Tag Archives: dinner

gluten-free teff BAGUETTE

cooked baguetteswhen the goin’ gets teff… (first and last bad joke, I promise)

brushing oil teff breadoh baby

teff milkTeff flour has been one of my favorite substitutes for wheat flour for a while now.  Teff milk was a new discovery today: I’m not sure that rice milk is the best thing to consume out of the lactose-free milks as it’s basically just sugar.  It’s not bad, but it’s not rich, either.  Teff milk has now been my favorite dairy-free milk for one day.  A whole day.  And now night.

It’s real here: baguette is something that surpasses stereotype.  It surrounds the daily function of the Parisian, clings to the backs of those dedicated enough to leave an opening in their backpacks for the long strand of yeast-risen staple, breaks beneath the fingers of the eager who cannot make it home without finding the tip missing.  Yup, baguette’s a thing.  And today I wanted one real bad.  That’s when I found teff flour for the first time in grocery stores here.  Sha buy yah roll call

teff bread demi baguetteI think you’ve gotta be a bit of a geek to make it in this world.  Tech-y stuff is all over, and what’s slightly paradoxical is that I’ve found the more I give up my old ways of traditional-is-better-because-it’s-more-human, unless I actually want to go Neanderthal, it’s hit me that these new advances in images and sound and things with computers and wires can actually make the human things we do more interesting.

shaping baguetteIt’s not like the computer made the baguette.

I say this because you may notice that these pictures look slightly better than the past.  That’s because technically they are.  I’ve succumbed to, with the greatest pleasure, an actual camera.  It’s manual, I control things like aperture and shutter speed, and photoshop is now something taking up space in my hard drive.  In between washing off the teff flour and gluten-free yeast from my hands,  I spent my first day with my new ally in the kitchen.  And then ate some baguette so I’d have something pretty to share with you.  Of course, that was the only impetus to construct a plate like this.

plated breadExcuses are lovely sometimes.

Teff Baguette

-vegan-

-gluten, nut, soy, dairy, egg, and corn free-

ingredients: 2 tbs (21 g) flax seeds, 3 tbs (41 g) hot water, 1/4 cup (50 g) + 1/3 cup (75 g) teff milk [can substitute water], 3/4 cup (90g) teff flour, 3/4 cup (100 g) brown rice flour, 2 tbs (16 g) arrowroot starch/flour, 8 g yeast, 1/4 tsp (a large pinch) sea salt, 2 teaspoons honey or agave nectar

method: In small bowl, pour hot water over flax seeds.  Let soak 20 minutes.  Combine flax seed mixture with 1/4 cup teff milk (or alternative dairy-free milk or water) until puréed.  Set aside.

flax seed mixCombine all dry ingredients in large bowl, adding salt at the very last second before you add liquid.  (Salt will kill the yeast if left too long without the sugar to feed on.)

dry ingredientsAdd flax seed mixture and half of the teff milk.  Knead with hands.  Add honey/agave nectar and remainder of milk and more if needed to get a moist dough that is not sticky.  If too dry, add more milk or a bit water.  If sticky, add a bit of rice flour.  Knead for about 5 minutes, form into a ball, and let rise in bowl covered with wet towel.

kneading doughcovered rising doughKnead again for 5 minutes, separate into three balls for mini baguettes, two balls for demi baguettes, or keep whole for a large baguette.  Roll into a cylinder, then taper out the edges.  Place on a prepared baking sheet (silicon mat and a light oiling will do quite well) and flatten a bit in the middle, and then fold in both edges (see photo at beginning of post).  You’ll make a bit of a smushed taco.  Flip over (the smush is the bottom of the baguette) and make lines with a small knife on the top.  Cover with a damp towel and let rise about 1 1/2-2 hours minimum.*  Pre-heat oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C).  Bake bread for 5 minutes.  Remove from oven and brush with a fine layer of oil and sprinkle with salt.  Place back in oven turned the other way, for even cooking, and bake another 10 minutes.  If the inside or bottom is not cooked through, reduce heat to 375 F (185 degrees C) and bake for another 5-10 minutes.  This really varies upon the size of your baguette and your oven.  Remove from heat, let cool to touch, and consume within a day for freshness.  To keep longer, keep it in the freezer until use.

*If preparing the night before, keep covered in the refrigerator and let rise in a warm place for 1 1/2 hours the next day.

