Have you tried any of these recipes?

Have you tried any of these recipes? If you have, please leave a comment to let me know how it worked for you and if you suggest any changes!

Saturday, December 27, 2014

Steamed Chinese Dumplings

These Chinese Dumplings are fantastic!  My regular foodie blog readers may have noticed that I went  a whole year without blogging.  Well, I made these Chinese Dumplings as a part of my Year-of-the-Horse Chinese New Year dinner party last year.

Steamed Chinese Dumplings
What's better than a dumpling?
'Think I'll make some now

It was fun and festive and delicious.  And then the attention of the Gods was on me and all my other horse friends and blogging has just been impossible.  Let me catch you up though!


  • One 10-ounce package frozen chopped spinach, thawed
  • 1/2 pound ground chicken or turkey
  • 1 scallion, finely minced
  • 2 tsp ginger, finely minced
  • 1 Tbsp Chinese rice wine or sherry
  • 1 Tbsp gluten free soy sauce (or the regular kind - whatever)
  • 1 Tbsp sesame oil
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper
  1. Squeeze out all excess liquid from thawed spinach.
  2. In a bowl, mix together spinach, chicken, scallion, ginger, rice wine, soy sauce, sesame oil, salt and pepper.  Stir well until mixture holds together firmly.  Refrigerate while preparing dumpling wrappers (wrappers recipe below).
  3. Place a small spoonful (about 2 tsp) of dumpling filling in center of dumpling wrapper.  Bring wrapper end together over center of filling and pinch.  Pinch ends of wrapper together on one end.  Carefully pinch wrapper together to enclose filling.  Repeat on other side of wrapper.
  4. Place round piece of parchment paper in Chinese steamer.  Lightly oil parchment paper and place dumplings on top of parchment paper, making sure dumplings do not touch each other (otherwise, they will stick together when cooked).
  5. Bring water to a boil in bottom of Chinese steamer.  Place steamer pan with dumplings over boiling water, cover, reduce heat to medium-low and steam for 12-15 minutes until cooked through.
  6. Eat immediately, or let cool, and freeze.  To freeze, line a plate with plastic wrap.  Gently place cooked dumplings on plate.  Cover dumplings with plastic wrap and place in freezer.  After dumplings are frozen, store them in a container or Ziplock bag, and keep in the freezer.  To reheat, steam until hot.
Chinese Dumpling Wrappers

  • 1 cup tapioca starch
  • 1 cup fine rice flour
  • 1 1/2 tsp xanthan gum
  • 2 Tbsp light olive oil
  • 12-14 Tbsp cold water
  • glutinous or sweet rice flour
  1. Whisk together tapioca starch, rice flour and xanthin gum in a bowl.  Add oil and 12 Tbsp of water.  Mix well, adding a little bit of water at a time if necessary to form a firm, but not dry, dough.  Cover bowl with plastic wrap while preparing dumpling filling.
  2. When ready to make the dumpling wrappers, sprinkle a cutting board or pastry sheet with glutinous rice flour.  Form dough into a long log.  Cut dough into 24 even pieces.
  3. Flatten each piece into a small round on floured cutting board.  Using a rolling pin, roll each round into a 2 1/2" to 3" circle, flipping the dough over, and turning the circle as you roll it out.  The dough is fragile, so roll it out carefully, and be sure to keep both sides floured so it doesn't stick to the rolling pin or cutting board.  Cover rolled dumpling wrappers with plastic wrap until all the wrappers are made.
These dumplings are a bit of a pain to make - but they're definitely worth it!  Be very careful with the wrappers as they're delicate.  And be very careful that they don't touch in the steamer!  These dumplings are excellent with shrimp instead of the poultry.  Boil and peel the shrimp and mince.  Enjoy!

Recipe from Jeanette's Healthy Living.

Tamale Pie

The first time I ever encountered the idea of a tamale pie was in a wonderful little cafe called Better Living through Coffee (get a window seat for a beautiful view) in Port Townsend, Washington (a great place to vacation).  Unfortunately, I was on a vacation that left me no room for extra eating, so I grabbed my quick coffee, took a picture, and vowed to make one as soon as I could.  One year and nine months later, I present you with TAMALE PIE!

