Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Veal Parm Burgers


Wwwwhhhhhhh...... 
 
Are the cobwebs gone? 

Long time no post.

Sorry 'bout that. Life has been busy.

Work, work, work, more work, too many visits with doctors that result in only more visits with doctors, and more work.  Oh, and then the fun of layoffs!  I was not downsized.  Thankfully.  I think.  But now that only means more work.  Yay.

So... last Friday night the husband was running out for food, and I turned on an old episode of Lydia's Italy that was featuring some American Italian recipes.  This one was about St. Louis.  And one of the things she made was a veal parm sandwich that involved a ground veal patty, which was then breaded and fried.

Why have the need to bread it as fry it? Why not just cook it up as a burger patty??

So that is what I did.

I pretty much followed this recipe using ground veal rather than ground chicken. If veal skeeves you out or you don't like it, go for the chicken.  Oh, I did also have to stop for gluten buns for the hubby, and I decided to also get a small eggplant.  I sliced that into half inch slices and cooked those up in a pan with some oil while I mixed the veal, and flopped one of those on to the burger also.

I served them as burgers.  Would work just as well as a patty on top of pasta, or zucchini noodles if you are low-carb or too cheap for a gluten-free bun (mine was an Against the Grain bun). 

Seriously, seriously good.  Tasted just like veal parm, without all the work that goes into your usual veal parm.  And with the eggplant, it was like the hubby's old favorite of the veal + eggplant parm combo at a now closed place we used to love.

This will be repeated.  I still love some veal parm on the weekends when I have the time to do it (and all the cleanup it involves) but this was darned, darned tasty.  And easy.

Sunday, January 27, 2013

Potato Soup

Yeah... no pictures.  I didn't take any while I was making it, and the picture with the original recipe are way better than I would have ever done yesterday.

I love potatoes.  Jacques Pepin has an awesome recipe for a potato leek soup that uses potato flakes that I love.  But in trying to cut down the carbs, that would be a no-no.  Potatoes do not seem to cause the blood sugar issues I get with some other starchy stuff, so they are one thing I do still have sometimes.

The day before I made this soup, my own went and died while I was trying to bake off the potatoes.  Stovetop still works, broiler still works, but I've been oven-less for about a week (it'll be a week by the time oven fixin' dude comes on Tuesday... yes, it probably would not have been hard to get the parts to fix it ourselves, but some times it's just easier to go with the repair dude).

Back to the recipe.... so good.  Did not tell the hubby it was half cauliflower, and I finally convinced when he was into his second bowl, he shrugged and kept eating.

And a lightened up soup means you can put that bacon on cheese on top of it without feeling guilty.  I am all for that.

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Eggplant Parm Stacks (And traditional veal parm)


I do love me some veal and eggplant parmesan.

We used to have a great Italian place in town, Bimbos.  Sadly, it went the way of a lot of mom & pop places... owners got older, and the land the place was on became worth a LOT of money for just the lot. It was inevitable that it was gonna close.  And get torn down.

But the gem that place gave us was the combo plate of eggplant and veal parmesan.  I think the first time the husband saw that, he looked at me with a gleam in his eye and said "They can do that?!?!?"  It is what he got every time we went there.

If you're going to "parmesan" something, it is just as easy to do multiple things as one.  Well, almost as easy.  In gluten-free land, a full regular eggplant plus veal would probably mean about $5 in gluten-free breadcrumbs alone.  I am to cheap to do that most times.

A friend mentioned she was making Eggplant Parm Stacks  and I was immediately interested.  I knew I could use some gluten-free bread for the breadcrumbs, and it all seemed pretty darned easy.

And it was.  I do love the sliced garlic stuffed into the slices, it really adds a LOT of flavor to "just eggplant".  I went for the fresh mozz, but the shredded stuff would work fine to.

I served my stacks over a little polenta, the man got pasta.



Yum.







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Pumpkin Chili???


It sounds kinda gross, right?

I'd heard friends rave about it, and some days it sounded great, other days it sounded terrible.

For awhile now, I've been making a bit pot of chili or stew or something on Sunday to have for lunched during the week.  Usually it ends up being a chili, since beans are my friends lately.

Which gets to why I have not updated this in so long....

Work is hectic.  But it means I still get a paycheck.

At the start of last year, I was having major problems eating anything dairy.  In addition to having to avoid gluten, let's just say it makes all food very not fun.  I was getting a bit angry at food.

Then I started making homemade yogurt in hopes it would help adjust some of the ick-ness of my gut, and it made a WORLD of difference.  I can do dairy again.

But then, about halfway thru last year, I started having hypoglycemic episodes. Doc got me a blood sugar monitor and I've tested for diabetes multiple times, and I do not have that, but I still have days where my blood sugar thinks it's opposite day, and I have high blood sugar before I eat, and then it drops way low after eating.  It's not fun, but at least now I know what is happening and I can deal with it as needed.

