Gluten Free Beaver Tails Recipe

With More Than Poutine available for pre-order now, it time for me to get the word out!

So, for this blog entry, I’d love to share one of the HUGE requests I had for the cookbook, and talk a little bit about the gluten-free accommodations in the book.

More Than Poutine is probably the most ambitious concept I’ve taken on for a cookbook project. Not only was the scope pretty big – Canadian food! – I decided that I wanted to provide gluten-free versions for (almost) everything, as well.

The vast majority of the recipes are gluten-free by default. Many have a very easy swap, such as using a GF soy sauce instead of a regular soy sauce. Most of the rest have a note at the end with ingredient substitutions, etc to make a gluten-free version. I think only 2-3 of the 120+ recipes do not have a gluten-free version. It’s kinda hard to make a gluten free version of Winnipeg Style Rye bread, for instance, given that rye itself is glutenny!

For all of the recipes with alternate ingredients, I developed the GF versions the same way I developed Beyond Flour and Beyond Flour 2 – using custom combinations of alternate flours, specific to each recipe… rather than “all purpose” mixes. Doing it this way guarantees the best results, and tends to turn out a product that’s as good as the real thing, if not *completely* indistinguishable from the original.

Anyway!

These pastries are based on a well known, extremely popular pastry, widely available at festivals and fairs across Canada. Whole wheat dough is stretched out to long ovals and fried, then topped with a variety of goodies. You can go as basic as a brushing of melted butter and sprinkle of cinnamon sugar, or go more wild.

On the “more wild” end, the pastries are usually spread with something sweet – Nutella, peanut butter, Jam, Maple butter, etc – before being sprinkled with candies, chopped nuts, sliced fruits, etc. You can even follow up with a drizzle of more sugar – chocolate sauce, caramel, etc!

When it came to making a gluten-free version, the challenge was twofold: Make a bread product that has a great texture (soft, not gummy or chalky!), AND replicates the taste of whole wheat.

Well, I’m proud to say I succeeded in both! This dough makes a very soft BeaverTail, with none of the “gluten-free” texture issues.

The use of rice bran and flax meal is a combination I came up with when developing Beyond Flour 2, when creating legitimate graham crackers… and it worked beautifully here to mimic the flavour and character of whole wheat flour.

So, whether the source material here is something you miss from pre-gluten-free days, or whether it’s something you’ve never been able to have – and always wanted to try – this recipe will serve you well!

Enjoy … and be sure to pre-order your copy of More Than Poutine, here!

Note: The photos in this blog entry are specifically the gluten-free version, NOT the full-gluten version. The gluten/original version is pictured in the actual book, though. As with all recipes based on a commercial source material, this recipe is named something else in the book!

Gluten-Free Beaver Tails

Makes 6 pastries

Warm milk 3/4 cup 175 ml
1/3 cup Brown sugar, packed
2 1/2 tsp Active dry yeast
3/4 cup light buckwheat flour
½ cup rice bran
½ cup unflavoured whey protein powder
½ cup sweet rice flour
2 Tbsp flax meal
2 tsp Xanthan gum
3/4 tsp Salt
2 Tbsp Canola oil
1 Large egg
1 tsp Vanilla extract
Canola oil
Toppings*

Combine warm milk with brown sugar, stir until sugar is almost dissolved. Add yeast, stirring until incorporated. Set aside in a warm place for 10 minutes, or until foamy.

In a large bowl, combine flours, rice bran, protein powder, flax meal, xanthan gum, and salt. Add canola oil, stirring until well distributed. Pour in yeast/milk mixture, egg, and vanilla extract; stir until well combined. Cover with plastic wrap, set aside in a warm spot to rise for an hour or two, until about doubled in size.

In a large, deep pot, heat 2-3″ of canola oil to 350 F (180 C). While oil is heating, divide dough into 6 equal sized pieces. Use clean, wet hands to flatten and shape each dough ball into a long, thin oval, about 1/4-1/2″ thick. Allow each to rest on a clean work surface as you form the rest.

Working with one pastry at a time, carefully transfer to the preheated oil. Allow to fry for 1-2 minutes , or until golden on the underside. Gently flip and repeat, cooking until evenly golden.

Transfer fried pastry to a baking sheet lined with paper towels, blot to remove excess oil. Spread and top as desired, serve immediately!

* Topping Suggestions:

Cinnamon Sugar: Mix together 1 cup sugar, 1 Tbsp cinnamon. Brush hot pastry with melted butter, sprinkle generously with cinnamon sugar. Squeeze fresh lemon slices on top for a traditional variation on this!

