Tag Archives: lunch

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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Smoked Trout Avocado Wasabi Tartine

wasabi smoked trout tartine

After my midnight escapade with baguette I found myself with this:

half a baguette

This is the type of thing you walk by daily in Paris, flecking the windows of the local boulangerie, stuffed with cheese and vegetables and sliced fine meats and just the right amount of sauce to make it all come together.  It is what we call lunchtime for the working Parisian, a quick grab and go type of shape that has that comfort food quality for all those who grew up or have lived here.  But not a comfort for those enjoying food without gluten.

While I do still assert that the bread here is easier for me to digest than in the States, it does still contain the protein of wheat, and I do still have a strong sensitivity to said protein that makes me prepare gluten-free bread at home.  This little leftover from my moonlit baking session gave me a lunch idea worth sharing: a combination of sweet wasabi and basil, creamy avocado, and light yet flavorful thinly sliced smoked trout.  The reason I find this preparation particularly interesting is that the cream from the avocado provides a nice cushion between the trout and the bread, and hiding the basil under the trout and topping with the wasabi powder hides the layer of sweetness from the basil and leaves your palette even more pleased than your eye.

lunch mango trout tartine

Find your favorite gluten-free bread (or use the Buckwheat Loaf or Home Sweet Honey Buns), and slip into a little lunch pause that is as Parisian as you can handle.

lunch

Smoked Trout Avocado Wasabi Tartine

Ingredients: two slices gluten-free bread, 1/2 avocado, 1-2 thin slices smoked trout, 3 large leaves fresh basil cut into ribbons, a pinch sea salt, two pinches wasabi powder*

Method: lightly toast the two slices of bread and slice your avocado into thin strips.  Top toasted bread with avocado slices and add a pinch of salt atop each lightly.  Top with basil, and thinly layer smoked trout on top with no overlap (see above).  Evenly dust fish with wasabi powder, and serve with a shaved mango salad with some olive oil and lemon juice for something incredible.

*wasabi powder is available at most supermarkets in the Asian section or at Asian specialty stores.  Not to be confused with wasabi in a tube already hydrated.

 

 

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Inspiration: SHREDDED MANGO

shredded mangoI don’t know if we can use the term “Indian Spring” like “Indian Summer”, but if there is such a thing, that is this in Paris.  It’s sunny out.  The gray sides of the buildings must be terribly confused, the flowers on my balcony are either wilting or reaching up to the rays depending on their seasonality, and I got tan today.  Never, ever, did I envision a bronzing skin in March.  I suppose it’s an early birthday present (2 days, 2 days!  March 12!!)

Anyways, I found a new toy, and the very kind lady who sold me this toy brought up a dynamic idea that serves as today’s inspiration: Shredded Mango.  It goes well with sunshine.  And rice.

kiwiThis little Kiwi brand professional cutting tool functions as a mini handheld French mandolin.  You run it down the side of your fruit or vegetable and it makes very thin juliennes… it’s ridiculous easy and I am not grating all of my vegetables into tiny pieces.  I hope it stops soon.  We do have teeth for a reason, but I just can’t get enough of this texture!

Anyways, for those who have carrot allergies, and cannot have that delightful salad normally served with dim sum of carrots and green papaya grated, try getting an under-ripe mango, peeling it, and then turning it into thin batons.  Toss it with some sesame oil, a splash of lemon juice, pinch salt, and sesame seeds for something fun.

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No Oven Gluten-Free Bread

steamed buckwheat loafToday was an odd day in technology for me, in turn spawning some very odd human behavior.  First of all, you may notice that these photos are less than subpar quality.  That is because for some reason my camera decided to eat the “lock” switch on my memory card, guarding the camera decidedly in “memory card locked” mode like an unfair coma.  Given that I spend all of my money on food, I have not updated my cellular device for several many years, and this is what is providing the images today.

RIP OvenFurthermore, my oven died.  It’s really not a huge shame, as you can see from the picture on the right, it was a bit abysmal to begin with.  I suppose churning out breads and desserts and braising meats for hours on end is not what this little guy was originally designed for.  Boo hoo.  This all happened, however, after I had prepared the dough for my favorite Buckwheat Herb Loaf and it had already risen to well over two times its original volume.  I really wanted a sandwich today.  This just wouldn’t do.

Thus, I started thinking how I could possibly make this uncooked loaf a slab of bread.  Only one thing came to mind: steam it like a vegetable.  The world is strange, and this is stranger: it tasted better than when I cooked it in the oven.  Steaming it provided a perfectly even cooking and guarded the moisture inside the bread without having it remotely undercooked.  Its air bubbles stood up taller.  It’s even more spongey.  Whaaaat a weird way to finally get my sandwich.  I had to torch my lactose-free cheese with a creme bruler burner to have it melt.  Alright.

torching cheesenot like pudding

sandwich at lastvictory, you’re so sweet

Anyways, this necessitated the use of my unintelligent smart phone to share this knowledge with you.

Steamed Bread: (!)

1. Take your favorite gluten-free bread recipe (try Home Sweet Honey Buns or Herb Buckwheat Loaf from this site) and put it in a greased and floured mold that will fit into a large pot with a vegetable steaming basket underneath (see photo at right.)  Prepare recipe and let rise indicated time.

2. Boil enough water that it won’t evaporate during 20 minutes cooking but will not overflow into the bread.  Bring to a boil, then put your loaf in the steaming device.  Cover the pot, let cook for 15-20 minutes over medium heat, replacing water if dry.  You will be able to tell it’s cooked through because the top will be solid and when you tap the crust of the dough it will feel solid throughout, as well.

3. Remove from steamer, let cool about 5 minutes before running a knife around the edges to loosen from mold.  Feel free to toast it afterward if you have a functioning oven.

steaming bread

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