Thursday, March 26, 2015

Tea Biscuits

This can be served as a bread or a desert--it is a semi-sweet biscuit, which I call Tropic Tea Biscuits.

Makes about a dozen or a dozen and half.
Begin with about 2 cups of cake flour or self-rising flour.  Add 1 1/2 cups of oats or finely chopped almonds.
In a bowl, mash 2 very ripe bananas.  Mix with about 1 cup of coconut milk (unsweetened) and about 1/2 cup oil. You may also add to the liquid no more than 1/8 of a teaspoon almond flavoring (be very careful with this flavoring: it is very strong, but gives a good taste if you are sparing with it). Pour into flour and mix gently with fingers until it is a sticky dough.
Wash your hands after scraping off dough; douse a baking pan with about 1/4 cup oil, and rub the remainder of the oil onto your hands so that the dough does not stick onto you or the pan.
Pull off hunks of dough about the size of a ping-pong ball and touch the top to smooth out bumps.

 Bake the biscuits at 425 degrees for about 10 minutes.
Allergen information: If you are celiac or wheat allergic, you will need to change the flour to an all-purpose Gluten Free flour mix. 

From India...

 I thought I'd share a recipe which my sister concocted based on a photograph she saw and the way a friend described the food.  She calls it Bangla Rice (common food in Bangladesh, India and surrounding countries).  When She is making this recipe she often throws everything together without thinking of measurements--she cooks by smell.
Of course it's her own version. She has not consulted anyone from that part of the world to see how authentic it is, nor has she ever tasted it herself so it is merely a mirror of her imagination.  :)  Funny, isn't it? You know how you can just about taste something when someone is describing it very well?  That's  what this is.  Someone will have to inform us of the proper way to do it. But at least our family likes it, so that gives credibility for the flavor.
My sister has a few tips for people who can't handle the strong spicy taste of curry or red hot peppers.

Method no. 1:
Cook 2 cups raw rice in about 3 cups of water, on low, so that each grain is just done and separate, not mushed together.  Set aside to cool.
Mix the following in a bowl:
8 cloves of garlic, minced finely
1 whole onion, sliced long and thin
2 green onions, sliced at 1-inch lengths
2 cups thinly chopped cabbage, green or red
1/4 cup thawed frozen peas
7-8 carrots, sliced julienne style (long, thin stick-like pieces)

Here is where taste fits in.
If you like the curry and hot peppers, here is the method to use.  Measure 1 Tablespoon cottonseed (Stir Fry) oil and 2 Tablespoons olive oil into a skillet, then fry the chopped hot peppers, adding 2 cracked, whipped eggs and your choice of thinly-sliced meat (pork, chicken, fish, lamb or anything mild; beef changes the flavor).  After this, add your vegetables, and stir fry until they are tender. Add to the pan mixture: 2 Tablespoons of curry, some paprika and perhaps a bit of black pepper.  In a bowl, add curry to the rice.  Add the rice to the skillet and brown until crispy (in layers for best results).

Method no. 2:
If you do not like curry or can't handle the spicy flavor, mix up the following spices:
1 Tablespoon ground ginger
2 Tablespoons ground mustard
2 Tablespoons garlic powder (granulated)
2 teaspoons Lowery's season salt
This mixture provides a similar flavor without the bite.  Mix half into the rice and half into the vegetables.
If you can eat eggs, crack about 2 into a bowl and whip.  (If you can't just leave out the eggs.)
Measure 1 Tablespoon Stir Fry (cottonseed) oil and 3 Tablespoons olive or vegetable oil into a skillet.  Heat until a grain of rice pops in the oil.
First, fry some of the onions and garlic in the oil; then fry the eggs in the oil, leaving them somewhat wet when you throw in the vegetables.  Add more oil, and stir fry vegetables until they are tender. Remove from the pan.
Add more oil, and fry a few more sliced onions and 4 more cloves of minced garlic together with your choice of thinly-sliced meat (chicken, pork, fish or lamb; it isn't the same taste if you use beef).
Mix cooked vegetables, meat and rice in a separate bowl with a bit of soy sauce; add more oil to the pan and fry the rice in layers so it is browned and crispy.
So...there's her Bangla Rice.  :) 
Allergen information: This recipe contains egg. If you are allergic to egg, just leave it out, and will be safe.

