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Sunday, 16 July 2017

The Best Homemade Seafood Chowder!

The wonderful thing about making seafood chowder at home is that you can use whatever fresh, local (or not-so-local) seafood that is in season.  The recipe here is for a delicious vegetable-packed chowder filled with lobster, scallops and haddock.  You can easily add shrimp, salmon, or other types of fish in addition to or as a substitute for these.  You can even add in mussels, too.  The pictures here are of a chowder I made while visiting Nova Scotia. It was filled with fresh, local scallops, lobsters, and haddock fillets.
Best Gluten Free Seafood Chowder
Wonderfully delicious homemade seafood chowder, packed with lobster, haddock and scallops.  This version is packed with vegetables, too, and packed with flavor. 


The Best Homemade Seafood Chowder
Serves 6-8

Saute in a large pot over medium heat for 4-5 minutes:
1/3 cup butter
1/2 onion, diced
2-3 carrots, sliced
dash salt and pepper

Add, and saute, stirring regularly for 5-7 minutes:
1.5 lbs potatoes, diced
3 stalks celery, sliced
1/2 - 3/4 cups diced fennel bulb
3-4 cloves garlic, minced OR 1/4 - 1/3 cup garlic scapes, sliced (if in season)

Add and cook an additional 1-2 minutes:
1 tsp salt
1 tsp pepper
2-3 tsp Old Bay Seasoning (adds spiciness, so use less if you prefer less bite)
3-5 dashes Tabasco sauce
1/4 - 1/2 tsp dried oregano
Vegetables in seafood chowder
I like to saute the vegetables for a longer period in the pan, then they can simmer for less time in order to really bring out the flavors and taste.  

Add, then simmer vegetables for ~7-8 minutes:
~3 cups water (just until top of veggies)
1 tsp GF chicken bouillon seasoning (optional)

Add:
1 cup 10% cream (lactose-free works great)

Mix in a small bowl:
1/4 cup 10% cream
1/4 cup water
1/4 cup Kristin's Gluten-Free Flour Mix

Once you've mixed the flour/cream together, you want to add it a little at a time to the bubbling soup.  Stirring and returning soup to a low boil to adjust thickness after you add each 1-2 Tbsp.  I prefer a less thick chowder, and so would recommend just a bit being added.
Chowder, thickened and ready for seafood
Here's the chowder after being thickened a bit.  I prefer a just barely thickened creamy soup to the thick chowders sometimes served.  In this picture the soup is ready for seafood to be added. 

Once you've achieved the desire chowder thickness and returned your soup to a boil over medium heat, add the following and simmer for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally:
8 large scallops, diced (or equivalent amount of small scallops)
3 haddock fillets, diced

Taste test the soup at this point to adjust with salt and pepper, as desired.  The Old Bay Seasoning has quite a bit of salt, so I usually just add a dash of pepper.

Just before serving, add:
cooked lobster meat from 2 large lobsters, diced (I remove and use the tail, claws, knuckles)

This flavorful seafood chowder is wonderful served alongside garlic bread.  A few breads we enjoy eating as garlic bread are: a tasty GF white bread, GF naan bread, and homemade GF sourdough bread.
In my opinion, the perfect accompaniment to a fresh seafood chowder and garlic bread dinner is a homemade apple crisp.  If you can find Cortland apples, you'll truly be in heaven.  Enjoy!
A homemade GF apple crisp made with local Cortland apples - yum! 

Thursday, 6 July 2017

Red Potato Salad with fresh herbs

This lovely potato salad is packed with fresh herbs, making it a flavorful addition to any summer meal.  I particularly love it when served alongside something like pan-fried haddock or cod or a nice baked or barbecued salmon.   The salad shown here was served at a book club luncheon and was a perfect accompaniment to rolled up ham and cheese sandwiches and a garden salad.  Enjoy!

Red potato salad with fresh herbs
Freshly prepared red potato salad with fresh herbs, ready to eat!

Red Potato Salad w/ Fresh Herbs

Rinse & dice ~2 lbs baby red potatoes into large bite-size pieces.  Place in a pot of cold water, enough to cover the potatoes by about 1".  Add a dash of salt.

Bring pot to a boil. Boil uncovered for ~10-12 minutes, until potatoes are soft when poked with a fork (just soft enough for the fork to go through, not mushy. You want them to keep their shape).   Drain and run under cold water to cool.