I've cut ALL corn syrup from my diet (that is a difficult one - you would not believe all the places they stick that stuff), most sugars, I use agave nector as my main sweetener the few times I do use a sweetener, I have to have a reminder set up on my 'Droid to remind me to have some snack times during the afternoon.  I don't eat any "white" carbs and only allow myself some whole grain carbs or potatoes a couple times a week.  For the most part, it seems to work.

Oh, and I also have to have an alarm to wake me up at 3:30 every morning, since I discovered that every night, I usually have a blood sugar crash around then, and catching it then is the difference between feeling like a normal person or a zombie the next day.  Awesome.

And I'm also (along with 90% of America) trying to start 2013 out a little more healthy, and this chili is a way to do it.

So... pumpkin in chili.  Actually not gross.  No, it will not make your chili taste like pie.

It actually just adds a little sweetness (good if your base is just canned tomatoes, like it is above) and creaminess, another good thing.  If we ever do a work pot luck again (we had one last year, I opted out) I may make a totally vegetarian version of this (LOTS of vegetarians at my work).

My biggest chili/stew secret of late... add a head of cauliflower.  Yes, a head.  (In the case of this chili, I had another half head left over from dinners this week).  Found it in a recipe on the Whole Paycheck... I mean Whole Foods website, and I've added it to pretty much every one since.  You really can't tell it's there (since cauliflower doesn't have much taste anyway) but it adds a lot of good veggie-bulk.  Not a bad thing.

Here is to 2013... may it be a better year for all of us.


Pumpkin Chili
It's a chili recipe, people.  Just go with the flow.

1 large onion, chopped
1 large red pepper, chopped
1 1/4 pounds ground turkey (or however much is in the ground turkey package)
1 can crushed tomatoes
1 can diced tomatoes
A lot of chili powder
2 cans chopped green chiles
1 large can black beans, drained
1 cup chicken stock
1 to 1 1/2 half heads cauliflower, sectioned

Get the onion and red pepper started.

Add your ground beef and cook until it's crumbled up.

Dump in the canned goods and the chicken stock.

The fun part... the cauliflower!  You can chop it before you add it, if you don't mind the mess cauliflower makes when you try to do that.  Or you can just kinda section it off into large pieces, and dump those in.

Simmer on low for an hour.

If you did not chop your cauliflower before adding it, fish out the pieces.  Much easier to chop now and not have cauliflower bits all over your kitchen for the next week.  Heck, you can even take a pair of kitchen scissorss to it while it's in the pot.  As long as it is good & cooked, it should break apart fairly easily.

Serve with whatever you like on your chili.


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Saturday, March 31, 2012

Crab Cake Mac & Cheese


One can never have too many baked pasta dishes when you're gluten-free.  Baked pasta is something you just can't get outside your own home.  And they're great to take to parties - no one can really tell gluten-free pasta from the regular stuff in a baked dish.

And every once in a blue moon, a Rachel Ray recipe is worth writing about.  I had the TV on last week or so for noise, and she was making this and the hubby walked into the room.  "Woah, that sounds good," he said.

I agree.

Crab Cake Mac & Cheese


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Thursday, December 1, 2011

Door Knock Dinners

Food Network really needs to bring back Door Knock Dinners.

For those who do not know... it was a VERY early reality TV show back when Food Network (actually showed cooking) was a baby.  Gordon Elliot, with some chef in tow, would show up on a doorstep and try to convince some totally tattered looking housewife into letting the chef make dinner for a family.

Right now, the most vivid memory is some poor chef who had to make panini by pressing some frozen leftover pizza slices together.  Gee, I wonder why the show was canceled.....

But now.... it'd be so easy.  Have people apply to be on the show without a firm commitment that a chef would show up... screen them before, like all "reality" TV show and set up the situation a little. 

Why?

Because I am a home cook.  The only cookbook my name will ever be on is the family one we recently threw together so we don't forget all the great recipes of family gatherings, etc. 

But you know what?

I'm also a foodie.

Even though I may be someone who only has about a 45 minute window to cook from the time I walk in the door to the time I need dinner done, I like food.  I like doing things with food.  And I have one HELL of a pantry.

Currently at my disposal -

Homemade beef, chicken, veal, and turkey stocks.  And the stuff to do a shellfish stock.
One quart of duck fat.
Marrow bones.
White and black truffle oil.
About 10 kinds of dried mushrooms.
4 types of rice (white, brown, sushi rice and jasmine rice)
Tuffle butter
Preserved lemons
Various types of canned oilives.
4 quarts of olive oil.
4 pounds of butter.
Leeks and shallots.
Multiple types of anchovies.
Various cured meats (salamis, hams, etc.)
2 quarts of leftover homemade chili.
1 quart of homemade caramelized onions.
1 dozen eggs
6 additional egg yolks.
etc.

So where would the challenge be??

There is no wheat flour in my house.  None for coating meats, none for thickening. I can't eat it, I don't have it in my house.

