Sunday, October 31, 2010

Happy Halloween! Sunday Dinner October 31, 2010


Happy Halloween. It was a quiet Sunday here, with just the boys, Jason and me. So we treated them to a Halloween themed dinner. The post tonight will be brief, as it has been a busy weekend! We just snapped quick shots too, keeping it simple. Enjoy our goulish treats. We managed to gross Isaiah out enough with dessert that he opted for a fresh apple instead...

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Moist and Crispy Gluten-free Apple Fritters and French Cruellers!

As I mentioned in my previous post on chocolate cake donuts, Jason adores donuts. I am surprised we didn't have a wedding donut instead of a wedding cake. It probably would have been better than our wedding cake, but that is another story.
Since Aaron has only watched the donut feast from afar, I set out to make some gluten free donuts. Imagine my joy in seeing the Daring Baker's Challenge for October - Donuts.  And I had just made a set of gluten-free apple fritters that were mighty tasty indeed. Moist, apple filled and slightly crispy. But to top it off we had also played with pate choux based donuts - yes the French Crueller.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

And the winners are....

The winners of the O'Doughs giveaway are:

DougandSheilah, the4crowthers and Paula. Shoot me an email an email so we can get logistics squared away.

Congratulations and happy noshing!

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Gluten-free Pancake Mixes, A Blind Taste Test


It is pancake breakfast season in the San Francisco schools. I don't live there, but I get announcements for these, and have been surprised as how many of these breakfasts offer gluten free pancakes. There are so many pancake options out there, which pleases my pancake loving kids. The mixes are easy to make in small portions, it would be nice if more restaurants would offer them too. It would certainly please the sweet breakfast loving crowd. Not sure which mix to try? Well, read on and get the results of a blind taste test.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Sunday Dinner, October 17, 2010

We've been traveling or taking Sundays off for awhile. So, this week was our first Sunday dinner in some time, and we decided to go "gasp" vegetarian. Well, almost... Jason just couldn't resist adding bacon to the first course. It was nice to be back dining again with good company, and the challenge of creating a meal out of what we happen to have on hand.

 Course One
Roasted Beet and Jonagold Apple Salad
Applewood Bacon, Citrus Viniagrette

Friday, October 15, 2010

O'Doughs Gluten Free Bakery: Flax Seed Pizza Kit and Buns and a Giveaway


Whenever I ask the boys what they would like for dinner, the response is entirely predictable. Aaron exclaims, "burgers" and Isaiah says "pizza." I guess we haven't corrupted them too much such that they plead for brussel sprouts and anchovies. Although Gabriel keeps bringing me the anchovy tin and asking me to open it. I wonder what he thinks is inside.

Recently, O'Doughs sent us a variety of products to review and we meticulously tasted each one. It can be a hard life. Two products stood out as clear winners - the white buns and flax seed pizza crusts.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Gluten free fried chicken, Ad Hoc style


My boys are well fed kids. They enjoy the food scene in the Bay Area, and the trends to spruce up comfort foods hasn't been lost on them. Unfortunately a lot of comfort food is also glutinous, and friend chicken is one thing that Aaron has been eying. Not just any fried chicken - Thomas Keller's Ad Hoc fried chicken. Isaiah, who loves Ad Hoc, was also excited to try it. This was surprising because he had only had fried chicken from a bucket before at a potluck, room temperature, and declared it not worth eating. He doesn't like chicken skin or fat.

While I had out the oil for frying donuts, I decided to finally make the boys fried chicken dreams come true. When it came time to plate up, I had to pull out the "You Are Special" plate for the occasion. (Unfortunately the photo didn't turn out that well).


I have to say I LOVE this brine. It made the meat wonderfully tender, but also fantastically flavorful. The coating was super crispy and all in all it came out rather drool worthy. Not being a huge fried chicken fan, I tried to oven bake a few pieces and that worked less well. Even still, I couldn't help but to pick off that crunchy coating.



Recipe

Gluten Free Ad Hoc Fried Chicken
Adapted from Thomas Keller

Ingredients

8 pieces of chicken (we used a lot of drumsticks and got around 12 small pieces)

Brine

  • 1/2 gallon water
  • 1/2 cup kosher salt
  • 1/8 cup honey
  • 6 bay leaves
  • 1/2 head of garlic, cut horizontally
  • 1 tablespoon black peppercorns
  • 1/4 of a bunch of thyme sprigs
  • 1/4 of a bunch of flat leafed parsley sprigs
  • Grated zest and juice of 2 large lemons

Coating
  • 2 cups rice flour
  • 1 cup corn starch
  • 1/8 cup garlic powder
  • 1/8  onion powder
  • 2 teaspoons paprika
  • 2 teaspoons cayenne
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper2 cups buttermilk