In a large bowl, mix together:
cooked red potatoes, from above
1/3 cup mayonnaise
3 Tbsp fresh dill, minced
5-6 green onions, sliced
2 stalks celery, finely diced
1/2 - 1 tsp garlic powder OR 2-3 Tbsp chopped roasted garlic cloves
salt & pepper, to taste (I usually start with 1/4 tsp of each and add more as desired)

You can serve this immediately or chill and serve.   I find it's nice to make it a day in advance so the flavors really blend together.  Enjoy!

Friday, 23 June 2017

BBQ Salmon with roasted garlic, herbs and lemon

A wonderfully light and flaky salmon, made easily on the barbecue! The rich flavours from the garlic, herbs and lemon infuse the salmon spits packed with flavour.  I like to cut the pieces so they're narrow, meaning they cook evenly and quickly.  Try these with a side salad, rice or potatoes. Enjoy!

A gorgeous tray of salmon, fresh off the BBQ.  It is as tasty as it is aesthetically pleasing. 

BBQ Salmon topped with roasted garlic, herbs & lemon

I like to cook my salmon on the BBQ, but off direct heat.  On a small grill, you'd have one half on about medium and cook the salmon on the other half.  On a larger grill, I like to have the outer heat going and have the salmon cooking off the direct-heat in the middle of the BBQ.   To prepare the BBQ, I put all burners on high-heat, then turn off the ones where I want to put the salmon, and lower the others to medium/medium-low.  I like to aim for a temperature of about 400 F.

Line a BBQ-safe pan with foil.  On foil, place:
8 small slices of salmon (each ~1 1/2 - 2" wide)

Drizzle salmon with olive oil and sprinkle with salt & pepper.

In a small bowl, mix together:
10 cloves of roasted garlic, chopped
2-3 Tbsp minced chives
2-3 Tbsp minced dill
3-4 Tbsp mayonnaise
1/2 tsp pepper
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp paprika

Spread the garlic & herb mixture on the top of the salmon slices.   Top salmon with lemon, thinly sliced.
Just gorgeous - ready to pop onto the BBQ.

Bake salmon at ~400 F on the BBQ for 15 minutes for small slices and 20 minutes for larger pieces of salmon.  Check with a fork to make sure the thickest part is cooked thoroughly and nice and flaky.   Enjoy!!!



Wednesday, 7 June 2017

Three Large Delicious Bread Loaves

These large, delicious loaves of gluten-free bread are so easy to whip together!  They're perfect for sandwiches, grilled cheese, garlic bread slices, toast, french toast.  Just a nice, moist, chewy bread that tastes wonderful and is perfect for all.  I've had many amazed it's gluten-free because it tastes so nice.  Enjoy!
Fresh out of the oven - we couldn't wait long enough to sneak a slice (or two). This bread is wonderfully light and chewy.  

Three Large Delicious Bread Loaves

Butter 3 large loaf pans.  Preheat oven to 350 F.

In a large mixer, mix the dry ingredients:
2 cups brown rice flour
1 cup tapioca starch
1 cup potato starch
1 cup arrowroot starch
1/2 cup white rice flour
1/2 cup sorghum flour
4 tsp xanthan gum
4 tsp rapid-rise yeast (quick yeast)
2 tsp salt

Add and beat 3-4 minutes, scraping occasionally, if needed:
2 1/2 cups lukewarm water
5 Tbsp honey (OR 2 Tbsp honey + 3 Tbsp maple syrup)
8 Tbsp oil (I love avocado oil)
6 eggs (chia seeds + water substitute will work well for those egg-intolerant)
2 tsp apple cider vinegar

Fill each loaf pan 1/2 full with batter.  Cover with plastic wrap and let rise in a warm location until dough has reached the plastic wrap (~40 minutes).   Remove plastic wrap - don't worry if a little dough sticks to the top of the plastic wrap. It'll look fine once cooked.
Pans filled with dough.  These were covered with plastic wrap and left to rise 40 minutes before baking. 

Bake at 350 F for 45 minutes until nicely golden brown.  Remove from pans and cool on cooling racks.  You can slice and use immediately or slice and freeze.  I always slice my bread before freezing, and it's perfect to take out and use for lunches or meals.  Enjoy!
Large, fresh loaves of delicious bread. 