Memorable pie
Is the kind without sugar
Savory desserts!


  • 3 Tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1 pound 90 percent lean ground beef
  • 1 onion, chopped fine
  • 1 jalapeno chile, stemmed, seeded, and minced
  • salt and pepper
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp chili powder
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 1/2 tsp minced fresh oregano or 3/4 tsp dried
  • 1 (15-ounce) can black beans, rinsed
  • 1 (14.5-ounce) can diced tomatoes
  • 1 cup fresh or frozen corn (thawed if frozen)
  • 4 ounces Monterey Jack cheese, shredded (1 cup)
  • 2 1/2 cups water
  • 3/4 cup coarse-ground cornmeal
  1. Adjust oven rack to lower-middle position and heat oven to 375 degrees.  Heat 1 tablespoon oil in 12-inch skillet over medium-high heat until just smoking.  Add ground beef and cook, breaking up large clumps, until just beginning to brown, about 4 minutes.
  2. Stir in onion, jalapeño, and 3/4 teaspoon salt and cook until softened, about 5 minutes.  Stir in chili powder, garlic, and oregano and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds.  
    Stir in beans, tomatoes and their juice, and corn and simmer until almost al liquid has evaporated, about 3 minutes.  Off heat, stir cheese into beef mixture and season with salt and pepper to taste.  Transfer mixture to 9 1/2-inch deep-dish pie plate or 3-quart baking dish.
  3. Bring water to boil in large saucepan over high heat.  Add 1/4 teaspoon salt, then slowly pour in cornmeal while whisking vigorously to prevent clumping.  Reduce heat to medium and cook, whisking constantly, until cornmeal thickens, about 3 minutes.  Stir in remaining 2 tablespoons oil.
  4. Spread cornmeal mixture over top of beef mixture and seal against edge of dish.  Cover with aluminum foil that has been sprayed with vegetable oil spray, and bake until crust is set and pie is heated through, about 30 minutes.  Let cool for 5 to 10 minutes before serving.
I like to use a little more jalapeño and cheddar cheese for a bit more of a kick.  The pie is excellent served with a dollop of plain greek yogurt and a side of taquería-style pickled vegetables (recipe to follow).

Recipe from America's Test Kitchen's How Can it be Gluten Free Cookbook.

Friday, December 26, 2014

Strawberry Shortcake with Biscuits

Strawberry shortcake and champagne is my favorite celebratory meal.  I'm not sure that it can really be called a meal though given its low nutritional content - but nonetheless - here it is:

Strawberry shortcake
One time an eighties cartoon
Always a dessert

  • Strawberries frozen or fresh, 1 tsp sugar
  • Powdered sugar
  • Whipping cream
  • Vanilla
  • 1 1/2 cups plus 1/3 cup Bob's Red Mill All-Purpose Gluten-Free Flour
  • 4 tsp baking powder
  • 1 1/2 tsp powdered psyllium husk
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp baking soda
  • 3 Tbsp unsalted butter, chilled and cut into 1/4-inch pieces
  • 3/4 cup plain whole-milk yogurt
  • 1 large egg, lightly beaten
  • 2 Tbsp vegetable oil
  • 2 tsp lemon juice, plus some extra
  1. Whisk flour, baking powder, psyllium, sugar, salt, and baking soda in large bowl until combined.  Add butter to flour mixture, breaking up chunks with fingertips until only small, pea-size pieces remain.
  2. In a separate bowl, whisk together yogurt, egg, oil, and lemon juice until combined.  Using rubber spatula, stir yogurt mixture into flour mixture until thoroughly combined and no flour pockets remain, about 1 minute.  Cover bowl with plastic wrap and let batter rest at room temperature for 30 minutes.
  3. Defrost the frozen strawberries or slice the fresh strawberries.  Set aside.  
  1. Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 450 degrees.  Line rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper and place inside of second baking sheet.  Using greased 1/3-cup dry measure, scoop heaping amount of batter and drop onto prepared sheet.  Repeat with remaining batter, spacing biscuits about 1/2 inch apart in center of prepared sheet.
  2. Bake until golden and crisp, about 15 minutes, rotating sheet halfway through baking.  Transfer sheet to wire rack and let cool for 5 to 10 minutes before serving.
  3. Put half of the sliced strawberries in an oven-safe dish, sprinkle with 1 tsp of sugar, and put in the oven while the biscuits cool to bring out the juices and slightly soften (approx 15 minutes). Toss the remaining strawberries with the remaining lemon juice.
  4. Whip the cream with vanilla to taste.
  5. Mix the sweetened baked strawberries and the citrusy fresh strawberries together, including the juice.
  6. Serve each plate with one biscuit, surrounded by strawberries, topped with vanilla-whipped-cream and dusted with powdered sugar.
Biscuit recipe taken from America's Test Kitchen How can it be Gluten Free Cookbook.

