Thursday, June 25, 2009

Go Ahead, Honey, it's Gluten Free Event! Grow Hair on Your Chest Pork and Beans, Salsa & Chips

This is the longest post everrrrr! :)

So maybe the title's a bit much, but it got your attention! I certainly hope I don't grow hair on my chest as a result of eating this :P! These Pork and Beans with a side of Salsa and Chips are my submissions to June's Go Ahead, Honey, It's Gluten Free event hosted by Carol over at Simply Gluten Free. The theme is manly food!

I have to give you a little head's up about the pork and beans, it's a leftovers concoction! The pork I used was from a ham roast I cooked a few days ago. We still had quite a bit left over and I hate wasting, so I used up the rest to make the p and b.

I made baked beans when we had family over for dinner recently. No, they are not Bush's, but they are plain canned pinto beans; they are really good to have around when it's too hot to have the stove on all day. I didn't exactly measure the ingredients that went into making the beans, but it's really hard to go wrong with them so long as you add the basics (to follow) and taste as you go. I'd say the most important thing is to remember to let them simmer on low for awhile. These beans, though canned & pre-cooked, simmered for about 1 1/2 hours total. The good thing is that they were a little underdone right outta the can, so they didn't over cook while simmering.

Monica over at Lick the Bowl Good has an amazing pork tenderloin recipe that I tried awhile ago and LOVED. It is really incredible. I didn't know what to do with this big ol' ham that I bought at the farmer's market this weekend (it was a 3lb ham, but I only used 1/2 of it, and then only used about 1 pound for the actual pork and beans). Then I remembered Monica's tenderloin glaze and I also came across a pretty good one from Emeril (you can see it here). I used a few ingredients from each recipe to come up with a marinade for the pork.

This is the Citrus Pork Marinade I used (this marinade is good for 1 1/2 pounds of pork/ham)
1/2 can of frozen orange juice concentrate
1 1/2 pound ham
1 8 ounce can pureed pineapple
1 8 ounce can sliced pineapple, blended
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1/4 teaspoon cloves

I let the pork marinate for a day, then I cooked it in the oven with the juice at 350 for about 2 hours. I also let it rest for a day in the fridge, fully cooked and still in the juice, before making the p and b. I eventually just used about 1 pound of this marinated ham for the pork and beans.

Now for the Baked Beans, this is the general recipe:
2 16 ounce cans plain pinto beans, no seasoning :)
about 1 cup of canned roasted tomatoes
a few tablespoons olive oil
1/2 tablespoon butter
1 red bell pepper, chopped
1/3 of a large sweet onion, finely chopped
about 3 Tbsp salsa (recipe to follow)
about 2-3 TBSP finely chopped fresh cilantro
about 1/4-1/3 cup brown sugar (more if you want it sweeter)
a few tablespoons real maple syrup, to taste (about 2-3)
a few tablespoons liquid smoke (about 3-4)
a few tablespoons gluten-free (Amy's) ketchup (about 3-4)
a few shakes of garlic salt and onion powder
small pinch of cloves
pinch of white pepper
black pepper, to taste
more salt to taste

Saute the onion and bell pepper in the little bit of butter. Then you can add the beans and the rest of the seasoning, stir. Next you can add the olive oil and tomatoes, then add the rest of the wet ingredients, brown sugar and the maple syrup. Let it simmer for about 45 minutes. Lastly, add the fresh chopped cilantro and let everything simmer for 20-30 more minutes on low-low :). This will make more than you need for the pork and beans.

Now for the Pork and Beans
Cut up 3 cups of the cooked pork, add it to a small pot with 1 cup of the leftover marinade. Cook on medium and reduce the marinade so that it becomes kind of like a thick gravy/sticky glaze. After that, you can add 2 cups of the cooked "baked" beans, you can add more bell pepper, onion and tomatoes if you like veggies, now you want to let it simmer on low for about 45 more minutes. You might want to add a bit more salt and pepper to liven up the flavors, taste first, though.

