“Porter House” Grainy Rye Bread

Sometimes, you just need a big, flavorful bread. Not just a basic rye, but something with a lot of bold flavors and textures. For that, I created this “Porter House” grainy rye bread.

Not only does this bread benefit from the addition of a variety of seeds – caraway, mustard, pumpkin, and celery – but also the addition of onion and garlic puree. The resulting bread has a beautiful complexity, without being overbearing at all. Eat this fresh out of the oven with a bit of butter, or make a sandwich from it – it’s actually quite versatile!

“Porter House” Grainy Rye Bread

2 Tbsp molasses
2 1/2 cups warm water
1 Tbsp yeast
4 cups all purpose flour
2 1/2 cups rye flour
2 tsp salt
1 Tbsp caraway seeds
1 Tbsp mustard seeds
1 Tbsp sesame seeds
4 Tbsp pumpkin seeds
1/2 tsp cracked black pepper
1/2 tsp celery seed
1/2 – 1 small onion, peeled and chopped
1 clove garlic, pressed
1/4 cup, + 1 Tbsp olive oil (divided)
Cornmeal
1 egg
1 tbsp water

Add molasses into warm water, stir till well blended. Add yeast and stir again. Allow to sit (somewhere warm!) for 10 minutes.

In a large mixing bowl, combine flours and salt.

In a spice grinder – or with a mortar and pestle – grind seeds until well cracked/broken, add to mixing bowl.

Puree onion together with garlic until smooth. Add to mixing bowl, along with 1/4 cup olive oil and yeasty water mixture, mix until everything is well blended. Dough should ball easily – if it’s too wet, add a bit of flour. If it’s too dry, add a bit more water. Knead for ~ 5 minutes, or until smooth and elastic.

Put 1 tbsp olive oil into a large bowl, add dough, flip over to coat. cover with plastic wrap and allow to rise in a warm place for one hour, or until doubled.

Spread about 1/4 cup of cornmeal (your mileage may vary) over a baking sheet. Form dough into a large “football” shape loaf, place in the center of the cornmeal coated baking pan. Allow to rise for another 30 minutes or so.

Preheat oven to 350F. Whisk egg and water together until smooth – this is your egg wash.

Once dough has completed its second rise, brush with egg wash.

After applying the egg wash, use a shapr knife to cut a few slits across the top of the loaf, cutting about 1″ deep in the middle.

Bake for 45-55 minutes until golden brown. Finished bread will sound hollow when you knock on the bottom of the loaf.

Enjoy!

Gluten Free Paneer Pakora

Remember when I went on my Pakora making binge, promised recipes, and then procrastinated on it for a few months?

And then, when I posted one more recipe, I procrastinated for another few months?

Yeah… sorry about that! Better late than never, right?

Anyway.

Here’s my recipe for gluten free paneer pakora. Oh, yum.

These are one of those food items that SHOULD in inherently gluten free, in restaurants – but the batter is often cut with wheat flour, and they’re always cross contaminated anyway.

Never fear, though! These are very easy to make, and taste quite authentic… and they’re especially delicious with my Cilantro-Mint chutney!

Paneer Pakora

Oil, for deep frying
1 1/4 cups garbanzo (chickpea) flour
1/4 cup rice flour
1 1/2 tsp hot curry powder
1/2 tsp coriander
1 tsp salt
1/4 tsp baking powder
2 Tbsp finely chopped cilantro
1 cup water
2 bricks of paneer, room temperature
1/4 cup additional garbanzo flour

Start heating your oil to 375F – you’ll want at least 2-3″ of oil in your pot or deep fryer.

In a large bowl, combine flours, spices, salt, baking powder, and cilantro. Add water, stir well to form a thick batter. All batter to sit for 5 minutes or so, to soften the bean flour.

Slice your paneer into long fingers about 1″ x 1″, by however long your bricks are. Toss cheese sticks with additional garbanzo flour, then dredge in the batter.