Thursday, December 25, 2014

Crockpot Coq au Vin

This is one of my favorite recipes.  Everybody loves it, it isn't that difficult, and the entire building smells good while I'm cooking it.

Crock pot coq au vin
Fancy, but really easy
Delicious dinner


  • 3 slices thick-cut bacon
  • 2 medium onions, minced
  • 8 medium garlic cloves, peeled and crushed
  • 2 Tbsp tomato paste
  • 2 tsp minced fresh thyme leaves or 1/2 tsp dried
  • Table salt and ground black pepper
  • 1 (750 ml) bottle dry red wine
  • 1/3 cup soy sauce
  • 3 Tbsp instant tapioca
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 4 pounds bone-in chicken pieces, skin removed and trimmed of excess fat
  • 2 cups frozen pearl onions, thawed
  • 1/3 cup water
  • 3 Tbsp unsalted butter
  • 2 tsp sugar
  • 10 ounces cremini mushrooms, trimmed, cleaned and halved
  1. Cook bacon in 12-inch nonstick skillet over medium heat until crips, about 8 minutes. Transfer bacon to paper towel-lined plate, leaving fat in skillet, and refrigerate until serving time.
  2. Pour off all but 2 Tbsp of bacon fat left in skillet and place over medium-high heat until shimmering.  Add onions, garlic, tomato paste, thyme, and 1/4 teaspoon salt and cook, stirring often, until onions ar softened and lightly browned, 8 to 10 minutes.  Stir n wine, scraping up any browned bits, and cook until mixture measures about 3 cups, 8 to 10 minutes. 
  3. Transfer mixture to slow cooker and stir in soy sauce, tapioca, and bay leaves until evenly combined.  Season chicken with salt and pepper and nestle in slow cooker.  Cover and cook on low until meat is tender, 4 to 5 hours.
  4. About 20 minute before serving, bring pearl onions, water, butter, and sugar to boil in 12-inch nonstick skillet over medium-high heat.  Reduce heat to medium, cover, and cook until onions are fully thawed and tender, 5 to 8 minutes.  Uncover, increase heat to medium0high, and cook until all liquid evaporates, 3 to 4 minutes.  Add mushrooms and 1/4 teaspoon salt to skillet and cook, without stirring, for 2 minutes.  Stir and continue to cook, stirring often, until vegetables are browned and glazed, 8 to 12 minutes.  Remove skillet from heat and set aside.
  5. Let cooking liquid settle for 5 minutes, then gently tilt slow cooker and remove as much fat as possible from surface using large spoon.  Remove bay leaves, stir in pearl onion mixture, and season with salt and pepper to taste.  Reheat bacon in microwave on high power until heated through and crisp, about 30 seconds.  Sprinkle individual portions of stew with crisp bacon before serving.
I use half breasts and half legs for the chicken and a cotes du rhone for the wine.  The onions, garlic, wine and bacon fat are THE MOST FLAVORFUL part of the cooking.  Enjoy!

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