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why sushi rice doesn’t taste like normal rice

homemade sushiYou know how when you have sushi and it doesn’t taste like just rice and seaweed and raw fish?  Yeah, that’s probably the reason we keep eating it, because as appetizing as the thought of eating an ocean soaked in China’s starch staple sounds, it’s not.

Sushi can either be refined art, think Jiro Dreams of Sushi, or something as casual as a taco cart.  The problem with eating at Japanese restaurants for those with Celiac Disease is that soy sauce is made with wheat traditionally, and most preparations might have a touch of it as it replaces salt in most Asian cuisines.  The problem with making sushi at home, then, would be that rice cooked in just water never seems to taste like “sushi rice” and finding sushi grade quality fish may not be possible in your area.

homemade sushiThe thing is, making gluten-free sushi at home is really quite easy.  What’s more, you know the products you’re using are to your standards (because you bought them) and you have creative liberty to replace salmon with tofu if you’re vegetarian, or add some fun flavors like mango and cilantro if you’re seeking some peppppps.

homemade sushiThe other day I have rice and leftover dried seaweed from an experiment a few weeks prior.  I had leftover bits and pieces of smoked salmon, and no interest to go grocery shopping.  I had forgotten how much I love the convenience (and price tag) of making sushi at home.  The difference, for me, is in the rice.

Homemade sushi lunchSUSHI RICE

Ingredients: 1 cup short grain eastern rice variety (preferably deemed sushi rice, either brown or white– basmati will do in a pinch if you’re really stuck), 1 1/2 cups + 1/4 cup water, 2 tsp. rice or white wine or apple cider vinegar, 2 tsp. agave nectar, 1/2 tsp. powdered wasabi (optional, but highly recommended)

Method: Bring 1 1/2 cups water to boil.  Lightly salt water, add rice, stir just once, skim foam off top using a spoon, cover, and reduce heat to low to simmer for about 30-35 minutes.  Once water is absorbed, taste rice to make sure it is cooked enough.  If not, add about 2 tbs. more water, cover, and let steam another 5-10 minutes until water is absorbed and rice is cooked al dente.  Remove from heat.  Keep covered.  In small sauce pan, bring 1/4 cup water, vinegar and agave nectar to a boil.  Let bubble about 30 seconds, remove from heat.  Whisk in wasabi powder (optional, but recommended).  Using a large flat spoon, stir syrup into cooked rice gently.  This gentle stirring serves two purposes: it covers the rice in flavor and it also gently releases the starches while it slowly cools down the rice for optimal texture and binding properties.  Let rice cool to room temperature before using it in your sushi.

sushi rollsGreat.  I’ve got my rice.  WhaaadooIdoooNow?  You get to play with your food!  Maki Sushi refers to the type where the seaweed is on the outside.  This type is really convenient to make at home, as you don’t even need a sushi rolling mat or plastic sheet wrap.

MAKI SUSHI

Ingredients: 2 sheets dried seaweed (available at most grocery stores in the Asian section or at Asian specialty stores), 1 preparation sushi rice (see above), cooked protein/smoked fish/sushi grade raw fish/vegetable of choice cut into long thin cubes, optional additional vegetables cut into thin/julienne size strips (cucumber, mango, carrots, jicama, etc.)

Method: Lay dried seaweed flat on a clean cutting board.  Cover all of it with a thin layer of sushi rice, leaving about 1″ (3 cm) gap at one of the ends (see photo at the top).  On the opposite side of the seaweed, 2″ (6 cm) in from the edge lay out your toppings.  Ready to roll?  Gently brush a tiny bit of water on the edge of the sushi not covered with rice (this serves as glue).  Like rolling up a sleeping bag, start with the rice-covered side and cover the filling.  Keep going, and as you completely roll your filling into the rice and seaweed, pull so that it’s snug and compact.  Roll until it touches the other end, where you will press slightly firmly to seal the dry sushi to the wet sushi, where the added water will act like glue.  To serve, using a sharp chef’s knife, cut into desired piece sizes and serve with tamari, pickled ginger, and wasabi if you’ve got it.

If you wanna get fun, try difference variations, like using last night’s fried chicken with a touch of tamari to give it some Asian flavor.  Making your own sushi may take a few practice rounds to see the exact amount of rice vs. filling, but you can always start over and reuse your rice and protein.  Dried seaweed is cheap as Monday, so don’t feel bad if you waste a few sheets in your trials.   

