Chinese Scallion Pancakes (Cōng Yóu Bǐng)

One of my favorite things to eat when I was living in China was Cōng Yóu Bǐng – Chinese Scallion Pancakes. I would wake up nice and early and head down to the campus dining hall to get these, and about 4 large glasses of freshly brewed soy milk. Nothing, and I mean nothing compares to freshly brewed soy milk. I would buy four, drink one, and put the other three in my fridge and enjoy them throughout the rest of the day. I had to get there early because the few days I didn’t, both the cōng yóu bǐng and the soy milk were long gone. On those days I opted for freshly made won ton soup (yes that was breakfast, and pretty different from what we get here in the US).

These pancakes, were beyond delicious and cut like pizza slices. I’ve been wanting to try to make them gluten-free for the past few years but never got around to trying it. Last weekend however, I was craving these like crazy. I’m not going to lie, they aren’t exactly like the ones in China – and I’m not sure if they will ever be but I’m okay with that. These are close and I enjoyed them quite a bit. Isn’t that what really matters? So below, is my take on one of my favorite dishes…

Chinese Scallion Pancakes – Cōng Yóu Bǐng

1 1/2 cups gluten-free all-purpose flour (I used Silvana Nardone’s Blend, page 15 from her cookbook ‘Cooking with Isaiah’)

1 1/2 – 2 tablespoons sweet white rice flour

3/4 teaspoon xanthan gum (if your all purpose flour blend already has this, just omit)

3/4 cup warm water – added slowly

3 tablespoons oil (preferably peanut, but canola or other neutral flavor oil would work)

1 teaspoon sesame oil

1/4  cup diced scallions, white and green parts

salt – to taste

In a medium bowl combine all-purpose flour, sweet white rice flour, xanthan gum (if needed), and a pinch of salt. Make a well in the middle of the flour and slowly add the warm water (you may not need all of the water).

Mix with a wooden spoon until a ball starts to form. Kneed in bowl for until dough is nice and soft. Cover with a damp towel and let rest for 30 minutes.

In a small bowl mix together peanut (or alternative oil) and sesame oil and set aside.

Lightly dust a working surface with all-purpose flour and cut ball of dough into four even wedges. Remove one wedge and cover the remaining three with damp towel. You can either leave the dough the size that it is or you can cut it into smaller portions. Either way, the remaining directions are exactly the same.

Lightly dust the top of the dough with some all-purpose flour and roll dough out into a 5-6 inch circle. Brush the surface with the oil mixture, sprinkle with salt and scallion slices. Roll circle up (or if you can’t without it ripping, just do the best you can, roll it back into a ball and then roll out again), twist, and pinch together. Roll out again into a 5-6 inch circle, brush again with oil mixture and place in a non stick skillet. If needed add 1/4-1/2 teaspoon of oil to the pan. Cook about 3-4 minutes until you see light browning and bubbles forming. Brush the other side with oil mixture and flip over to repeat the cooking process.

Remove from pan and cut into two or four pieces, or leave whole and rip pieces off as you wish.

Repeat with remaining wedges of dough.

Best if eaten right away – but can be warmed up in an oven set to 300-350° for 5-10 minutes.

Serve with a Ginger Dipping Sauce

1/4 cup soy sauce

1/8 cup rice wine vinegar

1 teaspoon brown sugar

1/4 teaspoon or a pinch of red pepper flakes

1/8 cup sliced scallions

1/4 teaspoon minced ginger

Mix all ingredients together – can be made several hours ahead of time.

Chicken Lettuce Wraps {Crockpot Recipe}

As you have probably gathered from reading my blog, we love Asian food. We often say to each other that we could live on Asian, Mexican, and Italian food…but mostly Asian. Bryan said the other day, I could eat Chinese food for breakfast lunch and dinner…I have and it was awesome. I lived in China for a little while in 2003, while I was a Program Liaison between two colleges/universities – one located in Worcester, MA where I was employed and our partner Beijing Geely University located in the Changping District.

My time spent there was right in the middle of the SARS epidemic so traveling outside of Beijing was out of the question. I did however get to spend quite a bit of time doing the “tourist” thing by visiting places such as The Great Wall (twice) (Bādálǐng), The Forbidden City (Zǐjin chéng), Tiananmen Square (Tiān’ānmén), The Summer Palace (Yíhé Yuán), Mausoleum of Mao Zedong (Máo Zhǔxí Jìniàntáng), Ming Dynasty Tombs (Míng shísān líng), Temple of Heaven (Tiāntán), Temple of Confucius, and many more.