The Ultimate Fried Chicken

Thigh with relief!  It's Mama's Southern Italian Fried Chicken!
4 pounds frying chicken (or favorite chicken pieces)
1 cup flour (white rice flour, if you need Gluten Free)
1 cup corn meal
1 TBLSP Chili Powder Mix (Chili, Cumin, etc.)
1 TBLSP Garlic powder or Garlic salt
2 teasp Nutmeg
1 teasp Cinnamon
1 teasp Hungarian Paprika
1 teasp Salt and Pepper, each
1/4 Peanut Oil 
Roll thawed chicken in flour & herb mixture.
Heat oven to 425 degrees.  
Pour oil into large casserole dish(es).  Place floured chicken in dish. Bake at 425 degrees for 20 minutes.  Turn down to 400 degrees for about 40 minutes more.
Excellent with a "mess of greens," cornbread and your favorite dish of ice cream for dessert!
Allergen information: If you are sensitive to or have an allergy to peanuts, use other oil, such as vegetable oil or corn oil. 

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Poor Man's Steak: Beef Liver :)

 Tonight, for the first time in days, we had meat again! Oh, meat! What a privilege it is to be able to have meat! Praise the Lord! He provided it for a very low price...Rich beef liver.
Here's how you fix it:
Rinse 2 pounds of beef liver. Bread it with corn meal, rice flour or wheat flour (if you have gluten allergy or intolerance, use corn meal or rice flour).
In a large, cast-iron skillet, heat 1/2 cup oil. When oil is hot, add 2 large, sliced onions,  5 cloves sliced garlic and half pound bacon (do not overcook bacon). Place breaded liver on top. Cook on both sides until crispy and meat is done, but not overcooked or tough.
Serve with tossed salad and bread with butter and jam. 
Beverage may be water or chilled grape juice.

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Meat and Potato Hash

     Here is a recipe that you'll want to try!
     Peel and chop into bite-size pieces:
~3 sweet potatoes
~3-5 white or red potatoes (be sure to make enough for your family)

Also fix:
~1 red onion, chopped
~5 cloves garlic, minced
~1 stalk celery, diced
~1 bell pepper, diced

Cut up 2-4 pounds already cooked roast (preferably beef) into bite size pieces. Set aside.

In a deep cast iron skillet, heat 1/4 to 1/3 cup oil (olive or grapeseed is best). When hot, add the potatoes and other vegetables. Turn whenever vegetables on the bottom are slightly crispy. When vegetables are half done, sprinkle and stir in:
~1 teaspoon ground black pepper
~salt to taste
~1 teaspoon garlic powder
~1 tablespoon dried parsley
~1 teaspoon dried basil
~1 teaspoon dried oregano
~juice of 1/2 lemon

When potatoes are nearly tender, add the meat. Finish cooking the hash, then serve hot.
Serve with a tossed salad and a beverage of pomegranate juice.
Allergen information: This meal is gluten free, egg free and dairy free.

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Un Pasto Delizioso

     This meal I fixed the other night and it was molto buona (very good)!
Here are the ingredients and how to make it:

Dice 2 pounds maple-smoked bacon and 1 large onion and place in a deep, large cast iron skillet. 

Form 2 pounds ground Italian sausage into shelled walnut size meatballs.  Place in pan with bacon and onion. Cook covered with self-basting lid on medium once the pan is heated up and meat starts to sizzle. Cook slowly, stirring with metal or wooden spatula (this keeps meatballs in shape if you use completely hard utensils) occasionally.

