Monday, February 28, 2011

Biscuit Coffee Cakes

When I was in 6th grade, I took a couple of cooking classes. Those classes taught me a number of important things. First of all, never never never cook with expired clams. Secondly, seaweed is a comestible (I refuse to call it food) that I do not want to eat again. Finally, refrigerator biscuits dipped in butter and brown sugar taste really good.

While gluten free refrigerator biscuits do not, to my knowledge, exist, the good news is that I have found a gluten free biscuit recipe that I love and which works just as well. My sister and her husband created this recipe after she discovered that she is allergic to rice. Until I tasted these, I had resigned myself to the fact that I was always going to hate gluten free biscuits. They never had the right texture or flavor, and I had mostly given up trying. Since my sister shared these with me, though, I've begun to make biscuits about once a week. They're not only quick and easy, but they taste wonderful!

Mette's Oat Biscuits (and Betsy's Biscuit Coffee Cakes)

1 1/2 c. GF Oat Flour*
1 c. cornstarch
3/4 c. tapioca starch
1/4 c. potato starch
2 Tbs. potato flour
2 tsp. xanthan gum
2 Tbs. baking powder
2 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. salt
1/4 c. sugar
6 Tbs. butter flavored shortening
6 Tbs. butter or margarine
1 1/4 c. milk (or dairy free substitute)

Preheat oven to 350°.

Place dry ingredients in a large bowl. Add shortening and butter. Mix on medium speed until shortening is blended in. (Mixture will look like small crumbs.) Add milk. Mix until well combined. Let sit for a couple of minutes. Gather dough into a ball.**

Press some of the biscuit dough out on a flat piece of parchment paper (or a lightly floured*** surface) about 1/4" to 1/2" thick. Cut with a biscuit cutter. Place on a cookie sheet. Bake for 10 - 12 minutes or until doubled in size and lightly browned.

To make Biscuit Coffee Cakes, cut out biscuits as directed above. Dip both sides of each biscuit in melted butter. Place each biscuit face down in brown sugar, then place the biscuits brown-sugar-side up on a baking sheet or pie plate. (The biscuits may be placed touching each other or with space between them.) Bake for about 15 minutes.

*I make this at home by taking my gluten free oats (which cost $3.00 a pound, unfortunately) and grinding them finely in a blender. I really like them to be ground very finely, but you can leave some slightly larger bits if you'd like.

**These biscuits taste best fresh, but the unused dough can be stored in the refrigerator for up to a week. So place leftover dough in a Ziploc bag, seal it tightly, throw it in your fridge, and make biscuits in moments any day of the week. Refrigerator biscuits ahoy!

***I'd use featherlight mix or cornstarch. Well, actually, I'd use parchment paper cause it's really easy to clean up, but I think that featherlight or cornstarch would work the best if you want to choose the "lightly floured surface" route.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Lettuce Wraps

After trying these at PF Chang’s, I knew I had to be able to make this particular dish at home.– Kirsti

4 Tbs. soy sauce
4 Tbs. brown sugar
½ tsp. rice vinegar
3 Tbs. oil
4 boneless chicken breasts
1 c. water chestnuts (optional)
1 ½ c. diced mushrooms
1–2 celery stalks, minced
6 Tbs. diced sweet onions
2 tsp. minced garlic
5–10 iceberg lettuce leaves

¼ c. sugar
½ c. water
2 Tbs. soy sauce
¾ Tbs. rice vinegar
2 Tbs. ketchup
1 Tbs. lemon juice
1 tsp. sriracha sauce*

Mix the soy sauce, brown sugar, and rice vinegar together in a small bowl and set aside.

In a large skillet or wok, heat the oil on medium high. Sauté chicken breasts 4–5 minutes per side or until done. Remove pan from the heat and allow chicken to cool. As the chicken cools, mince water chestnuts, mushrooms, celery, and onion to the size of small peas. When cooled, mince chicken to the same size.

Add another tablespoon of oil to the pan, if needed. Return pan to medium-high heat and stir-fry the chicken and vegetables, adding the soy sauce mixture after about 1 minute.

In a small saucepan, mix together all the ingredients for the sauce. Heat the sauce just until it boils. Turn off heat. Add ½ the sauce to the chicken mixture.** Simmer for 10 minutes.

Serve the chicken mixture wrapped in lettuce leaves with the remaining sauce on the side.

*This is a hot sauce that I buy from Gifts of Nature (online). You can use another type of hot sauce if you like.

