Making gluten-free bread

I do quite sincerely love bread. Not being able to eat truly good bread is one of the things I most dislike about being gluten-free. Though, truth be told, truly amazing bread is pretty hard to find. Good gluten-free bread is even harder to find. I usually just substitute corn tortillas, though they don’t work as a bread substitute for everything. Particularly peanut butter. Peanut butter on a corn tortilla is not good.

I did find a decent (not great, but good enough) gluten-free bread recipe awhile ago, and decided to make a batch yesterday. It’s fairly dense, so a little goes a long way, and the rising always seems to go wider than taller, but it’s a proper bread, especially for sandwiches.

Rustic Bread from the How Can it be Gluten-Free vol 2 cookbook

Starter
4oz oat flour
8oz warm (110F) water
1T sugar
1t yeast

Mix all together and let sit for 30 minutes. Turn oven on and let heat to 200F, turn off. Line rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper, and set it inside another baking sheet.

Dough
12oz ATK gluten-free flour mix
5T powdered psyllium husk
1T yeast
1T sugar
1.5t salt
9oz warm (110F) water
2 eggs
1T cider vinegar

Using a stand mixer (paddle attachment), mix all dry ingredients together on low speed. Slowly add remaining ingredients and starter. Mix until dough is sticky and uniform.

Divide dough into 2 equal pieces. Shape each on clean counter into 8″ rope, taking care to not taper ends. Transfer loaves to prepared sheet, 4″ apart.

Cover loosely with plastic wrap and put into warm oven for 10 minutes. Remove, and let rise until double, about 20 minutes. Meanwhile, heat oven. to 350F.

Remove plastic wrap and make 3 diagonal slashes in each loaf. Spray with water. Bake for 90 minutes, rotating pan halfway through cooking.

Let cool on wire rack for ~3 hours, until completely cool. Serve. Can be stored in plastic for 3 days at room temp or 1 month in the freezer.

Roast a chicken

I am not going to write an essay about how easy it is to roast a chicken (very) or how anyone (even you!) can do it because Michael Ruhlman said it much better than I ever could. I will say that roast chicken hits a spot in my heart that I don’t understand – eating roast chicken feels like coming home.

My recipe is slightly fussier than Ruhlman’s, but either is fine. It’s hard to screw up a chicken. I tossed a couple of potatoes in the oven whilst the chicken cooked, and we had baked potatoes as a side dish. Delicious!

Roast Chicken

Start heating oven to 425F. Melt 2T butter. Put rinsed-off chicken in roasting pan with a V-shaped basket. Use a brush to rub the butter all over the chicken. Sprinkle chicken liberally with salt & pepper. Position chicken with one wing side up. Put chicken in oven when it’s finished warming up. After 20 minutes, flip the chicken over to its other wing. After a second 20 minutes, flip the bird breast side up. Put a meat thermometer in the breast and cook until it hits 160F, about another 20 minutes depending on how big the bird is. Remove from oven, let rest for 15 minutes. Carve and eat.

Thai Rice Soup, aka Khao Tom

We’ve made Thai Rice Soup a couple of times now. It’s a good soup that doesn’t take a super-long time. I’m not sure I’d recommend it for a weeknight, but maybe a weeknight if you have a little extra time. It’s spicy but not too much so.

8oz ground pork
3T fish sauce
2T chili-garlic sauce
salt & ground pepper
3T lard or coconut oil (Do NOT substitute vegetable oil. The soup quality will suffer. I used bacon grease and it was fine.)
5 large shallots, thinly sliced
8 medium garlic cloves, thinly sliced
3 lemon grass stalks, trimmed to 6″, smashed
2T finely grated ginger
2.5qt low-sodium chicken stock
4c cooked jasmine rice
1c chopped cilantro
3T lime juice, plus wedges for serving

  1. Mix pork, 1T fish sauce, 1T chili-garlic sauce, 0.75t pepper. Mix and form into 20 meatballs (approx 2t each). Place on a large plate and refrigerate.
  2. Heat dutch oven over medium-high heat with lard until shimmering. Add shallots and 0.5t of salt, stirring until browned, about 5 minutes. Stir in garlic until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Stir in ginger and lemon grass and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add broth, bring to a boil. Reduce heat to simmer for 15 minutes.
  3. Remove and discard lemon grass. Add meatballs, stir gently until cooked, about 5 minutes. Stir in the rice. Remove from heat and add 2T fish sauce, 1T chili-garlic sauce, 1t pepper, cilantro, and lime juice. Ladle into bowls and serve with lime wedges.