Carefully transfer a few battered sticks of paneer to the preheated oil. Fry for a few minutes on each side, until golden brown. Use a slotted metal spoon to transfer fried paneer to paper towels.

Serve hot, with with cilantro-mint chutney.

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.

Quick Falafel Patties

As with many ethnic recipes – well, recipes in general, I suppose – there is a traditional way to do it, and there are the nontraditional ways to do it.

Generally speaking, non traditional versions usually act as a workaround to some unwieldly aspect of the original – a hard to come by ingredient, a specialty piece of equipment, etc. In some cases, it’s simply a matter of saving time.

Such is the case with my quick version of falafel. Traditionally, these are made from dried chick peas – soaked overnight and then ground down for the batter, and then deep fried. In this version, we strain canned chickpeas, and use the addition of garbanzo/fava flour to prevent them from falling apart. (Falafel made traditionally does not require the addition of flour to keep the patties together.) The use of bean flour – rather than a wheat flour – makes these not ONLY fast, but also gluten free!

Enjoy!

Quick Falafel Patties

1 small onion, peeled and chopped
1-2 cloves garlic, pressed
15 oz can garbanzo beans (chickpeas), drained well
1 egg
1/4 cup garbanzo/fava flour
1 tsp coriander
1 tsp salt
1 tsp baking powder
pepper
pinch cayenne
1 tsp lemon juice
1 tbsp olive oil

Process onion, garlic, and half of the beans till smooth. Add remaining ingredients (aside from remaining beans and olive oil), process till smooth. Add remaining beans, process till new beans are small but chunky.

Heat olive oil in a nonstick pan, swirl to coat well. Use a large Tablespoon, 1/4 cup measure, or cookie scoop to drop balls of batter into fry pan, carefully flatten them a bit. Fry for a couple minutes on the first side, flipping when golden brown. Fry on other side until also golden brown.

Serve hot, with tahini or a cucumber dill dip.

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.

“Fauxsa” (Gluten Free Naan/Bread substitute)

They say “Necessity is the mother of invention”, and I’ve never found that to be as true, as it has been since being disagnosed with gluten allergies. It’s amazing what you can come up with, when someone takes your bread away!

Maybe “desperation” is the father of invention?

Anyway. I was enjoying a dosa at a local Indian restaurant last year, lustfully eyeing my husband’s naan… when it hit me. What if I used the ingredients and basic concept of dosa (a paper thin, crispy crepe), but made it much thicker, to be a makeshift substitute for naan?

… and so I did. It worked beautifully! I give you… “Fauxsa”, as my husband dubbed it that first day.

While nothing compares to the flavor and texture of fresh, full-gluten bread products, this bastardization hits upon the right components of a bread craving – it even looks like bread – and satisfies completely. It’s sturdy enough to use as a dip for Indian foods, and goes ridiculously well with melted curry butter.

Enjoy!

“Fauxsa”

2 cups dry long grain white rice
1/2 cup dried red lentils
1/2 cup dry yellow split peas
1 tsp mustard seeds
1/4 tsp yeast
1/2 tsp salt

In a large bowl, mix together rice, lentils, split peas, and mustard seeds. Cover completely with hot water, to about 1″ above the rice mixture level. Allow to soak at room temperature overnight.

In the morning, strain mixture, reserving about 1 cup of the rice water. Place strained rice and beans mixture into a food processor with about 1/4 cup of the reserved rice water, puree for about 5 minutes, or until very, VERY smooth.

Transfer rice batter to a large bowl, stir in yeast and salt. Add enough of the rice water (if needed) to make a very thick batter, about the consistency of THICK pancake batter.

Cover bowl with a clean tea towel, allow to ferment in a warm place for a few hours.

Once you’ve fermented the mixture, give it a good stir – some separation will have occurred. (Note: it’ll smell awful. That’s ok – the finished product does not!)

Heat up a nonstick fry pan (Medium heat), spray with a little pan spray. Pour about 1 cup of rice batter into the middle of the pan, swirling it out to make a “pancake” about 6-8″ across. Allow to cook for a few minutes, until the bottom is set and browning, with air bubbles popping on the top. Carefully flip, continuing to cook on the other side. Cook until batter is completely cooked, all the way through.

