Chicken Satay Recipe – Gluten Free

Chicken Satay is one of those dishes that is SO close to being gluten-free… but isn’t.

The soy sauce included in both marinade and dipping sauce renders restaurant satay inedible to most with gluten issues. It’s such a small thing, yet ends up meaning that most restaurant-made satay is off limits.

So, if you’ve got to make it at home, best start with an amazing recipe! This is one of the recipes from Beyond Flour 2.

“The chicken stays nice, tender, and juicy from this marinade, and the dipping sauce is perfect for it – It compliments the chicken so well, and is amazing on its own – I feel like I could just take a spoon and eat it by itself. I could live on this.” – my husband’s view on it.

The sauce can be made ahead, or just as you’re grilling the chicken. I like to serve the sauce hot, but it can also be served cool if you like – you’ll just want to thin it with a little extra chicken stock, as it thickens when cold.

Chicken Satay

Serves 2-4 people

2 lbs boneless skinless chicken breast

Marinade:

1 cup Coconut milk
2 Tbsp Olive oil
1 Tbsp Gluten-free soy sauce
1 Tbsp Lime juice
1 Tbsp Light brown sugar, packed
2 Garlic cloves, pressed or minced
1 tsp Curry powder
Salt and pepper

Sauce:

1 cup Coconut milk
1/2 cup Peanut butter
1/2 cup Chicken stock
1 Tbsp Lime juice
2 Tbsp Light brown sugar, packed
2 tsp Curry powder
2 tsp Gluten-free soy sauce
1 tsp Fish sauce
1 tsp Pepper flakes
1 Garlic clove, pressed or minced

Cut chicken breasts into relatively uniform strips, about 1.5″ across. Place in a bowl for marinating (Ideally with a lid), set aside.

Whisk together all marinade ingredients except salt and pepper, taste. Season with salt and pepper to your liking. Pour marinade over chicken strips, gently turning to coat well. Cover and refrigerate for at least 5 hours.

In a medium saucepan, whisk together all sauce ingredients. Bring just to a boil, turn heat down, and simmer for 5 minutes.

Soak wooden skewers in hot water for 30 minutes, before threading with chicken strips. Spray grill with nonstick spray, grill until cooked through- juices should run clear. Serve hot, with sauce

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.

Rainbow Salad with Carrot-Ginger Dressing

Last week, I was doing my social media chores on Facebook, when I came across an ad for some takeout place way down south. I have NO idea why it was in my feed – driving 12+ hours for takeout isn’t reasonable! – but it featured a photo of a salad that I needed in my life.

I noted what I could see in it, and planned to make something like it at home. I made a few additions, based on our tastes – edamame, green onions and (optionally) avocado.

For dressing, I decided to throw together a carrot-ginger dressing. Not only were we both in the mood for something like that, it would go really well with the flavours in the salad. Also, I thought that the bright orange of it would be extra pretty against such a vibrant background. I was not wrong!

It actually took me two tries to get the dressing to where I wanted. Hit the flavour perfectly on the first go, but the texture left a bit to be desired. I’d used fresh carrots and pureed them, thinking that would be the easiest for people – not everyone has a juicer, after all.

I really wasn’t happy with the mouthfeel on it, though… so I went back to the original plan, and it was *perfect*. Freshly juiced is best, but if you don’t have a juicer – just buy some carrot juice in the produce section at your grocer.

Finally, this makes a ton of salad – a big, sharable bowl worth. We make it up and keep it in the fridge, picking away at it through a few meals. That is the ONLY reason I’m not including avocado in it – avoidance of brown avocado bits. If you’re making this up as a single serve thing – for a gathering, maybe? – I would recommend including an avocado or two. I love the texture and flavour of it in this!

Enjoy!

Rainbow Salad with Carrot-Ginger Dressing
Makes 8+ Servings

4 cups Shredded Brussels sprouts
4 cups Shredded red cabbage
2 cups bite sized broccoli florets
1-2 cups shelled cooked Edamame (Thawed, if frozen)
1 cup shredded carrots
1 zucchini, sliced
2 large radishes, thinly sliced
2 green onions, thinly sliced on the diagonal
1 red bell pepper, sliced
4 oz Pomegranate seeds (or 1 pomegranate worth)

Combine ingredients in a large bowl, cover and chill until use. Drizzle with carrot-ginger dressing before serving.