Friday, 19 May 2017

Key Lime Curd & Lemon Sugar Cookies

Key lime curd served alongside homemade gluten-free lemon sugar cookies or key lime cookies are a perfect summertime dessert when you want something light, but flavorful.  The homemade curd is wonderfully pleasant, filled with key lime zest and juice.  If you need to juice your own, you will need quite a lot of key limes. I think something around 20 or so for that much juice.   The cookies are lovely made into little sandwiches, or served with a dollop of curd on top of each cookie.  Or, you can serve alongside on a small plate, as shown in the picture here.  Enjoy!

Key lime curd served alongside homemade key lime cookies, but equally delicious with the easy, no-fuss lemon sugar cookie recipe below! 

Key Lime Curd & Lemon Sugar Cookies

Whisk together in a pan:
1/2 cup key lime juice
zest of 7-10 key limes
3/4 cup sugar
3 Tbsp cornstarch
2/3 - 3/4 cup cold water

Heat over medium heat, stirring regularly.  Once mixture boils, let boil for 1 minute.   Then add and whisk in:
2 egg yolks
1 1/2 Tbsp butter

Allow the curd to boil for 1 minute only. Remove from heat.  Pour curd into a large bowl (or several smaller bowls) and cover with plastic wrap (have the plastic wrap tight to the top, like you do for pudding.   Let cool or serve warm with key lime coolers or the lemon sugar cookies, below.  Enjoy!!!

Lemon Sugar Cookies
Make one batch of Kristin's Favorite Sugar Cookies, adding 6 drops lemon essential oil (high quality - I love the Doterra lemon oil) and 1 tsp lemon zest.    I've retyped the recipe with modifications here for convenience.

Makes ~40 small cookies (it really depends on your cookie cutter or cookie scoop size)

Preheat oven to 375F.  Line baking sheets with silicon lining or parchment paper.

Mix the dry ingredients in a large bowl: (it's important to do this in GF cooking to avoid clumping)
1 1/2 cups Kristin's Gluten-Free Flour mix
1 1/2 tsp xanthan gum
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp cream of tartar

Beat in a mixer until fluffy:
3/4 cup powdered sugar
1/2 cup butter

Add and mix in thoroughly:
1/2 egg (beat the egg in a bowl with a fork and dump in approx. half the egg - the recipe is forgiving)
1 tsp vanilla bean paste (or vanilla extract)
6 drops lemon essential oil
1 tsp lemon zest

Add dry ingredients and mix until well-combined.   If you want to roll and cut shapes, then wrap the dough in plastic wrap and refrigerate at least 30 minutes to chill.   Otherwise, you can scoop and then flatten the cookies with a plastic-bag wrapped glass or your hand.

Roll out chilled dough between two pieces of plastic wrap to approx 1/4" thickness.  Cut into whatever shapes you like and place on prepared cookie sheets.  

If desired, you can sprinkle the cookies with decorative sugar crystals before cooking for a fancier look, or dust with powdered sugar after baking. 

Bake cookies ~6-9 minutes (depending on size) until just barely browned on edges of the cookies.  Remove pan from oven.  Let sit a few minutes before placing your cookies on a cooling rack.

Perfect served alongside fresh key lime curd, for a decadent treat.  You can dust your cookies with powdered sugar, if desired.   Enjoy!

Key lime curd, sandwiched between cookies. Yum! 

Wednesday, 10 May 2017

Homemade Butter Chicken

This easy gluten-free butter chicken recipe is wonderful!  Despite the name, there's very little butter in it, but it's nice and creamy and not too spicy, being a family-friendly Indian dish.  I've made several renditions of butter chicken over the years, but never been satisfied until now.  Make sure you start a day ahead, so you can marinate your chicken overnight, allowing the flavors to have ample time to sink into the meat.  None of the steps in this recipe are tricky, but it doesn't require quite a bit of simmering time, so make sure to read through the recipe ahead of time.   This was a perfect dish for my brother's birthday dinner, served alongside chicken saag, in which we used paneer in place of chicken (wonderful) and fresh, homemade GF naan bread.  Enjoy!