While I didn’t get to travel much, I ate some of the most amazing food. Most of my meals in the beginning of my stay were supplied by the on campus dining rooms – all of which were really great. We (my Chinese colleagues and I) would venture out to local restaurants to try some more delicious and local dishes. My breakfast usually consisted of the following: fresh made wonton soup or red bean porridge , scallion pancake (cōng yóu bǐng) (I am working on a gluten-free recipe for these, stay tuned), fresh hot soy milk ( dòunǎi) which has a slightly sweet flavor to it. Lunch was a number of different options (sadly most of which I can’t remember their name): kung pao chicken (gōng bǎo jī dīng), egg flower soup (dàn huā tāng), the most delicious spicy cucumbers, steamed dumplings (xiǎo ​lóng ​bāo) – either veggie or meat filled, and for the occasional dessert some Mantou (mán ​tou) which is steamed bun that is served either steamed or deep-fried with condensed milk. For dinner my favorite dish was Peking Duck (Běi​jīng ​kǎo​yā), Hot Pot (shuàn ​guō ​zi) was another favorite of mine, although they tended to order mutton (yáng ​ròu) I opted for the chicken (jī​ ròu​) and Sichuan Dry-Fried Green Beans with some ground pork.

So I have lived solely on Chinese food and would do it again in a heart beat. Thankfully Bryan loves the same styles of food that I do. Many of our meals are Asian and Mexican inspired dishes. We venture out but always come back to our love of Asian food.

Below is a recipe that is inspired by the P.F. Chang’s Gluten Free Lettuce Wraps – it is not a copycat recipe like my Beef a la Sichuan is but just inspired by it. We were at P.F. Chang’s last night to celebrate Bryan’s birthday (a little early, but we wanted to go before school started up for the both of us again). Since I was making lettuce wraps tonight we opted for our other favorite appetizer, their Shanghai Cucumbers.

Chicken Lettuce Wraps {Crockpot Recipe}

3 large chicken breasts* – diced into small pieces

3 large celery stalks – diced into 1/4 inch cubes

8 oz baby bella mushrooms – diced into 1/4 inch cubes

1 8oz can water chestnuts – chopped (divided)

1 8oz can bamboo shoots – chopped

3 cloves garlic – finely chopped

1/2 inch piece ginger – peeled and grated (I use a microplane)

1 tbs brown sugar

1/2 tsp chili garlic paste

1 tbs sesame oil

1/2 cup gluten-free soy sauce (I use San-J low sodium if you have it)

2 tbs hoisin sauce (I use the Dynasty brand)

  1. Prepare all of the ingredients according to the above directions.
  2. In a crockpot (mine is 7qts…you can use a smaller size too) add the Hoisin Sauce, Soy Sauce, Sesame Oil, Brown Sugar, Garlic Paste, Ginger, Garlic, Bamboo Shoots, 1/2 of the Water Chestnuts, Celery, and Mushrooms.
  3. Mix together.
  4. Add the chopped chicken and mix until evenly coated.
  5. Cover the crockpot and turn it on low.
  6. Cook for 5 1/2 hours.
  7. Stir about half way through to incorporate everything and break up some of the larger pieces of chicken.
  8. Add the remaining water chestnuts, mix well, cover, and cook for an additional 1/2 hour.
  9. To serve: Peel the leaves off of a head of iceberg lettuce, butter/boston lettuce, or use romaine hearts. Scoop about 1/4 -1/2 cup into each leave, “roll up” and enjoy. You can top these with shredded carrots, bean sprouts, and chopped peanuts. We’ll be serving ours with a side of steamed edamame.

Notes: Many recipes out there call for ground chicken, which is completely acceptable, however I wanted a more hearty version so I choose to use chicken breasts and dice them instead.

You can also add all the water chestnuts at once, they will retain their crunch, but I wanted a bit more crunch so I added half of the can in the beginning and half towards the end.

Vegetarian version – instead of chicken increase the amount of mushrooms and celery, add zucchini, yellow summer squash, baby bok choy, etc.

Non-Onion Free version – replace the celery with 1/2 cup 1/4 inch diced white onion.

Hope you enjoy this crockpot dish – I dished out a little bit to take a photo and then I couldn’t put it back sooo I ate it…its delicious!

(The chopsticks in the photo were sent to me from a dear friend, Shiho whose family runs one of my favorite little sushi places, Ocean Sushi in Monterey and Pacific Grove, CA. If you are in the area stop on by – they have gluten-free soy sauce!! Thanks Shiho, these get quite a bit of use!)

