Living without gluten, casein, soy, eggs and peanuts. Living with ASD and ADHD. Life is good!

Monday, November 29, 2010

Apple Yogurt Crumb Pie (Gluten Free and Vegan)

Sour Cream Apple Pie used to be one of my very favorite pies. I've missed it the past couple of years. But this year instead of pining for it, I decided to rework it with So Delicous Coconut Milk Yogurt! Happy day, my pie came out great! Instead of using sour cream, sugar, flour and egg in the filling I substituted coconut milk yogurt, maple syrup and granulated tapioca. Now that Anna is able to again tolerate apples, everyone was able to partake and enjoy, and that made us all very thankful.

Apple Yogurt Crumb Pie

pastry for one-crust pie

8 large tart apples, such as Granny Smith
1 cup So Delicious Coconut Milk Vanilla Yogurt
1/4 cup maple syrup
1 tsp. vanilla extract
2 tbsp. granulated tapioca

Crumb Topping
1 cup GF flour blend
1/4 cup packed brown sugar
2 tbsp. white sugar
1 tsp. cinnamon
4 tbsp. dairy free, soy free margarine (such as Earth Balance)

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Prepare your pie crust, set aside.

Peel, core and thinly slice the apples into a large bowl. Stir together the yogurt through the tapioca, pour over the apples and toss until the apples are evenly coated. Fill the pie plate with the apple mixture, distributing evenly. Put the pie in the oven and bake at 400 degrees for 10 minutes. Turn heat down to 375 degrees and bake 15 minutes. Meanwhile, make the crumb topping.

Combine the flour blend through the cinnamon. Cut in the margarine with a pastry cutter until the mixture resembles fine meal. Remove the pie from the oven. Pour the crumb topping over the apples, spreading to cover evenly.

Return the pie to the oven and bake another 30 minutes. Test the apples with a toothpick. Bake another 10 - 15 minutes if needed, until the apples are soft and the filling is bubbly, covering with tin foil to keep the topping from over-browning if needed.

Remove the pie from the oven and set on a wire rack to cool. Serve slightly warm or at room temperature.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Roast Crisp-Skin Turkey (Edited)

I found it! My favorite recipe for brined turkey! It was stuffed in someplace really random, and now that I have it in hand I'm going to post it right away so all I have to do next year is head to my blog to find it. Phew!

This is the most fabulous recipe for brined turkey ever. I can't remember where it's from. I think my mom gave it to me as a newspaper clipping or something like that. I've tried other brining recipes before, all of them fancier than this one, but this is the one I like the best. It's just a simple brine (just salt, no sugar) - it's the method that makes it fabulous. After soaking the turkey in brine for a few hours, the turkey sits uncovered in the refrigerator for another several hours, which gives the skin a chance to dry out a bit so it will crisp when roasted. Then the turkey is basted and turned while roasting, which might seem like a pain in the rear but trust me, this produces a crispy skin all over the turkey. The brine keeps the turkey moist, not salty. It's just fabulous, worth every minute of preparation. And the gravy made from the drippings? To die for!

This recipe calls for a high-salt brine for a short soaking time. If it makes it easier for you to have a longer soaking time, cut the salt in half and double the time the turkey soaks in the brine. And now without further ado, here it is - the best brined turkey recipe ever. I'll post pictures as soon as I can. I don't stuff or truss my turkey, but you can if you wish!

Roast Crisp-Skin Turkey

12 - 14 pound turkey (not pre-basted, preferably fresh and minimally processed)

For the brine
4 cups kosher salt (or 2 cups table salt)
2 gallons cold water

For the pan
2 carrots, cut into large pieces
2 celery stalks with their leaves, cut into large pieces
2 large onions, cut into eighths
6 sprigs fresh parsley or thyme

For the herb baste
6 tbsp. olive oil
1 tsp. dried rubbed sage
1 tsp. dried thyme (or 2 tsp. fresh minced thyme)
3 cloves minced garlic
1/2 tsp. black pepper

Start the night before you cook the turkey. Combine the salt with the two gallons of water in a large pot (I use my canning pot) and stir until the salt dissolves. Remove the giblets from the cavity and rinse the turkey inside and out. Place in the brine breast side down. The turkey will float, so lay a heavy plate on it to keep it submerged. Refrigerate for 4 - 6 hours, not longer than that or the turkey will be too salty. Remove the turkey from the brine, rinse and pat dry inside and out. Place in a roasting pan and return to the refrigerator, uncovered, for 8 - 12 hours.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Remove the turkey from the refrigerator and discard any water that has collected in the cavity and in the bottom of the roasting pan. Place the turkey on the roasting rack breast-side up. Adjust the stove rack to the lowest position in the oven. Toss 1/3 of the veggies together with 2 sprigs of parsley or thyme into the cavity. Scatter the remaining veggies and herbs in the bottom of the roasting pan. Pour 2 cups of water into the roasting pan with the veggies.

Combine the olive oil through the black pepper. Baste the turkey all over with this mixture. Place the turkey in the oven and roast 45 minutes until the breast is crisp and browned. Baste again and roast another 15 minutes. Rotate the turkey in the oven as needed so all sides brown evenly. Add water to the bottom of the pan as needed to keep the veggies from sticking to the bottom of the pan.