Serve hot.

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

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

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

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

Gluten Free Marbled Cornbread

With my husband being the Lord of the Corn Freaks that he is, I couldn’t resist playing around with multicolored cornmeal lately.

For the uninitiated, while white and yellow corn meals are the staples you’ll find in most grocery stores, you can also get different varieties of corn meal if you seek out specialty shops (especially online). In particular – pink/red and blue cornmeal.

Now, both of these options have very different flavor profiles, both from each other, and from the more common varieties of cornmeal.

Red cornmeal is made from red corn (duh), but is actually a pink color. It’s a very sweet tasting cornmeal, and makes a tender cornbread.

Blue cornmeal is a greyish violet color (when dry), and has a roasty, almost nutty flavor.

What do you do when you have two new cornmeals to play with, and can’t decide where to start? Simple, you marble them together! Not only is this cornbread pretty, the contrast in colors, tastes, and texture is really interesting, a unique cornbread.

Enjoy!

Gluten Free Marbled Cornbread

1 1/2 cup Gluten Free Bisquick
2 tsp xanthan gum
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
2 tsp salt
2 eggs
2 Tbsp sugar
1/2 cup sour cream
3/4 cup milk
3/4 cup chicken broth
1 cup red cornmeal
1 cup blue cornmeal

Preheat oven to 350F, spray a 9″ x 12″ baking pan with pan spray.

In a large mixing bowl, combine bisquick, xanthan gum, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.

In a separate mixing bowl, whisk eggs, sugar and sour cream together until smooth. Slowly add milk and chicken broth, whisking until everything is well combined. Pour into the dry ingredients, stir just until everything is combined.

Pour out half of the batter into the bowl that had been holding the dry ingredients – be careful to get the two halves of the dough as even in volume as possible. Add red cornmeal to one bowl, and blue cornmeal into the other, stirring until well distributed (but don’t over mix it!).

Scoop batters into the pan, using whatever marbling technique that you prefer. (Random globs work best for this recipe.) To marble the batters, use a butter knife, held straight up-and-down. Starting at one side of the pan, run the knife through the batter in a long zig zag motion – hitting both the “top” and “bottom” of the pan, from your view – all the way to the other side. Then, turn the pan 90 degrees, and repeat.

Bake for 30-35 minutes, or until knife inserted into the center comes out clean.

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.

Buffalo Chicken Buns

As you may know, I was diagnosed with a gluten allergy a few years ago. Not Celiac, mind you, just an inflammatory thing, secondary to my autoimmune hypothyoid. Big fun, made my life miserable, gave me fibromyalgia… and then everything cleared up once I went gluten free.

At the time, my Dr offered me a slight bit of hope: Go off gluten for a 2-3 years, things MAY heal themselves, and the allergy could clear up. MAYBE.

Flash forward a year and a half. I’d been really good, and only caved once, early on. (Got so violently ill, I swore off gluten for the rest of my sentence!). One day, I made a batch of bagels for my husband that looked and smelled SO good, I caved. I rationalized that it had been long enough. I mean, I tend to heal ridiculously fast, so odds were good, right? I rationalized that eating a bagel would be done “in the name of SCIENCE!”, and how would I know how things were progressing, if I didn’t test it?

I rationalized that any fallout from it would be worth it. I mean really, those suckers were loaded with toasted caraway! I ate one, with no problem. I savored it, angels sang, my world became more colorful in that instant, it was breathtaking.

So, I ate 3 more. Well… more like inhaled. I figured hey, if I am going to get sick, I am going to make it really worth my while! If I’m going to do the time… 😀

Well, I didn’t get sick. No pain, no fibro, absolutely no lingering evidence of the hell that gluten put me through just a couple years ago. WOO HOO!

I’ve been on the most ridiculously hedonistic gluten bender ever since. Bagels! Baguettes! A real doughnut! Loads of bread. I thought… “Oh yes, the goddess of gluten is back in full effect!”