The Gluten-Free Asian Kitchen {Review}

If you follow Creative Cooking Gluten Free on Facebook or Twitter you have probably seen my recent posts about receiving a review copy of Laura B. Russell’s cookbook The Gluten-Free Asian Kitchen.  When I first received the book in the mail, I don’t think I put it down for about thirty minutes (okay it was probably longer than that). It is simply beautiful.  Bryan’s first response was “the cover looks so good I could eat it”. Thankfully Bryan loves Asian food as much as I do.  The majority of the food we eat is Asian inspired.

I was more than excited to receive this cookbook.  If you read through my recipes or take a look at my “pantry” page you have probably noticed the large selection of Asian inspired dishes and ingredients.  Since I can remember I have had a deep fondness of Asian foods and their cultures.  My mom used to tell me that while she was pregnant with me she craved Chinese food all the time.  That statement there could probably be the root of my love of Asian food, however it grew even more when I had the opportunity to live in China for a little while in 2003 (yes right in the middle of SARS).

While living there I had some pretty interesting foods but also some of the most delicious food I have ever tasted.  People used to make fun of me saying I could live off of Chinese food and eat it for every meal, well I had the opportunity to do so and I have to say I would do it again.  My breakfast usually consisted of the following: fresh made wonton soup or red bean porridge , scallion pancake (cōng yóu bǐng), fresh hot soy milk ( dòunǎi) which has a slightly sweet flavor to it.  Lunch was a number of different options (sadly most of which I can’t remember their name): kung pao chicken (gōng bǎo jī dīng), egg flower soup (dàn huā tāng), the most delicious spicy cucumbers, steamed dumplings (xiǎo ​lóng ​bāo) – either veggie or meat filled, and for the occasional dessert some Mantou (mán ​tou)  which is steamed bun that is served either steamed or deep-fried with condensed milk. For dinner my favorite dish was Peking Duck (Běi​jīng ​kǎo​yā), Hot Pot (shuàn ​guō ​zi) was another favorite of mine, although they tended to order mutton (yáng ​ròu) I opted for the chicken (jī​ ròu​) and Sichuan Dry-Fried Green Beans with some ground pork.

As I’m looking and every recipe and every picture in The Gluten-Free Asian Kitchen I am taken back to my time in China.  All of my wonderful memories came rushing back, not just about food but all the places I had the opportunity to visit, the amazing friends that I made, and the beauty of the country.  As I mentioned above I was there during SARS so I was unable to travel very far. I was fortunate enough to visit, The Great Wall (twice) (Bādálǐng), The Forbidden City (Zǐjin chéng), Tiananmen Square (Tiān’ānmén), The Summer Palace (Yíhé Yuán), Mausoleum of Mao Zedong (Máo Zhǔxí Jìniàntáng), Ming Dynasty Tombs (Míng shísān líng), Temple of Heaven (Tiāntán), Temple of Confucius, and many more. The best part about it was I was there pretty much by myself.  Not many people were out visiting and there were definitely not tourists around. You can view some of my photographs from China on my Flickr Page (this was pre-digital so I have a ton to scan still)

Sorry for being side tracked on memories of China, I just couldn’t help it.  Now back to the book. After I looked (drooled) over the recipes and photos I handed the cookbook to Bryan and asked what he wanted me to make first.  With out much hesitation he asked for the recipe on the cover: Gingery Pork Pot Stickers with the Soy Vinegar Dipping Sauce.  Thankfully I had enough of the flours the recipe called for to make them. You can get the recipe by ordering The Gluten-Free Asian Kitchen on my Amazon Store! (This is still available for pre-order, release date is August 23rd! so order now for only $14.50)

Over all the recipe its self is pretty simple with simple ingredients that most of us (especially if you are gluten-free) already have in your pantry.  The only two items I needed to pick up were the pork and the green onions.  We don’t normally cook with any form of onion in our house because of Bryan’s allergy, but we decided to give these a try to see how he felt (he felt fine after eating them, woo hooo). I read the instructions a few times because I didn’t want to screw anything up…I had my heart set on these dumplings and probably would have shed a few tears had they gone wrong.  Due to the heat and humidity I had a bit of a hard time “rolling” out the dough, but I just made it work.  We ended up with a few less dumplings than the recipe yield but we devoured them all regardless.