Remove the turkey from the oven, turn breast-side down, baste and roast another 45 minutes until the bottom is crisp and browned. Baste again and roast another 15 minutes, rotating in the oven as needed. Turn the turkey breast-side up again, baste, rotate and roast in 15 minute intervals (stop basting 30 minutes before the turkey is done roasting), until a thermometer in the breast reads 160 degrees and in the thigh reads 170 degrees (the turkey will keep cooking for several minutes after removal from the oven). You may need to put some foil over the turkey the last half hour of roasting to keep it from getting too brown.

Remove the turkey from the oven, tent with foil and let sit for 20 minutes before carving. A brined turkey will cook faster than a non-brined turkey. A 11 - 12 pound turkey takes approximately 2 hours to roast in the oven.

Pan Gravy

Add a little water or white wine to the roasting pan and stir, scraping up the brown bits of the bottom of the pan to deglaze. Pour the pan drippings through a sieve into a measuring cup. Discard the solids. Skim the fat from the measuring cup, reserving 1/4 cup of fat. Add enough water or chicken broth to the remaining drippings in the measuring cup to equal 2 cups of liquid.

Pour 1/4 cup of the reserved fat into a medium saucepan. Whisk in 3 tbsp. arrowroot starch until smooth. Slowly add the reserved drippings, whisking constantly. Cook over medium heat, until thickened and bubbly. Cook and stir 1 minute more. Season to taste with pepper, if desired Serve hot.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Swiss Chard-Wrapped Fish

My new favorite way to make fish is to wrap it in chard leaves and bake it. I've tried this with different seasonings and each time it's been very good, no matter how I've seasoned it. Each time the fish comes out perfectly cooked. It's like parchment-wrapped fish, only better in my opinion because you get to eat the wrapping. Even better? The girls love this dish, which is great because it's one of the only ways I can get them to eat chard.

4 large Swiss Chard leaves
1 pound fish (tilapia and salmon work well)
olive oil
salt and pepper
seasoning of your choice (pesto, lemon-garlic seasoning, thinly sliced lemon, thinly sliced onion, mustard-honey dressing, maple-balsamic glaze, minced garlic and herbs, etc.)

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Smear olive oil on a baking sheet, set aside. Rinse the fish and pat dry, set aside.

Rinse chard and pat dry. If the ribs are thick, mash them with a fork to make them pliable. Cut the fish into serving portions. Lay your chosen topping on top of a piece of chard, then top with the fish (or season fish all over with your choice of seasoning).

Fold the chard over the fish to cover fish completely. Lay the fish seam side down on the baking sheet. Repeat with remaining fish.

Smear the chard-wrapped fish pieces all over with olive oil (this will keep the chard from drying out) and season with salt and pepper. Bake 10 - 15 minutes depending on the thickness of the fish (tilapia takes 10 - 12 minutes and salmon takes about 15 minutes). Serve immediately.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Arugula Pesto

We have scads of arugula crowding our little garden! It's very exciting. I just love going out to the garden to harvest green things for dinner. Our little peas plants have also produced several plump pea pods that Anna has enjoyed splitting open to eat the little green peas nestled inside. I love that she eats so healthy and loves fresh green things almost as much as I do. In spite of all her food intolerances, she is one healthy eater. Megan even tried a couple of small peas...she claimed to not like them, but she ate them anyway, which pleased me quite a bit.

So the arugula is growing like crazy, and there is no better way to tame a bunch of greens than to pick them and turn them into pesto. I've never had arugula pesto before, but this recipe by Michael Chiarello looked mighty tasty. I modified it to suit our needs (honestly, the parmesan is not necessary) and it turned out really, really good. I had to exercise some serious willpower to leave some for DH to try. This recipe does not make a lot of pesto as the greens cook down considerably, but it's worth every bite. I enjoyed this pesto on spaghetti squash for dinner tonight, but it'd be just as good with rice crackers (or, being totally honest...plain by the spoonful).

4 cups arugula, more or less
2 large cloves garlic
2 tsp. lemon juice
extra virgin olive oil
salt to taste
2 tbsp. almond meal, if desired (or pine nuts, or walnuts, or what-have-you...and if you can't do nuts, then try a little flax seed meal instead)

Bring a pot of water to boiling. Have a separate bowl of very cold water waiting in the sink.

Clean the arugula. If you are not buying it pre-washed, then plunge it into water and strain three times to get rid of dirt bits or bug bits or things like that. Place the arugula in the boiling water and cook 15 seconds to blanch. Pour the arugula into a strainer and then plunge it into the cold water to stop the cooking. It should look wilted and bright green.

Pulse the garlic in a food processor until minced. Add the arugula, lemon juice, 1/4 cup olive oil and a dash of salt. Process until a the pesto reaches a paste consistency, adding olive oil as needed to achieve your desired consistency. Taste and adjust the salt to taste. Add the almond meal and pulse until combined.

I'm sure this pesto will keep a few days in the refrigerator but I don't know for sure as it certainly will not last that long may make it to see the morning, but then it may not!