Except not. BOO. Took a week or two, and then the problems set in again.

So, I’m back to gluten-free, but would love to share one of the very first things I baked after being sprung from “gluten free jail”: Buffalo Chicken Rolls. I developed this recipe a few years ago, and have been dreaming of it ever since! So ridiculously good.

Enjoy!

Buffalo Chicken Rolls

(Makes 6 giant buns)

1 1/2 cups warm – not hot! – water*
4 tsp yeast
1 Tbsp sugar
3 1/2 cups all purpose flour
2 tsp salt

2 large boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1 small onion, finely chopped
2-3 stalks celery, finely chopped
2 tsp vegetable oil
3 cloves garlic, minced or pressed
1/2 cup (or more, to taste) hot sauce

2 cups finely shredded colby jack cheese

* For a more complex and adult flavor, use a 12 oz bottle of beer in place of the water (We used a light tasting home brewed corn beer). Pour beer into a microwave safe bowl, heat til warm (not hot).

Stir yeast and sugar into warm water, allow to stand for 10 minutes – it should get very bubbly.

In a large mixing bowl, combine flour and salt. Pour in yeast mixture, stir well to combine. Dump dough out onto a floured surface, knead until soft and elastic, 5-10 minutes.
(OR: mix it in a stand mixer with a dough hook for 5 minutes or so!)

Once dough is fully kneaded, place in a greased bowl, cover with plastic wrap, and allow to rise for one hour, or until doubled in size.

While the dough is rising, make your filling:

Freeze chicken breasts just long enough to firm them up a bit, maybe 10-15 minutes. Trim, chop into very small cubes.

In a large pan, saute onion and celery in vegetable oil, until vegetables are soft and translucent. Add chicken, garlic, and hot sauce, continue cooking until chicken is fully cooked. Set aside, allow to cool to room temperature.

Once dough has doubled in size and chicken mixture has cooled, roll dough out on a floured surface. Aim to make it a large rectangle, say 15 x 20″ or so.

Scatter half of the cheese across the rolled dough, avoiding the very edge of the rectangle.

Evenly scatter the chicken filling over the cheese, avoiding the edge of the dough.

Scatter the remaining cheese over the chicken mixture, once again avoiding the edge of the dough.

Starting with one of the shorter edges, tightly roll the dough up.


Generously grease or spray a 9x 13″ baking pan.

Using a very sharp knife, slice the roll into 6 even rounds. I recommend wiping your knife down between each slice, to keep them looking clean and pretty.

Carefully place each roll into the pan, spacing them evenly.

Cover pan with plastic wrap, allow to rise one more time – about 45 minutes. While waiting for the buns to rise, heat oven to 375F.

(This is what they looked like after the final rise!)

Once final rise is over, pop the pan in the oven and bake for 35-40 minutes, or until golden brown and perfect.

Allow to cool for a few minutes, if you’re patient. Serve hot, preferably with a drizzle of ranch dressing! (Hey, the whole idea was themed around cinnamon buns, may as well continue that thought in serving them!)

Curried Shrimp Spring Rolls

Making spring rolls at home has become such second nature to us, that I was a little caught off guard recently. A friend – who’s no slouch in the kitchen, herself – expressed surprise at the idea of making homemade spring rolls.

… and then I remembered the first time I’d tried to make them. The rice paper was so thin and fragile, and I would break/rip it no matter what I did. Extremely frustrating experience, and it turned out the ugliest, least coherent rolls I’ve ever seen in my life.

That only lasted for one attempt, though. We went to a favorite Vietnamese restaurant shortly after that, and THAT is where I learned the secret. I asked the waiter what the difference was between their thick, stable rice paper spring roll wrappers, and the incredibly thin crap I was buying in the grocery store.

The answer? They used the exact same stuff I did.. but a double thickness of it!

From that day onward, spring rolls haven’t been a mystery or a frustration to us… and we can easily enjoy them at home!

