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Sunday, 30 June 2013

Gluten Free Crispy & Thin Crust Pizza

I was so excited when I finally came up with a recipe for thin crust pizza that hits the spot!  (Can you hear the Hallelujah Chorus!? Because I sure can!) I tried a lot of recipes that just weren't what I was hoping for, and I did a lot of experimenting with some less-than-stellar results, but after a great deal of experimentation, we have success! I am thrilled with this pizza crust!!! It's a super thin, tasty crust and I think you'll just love it!  It was SO easy to whip up, too! 

Update: You can also do the final cooking of your thin crust pizza on the BBQ!  It's easy and quick.  If you make your crusts in advance, you can top and do the final bake later. Tips for BBQ'd pizza are below. Enjoy!

Absolutely delicious thin crust pizza topped with fresh basil (purple and green, in case you're wondering), and served with baby romaine lettuce on the side.  Yum!!!

Gluten-Free Crispy & Thin Crust Pizza
Makes two 12-14” pizzas

Preheat oven to 400F. Prepare two cookie sheets or pizza sheets by lining with parchment paper.

Mix dry ingredients in a large bowl:
1 cup brown rice flour
1 cup sorghum flour
1/3 cup tapioca starch
1 tsp sugar
½ tsp xanthan gum
1 ½ tsp quick/instant yeast
1 tsp salt

Mix together in a mixer, using regular beater:
1 ¾ cup water
1 tsp apple cider vinegar
2 Tbsp olive oil

Add dry ingredients into wet ingredients.  Beat 4 minutes, scraping occasionally.

Divide between the two pans and use a spatula to spread evenly into large circles or ovals on pan.  Try to have it spread as evenly as possible.

Let crusts sit and rise/rest 15-20 minutes in a warm location before baking.

Bake pizza crusts at 400F for 20-25 minutes, until turning brown at edges and the bottoms are browned.  I find I have to rotate the pans between the middle shelf and the next down during cooking since my pans won't fit side by side on one oven shelf.

Top pizzas lightly, using less than you would for a normal pizza crust, with the following:
  1. Sauce (I prefer Classico spaghetti sauces)
  2. Mozzarella cheese, grated or thinly sliced
  3. Pepperoni
  4. Fresh chopped basil and oregano
Place topped pizzas directly on the rack (no pan or parchment paper) and bake ~7-10 minutes, until toppings are cooked and crust is crispy.  * You can also do the final cook on the BBQ! See below.
Remove pizzas from oven, putting on a wooden cutting board.  Slice pizzas and slide quickly onto cooling rack. This keeps the crust from getting soggy and keeps it nice and crisp!

Serve with baby Romaine lettuce or other greens and extra sliced fresh basil for topping.  Enjoy!
mmm... Yum!
2 and 7 year old approved!

*To cook in BBQ: (using a propane or gas grill is easiest, I find) Cook pizza directly on the grates at low to medium-low on the BBQ.  When the toppings are getting close to being done, turn up the heat to get the bottom crust where you like it.  It shouldn't take more than 5-6 minutes per pizza.  Remove from heat to a wire rack.  Slice on a cutting board and return to your wire rack (this ensures your pizza stays properly crispy on the bottom).  Enjoy!

Friday, 28 June 2013

Gluten-Free Maple Glazed Donut Holes

If you like donuts, you'll like these!!!  I used to make donuts with a maple glaze semi-regularly (most Octobers), but these are actually easier and taste delicious!  These are lovely and cinnamon-filled batter which fries up easily in just a low pan of oil.  Then, you can mix together a pure maple syrup glaze to dip or drizzle overtop.  Yum!  Enjoy!
Gluten-Free Maple Glazed Donut Holes
Makes 40 donut holes
Line a cookie sheet with a double-layer of paper towel. 
Fill a wide frying pan (with higher sides) with ½ - 1” canola oil.  Set over medium-high heat.
If you want to make 1 cup buttermilk (which I tend to do) do the following now:
Put  in a 1 cup measuring cup:
2 Tbsp lemon juice OR white vinegar
Fill up to 1 cup with milk (lactose-free works, too)
Mix in a large bowl the following until nicely blended:
½ cup light brown sugar
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
2 tsp ground cinnamon
½ tsp ground allspice
Add and mix with a large spoon, just until well combined:
1 cup buttermilk
1 egg
2 Tbsp butter, melted
Once oil is nicely heated, drop donut holes by 1 Tbsp sized (I use a mini cookie scoop) into the oil.  They’ll sink at first and then rise to the top.   They sometimes turn themselves over if the pan isn’t too crowded.  They will puff right up while cooking.  Let cook 2-3 minutes per side, until nicely browned, rotating at least once. It’s okay if you rotate a few times to make sure you’ve gotten everything evenly cooked.   Once cooked, remove to your paper towel-lined cookie sheet to cool.   
Repeat with remaining batter, until all donut holes have been cooked.
Donut holes frying - almost finished here!      The finish donut holes cooling on paper towels.

