Crab Rangoon Pizza

A few weeks ago, a thread on a Facebook group – I don’t even remember what it was about – ended up drifting to the point where I learned something interesting: Crab Rangoon Pizza is a THING. I’d never heard of it, and had never considered the possibility, but all of a sudden I NEEDED IT.

I wanted it to be our own, so I brainstormed with my husband on what we would want “Crab Rangoon Pizza” to be. We decided no pizza sauce, using Rangoon filling as the sauce. I would do a higher proportion of crab to cream cheese than I normally do, to balance out the cheese that would top it. It would need a lot of green onions. The crust should be thin and crisp, as a stand in for the wontons.

Sweet chili sauce should be involved somehow. We debated this for a bit… Should we brush the crust with it before spreading the filling? (No, too messy). Should we drizzle it on before baking? After baking? Just use it as a pizza dip?

After some playing around with it, the clear winner was to drizzle it on after baking. Baking didn’t add anything to it, and it just looked nicer as a fresh, unbaked drizzle.

This was fantastic! A ton of flavour, a great alternative to traditional pizza flavours and textures. We made this gluten free, utilizing “Caulipower” crusts, but you can use any pre-made pizza crust or crust recipe that you like.

While I think thin crust works well with the idea of Rangoon, I think a thicker, softer crust would hit the comfort food feeling even more than this already did – I’m definitely going to try it that way in the future!

After we snarfed our pizza, we Googled to see how our creation compared to what was out there. Looks like we hit the same basic concept, had proportionately more crab (which it really needs!)… but the real stunner, for me, was that some people apparently make Crab Rangoon with fake crab? I had no idea – I’ve never had/seen if made with fake crab. Definitely use real crab if at all possible.

Anyway, enjoy!

Crab Rangoon Pizza
Makes enough “sauce” for 2 Medium pizzas or one extra large pizza

Sauce:
8 oz cream cheese, softened
2 cans crabmeat (~6 oz each), well drained
4 green onions, finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, pressed
1 tsp Worcestershire sauce
1/4-1/2 tsp sesame oil
salt and pepper to taste

Assembly:

Pizza crust(s) of your choice
Thinly sliced green onions
Grated cheese – We like a mix of Mozzarella, Provolone, and Parmesan for this.
Sweet chili sauce

Beat cream cheese until smooth. Add in crab meat, green onion, garlic, Worcestershire sauce, and sesame oil, stir well to combine. Season with salt and pepper to taste, set aside.

Following the baking directions for your pizza crust, assemble the pizza. (Some crusts/crust recipes want you to bake it for a bit before putting toppings on, some don’t. Do whatever is supposed to work for the crust you’re using.)

– Spread crust(s) with sauce.
– Sprinkle generously with sliced green onions, top with grated cheese.

Bake as directed. Remove from oven, drizzle with sweet chili sauce, serve immediately.

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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.

Gyoza / Potstickers Recipe

Gyoza… what is there to say about gyoza?

Done right, these are supremely addictive. Yes, they’re supposed to be an appetizer, usually served 3-5 pieces per person… but I’ve lost count of how many times we’ve made a meal of them. (No, I’m not admitting to how many constitute a “meal”, either!). They’re ingredient-intensive and a bit of work, but SO worth it!

I love gyoza with a ton of flavour, so I developed this recipe with that in mind. The filling can be made a day ahead, just keep it well chilled. Finished gyoza can be frozen before frying/steaming – just be sure to allow them to thaw completely before cooking.

If you’re looking for a gluten-free recipe for Gyoza, look no further than my first gluten-free cookbook, Beyond Flour.

(Fun fact: The photos you’re looking at in this blog entry are actually of the gluten-free ones!).