Meanwhile, boil 3 cups tap water in a soup pot. When water is boiling, place a small, round strainer over boiling water. Chop 1/2 head of cabbage and place into strainer. Steam the cabbage, stirring occasionally. Be sure to cover with a lid when you are not stirring it. When cabbage is lightly steamed but not wimpy, turn off heat and keep warm.

Also, while cabbage steams and meat/onion mixture cooks, dice and mix these vegetables together:
~4 garlic cloves
~1 tablespoon dried parsley
~5-6 medium-sized green or red bell peppers, quartered
~1 can diced, stewed tomatoes
~1 tablespoon dried rosemary, crumbled in your hand into the vegetables

Add the vegetables to the meat mixture, including the steamed cabbage. Cook until all vegetables are tender, but not mushy.

Serve with fettuccine (pasta) or fresh Italian bread and chilled grape juice, pomegranate blueberry juice, or lemon water in frosted glasses. 

Allergen information: If you serve this with gluten free bread, or corn/rice pasta, it will be gluten free.

Saturday, March 14, 2015

Gluten Free, Egg Free Pancake Meal

In a large bowl, whisk together :
2 tablespoons applesauce, at room temperature
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 teaspoon xanthan gum, guar gum or cornstarch
1 tablespoon powdered dairy-free creamer
2 tablespoons oil
1 1/4 cups milk (buttermilk, almond milk, coconut milk or other) at room temperature
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
3 tablespoons melted butter

Add and stir with whisk:
1 cup rice flour
1/4 cup potato starch
1/4 cup sorghum flour
3 tablespoons sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
pinch freshly ground nutmeg

Heat a nonstick griddle or pan on the correct burner. When skillet is hot, ladle about 1/4-1/2 cup (depending on what size you want) into a nice circular batter cake.
Wait to flip until top side is bubbling and sides are drying up a little. Then flip. Other side should be golden brown. Will be done when both side are golden brown and middle of pancake is not doughy.
Keep warm on a plate covered with foil.

Serve with a blended fruit smoothie, sausage, and any toppings you like: maple syrup, gravy, fruit with cool whip...any thing you like! 

Thursday, March 12, 2015

The Disappearing Pork Chops

     Do you know why these are called disappearing pork chops? Because everyone will so enthusiastically eat them!Whether you are from Europe, Africa, Asia, the Middle Eastern countries, the Mediterranean or the Americas, you will enjoy this easy-to-fix, wholesome meal! (If you don't like pork, just change it to chicken or beef minute steaks!)

What you need:
-5-8 tablespoons olive oil
-4 pork chops (or enough pork chops for your family (1 per person--if there are more in your family, you will need to increase the rest of the recipe)
-1 cup rice flour or cornstarch with 1 teaspoon ground thyme put into a ziplock bag
-1 large chopped onion
-5 cloves chopped garlic
-1/2 to 1 cup chopped mushrooms (optional)
-1/2 cup chicken or beef broth
-1/2 cup apple cider

Bread the pork in the flour mixture. Do NOT throw away remaining flour. Heat oil in a cast-iron skillet, then add the pork chops. Braise for 4 minutes (or until breading is crispy) on each side. Set aside on a plate.

In the same skillet, keeping heat on high, saute the onion, garlic and mushrooms (optional). Stir in remaining flour until it is dissolved into the vegetables. Stir in broth and cider and beat with whisk until slightly thickened. 

Add the pork chops into the sauce, then turn heat onto medium. Cover with lid and simmer, first on medium heat, then on low heat, flipping pork chops occasionally. Pork will be done when grey in the center and is very tender and moist.

Serve with noodles, potatoes, rice or bread; also tossed salad or cooked vegetables. Chilled grape juice or other juice for a beverage will taste delicious with this recipe.
Allergen information:This is gluten free if you use rice flour or cornstarch for the breading. If you have an allergy to molds, absolutely DO NOT use mushrooms!

