Friends are always asking for my recipes, which is hard because I usually just improvise, and make it up as I go. But I taught some cooking classes a few years ago, which forced me to write down a few recipes for my hand-outs.
Also, since I've been living gluten-free for 5 years I have had to tweak a lot of recipes to make them work without the wheat flour. The recipes that are GF are labeled accordingly.
(Crêpe is pronounced krep not crāpe) French crêpes are a wonderful, versatile food. They can be eatensweet or savory, with any filling you can imagine. In France, they often eat them as a main course, filled with ham and cheese, or for dessert, filled with chocolate and whipped cream. In the streets of Paris you’ll find vendors on every corner selling crepes with fruity jams, Nutella, or lemon juice and powdered sugar. (Yields: 15-20 crêpes)
6 large eggs 2 ½ cups milk
2 cup flour
2 tablespoons sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract (omit for more savory crêpes) Butter (for coating the pan)
In a blender, combine all of the ingredients and pulse until blended. (The batter will keep in the fridge for up to 48 hours.) Put a small non-stick pan over medium heat. (Use one with a flat bottom and shallow sides) Unwrap one end of the butter, and rub the butter stick around the entire skillet, coating it well. Pour 1 ounce of batter into the center of the pan and swirl to spread evenly. The batter should thinly coat the entire skillet. Cook for about 60 seconds, and when the edges look slightly brown, it’s ready to flip. Lift one edge with a rubber spatula, then use your fingers to pick it up and flip it quickly to the other side. (There should be a few lightly browned areas) Cook for another 30 seconds and remove to a plate.
Rub the butter stick around the pan again, coating it well. Add more batter and repeat.(re-butter the pan each time) After they have cooled you can store in ziploc bags in the refrigerator for several days or in the freezer for up to two months. (When using frozen crepes, thaw on a rack before gently peeling apart.) Fill with your favorite toppings: jam, fruit, peanut butter, whipped cream, ice cream, etc.
Or, for savory crepes, fill with ham and cheese, or scrambled eggs.
Mexican Rice with Chorizo (Gluten free)
This is my attempt to copy the amazing rice at my favorite Mexican restaurant, The Rusten House (in Palmdale CA), where we always ate when I was growing up. I added the chorizo for some nice texture and heat.
1 1/2 cups long grain rice
8 ounces tomatoes, roughly chopped with the skin on
1/2 cup white onion, finely chopped
1/2 cup, white onion, roughly chopped (To be pureed)
3 cloves garlic, coarsely chopped
1/3 cup vegetable oil
3 1/2 cups beef stock
1/2 medium carrot, shredded
1/2 cup chorizo, chopped
3/4 teaspoon salt
In a large bowl, combine the rice with enough very hot tap water to cover. Stir and let sit for about 10 minutes. Drain, rinse in cold water, and drain again, shaking thoroughly. In a blender, combine the tomatoes, onion, and garlic and blend until smooth, scraping down the sides of the container as necessary. Set aside.
In a large heavy saucepan, heat the oil over medium high heat. Add the rice and cook, stirring occasionally, until the rice turns a light golden color, about 3 minutes. Do not let it scorch. Add the onion and chorizo, and cook another 3 minutes.
Add the tomato purée and fry, scraping the bottom of the pan to stop the mixture from sticking, for 6 to 8 minutes, or until all the liquid has been absorbed. Add the beef stock, and carrots and salt and pepper. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to low and cover with a lid. Cook until the rice is tender, about 15-20 minutes. (Do not lift lid, or stir during that time!)
When rice is done, turn off the heat, and leave the lid on for another 5-10 minutes before serving.
Note- The key to really good flavor in this rice is using really good broth. If possible, use the meat drippings from a roast you’ve cooked, or purchase a really good quality beef stock. This makes a huge difference!
Instead of dry bouillon, I recommend using “Better than Bouillon” , which is available at most stores, next to the other bouillon products, in the soup aisle. It’s a thick paste, which you mix with water. It isn’t overly salty like most bouillon, and has a ton more flavor! I mix it double strength (twice as much as the directions indicate) and use that if I am not able to use real meat drippings.
The Perfect Enchilada (Gluten free)
I learned to make these in college from my roommate's friend, who was Mexican. The trick is dipping the corn tortillas into hot oil before rolling them. They are really delicious- you'll love them! Instead of chicken you can also use leftover beef from a roast.
