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Gluten Free Friday: Kolaches (or Pigs in a Blanket)

January 4, 2013

One of our family’s favorite holiday breakfast foods are kolaches.  Other folks call them pigs in a blanket, but my mama always called them kolaches, so kolaches they are.  The usual version are made with cocktail sausages and a can of whampum biscuits (you know, the rolls that you whamp against the counter to open), which are not, of course, gluten free.  So hubs has been missing them.  I determined that I was going to find a way to make them for him.  I’ve made gluten free biscuits before, but the dough I had was not very…well, doughy, and therefore wouldn’t wrap around the sausages.  So I went in search.  And of course Jeanne from the Art of Gluten Free Baking swooped in to save the day (she always does) with her recipe for Gluten Free Buttermilk Biscuits.   The end result was delicious (though as with many gluten free baked stuff, not as good reheated as fresh).  Bonus, you can mix up all the dry ingredients with the butter the night before and just add the buttermilk day of to save yourself some time in the morning.

Ingredients:

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
  2. On a silicone mat, press or roll out your biscuit dough until maybe 1/8th an inch thick.  You don’t want to add a bunch of extra flours or the kolaches will be mealy.  So silicone is your friend.
  3. Using a pizza cutter, cut the dough into strips about 1 inch by maybe 3 inches (this isn’t a precise thing).
  4. You might need a dough scraper to pry the strips up.
  5. Wrap each strip around a cocktail sausage.
  6. Place seam side down on a greased baking sheet, allowing room between for the kolaches to puff.
  7. Bake for 12-15 minutes (start peeking at 12…you don’t want these to get too brown).
  8. Enjoy!

Turkey Tetrazzini

January 2, 2013

What do you do with all that leftover turkey?  What leftover turkey, you may be asking.  Well, I cooked an EIGHTEEN POUNDER this year (they were down to little bitty and really big by the time we went to pick one up, and, well, I like leftovers), and I had to do SOMETHING with the leftovers that didn’t necessarily require all the fixins (because we actually pared down this year and didn’t have tons of the sides left), and a natural interpretation was to make turkey tetrazzini.  This serves 4 at 805 calories and 27.5 grams of fat, so not what you’d call light, but probably lighter than your Thanksgiving dinner (yeah I know, I told you I’ve had a bunch of recipes I’ve been sitting on).

Ingredients:

  • 8 ounces fresh mushrooms, sliced
  • 1 bell pepper, chopped
  • 2 shallots, coarsly chopped
  • 8 ounces turkey, diced
  • 12 ounces gluten free spaghetti (I used Tinkyada)
  • 8 ounces neufchatel cheese
  • 1 can rotel
  • 1 tbs olive oil
  • 1 cup fiesta blend cheese (2%)
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 1 tsp kosher salt
  • 1/2 tsp fresh ground pepper

 

Directions:

 

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

2. Cook your pasta according to package directions, less about 3 minutes, and drain.  It’s going to continue to cook in the oven.

3. Heat the olive oil over medium heat.

4. Add the chopped bell pepper, shallots, and mushrooms and saute until softened.

5. Add the chopped turkey, the can of rotel, paprika, salt, and pepper and stir until heated through.

6. Add the cubed neufchatel cheese and stir until it’s totally melted and coats the filling.

7. Add the cooked pasta and stir until well combined.

8. Spray a 2.5 quart baking dish with cooking spray.

9. Pour the pasta mixture into the baking dish.

10. Top with the fiesta blend cheese.

11. Bake for 20 minutes or until the cheese is melty.

Printable version.

Happy New Year!

January 1, 2013

Happy New Year, y’all!

I’ve kind of fallen off posting since early November.  The tail end of the year was super busy for me, wrapping up a huge book project, juggling family and a bunch of end of year stuff at the Evil Day Job.  I’ve been cooking (I always do), and I’ve even been testing some new recipes.  I just haven’t gotten them actually ON the blog.

But I’m back!  We’re getting back on the healthy wagon.  I also finally got a little deep freeze, so I’ll be testing out some more recipes moving forward with the intention of either making double and freezing one for a later meal, or prepping freezer meals that are intended to go straight from freezer to crock pot to done.  We’ll see how that experiment goes.  So often the recipes offered up for that kind of cooking are bland and don’t actually hold up to a foodie’s standards.  I’m determined to find a way to change that.    So be on the lookout as we move forward in the new year!

Be healthy, be happy, but don’t be hungry!

Ranch Pork Chops

November 7, 2012

We are HUGE fans of The Pioneer Woman’s Ranch Style Chicken.  I’ve been saying for ages that it would make a marvelous base for pork as well, so I finally got around to giving it a try with a few change.  OMG, SO GOOD.  I wished I’d doubled the recipe.  Serves 2.