** If desired, you can mix all of the sauce directly into the chicken mixture.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Oreo Pie

My neighbor Cyndi invented a recipe for Oreo Pie that is to die for. It is so good that I can't even think of appropriate descriptions. She was kind enough to tell me her secrets so I could make a gluten free one. (Her only stipulation was: "If you get to be a millionaire off of this, I want royalties!") I changed things a little, but this is essentially her creation. Thanks for sharing, Cyndi!

Oreo Pie

about 1 c. gluten free oreo cookie dough
8 oz. cream cheese
2 Tbs. butter
1/2 tsp. vanilla
1/2 - 3/4 c. sugar (depending on how big your sweet tooth is)
a bunch* of gluten free oreos
1 - 1 1/2 c. heavy cream

Preheat oven to 375.

Press cookie dough evenly into a 9" pie plate, covering the bottom and the sides. Bake for 12 - 15 minutes, or until the cookie dough doesn't smoosh under your fingers when lightly touched. Remove from oven and cool thoroughly.

Using the whisk attachment of a stand mixer, cream together cream cheese, butter, vanilla, and sugar until smooth. Add oreos and mix well, leaving some larger pieces of cookie. Add cream and whisk on high speed until the mixture thickens and gets kind of fluffy. (This only takes about a minute with my mixer, but it's a really good one. It might take a little longer with a kitchen-aid.)

Spread filling into cooled crust. Garnish with additional oreos. Serve. Try not to eat the whole thing by yourself.

*This is a technical term that means "as many as you want." Cyndi says she uses a full pound of regular oreos. I probably used about half that much. I rolled about 2 cups of cookie dough out flat in the bottom of a 9x13 pan, baked it until it was firm in the middle, cut it into big rectangles with a cookie cutter, let it cool, filled them with lots of oreo filling, then threw them into the mixer.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Flour Mixes

Okay. It has come to my attention that I have made it rather difficult to find the recipes that I posted for the flour mixes that we are constantly referring to. I'm not really sure how I came to do that. I'm sure that I didn't MEAN to do that. But, however that may be, I am going to remedy the problem right now. So sorry!

The first two mixes listed below were created by Bette Hagman, one of the pioneering writers of gluten free cookbooks. (She wrote the Gluten Free Gourmet cookbooks.) The third is the combination of flours that Kirsti and I use most often. We find that it replicates the taste and texture of "regular" flours better than any other combinations we've tried.

GF Mix

6 c. rice flour
2 c. potato STARCH*
1 c. tapioca starch

Featherlight Mix

1 c. rice flour
1 c. tapioca starch
1 c. cornstarch
1 Tbs. potato FLOUR*

EGF All Purpose Flour Mix

3 c. Featherlight mix
1 c. GF mix

I mix up large batches of flour mixes at one time and keep them in my cabinet.

*Potato flour is not the same as potato starch. Make sure you use the right one!

Thursday, February 10, 2011

French Bread

We taught this recipe at our last class and it was a huge success! I thought I'd post it here, just in case you weren't able to come to our last class.

I came up with this recipe one night when I was in a hurry. We were eating lasagna, and I wanted bread, but I didn't want to go to the trouble of making breadsticks; I just wanted something I could slap on a pan, let rise, and cook. That night I fed my family plus four other adult guests and five extra children. The bread was the first thing gone! – Kirsti

French Bread

3 c. EGF All-Purpose Flour
1 Tbs. xanthan gum
1 packet Knox gelatin (unflavored)
1 Tbs. egg replacer
¼ c. sugar
¼ c. powdered milk*
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. baking powder
1 ½ Tbs. yeast
1 ⅓ c. warm water
3 egg whites (from large eggs)
1 tsp. rice vinegar
¼ c. canola oil

Preheat oven to 425°.

In a large mixing bowl, combine dry ingredients. Sprinkle yeast on top of dry ingredients but don’t mix it in. Pour warm water on top of yeast and let it sit for 1–2 minutes. Add rice vinegar and oil; beat for about 30 seconds. With your mixer on low speed, add egg whites one at a time. Turn mixer on high speed and beat for 4–5 minutes. The dough should be thick but not dry and crumbly. If it is too dry, add more water, 1 tablespoon at a time, until it forms a ball.

On a greased cookie sheet, form the dough in a long oval. (Wet your fingers with water to smooth out the top.) Let rise for 20 minutes.

Bake 25–30 minutes, or until the loaf is nicely browned and makes a hollow sound when tapped.

Cool for 10 minutes. Cut open and cover with garlic spread.

* Vance’s Foods nondairy milk works really well in this recipe.