Appetizers, Blog, Desserts, Main Dishes, Recipes, Snacks & Sides

Gluten Free Recipes, a Work in Progress…

This past year, gluten free cooking has become our mantra, as more and more guests come into the restaurant who are gluten intolerant. Not satisfied with merely serving them gluten-free bread and discussing the limitations of our menu for them, we decided that it was time to really restructure our menu in a much smarter way with regards to this now epidemic problem.   Our friend and nutritionist, Elizabeth Dimeo, kindly joined our guests last Thursday for an informative and inspiring evening, discussing gluten-free diets and their benefits.  My personal favorite thing that she said was how she described a typical, diet-conscious, working American’s day: “You wake up in the morning, and eat your Special K, since everyone says it’s good diet food, with of course , skim milk.  By 10am you could eat a horse.  Light-headed and hungry, you get through the rest of the morning, and now: lunch!  A couple of slices of turkey between two slices of Pepperidge Farm skinny bread!  With a schmear of mayo and a Diet Coke! Great.  It’s 1 pm and have you had anything DELICIOUS or NUTRITIOUS yet to eat?  Not at all.  Now you get through the afternoon, by 4pm you’re ready for a nap.  Snack, let’s not mention it, cookies, crackers, and now dinner…PASTA!  with a glass of red wine.  Do you know the best thing about this meal?  The glass of wine!”

I have to admit, I don’t think she was exaggerating too badly here.  I know that gluten-ful foods have been the mainstay of my diet since I became a pastry chef.  But what Franck and I both have found since we’ve dramatically reduced our intake of these (much-beloved) foods, is that in fact when you take them out, not only do you get the benefit of a more varied and healthy diet, more satisfied and less tired, but also you end up replacing them with extra portions of more nutrient-rich foods: veggies, beans, etc.  It’s just inevitable.

One of the reasons that we love Elizabeth so much is that she’s a foodie; she’s not advocatinga strict menu of bland, boring healthy foods.  Our menu for Thursday night’s event was our attempt to get the guests excited about how delicious gluten-free recipes can be.  So, since many folks who might be interested in some of our new developments for our own cooking weren’t able to attend last week’s dinner, I thought I’d post the recipes that we’ve shared with our “Manger! Boire! Eat! Drink!” people here:

 

Cauliflower “Couscous”

1 head cauliflower, shave with a sharp knife.  Pulse in a food processor to the texture of couscous.  Saute ¼ onion in olive oil and add ½ t curry powder, ½ t harissa, 2 T white wine, splash water, 2 T butter, and cook lightly.

Sprouting Lentils

Soak lentils one hour in a large jar.  Drain and cover with Cheesecloth.  Allow to sit in a cool, dry place for 2-3 days, rinsing with cold water 2 times/day, draining well each time.  After 2-3 days you will see the root sprouting out of the lentils.  Keep in the refrigerator until ready to use. Dress these lentils with vinaigrette to push up the protein and nutrient value of your salads considerably.  We served them warm with the Cauliflower “Couscous.”

Chickpea Panisse

2 c stock

1 ¼ c chickpea flour

3 T olive oil

Salt, pepper

¼ c minced onion

1 t smoked paprika

1 T oregano

1 t espelette pepper

-Saute onion and spices in small sauté pan until tender

-whisk in flour, stock. Olive oil, cold

-heat up slowly while whisking.

-when thick like roux, and pulling away from the pan, remove from heat.

-fold in onion mixture, season.

-cool spread flat on mini sheet pan, cover with plastic, chill to cut into desired shapes and then pan- or deep- fry.

 

Grilled Chicken Marinade

5 lemons juiced and zested

6 garlic cloves, minced

½ bunch basil or cilantro, chopped

2 c honey

Salt and pepper

 

Gluten-free Blondies

1 x 7X11 sheet pan, greased and floured.  Oven 350F

230 g gluten free flour**

½ t salt

1 ½ t  baking powder

2 sticks melted butter

1 ¼ c  brown sugar

½ c sugar

2 yolk

2 egg

1 ½ t vanilla

Chocolate chunks to cover

** gluten free flour mix:

2 c brown rice flour

1 c sweet sorghum flour

1 c coconut flour

-Melt butter and mix with sugars, add eggs, yolks and vanilla.  Stir in dry ingredients, pour into pan and top with chocolate chunks.  Bake until tester just comes out clean, about 25 minutes.

 

Watercress & Cauliflower Soup

1 head cauliflower, chopped

4 bunches watercress, washed

1 onion, diced

1 celery stick, diced

1 leek, sliced

1 c white wine

Salt, pepper, nutmeg

Vegetable stock or water

-sweat the onion, leek, and celery, add white wine, stock & cauliflower.  When cauliflower is tender, season soup and add the watercress.  Bring to boil, then turn off heat and puree.

 

Socca – Chickpea Crêpe

1 ¾ c chickpea flour

2 c water

1.5 T extra virgin olive oil

¾ t salt

Pepper

 

2 egg whites – whip to soft peak and fold into above

Can finish batter with fresh herbs, if desired.  Pour into heated, oiled crepe pan.  We served these with ratatouille and braised Swiss chard.

 

Quinoa Jumbalaya

4 servings

 

12 shrimp

20 bay scallops

2 T olive oil

1 medium onion, chopped

1 green pepper chopped

2 stalks celery, chopped

4 cloves garlic, minced

1 large tomato, diced

2-3 T tomato paste

¾ c quinoa, rinsed

1 c white wine

1 c vegetable stock or water

1 t paprika

¼ t cayenne

1 t dried oregano

1 t dried thyme

3 bay leaves

Salt, pepper

Sweat onion, pepper, celery & garlic until translucent.  Add seasonings and tomato paste.  Add tomatoes, salt, pepper and quinoa, stock & wine.  Bring to boil & cover 15 mins.  over low heat.  Stir occasionally and check if quinoa is fully cooked.  Add shellfish at the end and check seasoning.