Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Easy Pork Rib Roast Recipe

Last week I scored some good-looking pork ribs on sale at my local market and I immediately considered making my Spanish-style BBQ Boneless Pork Ribs.  However, it ended up that I was too lazy to undertake that endeavor.  Instead I decided to come up with the easiest, most delicious method of cooking pork ribs ever conceived.  Although the bar was high, I achieved my goal in one attempt.  The idea is that simple.  Here is the recipe.

Easy (Easiest) Pork Rib Roast Recipe

Prep time: 10-15 min
Cook time 20-30 min

Put a cast-iron or other high-heat pan in the oven and set the temperature to 450 degrees.  While the oven is heating, rinse and pat dry:

Boneless pork ribs or pork belly

Sprinkle liberally with:


In a medium bowl, toss together:

Red potatoes, quartered
olive oil

When the oven comes up to temperature, place the seasoned pork and the potatoes on the hot cast-iron pan.  Roast for 20-30 minutes, depending on the size of the cuts, or until the internal temperature of the pork reaches at least 165 degrees.  Serve the pork and potatoes over a bed of lettuce or braised greens.  Enjoy!

Sunday, March 17, 2013

Raspberry Gluten-free Scones, Paleo Style

As many of you already know, I'm a big fan of scones.  I already have a collection of gluten-free scone recipes that I've adapted and created from scratch.  I also collect other peoples' scone recipes, and I even have a Pinterest Board dedicated to gluten-free scones.  While searching for all the best gluten-free scone recipes on Pinterest, I came across a paleo scone recipe that I thought sounded good.  I already had a recipe that sounded similar, but for friands.  I thought I'd adapt that friand recipe for making paleo scones.  They turned out amazing, with a nice savory/sweet balance.

Gluten-free Scone Recipe, Paleo Style

Makes 3-4 Scones - double the recipe for a full batch

Pre-heat oven to 400 degrees F.  In a medium bowl, mix:

100g almond flour
18g tapioca flour
a pinch of salt
15 raspberries, fresh or frozen

In another bowl, warm until melted:

1 Tbsp lard
2T honey (or more for a sweeter scone)

In another small bowl, whisk:

1 egg

Mix the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients thoroughly until a thick batter forms.  Spoon the batter into a scone pan like the one shown below.  (You could try dropping the batter onto a baking sheet to cook free-form round scones.  I haven't tried this, but I bet it would work.)  Cook at 400 degrees for 10-12 minutes or until they start to brown a little on the top and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

Serve for tea and enjoy!

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Raspberry Pastry Squares

If you already have some puff pastry, croissant dough, or danish dough made, then assembling some raspberry squares is very easy.  It's also an impressive dessert to bring to any occasion.  You can use any fruit, fresh or frozen, instead of the raspberries.  Here I used frozen raspberries.

Raspberry Pastry Squares Recipe

This recipe makes as many pastry squares as you have ingredients for.  
Prep time: 10 minutes (with pre-made pastry dough)
Cook time: 20 minutes

Heat the oven to 400 degrees.  Push through a fine mesh seive:

apricot jam (optional)

Set the jam aside.  Roll out to about 1/4" thick (or more):

puff pastry, croissant, or danish dough

Cut the dough into as many squares as needed, 2-4 inches per side.  Place the squares at least 1/2 inch apart on a parchment-paper lined sturdy baking sheet with sides.  (Do not use a baking sheet with no sides or you may start a grease fire.  Butter will probably come out of the dough.)  Press a dent in the middle of each square with the back of a spoon.  If using puff pastry, you can "dock" the dough by poking holes in it with a fork to make sure it doesn't puff too much in the middle.  Brush the dough with:

whisked egg

Top the squares with:

raspberries, fresh or frozen

Top the raspberries with:

the strained jam (optional)
granulated sugar (optional)

Bake the pastry squares for 20-30 minutes or until the tops are golden brown.

p.s. I got this recipe idea from Pinterest.  Follow me!

Sunday, March 10, 2013

Pain au Chocolat

If you're making croissants anyway, Pain au Chocolat is easy.  All you need is your croissant dough, or Quicker, Easier Croissant Dough, and some high-quality chocolate.

Roll out your croissant dough, but instead of cutting triangles keep the dough in rectangles.  Place a piece of chocolate about 1/4 of the way back from the leading edge.

Using the parchment paper to support your croissant dough, carefully flip the leading edge over the chocolate.

Keep rolling the dough around the chocolate gently until the whole think is rolled up.

Let the pain au chocolat rise like you would a croissant.  Brush with egg wash and cook with your other croissants as directed.

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Biscuit Recipe

Last week I let people request a recipe.  I've been working on a list of recipes that people have requested since about this time last year.  I've also been thinking about making biscuits since about this time last year, which is when a friend emailed a southern-style biscuit recipe to me.  When someone commented on my post asking for biscuits, I couldn't put it off any longer.

How could I not have made biscuits until now?  They are so delicious!  This recipe is an adaptation of my friend Byron's southern-style biscuit recipe.

Southern-style Biscuits Recipe
Makes 8 biscuits

Have everything very cold, except the oven which you should pre-heat right away to 500 degrees.

In a medium bowl, combine:

270 g (2 cups) No. 2 Pastry Flour (OR No. 1 All-purpose Flour plus 1/4 tsp xanthan gum)
1 Tbsp Baking soda
a scant 1/2 tsp salt

Whisk the dry ingredients together.  Cut in:

6 Tbsp unsalted butter

Blend in the butter until the mixture has pieces the size of peas and smaller.  Then add:

a generous 1 cup buttermilk

stir the ingredients until it starts to come together into a rough dough.  Lightly press the dough together with your hands and turn it out onto a lightly floured surface.  Gently press the dough into biscuit-sized shapes about 3" across.  Place the biscuits in a pan and bake at 500 degrees for 8-10 minutes.  When starting to brown on top, remove from the oven and cool on a rack.  Serve warm with butter and honey.  Enjoy!

Sunday, March 3, 2013

5 Essential Tools for Baking Gluten-free Bread

My old house was a real fixer.  I was constantly knee-deep in, or recovering from, renovation projects. Some of the best advice I ever got about home projects is "always have the right tools for the job." The person who said it backed up the statement by buying me a very nice cordless power drill.

That drill still comes in handy, even now when I don't have the heavy-duty projects I used to take on.  This power tool kept me from spending hours of extra time trying to put together a deck with a screwdriver.

Gluten-free baking is kind of like trying to put together a deck with a screwdriver instead of a cordless power drill.  There are things that just don't work in exactly the same way with gluten-free as they do with "regular" flour.  That's why having the right tools for the job is essential for making good use of your time and resources when you're learning how to bake gluten-free.  Here are five essential tools you can add to your arsenal for baking gluten-free bread.

A digital kitchen scale is the most important thing you can have for accurate results with gluten-free baking.  Gluten-free flours are difficult to measure by volume.  Each flour has a different density, so they measure differently.  Substitute flour by weight for better accuracy.

A banneton basket is a luxury item for the dedicated bread baker.  The light construction lets air circulate around the dough as it's rising at the same time as the sides of the basket support the dough.

If you want to make baguettes, a baguette pan is a must.

If you don't want to splurge on the baguette pan, parchment paper is a great tool to use that can supplement or replace the baguette pan.  It can also be used for lining a baking sheet or any type of pan to keep your pans cleaner while baking and provide a non-stick surface.

For making sandwich bread, I love to use the pullman style loaf pan.  The narrow shape helps gluten-free bread rise as much as possible for bigger slices.

With any of these great tools, you'll love baking your own gluten-free bread!