Here’s hoping that the “secret” helps you as much as it did us!

Curried Shrimp Spring Rolls

1 package rice vermicelli
1 bunch cilantro, chopped
1 bunch mint, chopped
1 carrot, peeled
1 package bean sprouts
Green onions, sliced in half lengthwise (optional)
1/2 lb raw shrimp, shells and tails removed
1 Tbsp olive oil
1 tsp curry powder
1/4 – 1/2 tsp hot pepper flakes
Salt and pepper
1 package rice paper spring roll wrappers

Boil rice vermincelli for a few minutes, remove from heat and allow to soften to desired texture. Drain and allow to cool.

Mix cilantro and mint together, place in a small bowl.

Use a vegetable peeler to process the carrot down into long, thin strips. Place on a plate or work surface, along with bean sprouts and green onions. Set aside.

In a fry pan, saute shrimp in olive oil until shrimp is almost fully cooked. Sprinkle with curry and hot peppers, season with salt and pepper to taste. Saute until fully cooked, remove from heat.

Fill a large bowl with very hot water. Submerge one sheet of rice paper, then immediately submerge another one right on top of it. Wait 3 seconds, remove both sheets from water together, and smooth out on your clean work surface. While smoothing rice sheets out, be sure to push excess water out from between the sheets as you go.

Arrange a small handful of well drained, cooled vermicelli across the middle of the rice paper wrappers, leaving a couple of inches of wrapper on either end of the vermicelli pile.

Top with a small amount of bean sprouts

Sprinkle a little mint/cilantro mix over the bean sprouts, top with carrot pieces and shrimp.

Fold about 1/2 of the wrapper over the pile of filling, pulling it tightly against it. Fold one of the sides up over that fold.

Fold the other side over.

Holding the rice wrapper tightly against the filling, press to squeeze out any air that could be in with the filling, then tightly roll up the spring roll.

Repeat as necessary, serve with fish 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.

Heart Shaped Beer Pretzels with Jalapeno Jack Dip

In this household, nothing says “love” like soft, chewy bread products!

So, for this Valentine’s Day, I give you my beer pretzels recipe. While this recipe can definitely be used to form more traditional pretzel shapes as well – of course! – I find it to be a lot of fun to get a bit seasonal with it.

What better to go with beer pretzels, than jalapeno jack melty cheese dip? This accompanying recipe works up quickly and easily, and really satisfies. Comfort food at its finest, when paired with a fresh from the oven pretzel!

Heart Shaped Beer Pretzels

1 1/2 cups warm beer
1/4 cup light brown sugar
1 package active dry yeast (about 2 1/4 tsp)
5 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp salt
4 ounces unsalted butter, melted
Olive oil

3 quarts water
3/4 cup baking soda

2 eggs
1 tbsp cold water
Coarse sea salt

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

In a large bowl, combine flour and salt. Add melted butter, stirring until well distributed. Pour in yeast/beer mixture, stirring until well combined. Turn dough out onto a clean surface, knead for a couple of minutes. Dough should be soft and smooth.

Pour about 1 Tbsp of olive oil into a large, clean metal or glass bowl. Add freshly kneaded dough to the bowl, turning to coat with the oil. Cover with plastic wrap, set aside in a warm spot to rise for an hour or two, until doubled.

Once the dough has doubled in size:

Pinch off a fist-sized chunk of dough, roll it into a thick “snake”, form into a heart shape, and pinch ends to seal:

Repeat with remaining dough.

Preheat oven to 375F. Bring water to a boil in a large pot. Add baking soda, stir until combined.

Boil the pretzels, a few at a time, for about a minute. Gently stir as they boil, to ensure that the entire surface of each is in contact with the water at some point. Use a slotted spoon to transfer each popper to a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and/or lightly coated with cooking spray. (you’ll need 2 baking sheets)

Whisk together eggs and water, brush this mixture across the tops of the pretzels. Generously sprinkle the tops with coarse sea salt. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes, until golden brown. Allow to cool for a minute or two before eating. Enjoy!

