Monday, January 24, 2011

A little POM to wake up the winter palate is a WONDERFUL thing.

I miss summer produce.  I am definitely still getting my fill of winter veggies, but mannnn do I miss summer fruits and all their bright flavors.  Regardless of where in the world you are, you can get a dose of bright fruity flavor by getting yourself some POM juice.  Great in reductions and salad dressings that need a wake up.

So, I turned to this recipe, Rachael Ray's initially, reworked below by me, to brighten things up a bit and work some tart and sweet in to shake up my winter meal blues. 

Chicken with Pom Reduction, Potato Hash and Mediterranean Salad

4 chicken breasts
pinch of kosher salt
black pepper

Pomegranate Reduction
8oz POM Wonderful 100% Pomegranate Juice
2 tbls balsamic vinegar
8 peppercorns
5 cloves
1 bayleaf or 1 tablespoon of dried thyme

Arugula, Fig and Gorgonzola Salad
1/2 pint of figs, such as Trader Joe's black mission figs
3 - 4 oz crumbled Gorgonzola cheese
3 cups of arugula
juice of 1 fresh lemon (I used a meyer lemon and it was perfect! 1 and a half lemons  if yours are small)
black pepper (fresh roughly ground peppercorns will be best here)
2 tbls EVOO

Potato Hash
1/4 lb turkey bacon
3-4 potatoes, sliced thinly and chopped
1 shallot, thinly sliced and chopped

Add POM juice to a small saucepan with vinegar, peppercorns, cloves and bay leaf/thyme.
Bring to a boil over medium heat, then turn the heat down to a low simmer and reduce the liquid by
half, about 6 minutes. Keep this on low while you complete the rest of the meal, whisking occasionally to keep the mixture together.
Meanwhile, cover the chicken with plastic wrap on meat-safe cutting board and exorcise those demons, pounding chicken to 1/4-inch thickness. Season the chicken on both sides with salt and pepper to taste.

Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat with some EVOO, for the chicken.

Heat a second medium-size skillet over medium-high heat with 1 tablespoon of EVOO.

Add the turkey bacon to the smaller skillet with the potatoes and shallots in thin layer and season with a little salt, black pepper and thyme, to taste. Cook, turning occasionally, for 8-10 minutes until potatoes are easily speared with a fork.

Once the hash begins to crisp, add the chicken and cook for about 8 minutes, turning once.

Strain the reduced pomegranate sauce into the skillet with the chicken and scrape up any bits from the bottom of the pan, then turn off the heat. Press the herb mixture from the pomegranate sauce into the strainer to really release all the liquid.  Allow the chicken to rest in the pomegranate sauce while you prepare the salad.

Halve or quarter figs, adding them to a large bowl with crumbled gorgonzola. Add the arugula  and drizzle with the lemon juice and about 2 tablespoons of EVOO. Season with roughly ground peppercorns and a tiny pinch of kosher salt, to taste.

Serves 4.

Per serving: 391 calories; 8g of fat; 4g of saturated fat; 39mg cholesterol; 591mg sodium; 68g carbohydrates; 10g dietary fiber; 34g sugar; 15g protein

...and 58% of your recommended daily amount of vitamin C!  Suck it, winter colds.

Monday, January 17, 2011

Turkey Greek Loaf, a food of compromise

This recipe came about after I wanted turkey burgers and greek food and my boyfriend wanted meatloaf.  So. freaking. good. 

Turkey Greek Loaf

  • 1 lb ground turkey breast
  • 4 oz light feta cheese
  • 10 oz frozen chopped spinach
  • 1 tsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 1 egg
  • 1 slice bread (I used Glutino's flax and brown rice bread)
  • 1 1/2 tbsp skim milk
  • 1 medium onion, diced (red or white/yellow is fine)
  • 3 cloves of garlic
  • 2 tbsp oregano
  • 1 tsp dill
  • 1 tsp low sodium worcestershire Sauce
  • 2 tbsp all spice (I LOVE this one)
Chop onion. Mince garlic. Thaw spinach.

Heat a skillet over medium high heat, adding EVOO after 30 seconds. Add chopped onion and 1 tbsp of oregano, crushing it in your hands before adding to skillet to release flavor. Add half of the dried dill. After onion is softened, about 2 - 3 minutes, add garlic, sauteing until fragrant and onions are translucent. Set aside to cool.

Preheat oven to 350.

Rip up bread into small pieces and put in the bottom of a medium mixing bowl. Beat egg and add to mixing bowl, along with milk and a dash of worcestershire sauce. Stir. Add cooled onions and garlic, turkey, thawed spinach and crumbled feta. Add 2 tbsp of all spice and remainder of oregano and dill. Mix with hands until well integrated and cohesive.

Grease a metal loaf pan with oil and add meat mixture, pressing down to form a tight loaf. Bake for 20 minutes at 350, and for 10 more at 400 until brown all the way through.

