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!

Boneless, Meatless “Ribs” in Asian Inspired Sauce

You know how Murphy’s Law rules my life?

Open a cake business… turn up with a gluten allergy

Buy a house.. gets hit by a tornado a couple months later.

Well, we can add a new one to the list.

My husband and I have been slowly coming to the conclusion that he needs to go vegetarian. I’ll spare the gory details, but just know that life will be better for both of us.

As someone who gets pretty sick if I go more than a few days without animal protein, my main concern was him getting enough protein on this new eating plan. We did a ton of research – decided that tempeh was better for him than tofu, for example – and went to a local “vegan butcher” to try some fake meats, which actually have a ton of protein.

The good news was that he loved fake ribs. The bad news? They cost more per pound than actual steak does!

More research turned up the fact that the “best” fake meats are made from vital wheat gluten. As a point of interest here, regular flour is about 12% gluten, vital wheat gluten is a “flour” made up of about 80% gluten.

So, you know… SUPER GLUTEN.

SO I figured, “whatever, I don’t have to eat it, we’ll just have to be extra careful in the kitchen”, and bought some to play with. Opening the first bag of it caused a big plume of gluten to blow up right in my face. I was sick for a few days and wanting to claw my own face off. Awesome.

We learned from that, and now keep a HEPA filter mask and gloves in the kitchen, for making these things.


The things I do for him…

ANYWAY. Now that I’ve bemoaned how awful the stuff is…

After a few trial batches,starting with what seems to be the default ingredients and method for making seitain – the wheat based fake meat – and adjusting from there, I turned out a batch that had him happily declaring that he likes the stuff MORE than actual meat.

… I have no idea how to take that.

To be fair, though, the Asian inspired sauce I came up was completely insane. As in, we’d totally do shots of it, had we not had actual food to cook with it *right there*. It was just a bit of this, “hey, do you want some ginger in here? OK…”. SO glad I wrote it all down as I went!

So, if you’re an actual carnivore like me, know that this sauce is amazing and would go well on basically any meat or vegetable. It’s great on beef, pork, and even fresh tuna.

I can’t speak to the taste of the ribs, myself, because I value my health. 🙂 I would imagine that moldy old gym shoes would taste amazing if marinated in this sauce, however, so I’m going to go ahead and believe Porter that they’re pretty decent!

Asian Inspired Rib Sauce:

Makes about 1 cup

½ small onion, chopped
1/4 cup soy sauce
1/3 cup packed brown sugar
2 Tbsp Sesame oil
1 Tbsp rice wine vinegar
1 Tbsp Sriracha
3 cloves minced garlic
½ tsp black pepper
1 tsp grated ginger
1 Tbsp sesame seeds

Add everything except sesame seeds to a blender or food processor, blitz until very smooth. Stir in sesame seeds, chill until ready to use.

Boneless, Meatless Ribs

Makes about 2 servings.

1 cup vital wheat gluten
2 Tbsp Nutritional yeast
1/4 tsp smoked serrano powder
2 tsp onion powder
1 tsp garlic powder
½ tsp pepper
2 Tbsp Almond butter
1 Tbsp soy
1 tsp sesame oil
3/4 cup apple juice
3 drop liquid smoke

Preheat oven to 350, grease a glass loaf pan (4″ x 8″ or similar size)

In a medium bowl, mix together wheat gluten, nutritional yeast, and seasonings.

In a separate bowl, whisk together almond butter, soy sauce, and sesame oil until relatively smooth. Add a little apple juice at a time, whisking until smooth.

Once wet ingredients are well whisked, pour into dry ingredients and stir to form a lumpy dough. Turn dough out onto a clean work surface, and knead for at LEAST two minutes. This is important – if you don’t knead it enough, it’ll turn out puffy, and more like a baked good than a “meat” substitute. It won’t really look any different as you go, you just have to trust in your timing.

Press dough evenly into prepared loaf pan, slice into 5-6 “ribs”. (They’ll bake together, you’re basically scoring them). Bake for 30 minutes.

Toss “ribs” with sauce, allow to sit in the sauce while you heat your grill up.

Grill until everything is nice and caramelized, basting a couple times with more sauce.

Serve hot. (We like to garnish with sliced green onions, but that’s optional)

Square Root Tart with Horseradish Custard (Gluten-Free)

If you follow my blog, you probably already know about Pi Day.. but did you know about Square Root Day? It’s on April 4th this year – 4/4/16, of course!