Monday, March 9, 2015

Meat and Olive Stew

     This recipe I picked up from one of my Italian cook books. I have changed it usual. :)
Here are the ingredients and method in steps:
Step 1:
Chop 2 pounds meat: chopped Italian sausage links, lamb shoulder, pork or beef roast, pork chop or beef steak. Dust cubed meat with seasoned flour (1 cup white rice flour, cornstarch or regular with 1 teaspoon salt, 1 tablespoon crushed dried rosemary, 1/4 teaspoon ground thyme, 1 tablespoon parsley, 1 teaspoon paprika in a large zip-lock bag so you can toss meat inside). Heat olive oil in a large cast-iron sauce pan and brown the meat all over. 
Add 1 chopped onion and cook for 3-4 minutes, stirring, then add 2 peeled, chopped carrots, 4 diced cloves garlic, 1 can stewed, diced tomatoes (or 2 chopped fresh tomatoes), 1 teaspoon sugar  and 1/2 tablespoon chopped rosemary. Cook for 3-4 minutes.
Stir in    1 can sliced, pitted black olives (if you only have green olives, they will do) without the juice, grated rind and juice of one lemon and 1 teaspoon chopped parsley for 1 minute before end of cooking.
Meanwhile, combine in large cooking pot, 2 1/2 cups water, 1 cup vegetable or chicken broth, 1 tablespoon basil and 2 cups polenta or corn meal. Cook, stirring continuously, until thick. Take off heat, stir in 2 tablespoons olive oil, 2 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese.
Serve the stew over the polenta
Serves 4-5

Allergen information: Contains corn. Option is to use rice or rice penne instead of polenta if you have a corn allergy. And be sure to use rice flour instead of cornstarch if you have corn allergy.
This doesn't entirely do it justice, but it was as close as I could get to what it looks like.

Saturday, March 7, 2015


     This meal only takes 30 minutes to fix and 10 minutes to bake!
Here's what you do:
Cook until done:
2 lbs. hamburger, pork sausage or chopped meat
1 minced onion
1 minced stalk celery
4 minced cloves garlic

8-9 peeled, finely chopped potatoes

Meanwhile, cook white sauce:
4 tablespoons butter--melt before adding...
4 tablespoons flour/cornstarch/rice flour. When dissolved into butter, add and stir constantly...
2 cups water or milk
salt and pepper to taste.
Stir white sauce until medium thick. 

Optional ingredients:
1/4 head chopped cabbage
1-2 peeled, chopped carrots
Combine all ingredients and smooth out evenly into casserole dish. You have the option of sprinkling 2 cups shredded cheese on top if you wish.
Bake at 350 degrees for 10 minutes or until cheese is melted.
Serve with a salad or cooked greens or green beans.
Allergen information: If you use cornstarch or white rice flour for thickening, and water for white sauce liquid, this will be gluten free and dairy free.

This picture is almost right--the potatoes just need to be chopped instead of rounded.

Thursday, March 5, 2015

Knish--The Perfect Nosh :)

     This recipe is actually originally from Joan Nathan, famous for her Jewish cuisine. 
     However, I don't think I'll have trouble with copyright, since I've added a few things.
     First, I will give the wheat recipe in italic, and the gluten free, egg free will be in parentheses. Those things in bold are just to make it so you can see it. I always fix the gluten free, but as far as I know, it turns out almost exactly like the wheat. 

Caramelize in 5 tablespoons grapeseed oil:
2 julienned yellow onions
5 cloves garlic

Peel, chop and boil 7-8 potatoes (depending on the size). Cook until soft. Pour into strainer and leave there to allow moisture to rise off potatoes. In a large bowl, mash the potatoes until everything is mashed. Mix in caramelized onions and garlic, 1 egg (1-2 tablespoons olive oil), 1 tablespoon parsley and salt and black pepper to taste. Set aside.

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.

