Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Grain Free Apple Pear Tart with Riesling and Cardamom

As I walked out to my car in the pouring rain, I noticed there were apples all over the ground. So I looked up … and there above me was a branch laden with apples. I shouldn’t have been so surprised, I mean our landlord gave us the tour of the yard when we first moved in last summer and specifically pointed out the multiple apple and pear trees. But last year our growing season wasn’t great and I don’t remember any fruit. This year the growing season seemed far worse, but for some reason the fruit trees seem to think differently. They are bearing their fruit everywhere!

Sadly, as a renter I do not own a ladder, so I can only grab what is within my reach. So it’s a good thing I’m both tall and not afraid to dangle off the wooden fence to get to them. Having collected a very modest amount of apples and pears (most are still on the trees) I decided I didn’t really have enough to make pear butter or applesauce, as was my original intention. So instead I did what I do best and combined a few recipes to make a grain free apple pear tart. The crust is from Quinoa 365 and the filling is based off of this recipe I found on the UK Food Network by Ellie Krieger

Grain Free Apple Pear Tart with Riesling and Cardamom

1 ¼ cup Quinoa Flour
3 tablespoons Sugar
½ cup Butter, softened
1-tablespoon water

¼ cup Riesling Wine
1 tablespoon Lemon Juice
1 Apple, peeled and thinly sliced
2 Pears, peeled and thinly sliced
3 tablespoon Brown Sugar
1-teaspoon ground Cinnamon
½ teaspoon ground Cardamom
1 tablespoon Arrowroot Powder

1 tablespoon Honey
2 teaspoons water
¼ ground Cardamom

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Prepare tart pan by spraying with pan and set aside.

In a medium sized bowl, mix together sugar and quinoa flour. Then, using a pastry cutter cut in softened butter until a crumbly down forms. Next add water and mix by hand to form a rough ball. Cover lightly with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 30-40 minutes.

While the dough is chilling, prepare your fruit (peel and slice apple and pears) and add them to a large bowl filled with Riesling wine and lemon juice. Toss to coat so that the fruit doesn’t turn brown. Next add in brown sugar, cinnamon, cardamom and arrowroot powder and hand toss until coated evenly. Set aside to marinate.

Remove the dough from the fridge and roll it out between two sheets of wax paper sprinkled with some quinoa flour. Remove the top layer or wax paper and use the remaining piece to help you place it in the prepared tart pan. Press into edges and repair any cracks with extra pastry. Poke a few small holes in the pastry with a fork or knife and then fill with your fruit filling.

Bake in oven for 15 minutes at 400 degrees F and then reduce the temperature to 350 degrees F for another 40 minutes. Once the tart is finished baking remove it from the oven and set it to cool. At this time add honey, boiling water and cardamom to a small bowl and mix well. Using a pastry brush, immediately coat the apples and pears with the honey glaze. Serve warm with a little whipped cream if you like.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Grain Free Pumpkin Pancakes

When someone says, “it’s a small world after all” they are usually referring to how random person you just met knows someone you know. It’s a type of craziness that happens all the time. Today I feel like it’s a small world after all in regards to cookbooks.

The other day, a classmate (Nikki) from high school posted a photo of some Pumpkin Pancakes that she made with quinoa. I made a mental note to try them as the photo she took of them looked so tasty. Finally the worlds came together … my Vitamix replacement part came in the mail (most amazing warranty service ever) and my nuts online order came and I happened to have most of the ingredients on hand. So I made the yummy looking pancakes this morning and they taste just as good as they look!

Wanting to share them with you I double checked where the original recipe came from and it was adapted from a book called Quinoa 365 … the very same cookbook that’s been sitting on my kitchen counter for weeks that I keep meaning to try something from. It’s a small world for cookbooks. Nikki adapted a healthier version which can be found here at Picky Nikki’s website. She’s got some yummy sounding recipes that aren’t all gluten free, but are healthy and worth a visit to her site.

I, of course, adapted her adapted recipe, which actually almost brought it back to the original … now that I have the book in front of me, but not quite.  It’s all about what I had on hand at the time. For some grain free (from most of my reading I’ve read that Quinoa is not considered a grain) Pumpkin Pancakes that taste like heaven, have a go at these!