Gluten Free Butter Chicken
A delicious meal of butter chicken and paneer saag (made with diced paneer in place of chicken) over rice 

Homemade Butter Chicken
based off a NYTimes recipe
Serves ~8, about 1 hr 15 minutes cooking time (most of it simmering time)

In a large tupperware, mix together the night before you want to make this dish to marinate chicken thighs: (aka, ~24 in advance)
1 1/2 cup plain yogurt (lactose-free works great)
2 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
2 Tbsp garam masala
2 Tbsp ground cumin
1 1/2 Tbsp ground tumeric
3 lbs boneless chicken thighs

In a large pan over medium heat, melt butter, then cook 2-3 minutes:
1/4 cup butter
1-2 Tbsp oil
1 large onion

Add to onions and cook an additional 3-4 minutes, until onions are just starting to brown:
2 Tbsp minced fresh garlic
2 Tbsp grated fresh ginger
1 Tbsp cumin seeds

Add to the pan, and cook about 10 minutes, lowering heat to just below medium heat:
16 oz. can diced tomatoes
1 jalapeno, minced OR 1 tsp red pepper flakes
1 cinnamon stick
1 tsp salt

Add to pan and cook 5 minutes:
Chicken, marinated plus marinade sauce

Add to pot and cook, simmering over medium-low heat for 30 minutes:
3/4 cup GF chicken stock (or 3/4 cup water + 1 tsp Asian mushroom seasoning)

After simmering, add and simmer an additional 15 minutes to thicken:
1 - 1 1/2 cups coconut cream (OR thick part of canned coconut milk if you can't find canned coconut cream)

Serve over fresh basmati rice.  If desired, you can sprinkle with fresh cilantro before serving.  Absolutely wonderful served alongside homemade gluten-free naan bread, too!  Enjoy!

GF Butter Chicken
A delicious meal of butter chicken and paneer saag (made with diced paneer in place of chicken) over rice with GF key lime cookies and key lime curd (recipe to be posted soon) on the side! 


Wednesday, 3 May 2017

Dark Chocolate Whoopie Pies!

Whoopie pies are a fun, delicious treat that come in all sizes and with a variety of fillings.  These ones are a dark, rich chocolate puffy cookie filled with marshmallow frosting.  The cookie itself is puffy and moist, a mix between a piece of cake and a cookie.  I recently posted a family favorite oatmeal whoopie pie recipe.  You can easily fill these cookies with an ice cream of your choice for a delicious ice cream sandwich, too!  For a proper chocolate whoopie pie (reminiscent of my days travelling to Bova's bakery in the North End of Boston), you can fill your chocolate whoopie pies with freshly whipped cream sweetened with just a touch of powdered sugar, then store them in the refrigerator for up to a day.  Yum!  Enjoy!
Gluten Free Chocolate Whoopie Pies
Homemade Gluten Free Dark Chocolate Whoopie Pies

Chocolate Whoopie Pies!
Makes 12 whoopie pies

Preheat oven to 375 F. Line two pans with silicon liners or parchment paper.

Mix in a bowl, and then set aside: (it's important to mix gluten-free flours first to avoid clumping when baking)
1 cup extra dark cocoa powder
1/2 cup Kristin's Gluten-Free Flour Mix
1/2 tsp xanthan gum
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt

In a mixer, beat until fluffy:
1/4 cup butter
1/2 cup white sugar
1/4 cup brown sugar

Add and mix until well combined, scraping down the bowl a few times:
1 tsp vanilla extract or vanilla bean paste
1/4 cup mayonnaise
2 eggs

Scoop 12 cookies onto each parchment paper/silicon lined pan.  They will spread a bit and puff up during baking.   Bake at 375 F for 7-9 minutes.  (less for softer, fluffier - more for harder with a slight crisp edge)
Gluten Free Chocolate Whoopie Pies
You can leave scooped for puffier whoopie pies, or flatten slightly before cooking (with your hand in a plastic bag) for flatter/wider cookies.

Cool cookies on a wire rack.
Gluten Free Chocolate Whoopie Pies
Chocolate Whoopie Pie Cookies, cooling before being filled.

Once cool, fill with delicious marshmallow fluff frosting *(measurements below for the right amount for these cookies) OR whipped heavy cream/whipping cream (1 cup heavy cream + 2-3 Tbsp powdered sugar).   Make sure to refrigerate if you use the whipping cream.   These are great right away, but I find even better if they're left refrigerated overnight to let the flavors mesh a little before serving.  Enjoy!

*Marshmallow Fluff Frosting - just enough for filling 12 whoopie pies!
Beat together until smooth, then use to fill whoopie pies:
1/2 cup butter, softened
1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
1/2 - 1 tsp vanilla extract or bean paste
~1 cup marshmallow fluff