Saturday, September 30, 2017

Dairy-Free, Gluten-Free Stuffed Mushrooms

Use Yukon Gold potatoes to add a bit of color.

     A cheese/bread crumb mixture is not the only way to stuff a mushroom. In this recipe potatoes provide a succulent, creamy texture, while herbs, garlic and maybe some bacon give these morsels a savory kick. 

     4-5 medium potatoes
     1/4 c. olive or other oil (See Oil in the Glossary)
     1/4 c. gently packed fresh Italian parsley leaves (stripped off their 
          stems) See Produce in the Glossary
     2 Tb. gently packed fresh basil leaves (stripped off their stems) 
          See Produce in the Glossary
     1/2 Tb. gently packed fresh thyme leaves (stripped off their stems) 
          See Produce in the Glossary
     1/2 Tb. gently packed fresh rosemary leaves (stripped off their stems) 
          See Produce in the Glossary
     3 garlic cloves
     1 tsp. salt (See Salt in the Glossary)
     1/2 tsp. black pepper (See Spices in the Glossary)
     1 to 1-1/2 lb. small or medium mushrooms 
     (optional) 2-3 slices bacon (See Bacon in the Glossary)

     Put the potatoes in a pot, add water to cover, bring to a boil and simmer until done. 

     Meanwhile, remove the stems from the mushrooms. Finely chop the parsley, basil, thyme and rosemary. Mince the garlic. Heat the olive oil gently; add the herbs and garlic and saute briefly, just until the herbs are wilted and the garlic is translucent.

     Preheat oven to 400 F. 

     Peel and mash enough potatoes to produce 2 cups of mashed potatoes; do not add liquid. Stir in the herbs, salt and pepper. Stuff the potato mixture into the mushroom caps. Cut the bacon into small pieces and put one on top of each mushroom. 

     Bake for 15-20 minutes, until the bacon is fully cooked. Allow to cool for a couple of minutes: the potato mixture is very hot when it comes out of the oven.

Ready for the oven

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Small Zucchini Bread Rounds with None of the Usual Allergens

     Getting baked goods to rise and then cook before they have time to collapse is challenging if you can't use gluten, eggs or any bean, pea or corn derivatives (pea flour, garbanzo flour, soy flour, xanthan gum, etc.). This recipe relies on the following principles to produce zucchini bread with a good texture rather than a strange, flat loaf:
  • Chilling the ingredients beforehand helps keep the dough stiffer as it starts to cook.
  • A thin layer of dough or batter will cook faster than a thick one. Keep your dough a half-inch deep or less.
  • A higher temperature will cook your dough faster, and works fine for a thin layer of dough.
  • Metal conducts heat better than glass. Use a metal pan.
  • Increasing the contact area between the dough and the conductive metal will help the dough cook faster. Use a metal muffin pan rather than a metal cake pan or loaf pan.

     1/2 c. grated zucchini
     3 Tb. liquid 
     2 Tb. flaxseed meal
     1/2 c. sugar (See Sugar in the Glossary)
     1/4 cup palm oil shortening
     1/2 tsp. vanilla extract  
     3/4 c. sorghum flour
     1/4 c. buckwheat flour
     1 tsp. baking soda
     2 tsp. cream of tartar
     1/2 tsp. salt (See Salt in the Glossary)

     Squeeze the excess moisture out of the zucchini. 
     In a small saucepan, stir the flaxseed meal into 3 Tb. liquid (any variety of milk or "milk" you are not allergic to [See Milk in the Glossary], lemon juice, the juice you squeezed out of the zucchini and/or water). Heat just until the mixture bubbles and thickens. Mix the flaxseed meal mixture with the sugar, shortening and vanilla. Stir in the zucchini and refrigerate. 

     Stir together the sorghum flour, buckwheat flour, baking soda, cream of tartar and salt.   Refrigerate this mixture too. Wait for 1/2 hour.

     Preheat oven to 450 degrees. 

     Grease ten 2" muffin cups. Mix the zucchini mixture and the flour mixture to make a stiff dough. Divide the dough among the ten greased muffin cups. Bake for 18-20 minutes, until lightly browned. 

Tuesday, September 5, 2017

Chicken-Fried Zucchini Without Wheat or Eggs

     Mmmm: tender, cooked zucchini inside a crunchy crust. For general observations on breading and frying without wheat or eggs, see my recipe for fried chicken.

     tapioca flour
     flaxseed meal 
     unsweetened cereal to which you are not allergic (See Bread Crumbs in 
          the Glossary)
     salt (See Salt in the Glossary)
     black pepper (See Spices in the Glossary)
     dill weed leaves (dried) 
See Spices in the Glossary
     oil (See Oil in the Glossary)
     (optional) sprigs of mint 
(See Produce in the Glossary)

     Trim the sides of the zucchini (so that every slice will have a peeled surface on both sides) and cut it into 1/4-inch-thick slices. 

     Set up your breading assembly line:

     The flaxseed mixture is simply 1-1/2 Tb. flaxseed meal stirred into 1/2 cup of water and allowed to sit for 15 minutes. 

     To make the cereal mixture grind 2 cups of cereal in a food-processor until you obtain the texture of bread crumbs. Stir in 1/2 tsp. of salt, 1/4 tsp. of black pepper and a sprinkle of dill weed.

     Dredge each slice of zucchini in tapioca flour, dip it in the flaxseed mixture, and roll it in the cereal mixture until it is thoroughly coated.  Heat some oil you are not allergic to up to medium high in a skillet, place the zucchini slices in the skillet and cook until nicely browned on the bottom.  Flip and cook the other side. 

    Garnish with a lemon wedge and maybe a sprig of mint. Serve immediately.

     Note: Substitute green tomatoes for the zucchini to make fried green tomatoes.