Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Snyder's Gluten Free Pretzels!!

WOW -- Just heard about this today! Snyders has gluten free pretzel sticks! I hear they cost less & are crunchier than Glutino's version. I also checked out the calories here, and that is definitely better than Glutino's! Only 1.5 grams of fat and 110 calories for 30!

There is a full review here, on Triumph Dining.

Found these in Whole Foods this weekend!

They are good! The bag was like half the size of regular pretzels (why do they always do this?!) but it was a very good, 'normal' price, even at Whole Foods.

They are REALLY crunchy - like almost too crunchy, but have an excellent flavor. They were also smaller than I envisioned for some reason -- but are making an excellent snack at work today. yay!

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Bolognese from Florence

I wanted to share with you all this fabulous recipe I learned to make years ago while I was doing a semester abroad in Florence, Italy. I took a weekly cooking class while I was there - and this was one of my favorite things!

Over the years I've evolved the recipe, and I change it slightly each time I make it - it's ALWAYS good, it's pretty hard to mess this up. I usually do this on a Sunday since it takes a while, and needs to be looked after, but you can make a ton & keep to eat throughout the week! It's an excellent leftover!

This is more of a Ragu than a 'sauce' - it's very meaty, and there is definitely more meat than tomato - so if you're a vegetarian, this is just not for you.

You begin by finely chopping (or use your food processor) 2 medium onions, 3-4 peeled carrots, and 2 celery stalks, also known as the mirepoix. I personally like a few more carrots because I like the sweetness it adds to the ragu, and less celery - so go with what you like.

Sauté these in a little olive oil until onions are translucent... If you used the food processor this goes pretty fast. Then add your generously salted & peppered meat. This time, I used a mix of ground beef and ground pork - about 3.5 lbs. Sometimes I just use beef. FYI, it does NOT work with turkey.

Anyway - add the meat and mix in with the mirepoix, cook until meat is no longer pink, medium-high heat - add in 1 small can of tomato paste, mix it thoroughly, then add about a cup of dry red wine. Let the wine cook down.

Next add in 1 large can & 1 small can of crushed or diced tomatoes. (When I learned in Italy, they used the cans of whole tomatoes in sauce and let them cook down, but I find it easier to use the already diced or crushed tomatoes). Then add in as much chopped basil as you like.

Let cook on medium/medium-low for around 3 hours.

Here is is after about 45 minutes of cooking, still soupy:

As it cooks you will need to stir every so often. You'll start to see the amount of liquid become less & less as it cooks after a couple hours - add in beef broth to the mixture and let that cook down.

This little menace was circling the whole time I was cooking:

At the end it should not be 'saucy' at all, and you'll notice if you taste as you go, that the flavor will be much more rich than when you first started. Here it is cooked way down at around 3 hrs:

Serve over your favorite GF pasta (penne or spirals are best for this meaty ragu) and sprinkle a little pecorino romano on top & serve!

Monday, October 25, 2010

Quick & Easy Bruschetta

I was at Whole Foods and saw Against the Grain's Rosemary Baguette and decided it would be fun to slice it up and make some easy bruschetta.

Originally it was for company on Friday night, but I ended up making it on Sunday afternoon when the entire house smelled delicious for a bolognese sauce I was making, and having to wait a few hours for it to cook!

I cut up a vine-ripened tomato, half of a red onion, and a few basil leaves, mixed them in a bowl with a touch of olive oil, and added a little to the top of each sliced piece of baguette (the only problem with these are the sliced pieces are teeny tiny, and there are some big holes so it's easy for tomatoes to fall through)... I sprinkled a little pecorino romano on top, and put them in the toaster oven at 375 for about 10 minutes.


And it held off our growling stomachs until the sauce was ready to eat! That post is coming tomorrow.

Friday, October 22, 2010

Risotto — Two ways

For some insane reason, I used to not really like risotto. Not sure what was wrong with me, but I came around, especially after going gluten free.

It's not as hard to make as some people think, AND there is no heavy cream or cheese involved in the making of risotto that gives it that super creamy texture. It's just that way naturally! You may have all known this, but my husband actually asked to watch me make this because he did not believe that I didn't put a pound of cheese or two sticks of butter in when making this.

Last night I made Butternut Squash Risotto. Soooooo good. I was going to include pancetta, but didn't have any so I cut up a little canadian bacon and threw that in there.

Let me apologize NOW for these horrific pictures. I have a ton of recessed lights in my house, but I'm always cooking late and cannot figure out how to get good pics -- anyone? anyone?