Dip or drizzle with maple glaze, below. Yum!
Prepare maple glaze by mixing together:
1 cup powdered sugar
1/3 cup pure maple syrup (100% maple syrup, not the diluted stuff)
You can add a bit more maple syrup if you want it a bit runnier – it just depends on your preference.
To glaze you can either: 1. dip donut holes by hand or 2.drizzle with maple glaze.
To dip, pick up each donut hole and dip it halfway into the maple glaze.  Set it back on the tray to cool.
To drizzle, pour the maple glaze in a Ziploc baggie. Cut a tiny bit of the corner, drizzle evenly over the donut holes.  Let cool. 
My crazy-haired daughter enjoying her first maple glazed donut hole.
She happily devoured her donut hole.

Wednesday, 26 June 2013

Flavorful Shrimp Scampi w/ Wild Rice

This shrimp scampi is so easy to whip together and packed with flavor.  Plenty of herbs, lemon, garlic and shallots make a wonderful dish!  Served over a wild rice blend - which in this case has Japonica rice, making the end batch a rich purple hue, it's a fun alternative to the usual shrimp scampi over pasta.  The punch of lemon makes it a perfect dish to serve over rice.  Even the kids loved it! Enjoy!

Flavorful Shrimp Scampi w/ Wild Rice
Serves 4 (can easily be doubled)
To Cook Wild Rice:
Add together in a pot over high heat:
1 cup wild rice blend (I used Lundberg’s Countrywild blend of brown rice, Wehani and Japonica – which is why it ends up a darker color once cooked)
2 cups water
Once boiling, cover with lid and turn heat to low.  Let simmer 45-50 minutes.  Remove from heat and let sit 5 minutes. Fluff and serve.
To Cook Shrimp Scampi:
Heat in large saucepan over medium heat:
2 Tbsp olive oil
2 Tbsp butter
Add and cook until tender, 2-3 minutes:
3 tsp minced garlic
3-4 Tbsp finely diced shallot (~half a shallot)

Diced shallot and minced garlic (and some of the herbs used later) - the shallots and garlic cooking until tender.

Add and cook, turning shrimp regularly, until shrimp are pink through (this usually takes couple of minutes):
225g large shrimp (peeled, deveined and tail removed (if desired)
Juice of ½ lemon
¼ cup chicken broth
Pinch cayenne
Fresh ground pepper

Once shrimp are cooked, add the following and mix in well to thicken it up a bit:
~1 tsp arrowroot starch
(if you’re worried about the arrowroot starch not mixing in, or you want to use cornstarch, just mix the 1 tsp arrowroot starch or cornstarch with 1-2 tsp cold water before adding to pan).
Add and fold in the following, they will soften nicely:
1-2 Tbsp fresh basil leaves, chopped
1-2 Tbsp fresh parsley, chopped
1 Tbsp fresh chives, chopped fine
Remove from heat. If you need to wait a few minutes before serving, cover with a lid to keep shrimp hot.
Serve shrimp scampi over wild rice with a slice of lemon, if desired. 

Tuesday, 25 June 2013

Kristin's Homemade Berry Pop-tarts!

These homemade pop-tarts were a success!  After some trial and error, I came up with a dough that I was happy with in pop-tart form. This recipe will make 8 normal-sized pop-tarts - we made some large and some smaller, but it's really up to you.  If you find your dough getting sticky (i.e. too warm), just pop it in the refrigerator for a bit to let it firm up.  You can use your favorite berry jam for filling. I prefer the kinds that have less sugar, myself, so you really get the berry flavor. Enjoy!

