Monday, March 28, 2011

Another Meatless Monday brings us Broccoli Cheese Soup

As spring arrives and there is still a slight chill in the air, I decide to do a Meatless Monday Soup Dinner. I love soup for dinner, especially hearty soups. What better than a Creamy Broccoli Cheese Soup, thinking back to the days them I would get it at one of my favorite restaurants. Now being Gluten free and not having the option to go out and have my Broccoli Cheese Soup, I recreated this recipe to make it at home Gluten Free. Boy, is it yummy. This is a thick, rich delicious soup that the entire family will love. I suggest doubling the recipe.

1 tablespoon butter, melted
1/2 medium onion, chopped
1/4 cup melted butter
1/4 cup Potato Starch/Flour or Rice Flour

2 cups half-and-half
2 cups vegetable Stock

1/2 pound fresh broccoli
1 cup carrots, julienned
salt and pepper, to taste
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
8 ounces grated sharp cheddar cheese


Saute onion in butter. Set aside. Cook melted butter and Potato flour using a whisk over medium heat for 3-5 minutes. Stir constantly and slowly add the half-and-half (this is called making a roux). Add the vegetable stock whisking all the time. Simmer for 20 minutes.

Add the broccoli, carrots and onions. Cook over low heat until the veggies are tender for 20-25 minutes. Add salt and pepper. The soup should be thickened by now. Pour in batches into blender and puree. Return to pot over low heat and add the grated cheese; stir until well blended. Stir in the nutmeg and serve.

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Swedish Meatballs

In the need for some comfort food, yup, that's what I need. Something to warm my soul and fill my stomach. Being that I am half Swedish, and first generation American, alot of my comfort foods are Swedish. One of my all time favorites is Swedish meatballs. This is a recipe that my Mormor (my maternal grandmother) made with a mild variation and that is the meat. I am not a fan of ground beef, in any form. Can't do it. So I substitute ground turkey for everything that calls for ground beef. Traditionally Swedish Meatballs also contain pork, but I opt. to just use ground turkey and they are so delicious and healthier, which is a bonus. If you search the Internet for Swedish Meatballs you will find many variations, many contain, beef, pork, bread, milk, sometimes mashed potatoes, nutmeg, etc.... This is not how my Mormor made them. My Mamma says that the reason for the bread and or potatoes are simply fillers to make the meat so further. My meatballs are simple, you get the flavor of the meat, not the fillers. I serve my meatballs with a brown gravy which is made with milk, lingonberries, (think a variety of cranberries, yet better), and mashed potatoes.

1 1/2 lbs lean ground turkey
1 egg, beaten
1/2 finely chopped onion
1/4 cup GF bread crumbs
salt and pepper to taste

In a medium bowl, combine all ingredients. Mix well. Form into uniform meatballs, think smaller meatballs, not your spaghetti and meatballs size. In a large skillet over medium high heat, melt 2 tlbs. butter. Brown the meatballs, turning to prevent burning. Once brown reduce heat to medium low and cook until done.

Brown Gravy

2 1/2 Tbs. Rice Flour
4 Tbs. Butter or margarine
1 C. milk or soy milk
1/2 cup water
1 tsp. Kitchen Bouquet Browning Sauce
1/2 tsp. sugar
white pepper and salt to taste

In a small sauce pan over medium high heat, melt butter. Once melted, whisk in the rice flour. Stir well, about 1 minute. While whisking  slowly add the milk and water. Stir until smooth, Add the Kitchen Bouquet, sugar, salt and white pepper. Simmer for about 3 minutes. Serve