Once again, this is from Milk Street’s Tuesday Nights cookbook. It’s still a recommended purchase.

Homemade chicken teriyaki

I’m not a huge chicken teriyaki fan, but I do like the combo of fresh vegetables and umami’ed up chicken in this one. Plus, it’s quick – you can make it on a weeknight.

4T sake
1T cornstarch
2lbs boneless, skinless chicken thighs, cut into 1″ pieces
2T veg oil (not olive oil)
0.5c mirin
0.25c tamari (aka gluten-free soy sauce – use soy sauce if you’re not GF)
1T finely grated ginger
0.5t ground black pepper
3c cooked white rice
3 scallions, sliced thinly on the diagonal
3″ piece of cucumber cut into matchsticks
4t roasted sesame seeds

  1. Whisk 2T sake and cornstarch. Add chicken, toss to coat. Heat 1T oil in a 12″ skillet until shimmering. Add half of the chicken in a single layer and cooking without stirring until browned, about 3 minutes. Flip chicken, cook another 2 minutes. Transfer to bowl, repeat with remaining chicken.
  2. Return skillet to medium heat, add mirin, tamari, remaining 2T sake, and ginger. Bring to simmer and cook, stirring and scraping up brown bits until spoon drawn through leaves trail, about 5 minutes.
  3. Return chicken and any accumulated juices to pan. Add pepper and cook, stirring until chicken is glazed, about 4 minutes. Season with additional tamari to taste. Divide rice amongst 4 bowls. Spoon chicken over rice, top with cucumber, scallions, and sesame seeds.

Recipe from Milk Street’s Tuesday Nights cookbook. It’s worth your while to pick this one up. Trust me.

Enchiladas Verdes

I enjoy enchiladas verdes: the bite of the tomatillos, the yummy cheese, the unexpected radish garnish… It’s a medley of delicious flavors. It’s a weekend dish, though, not something to make on a weekday unless you really, really like cooking.

Enchiladas Verdes

4t vegetable oil (not olive oil, please)
1 onion chopped
3t minced garlic
0.5t ground cumin
1.5c chicken broth
1lb chicken breasts
1.5lbs tomatillos, husks and stems removed
3 poblano chiles
1t sugar
0.5 chopped fresh cilantro leaves
8oz pepper jack cheese, grated
12-6″ corn tortillas
2 scallions
radishes

  1. Set oven to broil setting. Heat 2t oil in saucepan over med heat, once shimmering, sauté onion for 6-8 minutes. Add 2t garlic & cumin, cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Stir in broth, add chicken. Cover and simmer 15-20 minutes (chicken should be 160F). Transfer chicken to plate to cool, remove 0.25c liquid, reserve remaining liquid for a different purpose (it makes a delicious soup base if you’re looking for something to save it for).
  2. Meanwhile, toss poblanos and tomatillos with 2t of oil, arrange on foil-lined baking sheet with poblanos skin side up. Broil 5-10 minutes, until veggies soften and begin to blacken. Cool, remove skins from poblanos, and transfer poblanos and tomatillos to food processor. Decrease oven temp to 350F and discard foil from baking sheet.
  3. Add 1t sugar, 1t salt, 1t garlic, reserved 0.25c liquid to food processor, process until sauce is slightly chunky, about eight 1-second pulses. Taste, add additional sugar and salt to taste.
  4. Pull or cut cooled chicken into small bite-sized pieces. Combine chicken with cilantro & 1.5c cheese (you should have another 0.5c of cheese to sprinkle on top).
  5. Smear bottom of 9″x13″ pan with 0.75c of tomatillo sauce. Place tortillas on baking sheet, spray with cooking oil, bake for 2-4 minutes, until soft & pliable. After removing them, increase oven to 450F. Place tortillas on countertop, and spread 0.33c filling down center of each tortilla. Roll tightly and place in pan, seam side down. Pour remaining tomatillo sauce on top, using spoon to spread to make sure it fully coats all tortillas. Sprinkle with remaining 0.5c cheese and cover pan with foil.
  6. Bake 15-20 minutes, until cheese is melted and enchiladas are cooked through. Uncover, sprinkle with scallions & thinly sliced radishes. Serve immediately.

