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Thursday, 25 July 2013

Potato Pie

I'm feeling all 'islander' tonight having just gone to see the fun and fabulous Anne and Gilbert show in Charlottetown.  It seemed appropriate to post this wonderful island-based dish. I based this delicious recipe on a potato pie served at the PEI Preserve Company.  It's a wonderful dish with layers of local potatoes, chives, thyme, cheddar cheese and bacon.  Sounds good, right?  Yes, it absolutely is.  I had no desire (in the summertime) to bake something for 2 1/2 hours, so I cook the potatoes in advance to greatly cut back on cooking time.   I also modified a bit of the recipe, but it's very similar to what is served at the PEI Preserve Company. It was a hit with everyone!  You won't regret making this dish, as it is absolutely wonderful! Enjoy!

Potato Pie
Based on a recipe from the PEI Preserve Company
Serves 6-8
Takes ~ 30 minutes prep, 1 hour baking.
Have an oversized, deep-dish pie dish ready for the potato pie.  (I cook the potato slices first, to cut back dramatically on cooking-time)
Prepare fillings as follows:
Fill a large pot ½ full of cold water.
Thinly slice and peel (if needed), placing in your pot of cold water:
4 pounds potatoes (you can use a couple kinds, if you’d like – I used some that had thin-skin and others with thicker skin that I peeled first)
Put the pot over high heat and bring to a boil.  Remove lid and boil ~ 10 minutes, until potato is tender.  Drain potatoes.
Prepare the following fillings:
2-3 cups grated cheddar cheese (or similar cheddar cheese blend)
¼ cup chopped fresh chives & green onion
1 Tbsp fresh thyme, diced
Salt & Pepper
1 package bacon, big thick-sliced is best
This is the type of big sliced bacon I like. I love that it's not so fatty.  Some fresh chives and green onions, diced, and the fresh thyme, diced.

To assemble the potato pie:
Line an oversized pie pan with:
½ - ¾ package of bacon (375g/1lb package – ideally use the big thick-sliced bacon (made from pork loin) rather than the thin/fatty bacon slices, but either will work just fine – save a slice to cook & crumble for the maple bacon sauce, if desired)
Let the bacon drape a bit over the edge of the dish.
Layer potatoes (I used a spoon to scoop/spread them, since they were hot from boiling), a generous amount of cheddar cheese, chopped chives, all the chopped thyme, and sprinkle with salt and pepper.(Thyme is only on the first layer). 
Remember to use all the chopped thyme on this layer.

Repeat until you have four layers, finishing with cheese, chives and salt and pepper.   

Place remaining slices of bacon over the top, pulling up the bacon ends to fully cover your pie.  The pie should be ~ 4 inches thick in the middle.  

Cover with foil and bake 30 minutes at 375F.  Remove foil and bake another 30 minutes.   Remove from oven. Let stand ~10-15 minutes before slicing and serving. Serve with maple bacon sauce (below), if desired. Enjoy!!!

If desired, top with the following Maple Bacon Sauce:
Mix together:
1/3 cup maple syrup
1/3 cup sour cream
1 big piece or 2-3 normal slices bacon, cooked and crumbled/diced
2-3 tsp lemon juice, to taste (you may like it best without)

If you slice it when still piping hot, it'll still be delicious, but the layers tend to slide a bit once plated.
Yum! Enjoy!

Tuesday, 16 July 2013

Blueberry Plum Galette

This is as delicious as it is beautiful.  A wonderful summer (or anytime) dessert.  We used to see galettes like this for 15euro over in France.  Of course, since they aren't gluten-free there's no eating them there for me.  So, there was nothing to do but to figure out how to make a beautiful and delicious version in my own home.  This was a big hit. Enjoy!

Blueberry Plum Galette
Serves 8

This recipe uses ½ of the gluten-free pie crust recipe, made with Kristin’sgluten-free flour mix, chilled 30 minutes.

Preheat oven to 425F.  Line a baking/cookie sheet with parchment paper.

To prepare filling:
Mix together in a large bowl:
1 – 1 ¼ cup blueberries, rinsed and drained
1 – 1 ¼ cup sliced, ripe plums (~4 plums)
¼ cup sugar
1 tsp fresh lemon juice
½ tsp ground cinnamon

Roll out ½ batch of the gluten-free piecrust between pieces of plastic wrap until you have a circle approximately 12”-14” in diameter.  Remove the top layer of plastic wrap. Use a pizza cutter to trim the edges and neaten the circle.

This is my neat-ish circle of dough.

Quickly turn the pie crust onto the prepared piece of parchment paper (on a cookie sheet).  Scoop the filling into the center of the pie crust, leaving a good 2 inches around the edges free of filling.  Using the parchment paper, carefully lift up in one spot to help fold the edges of the pie crust over the pie filling.  Move your hand to the right on the parchment paper and lift and fold again, repeating until you have a neatly shaped galette. 