Dressing:

1 1/2 cups carrot juice
1/3 cup rice or apple cider vinegar
1/3 cup vegetable oil
2 Tbsp grated ginger
1 Tbsp sesame oil
½ small yellow onion
1 tsp sugar
2 clove garlic, pressed
Salt and pepper, to taste

Combine all ingredients except salt and pepper in a blender, blitz until very smooth. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Transfer to an appropriate container (we use a large mason jar), chill until use.

Separation will occur, so shake well before serving.

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.

The One CHEESE Ring!

Recently, I had to make something to bring to a Lord of the Rings themed potluck. I wasn’t in the mood to make my Lembas, and didn’t have time to order the Elderflower syrup to make my Miruvor.

I was on a big cheese kick (as always!), with a lot of cheese in the fridge. We started with the idea of somehow making a LOTR cheese ball (??), and that idea quickly spawned the final plan: We would make The One Cheese Ring.

I like to make cheese balls in the same way I make my Fromage Fort: See what we have in the fridge, use a bit of everything. What can I say, I like adventure! For the less adventurous / those without a ridiculous amount of cheese sitting around, you can always go with a mix of cheddars, goudas, etc – it’s all good!

When it comes to the black speech piped on the side, I decided to use Sun dried tomato paste, which you can buy in a tube. Really, you can flavour the cream cheese with anything you like, and tint it any colour you like. Dijon mustard, horse radish, pesto paste, etc. If using pesto paste, use one without nut chunks in it, or it will be hard to pipe. You can get basil paste in the produce section of many grocery stores.

Once you’ve piped the Black Speech onto the cheese ring, you may feel an overwhelming desire to keep THE PRECIOUS all to yourself … but you should probably share this with friends. 2 1/2 lbs of cheese is a lot, even for the tricksiest of Hobbits.

We’ll definitely have to serve one of these at Tol-Con – A new Middle Earth Fan Convention happening here locally in November!

The One Cheese Ring
Makes 2.5 lbs of cheese ring

1 small onion, chopped
5 cloves garlic, pressed
2 Tbsp Dijon mustard
1 lb cream cheese, softened
Splash dry white wine
1 1/2 lbs cheese of choice, grated
Salt, pepper
~ 1.5 cups finely chopped pecans

4 oz softened cream cheese
Flavour paste of choice – we used sun dried tomato paste, pesto is available, etc.
Food colouring, optional

Place onion and garlic into food processor, blitz until finely chopped. Add mustard, cream cheese, and white wine, blitz until very smooth. Add cheese, blitz once more until mixture reaches desired texture. Taste, season with salt and pepper if desired.

Line a large plate with parchment paper, and wrap a wring of parchment paper around a large round can – large can of tomatoes works well, we used a can of mango pulp.

Center can on prepared plate, mound cheese mixture around the can evenly. Using very clean hands (we wear gloves), sculpt the cheese mixture into a rounded ring shape. Once you’re happy with the ring, chill for 2 hours or so.

With your final display plate nearby, carefully remove the can and the parchment paper from the center of the ring, and carefully turn the cheee ring over onto another plate, or your hand. Transfer (flipping in the process) to the display plate.

Using a hot wet knife, clean up any imperfections in your ring, if desired. Allow to sit for 10 minutes to warm up slightly.

Carefully press chopped pecans into all exposed surfaces of the ring, including in the center. Brush away excess nut pieces, chill ring.

In a small food processor, blitz cream cheese and flavouring paste together until very smooth. If using food colouring, tint to desired colour.

Transfer flavoured cream cheese to a pastry bag, pipe Black Speech around outside of ring.

PRECIOUSSSSSS.


Lorien, of The Feral Fellowship

***

Tolkien Fan? Be sure to check out these other posts:

How to make a Hobbit Hole Cat Shelter
Caturday: Tolkien edition
How I Made that: Dwarf Wig
So I’m Dressing My Husband up as Thranduil…
The Two Week Thorin Costume!
Thorin Costume!
How to make Thranduil’s Crown
Smaug the Terrible… I mean, Terribly AWESOME.
I am Fire, I am FRUITY – Smaug Fruit Bowl
Smaug Costume
Doing the Elf Meme Thing…
Gandalf the Fabulous

***

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.

