Friday, September 28, 2012

Italian Plum Torte

Our Italian plum tree is loaded, and while we love to eat them right off the tree, I am always looking for a sauce or chutney to put them into.
After learning that the most requested recipe from the New York Times has been a plum torte, I continued the search to find one that was gluten free. This is from the gluten free girls blog and the feedback was good, even from those who are not gluten intolerant. That is usually the sign of a winner!

Plum base:
Italian Plum Torte
2 Tablespoons brown sugar
1 1/2 Tablespoons of flour (gluten free multi-purpose)
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
2 Tablespoon candied ginger, finely chopped
14 Italian plums, cut in half and pitted
Preheat oven to 375F.
Mix brown sugar, flour, cinnamon, ground ginger and candied ginger, together. Add plums and mix well. Place plums, skin side up in an ungreased 9 inch pie pan.

3/4 cup granulated sugar
1 cup flour (gluten free multi-purpose)
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 egg, well beaten
1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted
Combine sugar, flour, cinnamon, baking powder and salt. Mix well. Stir in egg and mix thoroughly and sprinkle over plum base.
Drizzle butter evenly over top of crumb mixture.
Bake 30-35 minutes until top is browned.
Remove from oven, serve warm.
This also freezes well.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Fall Apple-Ginger Limeade

Fall Apple-Ginger Limeade
We have been picking apples off the tree and making squash soup with ginger and apples. Those flavors have me thinking about a fall drink, especially first thing in the morning.

1 honey crisp apple, peeled
1/2 inch piece ginger, peeled
2 limes, juiced
1/4 cup honey
1 1/2 cups water
1 cup ice cubes

Place all ingredients in the blender and process.
Pour into 2 glasses and garnish with fresh apple slices.

Monday, September 24, 2012

Saute of Corn and Pepper

This vegetable side dish would be colorful with red sweet pepper or for a little more heat a jalapeno pepper. We have enjoyed fresh summer corn but frozen can be substituted.

1 Tablespoon butter
Saute of Corn and Pepper
1 Tablespoon olive oil
1 cup sweet onion, finely diced
1/2 red sweet pepper or orange or jalapeno, finely diced
2 cups corn
1/2 teaspoon chili powder
salt and fresh pepper, to taste
1 teaspoon lime zest
3 Tablespoons basil, sliced

In a saute pan over medium heat, add butter and olive oil. Add onion and pepper and cook until soft, about 5 minutes.
Add corn, chili powder, salt and pepper and saute another 5 minutes.
Add lime zest and turn heat to low, cook another 2 minutes.
Add basil, stir and let sit another minute.

Friday, September 21, 2012

Chocolate Orange Pudding

This is similar to a post last year called Chocolate Coconut Pie. One of my friends says their family makes it all the time and has renamed it Truffle Pie. This recipe is even easier, as their is no crust to make.
Chocolate Orange Pudding
Stephanie recently gave me a book called Great Gluten-Free Vegan Eats by Allyson Kramer. The book shares my interest in gluten free cooking and Stephs vegan life style, I am really interested in trying many of the recipes and sharing some of Stephs and my favorites with you.

1 Tablespoon orange zest
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 bag (12 ounces) chocolate chips
1 can (14 ounces) coconut milk

In a heat safe bowl, mix together orange zest, vanilla extract and chocolate chips.
In a small saucepan, bring the coconut milk to a boil and pour over the chocolate chips and whisk until well blended.
Pour into 6 individual dishes and chill in the fridge until set, about 3 hours.

Note: As I was writing this I was thinking I have to try this with coffee or Kahlua, topped with a chocolate coffee bean. The book also recommends using almond extract in place of orange zest for another flavor.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Wild Mushroom Soup with Nori

Trader Joe's offers a Roasted Seaweed Snack (Nori) in little squares. It is great in strips on salad, just by itself as a snack or as a little sesame surprise in todays soup.
I often use the larger Nori as a substitute for bread and just roll up a "sandwich". 

