cleverchickadee


Gluten Free unWings – a Recipe by quornflour

#glutenfree #vegan #reedsgingerbrew #nomnom #friedfood #gameday

When I lived outside of Boston there was an Indian restaurant (I think it was called Dosa Palace… maybe Dosa and Curry) in Somerville that had this dish that the first time I had I wanted more. Ok so it was fried goodness, but it was basically like chicken wings but made with cauliflower, which is kind of funny because generally I am not a huge fan of chicken wings. Recently I had a craving for some, but I am about 1200 miles away, so I made them.

They are pretty easy to make here is what you need:

  • 1 medium head of cauliflower
  • 2½ cups chickpea flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric
  • 1 teaspoon garam masala
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped garlic
  • 1 cup of Reed’s Extra Ginger Brew
  • Oil for frying – I mix equal parts olive oil and canola oil
  • your favorite buffalo, bbq, teriyaki or whatever sauce you have a hankerin for

Heat oil in a Dutch oven or deep frying pan (like a cast iron skillet), you’ll want it to be about 1½ inches from the bottom of your pot.

Now break up your cauliflower into small pieces (do not use frozen cauliflower). You’ll get a lot of cauliflower crumbs if you just cut it with a knife, so I cut it with a knife into bigger pieces and then tear it into smaller pieces with my fingers. The pieces shouldn’t be any bigger than a chicken wing.

In a bowl mix the dry ingredients together and mix with a fork or a whisk. Next add your Ginger Brew add a little at a time and mix in, it will bubble a lot so if you add it all at once you may end up with a mess. You want the consistency to be similar to pancake batter, so add a little more or a little less liquid as necessary.

Coat the cauliflower in the batter and put it in the oil and cook until golden. I do about a cup worth of cauliflower at a time. Once golden put the cauliflower on a dish with paper towel or a grease catching towel for a minute or two – trade out the towel as necessary.

Toss in your favorite sauce – I like buffalo sauce, bbq sauce and plain… I think it would also be great with a mango chutney, teriyaki sauce and many other sauces… more on those later… serve warm.

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Orange Marinade: a Recipe by quornflour

It actually was not long ago that I did not even know how to cook a pork chop. From my childhood all I could really remember is dry baked fairly plain pork chops served up with applesauce. There was nothing wrong with them necessarily, they just were not very interesting as food.

This past year I stopped purchasing meat from the grocery store. As a result I am at the hands of a meat CSA, one that has a lot of pork. Luckily I am not anti-pork.

That said, the first time I got pork chops, I looked at them, scratched my head and said, “Ahhh? Hmm.” and then put them in the freezer.

A short while later TxK was visiting and we were making dinner. I asked her if she knew how to cook a pork chop, after she laughed in shame of me for not knowing how, she told me that it was pretty much the same as cooking a steak.

As a point of record, I am pretty sure she is also the person who taught me how to cook a steak on anything that wasn’t a grill.

I have since cooked a few pork chops and they were all delicious.

This go around I decided I would try something a little different and marinade them first.

Here is what I used:

  • 2 pork chops (I think you could also use this on any meat or even a faux meat)
  • 1 small naval orange
  • 1 lemon
  • 1 lime
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 1 tablespoon of Lighthouse Freeze-dried red onion
  • 1 tablespoon of Lighthouse Freeze-dried green onion
  • ¼ teaspoon of Kosher salt
  • Black pepper
  • Peanut oil – if you are going to pan fry them (if you want to broil or bake this you can also do that for delicious results)

You are going to want these to marinade for at least an hour, so give yourself some time in advance.

  1. Place your pork chops in a glass container
  2. Zest entire orange, lemon and lime over the pork
  3. Cut each fruit in half and squeeze juices over pork
  4. Add garlic, onions, salt and pepper
  5. Cover pork chops and let sit for at least an hour
  6. Bring them to room temp before cooking
  7. In a cast iron skillet fill about a quarter to half inch of peanut oil
  8. Cook until juices run clear (160ᴼ is the recommended cooked temp for pork)
  9. Remove from heat, cover and let rest
  10. Serve warm

This will have a strong orange flavor goes very well with applesauce.



Lemon Basil Chicken and Mushrooms by quornflour

I get meat from a CSA, so like many things you get from a CSA you do not always have complete control over what you are getting. In a recent delivery I got a bone in chicken breast.

Last spring I took a knife skills class where I learned to de-bone a chicken, but I had friends over and I just wanted to take the easy route, you could do this with boneless too, though I am not sure if or how that changes cooking time.

Anyway, this is a pretty simple recipe and you end up with chicken that you can eat with a wide variety of other things.