How to make Peameal Bacon and Back Bacon

As I’ve mentioned before, one of the annoying things about living away from my homeland is the lack of availability of many of the grocery basics, treats, and general comfort foods of home. For the most part, they’re easy enough to make, once I put my mind to developing a recipe (Tiger Tail Ice Cream, or Honey Garlic Cooking Sauce, for instance!)

Recently, I was disappointed with a purchase of “Canadian bacon” (we don’t call it that – it’s back bacon!). I lamented the lack of availability of not only GOOD back bacon, but also peameal bacon. My husband had never even heard of peameal bacon, and had only ever had “Canadian Bacon” as they sell it here in the USA… anemic, flavourless, very blah ham product. This was a situation that needed to be rectified!

So, I did some research on recipes and techniques, and created a recipe of my own, using the flavours I wanted. I ordered a few necessary items – including Prague Powder, which I’d never even heard of – and then called my husband to let him know that I was taking up a new hobby – curing meat. You know you’ve married well when such a declaration isn’t met with some variation of “WTF? Because we don’t have enough hobbies?”, but with “Awesome! I’ve been meaning to take up smoking meats! We can do both!”!

Anyway, both back bacon and peameal bacon start out the same – soaking in a flavourful brine for a few days – and then veer off in different directions from there:

Peameal Bacon is then rolled in cornmeal (Back in the day it was crushed up dried peas), wrapped, and chilled. It’s then cut into thick slices and fried up as needed, usually served in sandwiches. So far as I can tell, peameal sandwiches are mostly a Toronto thing… I have no idea why. They’re fantastic!

Back Bacon skips the cornmeal, and gets smoked until fully cooked. You can serve it as-is, though it’s usually reheated in some form: fried as part of breakfast or in a sandwich, or thinly sliced and used to make pizza. I promise you, making a pizza with this will wreck you for all other pizzas. I made a spicy Hawaiian one the other day – back bacon, pineapple, thinly sliced jalapenos, and a drizzle of sriracha.. spectacular!

Says Porter: “It has a better texture than the stuff I’ve had – firm but not stringy or chewy. Much better flavor, more character. I definitely see a big difference, and I’m not going back”

While back bacon requires smoking – usually requiring special equipment / technique – peameal bacon is ridiculously easy to make, and requires no special skill or equipment. I was really kicking myself for not having done it sooner!

Homemade Peameal Bacon and Back Bacon Recipe

1 Pork loin, about 4 lbs
12 cups cold water, divided
1 cup maple syrup
1/2 cup pickling salt
2 Tbsp Prague powder #1 cure (I found it on Amazon)
2 Tbsp mustard seeds
2 tsp black peppercorns
4 cloves garlic, pressed
3 whole cloves
2 bay leaves
1 lemon, sliced into wedges

Cut pork loin into 2 approximately equal sized chunks (crosswise, NOT lengthwise!). Trim most of the visible fat, if you’d like. Some people don’t both, I don’t like the extra fat on mine. Set aside (in fridge).

Measure 4 cups of of water into a large pot, add remaining ingredients (aside from rest of water!). Bring to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer for 5 minutes. Remove from heat, add remaining water, stir to combine. Allow to cool to room temperature.

Place one chunk of pork loin in each of 2 gallon sized freezer bags. I like to manually divide the lemon wedges and bay leaves equally between the two bags before pouring half of the brine into each bag. Push out most of the air, seal the bags, and put them in the fridge – I put both bags into a 9 x 12 cake pan, just in case of leakage, etc.

Allow the pork to brine for 5 whole days, turning once daily to ensure the pork loins are completely submerged.

After 5 days, discard brine, and rinse pork loins with cold water. Use paper towels to pat dry.

For Peameal Bacon

Pour a generous amount of yellow cornmeal onto a plate large enough to accommodate the chunk of pork loin. Roll loin in the cornmeal, pressing to form a uniform crust. Wrap tightly in plastic wrap, chill for at least an hour before slicing and frying/grilling… if you can handle the wait! (I was unable to!)


(Excuse the crappy cellphone pic. Hubby was at work, and I was SO excited to try some!)