Homemade Gyoza
Makes about 40

1/2 head Napa cabbage, finely shredded
1 tsp salt
1 1/2 lbs ground pork
1-2 Tbsp grated ginger
5 garlic cloves, pressed or minced
2 green onions, finely chopped
1-2 Tbsp sesame oil
1 tsp crushed chilies
1/2 tsp tsp sugar
1/2 lb raw shrimp, peeled, deveined and finely chopped/shredded
Gyoza/potsticker wrappers (about 40)
Sesame, olive, or vegetable oil

In a large mixing bowl, combine cabbage and salt, stirring to evenly distribute the salt. Allow to sit for 10-15 minutes – this will draw the moisture out of the cabbage. Once time is up, squeeze as much water out of the cabbage as you can, discarding the water. Place the squeezed cabbage back into the mixing bowl.

Add all remaining ingredients – aside from the wrappers and oil – to the bowl, and mix thoroughly. I like to use my hands for this – does a much better job of distributing everything than any mixing spoon will!

Cover and chill until ready to use.

To Assemble and Cook:

Roll filling into tight 1″ balls, placing one in the middle of each wrapper.

Use a finger/pastry brush dipped in water to moisten the edges of each wrapper. Fold the wrapper over the filling, creating a half circle. As you do this, try to push out as much of the air from the inside as possible – excess air can cause them to burst.

If you have a dumpling press, use it to seal and crimp the edges, or pleat the edges like this:



If you don’t have a dumpling press, you can fold and crimp the edges freehand. (It’s fussy though!)

Heat up 2 Tbsp vegetable, olive, or sesame oil in a frying pan – I prefer to use nonstick for this – and arrange a single layer of gyoza in the pan – not touching each other, frill side facing up. Cook until bottom side is nicely browned.

Alternatively: If you like your gyoza extra crispy, arrange them on their sides in the pan. Cook until the first side is nicely browned, flip and brown the other side before proceeding.

Once the bottom is browned to your liking, pour 1/3 cup of warm water into the pan, and quickly cover with a lid. Cook for 2-3 minutes without removing the lid.

After 2-3 minutes, remove the lid and allow Gyoza to continue cooking until all of the water has cooked off. Repeat in batches, as necessary.

Serve hot, with Gyoza sauce

Gyoza Sauce

1/2 cup Gyoza sauce
1/4 cup Rice vinegar
1 tsp crushed chilies

Stir ingredients together, refrigerate til serving.

Extra crispy – fried on both sides

Traditional – Fried on bottom

Creamy Creole Pasta … Gluten-Free!

This weekend, amidst dealing with ALL OF THE PEPPERS (more on that later this week!), I had a weird craving.

I really wanted creole food… but then I also really wanted pasta. I think the change in weather lately just put me right in the mood for pasta, for something creamy… but also loaded with the flavours of southern cuisine. So, I decided to freestyle it, and came up with this dish.

Oh MAN… I think it may now be my favourite pasta dish ever. Total comfort food, elevated a bit – I could live on this. The flavours and textures were perfect. and everything worked SO well together.

While it’s traditional to chop celery to roughly the same size as the onion and green peppers in Creole – or Cajun, for that matter – cooking, I decided that I wanted to “Star Trek” my celery. (Slice at an angle, making little celery Star Trek insignias!), for a bit more crunch, and a prettier dish.

Also, a note: While I would normally use Andouille sausage for this – and it would be FANTASTIC – we used a smoked turkey sausage. Beef and pork haven’t really been agreeing with my husband lately… so poultry it is!

Creole Pasta
Makes about 4 servings

1 lb gluten free pasta
1 lb Andouille or smoked sausage of choice, sliced
2 ribs celery, sliced
1 small onion, chopped
1 green Pepper, chopped
2 cloves garlic, pressed or minced
1/4 cup butter
1/4 brown rice flour
1/4 cup white wine
1 cup chicken stock
1 cup milk
1/4 tsp cayenne powder
1/2 tsp dried oregano
1/2 tsp dried sage
1/4 tsp dried thyme
Salt and pepper
1 lb shrimp, shelled and deveined
2 green onions, thinly sliced

Place pasta in a large pot of boiling water. Plan to strain pasta when it’s JUST about tender enough, but in the meantime:

In a large saucepan, brown sausage. Add celery, onion, and green pepper; saute until tender. Remove from pan, set aside.