Sure.... Top Chef did that ONE episode with Zowie whats-her-face with the restricted diet stuff... but they need to do something more to focus on "This is not a personal lifestyle choice... this is a health issue" and something like that makes a WORLD of difference.

And you know what??

Even with all that minus wheat flour, I think a good chef would be able to make a helluva meal.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

The more things change.....

So... it's been over a year gluten-free.  The second Thanksgiving dealing with this.

Last year was not so good.  Stuffing in the turkey (which my husband assured me his mother never did) and dealing with everyone not fully understanding just how serious to take this (no, you can't flop the pan de queso I brought into the same basket as the rest of the rolls, since now I can't eat those), etc.

I'm glad to say this year was much better.  Once I asked and explained to my mother in law that I couldn't eat turkey when the bird was stuffed, she was more than happy to make a separate turkey breast, sans stuffing, so I could easily eat.  And it's also very nice that she had become a label-reader when she's making a prepared dinner - she said she was thinking of calling me to see how she could do the gravy gluten-free until she looked at the chicken stock that she used for her turkey stock again, and saw that had wheat in it (happens a lot with stocks, which is why I am a firm Kitchen Basics gal). 

Last year, I had no sweet stuff at the end of my meal for Thanksgiving.  Thankfully, not this year.

While I have done an okay pie crust using a 30/70 ratio of mixed non-wheat flours, it was just okay.  I wanted to be able to do my good old tart crust, the way I used to.

Enter... Cup4Cup flour.

Yes, it is pricey.  Yes, it it worth every cent.

I had already used it to make some wonderful fried chicken....


(um... yeah... the breading kinda fell off that piece, and we had already greedily gobbled up the rest of the chicken by the time I got around to thinking about pictures)

Also used the recipe off the Cup4Cup website to make some apple spice muffins for the husband's birthday (and used cream cheese rather than the goat cheese... we're not goat cheese people).


For Thanksgiving... I got ambitious.

The usual pecan pie...


And a totally new recipe for something I've never even tried with wheat flour... Baked Apple Dumplings.


The dough was a little too wet, honestly, and getting the dough formed around the dumplings was not the easiest thing in the world, but since it's not a gluten-developing flour, I was able to go "oh well" and peel the dough off the apple half, flop it back on my board, add a little more flour, and work it into a circle again and give another go.  Worked out fine in the end.

It was like cooking with wheat flour again.  Just as easy... no special tricks or anything needed.

One fantastic thing about Cup4Cup is that it's not gritty.  Rice flour usually is gritty, and while you may not notice it as much in baked cakes and muffins, it shows in things like breading and pie crust.  Even working with it while making the fried chicken, it felt like "regular" flour.

Out of the single bag of flour, I got the whole fried chicken, the muffins, the pecan pie crust, and what pretty much equals two batches of pie/biscuit dough for the dumplings.  Not a bad haul.  And considering the amount of other things that have ended up going right into the trash with other gluten-free flours.... I'm a convert.

I went to buy a back-up bag before Thanksgiving just in case, and while checking out the sales person told me her family has been gluten-free for years and she absolutely loves this flour (she said she bought eight bags - yikes! - when it first came out).  She said the recipe for plain old Toll House cookies is AWESOME with this flour, by far the best one she's used - she said she likes the flour in the Toll House recipe more than the Cup4Cup cookie mix.  I still have to try that.

In fact, I have a lot of recipes I want to try. 
I can make cookies this Christmas.  And they won't all end up in the trash.  I like the thought of that.


Nuttle Family Pecan Pie

Tart Pastry:

Larger Pan (ceramic pie dish, etc.) 9-inch pan (disposable pie plate, tart pan., etc.)
1 ½ cups flour (210 grams) 1 cups flour (140 grams)
¼ teaspoon salt ¼ teaspoon salt
9 T cold butter, cut into small pieces 6 T cold butter, cut into small pieces
2 egg yolks 1 egg yolks
2-3 T water 2 T water

Mix the flour and the salt. Using a food processor or a pastry blender, cut the butter into the flour until the mixture resembles course meal or tiny peas. Whisk the egg yolks with the 2 tablespoons of water and add to the flour mixture. Mix or pulse until the pastry is smooth and holds together in a ball. Slowly add more water if needed. Wrap in foil or plastic and refrigerate for at least 20 minutes.springform pan, do not remove the sides until you are ready to serve the tart.

Pie/Filling:

Tart Pastry dough 1 cup dark corn syrup
3 eggs, lightly beaten 2 t butter, melted
¾ cup sugar 1 t vanilla
1/8 t salt 1 ½ cups pecans, lightly chopped

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Line the pie pan with the pastry dough. Combine the eggs, sugar, salt, corn syrup, butter an vanilla in a bowl and blend well. Stir in the pecans. Pour into the lined pan. NOTE: You may have some extra leftover syrup filling – the Nuttle way is to pack more nuts into the pan so it's not like a layer of nuts on top of the layer of gooey filling.

Bake for 10 minutes the reduce the heat to 350 and bake for another 35 minutes. Serve with whipped cream.