For Back Bacon

Hot smoke it with your choice of wood chips until it reaches an internal temperature of 145-150 F. I left this completely up to Porter, here’s what he has to say about how he did it. (This was the very first thing he’s ever smoked!):

“First I put it in the propane grill at about 225°F for one hour. Then I transferred it over to the charcoal grill for about 2 1/2 hours. The charcoal grill was about 250°F (that wasn’t intentional, was trying for 225°F). While on the charcoal grill I put on soaked applewood chips about every twenty minutes or so, just a small amount each time. I put the wet chips directly on the coals.”

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 will be included.

The Kickstarter for “More Than Poutine is live, here. Please consider backing, and sharing the campaign with your friends!

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.

Pickle Recipe Roundup

This weekend really marked the start of MY SEASON. I have basically been locked up in the house all summer (super susceptible to heat stroke, not fun!), and now, with the cooler temperatures… freedom!

The change in season was also very apparent at the farmer’s market. We’d gone to purchase some cider for a concentrated maple sap apple cider we’ve been planning. From looking at the armloads of food that other customers were carrying, it was apparent that many would be pickling this weekend, or soon.

Our big pickling plans this year only involve one thing – a big batch of our Hoppy IPA pickles. We’ve kind of ruined some of our friends for other pickles, and now we’re out of them. Definitely aiming for a bigger batch this time.

Anyway, I thought it would be a good idea to blog a roundup of our favourite pickling / canning recipes, to aid those planning for their own farmer’s market binge purchases this coming weekend 🙂

Pickled Beets

Pickled beets were my absolute favourite as a kid. I don’t actually know who made the many jars of them that would line our basement shelves, but they were SO good.

As an adult, I had to develop my own recipe. Best beet pickles I’ve ever had! Especially great for use on salads with pear slices, goat cleese, some thinly sliced basil, and toasted walnuts. YUM.

Click here for the recipe.

Carrot Pickles

Carrots are a really versatile vegetable when it comes to pickling – they can take a lot of different flavours really well. Pickle them plain, make garlic dill carrot spears, try some fresh ginger, or spice it up with jalapenos or pepper flakes.

This blog entry contained our two favourite ways of putting up carrots.

Click here for the recipe.

Colcannon Pickles

Having spent some time on the east coast of Canada, I’m a big fan of the Newfoundland version of caulcannon / colcannon.

When I went on a big pickle making binge a few years back, I thought it would be cool to make some mixed root vegetable pickles, based on the veggies used in caulcannon. The pickles that resulted were not only pretty in the jar, but had great flavour and crunch!

Click here for the recipe.

Hoppy Pickle Relish

Our Hoppy IPA Pickles were SUCH a hit, I decided to make a relish based on the flavours in the pickles. Hoppy IPA beers go so well with pickles in general, why NOT play up the bitter flavours of the hops in this gorgeous relish?

Goes really well on a variety of meats and fish.

Click here for the recipe.

Mixed Vegetable Pickles

Of all the pickle recipes I’ve created, I think this one is my favourite. I love the variety of colours, textures, and flavours in each jar. I even love eating the pickled garlic cloves at the bottom of each jar!

Quick, cheap and easy to make a TON of these – I totally recommend doing so!

Click here for the recipe.

Dill Pickles

I love dill pickles! You can keep all the sweet, “bread and butter”, and mustard pickles… give me a great, crunchy dill pickle any time!

This is a great basic recipe, and a staple for anyone getting started with canning. Classic!

Click here for the recipe.

Hoppy IPA Pickles

… and finally, our Hoppy IPA Pickles. The recipe that has ruined friends for all other pickles, and has earned itself a fanclub.

Not only great for hopheads and homebrewers, the use of IPA and fresh hops in these pickles create a great, complex flavour – definitely unique.

Click here for the recipe.

So, that’s it for now. What are your plans for pickling or canning this year?

How to Make Haggis (in North America, Anyway!)

A bit of a weird (TMI?) note here… my body is kind of weird, and I have ridiculous needs when it comes to animal protein, B vitamins, iron, etc. If I don’t eat enough red meat, I get weak and ill, and it feels like I can *feel* my cells slowly dying.

It’s a really gross feeling, so I TRY to keep up on protein… but sometimes it’s hard. I recently got so busy with the next couple of book releases, that I was living on horrible convenience foods that I won’t really admit to… and no animal protein. Got malnourished, got sick, and decided that what I REALLY needed to feel better was some haggis.