2 cups shredded cooked chicken (or beef)1/2 cup chopped ripe olives
1 large can Red Chile Sauce (16oz)
12 corn tortillas (7-inch)
Vegetable oil for frying
1 1/2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
1 cup sour cream
2 tablespoons minced green onions
Put chicken breasts into a skillet and cover with water and a pinch of salt. Bring to a boil and cook until chicken is cooked through. Drain off the water and rinse chicken with cold water. Sprinkle the chicken lightly with salt and shred with your fingers into small pieces. Combine chicken, olives and enough of the sauce to moisten (about 1/3 cup). Set aside. Pour 1/2 of the sauce into a flat bowl or cake pan, and set aside. (If you want it a little less spicy, mix half Red Chile Sauce with half Tomato Sauce)
Pour oil into a small skillet, about 1 inch deep. Heat the oil, then use tongs to dip the tortillas into medium-hot oil. Fry tortillas just a few seconds, until they bubble and are limp--do not fry crispy. Dip fried tortilla into sauce as soon as it comes out of the hot fat. (A cake pan just larger than the tortilla is an ideal.)
Lay sauce-dipped tortilla out on a board or pan. (This part of enchilada making is messy, but well worth the trouble.) Generously spoon the chicken filling in the center of the tortilla. Turn tortilla over the filling, roll, and place (with the flap pointing down) in baking pan. Fry, dip, fill, and roll remaining tortillas.
Ladle additional sauce over enchiladas and top with cheese. Place enchiladas in a moderate oven (350°) for 15 to 20 minutes--or until thoroughly heated, and cheese has browned. Mix cold sour cream with green onions and serve as a sauce.
Yield: Makes 12 enchiladas (use two 9- by 13-inch baking pans)
Prep and Cook Time: about 50 minutes.
Sweet and Sour Chicken (Gluten Free)
This is my homemade version of the classic chinese take-out. It's yummy, and easy to make.
1 cup pineapple juice
1 cup ketchup
1 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
1/2 cup water
1/2 cup soy sauce
1/4 cup + 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1/4 cup minced ginger
4 teaspoons minced garlic
2 tablespoon cornstarch (plus some for coating)
4 tablespoons vegetable oil
8 boneless chicken breasts, cut in cubes
1 green bell pepper, stemmed and seeded, cut into strips
1 medium yellow onion, thinly sliced
2 cans pineapple chunks
Cooked white rice
1/2 cup chopped green onions, garnish
In a bowl, combine the pineapple juice (from cans), ketchup, brown sugar, vinegar, water, and soy sauce. In a medium saucepan, heat 2 tablespoon of the oil over medium-high heat. Add the ginger and garlic, and cook, stirring, for 15 seconds. Add the pineapple juice mixture and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer, stirring, until the sugar dissolves, 2 to 3 minutes.
In a bowl, dissolve the cornstarch in 4 tablespoons water. Mix well. Add to the simmering sauce and whisking constantly. Reduce the heat and simmer until thickened, 2 to 3 minutes. Remove from the heat.
Season the chicken with salt and pepper. In a small bowl, add 5-6 tablespoons of cornstarch. Roll the chicken chunks in corn starch (a few at a time) then set them on a plate.
In a wok (or large sauté pan) heat 1 tablespoon of the oil over high heat, swirling to coat the sides. Add half of the chicken and cook, stirring, until golden brown, 2 to 3 minutes. Remove and drain on paper towels. Add 1 tablespoon of oil, and repeat with second half of chicken.
Return the wok to high heat. Add the remaining 2 tablespoons of oil, swirling to coat the sides. Add the bell peppers and onions, and cook, stirring, about 1 to 2 minutes. Reduce the heat to medium-high. Add the sauce and bring to a boil until thickened. Add the pineapple and chicken, and cook, stirring, until warmed through, about 1 minute. Remove from the heat. Divide the rice among dinner plates, and top with the chicken and sauce. Garnish each with the green onions, and serve immediately. Serves 6-8.
Cilantro Asparagus Soup (Gluten Free)
This is one of my very favorites. I ate this at a restaurant in Salt Lake, and it was incredible! This is my pathetic attempt to copy it. It's kind of an asian fusion soup, with some suprising flavors.
3 pounds fresh asparagus, rinsed
8 cups chicken stock
4 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 cup minced shallots (they look like small pinkish-colored onions)
1 cup cilantro, chopped
1 tbsp fresh ginger, finely grated
2 tbsp minced garlic
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground white pepper
1/2 cup crème fraiche (or sour cream)
Cut the woody stem ends from each spear and reserve. Cut the remaining tender stalks into 1/2-inch pieces. In a medium pot, bring the stock to a boil. Add the tough woody stems, lower the heat and simmer to infuse with asparagus flavor, 20 to 30 minutes. Remove with a slotted spoon and discard, reserving the stock.