Friday, March 25, 2011

Fresh Pineapple Upside-down Cake

cup butter
cup packed brown sugar
tablespoons light corn syrup
1/4" thick slices fresh pineapple, cored
box (15 oz) Betty Crocker® Gluten Free yellow cake mix
cup butter, softened
cup pineapple juice or water
teaspoons gluten-free vanilla
  1. Heat oven to 350°F. In 9-inch square pan, melt 1/4 cup butter in oven. Stir in brown sugar and corn syrup; spread evenly in pan. Arrange pineapple slices on brown sugar mixture.
  2. In large bowl, beat cake mix, 1/2 cup butter, water, vanilla and eggs with electric mixer on low speed 30 seconds, then on medium speed 2 minutes, scraping bowl occasionally. Pour batter over pineapple.
  3. Bake 38 to 43 minutes or until surface is golden brown and toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Immediately run knife around side of pan to loose cake. Place heatproof serving plate upside down onto pan; turn plate and pan over. Leave pan over cake 5 minutes so brown sugar topping can drizzle over cake. Remove pan; cool 30 minutes. Serve warm or cool. Store covered in refrigerator.
Makes 9 servings

Monday, March 21, 2011

French Onion Soup

  • 6 large red or yellow onions, peeled and thinly sliced, I used a mandolin for even slices
  • Olive oil
  • 2 Tbls.  sugar
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 8 cups of beef stock, vegetable stock or a combination of the two (traditionally the soup is made with beef stock
  • 1/2 cup of dry sherry
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1/4 teaspoon of dry thyme
  • Salt and pepper
  • 8 slices of toasted GF Baguette, I used one from Mariposa Bakery
  • 1 1/2 cups of grated Swiss Gruyere

1 In a large saucepan, saute the onions in the olive oil on medium heat until well browned, but not burned, about 30-40 minutes (or longer). Add the sugar about 10 minutes into the process to help with the carmelization.

2 Add garlic and saute for 1 minute. Add the stock, dry sherry, bay leaf, and thyme. Cover partially and simmer until the flavors are well blended, about 30 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Discard the bay leaf.
3 To serve use individual oven-proof soup bowls  Ladle the soup into the bowls. Cover with the GF toast and sprinkle with cheese. Put into the broiler for 10 minutes at 350 degrees F, or until the cheese bubbles and is slightly browned. Serve immediately.

Friday, March 18, 2011

St. Patrick's Day, BBQ Baked Corned Beef and Baked Colcannon

Me, Irish? No, not one little bit. Do I like traditional Corned Beef and Cabbage, Not in the least. Boiled meat, unless it is chicken for soup is not for me. Years, ago some friends of mine introduced me to BBQ Corned Beef. Now there was something different, Imagine a cross between Southern BBQ Brisket and and picked taste of Corned Beef, sounds like a marriage of flavors. My friends would boil the corned beef brisket, according to package directions, when it was almost done, they would remove it from the pan, rinse it to get all the spices off, trim the fat and coat the brisket with BBQ sauce. At this stage they would let it rest for about 30 minutes, covered in foil. The next step was the BBQ,, now the brisket is cooked, so the idea here, is creating the crisp, BBQ blast. You only need about 20 to 30 minutes on the grill, 10 minutes to rest and there you go, BBQ Corned Beef Brisket. Slice against the grain and serve with your favorite Irish Sides. I like to serve this with Irish Baked Colcannon, which is a blend of potatoes, cheese, cabbage, onion and leeks, baked casserole style. Yummy. OK, so this year, due to the heavy rains, I have opted to change my menu a bit. I am not going to BBQ my brisket, but rather bake it with BBQ sauce, and finished under the broiler for added crispness, served with the baked Colcannon and steamed carrots.

Baked Barbecue Corned Beef Brisket

Corned beef is cured in a salt mixture, so it can be very salty, depending on the source. If the salt in your corned beef is an issue for you (some people like foods less salty than others) you might try bringing the corned beef to a boil in plain water first, discarding the water, and bringing it to a boil in plain water again, and again discarding the water, before proceeding.