I have a different kind of relationship with haggis, than the average person. I tried it at Folklorama as a teen, and LOVED it. I wasn’t surprised, I knew from a young age that a lot of what gets labeled as “icky” is actually really tasty. One of my absolute favourite foods as a kid was steak and kidney pie!

In my teens, I realized that haggis was absolute gold for anemia, so I started to look at it as not only a tasty meal, but medicine. Iron pills never really did much for me, but a serving of haggis would pick me up and make me feel so much better within minutes. It became a go-to cure, for me.

I moved to the east coast, and met a really nice Scottish lady who’d sell it to me by the ice cream bucket-full. I moved to the greater Toronto area, and found a butcher shop that kept it in stock.

Then I moved to Minnesota, and my only option was canned. What?

While I did suffer through the canned option a couple times (it smells like cat food, and doesn’t even have all the good stuff in it!), this most recent time happened after hours for the company I’d buy it from. I decided that enough was enough, I was going to figure out how to make it myself. I’m always up for an adventure, and this would definite be one – I’d never actually worked with most of the meats involved!

I knew I’d have to make a few compromises, in making haggis. While it’s normally made with lamb, beef would be far easier to find ingredients for, and definitely more economical. Also, for my purposes… I’ve found that beef is better for my issues than lamb is. Additionally, lungs were out of the question, due to FDA regulations – so I decided to substitute a beef tongue. Stomach was impossible to find, so I had to figure out an alternate casing option.

A trip to a local butcher for the beef tongue also yielded me a bit of advice on casings… which was helpful, as I’d never even made sausage before this point. After comparing the options, we all decided that it’d be best to go with the casings used for venison sausage. “Mislabeled” for my purposes, maybe.. but they had the widest diameter, so would be closest to the real thing.

I may have SKIPPED out of the butcher shop. I was positively giddy at the idea that I was just a few hours away from my OWN haggis.

I got home, and decided that the occasion required the start of a new Pandora station. Great Big Sea was the seed group for it, as I figured Celtic rock/pop would be ideal haggis making music… and it was!

It was interesting to unwrap the individual ingredients and see what they even LOOKED like for the first time. I don’t have any weird hangups about types of meat being gross – if I can eat a cow face (barbacoa is amazing!) and chow down on roasted chicken skin, I just don’t see why heart would be weird, you know?

I did have something weird *HAPPEN* at one point, though. When I unwrapped the kidneys, the smell hit me … and it was like something out of some cheesy vampire movie. It didn’t smell GOOD, in a way that food’s supposed to… but something surged in me, and I felt extremely ravenous, immediately. I went from happy and giddy, to feeling almost sort of feral with just one whiff. I had to convince myself that it wasn’t a good idea to just eat some of it raw, right then – the urge was there! It was completely bizarre… I wonder what I was smelling? I’ve always had an insane sense of smell (Aspergers super power!), so I’m almost wondering if it was a nutrient or mineral that I was really, really low on. SO weird!

I was able to pull myself together, and whatever that was calmed down once I got the kidney meat soaking.

I pulled everything together – kind of making it up as I went along – without incident. It was easier than I had imagined, and it was the best tasting haggis I’d ever tried – never underestimate the power of having complete control over your seasonings!

As I took my first bite of the fully seasoned haggis mixture, “Ramblin’ Rover” came on over the new Pandora station, and it was a magical moment for me. It felt – and tasted – like victory!

As I placed the haggis chubs in the water for a final cook, another song got stuck in my head – David Guetta’s “The World is Mine“. Yes. It is an amazing feeling to know that this hard-to-find food item is now something I could make… and you can, too!

A note on the photos: Because of my husband’s weird “top of the food chain guilt”, as I call it (he doesn’t want to see meat that looks like it came from an animal, prefers to pretend it grew on trees or something), I wasn’t allowed to make this while he was home, and had to resort to crappy cell phone photography for the progess photos. Sorry about that!

Luckily, he was perfectly ok with the finished product, and graciously took the beauty shots for me 🙂

Enjoy!