Sprinkle the top of the entire galette with additional sugar. 
Top the fruit with:
1 tsp butter, diced into 4-5 pieces

Bake in oven ~ 30 minutes, until the crust is nicely browned and the blueberries are just bubbling. 
Remove from oven and put the tray on a cooling rack.   Cool and serve plain, or with whipped cream or ice cream, if desired.  Enjoy!

Sunday, 14 July 2013

Omelet-Bagel Sandwich

Sometimes we just need a fun new idea to try.  I love whipping up batches of jalapeno-cheddar bagels and everything bagels.  I slice and freeze the leftovers and typically toast them and put on some cream cheese. But sometimes it's nice to have something different. Toast up a bagel, add an omelet, and serve with some fruit sliced nicely, and your ordinary bagel breakfast turns into a fancy, restaurant-worthy meal.  Enjoy!

To cook up an omelet:
Place a non-stick skillet over medium heat. 
You can either butter your skillet or use a little extra light olive oil

Mix in a bowl:
1-2 large eggs (1 egg = 1 bagel sandwich, 2 eggs = 2 bagel sandwiches)

Pour into your skillet and sprinkle with salt and pepper.
Once you can tell the egg is beginning to become cooked, sprinkle over the top:
grated cheddar cheese

Fold in two sides of your omelet, then fold in the other two sides.  Let cook a bit more before flipping and cooking another minute or so on the other side. 

If you made a 2-egg omelet, cut it in half.  Pop onto your toasted bagel(s), serve with some fruit (like strawberries and oranges), and enjoy!

Wednesday, 10 July 2013

Lobster Rolls!!!

There are many ideas about what a lobster roll should consist of - but in my personal opinion, it should be packed with meat and just a touch of other flavors that enhance the natural deliciousness of the lobster itself.  Whether you purchase ready-to-eat lobster meat or remove the meat yourself, this recipe will be loved by all.  I recommend making my gluten-free hotdog buns, but you could serve this on any gluten-free (or gluten-filled if you're not sensitive) bun.

Lobster Rolls

Prepare a batch of Kristin's homemade gluten-free hotdog buns
Slice, toast and butter 4 buns.  Slice & freeze the remaining buns.

Rinse and dry:
Romaine lettuce (large leaves, not chopped)

Mix together in a bowl:
1 lb chilled lobster meat (mix of tails/claws chopped)
2 Tbsp mayo
3-4 tsp lemon juice
a few dashes of Tabasco Sauce
2 tsp fresh chives, finely chopped

To assemble the sandwiches:
Scoop a generous amount of lobster into a large piece of romaine lettuce.  Place in one of your toasted, buttered buns.  Enjoy!!!

Monday, 8 July 2013

Blueberry Fried Fruit Pie

Since discovering how to make these fried fruit pies, I may have become a little obsessed. They are delicious and you can make so many varieties. I'll put up soon how to make your own filling for them, but these delicious blueberry pies are similar to the cherry fried fruit pies I made, except I roll out each individually, which allows me to put in more filling than with the cherry pies.  I find this is great because sour cherry filling is quite strong, but with the sweeter blueberry filling the more the merrier!  I think you'll absolutely fall in love with these! Enjoy!

Blueberry Fried Fruit Pies!
Makes 8 individual fry pies

Make buttermilk in a small measuring cup (or just buy/use buttermilk):
2-3 tsp lemon juice OR white vinegar
Add milk up to ½ cup (lactose-free works well)

Mix together in a large bowl:
3 Tbsp sugar
½ tsp xanthan gum
1 tsp salt

Chop in with a pastry cutter:
1/3 cup butter

When flour/butter mixture looks nice and crumbly, add and mix in:
½ cup buttermilk (from above)
1 egg

You can use your hands to get it thoroughly mixed.  Once well mixed (doesn’t need to be perfectly mixed), cover with plastic wrap and chill 30 minutes, if desired.  (If your dough is cool, you can use right away, but if you’re worried about it being sticky, then best to chill 30 minutes.  I tend to just use it right away and it's fine.)

I like to turn on my oil to heat up right about now.  Fill a large, low-sided saucepan ½ - 1” deep with oil (whatever kind you prefer for frying – I tend to use Canola). 