Kristin's Homemade Berry Pop-tarts!
Makes 8 normal-sized poptarts
Preheat the oven to 425F.   Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper or a silicon mat.
Mix together pastry dough as follows:
In a large bowl combine:
1 tsp salt
3 Tbsp sugar
Chop in with a pastry cutter, until fine crumbs are formed:
2/3 cup butter
Add and mix in briefly by hand, just until a dough forms (you don’t want to over-mix or it gets too warm):
1/3 cup buttermilk (you can make this by mixing 2 tsp vinegar into scant 1/3 cup milk)
2 tsp extra light olive oil
Roll out between sheets of plastic wrap until you have a nice, thin and even rectangle, approx. 1/8 – ¼” thick and 12”x24” long.  Pull off the top layer of plastic wrap. 
Use a pizza cutter, trim the tops and sides so it’s all even.  You can save the extra bits to roll out again.  Slice long-ways down the middle of the dough.  Slice into smaller rectangles.  
On each of the bottom rectangles, scoop and spread evenly, leaving ½” around all edges:
 ~2 Tbsp berry jam (not jelly)
Fold the top rectangles over the bottom rectangles, using the plastic wrap to help you do this.  Press down through the plastic wrap to seal around the tops, sides and bottoms of each pop-tart. 
Peel back the plastic wrap.  You can use the pizza cutter to trim each rectangle apart before lifting and placing carefully on your prepared baking pan.
Roll out any extra dough and make into 1 or 2 poptarts, as before.
Gently poke holes in the top of pop-tarts before cooking using a fork. 
We made some giant ones, just for fun!
Bake poptarts for ~20 minutes until they’re a light golden brown.  Don’t worry if a little jam leaks out.  Once it’s cooled, it easily separates from the pop-tart.

Let cool on the pan 10 minutes. Then lift and let fully cool on a wire rack.

Mix together the following glaze:
½ cup powdered sugar
¾ tsp vanilla extract
Milk, by teaspoon until desired consistency (2-3 teaspoons usually does it)
Spread glaze evenly over pop-tarts.  Sprinkle with colored sugar sprinkles, if desired.  

Monday, 24 June 2013

Gluten-Free Raspberry-Lemon Swirl Rolls

Summer raspberries are so wonderful, and this recipe is a fun use of those delicious summer delights! They're made like cinnamon rolls, but with a lemony sugar and fresh raspberries rolled up inside, with some extra lemon in a glaze on top! Enjoy!

Raspberry-Lemon Swirl Rolls
I use the same dough as in the cinnamon roll recipe, but modify the filling and use a light glaze instead of cream cheese frosting.  Enjoy!
Preheat oven to 350F. Butter a 9x13 pan.
You want 3 eggs to room temperature. To do this, you can do the following as a short-cut:
Place in a cereal bowl:
3 eggs (still in shells)
Pour warm/hot water over eggs.  This will bring them to room temperature.
In a 2 cup measuring cup, heat until just scalding (90 seconds in the microwave should do it):
¾ cup milk
Immediately add to hot milk:
½ cup butter, chopped into smaller pieces
½ cup sugar
1 ½ tsp salt
In a small measuring cup or bowl combine:
1/3 cup warm water (110-115F)
4 tsp rapid rise yeast or active dry yeast
1 Tbsp sugar
Let yeast rest 5 minutes to foam and allow milk mixture to cool a bit. 
Meanwhile, mix in a large bowl:
4 ½ cups Kristin’s Gluten-Free Flour Mix * (see below for measurement amounts for just this recipe)
2 tsp xanthan gum (this is in addition to the xanthan gum in the flour mix)
Add to the flour mixture:
3 warmed eggs
Milk mixture (with sugar/salt/butter)
Yeast mixture
Mix well with a spoon, using the back of the spoon to help make the mixture nice and smooth.  Let this sit just a moment while you prepare the filling.
Melt in a small bowl:
¼ cup butter
Mix together in a separate bowl:
1/3 cup white sugar
1 heaping cup raspberries (crushed a bit, if desired)
2 tsp cornstarch or arrowroot starch
1 tsp lemon zest
Set aside an additional ½ cup white sugar to sprinkle on top.
Line two large sheets of plastic wrap side by side on the counter, overlapping a bit.   2-3 foot long pieces work well. 
Spoon out large scoops of the dough and place along the middle of the plastic wrap. 
Pull out another two large sheets of slightly overlapping plastic wrap to cover the dough.  You’ll then flatten out the dough between the sheets until you have piece of dough that is ~ 12”x20”.  Try to make it nice and even.  You have to slightly adjust the plastic wrap as you’re doing this, since it sometimes gets caught underneath the dough.  But, you’ll find the dough doesn’t stick to the cling wrap, which is fantastic!  Carefully remove the top layer of plastic wrap, setting it aside to use to cover the rolls as they rise.
Pour and spread melted butter over the dough. 
Spread the raspberry mixture evenly over the top of the butter.  
Sprinkle thoroughly with the extra ½ cup sugar.