Haggis Recipe

1 beef tongue (about 3 lbs)
2 lbs beef heart
5 onions
6 ribs celery
2 carrots, peeled and sliced in half lengthwise
4 Tbsp dried savoury, divided
1 tsp dried thyme, divided
2 tsp salt, divided
2 Tbsp + 1 tsp ground black pepper, divided
3 tsp sage, divided
2 lbs beef kidneys
1 cup vinegar
1 lb beef liver
1/2 lb beef suet
2 cups rolled oats, toasted*
1 tsp dried thyme
1 1/2 tsp allspice
1 1/2 tsp nutmeg
sausage casings of choice**

In a large pot, place beef tongue, beef heart, 2 peeled and sliced onions, celery, and carrots. Cover with water, add 1 Tbsp savory, and 1 tsp each theme, salt, pepper, and sage. Bring JUST to a boil, reduce heat to medium, and simmer for 2 hours.

As you wait, rinse the kidneys off, and cut all the meat from the white stuff. Place the kidney meat in a bowl with 1 cup vinegar and 3 cups water. Stir well, let it sit for 20 minutes before draining and rinsing it.

Add kidneys and beef liver to the pot, continue to cook for another hour or so, until the tongue and heart are tender.

Remove everything from the cooking liquid, reserving the liquid for later. Discard vegetables, allow meats to cool until you can handle them.

Use a sharp knife to trim gristle, skin, or “ugly bits” from the heart and tongue. Chop all of the organ meat to ~ 1″ cubes or strips. Run all the meat through the larger grain opening on your meat grinder, mix well. Run through once more, this time with the finer cut attachment.

Grate or finely chop the remaining 3 onions, and grate the suet. Add both to the meat mixture, stir well.

Run your toasted oats through the food processor to break them up a bit, add to the mixture. Stir well

Season the mixture to your liking. I ended up using:

3 Tbsp dried savoury
2 tsp dried sage
1 tsp dried thyme
1 1/2 tsp allspice
1 1/2 tsp nutmeg
2 tsp salt
2 Tbsp ground black pepper

Stir well.

I used the sausage making attachment for my Kitchenaid to stuff the sausage casings, which I’d soaked in hot water for a few minutes to soften. As I haven’t made sausage before… not sure what to recommend if you use something else. Don’t stuff them TOO full, or they run the risk of exploding when simmered.

Once the sausage casings are stuffed, tie them off. Prick each casing a few times with a fork or JUST the tip of a sharp knife. Place in a large pot of boiling water, turn the heat down and and simmer for about 3 hours.

YUM!

*I spread them out on a cookie sheet and toasted them in the oven at 350 until they smelled nice. Stir it every once in awhile.

** I used two large “venison sausage” style casings. If I had my time back, I would have used 4 and only done them half full!

My Haggis Making Victory Song:

Bacon Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Dijon Vinaigrette

The Minneapolis Farmers Market opened this past weekend, and we’d been looking forward to it for a very long time.

This was definitely the winter that wouldn’t end, stubbornly “gifting” us with another 3″ of snow just a week ago, before jumping up to highs in the mid 70s days later. WTF, mother nature?

Anyway, it was great to wander the aisles that we hadn’t seen since last summer, and get some fresh air. While there wasn’t much in the way of fresh produce yet, we did end up buying – among other things – a tray of fresh Brussels sprouts. I was happy – it’s been a while.

Growing up, I LOVED Brussels sprouts. Fresh or frozen, usually mushy and included in stew.. whatever. Loved em! As I grew a bit older, it kinda shocked me to learn that Brussels sprouts had kind of a bad reputation, and was a commonly DISliked food.

As it turns out, my husband is in a weird middleground. He doesn’t love them, doesn’t hate them… but is OK with them in small doses. He says they are “too much… something”.

Yeah, I don’t know.

So, I decided to try to make a Brussels Sprouts Believer out of him. Forget the stew, I’d do my second favourite presentation – roasted. I knew it would be hard to turn up his nose at bacon roasted Brussels sprouts, even if left plain… but these are also tossed in a tweaked version of my go-to favourite vinaigrette.

SO good… he loved em! I hope you will, too!

Bacon Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Dijon Vinaigrette

1 lb thick cut bacon, chopped
1 1/2- 2 lbs fresh Brussels sprouts
1 Tbsp brown sugar
Salt
Pepper
1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
1 Tbsp Dijon mustard
2 clove garlic, peeled and finely minced

Preheat oven to 400 F.