You will need:

  • A pair of bone in chicken breasts
  • 2 lemons – the juice there of
  • 4 garlic cloves – smashed
  • 2 tablespoons of olive oil
  • Salt about a ½ teaspoon
  • Pepper
  • 6-10 basil leaves
  • ¼ a red onion
  • 6 medium coarse chopped button mushrooms

It is pretty easy to put it all together (except the basil leaves, onion and mushrooms), since you put it all in an oven safe glass covered dish and let it marinade for 2-3 hours, if you are going to cook in the dish you marinade in you will need to marinade on the counter. Do not put a dish straight from the fridge to the oven unless you are looking for a reason to clean up glass shards.

Before you cook it, take the garlic cloves that have been in the marinade and the basil leaves and push them up between the skin and the meat and put the skin side down in the cooking dish. Add the onion and sprinkle the mushrooms over top and place the lid or tinfoil.

Skin side down, bake in an oven for about 40 minutes with the lid on at 400⁰, then for another 10 minutes (or until the skin gets golden) with the top off and the skin side up. Tent and let rest for about 10 minutes and then enjoy with your favorite veggies or a starch or both.



Clever Tip: Tomato Sauce and Noodles by quornflour

I love American Chop Suey, except when it is made the way it is supposed to be made. I am not all that keen on cooking noodles in my tomato sauce, except when it is baked ziti or lasagna, though even in the case of baked ziti I cook the noodles in advance even still.

As it would go, I also hate when my noodles are mixed in my sauce when stored. It changes the noodle and it changes the sauce. In the end nothing is quite right. Since I know that I am not the only person who likes fruit on the bottom yogurt; but does not like to mix the fruit in (except in cases where the fruit is real fruit and I put it together myself), I also know that I cannot be the only person that feels this way.

Anyway, I figured out that if I put the sauce in first, sprinkle a touch of parmesan cheese and then place the noodles over top you get excellent portions and the two do not have to meet until you tip it over into your bowl or onto your plate when you are ready to eat them.



the Art of Snack Trays by quornflour

Ok, first of all, please tell me if you know someone who does not love a good snack tray, because I am pretty sure I do not know them.

That said, my dear friend Missy, is the top snack tray maker in the country. You get a snack tray from her and you are pretty sure you have died and gone to whatever version of heaven you might believe in. If you do not believe in heaven, then these snack trays make you think about changing your mind. Yes, they are just that good.

I have no idea why, it might be the liquor she serves with them, but I am pretty sure it is the combination of veggies and cheese and other crunchy goodness.

It could also be the lack of ranch dressing. I get it, people love the crap, but seriously, it is gross.

I have these memories of childhood of ranch dressing ads and them giving it to people, these people standing there stumbling around, minds.blown. I could not wait to try it. I did not understand the fuss. I still don’t. I am pretty sure it contains the craek.

Anyway, the few glasses of wine I had before writing this have most certainly caused me to digress, just a tad. Where was I?

Oh yes, snack trays. They are great when folks come over, or you want to have some dinner, but do not want to have to actually assemble it for others.

This past summer, it was hot and I traveled a lot so I made a lot of snack trays.

Here are some:

Staring simple we have the semi generic fancy seeming cheeses (brie, Colby and extra sharp cheddar) and round water crackers. I get this sense that when a cracker is round, and not a Ritz, it is fancy. Even a Ritz has a fancy name!

The Frenchie-McFrencherson: brie, hard peppered salami, green apple and blueberries. This provides a nice punch of sweet, tangy and salty and is gluten free!

The Italian Job: mozzarella, basil, tomatoes, sour dough bread and hard peppered salami. You will feel like a mobster when you eat this. Just don’t hang out in the sauna after you eat this.

The Better than the Airlines Can Do Cheese Tray: mozzarella, brie, tomatoes, cucumbers, pecans, hard peppered salami, spreadable chive cheese and pita bread. With this one you will feel like you have been whisked away, but still have all of the comforts of home, no jetlag and sadly you still have to clean up after yourself.

Lastly, a favorite stand-by the Buffy the Caprese Slayer: cherry tomatoes, basil wrapped mozzarella, drizzled in garlic olive oil and balsamic vinegar. This one is a favorite of the germaphobes, plus it is a great way to keep kids busy in the kitchen while you are pouring the wine, um I mean cooking other things.

Now these are just a few, there are loads more. Share your favorites and I will post more later!



Home Frites, because you are fancier than home-fries by quornflour

Sometimes, when a restaurant wants to seem fancy, you call French Fries “Frites”, I am pretty sure they are the same thing, but frites sounds fancier, “Oh look at me with my fancy steak frites!”

If you do not have a deep fryer, you might think, “oh bummer, I can never make frites like the fancy restaurants, oh woe is me.”

I am here to tell you that you are WRONG. Yep, that is correct, you can make super delicious fancy frites right at home without a deep fryer.

This recipe does take a little more work and time than others, but the great thing is that you can make a lot and freeze some for later to cut time when you need them. They are also more delicious than a lot of (though delicious) oven baked fries that often just make you say, “meh, they just are not as delicious.”