It is amazing what a huge flavor impact just a few ingredients can have.  I had a little bit of the sausage mixture left over so I added it to a skillet, cooked it up and then tossed it with my spicy green beans as a side dish.  I’m not joking when I say I almost cried when I first tasted them.  Between the dumplings and the green beans/sausage it brought me right back to China.  I was in love with this cookbook when it arrived and after tasting this first recipe I am even more in love with it.  Laura did an amazing job with this recipe and the whole cookbook.  My next recipe to try is her Kung Pao chicken.

We plan to make these again but I have to order some flours first.  However, when I do make them I will be making a triple batch and freeze the majority of them.  That way we have them for a quick dinner and something that Bryan can just make while he is home for lunch and I am at school.

Seeing as this is the recipe Bryan choose I asked him what he thought of it (I usually do this anyway but he still can’t stop talking about them) and his response was “these are fucking delicious – anything more would just take away from its deliciousness”.  Now who said you can’t have gluten-free Asian food and it taste like the real thing?

Laura,  I know we’ve been chatting back and forth and I have said this a million times to you but thank you for creating such a beautiful cookbook with amazing recipes that take me back in time.  The recipe that we tried truly made me feel like I was back in China with my friends at a dumpling restaurant or on campus at the dining hall.  You also made my non-gluten-free boyfriend one happy person.  We are both looking forward to trying more of your recipes.

Please visit Laura’s website at: http://www.laurabrussell.com/ You can also find her on Facebook and Twitter

Also, Are you in the Portland area? Laura will be doing a  book signing for “The Gluten-Free Asian Kitchen” at Crave Bake Shop on Wednesday, September 7th in the evening. Lots of treats involved!

Sriracha Burgers and Cheese Fries

If you are on a diet this recipe probably isn’t for you :)  We try to eat pretty healthy in our house by eating lots of veggies and fresh products.  We usually have a salad with every dinner but every once in a while we crave those fast food type meals – those that I usually can’t eat because of cross contamination issues.  To fulfill those cravings I try to recreate the items that we used to like to eat out and make them at home.  I’ve made a version of Wendy’s Spicy Chicken Sandwich, P.F. Chang’s Beef a La Sichuan, P.F. Chang’s Mongolian Beef, and P.F. Chang’s Shanghai Cucumbers (we really like P.F. Chang’s and I am slightly obsessed with Chinese food in general).

Today Bryan had a craving for cheese fries – and I have to admit I’ve never really had cheese fries.  I do however love french fries so I told him we could have those and burgers on the grill tonight seeing as I have a package of the Udi’s new gluten-free hamburger buns in the freezer. If you haven’t tried these yet, you really should they are simply awesome.  If you local store doesn’t carry them you can request that they do.  I also have a package of their hot dog buns that I still need to try.  I didn’t want to buy any pre-made cheese sauce because let’s be honest they aren’t very good.  I wanted something with simple ingredients that I knew what they were so I found a few recipes online and the one from Serious Eats is the one I decided to go with.  I did make a slight moderation that you will see below, but we were very happy with the results.  It was four ingredients and didn’t turn out oily, clumpy or grainy! While on their site I also noticed a recipe for Ultimate Siraracha Burgers and almost started to drool.  We love spicy things and even more we love Sriracha.  (Have you visited Serious Eats yet?  If not please be sure to do so…it is an awesome site with plenty of delicious recipes and gluten-free ones too) I did change this up a bit too with not only the measurements (we are only two people so no need to make eight patties) and omitted some of the ingredients, and changed the sauce- but please check out the original recipe and try that one also.  Below is my version of Serious Eat’s Cheese Sauce and Sriracha Burgers, I hope you enjoy them as much as we did – which we LOVED these by the way.  When you first take a bite it takes a second for the flavor to hit you but if you love Sriracha Sauce you won’t be disappointed in these. 

Cheese Sauce (naturally gluten-free!)

  • 8 ounces extra sharp cheddar cheese grated on large holes of a box grater
  • 1 tablespoon corn starch
  • 1 (12-ounce) can evaporated milk
  • 2 teaspoons Sriracha Sauce
Add cheese and cornstarch to large bowl. Toss to combine. Transfer to medium saucepan. Add can of  evaporated milk and hot sauce. Cook over low heat, stirring constantly with whisk until melted, bubbly, and thickened (about 5 minutes). Mixture will look thin and grainy at first but will thicken and come together after heating. Thin to desired consistency with additional evaporated milk. Serve immediately with fries (tortilla chips, burgers, or hot dogs).
We served some store-bought gluten-free french fries with dinner tonight.
Sriracha Burgers
  • 1/2 pounds ground beef
  • 2 teaspoons gluten-free soy sauce (I use San-J)
  • 1 tablespoon Sriracha Sauce
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 Gluten-free buns such as Udi’s (or Canyon Bakehouse or Katz)
  • 2 thick slices Swiss cheese
  • Romaine lettuce
  • Dynamite Sauce (recipe below)
  1. In a large mixing bowl, combine the ground beef, soy sauce,  Sriracha, and the pepper. Do not overmix. Form the mixture into 2 patties, and set aside.