Add butter to pan, stir until melted. Sprinkle rice flour over melted butter; cook – stirring frequently – until the flour paste (roux) turns a golden brown. (Go darker if you’re comfortable with making roux!).

Carefully add white wine to pot – it will steam violently – and whisk until smooth. Add chicken broth, milk, cayenne powder and herbs, continue whisking until once again smooth. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Add sausage and vegetable mix to the pot, along with strained pasta. Cook over medium heat until some of the liquid is absorbed by the pasta, and it is as tender as you like it. Add shrimp, stir, and heat just until shrimp is cooked through.

Serve hot, sprinkled with green onions.

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.

Pepper Crusted Tuna with Wasabi Cream Sauce

This is such a simple recipe, but such an elegant taste and presentation.

We first had this at a now-defunct local restaurant… loved the idea, but the wasabi cream sauce had very little complexity to it, and almost no actual wasabi flavor. Of course, that just meant that we’d have to play with the idea, ourselves!

This is the resulting recipe, which we love. Truth be told, we use a bit more wasabi than listed here… but this is a good amount for *most* people.

Pepper Crusted Tuna with Wasabi Cream Sauce

2 Tbsp black peppercorns
1 tsp white peppercorns (optional)
2 Tbsp sesame seeds
1/2 tsp salt
4 Sashimi grade tuna steaks
1 Tbsp + wasabi powder*
2 Tbsp water *
2 tsp rice vinegar
1/2 tsp soy sauce
1 cup heavy whipping cream
2 Tbsp olive oil

In a spice grinder or with a mortar & pestle, grind peppercorns, sesame seeds, and salt together until it becomes a relatively fine powder. Spread mixture on a plate.

One at a time, press tuna steaks into the spice mixture, coating both sides. Use hands to press additional spice mixture into any areas missed, Set tuna steaks aside.

In a saucepan (NOT over heat!), whisk together wasabi powder and water until smooth, allow to sit for 5 minutes.

When 5 minutes have passed, whisk in rice vinegar, soy sauce, and heavy cream. Turn burner heat on to medium, heat sauce just to a simmer. Allow to simmer gently for 5 minutes, as you prepare the tuna steaks.

Heat olive oil in a nonstick fry pan or skillet. Gently transfer tuna steaks to the pan, leaving at least 1″ space between each. Cook for a minute and a half on the first side, then flip and cook a minute and a half on the second side. This will give you a nice rare tuna steak – cook for longer if you prefer it to be more cooked.

Slice tuna steaks, fan them out, and serve with wasabi cream sauce.

Enjoy!

* If you don’t have wasabi powder, use ~ 2 Tbsp prepared wasabi, omitting the water.

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.

Guest Post: Mussels with Beer and Bacon

It’s Wednesday! Time for a guest post! Today’s recipe is courtesy of Lisa, one of my fellow Food Bloggers of Canada members.

Lisa writes One Cook, Two Kitchens blog, detailing her kitchen adventures between two different kitchens: a condo in downtown Toronto (She’s near the St Lawrence Market. I’m super jealous!), and her Lake House. She can also be found on twitter, at @onecook2kitchns, or on Facebook here.

A friend of mine, who loves to cook as much as I do, recently confided that she has never made mussels because she finds the idea of making them somewhat intimidating.

I get it. There is an elegant mystique about mussels to the uninitiated, particularly if you are from a part of the continent where shellfish is not readily available. Also, if you’ve ever had fishy tasting/smelling mussels, or tough, chewy mussels, you may be concerned that they are too easy to ruin.

The reality is that mussels are one of easiest dishes going. Once they are cleaned, you can have them cooked in minutes. There are infinite ways to prepare them. You can have them in a marinara or cream sauce, in a Thai curry coconut broth, or done very simply with beer or wine.

Today, I’m showing you how to make them with beer and bacon. The combination of the hops from the beer, with the sweetness of the onion, creates and irresistible broth. The next day, cold leftover meat pulled from the shells makes a delectable salad when combined with a lightly dressed salad. There will still be the faintest hint of the beer.