Far from a yearly thing, square Root Day only comes around a few times in ones lifetime … so it’s fun to do something to acknowledge it. The next one won’t be til 2025, after all! As numbers nerds, it’s always fun to translate that into food, as an event. Things like this – and Pi Day – are fun. It’s a great way to bring people together without it being a BIG ordeal, like some of the larger holidays.

This square root day is especially fun for us, because it happens to fall on my husband’s birthday. So, I decided to make him a very special recipe to commemorate it. After much thought, I settled on this, a square root tart.

Roasted root veggies are one of my husband’s favourite foods, and I can’t blame him – LOVE them, myself. I decided that it needed to incorporate a “root” themed custard, so I went with horseradish. The slight bite of the creamy custard is a great foil for the texture and earthiness of the root veggies. Where I usually use cornstarch for certain things in crust recipes, I substituted potato starch… while potato is technically a tuber – not a “real” root – it’s closer to being on theme than corn starch is! 🙂

If you aren’t gluten-free (and won’t be serving this to someone who is!) you can substitute any single crust pie crust recipe, or a store bought one. We used a 9″ x 9″ square tart pan.

If you ARE gluten-free (or know someone who is)… you should be sure to check out my Kickstarter Campaign for Beyond Flour 2!

Enjoy!

Square Root Tart with Horseradish Custard

Crust:
1/2 cup buckwheat flour
1/4 cup white rice flour
1/4 cup millet flour
1/4 cup sweet rice flour
1/4 cup potato starch, plus extra for rolling
3/4 tsp xanthan gum
1/4 (4oz) brick cream cheese
1/4 cup cold butter
1 egg
2 Tbsp cold water

Veggies:
1 large carrot
1 medium parsnip
1 small rutabega
1 medium small turnip
1 small golden beet
1 small red beet
Pan spray
Salt and pepper

Custard:
2 Tbsp Butter
2 clove Garlic, pressed or minced
1 Tbsp horseradish
1/2 cup Dry white wine
1 Tbsp potato starch
4 Large egg yolks
1/2 cup milk
Salt and pepper

Measure flours, potato starch, and xanthan gum into the bowl of your food processor, blitz to combine. Add cream cheese, butter, and egg, blitz a few times until mixture resembles gravel. Stream in cold water as you run the food processor, just long enough to start to bring it together as a dough – you may need to use a little more or less water. Do NOT over-process it!

Remove dough from processor, knead lightly to bring it together as a ball. Wrap in plastic film, chill for 1 hour.

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.

Generously dust work surface with potato starch, Roll chilled dough out to a rough square that’s slightly bigger than 11″ x 11″. Carefully transfer rolled dough to tart pan, smoothing the bottom and pressing the dough into the sides of the pan. Trim any excess dough that extends past the top of the pan, prick the flat (bottom) surface of the crust a few times with a fork.

Bake for 20 minutes or until golden brown. Remove from oven and allow to cool. Turn oven down to 350F.

While baking the crust, prepare your roasted roots.

Line 2 large baking sheets with parchment paper, spray with pan spray.

Peel all vegetables except for the beets. Carefully slice them into 1/4″ thick rounds – we use a mandoline slicer for this. Arrange onto one of the prepared pans, spray with pan spray.

Repeat with golden beets, arranging on one half of the second prepared pan. Repeat with red beets, arranging on the remaining space on the second pan. (Fussy, I know.. but beets “bleed” like crazy!). Sprinkle veggies on both pans with salt and pepper. Roast until tender, about 30 minutes.

As veggies are roasting, prepare your custard:

In a small saucepan, melt butter over medium heat. Add garlic, horseradish, and white wine, whisk until smooth; gently bring to a simmer.

In a small bowl whisk together potato starch and egg yolks until smooth. Add milk, continue whisking until smooth. Add milk mixture to pot, simmer over medium heat until very thick. Once custard has thickened to your liking, remove from heat.

Spread hot custard in crust, top with roasted root veggies, serve immediately.

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.

Moroccan Spiced Lamb Burgers with Pea Hummus, Goat Cheese, and Beets

The other day, I posted a recipe that was the indirect result of my husband’s recent business trip to Ireland: Tandoori Spiced Chicken Burgers with Mango. Insane!

Today I’m posting the first “inspired by that trip” recipe I actually made – the day after he got back. Yes, tired, jetlagged, and just happy to be home, I dragged his ass to the grocery store to get ingredients for it. To be fair, he shouldn’t have shown me his photo and told me about what was in it. He knows what I’m like 🙂

This was developed based on the burger he actually ordered at G Counter, whereas the Tandoori one was based entirely upon a menu description. What he was attracted to about this burger in Ireland was that it’s SO different from anything he’s ever seen locally. Also: he’s addicted to beets.

