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Friday, 21 April 2017

Homemade Naan Bread - quick and easy!

One of my favorite types of bread in the world is the quick, delicious flatbread served alongside Indian dishes.  I always loved it, but it took me many attempts to discover this rendition of my favorite flatbread.  It works perfectly as a pizza crust, too!  A definite new favorite around here.  We have so far enjoyed it with butter chicken, coconut curry, and chicken saag.  It's a perfect accompaniment to any meal where you want a quick garlic-bread type side, too.  Happy eating! Enjoy!

Gluten Free Naan Bread
Homemade gluten-free naan bread, ready to enjoy! 

Homemade Naan Bread - quick and easy!!!
Makes 6 ovals of naan

Preheat oven to 475 F (450 F convection).  Line 3 cookie sheets with parchment paper.

In a mixer, combine the following:
3 cups Kristin's Gluten-Free Flour Mix
2 tsp xanthan gum
3 tsp rapid-rise yeast
1/2 - 1 tsp dried cilantro (or 1/2 - 1 tsp dried ground coriander)
1 tsp salt
dash garlic powder

Add, and beat 2-3 minutes, until nice and smooth:
2 1/4 cups milk (lactose-free works well, room temperature is ideal)
2 eggs

While the bread is mixing, in a small bowl melt:
1/2 cup salted butter

Spread two ovals of naan bread batter on each of the three parchment paper using a spatula, making 6 large oval naan breads.   Brush the tops of each with melted butter (~1.5 Tbsp butter per naan works great).   You can let the breads rest for 15-20 minutes, if you want slightly puffier bread, but it's not necessary.

Bake the naan at 475 F for ~12-15 minutes until nicely browned and bubbly.  (Lightly browned naan will result in the bread sinking and not retaining it's nice bubbles after removal from the oven, so make sure it's nice and dark golden brown).

Remove from oven, tear or slice to serve alongside your favorite Indian dishes, perhaps an easy chicken-vegetable curry. Enjoy!
Gluten Free Naan Bread
Delicious homemade GF naan bread, fresh from the oven and ready to serve alongside a vegetable filled coconut curry. Yum! 

Thursday, 13 April 2017

Homemade Gluten Free Crab Cakes!

I grew up in Maryland, land of delicious crab and crab cakes.  My favorite crab cakes of all time are ones made with Old Bay Seasoning.  It already has salt in it, so make sure not to add extra to any recipe that you use it in, but Old Bay Seasoning is perfect in crab cakes.  This recipe I based off a Paula Deen crab cake recipe, but modified to have the right blend of spices and vegetables that I wanted in a crab cake.  These were a huge hit!  The best crab to use for crab cakes is the claws, and often it's sold in a refrigerated section in a 1 lb. can.  I included recommendations for side dishes to accompany your crab cakes below. Enjoy!
Homemade Gluten Free Crab Cakes
Delicious Homemade Gluten Free Crab Cakes, packed with flavor! 

Homemade Gluten Free Crab Cakes!
Makes ~10 crab cakes, serving ~4-8

In a large bowl, mix together:
1 lb. fresh crab meat (1 lb canned fresh crabmeat claws are best)
1/2 cup crushed gluten-free crackers (Scharr brand or GF matzoh work well, you can also use GF breadcrumbs)
4-5 scallions, thinly sliced OR 1/4 cup sweet onion, finely diced
1/4 cup bell pepper, finely diced
2-3 Tbsp finely sliced chives
1/4 cup mayonnaise
1 egg
1/2 tsp dried ground mustard OR 1 tsp regular mustard
1 tsp Worchestershire sauce
2-3 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
1-2 tsp Old Bay Seasoning 

Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper.  Sprinkle/dust (a fine mesh sieve is perfect for this) the parchment paper with Kristin's Gluten-Free Flour Mix.  Shape crab mixture into small patties and place on flour-dusted parchment paper-lined cookie sheet.  Flatten the patties a bit (they should be around 3/4" thick) and sprinkle/dust the tops of the patties with additional GF Flour.  (You can start heating your oil, instructions below, while you prep your crab cakes). 
Homemade Gluten Free Crab Cakes
Crab cake patties placed on parchment paper-lined pan dusted with GF flour. Look at all those lovely vegetables in the patties. Yum!  (Note: This was a double batch, so you'll end up with half this amount using 1 lb. crab meat)
Homemade Gluten Free Crab Cakes
Crab cakes dusted with GF flour, ready to fry!  

Heat avocado oil* in a large frying pan over medium heat.  You want the oil to cover the bottom of your pan in a thin layer.  Fry your crab cakes in batches for ~4 minutes per side, adding extra oil as needed to keep the bottom of the pan covered.  Place on a paper towel-lined plate once cooked.  Serve with tartar sauce or a dipping sauce of your choice.  I've posted a couple of my favorite homemade sauces (tartar sauce & curry sauce), too!  Crab cakes are great with Greek salad, homemade french fries or skinny sweet potato fries, baked potato wedges & sweet potato fries, or corn on the cob.  Enjoy!
Homemade Gluten Free Crab Cakes
Crab cakes being fried. 

*I love using avocado oil for frying - particularly with gluten-free foods. I find it makes a wonderfully crisp edge to foods cooked in it.  If you don't have avocado oil, feel free to use any other oil appropriate for frying.  