The Salsa (this makes 1 cup of mild/medium heat salsa):
3/4 of a cup roasted tomatoes in a can
1/3 large jalapeno (in vinegar, in a jar)
1/2-3/4 tsp jalapeno vinegar, from the jar
1/3 cup caramelized onion, chopped
1/2 red bell pepper, chopped
1 small garlic clove, very finely chopped
about 1-2 tbsp fresh chopped cilantro
1/2 tsp sea salt
1/3 cup chopped green bell pepper
1/4 cup more chopped onion
1/4-1/3 cup chopped cherry tomatoes

To make the salsa, first caramelize the onion, add the chopped bell pepper and finely chopped garlic. Now add the roasted tomatoes, salt, jalapeno vinegar and jalapeno. You'll throw this all into the food processor, pulse, leave it a little thick/chunky. Now you can add the rest of the chopped, raw veggies. Let it simmer for about 15 minutes, you can add more jalapeno and/or vinegar to spice it up; don't add the seeds if you don't want it spicy, though :). Put it in the fridge and serve chilled :).

I bet you're hungry after reading such a lengthy post, let's eat!

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Gluten Free Paula Deen Rocky Road Bars

Happy Father's Day!

So if you haven't seen these amazing brownie bars over at Taste and Tell, head on over now! If you're not on a gluten free diet, you'll want to follow her recipe to the T; it's a good one!

I really really wanted to make these for Father's Day/my husband's birthday, so this past week I made a gluten free version. I mailed some over to my parent's house and they were a hit. We also had a couple left over last night and even though they were 5 days old, my mother in law & sister in law gobbled them up too =o).

I've yet to find gluten free graham crackers, so I had to improvise there. I combined gluten free Mi-Del Cinnamon Snaps and crushed Gluten-Free Rice Chex to make a modified version of the graham cracker crust. The other change I made is that I used white chocolate chips instead of toffee; I didn't have toffee :P. Because the brownie part of the recipe is different, I noticed that I had to cook my brownies a bit longer, so the cookie crust came out a little crispier than expected, but still tasty.

Step 1: Step 2:

The brownies/bars are super moist. If you make these Gluten Free Paula Deen Rocky Road Bars, then you'll want to closely monitor the brownies when you're baking them (I kept checking them every 10 minutes or so). Also, don't expect the knife/toothpick to come out clean when you're checking for doneness because they're going to be like fudge in texture :P! It's best to let them cool for about an hour before diving in, they'll stay together much better that way. :)


Gluten Free Paula Deen Rocky Road Bars

the gluten free version of Paula Deen's Rocky Road ...

See Gluten Free Paula Deen Rocky Road Bars on Key Ingredient.

Monday, June 15, 2009

Gluten Free Peach Blueberry Pie

Peaches are in season and on sale!

They're ripe and sweet, so good on their own and even better in a gluten-free blueberry peach pie... especially if they're Texas peaches paired with Texas blueberries! The slight tartness of the peaches cooked in orange juice is a tasty match for the intense flavor of the blueberries that we picked a few weekends ago.

The "secret" to making a tasty peach blueberry pie? Cook the peaches for just a little bit but leave the blueberries alone; they will cook up nicely while the pie bakes and they'll still be juicy and plump afterward. No mushy blueberries here :)!

As far as the pie crust goes, it tastes like a cookie. I'm a sucker for sweet stuff, so I like making my crusts sweeter than traditional pie crusts. I also added one of my favorite baking ingredients... buttamilk! Love that stuff.

These pies may be mini, but they're flavor is big liiiike Teeexxxaaaas. :D

Gluten Free Peach Blueberry Pie

Not so big like Texas, but big on flavor :). Made ...

See Gluten Free Peach Blueberry Pie on Key Ingredient.

Monday, June 8, 2009

A Gluten Free Breakfast Feast: Buttermilk Cornmeal Pancakes and Chorizo

Breakfast can be...

not so fun for the gluten intolerant crowd.


Think about all the pancakes, the french toast, the regular toast! Oh how I miss plain ol' toast!


Oh, and gone are the days when we can wake up and say "Hey, I'm craving a really huge breakfast but I'm too lazy to make it." Forget about going out to eat for breakfast! To be honest, I'm pretty cheap anyway, and have never really been one to go out much for breakfast but...

I did/do enjoy eating breakfast after dinner.

