Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Hamentashen in July, porquoi?

Hamentashen are the traditional cookies you make for the Jewish holiday of Purim.  Purim is usually in the spring but Mason's summer camp was having a fun Purim party in July, so I volunteered to make the gluten free version.  The ones pictured above are strawberry chocolate chip and they came out perfect.  The dough is light and buttery, the strawberries and chocolate are sweet and rich and you get a little taste of everything with each bite.  It's really a scrumptious cookie.  They are easy to make dairy free and you can fill them with whatever you like.  I will post the recipe with instructions when the real holiday comes around.  Stay tuned ;)

Sunday, July 21, 2013

Summer Gazpacho with homemade garlic croutons

This is one of the most refreshing savory dishes you will eat all summer.  It's over-flowing with flavor and the best part is - it's healthy!  C'est parfait!  The cool, crisp cucumber, combined with sweet tomatoes and the crunchy zing of red onions makes for a perfect bite topped off with crusty garlic croutons. Sometimes I put a dollop of crème fraîche on top to add a bit of creamy richness to the soup.  It's a great lunch or a mouth watering starter for a summer barbecue.

La Recette:
1 English cucumber, cut in half vertically, seeded scraped (I use a spoon to do this), then dice -do not peel.
1 red bell pepper, diced
1 small red onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
4 plum tomatoes, chopped (I cut the sides off of the tomatoes leaving the seedy core intact.  The seeds will make the soup too watery.
3 1/2 cups tomato juice
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/4 cup champagne vinegar - I like Napa Valley Naturals.  If you can't find champagne vinegar, any white wine vinegar will work.  *I happen to use this type of vinegar with so many recipes.  It's worth searching for :)
1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
Freshly ground pepper
4-6 dashes tabasco sauce - optional
Dollop of crème fraîche - optional

Garlic Croutons-
Drizzle of extra virgin olive oil
4 slices bread, toasted - I think Udi's makes the best croutons
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
 1 clove garlic

-Chop all of the vegetables and garlic.  Put them into a large bowl.  Add the tomato juice and mix well.  Add the champagne vinegar, olive oil, tabasco sauce and salt and pepper.  Mix until combined.  Chill for a least 2 hours or preferably overnight.  The longer it sits, the more the flavors can develop and come together.  

-For the croutons,  line a baking sheet with aluminum foil.   Place the bread on the foil and drizzle the extra virgin olive oil over the bread.  Using your fingers, gently rub the olive oil into the bread - it should be covered with the olive oil.  
-Sprinkle with salt and pepper and toast in a toaster oven or regular oven until crisp and golden brown, about 5-7 minutes.
-Take a clove of garlic and put it on the end of a fork.  While the toast is warm, gently rub the garlic over each piece a few times.  Let the toast cool, then slice it into cubes.  Enjoy!

*Serves 4-6

*Crème fraîche is a soured cream containing 30-45% butterfat.  It is less sour than U.S. style sour cream, has a lower viscosity and higher fat content.  

Friday, July 12, 2013


Æbelskivers are traditional Danish pancakes.  They are sort of a pancake crossed with a popover.  I guess you could call them pancake puffs ;) These little morsels are so scrumptious.  The version shown below are chocolate chip filled with Nutella and they are so good you'll want to make them everyday.  I wouldn't suggest making them everyday for waistline purposes but they are great for a special breakfast.  Everyone is a huge fan and the best part is you can fill them with almost anything...strawberries, bananas, blueberries, apples, any kind of jam, etc...


Mason and Gabby love Æbelskivers!

The center is filled with creamy Nutella.

La Recette:
*You will need an Æbelskiver pan:
1 1/4 cups gluten free baking mix (I recommend Bisquick gluten free baking mix)
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
3 eggs, separated
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
1 cup milk
1/3 cup mini chocolate chips (you can use milk or semi-sweet - I like Ghirardelli)
10 1/2 teaspoons Nutella 
Dusting of powdered sugar

- In a small bowl, whisk together the baking mix, baking powder, salt, and chocolate chips - set aside.  In a large bowl, whisk together the sugar, egg yolks, vanilla, butter, and milk.  Stir in dry ingredients and mix until just combined.  Do not over mix.
-In another large bowl, with a handheld mixer or whisk, beat the egg whites until soft peaks form.  Slowly, fold the egg whites into the yolk mixture and mix until just combined.
-Put the Æbelskiver pan over medium low heat and spray each well of the pan with canola oil or use a dab of butter.  Add 1 tablespoon of batter to each pan.  Then add a 1/2 teaspoon of Nutella.  Finally top each with 1/2 tablespoon of the batter.  Let them cook until the bottoms are golden, about 3-4 minutes, then flip (I use wooden chop sticks to flip them over) and continue cooking for about 3 more minutes.  Transfer to a plate and keep them covered.  Sprinkle with powdered sugar and serve immediately.  Enjoy :)


*Makes 20 - 22
*These are very easy to make dairy free.  Replace the butter with Earth Balance, and use soy milk.  You can also use dark chocolate or a fruit filling!  To make nut free, just use fruit or chocolate that is nut free.  