Carefully roll up the dough, so you have one 20” long roll of dough.   Pulling up the plastic wrap can help you get the dough to roll over if you’re finding it’s sticking to your hands a bit.   Once you have your long roll of dough, pat the ends slightly to flatten the messy ends.   Use a serrated knife to cut dough into 12 pieces. (i.e. cut quarters, then each quarter into 3 pieces)
Place carefully in pan as evenly spaced as you can manage.  Press down slightly on the tops to flatten a bit. 

Cover pan with plastic wrap and set in a warm location to rise 35-45 minutes, until rolls have puffed up (they won’t fully double in size). 
Bake at 350F for 25-30 minutes, until lightly browned on tops.   You can make the glaze (recipe below) while they’re baking.
Remove from oven and put on a wire rack to cool. 
Let cool slightly; then drizzle with lemon glaze (below)

Raspberry-Lemon Rolls drizzled with Lemon Glaze. Yum!

These freeze really well and heat up quickly in the microwave!  We pop them into tupperwares once cooled and pull out and reheat on a plate for snacks/breakfast/treats.  Enjoy!
Lemon Glaze
Mix together:
1 ½ cup powdered sugar
2 Tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
½ - 1 tsp lemon zest
* If you don’t want to make up the flour mix since you’d have to make it twice for this recipe, just use the following: 
2 cups brown rice flour
1 cup sorghum flour
¾ cup + 1 Tbsp cornstarch OR 2/3 cup arrowroot starch
¼ cup + 1 Tbsp potato starch
¼ cup + 1 Tbsp tapioca starch
1 ½ tsp xanthan gum (ideally measure 1 1/3 tsp)

Sunday, 23 June 2013

Jalapeno & Cheddar Bagels

All I can say about these is they are fabulous!  Fresh out of the oven, you can eat them plain and they're so delicious.  They're also great toasted with cream cheese.  I find jalapenos vary in terms of how spicy they are, so you may want to nibble a piece before you add it to the dough.  If it isn't a very spicy one, you can add some of the jalapeno seeds into the batter as well.  (Seeds from a chili pepper tend to be where the spice really is).  These bagels are so easy to whip together and so delicious. Enjoy!!!

Jalapeno & Cheddar Bagels
Makes 6 bagels (you can easily double the recipe)
Line cookie sheet with silicon mat or parchment paper.
In a 1 cup measuring cup mix and let rest 5 minutes:
2/3 cup warm water
4 Tbsp honey
2 tsp rapid rise yeast (quick-rise yeast)
Add to yeast mixture:
2 egg
4 Tbsp oil
1 tsp apple cider vinegar
Set liquids aside, and mix together in a mixer:
1 1/3 cup tapioca starch
1 cup brown rice flour
5 Tbsp potato starch
1 ½ tsp xanthan gum
1 tsp salt
Add liquids to mixer.  Mix on low, until combined.  Then mix on medium speed, scraping occasionally, for 2-3 minutes.  Batter will be nice and smooth.
Fold in:
2 Jalapenos, seeded and diced (seeds add extra spice, so if you want spicier bagels, keep some of the seeds)
I use the mixer to just mix in quickly.
Put batter into a Ziploc (I like the freezer bags because they’re stronger).  Cut 1” off one corner.  Pipe 6 bagels onto prepared cookie sheet.

Don't worry about them being perfect, just try to make them evenly sized.

Using wet hands, spread bagels so the holes are nice and big. You can also smooth out any areas that are a bit lumpy. 
Smooth with wet hands. Imperfections will be hidden once they rise and have cheese on top, so don't worry too much about making them look perfectly smooth.

Let rise in a warm location for 30-40 minutes.  They’ll look a bit puffier, but won’t fully double in size.
Nice and puffy, ready to top and bake!

Sprinkle generously on top of bagels:
½ cup sharp cheddar cheese, grated
Mmm.. don't those look good.

Bake at 350F for 20-25 minutes until browned.  Transfer to a cooling rack to cool. 
Fresh out of the oven. Yum!

Once cooled, you can slice and freeze if you aren’t planning to get them right away. These are great toasted with cream cheese.
A top-view.
Sliced and ready for toasting or topping.