Spreads: Peanut butter, Nutella, maple butter, frosting, jam, pie filling, etc

Toppings: Small candies, crushed chocolate bars, crumbled gf cookies, sliced fruit, berries, chopped nuts, mini marshmallows, etc

Drizzles: Maple syrup, chocolate sauce, caramel sauce, etc

With 2017 being Canada’s 150th birthday, it’s about time I wrote the Canadian cookbook I’ve been planning for YEARS.

“More than Poutine” will be a Canadian cookbook like no other – written by a Canadian living away, it includes both traditional homecooking recipes, as well as homemade versions of many of the snacks, sauces, convenience foods, and other food items that are hard to come by outside of Canada!

High quality gluten-free versions of most recipes are included.

“More Than Poutine” is available for purchase, 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.

Smoked French Fries Recipe

Sometimes, laziness is the mother of invention.

A couple weeks ago, I was deep frying something for Hedonistic Hops – wings, if I recall correctly. The recipe shoot was doubling as supper, and we hadn’t really planned on a side, outside of a couple artistically placed celery sticks.

We did have some leftover smoked potatoes in the fridge, however. I didn’t feel like pan frying them as hashbrowns – how I normally serve smoked potatoes – so I sliced them up into makeshift fries and deep fried them.

Holy. Mother. Of. God.

I’m not even as much into smoked foods as my husband is, and these were AMAZING. Definitely some of the best fries I’ve ever had! The smoke flavour was retained even after deep frying – without being overpowering – and they had an amazing texture. Tons of character!

So, we HAD to actually do up a recipe for them… and here it is! Enjoy!

Smoked French Fries

Potatoes*
Wood chips of choice (we use Jack Daniels chips)
Salt
Frying oil

Wash potatoes, slice into your choice of shape – regular fries, steak cut, wedges, disks … whatever. Arrange on smoker racks, allowing a little bit of space between each fry.

Smoke – following your smoker’s directions – for 1 hour at 225F **. Allow to cool to room temperature.

Heat oil to 360 degrees F

In small batches, cook fries for 10 minutes. This will NOT brown them, merely cook them. As each batch comes out, put aside.

Once all fries are par-cooked / blanched, turn the heat up to 375, and allow oil to reach temperature. In small batches, re-fry the potatoes until browned and crispy, about 3-5 minutes per batch.

Yes, it seems a little involved – but this is how to get fries that are cooked all the way through, and crispy on the outside!

Remove to paper towels to drain a little, season with salt, and serve immediately.

* Make more than you think you’ll need. You can use any type of potato for this – even sweet potatoes. Russets are most popular for traditional fries.

** This can also be done on a charcoal grill. Use indirect heat, watch the temperature carefully.

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.

Smoked Jalapeno Poppers

A couple weeks ago, we bought a smoker. After having made proper back bacon, we just HAD TO.

That first day of smoking things, we went a little nuts: A couple kinds of sausage. Poblanos. Peanuts! A chicken (that one didn’t go so well, though). The big standout from the day? Smoked Jalapeno Poppers.

These happened as a bit of an evolution. My husband bought a little metal holder thing for smoking jalapenos upright, with the thought that we could use them in my cooking, or even just making salsa. Fair enough… but what if we stuffed them full of cheese before smoking? … better yet, what if we forget the stand, slice the peppers in half, wrap them in bacon, and smoke THAT? It has always been our preferred style of poppers *in the oven*, but smoking them could be really great, right?

So, we did. They were AMAZING – super addictive. I thought I was really a genius for coming up with them… until a friend on Facebook informed me that they were already a “thing” in the smoking community. Well, crap.

So, while I can’t take credit for actually inventing an original thing here, I HAVE to share our recipe. These take a little bit of prep work, but are SO worth it. Brave the snow and put some of these on to bring to your holiday potlucks, or just keep them in your fridge for quick snacks. Just be sure to make at least twice what you think you’ll need, because they go fast. (Understatement of the year!)

This recipe can be tweaked to suit personal taste: If you scrape out all of the seeds and ribs from the peppers, they have flavour without heat. If you leave some of the seeds/ribs in, you can get anywhere between a little heat, to scorching. They can be served cold, room temp, or hot – we prefer them reheated.

The amounts listed for cheeses and bacon are approximate: The amount of filling and bacon you need will depend on the size of your peppers, how full you pipe them, and the cut of your bacon. We recommend thin or regular cut bacon, as we didn’t like the texture thick cut left after being smoked.

Quick bit of advice: I highly recommend using nitrile/ latex/whatever gloves for preparing the poppers. You will come in contact with an insane amount of capsaicin, and it can burn!

Smoked Jalapeno Poppers Recipe

5 lbs jalapeno peppers
~ 3.5 lbs cream cheese
1/2 – 1 lb shredded cheese of choice (we used a peppered blend)
~ 3.5 lbs bacon

Wood chips*
Gloves
About 5 disposable pastry bags

At least an hour before smoking – but ideally overnight – soak your wood chips in water.

