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Showing posts from April, 2009

Traditional Italian Pasta Carbonara Recipe

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I used to have a roommate named Rosaria who is from Naples. She really enjoys cooking and she was nice enough to show me how to make a few traditional Italian recipes. Pasta Carbonara was one of them. Pasta Carbonara (also known as Spaghetti Carbonara) is a fast, easy, and extremely filling dish. It's basically bacon and eggs for dinner.  It's delicious. Rosaria and I went through a few tries before we got this dish to work gluten-free. The trick is to use a pasta that can withstand a lot of handling after it's cooked. I recommend using either a quinoa pasta, a corn pasta or a white rice pasta. Both fresh pasta and brown rice pasta gave poor results. I used Ener-G brand white rice spaghetti for this meal, and it worked rather well. I have a full review of this pasta in another post. Traditional recipes are very specific for Italians, meaning that if they call it pasta carbonara, they do not experiment with substituting ingredients or techniques when

A Gluten-free Weekend

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I had a good weekend. Saturday morning I went to the Portland Farmer's Market , where I scored some great lamb steaks from SuDan Farm , ate some habanero caramel chocolates from Alma Chocolate , and bought some vegetable starts for my garden. Then I went to the Gluten-free Food Fair, which I heard about through the Gluten-free Portland website. New Cascadia Traditional was there, as well as numerous other vendors. The highlight was sampling the gluten-free pizza from Mississippi Pizza Pub , which I hadn't tried before. The crust was really good, kind of like an herby foccacia bread, but not too thick. I'll have to go down there and do a full review of the place soon. I hear they also serve GF beer there. After the fair I went to Bob's Red Mill for the first time. They have a good selection of GF pastas and other products in the store. I bought some Ener-G White Rice Spaghetti that I'm excited to try, as well as some Tinkyada spinach spaghetti that loo

Star Fish Gluten-free Crispy Battered Halibut (and Haddock) Product Review

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This week for What's for Dinner? Wednesday blog carnival I'm doing a simple rice recipe and a review of some battered halibut and haddock from Starfish. For more dinner ideas go see Linda at the Gluten-free Homemaker . Eric over at Starfish asked me to sample his new breaded fish products and let him know what I think. That's right - he gave me free samples, meaning that I've been bribed . In spite of this I will try to give you the most objective review I can possibly muster. After all, if someone tried to "bribe" me with inedible food I'd have something to say about that. As my fair readers may know by now, I take food very seriously. There are two sets of instructions on the box: one for cooking in the oven, one for deep-frying. I appreciated the fact that there are no microwave instructions. Who wants to eat microwaved fish? In the name of science, I should have tried it anyway, but I couldn't bring myself to it. I'm more of

Lemon Scones with a Kumquat Glaze: a Recipe

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I'm not into gimmicks when it comes to scones. I like my scones simple and straight-forward, and I like to be able to taste the flavor of the grains in my four mix. This recipe is none of these things. Nonetheless, it is my finest scone recipe to date. This recipe gives you a very tart, flavorful, citrus-scented scone. It's not even difficult. Simply combine in a small saucepan: 6-8 kumquats, sliced, with the seeds removed the juice of one lemon 1 Tbsp water 3 Tbsp sugar Boil for 5 minutes, adjust the flavors to taste, then simmer until you are ready to top the scones. Use my scone recipe , opting for the lemon zest in the liquid component. You can go even heavier on the zest if you would like; the kumquat glaze will be very strong and will not be overpowered by the lemon zest. I made mini scones this time, which gives you a higher number of scones for the same recipe. I topped the scones with 1-2 kumquat slices per scone, then dripped a few drops of the glaze o

Recipe for Scallops in Butter Sauce on Quinoa

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How I often pick seafood is by what looks good at the fish market. I create my recipes and ideas from the ingredients rather than forcing my shopping list to bend to the will of my recipes. This method proves itself over and over when selecting fresh fish. This week I found some really nice bay scallops that were very reasonably priced at my neighborhood New Season's. I really like the taste and texture of fresh scallops. They really have a lot of inherent flavor that I like to accentuate in my scallop recipes. The trick to getting the texture right is to cook them with high heat, and not for too long. This recipe was surprisingly fast to make. For once, I actually made the whole meal, including prep work, in the time it takes to cook the quinoa - about 20 minutes. Start your quinoa fist then prep the other ingredients, and cook. The quinoa can sit for quite a while in the pot if necessary after it's done, but the scallops are really quick to make and should be served