  2. Preheat a charcoal or gas grill to medium-high heat. 

  3. Grill the burgers, turning once, 4 to 41/2 minutes on each side or until a meat thermometer registers 130° to 135°F for medium-rare. Place a piece of cheese of cheese on each burger and cook until melted.

  4. To assemble, spread the Dynamite Sauce on both halves of each hamburger bun. Stack a burger patty,  and a few pieces of  romaine between each hamburger bun.

Dynamite Sauce

  • 2 Tablespoons Mayo
  • 1 Tablespoons Sriracha (I like mine spicy so adjust according to your spice level)
  • 1/8-1/4 teaspoon sesame oil

Combine all ingredients in a small bowl and mix until well combined – taste for spice level and adjust accordingly. Spread on burger buns.

And for a little fun…if you love Sriracha Sauce as much as we do, you have to check out The Oatmeal‘s post called “Dear Sriracha, a.k.a Rooser Sauce”
Hope you enjoy – if you get around to trying these please let me know what you think

P.F. Chang’s Beef a La Sichuan

My version of P.F. Chang’s Beef a La Sichuan

P.F. Chang’s Beef a La Sichuan

Yesterday was day two in my weekly menu planning and Bryan’s last day of classes for his first semester as a 1L, so I decided to celebrate I would try to tackled one of our favorite P.F. Chang’s recipes – Beef a La Sichuan.  Ever since this was put on the gluten-free menu at P.F. Chang’s it is all Bryan will order.  I usually order the Chang’s Spicy Chicken (it’s amazing if you haven’t had it yet, you should).  Sadly though we don’t have a P.F. Chang’s close to us so I’ve been searching online for “copycat” recipes for this dish.  I really only found one, but found plenty of pictures of the dish which didn’t help me at all.  The recipe I found was pretty good, however it didn’t have any measurements for the ingredients! Seeing as we hadn’t had this in a while I had to think back to what it tasted like and try to build a sauce based on memory-honestly I got it on the first shot…not sure if I should be proud of that or kind of embarrassed.  If you don’t know Chinese food is my biggest weakness and seeing as I can’t go to any restaurant and get something I do my best to create recipes inspired by my favorite Chinese/Asian dishes.

I found the recipe on RecipeLink.com and like I said it had no measurements so below is my measurements along with RecipeLink.com’s directions.  Now this recipe is a little in-depth with the preparation so be prepared to spend a bit of time in the kitchen the first time-but I promise it is worth it.  I’m sure you can always find some shortcuts, like finding celery and carrots that are already julienned for you but I wanted to do it start to finished myself.   The original recipe called for green onion stems but seeing as we don’t cook/consume onions in our house we just omitted them but you can add them in if you wish.

P.F. Chang’s Beef a La Sichuan

Stir Fry Ingredients:

1 Pound Flank or Sirloin Steak Sliced thin
3-4 Medium Celery Stalks -Julienned
2 Medium Carrots – Julienned
Green Onion Stems (Optional)
1/2 Cup Peanut Oil or Canola Oil (you may use less if using a non-stick pan, I only use about 1/4 cup)
1/4 Cup Corn Starch
1/2 Teaspoon Red Pepper Flakes(or whole Tien Tsin Chinese Chili Peppers work great)

1 1/2 Teaspoons Sesame Oil

Sauce Ingredients:

3 Tablespoons Gluten Free Soy Sauce (I use San-J)
2 Tablespoons Gluten Free Hoisin Sauce (I use Dynasty)
1 Tablespoon Garlic Chili Paste
1/2 Teaspoon Chinese Hot Mustard
1 Teaspoon Rice Wine Vinegar
1/2 Teaspoon Chili oil/or Mongolian Fire Oil (made by House of Tsang) -(Optional)
1 – 2 Teaspoons Brown Sugar
1 Teaspoon Minced garlic
1/2 Teaspoon Minced Ginger
1/2 Teaspoon Red Pepper Flakes

Directions

Mix all of the sauce ingredients together and set aside.

Julienne your carrots and celery and set aside. It is important to get these done first because when it comes time to stir-fry them, it is a very quick process.

