Monday, November 28, 2011

Chimichurri

This zesty Argentinian sauce will enliven any meat dish.
It's brightness will bring a welcome lightness after a gloriously filling Thanksgiving.

Drizzle over steaks, burritos, or dip thin slices of cold, leftover grilled beef tenderloin for a treat. ¡Buen apetito!


Chimichurri
1 c. flat-leafed parsley
1/4 c. cilantro
1/4 c. freshly squeezed lemon juice (about 2 lemons)
2 T. agave syrup
1/2 c. extra-virgin olive oil
1 t. salt
1/2 t. freshly ground pepper
1/4 t. red pepper flakes (or paprika for a milder sauce)
1-2 garlic cloves, minced

Rinse and de-stem parsley and cilantro. Place in blender or food processor. Add lemon juice, agave syrup and olive oil. Blend to your preferred consistency.
Stir in salt, peppers and garlic by hand.
Refrigerate and enjoy!


Did you know: When garlic is processed in a blender or food processor, it becomes many, many times more potent than if it is simply minced and mixed in by hand at the end of the recipe? I learned this the hard way. :-)

Monday, November 21, 2011

The Comfort of Cooking Blueberry Oat Muffins

Comfort food is such a personal, complex issue.
Why do we crave comfort foods? Do we cook comfort food for others to support them? Or is there a greater comfort for us in our attempt to make someone's life better by providing a warm, nurturing food for them?

This is a delicious, light-as-a-feather muffin with the chewy goodness of oats. It's Karina's recipe from her Gluten-Free Goddess website: http://glutenfreegoddess.blogspot.com/2008/05/blueberry-oat-muffins.html visit her website often. You'll be glad you did.


Blueberry Oat Muffins
I have been using either Laura Scudder's GF Oats or Bob's Red Mill certified gluten-free oats in my baking- both the rolled style and the steel cut. When I make muffins, I like to use rolled oats- the topping looks so pretty.

What you'll need:
1 cup Bob's Red Mill gluten-free rolled oats
Soaked in:
1 cup warm vanilla rice or hemp milk, for 20 minutes

Beat together:
1/4 cup Spectrum Organic Shortening
3/4 cup organic golden brown sugar
2 teaspoons bourbon vanilla extract
2 tablespoons raw agave nectar or honey

Whisk the dry ingredients in a large separate bowl:
1 cup sorghum flour or rice flour- or a blend of your favorite flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
1/4 teaspoon xanthan gum
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

To assemble you'll need:
Egg Replacer (or two eggs, beaten):
   1 tablespoon Energ-G Egg Replacer
   4 tablespoons water

Whisk till frothy.

Add at the end:
1 cup blueberries- fresh or frozen* see note

For crumble topping:
Rub together 2 tablespoons each:
Certified gluten-free rolled oats
Organic brown sugar
Spectrum Organic Shortening
Add cinnamon, to taste


Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Line a 12-muffin tin with paper liners. Or a 6-muffin jumbo pan.

Add the soaked oats to the shortening mixture; combine briefly and scoop into the dry mixture. Mix by hand to combine.

Add the Egg Replacer or beaten eggs. If the batter appears too stiff or dry, add 1 to 4 tablespoons of vanilla rice or hemp milk- one spoon at a time- till soft and moist. Add the blueberries right at the end of mixing. Divide and plop the batter into the twelve muffin cups. Sprinkle with brown sugar oat topping. Bake in the center of a preheated oven for 15 to 20 minutes; if you are making large jumbo muffins, bake for 25 to 30 minutes.

Note* If you use frozen berries, your muffins may need five extra minutes to bake. Keep an eye them. Check doneness with a wooden pick.

Remove the muffins from the tin and cool on a wire rack (this keeps the bottoms from getting soggy- no one likes a soggy bottom!).

Serve however you like- warm, or at room temperature. Wrap and freeze for future treats.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Thanksgiving Blue Cornbread Stuffing

Thanksgiving is almost here!
It's always been one of my favorite holidays. Not only because, as a child, all my cousins would celebrate my birthday with me, but because Thanksgiving embodies the idea of relishing each other without the obligations of material gifts or strings attached. Just lots of hugs, football, and watching the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade together, all piled on the family room floor together like a litter of puppies.

Stuffing has always been my favorite Thanksgiving food, hands-down. I've cooked this Mark Miller stuffing recipe for the last 15 years or so, and can't seem to try anything else. . .it's that good!


BLUE CORN BREAD:
1/2 c. Melted butter (or dairy free margarine)
1 c. blue corn meal
1 c. flour (any GF flour blend +1t. xanthan gum)
2 t. baking soda
1 egg
3/4 t. salt
1 1/2 c. buttermilk (or 1-1/2 c almond milk + 1-1/2 T vinegar)

STUFFING:
1 1/2 lbs Chorizo (we use 1/2 italian sausage, 1/2 hot italian sausage)
1/4 c. butter
1 1/2 c. chopped onion
1/4 c. diced celery
10 serrano chiles, stemmed, seeded and minced
2 cloves garlic, minced
8 c. coarsely crumbled blue corn bread (one entire recipe above)
4 t. chopped fresh thyme leaves
1 t. dried sage
1 c. chopped cilantro
1/3 c. half & half (or almond milk)
1 egg, beaten
1/2 t. freshly ground pepper


TO MAKE CORNBREAD: Preheat oven to 425°. Grease 8x8 pan. Combine all but buttermilk in food processor. Blend 3 seconds. Scrape sides. Add buttermilk. Blend 5 seconds. Bake 30 min. Cool on rack. Use immediately or wrap with plastic wrap and refrigerate or freeze.

TO MAKE STUFFING: Crumble and saute saugage until brown. Drain. Set aside. Melt butter. Add onion, celery, serranos and garlic. Saute 2-3 minutes. Transfer to large bowl -- add sausage, cornbread, thyme, sage and cilantro. Toss well, moisten with half and half and egg. Add pepper and mix well. Cook 40 minutes @ 350°.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Monday, November 7, 2011

Cranberry-Cherry Sauce

It's November, and the hunt is on for elusive dried, tart cherries. They're essential for this recipe.

My sister-in-law introduced me to this sweet-tart cranberry goodness about 15 years ago. It's oh-so-easy and a staple at every Thanksgiving dinner.


Cranberry-Cherry Sauce

2 1/2 c. cranberry juice (or cherry cider)
8 oz. dried tart cherries
1 c. sugar
1 - 12 oz. package cranberries
1/4 t. ground cloves

Bring juice to boil. Remove from heat. Add cherries. Let sit 8 minutes to soften. Mix in sugar, cranberries and cloves. Cook over med-high heat until berries burst (about 10 minutes), stirring occasionally. Refrigerate until cold -- about 4 hours. Sauce will thicken as it cools.
Can be prepared 4 days ahead.
Cover and refrigerate.
Enjoy!