Jalapeno Jack Dip

1 cup milk
12 oz shredded jalapeno jack cheese
2 tbsp corn starch
Salt and pepper

Heat milk in a medium saucepan. In a separate bowl, toss cheese with corn starch.

Add about half of the cheese to the pot, stirring until melted in. Add the rest, continue stirring until everything is melted and smooth. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Serve hot!

Gluten Free Mixed Vegetable Pakora

Remember when I went on a Pakora making binge, and promised to share the recipes I’d created Yeah. I kinda dropped the ball on that, having gotten overloaded with all sorts of other work to focus on… Anyway, I’m back on it now!

These were my absolute favorite from that evening, a mixed vegetable pakora patty recipe. In general, veggie pakora is a great way to use up stray vegetables in your fridge – Root vegetables like carrots, parsnips, and sweet potatoes, cruciferous veggies like broccoli, cauliflower, etc .. basically anything that’s tasty and kind of sturdy. (Ie: don’t use tomatoes!). For this recipe, I decided to specify amounts – I’d created this to have a great balance in flavors, color, and texture.

Like many of my recipes, this works up quickly and easily, producing a highly addictive end product. Expect a “pakora coma” after snarfing these babies.. which go great with my cilantro-mint chutney.

Enjoy!


Veggie Pakora

Vegetable oil for deep frying
1 1/4 cup garbanzo flour
1/4 cup white rice flour
2 tsp salt
1.5 tsp hot curry powder
1 tsp cumin
1/4 tsp baking powder
1 cup water
1 cup finely chopped broccoli
1 cup peeled, finely chopped yam or sweet potato
1 cup finely chopped zucchini
1 cup finely chopped onion
1-2 finely chopped jalapenos
1/2 cup cilantro

Start heating your vegetable oil to 375F – you’ll want at least 2-3″ of oil in your pot or deep fryer.

In a large bowl, combine flours, salt, spices, and baking powder. Add water, stir well to form a thick batter. All batter to sit for 5 minutes or so, to soften the bean flour.

Mix in remaining ingredients, making sure that everything is evenly coated with the batter.

Use an ice cream scoop or two spoons to carefully scoop small amounts (1/4 cup or less) of batter into the preheated oil. Fry for a few minutes on each side, until patties are golden brown. Use a slotted metal spoon to transfer cooked patties to paper towels.

Serve hot, with with cilantro-mint chutney.

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

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Guest Post : Barley Risotto with Porcini Mushrooms

Extra special guest post today – not only is it our first celebrity guest post.. but the guest poster is one of my favorite foodie tweeps.

We bonded over our mutual affection for a fictional character – Jean Valjean – and our excitement over an upcoming movie featuring Hugh Jackman (yum) playing him. We’ve since found out that we have the same knives. Small world! I digress.. Mairlyn Smith is pretty awesome.

She’s also hilarious – the only professional home economist who’s also an alumnus of the Second City Comedy Troupe. As a cookbook author, and is well known for her warm personality and the wit she brings to her many TV appearances in Canada. Also? She’s adorable!

Mairlyn’s email signature – “Peace, Love, and Fibre” – hints at her culinary passion: healthy eating. Her latest cookbook, “Healthy Eating Starts Here!” is a masterpiece. Huge, beautifully photographed book featuring 140 recipes that are not only healthy, but delicious and accessible.

Today’s blog post marks another first – the first time in my life that I’ve ever followed a recipe to the letter! No adding/subtracting ingredients, or otherwise screwing with it! I’m not sure if I should be proud of that newfound ability, or mourn the loss of the claim.

Let’s go with “proud”. The recipe – from “Healthy Starts Here!” – was fabulous, and didn’t need to be messed with at all. By the time I had the ingredients simmering, my husband was circling the kitchen like an impatient shark, repeatedly declaring how awesome it all smelled, and how hungry he was. The final product did NOT disappoint! Tons of flavor, great texture, and very satisfying!

Anyway, enough of my swooning, let me turn this all over to Mairlyn! (more…)