An important step is “velveting your beef” – Thinly slice your beef and place in a bowl. Add the cornstarch and  toss to make sure each piece is thoroughly coated. Set aside for 10 minutes.

Rinse beef free from all cornstarch and pat dry – you do not want any moisture or the oil will splatter when you add the beef to the pan.

In a skillet (or wok), fry the sliced meat in hot peanut (or canola) oil until crispy to your liking. Remove from oil, drain on paper towels.

In the same pan (or wok) add the following ingredients in this order with sesame oil: stir-fry celery, crushed red pepper flakes (or Tein Tsin Chinese Chili Peppers) followed by carrots. Do not over cook these ingredients – you want them to be nice and crispy. Add fried meat and green onions. Add sauce and bring to a fast boil, cook for 1 minute and serve immediately over white or brown rice.

This last step should take only 3-4 minutes – it is a very quick process so be sure to keep an eye on it so it doesn’t over cook.

Notes:

I sliced my beef a little bigger than P.F. Chang’s does but not by much and didn’t fry it as much as they do.  Some times the beef can become a bit tough when it is fried too long so I left mine a little tender but still had a slight crunch to it.

The veggies were perfect – like the directions above say DO NOT OVER COOK them – they are supposed to be nice and crunchy.  This process goes very quickly.

I drained off most of the remaining oil from frying the beef before adding the Sesame oil and veggies.  I didn’t wan it to be too oily.

The recipe called for Chili Oil but I couldn’t find it anywhere around me (my grocery stores aren’t so good with stocking “international” cuisine products) so I left it out and didn’t miss it at all.

The sauce was created from memory so if you have had it more recently and attempt to make it at home please adjust the measurements to your liking.

I cooked this in a wok but you can use a large sauté pan.

We had not leftovers!! Like I said this is Bryan’s favorite dish.

Who says you have to go our to have great Chinese food when  you can easily make it at home!  It may take a little longer to make it but it is so worth it and helps save you a little money too.

Weekly Menu Planning

I’m determined to get back into planning out a weekly menu and base our grocery shopping on that menu.  I hope that this will save us money but also the frustration of what to eat each night.  This week is a very Asian inspired week as you’ll see below.  I really miss my favorite little Chinese restaurant in Monterey, Full Moon.  They were so great to me, I would bring them a bottle of gluten-free soy sauce and they would make my food with that. We have both been craving Chinese food lately and Bryan could go out and get some but I can’t so I figured I would make a few Asian inspired recipes this week that will hopefully hit the spot.

When planning weekly menus I usually look at my cookbooks, blogs etc and search for dishes that are tasty, easy and that the ingredients can be used in more than one dish during the week.  This weeks menu inspiration comes from: Artisanal Gluten-Free Cooking, Everyday Food-Fresh Flavor Fast and a few recipes I found online.

November 29-December 5

Monday

Grilled Steaks, mashed sweet potatoes and corn (these were our last steaks from Omaha Steaks -a gift from Bry’s parents)

Tuesday

P.F. Chang’s inspired Beef A La Sichuan (Bryan’s favorite dish to order there, even off of the gluten-free menu)

Wednesday

Asian Inspired Noodle Bowl (Artisanal Gluten-Free Cooking pg. 30)

Thursday

Beef Stir Fry (Everyday Food Fresh Flavor Fast pg. 190)

Friday

Penne A La Broccoli (Light dish with red pepper flakes from DrWeil.com)

Saturday

General Chang’s Chicken (Artisanal Gluten-Free Cooking pg. 163) I’ll be making this for my birthday dinner along with some cupcakes, or maybe even a cheesecake…I have yet to decided which one I really want.

Sunday

Not 100% sure what to make just yet for sunday, maybe some beef stew or pot roast.

If you haven’t picked up a copy of the Artisanal Gluten-Free Cooking cookbook by Kelli and Peter Bronski you really should – this cookbook is fantastic.  I’ve made several of their recipes and have enjoyed every one of them.

What are you cooking this week?

Thai Chicken and Noodle Salad

Things are a bit crazy right now with getting ready to move.  Bryan will be starting law school this fall in Rhode Island, so in July I will be moving back east to be with him.  I’ll be flying to New Jersey (where he is currently living) for a about two – three weeks and then we’ll be heading up to Rhode Island together (into a place we have yet to find!).  I have no job lined up either and I have my fingers (and toes) crossed that the search will be a bit easier once I’m actually there and can see what is around us.

