Sunday, December 22, 2019

Mushroom Broth


     Mushroom broth is delicious as a simple soup, a soup base, a gravy base or the liquid for cooking rice. The commercially available mushroom broth is actually pretty good, although not as good as homemade. It comes in packages made of paperboard covered with wax, though, and the wax may contain corn, soy or dairy products. If you're very allergic to any of those, you might want to make your own mushroom broth. It's actually pretty easy: you don't need to meticulously cut the vegetables into tiny pieces, for one thing: no one will see them in the end anyway. You can use up vegetables that were previously set aside in other recipes: mushroom stems, the top parts of leeks, parsley stems. Also, the recipe is pretty forgiving: you can add celery, add more thyme, skip the carrot, or what have you.




     1 Tb. oil (See Oil in the Glossary)
     1 carrot, peeled and sliced
     the green parts of one leek, chopped
     1 onion, chopped
     6 cloves of garlic, cut into a few slices
     2 lb. of mushrooms, sliced
     good handful of parsley 
     6-8 sprigs of thyme 
     2 bay leaves 
     1/2 tsp. black peppercorns
     3 quarts of water (12 cups)
     salt  (See Salt in the Glossary)

         Heat the oil in a large soup pot over medium heat.  Add the carrot, leek, onion and a good sprinkle of salt, Saute gently, stirring frequently, until the veggies are softening up and the onion is translucent. Add the garlic and continue to cook until the garlic is also translucent, another minute or so. Then add the mushrooms, parsley, thyme, bay leaf and peppercorns. Continue cooking on medium heat, stirring now and then,until the mushrooms are cooking down and releasing juice. Pour in the water, bring back to a boil, and simmer for an hour or a bit more. Next line a colander with a cloth and strain the broth into another large pot. Let the strained veggies cool off for a few minutes, then pick up the cloth and wring the juice out of the veggies and into the broth.
     If you are using the broth immediately as soup, add salt to taste. If not, leave it alone: this allows you to reduce it inside sauces and things without making them too salty. 

Monday, November 25, 2019

Boeuf au Jus de Grenade (beef stewed in pomegranate juice)


Boeuf bourguignon, the classic French stewed beef recipe, is rich, aromatic and wonderful. The conventional recipe includes a good dose of wine, which of course contains traces of yeast. The alcohol boils off, but the yeast remains and is still an allergen.Note that juice freshly squeezed from a pomegranate is likely to contain less yeast than bottled juice. (See Juice in the Glossary) Fresh and bottled juice both contain a lot less yeast than wine.


This recipe relies on pomegranate juice for the rich, slightly tart, fruity flavors that would usually be provided by wine. It turns out that pomegranate juice, like wine, transforms simple broth into an intense, delicious sauce.  



Chuck roast stewed in pomegranate juice.
Hmm, I didn't actually chop the parsley leaves.

     1 lb. pearl onions
     1 lb. mushrooms
     6-8 oz. bacon (See Bacon in the Glossary)
     oil (See Oil in the Glossary)
     3 lb. stewing beef, cut into large chunks
     salt (See Salt in the Glossary)
     pepper (
See Spices in the Glossary)
     1 carrot, sliced
     1 onion, sliced
     1-1/2 c. pomegranate juice (See Juice in the Glossary)
     2-3 cloves of garlic, mashed 
     a few sprigs of thyme (or a good sprinkle of dry thyme)
     1 bay leaf
     chicken or beef broth (See Broth in the Glossary)
     2 Tb. rice flour
     (optional) handful of parsley leaves, washed and chopped


Saute the mushrooms, doubling the recipe given in the link but skipping the green onions, and braise the onions . Stash these veggies together in the fridge. Fry the bacon in a large skillet; do not discard the grease. Cut the bacon into chunks not more than an inch long or half an inch wide; stash in fridge. Sprinkle salt and black pepper onto the chunks of beef. Heat the bacon grease to medium, add oil if needed, and brown the beef. Put the beef into a large enough pot. Brown the carrot and onion in the hot bacon grease and add them to the pot with the beef. Discard the grease. Add the bacon, pomegranate juice, garlic, thyme, and bay leaf to the stew. Pour in enough broth to just cover the beef. Bring to a boil and simmer until the beef is thoroughly tender (2-3 hours).

When the beef is tender,r
emove the bay leaf and thyme sprigs.Use a sieve to strain the stew, collecting the broth in another pot. Skim the fat off the surface. Turn the heat up to high and reduce the broth rapidly to 2 cups. Stir the rice flour into a half cup of water. Gradually add to the broth in the pot, whisking it thoroughly and bringing it back up to a boil after each addition, until the sauce thickens up a bit--you may not need all the rice flour. Add salt and pepper to taste. Put the stew back in the pot, and add the broth, braised onions and sauteed mushrooms. Heat for a couple of minutes, just until everything is hot again. Garnish with the parsley just before serving.

