Monthly Archives: October 2013

Noodly-Noodles For Real

 

 

 

gfnoodlesWhen I switched to gluten free noodles, there were lots of trial and error meals with noodles that were all substandard. I bought rice noodles all over town, any store that had anything that was safe to cook, we tried. More often than not, we wondered why we thought we needed noodles back in our diets. We finally settled on the Tinkyada brand for anything “noodle”, and they are okay. They cook up well and hold their shapes and do whatever job a noodle needs to do… and frankly I am happy to have the option. It’s beginning to look a lot like mac and cheese season, and we need noodles!! But, they are still different enough that the gluten eaters in the house (that I still have to cook for) won’t touch the rice noodles. Well, they will eat them, they just aren’t real happy about the experience. Whatever.

Enter the Barilla brand gluten free pasta box into the noodle challenge.

Done. These are great noodles. They cook and look and taste just like “real” pasta. AND!!! The resident gluten eater said that if I hadn’t told him they were GF, that he wouldn’t have been able to tell.

Done. We have a new pasta brand!!! In. The. House. yay

 

 

Garlic Toast

Not really toast… but look out! Remember that cinnamon roll dough? Yeah, the one that makes cinnamon rolls or pizza rolls? yeah, well …if you substitute the plain butter for GARLIC infused butter.. and sub the brown sugar with parmesan cheese? Oh. my. goodness. Garlic rolls to drool over!!!! Really yummy with spaghetti. Crazy easy and they freeze and reheat really well, too.

Sourdough Garlic rolls 

  • one recipe of sourdough rolls
  • 3 Tblspoons butter, melted
  • 5 cloves of garlic – browned in the butter
  • 2/3 C parmesan cheese
  • 1/c C grated colby-jack cheese

Roll and let rest for 30 minutes, then bake at 350 for 25 minutes or until browned to your liking.

What to do with BBEEAANNSZ

I was recently given some dried beans by an elderly neighbor. She only reheats her prepackaged food these days, and thought I might want a freakishly large package of dried mixed beans for something, …”since you cook”.

I have been in the habit of buying canned beans, but there is no way that I *CAN’T* process my own beans… I just don’t, or more precisely, haven’t lately.

Oh fine. So I cooked the beans. Stop the presses! Alert the media! Cooking your own beans is cheaper, to be sure. And not difficult by any stretch of the imagination. And they are certainly gluten free… so I cooked them.

So…how do you cook beans from scratch? – Answer? Slowly. Yes, it takes hours. And yes, buying them already cooked in a can that I only have to open and dump into a recipe is easier. I hate to admit it, but these tasted better.

  • 4 Cups of dried beans in 16 cups of water (I used filtered water) in a large enameled cast iron dutch oven. Heavy duty.
  • Let them boil for 2 minutes and then take off the heat- cover and let sit one hour.
  • DRAIN THE WATER.
  • Refill the water and simmer the beans for 2 hours, or until tender. Don’t over think this part. They are done when they are done.  This 4 cups of dried beans resulted in 12 Cups of cooked and ready to use beans for my recipes. Awesome. Thifty. Delicious.

After they had cooled off, I packaged them in 2 cup containers with a little bit of the cooking water. Some in the fridge to use right away in a delicious recipe, and some in the freezer to use later.

So far, we have had “COWBOY BEANS” and chili. mmmm …winter food.

COWBOY BEANS

Cook:

  • 1/2 lb of Jimmy Dean sausage, crumbled and cooked
  • 1/2 an onion, chopped and cooked with the sausage

Add:

  • 4 Cups of pre-cooked beans (drained)
  • 1 can of Bush’s baked beans (Do not drain)

Mix togther and pour over the top:

  • 1/4 Cup warm water
  • 2 T dark brown sugar
  • 2 T thai chili sauce
  • 2 T ketchup
  • 1/2 tsp dried mustard powder

Bake at 300 for 1 hour covered, then another 45 minutes to an hour uncovered.

Serve as a main dish, a side dish, or as a nacho topping with corn chips. These were also good as part of enchiladas. And going by the lack of any leftovers… everyone liked it.  Useful dish to be sure.

 

 

Sourdough Biscuits

When we go out to eat, we sometimes choose a restaurant that has long lines,  some antiques to look at, and they serve plates of cornbread or biscuits to munch on while you wait for the meal to arrive. So nice of them to offer, but not so nice if you can’t eat the biscuits and the butter packets aren’t really all that tasty on their own…. so, in my quest for reasons to use my gluten-free sourdough starter, I stumbled across an idea to use the starter in biscuits. Hmmm. Would it work for gluten-free? yes.. yes it did. In fact, these are better than the ones that come on the plate from the star emblazoned apron waitress. Butter? or Jam? hard to choose really. I went with one of each. Now I am off to make some sausage gravy to pour over them for supper… mmmmmmmm biscuits. I am loving this sourdough experiment!!

biscuitsSourdough Biscuits

  • 1 Cup brown rice flour
  • 1/4 Cup tapioca starch
  • 1/4 Cup sweet rice flour
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp soda
  • 1/4 Cup butter, slightly softened and cubed
  • 1 cup sourdough batter
  • 4 – 6 Tblspoons of warm water, as needed.

 

Mix the flours and dry ingredients in a bowl. Stir in the butter and then add the starter and only as much water as you need to make the dough stick together.

Pat out the dough onto a square of wax paper and used a cookie cutter to make round biscuits. Let them rise for an hour, and bake at 425 for 15-20 minutes until slightly browned.

Serve warm. With butter. Or jam. Or sausage gravy. Really.

 

Play Practice Chicken

We are currently involved in a play production…and we are busy every night for weeks. Who isn’t busy? So, having dinner cooked for me when I get home tonight will be a real treat. THANK YOU, CROCKPOT!!!! I rarely use this contraption because I would rather cook in other ways, but when it’s useful? oh yeah.

Most of the time I set it on “high”, and get whatever it is cooked and done in 3 or 4 hours.. but today, we are taking the slow “low” temp approach and it will be slowly stewing itself all afternoon and be done when I get home late tonight.

I decided to make “something” in the crockpot for tonight, but really had to use up some things from the fridge… creative economy and “Whatchagot stew”. I found some chicken and carrots and potatoes… mmmmm maybe over noodles? The sauce that it’s cooking in should make a nice gravy if I thicken it just a little bit at the end of the cooking time.

YAY dinner!

Crockpot Chicken For Busy Days

  • 1 1/2 lbs chicken tenders, slightly defrosted and cubed.
  • 2 potatoes, peeled and cubed
  • 2 cups of baby carrots (leftovers from the back of the  fridge-because no one will eat them otherwise…drat.)
  • 1 onion, peeled and chopped
  • one clove of garlic – peeled and chopped
  • 1 1/2 C chicken broth (more or less what was left in the fridge from something else I cooked last week) ymmv
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp Italian seasoning
  • 1 tsp poultry seasoning
  • 1/2 tsp white pepper
  • 1/4 Cup gluten-free tamari sauce
  • 1/4 Cup Worchestershire sauce

Layer it all into a large crockpot. Set it to “low” and go do your thing. Come back in 6-8 hours. Make some noodles and thicken the gravy. Should be delicious.

I  use the Tinkyada brand noodles. Can’t decide if the penne or the spiral noodles will be better for this. hmmmm. Whichever, it’s still easy dinner.