 

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Beans!

mung beans

The Greek mathematician and philosopher Pythagoras forbade the eating of beans, as he decreed that the legumes contained something of which the soul was composed.  I think he might have been exaggerating just a tad, but I can understand his enthusiasm for the magical fruit.

Tonight I had a simple rather bistro style dinner of gluten-free toasts and seasonal French cheese (easier to digest as it’s raw) and some leftover fava beans that I made into a sort of spread and topped with basil and mushrooms.  It was awesome.  And I didn’t feel like popping afterwards.

fava bean spread

What’s so good about beans?  Mr. Laertius may have been right about them being something exceptional, but here is the tip of the ice berg of reasons why they should not be banned from your regime:

1. Beans are a huge source of fiber.  Yes, yes, that’s why they are also the “magical fruit”, but if you want to pass things that are not magical in your body, tally ho.

2. Beans have a low glycemic index.  Composed of complex sugars, these carbohydrates take time for your body to break down, but are easier to process.  This makes you stay full longer, reducing cravings, while providing a natural source of sugar your body readily uses, not stores.

3. Beans are full of protein.  In combination with rice, they make a complete amino acid, which is the protein found in meat that most vegans or vegetarians are missing from their diet of they don’t work for it.

4. Beans are full of vitamins and minerals.  Another problem vegetarians might find, or anyone really, is a low level of iron.  Beans have a lot of this– as well as copper, magnesium, folate, and vitamin B6, which is a vitamin that is reduced if you’re drinking booze, so if you’re making some parties, jump on board with the beans to get your energy back up!

5. They taste awesome when cooked from their dry form with a bit of thyme and a bay leaf, and then are sautéed with onions, garlic, ginger, turmeric, cumin, a touch soy sauce, and some oregano afterwards.  Oh yeah.

…and they’re also gluten-free.  (since you find them on this blog, you can imagine they would be!)

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TIME FOR NOM NOM: Herb Pesto Sea Bass with a Purple Potato Purée, Purple Potato Latkes Basket, and Pickled Beet Ginger Salad

potato basket salad pesto fish purple potato puree-Nut-, gluten-, egg, and corn-free, lactose-light-

Bonsoir des amis!  Alas, it is that time, we get to eat again.  What started in Los Angeles in 2009 as a blog from a girl just graduating from UCLA has now morphed into still a blog a myriad of recipes from a graduate of Le Cordon Bleu Paris and a cook working in a Michelin-starred graduation diplomarestaurant in Paris, France.  Well la tee da, looks like gluten-free is getting all gussied up.

But we won’t analyzed on our plating presentation, so let’s carry on with jolly haste.

I thought it’d be nice to start off with one of my cooking atelier dishes from what I guess you could call “exams” in culinary school.  I somehow made it all gluten-free.  Fancy that.  ;)  This fish is remarkably easy to prepare, and the herb pesto is a healthy, quick, and light way to add flavor.  (Basil is also a natural serotonin booster, so with those omega-3’s from the sea bass bubble child pesto fish with riceand the leafy greens, get ready to smile inside and out.)

Feel free to use as many or little of the components of this dish as you’d like.  It all goes really well together, but let’s face it, when you cook at home, sometimes rice is just an easier side dish at home than a purple potato basket.  –>

Cheers!

Herb Pesto Sea Bass with a Purple Potato Purée, Purple Potato Latkes Basket, and Pickled Beet Ginger Salad

All recipes serve two.

Herb Pesto Sea Bass with a Purple Potato Purée, Purple Potato Latkes Basket, and Pickled Beet Ginger SaladSea Bass:

-Ingredients- 2 sea bass filets, bones and skin removed; 1 bunch fresh basil; 1 tbs. extra virgin olive oil + extra to cook with; sea salt; ground black pepper or paprika; (optional) aged parmesan cheese

-Method-

chopping nut-free pesto bubble child1. On a clean cutting board, lay out your basil and drizzle with 1 tbs. olive oil and a generous pinch sea salt.  Cut with the sea salt and olive oil into a mush.  (You’ll notice that the leaves don’t turn brown or oxidize, and this is because they’re coated in both oil and salt.  Magic!)  If you fancy cheese, add parmesan cheese to taste right here.  This is your pesto.  Set it aside momentarily.