Cook bacon to desired doneness – I like to stop just short of crispy, for this recipe.

As bacon is cooking, remove any yellowed or otherwise ugly outer leaves from the Brussels sprouts. Cut off the very end (brown) of each stem end, before cutting each sprout in half. Place on a baking sheet.

Use a slotted spoon to transfer bacon from pan, setting aside. Measure 1/4 cup of bacon drippings into a bowl or measuring glass, set aside for now.

Pour remaining bacon drippings over the Brussels sprouts, tossing to coat well. Sprinkle sprouts with brown sugar, season with salt and pepper, gentle toss to coat. Roast for about 25 minutes, stirring the sprouts every 8-10 minutes or so.

Whisk cider vinegar, mustard, garlic, 1/2 tsp pepper, and 1/4 tsp salt into the the (slightly cooled!) reserved 1/4 cup of bacon drippings until mixture becomes thick, well combined, and smooth.

Once sprouts are as roasted as you would like them, remove from the oven and transfer to a serving bowl. Toss with vinaigrette and bacon, season with more salt and pepper to taste.

Serve hot!

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Gluten Free Savory Marbled Basil Cheesecake

Who says cheesecake is only for dessert? This savory version is best served at least slightly warm… I like it best chilled first, and reheated to HOT in the microwave. Yum!

Savory Basil Marbled Cheesecake

Crust:

1 1/4 cups finely chopped almonds (almond meal, almond flour)
1/2 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
1/3 cup butter, melted
pinch of black pepper

Combine all ingredients until completely incorporated and moistened. Evenly distribute across the bottom of a 9″ spring form pan. Press ingredients firmly, extending crust partway up the sides of the pan. Chill for at least 1 hour.

Cheesecake:

1/2 small onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, pressed or minced
32 oz cream cheese, softened
1 cup shedded provolone cheese
1/2 cup sour cream
6 large eggs
1 cup heavy cream
1 tsp salt
1/4-1/2 tsp pepper
2-3 cups fresh basil leaves

Preheat oven to 425°F (220°C)

Finely chop onion and garlic in a food processor. Add cream cheese, provolone, and sour cream, process until very smooth. Add eggs, blitz for a few seconds to combine. Carefully stream in heavy cream, process just until well combined and smooth. Stir in salt and pepper, Pour half of the cheese batter into a mixing bowl. Add basil leaves to remaining batter in food processor, blitz until leaves are finely chopped and well incorporated into the batter.

Gently spoon batter into prepared crust, alternating scoops of plain and basil batters. Run a clean butter knife through the batter -being careful to not disturb the crust underneath – to marble the batters.

Bake for 15 minutes. After 15 minutes, turn the oven down to 325°F (160°C) and bake for 50 minutes. Once baking time is complete, turn off the oven and allow cheesecake cake to cool – WITHOUT opening the door! – for 2 hours.

Note: While this cheesecake is fantastic as it is, it also works well when topped with any number of complementary items. Try roasted red pepper, pesto, or crumbled bacon!

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Easy Cheese Soufflé

Soufflé is one of those dishes that has a big, scary reputation… even though it can be one of the easiest things in the world to make!

Seriously, Soufflé – cheese especially – is nowhere near as finicky as you may have heard. Don’t harass it when it’s in the oven, don’t slam the oven door, and serve it right away – done. It WILL deflate less than a minute after being taken from the oven – that’s just thermodynamics, not any failure on your part.

This recipe takes ease in preparation a step further, and just involves a blender or food processor – no making a separate béchamel sauce, no beating egg whites… super easy! Also: gluten free!

Easy Cheese Soufflé

Butter
7 large eggs
1/2 cup sour cream
1.4 cup milk
1 tsp mustard powder
1/4-1/2 tsp cayenne powder
1/2 tsp salt
3/4 cup grated Swiss cheese
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese

Use butter to grease two 16oz ceramic ramekins, preheat oven to 375F

Blitz everything except cheese in blender for 30 seconds. Divide cheese between two ramekins, fill with egg mixture.

Bake for 50 minutes, serve immediately – you’ll have about 30 seconds before the soufflé deflates!

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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.