In a medium stockpot, melt the butter over medium-high heat. When foamy, add the shallots and leeks and cook until tender, about 3 minutes. Add the garlic and ginger and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add the chopped asparagus stalks, salt, and pepper, and cook, stirring, for 2 minutes. Add the reserved broth and simmer until the asparagus are very tender, 15 to 20 minutes. Remove from the heat.
With a hand-immersion blender (or in batches in a food processor) puree the soup until smooth. Adjust the seasoning, to taste. Add the juice of 1/2 the lime. If serving right away, return to medium heat and add the cream. Cook, stirring, until the soup is warmed through, about 3 minutes.
If serving the soup later, do not add the cream and let cool at room temperature. Cover and refrigerate. Before serving, warm the soup gently over medium heat, stirring occasionally, then add the cream.
Fried Rice (Gluten Free)
This is my attempt to copy the incredible fried rice at Benihana. (It reminds me of all the birthdays there with the Kims! *sniff* )
1 cup long grain rice
2 eggs, beaten
1 cup frozen peas, thawed
2 tbsp finely grated carrot
½ cup diced onion
1½ tbsp butter
2 tbsp soy sauce
salt & pepper
Cook the rice as directed on the package. (about 20 min)
While the rice is cooking:
Scramble eggs in a small pan, and then chop into pea-size bits.
When the rice is done, pour cooked rice into bowl and allow to cool.
To it, add the peas, carrot, eggs, and onions. Toss it all together.
Melt the butter in a large wok, then add the rice/veggie mixture.
Mix together, then add the soy sauce and season with salt and pepper.
I learned to make these in High School from my friend's mom, who was from Thailand. I added the fresh ginger, sesame oil and brown sugar to punch up the flavor a little bit. They really are delicous! (They're a million times better than those limp, flavorless ones at the Chinese restaurant)
½ small cabbage
4 large carrots
1 white or yellow onion
1 small bunch cilantro
1 lb. lean ground beef or pork
½ tbsp. sesame oil
½ cup brown sugar
¼ cup soy sauce
1 tbsp. fresh ginger (minced)
50 egg roll wrappers
Clean all veggies and cut into large chunks. In small batches, put the veggies into the blender and cover with water. Pulse the blender until the veggies have been chopped into small bits. (About the size of rice-crispies… you don’t want mush!) Pour from the blender into a colander to drain off the water. Continue this process until all the veggies are chopped. Leave the colander in the sink to finish draining and move on to step 2.
Brown the meat in a skillet, making sure it is chopped up into small bits. Drain off the grease and then return to the skillet. Pour the veggies from the colander into the skillet with the meat. Add the other ingredients (except wrappers) and mix well. Cook over medium heat for about 3-5 minutes. Transfer the mixture back into the colander and allow the excess juices to drain off.
Fill a small cup with water, and open up the package of egg roll wrappers. Take a spoonful of the filling and put onto the corner of an egg roll wrapper. (Make sure you don’t get a lot of the juice in your spoon- it will make the wrapper soggy) Fold the corner over the filling, tuck in the right and left sides, and then roll towards the remaining corner. Make sure all the edges are tight and tucked-in, then dip your finger in the cup of water and wet the last corner of the wrapper. Finish rolling the egg roll, and press the wet corner to seal it closed.
Continue with the remaining wrappers.
Fill a pan or electric skillet with oil, about 1” deep. Once the oil is hot (about 350 degrees) lay in a few egg rolls, and cook on each side until golden brown.
Drain on paper towels and serve with dipping sauce.
Dipping Sauce (Gluten Free)
1/3 cup soy sauce
1/3 cup rice vinegar
1 tablespoon honey
1 to 2 teaspoons sesame oil
Pinch of red pepper flakes
(or 2-3 drops of Siriachi Hot Chili Sauce)
Egg Drop Soup (Gluten Free)
4 cups prepared chicken stock
1/2 teaspoon grated fresh ginger
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1 tablespoon cornstarch
2 eggs, lightly beaten
2 green onions, chopped, including ends
Salt and white pepper, to taste
Bring soup stock, grated ginger and soy sauce to a boil. In a small cup, make a slurry by combining the cornstarch and 2 tablespoons of water. Stir until dissolved. Slowly pour in the cornstarch mixture while stirring the stock, until thickened. Reduce heat to a simmer. Pour in the eggs slowly while stirring the soup. The egg will spread and feather. Turn off the heat and add the green onions. Season with salt and pepper, and serve immediately. (Serves 4)
Crispy Breaded Chicken (Gluten Free)
Yummy fried chicken that everyone will love-- even gluten eaters.