2. Drizzle a tiny bit of olive oil onto a sauté pan and top with parchment paper that fits to contact inside of the pan.  Drizzle a thin layer of olive oil on the paper.  Season your fish filets with salt and pepper on both sides.  Spread a layer of pesto on top of one side of the fish, and fold into three (like an envelope).  Put your prepared pan on medium low heat.  When oil is warm-hot, add the fish envelopes delicately in the pan.  Let cook over medium low heat for about 1-2 pesto fish cooking in olive oil bubble childminutes, until the cooking side is both opaque and gently golden brown.  Flip delicately, and cook for another 3-4 minutes, or until the fish is cooked through with nothing left opaque, but not too cooked to be dry.

3. To serve, drizzle with any pesto that may have fallen out of the fish during cooking, and top with additional warmed pesto for something really fresh.

Purple Potato Purée:

-Ingredients- 2 purple potatoes (these are seasonal during early winter/late fall, so if you can’t find them 2 fingerling or smaller potatoes will do just fine); 1/2 cup your favorite milk (dairy or dairy-free); 1 tsp. fresh grated ginger or 1/2 tsp. ground ginger; 1 1/2 tbs. extra virgin olive oil; splash lemon juice; sea salt; ground white or black pepper or paprika

-Method-

1. Peel the potatoes and place them in a pot covered in lightly salted water.  Bring to boil, and cook until al dente, aka a fork can be inserted with little effort.  Should take around 25-30 minutes, depending upon the size of your taters.  Pre-heat your oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit.

2. Strain the water, keeping  and place potatoes on a baking tray.  Bake in the oven for 5 minutes to dry out any remaining moisture.

3. Meanwhile, lightly heat your milk so that it is not cold when blended with potatoes.

4. Remove potatoes from oven, and while warm, blend with warm milk and remaining seasonings until just combined.  Do not overblend or the starches will start to make some funky textures.  Season with salt and pepper to taste, if needed.  If for some reason the purée tastes bitter to you, add a touch of sugar or honey and you’ll be good to go.

Purple Potato Latkes Basket:

-Ingredients- 1 purple potato (or another small potato); about 1-2 tbs. high heat oil; sea salt; ground pepper; (perhaps you will need water and potato starch, but that depends on the starch content of your potatoes)

-Method-

1. Pre-heat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit.

purple potato latkes basket bubble child2. Grate the potatoes into a bowl using a cheese grater.  Toss with olive oil until all pieces are lightly covered.  Add 1/4 tsp. sea salt and pepper to taste.  Mixture should be sticky enough to hold together if placed against the edge of a muffin tin.  If it’s not, combine some potato starch and cold water, and mix in with latkes mixture until it holds.

3. As you guessed it, gently grease a muffin tray and line two of the large muffin molds with the seasoned grated potatoes to make baskets.  Bake for about 10 minutes, watching carefully after 5 minutes, until potatoes are cooked through and crispy and until the baskets hold together and are solid, not mushy.

Pickled Roasted Beets (+salad):

-Ingredients- 1 large red beet*; sea salt; water; (optional) bay leaf, thyme, lemon slice; Pickling stuff: 1 cup water, 1 cup rice or cider vinegar, 1/4 cup sugar or honey, 1/2 tbs. juniper berries, 1 dried clove, 1 tsp. black peppercorns, 1 tsp. fresh grated ginger or 1/2 tsp. ground ginger, zest of 1/4 lemon

-Method*-

pickled beets brunios bubble child1. In a casserole dish, place washed uncooked red beets in a waterbath lightly salted that is a height of 3/4 the height of the beets.  Add a bay leaf and a few sprigs of thyme and a slice of lemon for an extra zing (optional).  Cover with a lid or aluminum foil and roast in an oven for about 45 minutes-1 hour.  Remove beets from oven when a fork goes in easily (similar to testing the doneness of a baked potato).  Remove from oven and let beets rest on a plate or pan until cool to touch.  Peel the beets by rubbing them with the towel (that you will need to wash afterwards, no question.)

2. Cut the roasted beets into small cubes (brunois, to be technical).  Keep in a medium metal bowl.  Prepare your pickling liquid by heating up the water, sugar, vinegar, and spices to a gentle boil.  Sugar should be dissolved.  Remove from heat when just mixed and pour over the beets.  For a mild pickle flavor, let rest 15 minutes.  (We’re talking very mild.)  For a proper pickled flavor, let rest at least a few hours.  Better yet, let them cool to room temperature and keep in the fridge covered overnight or for several days.