Wearing gloves, cut the tops off the peppers, and cut each in half lengthwise. Use a spoon to scrape out as much or as little of the seeds and ribs as you’d like, set aside.

In a large bowl, microwave the cream cheese for 30-60 seconds at a time until it’s soft enough to stir well. Beat until creamy and with no lumps. Add shredded cheese, stir until well distributed.

Spoon all of the mixture into piping/frosting /pastry bags, trying to avoid creating air pockets as you go, and leaving enough room to twist the bag shut. (You can spoon the filling in, if you like… but piping it in is so much quicker, easier, and cleaner!)

Cut 3/4-1″ off the pointed end of the bag, carefully pipe filling into each of the pepper halves, as shown.

This is a good time to preheat your smoker (or charcoal grill) to about 200F

Next, wrap the poppers in bacon. Depending on the size of your poppers and the cut of your bacon, you’ll want between 1/2 – 1 strip of bacon per popper.

Leaving a little room between each, transfer the prepared poppers to your smoker racks.

Smoke for 1-2 hours, checking on them right around the 1 hour mark. For our smoker, we use 2 big handfuls of wood chips at a time, adding more chips after about 30-40 minutes.

You can also cook these on a normal charcoal grill: we’ll toss about 1 big handful of wood chips right on the coals, adding more about every 20 minutes.

With our smoker, one hour produces poppers that look like this (how *I* like them):

… and 1.5 – 2 hours produces poppers like THIS, how my husband prefers them:

… try to let them cool for at least a few minutes after they come out of the smoker, as they’ll be molten inside and burn your mouth. I have a hard time waiting, so I won’t judge if you park yourself next to the newly-removed poppers like a wild eyed vulture 🙂

* We like to use the “Jack Daniels” wood chips for this, which we purchase on Amazon.

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.

Epic Popcorn

Well, the MasterChef premiere airs tomorrow… probably a good time for a truly epic popcorn recipe!

In our household, I never, ever make the popcorn. I CAN make popcorn, but my husband is so much better at it – he’s a proper popcorn making ninja. Even when just basic buttered/salted popcorn, he’s just gifted at getting the right temperatures, the perfect amount of butter, the right amount of salt.

Plus, really… popcorn always tastes better when someone else goes to the effort, right?

Anyway, today’s blog entry is his own creation: Epic Popcorn. This is loaded with bacon, bacon drippings, cheese, AND some jalapeno kick – it’s not high cuisine, and it’s not diet food by any stretch of the imagination. It is, however, the best popcorn I’ve ever had!

As Porter likes to say, “It’s a fun and simple way to take something normal and make it truly awesome.”

Oh, it is that! I married a GENIUS.

Hope you enjoy this as much as we do.

Porter’s Epic Popcorn

1 lb bacon, chopped.
Popcorn kernels
Butter, optional
Jalapeno powder*
Salt
Cheddar cheese, finely shredded

Fry up the bacon as crispy as you would like. Strain off the bacon, reserving the drippings.

Use some of the bacon drippings – about as much as you’d normally use butter or oil – to pop the popcorn. If you’re using an air-only popper, skip this step.

Toss the popped popcorn with bacon drippings, alone or combined with a bit of melted butter. Be sure that the drippings (and butter, if using) are NOT super hot, or it will ruin the popcorn.

Season the popcorn with jalapeno powder and salt, to taste. Toss well to combine.

Sprinkle popcorn liberally with shredded cheddar cheese, top with bacon.

Enjoy!

* Jalapeno powder is just dried, pulverized jalapeno peppers. We buy ours from Midwest Supplies. It adds a ton of flavor to popcorn, without all of the crap found in store bought popcorn seasonings!

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.

Poutine Recipe – The way *I* Do it!

Hey guys!

So, can I just say how great it feels to finally be out of the closet as an immigrant? Still feeling like a huge weight’s been lifted from my chest.

You guys will reap the benefits, by the way, and today’s a great example. Aside from having to dance around where I went to school, and making sure I didn’t let a stray “u” end up in “flavor”, I balked at the idea of publishing some of my wholeheartedly Canadian recipes. Let me tell you, I have some great ones that I’ve been dying to share.

Poutine is.. well, honestly it’s probably the nastiest thing ever. It’s a 2am-going-home-from-the-bar kinda food. There is nothing redeeming in nutrition OR appearance. It’s not haute cuisine in the slightest. It may just end up clogging your arteries on sight. Sometimes, I’m kinda embarrassed that it’s sort of looked at as our national dish in Canada.

Oh, but it can be soooo good!

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