Recipe for Easy Chilaquiles with Chorizo (or without)

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On weekends, I like to have some kind of hearty egg dish for brunch. As my loyal readers may have gathered by now, I love Mexican food. Combine brunch and Mexican food, and what you get is chilaquiles. Similar to migas, chilaquiles is a traditional Mexican dish served in the morning using the leftovers from last night's cooking. It is pretty simple, and usually involves corn tortillas, enchilada sauce, cheese, and egg. I make it with tortilla chips instead of corn tortillas when that's all that I have around. If you do make it with tortillas, let them fry a bit in with the chorizo or in oil before adding the other ingredients. I don't really measure anything when I cook this, so all quantities are approximate. I tried to get a good photo of each step this time to give you a visual of the quantities. This "recipe" is one serving. The timing is more crucial than the quantities on this one, as you don't want the tortilla chips to be too cruchy or too s

Helpful Links for Food and Life

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I'd like to share some blogs and resources I've found that have really helped me out in some way. Not all of these are specifically gluten-free resources, but they are all relevant to living the good life. Green Baby Guide : This blog is not just relevant to parents of small children. It has been a great resource for me to learn things like how to make a raised-bed garden , how to keep your milk and cream from going bad , or how to use less soap and water when washing dishes. The two authors of the website are very dedicated environmentalists, money-savers, and moms. I know, because one of the authors is my sister! I have been really inspired by the GF Road Warrior . He travels every week for work and eats in restaurants for a good percentage of his meals. He has celiac disease, but that doesn't stop him from dining out. Read this great blog for travel dining ideas and business etiquette tips for going it gluten-free. [No Recipes] : Marc is a die-hard gourman

Ceviche: A Recipe

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In Mexico, they serve ceviche everywhere on the coast. They serve it in restaurants, and vendors sell it from coolers on the beach (not recommended!) It is actually made without cooking the fish, but the lime and any other acids in the juice "cook" the fish in a chemical process without heat. As with any recipe, but especially when raw fish is concerned, buy your ingredients some place that you trust. I get my fish from New Season's in NE Portland or at Umajimaya in Beaverton. Both places have fish good enough to eat raw. If you want to do a shrimp ceviche, the shrimp should be cooked, but otherwise you can follow this recipe. There are lots of variations to this recipe, but I tried to make it like they serve it on the Pacific coast of Mexico. This dish is usually considered an appetizer, but I could eat it all day. I am not going to give quantities for this one, as you can adjust the ingredients according to your taste. Start by buying the fish. About a qu

Gluten-free Biscotti From New Cascadia Traditional

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It's been a while since I've plugged the New Cascadia Traditional Bakery . This is our local gluten-free bakery in Portland, Oregon. I go to their kiosk in Nortwest or at the farmer's market at least once a week. They come out with new products pretty regularly, and I have recently started enjoying their biscotti. These look, taste, and feel like the wheat kind, and they soften perfectly in your coffee.

Product Review: Natural Sea Dairy-free Wheat-free Clam Chowder

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I love dairy. When I was trying to figure out what my health problems stemmed from I was mortally afraid that it would be wheat or dairy, or both. I was actually relieved that it was just wheat. While there are grains galore that you can use to make muffins or scones , there is really no substitute for dairy. However, when I went off wheat I became temporarily lactose intolerant . This is common for people recovering from gastrointestinal disorders, including celiac sprue. It was in this period of secondary lactose intolerance that I discovered a dairy-free New England style clam chowder. It was only later, after reading virtually every clam chowder label out there, that I realized that this is one of the few canned clam chowders in existence that is also gluten-free. The only other one I've found is Progresso brand, but that one has MSG (which is possibly not safe for celiacs - can anyone give me a definitive answer on this?) Down to the nitty-gritty: I really like this s