Anyway - I roasted the butternut squash for about an hour at 400, and started the risotto while that was still roasting. When the squash was done I cut it up and added it in right at the end along with the canadian bacon.

A couple weeks ago I found some packets of dried mushrooms on sale and bought them with Mushroom Risotto on the brain and voila:

This also came out great. I had a mixture of dried mushrooms including oyster, porcini, shittake, and morels. You bring the dried mushrooms to a boil and cook until soft - then put aside making sure to keep the broth.

Both came out great - not sure if there was a favorite - they're both so good. And I adapted both recipes from Mark Bittman's How to Cook Everything, of course.... If you want the full recipe let me know.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Stuffed Acorn Squash

I made such a delicious dinner last night (if I do say so myself) and it was all things I already had in the kitchen, which I love!

I was browsing some blogs yesterday and saw Liz's fall inspired recipe for Stuffed Squash, realized I didn't have all those ingredients, then found this on Food, and figured I could sort of combine those recipes, plus what I had already to make this:

Allie's Stuffed Acorn Squash
(serves 2)
1 acorn squash
a bit of butter & maple syrup for squash
1 package ground turkey (sausage would have also been great)
1 onion
2 carrots
1 large celery stalk
1/4 cup sweet corn
1 crush garlic clove
1 cup cooked brown rice
1/4 cup white wine
1/2-1 cup chicken stock
1 tsp (or more) cinnamon
Pecorino or whatever cheese to sprinkle on top
salt & pepper

Preheat oven to 400. Cut acorn squash in half, remove seeds, place on pan with a dab of butter and a bit of maple syrup in the halves. Sprinkle with salt & pepper. Bake for 45-50 minutes.

In skillet brown turkey (or sausage) with a bit of olive oil. Remove meat, then sauté chopped carrots, onion, celery (I think an apple might be good mixed in here too!), with garlic. Add white wine to deglaze pan and let cook down for a bit. Put turkey back in, mix, then add half the chicken stock. Let cook for a bit, then add in cooked brown rice, sprinkle in cinnamon, salt & pepper to taste, the rest of the chicken stock and let cook.

Then stuff the halves with the delicious filling, sprinkle with pecorino - YUM.

I enjoyed mine with a Redbridge watching Glee :)

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Eataly — NYC

I was in NYC this weekend for a friends birthday and had been hearing and reading so much about Mario Battali's Eataly, that I just HAD to go. I knew it would be a mob scene, and it definitely was. But it was pretty cool to check out. I would recommend going NOT on a Saturday, or in a few months when the hype dies down.

Inside Eataly

I was mostly interested in getting gelato, cured meats, and some cheeses, if I wasn't gluten free, I'm sure my list would have been: fresh pasta, pizza, and panini, but the other stuff is just as good, and less calories! We managed to find a table with a server and ordered a sampler board that looked like this:

Umm, YUM, all the things I was looking to get! It was really good. They served with a fig, some honey, and oil - and also served with fresh baked bread (which I obviously did not partake in) and to top it off we each got a glass of Bastianich Rosé that was quite good. I would have gotten another glass, but there was no way we were getting the waiter back. Oh - and you can just walk around and shop & buy things, so we also got a container of bistecca was was cooked to PERFECTION. It was $20 for not that much, but totally worth it - my mouth is watering thinking of it.

I had my eyes on the gelaterria, but there was a huge case of desserts and there were at least 5 delicious looking items that were clearly labeled gluten-free. I almost got the tiramasu, pictured, but figure on my return visit I will go for it.

Oh, and PS - they were selling white truffles in there for $2500 a pound!!! Yikes!

Monday, October 18, 2010

GF Apple Cinnamon Pancakes

It's been ages since I've posted! Work has been crazy, been traveling quite a bit for fun and work, and now I think things are getting back to normal!

I've been cooking quite a bit since the weather has gotten cooler, I'll be sure to share!

My favorite thing I've made in the past two weeks? These babies:

Umm, yum. Look at how light & fluffy there are too! We had a TON of apples from going apple picking, and after making an apple cake (that didn't turn out that good actually) and an apple pie, these sounded like a great idea - and they were. Sooo good. I'm not sure why I never thought to make this before?

We used the Gluten Free Bisquick, then chopped up the apples into little pieces, sprinkled them on the cakes, then sprinkled a little cinnamon mixed with sugar on top, like so:

I am definitely making these again in the very near future.