Tag Archives: ginger

NUT-FREE “peanut sauce” and homemade spring rolls

filet mignon spring rolls with pumpkin seed butter sauceSo, lunch today was kind of unfair.  I had leftover filet mignon from a local butcher and had just devised a recipe for a Thai “peanut sauce” without peanuts.  Yes, that means I had filet mignon spring rolls.  Yes, filet mignon spring rolls with a sauce I’ve never been able to taste in my life.

two springrollsfirst step roll

I’ve been rather addicted to these things lately.  (Spring rolls that is.)  Here’s why:

1. They’re easy to make (soak in water and roll!)

2. They’re naturally gluten-free (just rice and tapioca flour)

3. The texture is light and fun

“Fun” is a word to describe taste.  Oh yes, should I ever be judge on Master Chef, it will be a criteria.

pumpkin seedspumpkin seed butter sauce

Since I am a Bubble Child of the sort where I will die in a very literal sense if I consume even a particle of a nut, I have never tasted a Thai peanut sauce.  My friends swear by it.  It has been something on my list of things to try should I have, say, a definite 1 minute left to live.  It’d be great to never check that list off.

With that in mind, it has taken me years, and by years I mean 5, to figure out the right combination of flavor and spice to recreate the traditional peanut sauce.  It means seeds, it means turmeric, it even means lemongrass powder if you can find some!

galettes de riz

I highly recommend adopting spring rolls into your weekly gastronomic regimen.  The shells save so easily and you can fill with whatever your heart fancies.  It’s like a bunch of tiny burritos you get to eat in a row without feeling like a giant walking bean.

sauce plated

nut-free thai peanut sauce
2 tbs. grapeseed oil
1/2 cup pumpkin seeds
2 tsp. honey or agave nectar (vegan)
1 tsp. tamari (gluten-free soy sauce)
1/2 tsp. fresh grated ginger
1/8 tsp. turmeric (freshly grated or powdered)
1/8 tsp. lemongrass (freshly grated or powdered), optional
a few dashes your favorite hot sauce
1/4 cup + 2 tbs. water
4 tsp. lemon juice
1 tsp. apple cider vinegar

Method: Heat oil in saucepan over medium-low heat.  Add seeds.  Sauté, stirring occasionally, until golden browned, about 4-5 minutes.  Remove from heat, let cool two minutes.  Combine with remaining ingredients in blender.  Season with salt and/or hot sauce to taste.  (Tamari already has salt, so taste before adding extra salt!)

roll two

how-to make spring rolls

1. FILLING:*

(a, vegan)– shred and sauté some carrot and radish, blanch, then sauté with ginger, garlic, mint, basil and hot sauce; (b, carnivore)– cook your favorite protein to taste, chop up into fine pieces, then toss with sesame seed oil, mint, basil, ginger and hot sauce

grating carrots2. LET ‘ER ROLL: 

(a) soak one sheet rice paper in water for about 30 seconds, until pliable, then let rest on a clean plate or cutting board for about a minute to dry a bit and get sticky.

(b) place 1-2 tablespoons of filling about 2 inches from top of paper

(c) fold top 2 inches over filling to cover

(d) fold in outer edges to pack filling in tightly

(e) roll over 2-3 times, until any potential holes are covered and filling is secure — trim away extra rice paper

(f) repeat with as many rice papers as you want to turn into spring rolls

Serve with tamari, hot sauce of choice (Sriracha!!!), and/or homemade NUT-FREE thai “peanut” sauce.

final roll*to give an idea of how much filling you’ll need, to make about 6 spring rolls use one large radish and one carrot for vegetarian option, one chicken breast or half a steak for carnivore option.

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Honey Oregano Basil Ginger Wasabi Marinade

marinadeIt’s like a six-year-old girl dressing herself: I am going to put together all of the fabulous things I like and it will work.

Sometimes six-year-olds are surprisingly stylish.  This marinade of everything-I-like would be one of those kids, I like to think.

Finally having a full day to play in the kitchen, I went a little nuts.  I coated peas in wasabi and buckwheat flour and fried them, I homemade sushi, crackers, and chicken liver mousse.  I made a lemon meringue pie from scratch.  I sang while doing all of this, just to make sure that if the neighbors weren’t already disturbed from the sound of blenders and smells of garlic that they had a sure idea of my presence.