Corned Beef (baked)
  • 3 lbs corned beef (in package)
  • cheese cloth
  • spice packet
  • 1/2 cup GF Barbecue Sauce, I like Sweet Baby Rays
  • 2 Tbsp brown sugar
1 Preheat oven to 350°F. Drain the corned beef from the package. Make a small package with the cheese cloth and spice packet, removed from plastic. Place spices  in cloth on  a large piece of heavy duty, wide, aluminum foil (you may have to get creative with the way you wrap the beef if your foil isn't wide enough), Lay corned beef, fat side up, on top of spice sachet in foil. Spread barbecue sauce all over the brisket, top, bottom and sides. Sprinkle brown sugar over the top.
2 Wrap the corned beef with foil in a way that allows for a little space on top between the corned beef and the foil, and creates a container to catch the juices. Place foil-wrapped corned beef in a shallow roasting pan and bake for 3 hours.

3 Open the foil wrapping, spread a little more barbecue sauce over the top of the corned beef, and broil it for 2-3 minutes, until the top is bubbly and lightly browned. Let rest for 5 to 10 minutes, then place on cutting board and cut at a diagonal, across the grain of the meat, into 1/2-inch thick slices.

Serve immediately.
Serves 5.

Colcannon With Leeks And Bacon

Baked Colcannon Recipe

  • 6 large red potatoes, washed and quartered

  • 1 pinch salt

  • 4 tablespoons butter, cut into small chunks

  • 1/2 cup light sour cream

  • 1 egg

  • 1 tablespoon milk, or as needed

  • 1 teaspoon butter, or as needed

  • 3 cups shredded cabbage

  • 2 leeks, chopped

  • 1 small onion, chopped

  • salt and pepper to taste

  • 1/2 cup shredded Cheddar cheese

    1. Place the potatoes into a large pot and cover with salted water. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to medium-low, cover, and simmer until tender, about 20 minutes. Drain and allow to steam dry for a minute or two. Season the potatoes with salt, and mash with 4 tablespoons of butter, sour cream, egg, and milk.
    2. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F Grease a 2-quart casserole.
    3. Heat 1 teaspoon butter in a skillet over medium heat, and cook and stir the cabbage, leeks, and onion until the cabbage is tender and the onion is translucent, about 10 minutes. Season the cabbage mixture with salt and pepper, and stir to blend. Fold the cabbage mixture into the potato mixture until thoroughly mixed, and spoon into the prepared casserole.
    4. Bake in the preheated oven for 40 minutes; top with Cheddar cheese, and return to oven until the cheese melts, about 10 minutes.

    Sunday, March 13, 2011

    Gluten Free French Almond Apple Pie

    What better to do on a rainy March day, a Sunday at that, than bake a pie. I'm thinking something almondy, creamy, with hints of nutmeg, cinnamon and lemon, oh maybe some buttermilk. My wheels are spinning. I am going to base my inspiration on a recipe I have made for "Impossibly Easy French Apple Pie" which I got from the I have made this recipe on several occasions, but this time I am going to take the base recipe and run with it. I will be using Bisquick (R) Gluten Free Mix, though. I just love that simply goodness. I am going to add some almond flour, buttermilk, lemon juice, almond paste and chopped almonds. Yummy, my mouth is watering. So here we go, come and join me.

    Yes, this is a Gluten Free Apple Pie, in a sense of pie that is.

    3 cups thinly sliced, peeled and cored granny smith apples, (3 medium)
    1 tsp. ground cinnamon
    1/4 tsp. ground nutmeg
    1 tbs. fresh lemon juice
    1/4 cup Bisquick Gluten Free Mix
    1/4 cup Almond Flour
    2 oz Pure Almond Paste, sliced thin and cut into half circles
    1/2 cup sugar
    1/4 cup milk (can use soy milk)
    1/4 cup butter milk, optional ( may be substituted by another 1/4 cup cow or soy milk)
    3 tbs. butter or margarine, melted
    3 eggs

    sliced apples

    The apples
    The batter
    Sliced Almond Paste
    seasoned apples
    into the pie plate
    1/3 cup Bisquick Gluten Free mix
    1/3 cup chopped almonds
    1/4 cup packed brown sugar
    3 tbs. cold butter or margarine

    The dry streusel

    Blended Streusel
    1. Heat oven to 325*F. Spray a 9 inch pie plate with cooking spray. In a medium bowl, mix apples, almond paste, lemon juice, cinnamon and nutmeg. Place in pie plate.