Thursday, November 21, 2019

Corn-Free, Yeast-Free Catsup


  

   Commercially bottled catsup generally contains corn in multiple forms. Often it contains quite a lot of corn syrup; it also generally contains white vinegar (made from corn) and citric acid (usually derived from corn or soy). Vinegar, of course, is a fermentation product and thus may contain traces of yeast, and, like other commercial tomato products, catsup can contain traces of mold or yeast (See Tomato Products, Canned in the Glossary)



     For some corn-allergic people, searching out the brands that list sugar in their list of ingredients instead of corn syrup may be sufficient. If you make your own catsup you can use sugar instead of corn syrup and replace the vinegar with citrus juices. I don't like my catsup to taste lemony so I use a mixture of grapefruit juice and lime juice. Any juice with a good acidic kick should work fine.


 
     3 lb. vine-ripened Roma tomatoes (See Produce in the Glossary)
     1/2 tsp. paprika (See Spices in the Glossary)
     2 Tb. fresh squeezed lime juice (See Juice in the Glossary)
     1 Tb. grapefruit juice (See Juice in the Glossary)
     1 tsp. salt (See Salt in the Glossary)
     sugar (See Sugar in the Glossary)

          Peel the tomatoes (see Produce in the Glossary). (You can seed them at this stage too if you like.) Cut each tomato into a few pieces. Put them in a saucepan with a small splash of water. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer, covered, for half an hour. At this point the tomato pieces should be coming apart and the seeds should be softened up so that a blender can break them up. Process the tomatoes, in batches, in a blender. If there are still too many visible seeds to suit you, you can strain them out using a food mill or a sieve with a fine enough mesh. (Remember that the seeds will become more apparent as you reduce the tomatoes.) Put the processed tomatoes back in the saucepan and add the paprika, lime juice, grapefruit juice, salt and 2 Tb. of sugar. Stirring occasionally, simmer uncovered until the mixture is reduced to about 2 cups and reaches a.catsup consistency. Add sugar and salt to taste, remembering that the catsup will taste slightly sweeter once it is cold. Refrigerate.

Thursday, November 14, 2019

Caramel-Apple Ice Cream




     Like bananas, apples contain a lot of both pectin and starch; like frozen bananas, frozen apples can be whirled in a food-processor to create an easy, hypoallergenic ice cream base.

     This caramel-apple ice cream, which is reminiscent of an old-fashioned caramel apple, is particularly good.

     1 lb. of peeled, cored, sliced
          apples (See Produce in the Glossary)
     1 c. corn-free, dairy-free caramel sauce 


     Put the apple slices in a container in the freezer. Wait until they are thoroughly frozen. 

     Put the apples in a food-processor. (If you need to, adjust the amount of apples as needed so that your food-processor can handle them easily.) Put the container back in the freezer. Run the food-processor until the apples are finely ground. Add the caramel sauce and process until the mixture is very smooth. Scoop the soft ice cream into the chilled container and either serve immediately or put into the freezer immediately.

Wednesday, November 6, 2019

Mostly Authentic Swedish Meatballs Without the Usual Allergens



     The Swedish husband of a colleague of my husband's happened to mention that his elderly mother makes excellent meatballs for her husband, who has celiac disease. Of course I demanded the recipe, which I give here with only one modification. If you are not avoiding eggs, you can omit the flaxseed meal and water and add one egg. 

     1 Tb. flaxseed meal
     3 Tb. water
     oil (See Oil in the Glossary)
     1 onion, chopped very fine
     3 cloves garlic, crushed
     1/2 c. smashed potato (~1 medium to large potato, cooked thoroughly, peeled and smashed with a potato masher or a fork)
     1 lb. hamburger
     1 lb. ground pork
     1/2 Tb. salt (See Salt in the Glossary)
     1/2 tsp. black pepper (See Spices in the Glossary)

     In a small saucepan, stir the flaxseed meal into the water and bring to a boil. Set aside. 

     Heat 3 Tb. of the oil to medium low and use it to saute the onion until it is thoroughly wilted and translucent. Add the garlic and continue cooking until it too is soft and translucent. 

     Mix together the flaxseed meal mixture, the onion mixture, the smashed potato and all other ingredients.

     Shape this mixture into meatballs not more than one inch in diameter. Heat some oil in a skillet and fry  the meatballs on medium low heat, occasionally rolling the balls around the pan so that they brown on all sides. The meatballs are done when they are cooked through. Traditionally these meatballs might be served with a cream sauce; they're also good with gravy.