In a separate bowl, combine:
1/2 cup grapeseed oil
1 cup water
1 tablespoon white vinegar
1/2 teaspoon salt

One cup at a time, add:
4 cups flour (3 cups All-purpose gluten free baking mix (sifted) and 1 cup cornstarch OR
2 cups white rice flour, 1 1/2 cups cornstarch and 1/2 cup brown rice flour (sifted))

Use an electric mixer or start with a whisk and finish mixing with your hands. (For gluten free, be sure that you do not overmix).
Knead into a ball. Shape into 4 balls (or divide with pastry cutter or sharp knife), then let rest for 30 minutes under a cloth. 
Place each ball of dough on a long strip of parchment paper. Roll each ball of dough into a flat rectangle until they are very thin (as thin as you can get it). Cover with parchment paper, and let rest for fifteen minutes. Then, ensure that dough is flat by gently smoothing it with your hands (while the parchment paper is still on it) with slight pressure in your hands. Spread 1/4 of the filling over most of the dough, leaving a one inch border. Holding the parchment paper, roll up dough like a jelly roll, brushing oil across the top a couple times while you roll. 
Then, taking a sharp knife, divide the roll into 2-inch knishes, pinching the open ends shut.
Do this with remaining dough. Place knish onto baking sheet. Brush all knish with pastry brush from a bowl of  1/2 cup beaten egg (1/2 cup olive oil) to ensure moisture and flakiness.  Bake for 25-30 minutes or until pastries are golden brown. Serve hot or cold.

Allergy information: If you follow the gluten free directions, you will be fine if you have an intolerance or allergy to wheat or egg. If you have an allergy to corn, however, exchange the corn starch for an even combination of tapioca starch and potato starch. Use slightly less of the two other starches and fill in with another gluten free flour.

Here are two ways to fold your knish:

Although, the open area wouldn't be there; it would be folded in. These public domain pictures were all I could get, but at least it gives you the idea.

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Stir Fry

     Although someone who is not Oriental cannot make Oriental food perfectly, we can at least try to fix it as close to the way they do as we can. :) Remember, always evaluate how much you'll need so you can be sure to have enough for the amount of people you'll be serving. And...make enough for 2-3 extra people if you can so that if you have unexpected company, you'll be ready for them!
     You will need:
1/2 head napa cabbage, chopped into small pieces  
5 stalks bok choy, chopped small
1 zucchini, in thin strips
3 carrots, julienne
1 yellow/white onion, sliced thin
1 head broccoli, cut in small pieces, using florets
1 pound snow peas
1 cup baby corn
2-4 pounds precooked sliced chicken, beef, or seafood
bowl of cooked Jasmine rice per person

You will want to get the Jasmine rice cooking first. Put in a steam cooker or in a pot with a tight lid, 3-4 cups water, and 2-3 cups Jasmine rice (if you are using 3 cups water, put in 2 cups rice. If you are using 4 cups water, use 3 cups rice). Add 1 tsp. salt. Bring to a boil,then turn on low and fasten the lid tightly on. This is the crucial point where you want to cook it slowly, so it won't stick. DO NOT stir rice at all, just keep an even temperature and make sure it is not sticking. Rice will be done when kernels are tender and rice has formed into one mass. Will be sticky.
Heat 1/4-1/3 cup  stir fry oil (peanut, sesame or other oriental-type oil) in a large, deep skillet. Put in all vegetables. Stir frequently, adding 2-3 tablespoons soy sauce, 1 teaspoon rice vinegar, 1 teaspoon garlic powder and 1/2 teaspoon ground, dried ginger. (Add more soy sauce as needed.)
When vegetables are tender, but still crispy, add pre-cooked meat slices. Heat them through, then remove immediately from the heat, to ensure that the vegetables don't become wimpy.
Serve stir fry hot, with the rice on the side. Remember to use chop sticks!
Allergen information: This recipe is gluten free--except, if you have an allergy to peanut or sesame or cannot handle any oil, I would recommend cooking it in water, the same amount as you would use for oil. This is a Thai trick. They use water for their cooking.
Here are three different kinds of stir fry (you can make other kinds, too)

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