    2. In a medium mixing bowl, stir remaining filling ingredients until well blended, Pour over apple mixture in pie plate. In a small bowl, mix all streusel ingredients, using a fork or your fingers, blend until crumbly. sprinkle over filling.

    3. Bake 45 to 50 minutes. Serve with whipped cream or vanilla ice cream. Store in refrigerator.

    Saturday, March 12, 2011

    Chicken Tortilla Soup

      Soup, Soup, Soup. One of my all time favorite go to comfort foods. You can be so creative with soup. I am a big fan of chicken or vegetable based soups, loaded with goodies. Here is my version of Chicken Tortilla Soup. It is inspired from a local Mexican Restaurant that recently was sold. I would always have to have a cup of Chicken Tortilla Soup when I went to Las Guitarras. Now I will make my own at home whenever I have the craving. This soup is also great when you are feeling under the weather, the healing properties of Chicken soup paired with the spice of Mexican cuisine, a delight to the palate. Give it a try, you will be hooked, too.....
    • 2 whole Boneless, Skinless Chicken Breasts
    • 1 Tablespoon Olive Oil
    • 1-½ teaspoon Cumin
    • 1 teaspoon Chili Powder
    • ½ teaspoons Garlic Powder
    • ½ teaspoons Salt
    • 1 Tablespoon Olive Oil
    • 1 cup onion, chopped
    • ¼ cups green bell pepper, diced
    • ¼ cups red bell pepper, diced
    • 2 carrots, diced
    • 2 stalks of celery, diced
    • 3 cloves garlic, Minced
    • 1 cup frozen corn
    • 1 can (10 Oz. Can) Rotel tomatoes and green chilies
    • 64 ounces, fluid GF chicken stock, I use Kitchen Basics
    • 3 Tablespoons tomato paste
    • 1 can (15 Oz. Can) black beans, drained
    • 3 Tablespoons Cornmeal Or Masa

    • Sour Cream
    • Diced Avocado
    • Diced Red Onion
    • Grated Monterey Jack Cheese
    • Cilantro
    • lime wedges
    • GF Tortilla Chips

    Preparation Instructions

    Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Mix cumin, chili pepper, garlic powder, and salt. Drizzle 1 tablespoon olive oil on chicken breasts, then sprinkle a small amount of spice mix on both sides. Set aside the rest of the spice mix.
    Place chicken breasts on a baking sheet. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes, or until chicken is done. Use two forks to shred chicken. Set aside.
    Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a pot over medium high heat. Add onions, red pepper, green pepper, carrots, celery and minced garlic. Stir and begin cooking, then add the rest of the spice mix. Stir to combine, then add shredded chicken and stir.
    Pour in tomatoes, chicken stock, tomato paste, corn and black beans. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to a simmer. Simmer for 30 minutes, uncovered.
    Mix cornmeal with a small amount of water. Pour into the soup, then simmer for an additional 20 minutes. Check seasonings, adding more if needed—add more chili powder if it needs more spice, and be sure not to under salt. Turn off heat and allow to sit for 10 minutes before serving.
    Ladle into bowls, serve with sour cream, diced red onion, diced avocado, pico de gallo, lime wedges, tortilla chips and grated cheese, if you have it! (The garnishes really make the soup delicious.)

