Sunday, April 27, 2008
Comfort food. Chicken nuggets, mashed potatoes & gravy, corn and green beans.
When I first started cooking I found that every cookbook I found, even the most basic, neglected to add recipes such as simple baked chicken, mashed potatoes, meatloaf, even hard-boiled eggs. I mean, I had no idea how to cook any of that!
So even though it's simple, I'm putting these recipes up here.
Peel the potatoes and cut them into medium-sized cubes. Put into a pan and add enough water to cover the tops of the potatoes with a little extra. Bring the pot to a boil and boil until a fork goes through the potato with little resistance. Drain the potatoes through a colander and put them back into the pan or a bowl and add butter. Some people add a little milk to make them creamier but I prefer to add just the butter. Mix using a hand mixer until they're mashed potato-ey.
Prepare three bowls:
Bowl one should contain flour (rice flour works fine). Throw in seasonings (chicken blends are good!)
Bowl two should have an egg, beaten with a fork.
Bowl three should contain about 1 c. bread crumbs, or two slices of bread if using a food processor. Add chicken seasonings to taste. For a crunch, add in some crumbled Rice Chex.
Have a cookie sheet ready, greased slightly.
Cut up chicken (strips or breasts) into nugget sizes, keeping them uniform in size so they cook around the same time. Roll them around, one at a time, in the flour bowl, then in the egg bowl, then do the same in the bread crumb bowl. Place them on the sheet and stick them in the oven at 325 until the juices run clear when you cut into them.
This is something I'm still working on, because I can't quite get the gravy to have a strong flavor. I usually used the mixes, but haven't found any that are gluten free. Here's what I did, though.
Pour a can of chicken broth into a small saucepan. Heat up with some seasonings, then pour some (about 1/3 cup) into a bowl. Stir in about a tablespoon or so of corn starch, then stir that mixture back into the saucepan. Keep stirring until it thickens. Now, this would work as a gravy, but the way it looks grosses me out. I add a couple spoonfuls of sour cream to give it a little more taste and make it not look so funky but I'm still working on that.
Anyway, I have two more things to say: "nugget" is a funny word, and I have found a use for that gluten-free bread that's been in my freezer for a while. What else can I use bread crumbs for...?
Ever since I was a little kid I've had a strange love for rice. I could (and still can) eat it steamed, plain, right out of the pot. I think it was my body's subliminal way of telling me, "Wheat is BAD for you!" Come to think of it, I never particularly liked bread or anything like that. I always thought it was strange that people ate dinner rolls with nothing on them. Yuck.
But anyway, I made rice pudding. I'm not a fan of the rice pudding that's baked and you can cut it into bars. That's not pudding. It's something pretending to be rice pudding.
I don't make it very often because my multi-tasking nature is disrupted by having to stand there and stir constantly but when I do, it's worth it. This. Is pudding. And it's delicious. I eat it for breakfast. :o)
1/3 c. sugar
2 T. cornstarch
1/8 t. salt
2 c. milk (soymilk works well too)
2 egg yolks, slightly beaten
2 T. butter
2 t. vanilla
cooked rice (to taste)
Combine sugar, cornstarch and salt in a pan. Slowly stir in the milk. Heat on medium heat, stirring constantly, until the mixture boils. After it boils, stir for a minute. Then stir a little more than half of the mixture into the eggs. This is the crucial step because if you do it wrong then your pudding will be lumpy. [It will still taste fine, though, so if it comes out lumpy all is not lost!]
Stir it quickly, gradually adding the hot mixture to the eggs to slowly raise the temperature. Once you've done this, stir the eggy mixture back into the pan. Heat this to boiling once more, stir for a minute, and take it off the heat. Stir in the butter and vanilla.
At this point add in the rice. I add a TON because I like my rice to pudding ratio to be large. It's whatever floats your boat. Pour it into serving dishes or a big bowl and stick it in the fridge. (Although it's good warm too, I just can't wait for it to cool.)
Whether you eat it warm or cool, sprinkle some cinnamon and nutmeg on top right before serving. YUM!
Sunday, April 13, 2008
This banana bread got RAVE reviews from everyone who tasted it. My husband just ate 7 muffins for breakfast, and my brother constantly requests them. This is a soft bread with delicious crust that's sweet and slightly crunchy-ish. YUM. This snack typically does not last.
The recipe is adapted from a cookbook called "Nearly Normal Cooking for Gluten-Free Eating" by Jules Shepard.
1/2 c. butter or shortening
3/4 c. brown sugar
1 1/2 c. gf flour mix
1/4 t. baking soda
1 1/2 t. baking powder
1/8 t. salt
1 t. vanilla
1 c. mashed really ripe banana (about 2 bananas)
chopped walnuts (optional and recommended)
Totally optional: chocolate chips
Cream butter and sugar until fluffy. Add eggs and vanilla and beat well. Sift dry ingredients together and add to butter mixture. Mix in nuts and/or chocolate chips. Pour into greased loaf pan (or muffin tins) and bake at 350 for 45 min- 1 hour. Muffins take 10-15 minutes. It will be done when cake tester comes out clean.