1 Tablespoon butter
Wild Mushroom Soup with Nori
1 Tablespoon olive oil
1/2 onion, finely diced
1/3 cup sweet pepper, finely diced
4 cups mushroom combo (oyster, chanterelle, enoki, and portabella)
1 garlic clove, minced
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
2 Tablespoons Tamari or soy sauce
2 Tablespoons lemon juice
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon fresh ground pepper
4 cups chicken or vegetable stock
4 Nori sheets cut into strips
1 green onion, finely chopped

Heat butter and olive oil in a pot over medium heat. Add onion and sweet pepper and cook until onion is translucent. Add garlic, mushrooms, Worcestershire sauce, Tamari, lemon juice, salt and pepper, saute. Add stock and cook until vegetables are tender about 10-12 minutes.
Put Nori sheets in bottom of each soup bowl and add soup. Garnish with green onion.

I recently made a little appetizer shrimp cup with Nori as the base. Place the little sheets in a small muffin pan, and fill with shrimp, sliced avocado, and a dab of mayo. They are packed a little too full but you get the idea.
Shrimp Cups


Monday, September 17, 2012

Watermelon and Feta Salad

Watermelon and Feta Salad
Cold watermelon with salty Feta cheese and fresh mint makes a refreshing summer salad and great along side any BBQ.

1 small watermelon, rind and seeds removed
1/2 small, sweet onion, finely sliced
1/4 cup Feta cheese, crumbled
1 Tablespoon mint, finely chopped
freshly ground pepper, to taste
1 Tablespoon reduced Balsamic vinegar

Cut watermelon into 1 inch cubes and place in a large bowl. Add sweet onion (Walla Walla), Feta cheese, mint and pepper. Toss with reduced Balsamic. Garnish with extra mint and Feta.

Friday, September 14, 2012

Grilled Polenta with Sausage Pasta Sauce

When time is tight, this and a fresh salad, would make a quick, filling dinner.

1 tube ready made polenta
Grilled Polenta with Sausage and Pasta Sauce
1/4 cup olive oil
4 Italian sausage, hot or sweet, casings removed
1/2 sweet onion, finely diced
1 jar tomato, basil pasta sauce
2 sprigs fresh basil, chiffonade
1/4 cup Parmesan cheese, grated

To make the sauce:
In a pan over medium heat, saute and crumble the sausage until cooked. Add onions and cook until browned. Add the pasta sauce and simmer until flavors are combined.

Slice polenta tube into 3/4 inch slices. Brush each side lightly with olive oil. Place on preheated grill pan and grill about 3-5 minutes on each side until crust appears.
Place polenta on a plate and top with sausage pasta sauce. Sprinkle with basil and cheese.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Yogurt Cucumber Dip with Puppodum Crackers

Looking for a gluten free cracker option, I was introduced to Sharwood's Indian Puppodums. They can be cooked in the microwave for 30-50 seconds and you have a ready made cracker.
Today I served the Puppodum crackers with a light yogurt-cucumber dill dip that also served as a sauce for a cold salmon salad.
Yogurt Cucumber Dip with Puppodum Crackers

Yogurt Cucumber Dip:
2 cups Greek Yogurt
1 large English cucumber, peeled, seeded and finely diced
2 Tablespoons lemon juice
2 teaspoons fresh dill, chopped
1 garlic clove, minced
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1 green onion, finely sliced, divided

Yogurt Cucumber Dip on cold Salmon 
In a bowl, mix all ingredients together and chill until ready to serve. Top with 1/2 green onion.

Monday, September 10, 2012

Grilled Corn and Prawn Salad

Fresh picked corn on the cob and grilled on the BBQ is the basis for flavor in this salad. For a vegetarian option, you could leave out the prawns.