We made this up as 2 giant burgers, and were full all day. It would definitely work as smaller burgers – 3 or 4 of them. Actually, I bet these would be super cute and elegant if done up as a tray of sliders!

This has many layers of flavour, all of which complement each other without being overwhelming. It’s a very satisfying burger! Additionally, this can be made gluten-free with the appropriate choice of bun (or exclusion of the bun, which is how I had it!)

Moroccan Spiced Lamb Burgers with Pea Hummus, Goat Cheese, and Beets

Makes 2-4 burgers

12 oz Goat cheese
1/3 cup Heavy cream
1 tsp Lemon zest
salt and pepper

1 1/2 cups frozen peas
1/4 cup olive oil
1 Tbsp lemon juice
2 Tbsp mint
1 clove garlic

1 lb ground lamb
1/4 cup grated onion
1 Egg
2 cloves garlic, crushed
2 Tbsp finely chopped cilantro
1 tsp pepper
3/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp ground coriander
1/2 tsp garam masala
1/4 tsp smoked paprika
1/4 tsp cumin
Pinch cinnamon

Burger bun of choice
Thinly sliced roasted beets

In a small food processor, using a stick blender, or whisking by hand, blend together the goat cheese, heavy cream, and lemon zest. Season with salt and pepper to taste, cover and chill until use.

In a medium saucepan, cover peas with water and bring to a boil. Boil for 5 minutes, drain well. Place cooked peas, olive oil, lemon juice, mint, and garlic into a food processor, blitz until smoothish. Season with salt and pepper to taste, cover and chill until use.

In a large bowl, combine lamb, onion, egg, garlic, cilantro, and spices. Gently use hands to get a really good mix going, making sure that everything is evenly distributed and well incorporated. Divide meat mixture into 2-4 evenly sized balls. Flatten each ball into a patty that is roughly the size of your burger buns – maybe a little larger.

Grill over medium heat until fully cooked.

To assemble:

Spread goat cheese on upper buns, pea hummus on lower buns. Place burger on lower bun, top with sliced beets and upper bun.

Enjoy!

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.

Tandoori Spiced Chicken Burger with Mango

My husband recently got back from a work trip to Ireland. As I have him trained well (if he’s dining without me, he takes photos of EVERYTHING that he wants me to replicate… including the menu info. Good man!), that meant some fun with creating in the kitchen after he got back.

As I was getting set to make my own version of a lamb burger he had at The G Counter Deli, I happened across a menu item that sounded amazing: “Tandoori spiced chicken burger with mango & lime mayo”. What a great idea! I would have to make my own.

So, I started with a Tandoori marinated chicken breast, as I prefer that to actual ground chicken burgers. I used mango slices, rather than in the mayo… and did a mint, cilantro, and lime mayo – I just can’t bring myself to serve an Indian inspired dish without some sort of nod to cilantro-mint chutney. I may be an addict. Anyway… I also added some red onion for colour and crunch, and cucumber for texture, and as a nod to raita – the creamy dip served with many Indian dishes.

… what an utterly mind blowing sandwich! So many colours, flavours, and textures that both stand out from, and complement each other. The coolness of the cucumber, sweetness of the mango, and the bright green flavour from the mayo spread really work well against the spicyness of the chicken. It all comes together for this amazing, complex, and really well balanced sandwich.

Pretty sure I could live on these… SO good! (Even without a bun, for me!)

Tandoori spiced chicken burger with Cilantro-mint mayo and mango slices

Makes 2 large sandwiches

Tandoori spiced chicken breasts

2 large chicken breasts
2 Tbsp lemon juice
1 cup greek yogurt
2 tsp finely chopped cilantro
1 tsp garam masala
1 tsp cayenne pepper
1 tsp turmeric
1/2 tsp ginger paste
1/2 tsp paprika
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 teaspoon red food coloring
1/4 tsp coriander
1/4 tsp black pepper
Pinch cardamom
1 clove garlic, pressed

Trum chicken breasts, pound to flatten out to a relatively even thickness, if desired. Combine

Mix all together, marinate for 6-12 hours. While marinating, make the spread:

Cilantro-Mint Mayo

1/2 cup mayo
1/4 cup fresh cilantro, finely chopped
2 Tbsp fresh mint, finely chopped
1 tsp lime zest
Pinch salt

Mix all ingredients together well. Cover and chill until you’re ready to assemble the sandwiches.

For Assembly

2 buns (Gluten-free, if needed)
Mango slices
Thinly sliced red onion
Thinly sliced cucumber

Grill chicken breasts until cooked through.