3. To prepare the salad, toss the pickled beets in your favorite salad dressing and mix with arugula.  Season with salt and pepper.  Optional, add some thinly sliced strips of prosciutto and parmesan for a lactose-light salty kick.  Serve either on the side or in your purple potato basket for snazzy time.

*To avoid any roasting of beets, feel free to buy pre-cooked beets that are available in air-tight plastic wrap in most supermarkets.  Canned beets would be a last resort.

finished purple potato fish pesto plate bubble childYou can plate it like this if you’d like.  Purée underneath the fish (skin-on if preferred), pesto on top, all the fixins inside the basket.

 

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Buckwheat Herb Focaccia Loaf

focaccia top viewHaving an hour commute each way to my day of cooking in Paris has been enlightening in many ways: I have a daily moving catalogue of a variety of fashion blogs, a memorization of how to beg for you and your dog as a Parisian gypsy (same people, same trains, it’s amazing), and the opportunity to catch up on some reading.  Favorite finds have included “Just Kids” by Patti rosecrans baldwinSmith, “Amour A En Perdre la Raison” by Maryse Vaillant, and this little number by New Yorkais Rosecrans Baldwin “Paris I Love You, but You’re Bringing Me Down”.

Now that LCD Soundsystem is probably stuck in your head (my apologies), and the reason this brings me to bread is that the gluten-free loafs here simply do not compare to the marvels that are created daily back in the States.  (Happy Campers in Portland Oregon, Mariposa Baking Company in San Francisco, Risotteria NYC, New Cascadia Portland, and even Food For Life in plastic bags nationwide, to name a few.)  Paris, I do love you, but when it comes to GF bread, you really do bring me down.

buckwheat herb loafFortunately the flour in the bread in France is naturally lower in gluten, so if you just have a sensitivity, you can “push your luck” sometimes and end up with a four-leaf clover.  However, for those who have overdosed on that luck pushing, or just want a really tasty loaf of bread, this experiment proved so fruitful it would be a shame to keep in my tiny studio kitchen alone.

Buckwheat Herb Loaf

Gluten- and nut-free.  Vegan.

1 cup + 3 tbs. (140 g) buckwheat flour + a few tablespoons more for dusting pan
1/3 cup (25 g) arrowroot flour
3 tbs. (15 g) sweet rice flour (mochiko)
1 packet (9 g) dry active yeast
1 tsp. (4 g) sugar
1 cup (200 ml) warm water (not boiling, or it will kill the yeast, but not cold, or it will not provoke the yeast)
2 tsp. honey or agave nectar (vegan)
1/2 tsp. sea salt
1/8 tsp. thyme
1/8 tsp. sage
1/8 tsp. rosemary (chopped)
1/2 tbs. high heat oil (grapeseed recommended)
1 tsp. dried oregano
a few pinches flaked sea salt (optional but recommended)

Preparation time: 15 minutes
Proofing time: 2 hours
Cook time: 30-40 minutes
Yields one large loaf

1. In large bowl, mix flours, yeast, and sugar with a whisk.  Add water, and stir with a spoon or paddle attachment of electronic mixer on low speed for 2 minutes.  Add honey, salt, thyme, sage, and rosemary.  Mix for another 8 minutes, until dough starts to hold.  Set aside as you gently oil and dust a deep 8”x8” bread pan, or any other size loaf you want.  Fill no more than half way full, as this dough will rise.
mixing2. Spatula the dough into the prepared mold, cover the pan with a damp cloth not touching the dough, and let rise 1 1/2 hours room temperature.
3. Pre-heat oven to 410 degrees Fahrenheit (210 Celcius).  Very gently brush the bread with oil, and sprinkle with oregano and sea salt.  Cover again, and set the bread to rise next to a hot surface for 20-30 minutes.
4. Bake for 5 minutes, rotate, and bake for another 5 minutes.  Reduce heat to 360 degrees Fahrenheit (180 Celcius) and bake another 10 minutes.  Reduce heat to 300 degrees Fahrenheit (150 C) to finish bread, cooking for another 10 minutes or so, until inserted pairing let it riseknife or wooden skewer comes out basically clean (some moist crumbs, but nothing sticky).
5. Remove, let cool 2 minutes before running a knife along the edges of the pan to loosen the bread.  Remove the base by sticking a spatula under the loaf, let sit a few minutes before serving.

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