I will not being bringing any of my furniture with me, just packing up some boxes to ship across the country. I”ll be selling all the big things (or I hope to see them anyway!!).  The most important things for me to ship are my kitchen things: my pans, knives and of course my awesome KitchenAid! The trick is to try and figure out how to ship that and my wine and wine rack.  Hmmmm lots of bubble wrap?

With all of that going on and trying to save money and have enough to ship all the boxes, money is umm a bit tight right about now.  This week I have been trying to make meals that either make good left overs or use ingredients that can be used in several meals.  So far this week it was ground beef tacos made with the Trader Joe’s GF taco seasoning (I don’t follow the directions on the back and add tomato paste…I like the spice in it) which last night turned in to nachos.  Tonight will be the Thai Chicken and Noodle Salad.  The extra chicken will be used either in a grilled chicken salad or something of the sort.  I also have lined up some ham steak with a baked potato which will then be made into a ham and cheese frittata – YUMMM

One of my favorite magazines and websites is Martha Stewart’s Everyday Food Magazine.  I just packed all mine up to ship next week so I’ve been searching online for recipes to adapt and came across this one that sounded and looked really good…and it tasted great!!  Very light, full of flavor and refreshing.  This would be a great meal on a hot summer night.  Sadly this isn’t a great dish for Bryan because of the onions but I’m sure I can make it with out it and it taste just fine. I made a few alterations to the original recipe (my alterations are in red) to make this gluten free.

Thai Chicken and Noodle Salad

Serves 4

  • 1 1/4 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breasts, thinly sliced crosswise
  • Spicy Asian Dressing -see below
  • Coarse salt
  • 3 1/2 ounces Chinese rice noodles, broken in half if long (I used the thick rice noodles instead of the thing ones, I think it worked well)
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil, such as safflower (I used coconut oil – tasted great!!)
  • 2 carrots, sliced into ribbons with a vegetable peeler
  • 1 English cucumber, halved lengthwise and thinly sliced crosswise
  • 1/4 cup fresh basil, torn
  • Bean sprouts, chopped peanuts, fresh mint leaves, red-pepper flakes, and sliced scallion greens, for garnish (optional)
  1. Place chicken and half of dressing in a resealable plastic bag (reserve remaining dressing). Marinate at room temperature for 30 minutes (or refrigerate overnight).
  2. In a large pot of boiling salted water, cook noodles until tender. Drain, and rinse under cold water to stop the cooking. Transfer to a platter.
  3. In a large skillet, heat oil over medium-high. Working in batches, cook chicken (do not crowd skillet) until cooked through, 1 to 2 minutes; transfer to platter on top of noodles.
  4. Top with carrots, cucumber, and basil. Drizzle with reserved dressing, and sprinkle with garnishes, if desired.

Spicy Asian Dressing

  • 4 thinly sliced scallion whites
  • 2 minced garlic cloves
  • 1/2 cup soy sauce (gluten free soy sauce)
  • 1/2 cup rice vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons light-brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon anchovy paste (or 1 minced canned anchovy) – (I didn’t have either so I left it out)
  • 1/2 teaspoon red-pepper flakes

This is my second attempt at using my coconut oil in a recipe but I have one more to attempt this weekend so keep checking back.
Rice Noodles on Foodista

Mongolian Beef (adapted from P.F. Chang’s)

gf1782

Mongolian Beef

2 teaspoons vegetable oil

1 teaspoon ginger, minced

1 tablespoon garlic, choped

1/2 cup Gluten Free soy sauce

1/2 cup water

3/4 cup dark brown sugar

vegetable oil, for frying (about 1 cup…I used less with my non stick pans)

1lb flank steak

1/4 cup cornstarch

2 large green onions, sliced

~For the sauce: heat 2 tsp of vegetable oil in a medium saucepan over medium/low heat (don’t get oil too hot)

~Add ginger and garlic to the oil and quickly add the soy sauce and water before the garlic and ginger start to brown.

~Dissolve the brown sugar in the sauce, then raise the heat to medium and boil for 2-3 minutes or until sauce thickens.  Remove from heat.

~Slice the steak against the grain into 1/4″ thick bite-size slices

~Dip the beef pieces into the cornstarch to apply a very thin dusting to both sides of the steak pieces.

~Let the beef sit for about 10 minutes so that the corn starch sticks.

~As the beef sits, heat up the one cup (or less) of oil in a skillet.  Heat over medium heat until its nice and hot but not smoking.

~Add the beef to the pan and sauté for for two minutes, or until the beef just begins to darken on the edges. You don’t need to cook the beef completely, because it will finish cooking when added to the sauce.

