Friday, January 27, 2012

Carrot Miso Soup

My grade school music class experience was traumatic, but it did give me this gem (which gets stuck in my head every time I eat a carrot):

Donkeys like to munch on carrots
Carrots don’t like that at all
Hee Haw Hee Haw
Listen to that silly call

Anywho…January is National Carrot Month. Could there be a better way to celebrate than eating this delicious carrot miso soup and singing about donkeys and carrots? I think not.

(Adapted from Smitten Kitchen)

2 tbsp. olive oil
2 lbs. carrots, peeled and thinly sliced
1 large onion, diced
4-6 cloves of garlic, minced
4 cups vegetable broth
1 generous tbsp. grated fresh ginger (Okay, I confess. We don’t even measure. We just grate it into the pot. Deb, the Smitten Kitchen guru, recommends 1 to 2 tbsp.)
At least ¼ cup gluten-free miso paste (We used South River Chickpea Miso.)
Sesame oil
2 scallions, thinly sliced

1. In a Dutch oven or large heavy saucepan, heat olive oil over medium heat. Add the carrots, garlic and onion. Cook, stirring until the onion is soft and translucent (about 10 minutes).

2. Add the vegetable broth and ginger. Cover and simmer, peeking and stirring occasionally, until the carrots are tender (about 30 minutes).

3. Remove from heat and blend. (We highly recommend using an immersion blender, but if you don’t have one and insist on making this soup before you get one, blend in batches in your blender.)

4. Scoop ½ cup of the soup into a small bowl. Add the miso and whisk.

5. Pour the miso-soup mixture into the big pot of soup and stir to combine.

6. Ladle into individual bowls and, if you want, drizzle with sesame oil and top with scallions. We had a minor miscommunication about the scallions so our soup was scallion-less, but I think they’d make a tasty addition—even tastier, perhaps, if you were to sauté the scallions briefly in the sesame oil before plopping them on the soup. (I added a few Mary’s Gone Crackers to my soup. I thought it was delicious, but I’ve been informed that some people think Mary’s Gone Crackers taste like burnt seeds.)

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Warm Rice Salad

This is yummy—really really yummy. There are lots of different textures and flavors and it’s just awesome. Make it. Eat it. Thank me.

[Adapted from “Gluten-Free Girl and the Chef” (the book)]

1 cup black rice
2 tbsp. unsalted butter
1 medium yellow onion, peeled and diced plus ½ a medium yellow onion, peeled and sliced
2 cups water
1 pint grape tomatoes, halved
2 avocados, peeled and diced
¼ cup sunflower seeds
1 tbsp. finely chopped fresh rosemary
1 large garlic clove, minced
1 tsp. minced shallot
1 tsp. white wine vinegar
1 tsp. stone ground mustard
¾ cup plus 2 tbsp. EVOO

1. Combine the rice, sliced onion (from the ½ onion), butter and water in a large saucepan over high heat.

2. Bring the contents of the pot to a boil. Turn the heat down to low, cover the pot and simmer until the rice is done (and the water is gone), about 20 minutes.

3. Heat 2tbsp. EVOO in a large skillet over high heat. Add the onions (from the full onion) and the garlic and cook, stirring every once in a while, until the onion is translucent (about 10 minutes). Stir in the rosemary and cook until you can smell it (about a minute).

4. Combine white wine vinegar, mustard and the itty bitty bit of shallot in a food processor. Process and—while you’re processing—slowly pour the ¾ cup EVOO into the food processor. Blend for about 2 minutes.

5. Dump the avocado and tomatoes into a large bowl. Add the rice, sautéed onions and the sunflower seeds. Toss.

6. Drizzle the white wine vinaigrette on each individual serving. (Frankly, I like it with and without the dressing so, ya know, taste it before you dress it.) 

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Sausage, Mushroom and Potato Gratin

Sausage, mushroom, potato, cheese…This is so not my thing. It sounds so meaty and cheesy, so “hearty.” I don’t typically go for hearty fare, but something magical happens when you sprinkle this dish with fresh thyme—it becomes, well, delicious.

THIS is comfort food.

(Adapted from Cooking Light)

2 Italian (or spinach and garlic) turkey or turkey sausages, casings removed and sausages sliced
1 tbsp. butter
2 large yellow onions, roughly diced
2 portabella caps, de-gilled and sliced
1 ½ lbs red potatoes, coarsely chopped
½ cup chicken broth
¾ cup shredded Swiss cheese
2 tablespoons chopped fresh thyme

1. Preheat oven to 400° and spritz baking dish with oil.

2. In a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat, cook the sausage until browned (about 5 minutes). Remove the sausage from the skillet. (If there’s grease in the pan, drain it and wipe the skillet down with a paper towel.)

3. Add the butter to the skillet.

4. Once the butter is melted, add the onion and sauté, stirring, for about 4 minutes.

5. Add the portabellas and cook, stirring, for about 6 minutes.

6. Add the potatoes to the skillet. Cook, stirring occasionally, until browned (about 5 minutes).

7. Add the sausage and chicken broth to the skillet and remove from heat.

8. Dump the mixture into the prepared baking dish.

9. Sprinkle with cheese.

10. Cover with foil and cook for 30 minutes.

11. Remove the foil and bake for another 15 minutes or so (until the cheese is golden).

12. Sprinkle with thyme and serve.

Monday, January 16, 2012

Gluten-Free Popovers

Did you know that popovers get their puffiness from steam? (That little factoid will be in the next edition of Things I Learned, but who knows when I’ll actually get around to posting that…)

Popovers used to be a Christmas morning tradition. Then I went gluten-free and ruined everything. And then I saved the day by finding a recipe for gluten-free popovers that are just as awesomely delicate and delicious as the real thing. And we all lived happily ever after. The end.

(Adapted from King Arthur Flour)

1 cup Gluten-Free All Purpose flour
¼ tsp. xanthan gum
½ tsp. salt
1 ¼ cup skim milk
4 eggs
3 tbsp. butter, melted

1. Preheat oven to 400° and grease 12 cups of a popover pan or muffin pan.

2. Combine milk, butter and eggs in a blender. Mix on medium speed until well-combined.

3. In a medium bowl, combine the flour, xanthan gum and salt.

4. Add the flour mixture to the blender and blend at medium-high until the batter is smooth.

5. Fill each muffin/popover cup about 2/3 full and bake for 25 minutes.

6. Reduce the heat to 350° and bake for 10 minutes, until the popovers brown.

7. King Arthur says: remove from the oven and let the popovers rest for 5 minutes before serving. I say: remove from the oven and serve immediately.