Tartar Sauce Recipe and Curry Dip Recipe, great for crab cakes or fried fish

These are two easy sauces - perfect for serving alongside fried fish or crab cakes (which I'll be posting momentarily).  You can double or triple the recipes easily, but I tend to make these amounts for serving at dinner for the family.  Enjoy!

Tartar Sauce
Mix together in a small bowl:
1/4 - 1/3 cup mayonnaise
1-2 tsp mustard
1/4 cup minced dill pickle
1-2 Tbsp fresh dill, finely chopped
dash tumeric (optional)
pepper & salt, to taste

Curry Dip
Mix together in a small bowl:
2 Tbsp mayonnaise
1 Tbsp ketchup
1/2 - 1 tsp curry powder
~3 Tbsp minced dill pickle

Monday, 3 April 2017

Chocolate & Toasted Marshmallow 4-layer Birthday Cake!

This birthday cake was what I like to call an "ultimate" success.  It was loved by all, leftovers fought over.  It was delicious with a fun mix of chocolate, dark and light, and marshmallow.  If you have two cake pans that are actually the same size, you can make yours into a proper cylindrical cake, but I had two different sized cake pans I was using.  The cake has four layers of rich chocolate cake, a layer of toasted marshmallow frosting, a layer of chocolate frosting, and a layer of toasted marshmallows.  The entire cake is topped with chocolate marshmallow frosting with a layer of chocolate ganache poured over the top followed by some sprinkles, just for fun. Happy Birthday and Happy Baking!  Enjoy! 
GF Chocolate Birthday Cake with Toasted Marshmallow
A fantastic chocolate toasted marshmallow 4-layer birthday cake! 
GF Chocolate Birthday Cake with Toasted Marshmallow
A very happy 6 year old. 
GF Chocolate Birthday Cake with Toasted Marshmallow
A slice of the four layer cake. 

Chocolate Toasted Marshmallow Birthday Cake!

Cake: (based off the recipe I posted of my friend Julie's Top-Secret Cupcake Recipe)
Preheat oven to 350F.  Butter and then line two 8" (ish) cake pans with parchment paper.  Cut a circle for the bottom of the pan and long strips for the edges of the pan.

In a measuring cup, combine the following and set aside:
1 1/2 cup milk (lactose-free works great)
2 Tbsp white vinegar

In a large bowl, whisk together:
1/2 cup tapioca starch
1/2 cup sorghum flour
1/2 cup white rice flour
1 cup cocoa powder
1 1/2 tsp xanthan gum
1 tsp baking soda
2 tsp baking powder

In a mixer, beat until fluffy:
3/4 cup salted butter, softened

Add sugars, and beat until fluffy:
1 cup brown sugar
1 cup white sugar

Add one at a time, scraping down the sides of the mixer, as needed:
3 eggs (room temperature)
2 egg yolks (room temperature)

Add in:
3 tsp vanilla extract

Turn the mixer to low.  Alternately add the flour/cocoa blend and milk/vinegar mixture.

Divide batter between the two prepared cake pans.  Bake at 350 F for 25-35 minutes.  (I fine 30 minutes is usually good, but all ovens vary, so check with a toothpick and remove when the toothpick comes out clean.)

Let cakes rest a few minutes before moving to cooling rack.  Allow cakes to cool completely.  Slice each cake horizontally, so you end up with four even layers total.

Fill with the following layers of frostings/fillings:

Bottom layer of toasted marshmallow frosting:
Toast 12 large marshmallows under a broiler until they are light to medium browned. (Watch closely!)   Flip very carefully with fingers and repeat, broiling on the other side.  Remove and set on the counter.

In a mixer, beat together:
12 toasted large marshmallows
1/2 cup butter, softened
1/2 cup powdered sugar
1/2 - 1 cup marshmallow fluff

Middle layer and outer layer of frosting:
In a mixer, beat together:
1 cup butter, softened
1 1/2 cup powdered sugar
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 cup cocoa powder
2 cups marshmallow fluff

Top layer of filling:
Toast 12 large marshmallows under a broiler until they are light to medium browned.  Flip and repeat on the other side.   Press the toasted marshmallows on evenly across the cake before adding the final layer of cake.

GF Chocolate Birthday Cake with Toasted Marshmallow
Cake with bottom layer of toasted marshmallow frosting, middle layer of chocolate frosting, and top layer of freshly toasted marshmallows! Yum! 

After you've filled all layers, top the sides and top of the cake with the remaining chocolate marshmallow fluff frosting (from the middle layer).   Top with the ganache topping, below.

Ganache topping:
In a small frying pan, bring to a boil over medium heat:
1/4 cup heavy cream
1/4 cup butter

Remove from heat and mix in:
4-5 oz semi-sweet chocolate chips

Let cool for a few minutes before pouring/spreading ganache over the top of the cake.  Serve immediately, or let cool and/or chill for a more hardened top layer before serving.  Enjoy!!!!!!!

GF Chocolate Birthday Cake with Toasted Marshmallow
Toasted Marshmallow Chocolate Birthday Cake, ready to slice! 

GF Chocolate Birthday Cake with Toasted Marshmallow
Yes, it was as delicious as it looks.