Set the oil over med-high heat.  (Reminder: Make sure your pan has high enough sides that oil won’t splatter out easily, but low enough you could get your spatula in to help flip over your fried pies)

Roll a plum-sized piece of dough between two pieces of plastic wrap to form an oval that is 1/8 – ¼” thick. Pull off the top layer of plastic wrap.  
It doesn't need to be a perfectly shaped oval. You'll shape it later. Here it is after pulling off the top layer of plastic wrap.
Spoon into the middle of the oval:
2 Tbsps Blueberry Pie Filling (Luckily, most canned pie fillings are gluten-free! You can also make your own fruit filling like you would for a pie.  Mix together and cook in a saucepan until fruit is cooked/thickened. Let cool before using in this recipe)

I found you can use even a bit more than this, you just don't want it squeezing through the sides.

Use your plastic wrap to help you fold over the dough.  Press the edges of the dough through the plastic wrap (aka, just press through the plastic wrap to help seal the edges – remember, gluten-free dough tends to be stickier than normal dough, so this way you don’t end up pulling off any dough!) 

Isn't this great! So easy. Just fold it using the plastic wrap and press together.
Trim your pie using a pizza cutter to get a nice smooth edge.  You can save the excess dough and re-use. 

Place pie carefully on a plate lined with plastic wrap until ready to fry.   Repeat with remaining dough until you’ve made ~8 fruit pies. 

Once I had a layer of pies ready, I just put a layer of plastic wrap on top of them and added another layer of pies.  They're pretty durable.

When oil is nice and hot (I tend to throw in a piece of dough to see if it’s bubbling nicely when it enters the oil), carefully lower your fruit pies into the hot oil.  Cook a few at a time, so the pan isn’t overcrowded, and it’s easy for you to flip them over.   It’s easiest to use a slotted spatula to help flip them over and remove them from the oil when they’re done.

Let each fry pie cook until nicely browned on each side.  (a few minutes per side seems to do it)
Remove from oil and place on a paper-towel lined baking sheet to cool.  These don’t absorb much oil, which is terrific! 

Freshly fried! Yum!

These can be eaten hot, warm or cool. Sprinkle with powdered sugar just before serving. They're best fresh, but we store leftovers in a Tupperware and re-heat in the toaster oven. 

Saturday, 6 July 2013

Skinny Sweet Potato Fries

It's always fun to have an alternative to normal potato wedges or sweet potato fries.  These lovely skinny sweet potato fries have a bit of crunch to them, thanks to the addition of a herb spiced breadcrumb coating.  They're great served with a spicy Jalapeno Aioli dipping sauce on the side.  Enjoy!

Skinny Sweet Potato Fries
Based on a recipe from the Food Network Magazine
Serves 4
Preheat oven to 425F. 
Mix in a small bowl, then set aside:
½ cup gluten free breadcrumbs
1 Tbsp olive oil
¼ - ½ tsp ground coriander
¼ - ½ tsp dried rosemary
¼ - ½ tsp dried oregano
Pinch salt
Peel and cut into ¼” sticks:
1 large sweet potato
In a large bowl, whisk until frothy:
1 egg white
Toss sweet potato sticks in egg white (using hands so they’re evenly coated).
Add in the breadcrumb herb mixture and toss gently to evenly coat.
Spread sweet potato fries on a large cookie sheet. 
Bake in the oven ~ 25 minutes, until tender, and edges are crisped.

Serve with a spicy Aioli dipping sauce, if desired.  Enjoy!

Wednesday, 3 July 2013

Raspberry Cream Cheese Pie

I came up with this recipe for seriously amazing pie on Canada Day, seeing as I had a bunch of fresh raspberries and it seemed like a perfect day to make a naturally red dessert.  There is a fabulous place on Prince Edward Island called the PEI Preserve Company that makes a delectably famous raspberry cream cheese pie.  While I didn't have their recipe at hand and had to come up with my own version(and of course, make sure it's all gluten-free), I've succeeded beyond my wildest dreams!  I actually like this version better!  It's very similar, but the raspberry topping is lighter, there's more of a hint of lemon, and I'm rather partial to my pie crust, although you could use whatever recipe (gluten-free or not) makes you happy.  I think you'll be thrilled with this wonderful dessert - a perfect summer recipe!  Enjoy!

* Check out my Blueberry Cream Cheese Pie, too!

Raspberry Cream Cheese Pie
Serves 8-10
Preheat oven to 425F.  Have a pie dish available.
Make Kristin’s buttermilk pie crust (retyped here for convenience - although there is an option in the original recipe to measure out a slightly different flour blend than what is in my flour mix).
For crust:
Mix together in a bowl:
1 tsp salt
Chop in with a pastry cutter:
2/3 cup + 2-3 Tbsp butter
Add and mix in with the pastry cutter:
2 tsp oil
1/3 cup buttermilk (can make by mixing 2-3 tsp vinegar + milk)

Mix as much as you can using the pastry cutter (this keeps the dough cool).
To fully get the dough to form, mix by hand as quickly as possible (so you don’t warm up the dough).   Separate into two pieces.  You’ll use one for this recipe, and can wrap the other half in plastic wrap and stick in the refrigerator to use for another recipe, like a quiche or pie.