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Chicken Tacos with fresh pico de gallo and Radish Cucumber Salad

These chicken tacos are so light and fresh.  It makes a perfect summer dinner.  The chicken can be made a day before and the salad is super easy.  This whole dinner is a cinch to make and mouth- wateringly good.  This is an excellent meal to add to your dinner line up!

Mason really loves this dinner!

La Recette:
*I like to make the tacos in stages.  The first being the chicken and the sauce.  Preferably, I  make the chicken and sauce the night before.  Also, the pico de gallo can be made up to two days ahead.  The red sauce can be made up to one week ahead.  The rest of the dinner takes about 25 minutes tops...

Chicken and red sauce-
8 boneless and skinless chicken thighs
1- 28 oz. can peeled whole tomatoes (I love San Marzano)
1 cup grated carrots (on a box grader)
1/2 cup grated onions (on a box grater)
2 cloves garlic - minced
2 tablespoons plus 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
2 teaspoons kosher salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons champagne vinegar
1 tablespoon sugar

-Pre-heat the oven to 400 degrees
-Take the chicken out of the refrigerator about 30 minutes before you put it into the oven.  Rinse each thigh and trim any excess fat.  Pat dry, drizzle with extra virgin olive oil, and sprinkle each side with salt and pepper to taste.  Place each thigh into a large baking dish making sure that it isn't too crowded.  If it's too tight, use two dishes.
-Grate the carrots and onions on a box grater.  Finely chop the garlic and combine all three ingredients in a medium sized sauce pan with 2 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil.  Sauté for 8-10 minutes.  Add the tomatoes and quickly use your hands to squeeze all the tomatoes apart and use a spoon to break them down further.  Definitely wear an apron when working with the tomatoes ;) Scrape up any brown bits on the bottom of the pan.  Add the salt, pepper, vinegar and sugar.  Simmer for one hour.  Stirring occasionally.  Let the sauce cool for 15 minutes then put it into a food processor or blender until smooth.  While the food processor is running, add the quarter cup of extra virgin olive oil.  Blend until smooth.
-Take 3 cups of the tomato sauce and dump over the chicken in the baking dish.  Make sure the thighs are covered well (not completely covered but each piece should be surrounded with sauce).  
-Bake for about 25 -30 minutes at 400 degrees.   At 25 minutes, I always take one piece to check that the chicken is done.
-Once the chicken is done, remove from the oven and let it cool.  Place the chicken in an airtight container and store in the refrigerator overnight.

8 corn tortillas - I like Heath is Wealth ( it a great size tortilla - not too big or too small)
2 cups pitted Kalamata olives - halved
2 cups crumbled goat cheese
2 avocados - sliced
Drizzle of creme fraiche or sour cream
Pico de Gallo-
4 medium sized tomatoes (I like to cut the sides of the tomatoes off cutting around the seeds.  This way you can avoid having a pico de gallo that is too watery.)
3/4 cup red onion
1/4 cup Italian Parsley
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/4 cup white wine vinegar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper

-Combine all the ingredients and mix well.  Use immediately or refrigerate.  Note that the flavors come together really well if the pico de gallo has a few hours to marinate.      
*You can assemble the tacos any way you like.  I like the chicken cold but you can re-heat at 300 degrees for 15 minutes if you like the chicken warm.  I roughly chop the chicken and then spoon on the pico de gallo, olives and goat cheese - finishing with the sour cream and avocado.

4 cups of romaine - chopped
1 English cucumber - cut in half vertically, seeds scraped, and 1/2 inch slices cut horizontally.
8 radishes - cut very thin, preferably on a mandolin;jsessionid=ABE4A38E5031D3693A6D7BBEA88205F4.slt-app-02-p-app2?q=mandolin&s=true
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/8 cup champagne vinegar
1 tablespoon of Dijon mustard
1/2 teaspoon of shallots - minced
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
Pinch of freshly found black pepper
1/2 teaspoon of maple syrup

-Combine all of the dressing ingredients and whisk vigorously until smooth .  Enjoy!
-Makes 8 tacos,  4 adult servings

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...