I also discovered a marinade.  It’s easy, gluten-free, and has a really nice tang with the combination of wasabi with honey and oregano.  I used it on pork, but it would work on chicken or beef or tofu or seitan.

marinating porkafter a few hours tenderizing

dinnerwasabi buckwheat peas, marinated farmer’s pork, watercress pesto, avocado maki

Happy Spring!  Let’s eat!

Honey Oregano Basil Ginger Wasabi Marinade

Ingredients: 1 clove garlic, minced, 1/2 shallot, finely diced, 1 tbs. fresh basil, chopped (chiffonade is ideal), 1 cm cubed fresh ginger, grated, 1 tsp. dried oregano, 3 tsp. tamari (gluten-free soy sauce), 2 tsp. fresh lemon juice, 1 tbs. honey (agave nectar or maple syrup for vegan), 1/8 tsp. wasabi powder (available at most grocery stores and all Asian food markets)

Method: combine all ingredients in medium bowl.  Marinade your protein of choice in sauce for up to overnight, minimum 2 hours, covered.  Turn protein half way through marinating to disperse flavors equally.  Marinade keeps by itself about a week.  Enough to soak enough protein to serve about 3-4.

wasabi powder

 

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how to make cabbage rad: BRAISE IT with Ginger and Caramel

huntington beach dead of winter<–My dear friend Parisa posted this very recently on facebook.  It’s the dead of winter.

I don’t get it.  My nose is running, I’ve got the average toll up to two layers of socks a day, and my skin is whiter than unrefined sugar.  (I guess that makes it refined sugar?)

cabbage and asian ingredientsI feel like a polar bear.  And in cold times, I want to eat cozy food: things braised, hearty, yet healthy.  Which brought to mind cabbage the other morning when I awoke without the slightest idea if there was even any space between the entry way to my nasal passage and the back of my head.  Stuffed up.

However, when I think of cabbage I think of Beatrix Potter.  That’s sweet, but not exciting.

When I think of ginger, caramel, and hot sauce I want to sweat a little.  In a good way.

So, the two had a playdate and this was born.  I’m on round three right now.  Yum.

ginger braised cabbageGinger Braised Cabbage

2 tbs. sesame seed oil (for Asian flavor) or pork’s fat or high heat oil (neutral flavor), divided
1/4 onion, diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 tsp. grated fresh ginger
1 apple, cut into small cubes (you can peel if you don’t like the skins or leave them on)
zest of 1/2 lemon
2 tbs. honey
a large 1/2 tsp. tamari (gluten-free soy sauce)
a few dashes your favorite hot sauce (to taste, some like it hot, some don’t)
1 large curly cabbage, cut into thin strips (use either a mandolin or thin knife cuts)
1/4 cup high quality apple cider vinegar
3/4 cup water
1/8 tsp. dried thyme
1 tbs. fresh cilantro or parsley, chopped (optional)

Preparation time: 10 minutes
Cooking time: 1.5 hours minimum (about 3 hours maximum)
Serves 4-6

caramel onion garlic giner apples1. Heat 1 tbs. oil or fat over medium heat in large pot.  Add onion, sauté for about 3-4 minutes, until edges are coloring and caramelizing.  Add garlic and ginger.  Sauté another minute, until aromatic.  Add honey and lemon zest.  Cook for 30 seconds to start a caramel.  Once starting to turn more brown, add apple.  Stir to coat.  Let cook for another 2 minutes, or until the caramel is a deep amber brown, not dark brown and burnt.
2. At this point add tamari, hot sauce (optional), another 1 tbs. oil and your cabbage strips right away.  Coat with caramel, and cook for 2 minutes, until heated through.  Add apple cider vinegar, increase heat to high, and reduce until there is no liquid at the bottom, about 1-2 cabbage before cookingminutes, stirring to coat cabbage evenly.  Immediately add water, thyme, and optional fresh herbs.  Bring to a boil, stir cabbage a few times to bring the bottom pieces to the top, cover, and reduce heat to low.
3. Cover and simmer, stirring occasionally to bring the bottom pieces to the top, for minimum 1.5 hours.  If the water is running out at the bottom, add a bit more.  At the end there should be a bit of water left, so if you braise it for 3 hours, you’ll have to add water half way through at the least.
finished braised cabbage<–and she’s done!

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Inspiration: GARBANZO BEANS AND PASTA

paprika sage fried garbanzo penneDeck the halls and guzzle down egg nog!  Yesssss yes, I can totally be for that.  I can also totally get sick of (and off) that.