1 cup cornstarch
2 eggs, beaten
2 cups Cornflake crumbs (crumbled in the food processor)
6 chicken breasts
Oil, for frying
Preheat oven to 350. Line up three shallow bowls, putting flour in the first one, eggs in the next one, and cornflakes in the third. Season each bowl with a sprinkle of salt and pepper, and mix.
Dip raw chicken into flour, and coat well. Dip chicken into egg mixture, and coat well. Dip chicken into cornflakes, and coat well. Lay chicken on a plate and then coat the other pieces.
Pour oil into a frying pan, 1-2 inches deep. When oil is hot (350 degrees), carefully lay in the chicken and fry on each side, until golden brown. If both sides are brown, but chicken is not cooked thoroughly, place it on a baking sheet and bake for 10-15 minutes. Serve with BBQ sauce or honey mustard.
Light and Fluffy Biscuits (Gluten Free)
2 1/4 c. GF Bread mix
1 3/4 c. corn starch
2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1 1/2 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. xanthan gum
1 stick of butter* (chilled in the freezer)
1 1/4 c. milk or soy milk
1 Tbsp water
1 Tbsp. cider vinegar (or rice wine)
Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.
In a large mixing bowl thoroughly combine the flours, baking powder, salt, baking soda, and xanthan gum.
Grate the butter into the flour using the small holed side of a box grater. Mix the butter into the flour so that there are no large balls of grated butter.Add the soy milk, water, and vinegar to the flour and stir until the dry and liquid ingredients are combined.
Using a large spoon, drop the dough onto a greased pan to make 16 biscuits. Cook at 350 degrees for 15 minutes or until golden brown.
Cheese Fondue (Gluten Free)
1/2 pound Swiss cheese, shredded
1/2 pound Gruyere cheese, shredded
2 tablespoons cornstarch
1 garlic clove, peeled
1 cup white cooking wine
(or substitute apple juice or chicken broth)
1 tablespoon lemon juice (double if you don’t use the wine)
1/2 teaspoon dry mustard
In a small bowl, coat the cheeses with cornstarch and set aside. Rub the inside of the ceramic fondue pot with the garlic, then discard.
Over medium heat, add the wine and lemon juice and bring to a gentle simmer. Gradually stir the cheese (a handful at a time) into the simmering liquid. Melting the cheese gradually encourages a smooth fondue. Once smooth, stir in mustard and nutmeg.
Pour into the fondue pot and light the burner below.
Serve with chunks of French bread, pretzels, steamed veggies, cocktail weenies, etc.
Chocolate Fondue (Gluten Free)
3/4 cup heavy whipping cream, reserve 1/4 cup to thin if fondue begins to thicken
12 to 14 ounces semi-sweet chocolate chips or chunks.
Heat 1/2 cup cream in a heavy saucepan over moderate heat until cream comes to a low boil. Remove the pan from the heat and add chocolate. Let the chocolate stand in hot cream 3 to 5 minutes to soften, and then whisk chocolate together with the cream. Transfer the fondue to a fondue pot. If fondue becomes too thick, stir in reserved cream, 1 tablespoon at a time, to reach desired consistency.
Serve with chunks of pound cake, pretzels, bananas, strawberries, pineapple, etc.
Greek Lemon Soup (Gluten Free)
2 cups milk
2 tbsp cornstarch
6 egg yolks, beaten
2 quarts chicken stock (8 cups)
½ cup rice
½ cup lemon juice
Salt and pepper
Bring the stock to boil in a 4 quart soup pot and add the rice. Cook, covered, until the rice is puffy and tender, about 25 min.
Separate the eggs, putting the egg whites in one bowl, and the yolks in another.
(Set aside the egg whites, and use them for another recipe, if you can)
Stir the milk and cornstarch together in a bowl, and then beat in the egg yolks. (use a whisk to mix well.) Set aside.
Remove the soup from heat. “Temper” the egg mixture, by adding a 1-2 spoonfuls of hot soup into the bowl and stirring well. Then add two more spoonfuls of hot soup, and stir again. (This will slowly raise the temperature of the egg mixture, so you don’t end up with scrambled eggs!)
Now, you will pour the entire egg/milk mixture into the soup pot and put back on the heat. Cook for a minute or two until it thickens. Remove from the heat again and add the butter, lemon juice, a sprinkle of pepper, and chopped parsley.