Basil Pesto Pasta

There are multiple of us in the house who are allergic to nuts, so pesto is a dish that doesn’t happen much. At least not traditional pestos.

But a few years ago we found a basil pesto that we like. It’s simple and easy and makes for a good quick weeknight dish, especially in summer when there’s more basil than anyone knows what to do with.

It’s not especially filling – so consider pairing it with a simple meat, like a roast chicken. Or hell, maybe just use the sauce on the chicken and skip the pasta. That might be good too.

Basil Pesto Pasta

2c packed fresh basil leaves, washed and well-drained
1.5c grated Romano cheese, plus extra if desired
0.5c olive oil
0.5c butter
6 large cloves fresh garlic, crushed
1 lb spaghetti

Place basil, 1c of cheese, oil, butter, and garlic in the blender. Plus to blend until you have a coarse puree. Makes about 1.5c of pesto. Spoon 1c over freshly cooked spaghetti, mix, and then add leftover cheese. Mix again. Serve with additional pesto and cheese.

Store any leftover pesto up to a week. Surface will darken when exposed to air (like guacamole).

(We typically only put ~0.75c over the spaghetti; then again, we use gluten-free pasta which comes in packages of 12oz, so we can get away with less. Then you have enough pesto for two meals.)

Ancho Chile Soup

We mainly made the Ancho Chile Soup because it seemed like a quick, close-enough substitute for Chicken Tortilla Soup. Plus, it’s always good to try something new. Our verdict? Cook a chicken breast or two, then add it at the end. It needed a little bit more something than the recipe called for. Chicken was our thought, but you might think something else. Regardless, this was quick. We’ll be making it again, with the aforementioned tweak.

Ancho Chile Soup

4 medium ancho chiles, stemmed, seeded, and torn
1c boiling water
3T neutral oil
1lb vine-ripened tomatoes, cored
1 white onion, quartered
2 garlic cloves, smashed and peeled
1.5t agave syrup
1t salt
1.5qt chicken broth
3c tortilla chips
sour cream
diced avocado
fresh cilantro

  1. Toast chiles in dutch oven over medium heat, pressing and flipping once, until fragrant and darker in color. Transfer to a bowl and add boiling water. Let stand for 10 minutes.
  2. Heat 1T oil over med-high heat until shimmering. Add tomatoes, onion, and garlic and cook, stirring occasionally, until charred all over, 8-10 minutes. Transfer to blender, add agave syrup, drained chiles, and salt. Blend until smooth, about 2 minutes.
  3. In same pot, heat 2T oil over medium heat until shimmering. Add puree and cook, stirring constantly, until slightly darker and thickened, 5-7 minutes. (It will splatter, wear an apron and prepare yourself for cleanup.) Stir in chicken broth and bring to simmer. Taste and season with salt & pepper.
  4. Divide tortilla chips, roughly crumbled, amongst 4 bowls. Ladle in soup. Top with sour cream (I used Monterey Jack cheese – to each their own), diced avocado, and cilantro.

Yes, pasta + potatoes. It’s delicious.

I looked askance at this recipe for a couple of minutes – I mean, pasta and potatoes in the same dish? That’s a lot of carbs. But then my husband suggested it and, let’s face it, carbs are DELICIOUS. So we tried it out.*

Pasta with potatoes, gorgonzola, and fried sage

12oz fingerling potatoes, cut into 0.5″ pieces
12oz pasta (the recipe calls for twisty pasta, but when you’re gluten-free you make do with what you can find)
3T olive oil
0.25c fresh sage leaves
2T white balsamic vinegar (yes, we just used the regular stuff)
3T salted butter
3T chopped fresh chives
3oz gorgonzola (or other creamy blue cheese)