Christmas Buche de Noel Paris<–Christmastime consumption in Paris.  You might as well roll me around on one of those after ingesting its neighbor.

I’ve found a wonderful break from the heartiness of holiday merry-making to be a convenient and mailable combination of garbanzo beans and rice penne pasta.  Growing up in the more traditional spaghetti bolognese household, the 6-year-old me would have slapped my wrist for coming up with such a combination.  The 26-year-old feeding herself in in this season of cheer?  Totally impressed with how good these two things taste together and how light yet full I feel afterwards.

Here are two ideas for putting together chick peas and rice pasta.  Gluten-, dairy-, nut-, soy-free.  Vegan yet robust.  Recipes serve about two.  Happy times in that jolly belly.  Ho ho ho!

IMG_8034Fried Garbanzos with Sage Paprika Rice Penne

-Simple, fresh, delicious-

Ingredients: 1 cup rice penne, 1 1/2 tbs. high quality extra virgin olive oil, 1-2 tbs. dried rubbed sage, 1 small (or 1/2 large) shallot cut into small dice (brunois), 2 cloves garlic (minced), 3/4 cup cooked garbanzo beans*, sprinkle of paprika

Method:

1. Cook gluten-free rice penne pasta in salted water according to packaged directions to al dente.

2. Meanwhile, slowly cook shallots and garlic in olive oil to release aromas over low heat.  You don’t want them to change color, just infuse in the oil.

rice penne pasta france3. When pasta is cooked, drain, rinse, and then put in heating pan with shallots and garlic.  Sprinkle in sage.  Toss a few times to combine flavors, then let stay warm over low heat or to the side of the stove.

4. Heat about 1/4 cup high heat neutral oil in a pot over medium heat.  Make sure your cooked garbanzo beans are drained, and drop in when oil is hot to fry.  When they have started to brown in color, remove from oil and rest on a paper towel for 30 seconds to remove excess oil.

5. To serve, make sure pasta is still warm (if not put the pan back on heat for a few seconds) and salt to taste with a fine sea salt.  Put on a plate, top with fried garbanzo beans, then sprinkle paprika over the top.  Goes really really well with roasted brussel sprouts.  (See photo at top!)

saucey ginger garbanzo pastaSaucey Ginger Garbanzo Penne

Sultry, tangy, and delectable-

Ingredients: 1 cup gluten-free rice penne pasta, 3/4 cups cooked garbanzo beans*, 1 cup chicken or vegetable stock, 1 knob fresh ginger (1″ cubed) grated, 1/4 yellow onion diced, 2 cloves garlic diced, 1 tsp. dried thyme, 1 bay leaf, 1 tbs. balsamic vinegar, 1 tbs. organic ketchup (or 1 small tomato cubed), salt and pepper to taste

Method:

1. Cook penne according to packaged directions.

2. Meanwhile, sauté onion in 1 tbs. high heat oil over medium heat for 1 minute.  Add garlic and ginger and sauté until aromatic (about 30 seconds).  Deglaze with ketchup.  Let cook 30 seconds.  Add vinegar.  Let cook another 30 seconds to cook out acidity.  Add stock, bay leaf, and thyme.  Cook over medium high heat until reduced down just a thin layer on the bottom.

3. Add garbanzo beans that have been drained and about 1/2 cup water or stock to make it a liquid sauce again.  Cook to reduce and infuse beans with sauce flavors.  Reduce to about half, add in cooked pasta.  Toss over low heat to combine flavors.  If you want it more soup-like, add more stock or water.  Season with salt and pepper to taste.  Remove bay leaf.  To serve, dish into wide soup bowls.  Sprinkle some chopped herbs on top to be fancy.

cooking garbanzo beans*To cook your own garbanzo beans instead of buying canned, soak dried beans in water at room temperature for 4 hours or overnight in the fridge.  Cook in 3 times the amount of water NOT salted with a bay leaf and a sprig of thyme (optional) for about 2 hours in a gentle simmer, covered.  Add a heavy pinch of salt after 2 hours of cooking (they will not cook as fast if you add salt beforehand!  Trust this one.)  Keep cooking over low heat until they feel like canned beans, i.e. you can squish them between your fingers and they have an even cooking throughout.  Make sure beans always have liquid covering them, so add more water if it evaporates.

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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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