You will not be saying this about these.

You will need:

  • 5 or more pounds of potatoes (I prefer Yukon gold or red potatoes myself, regardless you are better off picking ones with a thinner skin so you do not have to skin it, because I ask you, “who loves skinning potatoes?” pretty sure the answer to that is, “sadists.”
  • 32 oz olive or coconut oil
  • Salt

You are also going to need to make sure you have a 4-5 quart Dutch (or French) oven, baking trays and a Chinese mesh strainer.

  1. Cut your potatoes into “fry” shaped pieces, about ¼ to ½ inch by the length of the potato
  2. Heat your oven to 350
  3. Pour the oil into the Dutch oven and bring up to temp, you will know it is ready because if you put a piece of potato in it, it will bubble wildly.
  4. Using the Chinese wire strainer lower a few potatoes worth of the cut potatoes into the oil, this should cause the oil go into a rapid boil.
    1. Remember oil is hot; it will burn if it hits you; so it is best not to make these naked.
    2. Once you are done frying all of your potatoes you can strain the oil with a coffee filter into a jar and save for a second use later.
  5. Cook these in the oil until they just barely start to brown on the edges (about 15 seconds) and remove them, spread them on a cookie sheet and bake at 350 until golden brown (about 10 minutes)
  6. Set aside to cool. If you are going to freeze some for later, once cooled to room temp, spread them on a baking tray and place in the freezer, once they are frozen put them in a bag until ready for use.
  7. When you are ready to use them, heat a cast iron skillet, add about a tablespoon or two of olive oil, toss the potatoes in the skillet until brown and hot and crispy, serve warm.

If you want to make them extra fancy, this third cook is when you add spices or garlic. Some great things to add are: sage leaves; basil, garlic and parmesan; crushed red pepper flakes; curry powder; fajita seasoning… the options are endless. Some other great recipes that go well with these fries are: chicken nuggets, curry mussels, garlic mussels, spicy Buffalo chicken strips or even just on their own.



Wicked Good Lobstah Suppah, paht 3 –mussel madness by quornflour

As I stated before: mussels are my favorite mollusk. Not only are they delicious but they are also a pretty versatile protein source.

Did you know that a 3 oz (6oz with shell on, about 10 mussels) serving of mussels provides 340% of your recommended daily allowance of vitamin B-12? Those 3 oz are about 145 calories and loads of other minerals your body loves. Wanna talk about protein for a second? 10 mussels provide about as much protein as 4oz steak with only a fraction of the fat and most of that fat is the good stuff.

They live above the mud hanging on to rocks with their beards and do not end up with the gritty sandiness that is often associated with their sweeter cousin the clam.

Sea birds also like mussels, however their hard shell can be a deterrent, a mussel will open to move and to eat, but when it senses danger it snaps closed. Birds, such as seagulls will take a mussel, fly high above a rock and drop the shell to the rock below to crack it open, then swoop back down to collect and enjoy the meat.

As humans we have tools and fire, which make enjoying mussels a little less taxing, when cooked a mussel will relax and open making the meat easily accessible. If a mussel does not pop open when cooked, I just assume let it be as I would a shrimp with a flat tail.

In childhood I remember mostly just eating them steamed in water and dipped in butter.

One of my favorite methods (probably because I love tomatoes so much) is to cook them in a creamy tomato basil style steam.

Here is what you will need:

  • 3 pounds of mussels
  • 3 tablespoons of olive oil
  • 4 cloves of garlic, crushed
  • 5 large tomatoes (heirloom tomatoes add a nice mixture of color) cut into 1 inch cubes
  • 2 cups of ½ & ½
  • ½ Cup grated parmesan cheese (or other similar hard cheese)
  • ¼ cup basil “grass”
  • 3 green onions cut into “grass”

If you want to make this more of a creamy sauce, you could start by making a roux, but to keep this gluten free and because I like the separation of the cheese for this particular recipe I did not.

  1. Heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a 4-5 quart Dutch oven, bring it to temp (spits when hit with a drop of water or thins like water)
  2. Add 2 cloves garlic and brown
  3. Once the garlic is brown turn the heat to low and add the tomatoes, stir and cover.

Meanwhile in a saucepan:

  1. Add remaining olive oil and also bring to temp
  2. Add 2 cloves of garlic and brown
  3. Turn heat to medium
  4. Add ½ & ½ and cheese and stir

And back to the Dutch oven we go…

  1. When it starts to form a light steam add to tomatoes and stir
  2. Add most of the green onions (save a few for garnish)
  3. Add mussels, cover until the mussels pop open (this won’t take long)
  4. Add basil
  5. Stir up and serve warm

Remember, like many sea creature, if you over cook them they will turn chewy and they will continue to cook for a few minutes after they are removed from the heat, so only steam them until they open.




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