Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Beef and crimini mushroom stroganoff

As always, life is busy here and I must run. Babies cry, children run and so forth.
I intended to post this last night (and the night before and the night before) but it obviously didn't get done.
One of the things I've missed most since starting with the food restrictions is stroganoff. I think that's pretty self-explanatory but you may be wondering why mushrooms? Well, besides the fact that mushrooms are yummy, I did an assessment of our diet (link is to the WHF's site's food advisor) over on World's Healthiest Foods and crimini mushrooms came up as one of the top foods to increase the nutrition of our family. So, I've been looking for (and finding) ways to work them into our diet. :) This was a win.

1 stalk celery, diced
1/2 medium onion, diced
8 oz sliced crimini mushrooms
1 pound ground beef
2 tablespoons glutinous rice flour (aka sweet rice flour)
1 teaspoon sea salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1/4 teaspoon granulated garlic (or 1 clove, minced)
1/4 teaspoon thyme
2 teaspoons dry mustard
1/4 cup dry white wine
2 cups plain rice milk

Brown the ground beef. Add onions, celery and mushrooms and saute until onions are translucent. Add the rice flour, salt and spices and mix well. Stir in the wine. Add the rice milk and mix well again. Bring to a boil then decrease heat and simmer for 20 minutes or until flavours are well blended and sauce has thickened. Serve over noodles (I use pahd Thai rice noodles), rice or mashed potatoes.

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Bread!!

Oh happy day!
First, a link to the wonderful recipe which I (barely) modified to make bread that doesn't taste like playdough, isn't gummy and is nice and soft. Kathy, I adore you. :)
Edited: Re-reading this, it sounds like I'm saying Kathy's original recipe is gummy and tastes like playdough. That was not my intent and, based on my minor variation of her bread recipe, I would say that's highly unlikely. I had to add this though as I suddenly felt a horrible case of foot-in-mouth.

Now, you have a choice when you go to make this bread. You can use your muscles and a wooden spoon and beat the dough really well, you can use your hand held mixer and beat the dough really well or you can throw it in a nice stand mixer like Kathy has. I opted for B since I'm a weakling and don't have a stand mixer- if you choose to do so as well, be aware that you need to keep an eye on the dough to make sure it doesn't sneak up the mixing blades to gum up your mixer itself. I'm not sure if dough hooks would work on this or not, but it's a possibility I intend to explore. :)

Jacqueline Threw Kathy's Bread in the Oven Finally ;)

1 cup sorghum flour
1 cup white rice flour (I was out of brown)
3/4 cup sweet potato starch
1/2 cup tapioca starch
3 teaspoons xanthan gum
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 cup brown sugar
1 teaspoon sea salt
2 1/4 teaspoons instant yeast
3 tablespoons ground flax plus 9 tablespoons hot water (aka 3 flax eggs)
1/3 cup light olive oil
1 1/2 cups rice milk
1 teaspoon white rice vinegar

Whisk the dry ingredients all together. Throw all the wet ingredients in. Now's the time to make your choice from above. Mix the dough really well- it will look very much like wheat bread dough does before you add the second half of the flour, for those of you who have baked glutinous bread before. It has a really nice satiny texture to it. Now take the bread dough, and place it in a well-greased 9" x 5" bread pan. You will likely to have to scrape it out of the bowl for this step. Now that it's in the pan, you want to smooth the top. Small bumps are okay, they'll flatten out as the bread bakes, but larger bumps should be avoided. It doesn't affect the taste at all of course, but it will allow the "illusion" of wheat bread all the more. :)
Place the loaf pan someplace warm to rise for an hour. Preheat your oven to 375F (190C) and place the loaf pan in to bake for 50 to 60 minutes (Kathy's blog says 55 to 60 but mine was done at 50). Allow to cool on a wire rack and enjoy! I sure did!

Edited: This bread kept well overnight, on my counter wrapped in a tea towel, and makes fantastic toast with a nice crumb. Nice and crunchy and not all dried out like many other recipes I've tried.

Bread?

As any baker worth their salt knows, the holy grail of all baking is bread. Warm, delicious, soft and chewy bread. With jam. Or honey. Or maybe, if you're one of those lucky enough to eat dairy, mmm butter. There are few bakers who can say that they have ever opened their oven door and beheld the Perfect Golden Loaf. After many, many years of baking, I felt privileged to count myself among them.
When we first started down this road 2 years ago, I dreamed of bread- gluten free bread good enough that you could make a sandwich the next day. For the first 2 months, I spent day after day after day trying (and failing) to produce anything that truly resembled bread. Of course, our journey is complicated by the additional dietary restrictions of eggs, dairy and nuts, which are often called for in gluten-free recipes. The first two, as I'm sure you all know, provide some of the missing "structure" which gluten usually produces and are called for, more often than not, in gluten free bread recipes.
What happened after those first 2 months, you ask? Well, I moved on. We had adjusted to life without bread and "replacing" the treats became imperative as the middle son's birthday loomed and visions of sad children danced in my head. Then I fell pregnant and, as any woman with hyperemesis will tell you, food was the last thing on my mind!
As the days, weeks and months have passed, the dream of bread has faded, though it still sits in a little jar on the shelf in my mind, waiting for me to return. And return I shall. Perhaps even today. For I have in my oven, right this moment, a loaf of bread rising. Will it be good? Perhaps. Perhaps not. I'm betting on probably not after all the "tweaking" I did with it. (I know you're reading this, Kathy. Try to tell me that you wouldn't do the same. :p And there really wasn't much tweaking... I swear! You'll see later.)

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

4-Bean Salad

No time to fuss around, just throwing a recipe up here.

1 lb each: cooked green beans
cooked wax beans
cooked kidney beans
cooked garbanzo beans
1/2 medium onion, diced fine
1/2 red bell pepper, diced fine
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup vinegar
1/2 cup light olive oil
1 teaspoon salt

Mix together last 4 ingredients. Then mix everything together and allow to marinate overnight (or at least 2 hours- the longer the better).

Note: It has come to my attention that my recipe is confusing. Regarding the beans, I use canned beans simply because it's easiest. However, if you happen to have access to fresh green and wax beans, you can simply cut them into 1 inch pieces and cook in salted water until tender then allow to cool and drain. I'm sure you could probably do the same with frozen but I haven't tried that.