I eat pancakes before bed, almost every night, sometimes I have cereal. I looooove breakfast, I don't think I've said it enough ;).

In college, I was a big fan of Kerbey Lane pancakes. If you're from Austin, or have visited the city before, you know what I'm talking about!

For some reason, awhile back Guy Fieri went to Magnolia's (another quirky Austin cafe). They featured their pancakes on the show, but Guy should've gone to Kerbey Lane instead! Their pancakes are so much better and they even come in different flavors. My favorite? Gingerbread and Apple. Like I said, I haven't had those pancakes since college, and won't be able to eat them again unless they decide to start making a gluten-free version (I hope you're listening Kerbey Lane!).

But I can't complain because...

I found these cookies! Nana's Gluten Free Ginger Cookies are the best gluten free cookies EVERRRRR! What does this have anything to do with pancakes? Their cookies taste just like the Kerbey Lane gingerbread pancakes!

Normally, I get a little weirded out when food tastes like something it isn't supposed to taste like. For instance, I tried quinoa pasta this weekend and was weirded out a little that it tasted like quinoa. No surprise there, it does say quinoa on the ingredients list. I do love quinoa, but pasta is supposed to taste like pasta. But it is okay if cookies taste like pancakes, because they're both at the top of my favorite things to eat before bedtime list. (Oh and they're both sugary! So I guess it's safe to say that sweet foods are allowed to taste like each other. :)

But there's another problem! I don't eat cookies for breakfast (at least not anymore :D) so what to do? What to do?! You make these soft and sweet almost flap-jack like gluten-free cornmeal pancakes! They have a subtle cornmeal taste, but not so much that you'll feel like you're eating cornbread instead of pancakes :).

What if you're like me and don't fill up on just pancakes?

You make this amazing chorizo! Click here for the original recipe.

I have to admit, I actually made this about 6 months ago but never got around to posting it! I made mine a little less spicy and didn't add the tequila, but it was still quite tasty. I do think it tastes more chorizoy if you let the flavors meld overnight. Marinate the seasoned ground meat in the fridge over night and your home will smell like heaven in the morning, everyone will be an early riser the day you serve this for breakfast!

Gluten-Free Buttermilk Cornmeal Pancakes

Soft and lightly sweetened.

See Gluten-Free Buttermilk Cornmeal Pancakes on Key Ingredient.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Gluten Free Coconut Cream Almond Cookies (with Blueberry "Caramel" Sauce?)

There's a reason why I put a question mark at the end of the title. After experimenting with the blueberries we picked this weekend...

...I ended up with something that's a cross between a caramel sauce and syrup/glaze. I really wanted to make this really pretty berry tart that La Bella Cook blogged about, but I don't have a tart or pie pan, so I decided to make cookies since I haven't made them in awhile... but I don't have cookie cutters either! Why am I missing so many baking supplies? Because I'm out of town for the summer (with my husband, for his internship). I'm far from my stocked up kitchen. I didn't let that stop me, I used my sister in law's shot glass to make these semi-mini cookies :). I could only find a mini neon green rolling pin, so I used that to roll out the dough. Here's the evidence:

Thick blueberry 'glaze/caramel' sauce:
1/2 cup blueberries
3 TBSP heavy cream
1 tbsp water
2 tbsp corn starch
1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
cook on a low/medium boil until thick (stir constantly)
refrigerate for 30 min then
melt for 30 seconds; add
1 1/2 tbsp of melted butter & microwave for 45 more secs.

Thankfully, I still have plenty more blueberries left to make the tart :). Any creative ideas on what I can use in place of a tart pan? One thing I'd like to note: as you can see, the blueberry caramel sauce/syrup ended up a bit thick. I had to remelt it so that I could drizzle/splatter it over the cookies (I did this after I lined them up on a piece of parchment paper, it was a messy job!). It was fun getting Jackson Pollock-y in the kitchen, though :). I really wanted to make a blueberry frosting, maybe next time... This recipe makes a little over 2 dozen small cookies.

Gluten Free Coconut Cream Almond Cookies

buttery and coconutttttty :)

See Gluten Free Coconut Cream Almond Cookies on Key Ingredient.