Sunday, November 3, 2019

Dairy-Free Fruit-Salad Dressing

Fruit-salad dressing
     Fruit salad is a dessert, so use the rich coconut milk that comes in a can, not the coconut-based milk substitute that comes in a carton. This will provide all the rich creaminess you want in your fruit salad. Sugar draws the juice out of fruit, making any dressing watery.  The solutions to this are to 1) use only fruit that is fairly sweet to start with and skip the sugar and/or 2) only stir the dressing into the prepared fruit just before serving it. This mixture is particularly good on tropical fruit (pineapple, bananas, etc.) It works well with a garnish of toasted shredded coconut.

Banana and pineapple


     1 cup canned coconut milk 
          (See Coconut and Milk
          in Glossary)
     ½ tsp. cinnamon (See Spices
          in Glossary)
     ¼ c. sugar (See Sugar 
          in Glossary)

     Mix.
   
Fruit salad
   

Friday, November 1, 2019

Allergen-Free Buckwheat Pancakes


     The first time I made pancakes for my grandson was memorable. I knew he was allergic to wheat, dairy, and eggs, so I started by mixing up the standard flour described in many gluten-free cookbooks. This is a mixture of rice flour, tapioca starch and potato starch. 

    Rice flour gives a gritty, sandy character to baked goods, so one reason for blending it with fine, powdery starches is to obtain a finer texture overall.  This is a bit like discovering, at the beach, that sand has gotten into your sandwich and deciding that you can fix that by adding a couple more slices of tomato: whatever you add, the sand is still there. 

     Anyway, I added "egg replacer,"which is a chemical which is usually derived from corn, to which I am allergic, threw in rice milk, oil, etc. and got cooking.  Those pancakes did not rise, they did not hold together, and they did not have any flavor.  One of my daughters said something about "the texture of wet sand."  My husband was so shocked he still won't eat anything that is clearly labeled as "gluten-free." Even our greedy-gut dog refused to eat the darned stuff.  

     The following is the pancake recipe I came up with after much tinkering. Buckwheat, besides being a classic pancake flavor, is a surprisingly good binder, giving these pancakes a conventional pancake texture. 

     These pancakes contain no gluten or eggs, and, depending on your choices of milk and oil, can easily be dairy- and/or corn-free as well.

     1 c. teff flour 
     1/2 c. buckwheat flour
     3/4 tsp. baking soda
     1/2 Tb. cream of tartar
     1/2 tsp. salt (See Salt in Glossary)
     2 Tb. sugar (See Sugar in Glossary)
     1-1/2 c. milk (or "milk") (See Milk in Glossary)
     1/4 c. oil (See Oil in Glossary)

     Preheat  a skillet on medium low on a stovetop (or preheat a griddle to 350 F). Stir the flours, baking soda, cream of tartar, salt and sugar together in a mixing bowl.  Stir in whichever milk and oil you’re not allergic to. Scoop by half-cupfuls into the preheated skillet (or onto the preheated griddle). Flip when nicely browned on one side; remove from heat when cooked through. 



Friday, October 25, 2019

Hypoallergenic Chocolate-Banana Ice Cream

     Bananas contain a lot of both pectin and starch, which means frozen bananas can be turned into surprisingly smooth, luscious single-ingredient banana ice cream by simply whirling them around in a food-processor. They can also be used as an ice cream base to which syrups and other flavorings can be added. In this recipe they are paired with corn-free chocolate syrup to produce an ice cream with none of the usual allergens (milk, eggs, corn, etc.) that is reminiscent of a classic chocolate-dipped frozen banana.








     3 thoroughly ripe bananas Ideally the skins should be turning brown. Thoroughly ripe
          bananas are sweeter and their flavor is better developed. (See Bananas in the Glossary)
     1/2 cup corn-free chocolate syrup 
     (optional) 1/2 tsp. corn-free vanilla extract 

     Peel the bananas and freeze them thoroughly in a sealable container. (It is vital to peel them first. It's really hard to peel a banana after it's frozen.) Use the coldest part of your freezer to ensure the ice cream will come out as solid as possible.

     Take out the container with the frozen bananas.
 Break the bananas into a few pieces each and put them into your food-processor. Put the container back into the freezer; you will need a chilled container in a few minutes, because a warm container can cause ice cream to melt a bit at first.

     Start processing. Add the chocolate syrup and the vanilla extract. Process thoroughly, until smooth and creamy. This can take a few minutes: the bananas go through a few phases before arriving at an ice cream texture.  Scoop into chilled container. Put the container back into the freezer. 