~After the beef is finished cooking use a large slotted spoon to take the meat out and rest on paper towels, then pour the oil out of the skillet.

~Put the pan back over the heat, add the beef back into the pan and simmer for one minute

~Add the sauce and cook for another minute while stirring then add the green onions.  Cook for another minute then remove the beef and onions to a serving platter.  Leave excess sauce behind.

~Serve over white or brown rice.

Gramma Lu’s Chicken

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My grandmother is a great cook. We all have grown up loving and craving her cooking (especially her meatballs and sauce). All of her recipes are stored in a brown folder that has been coveted by every female in my family!! Knowing that there would come a time that we would all want these recipes from her but only one person would end up with the folder, my Aunt Sue, my sister and I decided to put all her recipes in a “cook book” and give it to our family as Christmas presents one year.

I have to give her credit for my love of cooking. I remember being very young and her pulling up a chair for me to stand on next to her while she taught me how to make chicken soup from scratch.

Gramma Lu makes the best chicken wings (to me anyway). Ever since I was little I looked forward to these chicken wings of hers.

I didn’t have chicken wings or pineapple juice so I adapted the original recipe. I substituted the wings for drumsticks and omitted the pineapple juice and added a teaspoon of ginger. (The original recipe is below along with the ginger)

Gramma Lu’s Chicken Wings

1/2 cup orange juice

1 cup gluten free* soy sauce

1/4 cup pineapple juice

3 cloves of garlic minced

1 teaspoon of minced ginger*

1-2 lbs of chicken wings (or drumsticks)

~Combine first four five ingredients and mix well. Add chicken and marinate overnight. Place chicken in a single layer on a cookie sheet. Bake for 1 hour at 350 degrees, turn once half way threw. Serve Hot.

(for drumsticks cook at 375 degrees for fifty minutes turning once. Turn oven to Broil and broil for five minutes or until skin is crispy).

General Tso’s Chicken (A bit lighter)

gf1494

General Tso’s Chicken

(adapted from Martha Stewart’s Everyday Food Magazine issue pg, page 34)

1/4 cup corn starch

1 pound snow peas, trimmed and halved crosswise

4 garlic cloves, chopped

2 teaspoons ginger (freshly grated or jarred)

3 tablespoons brown sugar

2 tablespoons gluten free soy sauce

1 1/2 teaspoon red-pepper flakes

2 large egg whites

salt and pepper

1 pound chicken breast cut into 1-inch pieces

2 tablespoons vegetable oil

Brown Rice

~Cook rice according to package or rice cooker.

~In a large bowl, stir together 1 tablespoon cornstarch and 1/2 cup cold water until smooth. Add snow peas, garlic, ginger, sugar, soy sauce and red pepper flakes; toss to combine and set aside.

~In another bowl, whisk together egg whites, remaining 3 tablespoons cornstarch, 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Add chicken and toss to coat.

~In a large nonstick skillet, heat 1 tablespoon oil over medium heat. Lift half the chicken from the egg-white mixture (shaking off excess) and add to skillet. Cook, turning occasionally, until golden brown about 6-8 minutes. Transfer to a plate; repeat with remaining oil and chicken, set aside (reserve skillet)

~Add snow pea mixture to the skillet. Cook until snow peas are tender and sauce has thickened, about 3-5 minutes. Return chicken to skillet (with any juices); toss to coat. Serve with brown rice.

Sesame Orange Shrimp

gf1475

Sesame Orange Shrimp

(Adapted from Martha Stewart’s Every Day Food, #13 page 76)

2 large egg whites

1/4 cup cornstarch

1/4 cup sesame seeds

coarse salt and ground pepper

1 1/2 pounds medium shrimp, peeled and deveined

1/4 cup vegetable oil, plus more if needed

1 cup fresh orange juice

2 tablespoons soy sauce (gluten free)

1 tablespoon sugar

4 scallions, trimmed and thinly sliced

Steamed white rice

~In a large blow, whisk together egg whites, cornstarch, sesame seeds, 1 teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon pepper until frothy. Add shrimp and toss to coat.

~Heat 1/4 cup oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Working in two or three batches, cook shrimp until golden and crisp, 2-3 minutes per side; transfer to a paper-towel-lined plate to drain. Add more oil to skillet if necessary for remaining batches.

~Wipe skillet with a paper towel. Add orange juice, soy sauce and sugar; boil over high heat until syrupy and reduced to about 1/3 cup, 4-5 minutes. Return shrimp to skillet; add scallions and cook until heated through and coated with sauce, about 1 minute.

~Serve over steamed white rice.