Tag Archives: olive oil

5-minute pizza bread and herb salad dinner

pizza bread and herb saladThere are days when you (I) want to spend hours upon hours in the kitchen, tasting every bit of seasoning, perfectly brunois-ing that shallot until it disappears into thin flavor air, geeking out on how amazing it would be if I could infuse smoked rose into something.

And then there are days like today, when after driving 4 and a half hours in rush hour traffic to return home from a weekend in Burgundy (not bad, not bad), I want to do nothing more than have a few slices, a glass of wine, and a Kubrick film I’ve not seen yet.

Bourgogne drive homeThis is France’s version of a rest stop.

There’s really something I miss about living in New York, or Portland, or even LA (gasp!) for this reason: gluten-free “fast” food is so available and us Americans have gotten really creative in making it taste good.  Tonight, I had no PIE by the Pound or Mississippi St. Pizza to call upon.  I have a local organic store down the street that sells gluten-free bread, and some organic Italian tomato paste in my fridge.  And garlic.  But saying I have garlic in my kitchen is like saying I have a kitchen.

I skipped down the street, more like trotted as my ankle is killing me, to the organic store and found some gluten-free buckwheat loaf, and meanwhile found the aroma of the fresh mint in the produce section to be an irrevocable calling for purchase.  Pizza and mint are not my usual idea of a dinner combination, but I’m gonna follow the old nose tonight.

gluten free pizza bread

mint, parsley, and tomato paste

Bless you naval cavities, you did good.  Within 5 minutes of arriving home, I diced up some garlic, put the extra vegetables I had in my fridge through both sorts of Japanese mandolins I have at home, and popped a combination of Italian flavors topping the gluten-free bread in the oven on broil.  What developed was nothing short of a delicious and surprising combination of flavors!

There are nights you want to spend hours dancing with your ingredients.  There are nights like tonight where I think I could now dance for hours after only spending minutes with them.

gooey pizza bread gluten freePIZZA BREAD (serves 1 as dinner, 2 as appetizer)

ingredients: 3 slices your favorite gluten-free bread; 2 cloves garlic, minced; 2 tbs. tomato paste (organic if possible); 1/2 tbs. fresh parsley, chopped (dried works, too); a large pinch dried oregano; 1 tbs. olive oil; a large pinch sea salt or pecorino or parmesan cheese (low in lactose) or vegan parmesan shreds (both optional but good additions if possible)

method: Pre-heat oven to broil preset.  Top with garlic, olive oil, parsley, and oregano.  Top with tomato paste.  Spread with spatula or finger until evenly distributed.  Top with cheese or vegan cheese or sea salt.  Broil for about 5 minutes, until top has browned and caramelized a bit.

HERB SALAD (serves 2 as a side)

ingredients: 6 red radishes, cut into thin spheres; 3 tbs. fresh parsley leaves; 2 tbs. fresh mint leaves; 1 carrot or 1/4 jicama cut into thin julienne (optional); 2 cups baby lettuce leaves of choice; 1 tbs. balsamic vinegar; 2 tbs. high quality olive oil; a pinch sea salt; a dash paprika

method: mix all ingredients in salad bowl and serve.

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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: 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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You say ginger, I say salad dressing.

creamy ginger garlic salad dressingPerhaps it’s because I grew up in California where salads are largely considered a main course, and therefore have to taste beyond boring in order to be acceptably served and appreciated by ginger lemon sesame seed blenderboth those consuming them and those putting them out.  (Should I have to serve nothing but salads at a restaurant, they’d better be damn good.)

Or, perhaps it’s because I like flavor and I don’t think that healthy, gluten-free, dairy-free, what have you, be void of the reason we eat: Pleasure!  (And nutrition and surviving, blah blah.)

creamy dressing drizzleThis salad dressing has got some zing, and is super simple to make in your blender.

<–Try serving it over some crunchy greens or arugula with pickled beets or tomatoes, some sort of aged cheese or garbanzo beans, and a topping of gluten-free cracker or brown rice for something fabulous.

Creamy Ginger Garlic Vinaigrette

-Nut, gluten, dairy, & corn-free-

1 clove garlic, lightly diced

1/2 of the size of your clove of garlic’s worth fresh ginger, lightly diced

a pinch fresh lemon zest

1 tsp. tamari (gluten-free soy sauce) or 1/4+1/8 tsp. salt for soy allergies

2 tbs. red wine or apple cider vinegar

2 fresh basil leaves (optional)

1 tsp. sesame seed oil

3 tbs. sunflower seed, safflower, flax seed, or canola oil (can use olive oil but won’t refrigerate as well)

Method:

Blend ginger, garlic, vinegar, soy sauce, and lemon zest in a blender.  Add oils and optional basil.  Blend until creamy.

ginger dressing salad with toppingThis probably takes less time than picking out a store-bought dressing in Trader Joe’s, no? 

 

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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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