  1. Mix potatoes, 2qt water, and 2T salt. Bring to a boil, cook over high until potatoes are tender, about 5 minutes. Transfer potatoes to colander with slotted spoon. Return water to boil and cook pasta.
  2. Meanwhile, heat olive oil in large skillet over medium-high heat. add sage and cook until crisp, about 1 minute. Remove cooked sage with slotted spoon. Return the pan to medium-high heat and add potatoes and 0.5t both salt & pepper. Cook until potatoes are golden, ~5 minutes. Off heat, add in balsamic vinegar.
  3. Drain pasta, saving 0.75c of water. Add pasta to skillet with potatoes, placing over medium-high heat. Add butter and cooking water, toss until creamy. Stir in chives. Sprinkle with gorgonzola, crush sage over the top. Serve.

* Apropos of nothing: the photo on the cover for the Milk Street Magazine that this recipe is in? Looks like it’s out of a 1970s cookbook. A roast with peppers and a hard-boiled egg inside? It might be delicious, but I can’t even with the picture of it. I shudder a little bit inside every time I see it.

Not quite weeknight pasta sauce. Still good.

Pasta with Weeknight Meat Sauce from the ATK How Can It Be Gluten Free is not quite actually a weeknight meal – it takes 45-60 minutes to prepare. Weeknight, to me, says 30-40 minutes for a meal; you might be different, I don’t know.

But this is yummy and it saves into convenient leftovers to take for lunches. So it gets made on the weekends, or on nights when we have time for that kind of thing.

1lb ground beef
2T water
0.5t baking soda
4oz white mushrooms, halved or quartered
1T olive oil
1 onion, chopped fine
3 garlic cloves, minced
1T tomato paste
2t minced fresh oregano (can sub 1t dried)
0.125t red pepper flakes
1-28oz can tomato puree
1-14.5oz can petit diced tomatoes
0.25c parmesan cheese
12 oz gluten-free penne

  1. Toss beef with water, 1t salt, 0.25t pepper, and baking soda in bowl until thoroughly combined. Let sit for 20 minutes.
  2. Pulse mushrooms in food processor until finely chopped. Heat oil in large saucepan over medium-high heat until just smoking. Add mushrooms and onions and cook until vegetables are softened & well-browned, about 10 minutes.
  3. Stir in garlic, tomato paste, oregano & red pepper flakes and cook until fragrant. Stir in tomato puree, diced tomatoes, 0.5t salt, 0.5t pepper, and bring to gentle simmer. Add beef mixture and cook, breaking up meat, until cooked through and sauce has thickened, about 30 minutes. Stir in Parmesan.
  4. Meanwhile, bring 4 quarts of water to boil. Add pasta & 1T salt to pan. Cook till done. Reserve 0.5c cooking water. then drain pasta & return to pot. Add sauce and toss to combine. Slowly add water as needed for consistency. Serve.

Orange-chili tacos are yummy

The light in my kitchen is weird.

Yes, these are chicken tacos made with a sauce that is orange juice based. Yes, they are delicious. We tend to make them on the weekend because they take just enough time to be annoying after a long day of work.

5 medium guajillo chilies
1.5c orange juice
5 peeled garlic cloves
2T white vinegar
2t coriander
2t honey
1t dried oregano
1t kosher salt
2lbs boneless skinless chicken thighs

Heat chilies in large skilled over medium-high heat, pressing with spatula and flipping halfway through cooking until fragrant. Transfer to blender, add orange juice. Let stand for ~10 minutes, until softened. Add garlic, vinegar, coriander, honey, oregano, and salt. Puree until smooth. Pour back into skillet and bring to a boil.

Nestle chicken thighs into sauce, cover and cook over medium-low, flipping halfway through, for 20 minutes. Set chicken on a plate; once cool shred into bite sized pieces. Meanwhile, simmer the sauce over medium-high, stirring, until reduced to 1 cup, about 10 minutes. Stir chicken into sauce.

Serve with tortillas, radishes, and quest fresco (though we usually just use Monterey Jack).

Once again, this is a Milk Street recipe. If you don’t subscribe, why not? You’re missing out on all kinds of deliciousness. They’re not even paying me to say that, I just like them.