     Serve immediately as soft ice cream or put into freezer immediately.

Tuesday, September 24, 2019

Hypoallergenic, Single-Ingredient Banana Ice Cream


    Because bananas contain serious amounts of both starch and pectin, they need no other ingredients to develop a creamy, custard-like texture. This ice cream is fine for everyone who is not allergic to bananas. 

     What's more, you don't need to dig out your ice cream maker for this recipe, since the single ingredient is frozen when you start.


Banana ice cream with a sprinkle of cinnamon. Chocolate syrup is also good on this ice cream.





















Ingredient:

    enough thoroughly ripe bananas to process conveniently in your food-processor
Ideally the skins should be turning brown. Thoroughly ripe bananas are sweeter and their flavor is better developed. (See Bananas in the Glossary)

     Peel the bananas and freeze them thoroughly in a sealable container. (It is vital to peel them first. It's really hard to peel a banana after it's frozen.) Use the coldest part of your freezer to ensure the ice cream will come out as solid as possible.

     Break the bananas into a few pieces each and put them into your food-processor. Put the container back into the freezer. A warm container can cause ice cream to melt a bit at first.

     Process thoroughly, until smooth and creamy. This can take a few minutes: the bananas go through a few phases before arriving at an ice cream texture.  Scoop into chilled container. Serve immediately as soft ice cream or put into freezer immediately.









Tuesday, September 17, 2019

Hypoallergenic Tropical Ice Cream


     





 Pineapple, banana, and coconut are delicious  together. In this simple recipe they are combined in a delicious, light ice cream that has none of the usual allergens (eggs, dairy, corn, etc.) 







     1 ripe pineapple
     6 ripe bananas, peeled (See Bananas in the Glossary)
     1 14-oz. can coconut milk (see (See Coconut and Milk in the Glossary)
     2 cups sugar (See Sugar in the Glossary)
     1 Tb. vanilla extract (optional)



    First place the container for the tropical ice cream in your freezer. (A warm container could melt some of the ice cream when you first scoop it into the container.)   

     Remove the top and all of the peel of the pineapple. Cut the pineapple into slices and remove the tough inner core of each slice.  In batches, mix all ingredients thoroughly with a blender. 

     Follow the instructions for your ice cream maker. 

Wednesday, August 28, 2019

Peach Ice


  



     Most ice cream contains multiple allergens (dairy, eggs, soy, corn...) The peach ice I describe here consists entirely of fresh peaches, lemon juice and sugar, yet is smooth and luscious. Just be sure to start with totally ripe peaches. 

     The acidity of the lemon juice wakes up the flavor of the peaches; if you're allergic to citrus, experiment with other sour fruit juices.

     4 large, fresh, thoroughly ripe peaches (See Produce in the Glossary)
     fresh squeezed juice of 1/2 lemon (See Juice in the Glossary)
     1/2 c. sugar (or to taste) (See Sugar in the Glossary)

     First place the container for the peach ice in your freezer. (A warm container could melt some of the ice when you first scoop it into the container.)   

     Peel and seed the peaches. Puree the peaches and lemon juice in a blender. Add the sugar and blend it in too.

     Follow the instructions for your ice cream maker. 

Saturday, August 17, 2019

Berry-Free, Corn-Free Peach Rhubarb Pie Filling


The peach-rhubarb filling in this pie contained no common allergens and
was delicious. I used wheat flour for the crust as no wheat avoiders were
coming over.  Just remember that a lot of wheat flour contains corn products,
especially if it is bleached and/or enriched. Source your flour carefully.

















 

     An allergy to strawberries is no reason not to enjoy rhubarb, and an allergy to corn is no reason not to make pie filling out of it. Peaches and rhubarb complement each other deliciously, and in my opinion a bit of orange peel accentuates their flavors. If you react to the corn, soy or dairy derivatives that show up in wax used to coat fruit, you can either try to scrub it off the orange or just skip the orange rind.
     Tapioca flour gives this filling just the right amount of thickening without setting off anyone's corn allergy.

     2/3 cup sugar (See Sugar in the Glossary)
     3 Tb. tapioca flour
     2-3/4 cups fresh rhubarb cut into 1/4 inch slices
     2 cups peeled, sliced fresh peaches (See Produce in the Glossary)
   

     Stir together the sugar, tapioca flour and orange rind. Stir into the rhubarb and peaches. Follow the instructions for filling and baking a nonallergenic pie crust  or just bake the filling  with a crumble on top. Serve chilled.

     Makes enough for one 9-inch pie. 