    Tuesday, March 8, 2011

    In Honor of Fat Tuesday or as the French would say, Mardi Gras

    Vegetarian Red Beans and Rice

    2 cups dry Small Red Beans, soaked overnight
    2 medium yellow onions
    4 sticks celery with leaves
    1 green bell pepper
    4 Tablespoons olive oil
    6 cups water
    1 teaspoons of salt
    ½ teaspoon of freshly ground black pepper
    1 ½ teaspoons of dry thyme
    1 ½ teaspoons of oregano
    1 teaspoon Creole Seasoning
    1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
    3 cloves garlic, pressed or finely chopped
    8 ounces of tomato sauce
    Cooked rice

    Soak the beans: In a large pot, cover beans with enough cold water to submerge them by 2″. Cover the pot tightly and let the beans soak for 8 hours or overnight.
    Bell pepper, celery and onion - the trinity of Creole cooking.Prepare the vegetables: Remove outer skin, trim ends and chop the onion. Rinse and chop the celery with its leaves. Remove seeds and stem  and chop the green pepper.
    Heat 4 Tablespoons of oil in a 12” skillet. (if making a meaty version add the sliced andouille sausage at this time, brown for 5 minutes) then, Sauté the onion, celery and green pepper over medium-high heat for 5 minutes, turning occasionally with a spatula. Veggies are done when the pepper lightens in color and the onion is translucent. For best flavor, do not brown.

    Put it all together in a pot: Drain the beans. In a large oven-proof casserole or dutch oven, put the beans and 6 cups of cold water, (if making the meat version add the ham hock at this time, you may also use a smoked turkey wing, for a smokey flavor) and stir in the sautéed veggies. Now add the salt, black pepper, oregano, thyme, cayenne pepper, creole seasoning and garlic.

    Bake in oven: Preheat oven to 325°. Put beans on the center rack and bake for 2 ½ hours covered, stirring every half hour or so. After 2 ½ hours, add the tomato sauce and remove the lid from the bean pot. Cook for a further hour, until beans are tender.

    Time to celebrate: Make a batch of rice according to package directions. Put a scoop or two of rice in a bowl and top with Red Beans. Serve with your favorite Hot Sauce.... Now get out your favorite Neville Brothers music and prepare to PARTY! It’s Mardi Gras after all!

    Meat Option: For a meaty version of this dish, add 1 pounds of smoked ham hock or smoked turkey wing or drumstick and 1 lb sliced andouille sausage to the pot and cut back on the olive oil  On the other hand, this vegetarian version makes a great side dish to Country Style Ribs, Corn Bread, BBQ Tri-tip. It’s all good!

    Thursday, March 3, 2011

    Tortilla Casserole

    A monthly variation for Taco Tuesday. Casseroles are so delicious, so satisfying and a great way to use leftovers and use your imagination. This recipe uses my recipe for Cream of mushroom soup, which was listed on my previous post. You may substitute this for a can of cream of mushroom soup, if you choose.

    2 cups shredded chicken (I use leftover roasted chicken) or extra firm tofu cubes
    1 recipe of cream of mushroom soup substitute (recipe posted on previous blog post)
    1 14.5 oz. can diced tomatoes, drained of juice
    1 7 oz. can diced mild green chiles
    2  cups shredded cheddar cheese or monterey jack, or combination of both
    1/2 cup light sour cream
    8 corn tortillas, small


    In a small frying pan, heat 1/2 cup of canola oil. Fry each tortilla, about 20 seconds per side. Set aide to drain on a paper towel. Once cooled, tear or cut tortillas into small pieces.  Mix together the soup, chiles,  tomatoes and chicken or tofu, sour cream and 1 cup of shredded cheese. Add the tortilla pieces and fold to blend. Place in a greased casserole dish.   Bake at 350 for 30 minutes until golden brown and bubbly, Add remaining cheese on top and bake another 15 minutes, until cheese is melted and bubbly. Serve with your choice of sour cream, pickled jalapenos and avocado. A green salad or Cole slaw makes a nice accompaniment.