  1. Make the brine by combining all the ingredients in a saucepan and boiling for one minute. Stir to dissolve the salt. Cool completely before using. 
  2. Rinse the chicken pieces and place in ebowl large enough to hold the chicken and the brine. Chill the chicken in the brine for 8 - 12 hours. 
  3. Remove the chicken from the brine, pat dry, and allow to come to room temperature before coating (about 1 1/2 hours). 
  4. Mix coating ingredients in a bowl, and divide between two bowls. Place buttermilk in a third bowl. 
  5. Bring the oil to 320 degrees. The oil should be at least 2 inches deep, and not come up more than 1/3 of the way up the pot. 
  6. Toss the chicken in one bowl of coating, then in the buttermilk, and then in the second bowl of coating. Place on a tray. 
  7. Place the chicken into the oil, a few pieces at a time. Try to keep the oil at the correct temperature. Fry for 13-15 minutes or until deep golden brown. Chicken should be cooked through at this point. 
  8. Place fried chicken on a rack and allow to cool slightly before serving.

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Gluten Free Danishes


Gluten-free cupcakes are not hard to find, nor are muffins, or cookies. But layered doughs are trickier. They are expensive to make, and time intensive so most gluten-free bakeries don't bother. But the rich goodness of layered doughs, like puff pastry and danish doughs cannot be missed. At least I still crave them. Apparently so does Aaron because he picked gluten-free Danishes as a Sunday treat. I love to bite into buttery yeast raised desserts, so this was a treat for me as well.

The recipe seems time intensive and complicated, but it really isn't. However, if you have never made a layered dough you might want to review how to do turns. Here is a nice illustrated tutorial from the wonderful blog Foodbeam.

Of course, we had fun with the filling, so these are filled with a coconut frangipane, roasted plums and a brown sugar glaze. Aaron's creation, Mommy's implementation... But I give you the base recipe below. You can make it your own. Apples and caramel, chocolate ricotta, even rolled with cinnamon, cardamom, butter and dried apricots. Pastry work is all about understanding the fundamentals, and then riffing to taste.

Gluten-free Danish Dough
Adapted from The Fundamental Techniques of Classic Pastry Arts.
  • 1 cup whole milk, cold
  • 1 oz. yeast
  • 20 oz. gluten free bread flour blend with xanthan gum*
  • 2 ounces sugar
  • 1 t salt
  • 3 1/2 T (1 3/4) ounces butter, softened by pounding
  • 3 eggs, room temperature
  • extra milk as needed
  • 3 sticks butter, softened
  • Filling
  • Egg wash (egg with 1 T milk)
  • Glaze (below)

*I am working through pre-made blends, and this used Schar's bread mix.
  1. Mix together yeast and milk, set aside.
  2. In the bowl of a stand mixer with the paddle attachment, mix the flour, sugar and salt. Add 3 1/2 T butter, eggs and yeast and mix, increasing speed until it becomes very thick.
  3. Add milk in 2 T increments if needed until the dough is rather sticky, but doesn't "flow". Because different gluten free flour absorb differently, you have to adjust the liquid.
  4. Pat into a square and chill for 30 minutes minimum.
  5. Place the dough on a silpat, and cover with a piece of parchment.
  6. Roll out the 1/2 inch thick rectangle. Spread on the butter over one half of the dough.
  7. Use a large spatula to help pick up one short side of the dough and fold over the other half. Carefully seal the edges of the dough.
  8. Turn the dough 90 degrees, and roll into a 1/4 inch thick rectangle
  9. Take one short side of the rectangle and fold over 2/3 of the way, then fold over the other short side on top of it, like a billfold. 
  10. Chill for at least 30 minutes. 
  11. Repeat the folding process two more times. 
  12. Chill the dough for 30-40 minutes before using.
  13. When ready to use, work with 1/2 of the batch at a time. 
  14. Roll to 1/4 inch thick square, and cut into 4 inch squares.  Cut small 1/4 inch by 4 inch strips from the remaining dough.
  15. Place a teaspoonful of filling the center of each square. 
  16. Then bring the corners of the squares together and seal. 
  17. Brush with egg wash. allow to rise at room temperature for 15-25 minutes, and then cover and place in the refrigerator for up to 2 days. (You can freeze them too)
  18. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. 
  19. Bake pastries for 20 minutes or until golden brown. 
  20. Top with glaze and serve same day.

Glaze

  • 4 ounces powdered sugar
  • 3 1/2 ounces milk 
  • 1 t vanilla extract 
Mix all ingredients together just prior to glazing.