Ingredients:

  • 1/8 cup dijon Mustard
  • 1/8 cup honey
  • 1/8 cup lemon juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • Crushed red pepper (optional to taste–I put about 1/2 tsp in the marinade)
  • 2 1/2″ thick pork chops
  • 3 strips of thick cut bacon
  • 1 ounce of smoked gouda, shredded

Directions:

  1. Mix the mustard, honey, lemon juice, paprika, salt, and crushed red pepper.
  2. Pop the pork chops in a zip lock bag with the marinade and let hang out for at least an hour, preferably two.
  3. When ready to cook, cut the bacon in half and place in a cold skillet.  Cook over medium heat until done.
  4. Reserve a few tablespoons of the grease.
  5. Preheat your grill to about 350 degrees.
  6. Remove the pork chops from the marinade and pop on the grill.  Brush with bacon grease.
  7. Grill for approximately 8-10 minutes a side.
  8. Remove from grill and immediately top with the shredded gouda and bacon.
  9. Serve with salad or some other side.  Enjoy!

Printable version.

Mix It Up Monday: Cook’s Country Chicken Riggies

November 5, 2012

I got this recipe in my inbox from my Cook’s Country newsletter.  I liked the idea of it and have had it on my To Try list for quite a while.  This was delayed somewhat by my not being able to find cherry peppers (which I hadn’t even heard of).  Ultimately found some at Kroger and gave this a whirl.  I made a few substitutions–changing out the chicken breasts for chicken thighs, using roasted red peppers instead of raw red peppers, using gluten free pasta, and swapping fat free half and half for the cream.  The end result made a TON–I’d say 6 servings.

Hubs and I were both kind of meh on it.  Me because I discovered I do NOT like kalamata olives AT ALL.  Hubs…well sometimes I’m not sure what he doesn’t like about stuff.   Either way, it won’t be going on our rotation.  I did at least discover I like cherry peppers!

Gluten Free Friday: Baked Eggplant Fries

November 2, 2012

One of my favorite sides is baked zucchini fries.  They’re light, crispy, and I can eat an entire plate for a meal and be quite happy.  I decided I wanted to give the same concept a try with eggplant.  I’ve done this once before and was wholly unimpressed with the result, but I hadn’t given up hope.  I learned that eggplants with a smaller “navel” on the non stem end have fewer seeds and are therefore less bitter.  I also thought to slice the eggplant fries MUCH thinner than I do the zucchini so that they truly wound up crispy.  I also was on a quest to find a suitable gluten free alternative to panko breadcrumbs.   On some board or blog or other, I saw someone suggest using crushed Rice Chex, so that was what I tried.  It worked BEAUTIFULLY.   We dipped the fries in marinara sauce.  I say this recipe is a keeper (though zucchini is still my preference).   I’d really like to try the same method to make a baked eggplant Parmesan.  This makes a TON.  Serves 4-6 as a side.

Ingredients:

  • 1 eggplant cut into thin strips
  • 2 egg whites
  • crushed Rice Chex (just blitz them in you food processor)

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Set up your breading station with 2 pie plates, putting the egg whites in one and some of the Chex in the other (don’t put it all in there at once as it’ll get a little moist as you keep breading and you’ll want to have more to dump in).
  3. Set up your cookie sheets with bakers racks inside them (so that it elevates the eggplant and eliminates the need to flip).
  4. Dip the eggplant in the egg white, then into the Chex, coating well.
  5. Layer on the bakers racks.
  6. Bake for 18-20 minutes or until golden brown.
  7. Serve with Marinara.

Printable version.

Chicken and Sausage Paella

October 31, 2012

Paella is one of those things I’ve learned to love fairly recently in my foodie life.  It’s a concept that’s great for using up whatever you have on hand.  In this case that was some bell pepper, sausage, and chicken.  And some other stuff.  It’s a delicious, earthy sort of dinner.  Servings: 3 at 628.73 calories 38.82 grams of fat

Ingredients:

  • 7 oz andouille sausage, diced
  • 4 boneless, skinless chicken thighs, cut into bite sized pieces
  • 1 small onion chopped
  • 1/2 bell pepper, diced
  • 14 oz diced tomatoes, drained
  • 4 oz pimentos
  • 2 Tbs minced garlic
  • 3 Tbs olive oil
  • 1 cup white rice
  • 1 tsp powdered saffron
  • 1 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1/2 tsp kosher salt
  • 1/2 tsp fresh ground pepper
  • 2 1/2 cups chicken stock
  • 1/4 cup frozen green peas

Directions:

1. Boil together the broth (reserving half a cup), saffron, tomato, paprika, salt and pepper.

2. Heat oil in the paella pan or cast iron 12 inch frying pan.

3. Add garlic, peppers, pimentos, and onion and cook until soft, then pull it out and put it in a bowl.

4. Scrape bottom of pan, add more oil, add rice, and cook until translucent.

5. Add boiling broth and soffrito mixture (that’s what that combo of onion, garlic, and peppers is called) and chicken, cook at medium for 5 minutes.

6. Lower heat, arrange sausage and cook 15-20 minutes.

7. Sprinkle the peas over the top.

8. Continue cooking on very low, about 5 more minutes, adding more broth as necessary so the top layer of rice doesn’t get crunchy.

9. Remove from heat.  Allow to rest for 5 minutes so the rest of the liquid is absorbed.

 Printable version.

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