Quinoa Pumpkin Pancakes
~makes roughly 17 pancakes~

1 ½ cups Quinoa Flour
¼ cup Brown Sugar
2 teaspoons Baking Soda (gf)
1-teaspoon ground Cinnamon
1-teaspoon ground Allspice
½ teaspoon ground Nutmeg
½ teaspoon ground Sea Salt
¾ cup French Vanilla Yoghurt (or plain)
1 cup Lactose Free Milk with 1 tablespoon Lemon Juice in it (or buttermilk)
1 can (398ml) Pumpkin Puree
2 Egg Whites

Pure Maple Syrup

In large bowl whisk together quinoa flour, brown sugar, baking soda, salt and spices. Next add egg whites, yoghurt, milk and pumpkin. Whisk until well combined. Using a ¼-measuring cup, scoop out pancake mix onto a hot (350 degree F) non-stick griddle. Once the pancake appears to be partially cooked through and is bubbling on top flip it over until cooked all the way through.  Serve with maple syrup and pecans.

Monday, September 12, 2011

A&W Prime Rib Burger

I’ve been travelling a lot lately. Some has been for work and some has been for fun. I was in Northern BC (Prince Rupert, Terrace and Hazelton) for work a few weeks ago. Then Stratchona Park to camp on the September weekend, then Nanaimo for work, then Whistler for the Grand Fondo cycling race (my boyfriend was in it, so I volunteered) and now I’m in Port Hardy for work. Lots of travelling means a lot of eating out, which I do not normally like, however, I’m getting better at ensuring my meals are safe.  In Port Hardy I’ve got a hotel with a kitchenette so that I can make my own meals and I brought some food from Rawthentic Eatery to help out.  In Whistler I researched restaurants through The Celiac Scene dot com for dinner and pre-ordered my lunch and breakfasts from Panne Rizo a completely dedicated gluten free bakery. I spent my first weekend away (other than camping) without getting sick! It was fantastic.

In Whistler I ate at three restaurants. The first was Elements Urban Tapas Parlour. They had a gluten free menu to help with selections, but it’s not 100% accurate. There were items listed with “hoison” sauce, traditionally made with soy sauce, traditionally made with wheat, listed on the menu. I asked the server to double-check the sauce and she confirmed that it wasn’t safe. They also listed a roasted chicken with panko olives. Panko is a fancy word for breaded … at least in my experience; I haven’t actually looked it up. After double-checking it was in fact breaded and deep fried olives, however, they were easily left off the plate. So there was a lot of sleuthing on my part, but after that I had a great meal. I highly recommend the bocchini caprese with roasted chicken (minus the olives).

I also ate at the Fairmont Hotels Wildflower Restaurant. They have a menu for several specialty diets including macrobiotic, vegan, raw, gluten free and more. There are only two appetizers, entrees, and desserts listed under the gluten free but I felt they were a good selection and I ended up having the beet carpacio and snapper for dinner. Sadly, everyone else was too full for dessert so I opted not to have any, but the options sounded yummy! They even served hot out of the oven gluten free buns!

The last place I ate at was Crepe Montagne. Now they don’t serve gluten free crepes, but I had the most delicious tomato cheese omelet with pan fried hash browns and a strawberry (dairy free) smoothie. All very tasty!

With all this eating out I’ve been watching my boyfriend eat a lot of A&W. It’s his fallback store when we’re on the road. It used to be my favourite fast food chain when I ate gluten. I loved their onion rings and either the teen or mozza burgers. Now that I can’t have any of their food, they keep coming out with new burgers.  One of which is the Prime Rib Burger. The big thing being that it’s mainly a plain burger with horseradish sauce and caramelized onions. I’ve been drooling over this one for a while now, so I decided to make my own version. My boyfriend says that it’s almost bang on. So now I don’t have to feel left out :)

A&W Prime Rib Burger

500 grams Ground Beef
1 Egg
½ cup Cattle Boyz BBQ Sauce
Mozzarella slices
1 heaping teaspoon Horseradish
2 heaping tablespoon Miraclewhip (Mayonnaise)
1 tablespoon Butter
1 Onion, diced

To make homemade burger patties place ground beef in a small bowl. Add one egg and bbq sauce and mix together with your hands.  Form into patties of desired size. I made 4 thick patties. Place patties on grill and cook until 170 degrees F in the center. Flip half way through. Top with mozzarella and melt cheese.

In a large frying pan, melt butter and then throw in diced onions. Cook on high until onions are golden and starting to brown.

In a small saucer mix horseradish and miraclehwip until well combined.

Assemble burger as desired. If you don’t eat grains, just wrap in lettuce and throw in a slice of tomato with your onions and horseradish sauce or place on baked portabella mushroom. If you do eat grains you can place burger on a tostada or gluten free bun.