Separate your dough into two pieces, wrapping one in plastic wrap and sticking in the refrigerator to use later.
Roll out a nice big circle between pieces of plastic wrap.  I use two pieces overlapping for the bottom and two pieces, overlapping, on top.   Make sure you’ve got a piece as big as your pie dish, plus a little extra.
Remove the plastic from the top.  Flip over the dough into the pie dish.  Press down on the plastic wrap to get the dough to stick to the pie plate.  Remove plastic wrap and carefully shape edges, as desired.

Remember to use the plastic wrap to press down and then use fingers to crimp the edges.
Bake at 425F for 15-17 minutes, until nicely browned.  Remove from oven and cool on a cooling rack.

Fresh baked and cooling.
Make raspberry filling:
In a medium-sized pot over medium heat place the following:
12 oz fresh raspberries, rinsed & drained (there's no need to mash them up)
2/3 cup sugar
1/3 cup water
Let cook, stirring occasionally, until boiling.
Whisk together in a small bowl:
1/3 cup water
¼ cup cornstarch
Add cornstarch mixture to boiling raspberries, stirring constantly.  Bring mixture back to a boil and let boil 1 minute (keep stirring).  Remove from heat and let cool on cooling rack 15-20 minutes. (you don’t want to pour it on top of the cream cheese mixture while boiling hot, so it’s best to make this part first, then whip up the cream cheese mixture).
The raspberries will naturally come apart while cooking and create a lovely smooth filling.
Make cream cheese filling:
Beat together in a mixer, until light and creamy:
6 oz cream cheese, softened
½ cup powdered sugar
2 tsp fresh lemon juice
Zest of ½ lemon
Once cream cheese filling has been whipped, spread it on the bottom of your cooled pie crust.  Place in the refrigerator until your raspberry filling has cooled 15-20 minutes.   

Cooked piecrust with cream cheese filling in the bottom.  Chill until your raspberry topping has cooled 15-20 minutes.
Carefully pour the raspberry mixture over the cream cheese filling.  Let the pie chill in the refrigerator ~ 2 hours, until chilled.   
Mmmm.. nice, eh?!
Slice and serve with whipped cream.  Enjoy!!!
A light, delicious summer dessert! Yum!

Tuesday, 2 July 2013

Blueberry Pancakes with Blueberry Syrup

These blueberry pancakes are topped with a delicious blueberry syrup topping, which is so easy to prepare you wonder why you don't make it all the time.  I've posted my pancake recipe previously, but I figured I'd re-post with the blueberry syrup addition.  It's also the time of year when fresh berries are plentiful, making these a great summer choice.  They are nice and light and fluffy and packed with blueberries.  Enjoy!
Mmm... fresh blueberry pancakes drizzled with fresh blueberry syrup

Blueberry Pancakes with Blueberry Syrup
Makes 9 - 12 pancakes

Mix together the wet ingredients:
1 egg
3/4 - 1 cup milk (lactose-free, coconut or almond work great)
2 Tbsp vegetable oil (I usually use canola or an extra light olive oil)

Mix dry ingredients a bowl: (You WANT to mix dry ingredients first in gluten-free baking/cooking or things lump and aren't evenly distributed in your batter)
1/4 cup brown rice flour
1/4 cup white rice flour
1/4 cup tapioca starch
1/2 tsp xanthan gum
1 Tbsp sugar (white or brown works fine)
1 Tbsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1/2-1 tsp cinnamon

Add dry and wet ingredients together and mix gently until it's all combined. There may be some small lumps.

Add to batter:
1 cup blueberries, rinsed and drained
My 2 year old 'sous chef' mixing in the blueberries.

It's good to let your batter sit and rest for 5 minutes, so mix first and THEN heat your skillet over medium-low to medium heat. For a non-stick pan, you typically have to butter only the first time when you're cooking your pancakes. (with blueberry pancakes, I typically butter each time)

If you find the batter is too thick, just add a little milk until you reach your desired consistency. (I find it really tends to depend what measuring cup I use for my flour.) For each pancake, use a large spoon to spoon batter (by approx 1/4 cup amount) onto the pan. You have to help spread it out each pancake a bit, since it's packed with blueberries

Cook the pancake until bubbly on top and a bit dry around the edges. Flip and cook the other side until a nice golden brown.

To make the blueberry syrup:
In a bowl or glass measuring cup place:
1/4 - 1/3 cup fresh blueberries
2-3 Tbsp pure maple syrup

Microwave 60 - 90 seconds, until nice and bubbly.  The blueberries will burst and create a nice syrup.  Stir and serve over pancakes. Enjoy!