3 ears of corn, shucked, grilled on the BBQ and kernels removed
1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
Grilled Corn and Prawn Salad
1 cup tomatoes, diced
1/2 sweet onion, diced
1/2 sweet red pepper, diced
2 small or 1 large avocado, peeled and cut in cubes
1/2 cup cilantro, chopped
1 pound of prawns, shelled
pinch of chili flakes
1 teaspoon butter
1/4 cup olive oil, divided
1/4 cup of lime juice
1 clove garlic, minced
sea salt and fresh ground pepper, to taste

Brush corn cobs with 1 teaspoon olive oil and grill over medium heat, turning every 30 seconds. Turn off heat and let rest over residual heat for about 5 minutes.
In a large bowl, combine corn, black beans, tomatoes, onion, sweet red pepper, avocado and cilantro.
In a saute pan, heat 1 teaspoon of butter and 1 teaspoon of olive oil, and chili flakes. Add prawns and cook until pink (about 2 minutes), Add to salad.
To make dressing:
Whisk together 1/4 cup of lime juice,  remaining olive oil, and garlic and add to salad, toss well. Sprinkle with sea salt and pepper and toss again. Serve

Friday, September 7, 2012

Roasted Red Pepper Aioli

One of the "mayo's" that I use on sandwiches is Roasted Red Pepper Aioli. I especially love it with grilled chicken hot off the BBQ. The Bake loves it with a side of fries. Today, instead of the usual horseradish-cream sauce for a rib-eye roast sandwich, I used the Roasted Red Pepper Aioli, along with some roasted potatoes for the Bake.

1 bottle (12oz) fire toasted red peppers (or 2 peppers), drained and patted dry
1 clove garlic, chopped
1/2 cup Vegenaise or Mayo
1 teaspoon Balsamic vinegar
salt and fresh ground pepper, to taste
2 Tablespoons olive oil

In a food processor or blender, process the peppers and garlic until pureed. Add Vegenaise, vinegar, salt and pepper. Process and check for seasonings.
With machine running, slowly add olive oil to incorporate.
Cover and refrigerate for a couple of hours to allow flavors to meld.

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Easy Layered Crab Dip

I always use fresh crab but in a pinch, canned crab from the pantry will work.

6-8 ounces softened cream cheese
Easy Layered Crab Dip
1 Tablespoon onion, grated or finely chopped
1 Tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
1/2 cup chili sauce
7 ounces of crab meat, if using canned, drain and rinse
2 Tablespoon fresh parsley, chopped

Mix the cream cheese, onion, Worcestershire sauce, lemon juice together.
Spread in a serving dish.
Spread chili sauce over cream cheese.
Top with crab meat, and sprinkle with parsley.

Serve with a variety of crackers.

Monday, September 3, 2012

Blackberry Apple Fruit Crisp

The apples in our yard are ready to be picked and the local blackberry bushes are ripe and sweet.
Preheat oven to 375F.
Blackberry-Apple Fruit Crisp
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 dark brown sugar, packed
1/4 cup granulated sugar
pinch of salt
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
8 Tablespoon unsalted butter, cut into pieces
1 cup old-fashioned oats

Fruit Base
3 cups sliced apples, peeled
3 cups blackberries
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1 Tablespoon cornstarch
1 Tablespoon lemon juice
1/2 cup dried orange-cranberries, soaked in hot water for 10 minutes, drained

To make the topping, combine flour, sugars, salt and cinnamon in a medium bowl. Cut in the butter until it is well blended and in pea size crumbles. With your hands work in the oatmeal. Refrigerate until needed.
To make the fruit base, put the apples and blackberries in a large bowl and sprinkle with sugar. In a small dish, dissolve the cornstarch in the lemon juice. Pour over the fruit, add the dried cranberries and toss gently.
Pour the fruit mixture in a 9 inch square glass pan or alternately, individual ramekins. Place on a baking sheet covered in foil to catch overflowing juices. Top the fruit with 1/2 of topping mixture and bake for 20 minutes. Sprinkle the remaining topping over the crisp and bake another 20 minutes. Let cool.