringue ends up almost cakey! It’s delicious, and is naturally gluten-free. Also, as has been road-tested… it’s a great recipe to pull out as a last minute sure-to-impress dessert!

Ok, I’m going to go get some sleep now…

Bananas Foster Pavlova

Meringue:
4 large egg whites
1/2 cup super fine / castor sugar *
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
Pinch of salt
1 tsp Vanilla extract
2 tsp white vinegar
1 tsp Cornstarch

Bananas Foster:
2 Tbsp butter
1 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup amber rum
1 tsp cinnamon
4-5 bananas

Whipped Cream:
1 1/4 cup heavy cream
1/4 cup (loose, not packed!) brown sugar
1/4 cup amber rum

1/2 cup toasted pecans

Get ready: Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Remove eggs from fridge and allow to warm to room temp (about 5 minutes). Line a baking (cookie) sheet with parchment paper, and set aside. Fit your electric mixer with the whisk attachment.

In your mixer bowl, beat egg whites together with salt until glossy peaks form. Slowly add in the sugars, and continue whipping until stiff peaks form. Turn off mixer, remove bowl.

Sprinkle vanilla, vinegar, and cornstarch over meringue, gently fold in till combined.

Heap meringue onto the center of your baking sheet. Use a spatula to spread the meringue out to approximately an 8-9″ circle. I like to have my meringue a fairly even depth throughout – some like a mound, some like it to be a little concave. If you want to get really fancy, put the meringue into a pastry bag and pipe it out as a mass of swirls that form your 8″ circle! It’s really up to you!

Put the baking sheet into your oven, and turn the temperature down to 250 degrees. Bake for 1 hour and 20 minutes. Once your timer goes off, turn the oven off and let the meringue cool in the oven for several hours. The baking of the meringue can be done the day before, if needed!

AS THAT IS BAKING:

Make your Bananas Foster topping:

In a medium saucepan, melt butter over medium heat. Add brown sugar, cinnamon, and rum, stirring until well combined. Add banana slices, and cook for about 5 minutes, or until desired texture. Remove from heat, allow to cool to room temperature.

Just before serving, whip the heavy cream, along with the brown sugar. Once it’s just about thick enough, turn the speed down and add the rum. Once rum is fully combined, turn up the speed and whip until it reaches a good, thick texture.

Mound the whipped cream on your pavlova, and top with bananas foster and toasted pecans. Serve immediately!

Serves 4-6. (Or 2 Pavlova fanatics!)

* Super fine / castor sugar is granulated sugar with a much finer grain size than regular granulated sugar. It is NOT powdered / icing sugar! Super fine sugar is usually sold near the sugar in the baking aisle, in small boxes – sometimes resembling milk cartons. If you aren’t able to find actual super fine sugar, you can process regular granulated sugar in your food processor until fine. Measure AFTER you process!

Interested in Gluten-free cooking and baking? You’ll LOVE Beyond Flour: A Fresh Approach to Gluten-Free Cooking and Baking!

How many times have you come across a gluten-free recipe claiming to be “just as good as the normal version!”, only to wind up with weird textures, aftertastes, etc? Most gluten-free recipes are developed by taking a “normal” recipe, and swapping in a simulated “all purpose” gluten-free flour… whether store bought, or a homemade version. “Beyond Flour” takes a different approach: developing the recipe from scratch. Rather than swapping out the flour for an “all purpose” mix, I use various alternative flours as individual ingredients – skillfully blending flavours, textures, and other properties unique to each flour. Supporting ingredients and different techniques are also utilized to achieve the perfect end goal … not just a “reasonable facsimile”. Order your copy here.

Looking for even MORE fantastic gluten-free recipes? Beyond Flour now has a sequel: Beyond Flour 2: A Fresh Approach to Gluten-Free Cooking and Baking!

Imagine gluten-free foods that are as good – or better! – than their traditional, gluten-filled counterparts. Imagine no longer settling for foods with bizarre after-tastes, gummy consistency, and/or cardboard texture. Imagine graham crackers that taste just like the real thing. Crisp, flaky crackers…without the sandy texture. Hybrid tortillas that: look and act like flour tortillas, with the taste of fresh roasted corn! Imagine chewy, delicious cookies that *everyone* will want to eat! Imagine BAGELS. If you’ve cooked from “Beyond Flour”, you already know that these fantasies can be reality – it’s all in the development of the recipes. Order your copy here.