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Gluten Free Cod au Gratin

This weekend – and the past few weeks – is/has been a big push to get out post-tornado kitchen reconstruction DONE. Well, not quite done-done … we won’t have the lumber for the cabinet faces and doors for a while, and those will take some serious time to make … but functional.

I haven’t had a functional kitchen since we bought this house, a year ago. The kitchen, as we bought it, was only barely functional – you may have seen the “before” pictures and description on twitter. Don’t worry, I’ll be posting the awful “befores” when I can finally post the “afters”!

This weekend is all about building the cabinetry to surround the slide-in oven, which has been free-standing since we moved in. By Monday, I should not only have the base cabinets, but tiled counter AND backsplash there, also. *CANNOT WAIT*. I’m not being facetious there, either. We’ve been discussing all of the great foods I haven’t been able to make in a long time, as well as the recipes I’ve been mentally designing ever since losing my kitchen. All of this takeout food… ugh.

So, we went to the store to pick up groceries for the first couple of meals I’ll be able to make, and I used one of my new counters – and my freshly-installed sink area! – to make Cod au Gratin on Friday night. Aw yeah.

Cod au Gratin is a traditional Newfoundland dish, and one of my all time favorites. Generally speaking, it consists of cod, Béchamel sauce, and cheese / bread crumbs on top… but – of course – I started bastardizing it the first time I made it. Béchamel because a hearty cheese sauce, filled with tons of sharp cheddar. I’ve made this with dill, with asparagus, with bacon, and with other seafood involved. It’s just one of those recipes that I make by “feel”, and I’ve never written down measurements or anything as I’ve gone. Til now.

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Easy, “Husband-Friendly” Seafood Chowder

When it comes to matters of food, marrying my husband has been an interesting experience.

He’d been raised by a single father, on a diet consisting of things like Rice A Roni, canned soup, and Hamburger Helper. Not too long after he’d moved out on his own, he became deathly ill and learned to hate food, as eating made him even more sick. Though he eventually had life saving surgery, he wasn’t the biggest fan of food.

On my end, I’d grown up with a single mom. Money wasn’t always there, sometimes we had to live on donated army ration packs… but whenever she’d have a little money, she’d cook amazing meals, being very creative with what she had. We ate some GREAT food, growing up.

When I met my husband, I’d just come out of a long relationship with the pickiest eater I’ve ever met, and I hadn’t been *allowed* to cook many dishes in the house – chili, lasagna – because he hated the smell. I was dying to get back to cooking something other than meat and potatoes.

I must say, he adapted nicely to having someone cook for him. He got over his hatred of food, and has come to love trying new things. I’ve actually kind of created a bit of a monster :). He’s a sushi fiend. He loves all kinds of ethnic foods, and I can make almost *anything*, and he’ll love it. He does have a few sticking points, though… which brings me to today’s recipe.

The man doesn’t like cooked fish! (more…)

Low Country Boil, aka Frogmore Stew

Everyone’s heard variations on the saying “The cobbler’s kids go barefoot”, and it’s not all that different around here at times. Sure, we have great meals on a regular basis.. but when things get super busy, we tend to lose all creativity and drive, and slap together one of our go-to meals. Easy, little effort, and very satisfying. In winter, that usually ends up being chili.. but in summer, we love our low country boil.. not a common thing here in Minnesota, but it is SO freaking good! It’s also pretty much the ideal meal for getting together – and would be great for a rehearsal dinner or small, casual wedding dinner.

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Chicken, Shrimp, & Sausage Jambalaya

I LOVE jambalaya! Actually, ever since a trip to New Orleans back in 2005, I have a particular affection for most cajun and creole food in general. It’s always full of flavor, and very, VERY satisfying!

This recipe makes a ton of Jambalaya. With flavoring the stock as I do, and with all of the chopping involved, it is a bit more labor intensive than the average dinner recipe. I like making a huge batch of this on a weekend, then pretty much living on it for a week or two – it makes GREAT leftovers! It freezes fairly well, but never lasts long enough to make it to the freezer (more…)