Serves 5.
Nutrition breakdown per serving:
204 Calories; 4.6 grams of Fat; 99mg Cholesterol;  816mg Sodium; 
12g Carbs; 3g Dietary Fiber; 3g Sugar; 27g Protein

Friday, January 14, 2011

Shake Shack goes gluten free!

Reposted here for your convenience (and mine!)

Gluten-Free Options

Burgers IconBurgers

Go bunless! Enjoy a ShackBurger®, Hamburger or Cheeseburger (single, double or triple) sans the bun. This option goes for all our burgers except the 'Shroom Burger, which has breadcrumbs in it.

Hot Dogs IconHot Dogs

Try any of our dogs – just lose the bun. Drag 'em through the garden too, if you're looking for an even fuller flavor!

Fries IconFrench Fries

The fries are gluten-free, but if you have severe reactions to trace amounts of gluten, it might be best to skip the fries. See, our fryers prepare the 'Shrooms in separate oil, but each night the oils get filtered through the same equipment.

Frozen Custard IconFrozen Custard

Frozen Custards are a-okay without the cones. But before ordering the custard of the day, double-check the ingredients with our cashier to make sure it's gluten-free. Shakes are okay too, just not malted.

Wine IconWine

All our soft drinks are safe, and assuming you're over 21, you can even have a glass of wine with that ShackBurger® (minus the bun, of course)! Just be sure to stay away from the beer.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Gluten Free (and yeast free!) Pizza at Home

I have been up to some spectacular things in my kitchen and have been sooo looking forward to sharing.  Happy 2011! Anyway...

When I tell someone about my celiac, pizza comes up quickly on their horrified list of "YOU MEAN YOU CAN'T HAVE _________ ? OR __________? (Because what's really awesome, people, is being reminded of shit I can't eat.  Reaaally special.) OH MY GOD! OH MY GOOOODDDD! HOW DO YOU DO IT?"

Now, even before I became GF, I fancied myself a master of recipe substitutions and creating lightened up comfort food. The answer to their question is make it freaking work somehow.  I like the foods I like.  The key was how to make them healthy.

Beyond healthy now, they also must be gluten free, which presents new challenges. I had mastered GF mac and cheese within two weeks of getting diagnosed, no surprise.  But I'm just getting around to pizza now, 6 months later. Even though its not anywhere near the top of my personal list of glutenous delicious things that I miss dearly, I hear it from most people I talk to about my allergy.  And see all over the internet that celiacs are clamoring for GF pizza.  Granted, its bread, sauce and cheese.  It can't really be BAD, can it?  But yes, from the reviews I've read of many, many recipes it apparently can.

Here are two options for having gluten free pizza at home.  Below you will find one version with a frozen crust my mother found at a market in Jersey and one that I made from scratch at home in about 30 minutes. Both are tasty, I promise.

Contender 1: Glutino's gluten free pizza crusts, which come reasonably price for a pack of 4 which are ready after 20 minutes in the oven. I suggest baking for 10, adding your toppings and putting it back in for 5 - 10 more minutes. 

Mine has ricotta, swiss and pancetta. Not bad for a lazy Saturday, right?

These turn out crispy on the bottom while still chewy the way good NY pizza should be.  Not bad for something that required no defrost out of the freezer.

Now, we have a slightly more ambitious endeavor.  But considering these two pizzas take up virtually the same amount of time, I'd say go for the gold and follow this recipe here.  No pizza pan? No problem.  I greased up a regular old rectangular baking sheet that had a lip and it worked perfectly. And its yeast free too!

super easy gluten free pizza crust

1 cup cornstarch
1 cup all purpose GF baking flour mix (I used Pamela's)
1 and 1/3 cups milk (I used 1%, so even skim should be fine)
1 teaspoon EVOO
4 eggs
1 large pinch of salt (maybe 1/4 - 1/2 teaspoon?)
2 tablespoons seasonings (I used rosemary, red pepper flakes, basil and garlic powder since I was doing Italian toppings)

*Mix gently with a whisk until lumps are no more.  Don't overmix!
*Pour batter into well greased pizza pan or baking sheet. (I chose the word batter here very carefully.  This mixture is going to seem WAY too liquidy and wet to turn into pizza, but it does.)
*Bake at 425F for 10 - 12 minutes or until it is firmly set, resembling crust, and starting to brown slightly on the edges and underneath. (For a crispier crust, brush top with EVOO and add five additional minutes of baking time).
*Add toppings and bake for an additional 7 - 10 minutes or until everything is melty and the crust is golden brown on the edges and underneath.  It will smell fabulous when it's done.

How good does this look?

Topped with tomato sauce, part skim ricotta, part skim mozzarella and basil.

And a close up, so you can see how awesome and full of air holes the crust is. Closest thing I've had to regular, crispy on the bottom, chewy in the middle New York pizza since I've been gluten free, for suuuuure.

Woohoo! Pizza may make it closer to the top of my list after all.