Spread buns with mayo, arrange mango, red onion, cucumber, and chicken as desired.

Enjoy!

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.

Gluten-Free Crab Cakes and Horseradish Sauce

I’ve been so busy with costuming stuff, it’s been a while since I posted a recipe… and even longer since I’ve posted something gluten-free. Well, let’s fix that 🙂

These crab cakes are everything you could want in a crab cake – flavourful, colourful, very quick and easy to make. The ingredients come together quickly, and cooking takes no time. The result is a meal that is suitable as a quick and relatively healthy weeknight meal… but also elegant and impressive for entertaining. With Valentine’s Day coming up, this is a great recipe to have in your arsenal, for your gluten-free sweetie!

This is one of the recipes from my latest cookbook, Beyond Flour: A Fresh Approach to Gluten-Free Cooking and Baking! You can buy it right from this site, or head over to Amazon.. where you can see some of the lovely things that have been said about the book so far!

Gluten Free Crab Cakes
Makes 4 servings

1 lb crab meat
1/4- 1/2 cup mayonnaise
2 eggs, beaten
1 Tbsp Dijon mustard
1 tsp Worcestershire sauce
1 garlic clove, pressed
1/2 tsp salt
1/3 cup rice flour
3 green onions, finely chopped
1 fresno chili, finely chopped
Vegetable oil
1 lemon, sliced into wedges

Strain any visible liquid off crab meat, if applicable. Pick through meat to remove shells, discard any found. Set crab meat aside.

In a large bowl, whisk together mayonnaise, eggs, and mustard until smooth. Add Worchestershire sauce, garlic, salt, and rice flour, once again whisking until smooth and well incorporated. Add green onions, chili, and crab meat, gently mix until well combined. Cover and chill for 1 hour.

In a large fry pan, heat 1-2 Tbsp oil over medium heat. As oil is heating, shape crab mixture into patties.

Use a metal spatula to gently transfer crab cakes to oil, being careful not to burn yourself – oil may spatter. Pan fry crab cakes until browned – about 4 minutes on each side.

Serve warm, with lemon wedges and horseradish sauce:

Horseradish Sauce

1/2 cup sour cream
2 Tbsp mayonnaise
2 Tbsp+ prepared horseradish

Whisk together until well blended, chill for 1 hour. Taste, add more horseradish if you’d like more bite.

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.

Wild Rice & Sausage Stuffed Peppers

After the past few months of takeout, convenience foods, and generally processed crap, it feels really good to have my schedule freed up enough to get back to cooking for fun. Add in the fact that we’re now trying to eat a bit healthier – more veggies, less processed stuff, etc – AND the fact that the cooler temps make me want to spend a bunch of time in the kitchen.. and we’ve been eating WELL lately.

Last night, I put together this recipe to satisfy a few things. We hadn’t had wild rice in AGES and it sounded good. We had some spinach that had seen better days, and I wanted to use up the last little bit of our sage plant outside, before the temperature killed it. Hubby had mentioned stuffed peppers while at the farmer’s market this weekend, and this seemed like a good way to make use of everything.

… the filling ALMOST didn’t make it into the peppers. I think we would have been perfectly happy standing over the stove and just snarfing the lot of it straight from the pan! SO good.

Enjoy!

Wild Rice and Sausage Stuffed Peppers
Serves 4

4 green bell peppers*
1 Tbsp olive oil
1 yellow onion, chopped
8 oz sliced mushrooms of choice (We use Baby Bella)
3 garlic cloves, pressed
12 oz sausage chub**
3 cups fresh baby spinach, ripped up
2 cups cooked wild rice
1 Tbsp finely chopped sage
salt and pepper
1 cup chicken stock or broth

Preheat oven to 350 F

Carefully slice the tops off each of the bell pepper, scoops seeds out and discard. Arrange seeded peppers in a small baking pan – I use an 8 x 8″ square brownie pan.

Saute onion, mushrooms, and garlic until vegetables are soft. Add sausage meat, continue continue cooking – breaking up sausage into small bits – until sausage meat is browned. Add spinach, cooking until spinach is well wilted. Stir in wild rice and sage, season with salt and pepper to taste.

Stuff filling into peppers, arrange any extra filing in between peppers. Pour chicken broth over peppers.

Bake for about 40 minutes, serve hot!

* We like our stuffed peppers warm but crispy. For softer stuffed peppers, cook seeded peppers in boiling water for about 5 minutes, and drain well before stuffing.

** I love using the Papa George’s brand of sausage. It’s about a million times better than anything else on the market, is perfectly seasoned and flavoured, and has almost no fat in it. We’ll use either the regular, hot, or sage flavoured sausage chubs in this recipe

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.