Tuesday, June 4, 2019

Corn-Free Strawberry-Rhubarb Pie Filling


     


     Strawberry-rhubarb pie filling is ordinarily thickened with cornstarch; otherwise it would be soupy. This recipe relies on tapioca flour to get the right amount of thickening.

     2/3 cup sugar (See Sugar in Glossary)
     3 Tb. tapioca flour
     2-3/4 cups fresh or frozen rhubarb, cut into 1/4 inch slices
     2 cups sliced fresh strawberries (2-4 slices per strawberry) (See Produce in the Glossary)
    

     Stir together the sugar and tapioca flour. Stir into the rhubarb and strawberries. Follow the instructions for filling and baking a nonallergenic pie crust or just bake a crumble on top of the filling.  Serve chilled.

     Makes enough for one 9-inch pie. 

Saturday, May 11, 2019

Braised Onions

     Braised onions retain none of the bite of a raw onion; instead they are very tender and intensely savory. They work really well as a side dish or added to a stew such as chicken stewed in pomegranate juice or beef stewed in pomegranate juice. They also are a dish that involves very few ingredients, none of which are common allergens.




   
















 

    3 Tb. oil (See Oil in Glossary)
     1 lb. pearl onions, peeled and washed
     3/4 c. chicken or beef broth (see Broth in  Glossary) or water
     salt (See Salt in Glossary)
     pepper  (See Spices in Glossary)
     1 bay leaf
     4 parsley sprigs, washed
     4 thyme sprigs, washed

     Heat the oil to medium in a thick-bottomed skillet and add the onions. The oil is hot enough when it makes an onion sizzle gently. Roll the onions around frequently so that they gradually brown more or less evenly without scorching. Once they are nicely browned (probably 10 minutes or so), add the broth, a sprinkle of salt, a sprinkle of pepper, the bay leaf, the parsley and the thyme. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to a simmer, cover, and cook for 40-50 minutes, until the onions are thoroughly tender and the liquid has cooked off (you can add small amounts of liquid during the cooking time if necessary to keep them from going dry). Salt and pepper to taste.
     

Almost done braising in chicken broth

Friday, May 10, 2019

Coq au Jus de Grenade (Chicken Stewed in Pomegranate Juice)







Coq au vin, the classic French stewed chicken recipe, is rich, aromatic and wonderful. The conventional recipe includes a good dose of wine, which of course contains traces of yeast. The alcohol boils off, but the yeast remains and is still an allergen.Note that juice freshly squeezed from a pomegranate is likely to contain less yeast than bottled juice. (See Juice in Glossary.) Fresh and bottled juice both contain a lot less yeast than wine.


This recipe relies on pomegranate juice for the rich, slightly tart, fruity flavors that would usually be provided by wine. It turns out that pomegranate juice, like wine, transforms simple broth into an intense, delicious sauce.  

     1 lb. pearl onions
     1 lb. mushrooms
     6-8 oz. bacon (See Bacon in Glossary)
     oil (See Oil in Glossary)
     1 chicken, cut up
     salt (See Salt in Glossary)
     pepper (See Spices in Glossary)
     1-1/2 c. pomegranate juice (See Sugar in the Glossary)
     2-3 cloves of garlic, mashed 
     a few sprigs of thyme
     2 bay leaves
     chicken or beef broth (See Broth in Glossary)
     
     2 Tb. rice flour
     (optional) handful of parsley leaves, washed and chopped

Saute the mushrooms, doubling the recipe given in the link but skipping the green onions, and braise the onions. Stash them together in the fridge. Fry the bacon in a large skillet; do not discard the grease. Cut the bacon into chunks not more than an inch long or half an inch wide; stash in fridge. Sprinkle salt and black pepper onto both sides of all the chicken pieces. Heat the bacon grease to medium, add oil if needed, and brown all the chicken pieces on both sides. Put all the chicken pieces into a large enough pot, and add the bacon, pomegranate juice, garlic, thyme, and bay leaves. Pour in enough broth to just cover the chicken. Bring to a boil and simmer until the chicken is cooked (somewhere around a half hour).

When the chicken is cooked, take it out of the pot. Remove the bay leaves and thyme sprigs. Skim the fat off the surface of the broth. Turn the heat up to high and reduce the broth rapidly to 2 cups. Stir the rice flour into a half cup of water. Gradually add to the broth in the pot, whisking it thoroughly and bringing it back up to a boil after each addition, until the sauce thickens up a bit--you may not need all the rice flour. Add salt and pepper to taste. Put the chicken back in the pot, and add the onions and mushrooms. Heat for a couple of minutes, just until everything is hot again. Garnish with the parsley just before serving.