Savoury Alligator Pie Recipe

A few weeks ago, my friend Charlotte posted something to the effect of “When I say ‘Alligator Pie’, you say what?” as a Facebook status. To me, the answer was obvious – “If I don’t get some, I think I’m going to die!”.

She ended up getting some weird responses, none seeming to know what she was talking about. I was kind of perplexed – Alligator Pie was SUCH a popular poem / book growing up, how could people not know what she – a fellow Canadian – was talking about? I had assumed the book to be British, on account of the style of artwork I remembered from it … and if it had been crazy popular back home, surely her American friends had heard of it, right?

Well, I guess I should have realized it from the hockey references… but as it turns out, the book is Canadian. I guess that explains the confusion! ANYWAY.

This time of year, I end up obsessed with Alligator meat. It finally cooled down enough for me to attend the Minnesota Renaissance Festival a couple weeks ago, and – in my mind – the alligator sausage there is the absolute best part of fest. (Aside from all my friends that work there, I mean!). Shortly after our day at fest, I happened across some frozen alligator meat in the grocery store, so I picked it up… thinking I’d make some sausage at home.

Well, having “Alligator Pie” stuck in my head, I ended up deciding that I should make some. I knew “Alligator Pie” existed in a few different incarnations as a dessert… some as a green coloured cream pie, others more like a pecan pie, with the nutty surface being representative of alligator skin. However, I had never heard of an ACTUAL alligator pie. As one of the most literal people ever (Seriously, Drax is my spirit animal)… it had to happen.

Because there wasn’t really something pre-existing, I could pretty much do whatever I want! I decided to start with a proper cajun trinity – onion, celery, and green peppers – as a nod to gator meat as a very southern thing. (Says the Canadian, making a pie about a beloeved Canadian poem!). I flavoured it with some of the same seasonings I could taste in the alligator sausage that I loved so much… but only as an accent. I didn’t want it to be a sausage pie, after all. I wanted it to be like the savoury pies I’d grown up with – some meat, some vegetables, a little gravy, and a ton of flavour.

This ended up a huge hit with both my husband and a couple other friends that happened to pop by the night I made it… including The Pink Dalek, who almost didn’t share with her mom! The meat was tender and juicy, and the flavours all worked very well together.

This recipe will work well with your favourite pie crust recipe, or even with store bought crust. Looking for a tasty gluten-free pie crust (the filling is inherently gf!)? You should buy a copy of my book, Beyond Flour – pie crust is only one of the many “as good or better than the gluteny original!” recipes in there.

Enjoy!

Alligator Pie

2 Tbsp butter
1 large onion, chopped
1 green pepper, chopped
3 stalks celery, chopped
4 cloves garlic, pressed or finely minced
1 lb alligator meat, cut into small pieces
1 lb pork loin, cut into small pieces
1 tsp dried sage
1/4 dried oregano
Pinch dried thyme
pinch cayenne powder
1/2 cup chicken broth or dry white wine
2 tsp corn starch
Salt and pepper

1 double crust recipe of pie dough, prepared (or store bought)

1 egg, beaten
1 Tbsp water

Preheat oven to 425 F

In a large pan, melt butter. Add onion, peppers, and celery, cook until veggies start to soften. Add garlic, meats, and seasonings, continue cooking until meat is browned. For a finer texture filling (as pictured), I transferred the mixture to my food processor and blitzed it a few times, but this is optional.

Whisk together broth and corn starch until smooth. Add to pan, bring to a boil. Allow to cook until liquid becomes quite thick. Remove from heat, season with salt and pepper to taste.

Divide dough into 2 parts – one slightly bigger than the other. Roll the bigger section out , use it to line a deep-dish pie pan* – carefully working it into the corners. Fill pie pan with alligator filling, spreading it into the bottom edge and mounding it in the center.

Roll out the second part of dough, cover the pie filling. Crimp the edges as desired, poke a couple of slits in the top. If desired, roll any extra dough very thin, cut into shapes, and apply to the crust for decoration. Whisk together egg and water, brush over the entire top of pie.

Whisk the egg together with water, use a pastry brush to coat the entire crust with a thin wash of this glaze. Cut thin strips of aluminum foil, gently wrap over the outside edge of the crust to protect it from burning.

Bake for 30 minutes, remove foil, and continue baking for another 10 minutes, or until crust is golden brown. Serve hot!

* I couldn’t find my deep dish pie pan when actually making the pie, so I used a quiche pan – works just as well!

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.