Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Gluten Free Egg McMuffin

Egg McMuffin Gluten Free Copycat

When was the last time you had an actual Egg McMuffin? 

If you've been on a gluten free diet for any length of time I’m sure it’s been a while.  I used to love those little breakfast sandwiches.  They were so easy to grab and clocked it at only about 300 calories which for me was worth it for a pretty nutritious and delicious breakfast sandwich. 

And I was definitely missing my little breakfast buddy when I happened to stumble upon Glutino’s English muffins at my supermarket.  I was definitely daydreaming about the good old days.  Then when the kitchen gadget isle also happened to have those little silicone egg rings that I knew would make it easy to do the egg part the fate of this little endeavor was sealed. 

Sometimes recipes just happen to be inspired by what you stumble upon.

It was indeed high time to do an Egg McMuffin copycat. 

Gluten Free Egg McMuffin
Prep time: 5 min
Cook time: 5 min
Servings: 1

  • 1 gluten free English muffin (I used glutino)
  • 1 slice of yellow American cheese
  • 1 egg
  • 1 piece of Canadian bacon
  • butter (enough to fry the egg)

Video Tutorial: 

  1. Toast the English muffin for about a minute per side in a dry skillet then place one slice of cheese on the bottom half of the muffin.
  2. Heat the Canadian bacon in a skillet for about two minutes per side or until it has a little color on each side. 
  3. Place a silicone egg ring into a cast iron or nonstick skillet heated to medium then melt a small pat of butter in the ring and add the egg, break the yolk, cover with a lid and cook for a minute. Then to keep the bottom from getting too overdone, lift the lid, splash in about a tablespoon of water around the outside of the ring and let the egg steam under the lid for another minute and it’s done
  4. Add the egg to the sandwich on top of the cheese then add the Canadian bacon before adding the top of the English muffin then serve while still warm.    

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Ricotta Spinach Sausage Easter Pie

Ricotta  Spinach Sausage Easter Pie

Don’t you hate when life gets in the way of your other passions.  This post should have been up weeks ago.  If only I was more efficient with schedule planning for this blog, you would've seen this pie the week before Easter. 

But alas, since the idea to make this actually struck me the Saturday afternoon before Easter, I knew there was no way to edit the video and write the post in time.  

But I did film the process hoping to bring it to you just a few days late.  That didn’t happen either.  You see, to further complicate my schedule, I've been dealing with some horrendous basement flooding every time it rains.  It appears that my backyard needs to be torn up and new concrete needs to be poured.  I’m behind with everything.

Enough with my ranting and complaining … May I present the Easter pie. 

All is not lost folks.  With its savory blend of three cheeses to compliment the sautéed garlicky spinach and sweet Italian sausage, this pie would be an outstanding addition to any spring gathering.  

Mother’s day is just around the corner.  

Did you hear that kids?   Mother’s day is coming.  Read the recipe.  Watch the video and make this for your moms.  Or at least make her something from the heart.  We all love that stuff. 

Ricotta  Spinach Sausage Easter Pie
Prep time: 1 hour 
Cook time: 45 min
Servings: 10-12

  • gluten free cream cheese pie crust (I used 1 1/2 crusts of the double crust batch I demonstrated in my apple turnover video)  http://youtu.be/ioVRuTjvd1A
  • 12 oz frozen spinach,defrosted
  • 2 cloves garlic, chopped
  • ¼ tsp red pepper flakes
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 4 links of Italian sausage
  • 16 oz ricotta
  • 3 eggs
  • 2 oz pecorino romano, grated
  • 4 oz shredded asiago, grated
  • ¼ tsp garlic powder
  • salt and black pepper to taste

Video Tutorial: 

  1. Sauté the spinach, garlic, and red pepper flakes in a tablespoon of olive oil with some salt and pepper to taste then set aside to cool.
  2. Pan fry the sausage until cooked then chop into small pieces, return it to the pan and saute for another 3 minutes to develop more flavor then set aside to cool. 
  3. Line the bottom of a 9 inch spring form pan with parchment and place it onto a baking sheet.
  4. Roll the pie crust large enough to fit the pan and come up the sides by about 1 ¾ inches.  If the crust falls apart as you place it in the pan piece it together and press it in place then chill. 
  5. For the lattice roll a 10 x 5 inch rectangle then use a ravioli cutter or knife to divide the dough into 6 long strips and chill while you make the filling.
  6. For the filling combine the ricotta, eggs, pecorino romano, asiago, garlic powder, and black pepper and stir to combine.
  7. Add the spinach and sausage to the filling and stir until the mixture is homogeneous then fill the pie shell  and use the back of a spoon or spatula to smooth out the top.
  8. Place three lattice strips onto the pie parallel to each other and three more strips perpendicular to the first ones.
  9. Trim the lattice ends with a small paring knife and brush with an egg wash (one egg yolk mixed with a tablespoon of cream) 
  10. Bake the pie in a preheated 375°F (or 190 °C) oven for 45 minutes then allow it to cool for 15 minutes before you remove it from the spring form pan to cool completely.  See notes.

  1. This pie is typically served at room temperature or even slightly chilled.  I refrigerated my pie overnight then took it out about 2 hours before serving to bring it closer to room temperature.
  2. I made a double pie crust recipe and used 1 crust to fill the pan and about a half a crust recipe to roll into the  10 x 5 inch rectangle for the lattice.  The remaining half crust was used a week later to make 2 large apple turnovers.

Sunday, April 12, 2015

Gluten Free Fresh Pasta

Gluten Free Fresh Pasta

Today I bring you an easy to make, two ingredient gluten free fresh pasta dough. 

This is big folks. 

Remember when making pasta was simple?  I remember those good old days when pasta dough used to be 100 grams of flour to each egg that was used.  Enter the gluten free diet to throw a monkey wrench into that well-oiled machine.   

Suddenly pasta making required multiple flours and xanthan gum with those eggs.  And if the correct ratios weren’t maintained, the whole thing could turn into an unusable mess.

So last year when I started using Bob’s Red Mill 1 to 1  baking blend pretty frequently, I began to wonder if it might work as the substitute for the all-purpose flour in my old pasta recipe.  

Lo and behold it works nearly perfectly.  

The only real difference I found is that I needed 3 eggs with 200 grams of flour to form the ball of dough that eventually had an additional quarter cup or so of flour worked in.  You can see the details in the video tutorial below. 

So maybe the ratio of flour to eggs was a little different now, but the simplicity of a two ingredient pasta dough had definitely returned.  This is a game changer. 

Gluten Free Fresh Pasta
Prep time:  1 hour
Cook time: 2 min
Servings: 3

  • 200 grams Bobs Red Mill 1 to 1 gluten free flour blend (plus more to work into the dough as needed)
  • 3 eggs

Video Tutorial: 

  1. Add the flour and eggs to a food processor and process until you have a slightly sticky dough.
  2. Turn the dough out onto a heavily floured work surface and knead as you continue to work in enough flour to form a ball of dough that’s supple is no longer sticky.
  3. Wrap the dough in plastic and set aside for a few minutes then cut the dough into four pieces.  
  4. Flatten down each section into a rectangle and roll it though the pasta roller at the widest setting.  If it doesn’t go through smoothly on the first pass, just gather the dough back together, flatten into another rectangle and pass it through again.
  5. I like to fold the pasta sheets onto themselves a few times as they pass through the widest setting to square up the edges.  And once the section looks like a pretty nice sheet change the roller to the next thinnest setting. 
  6. My machine has 6 settings but I never like to go below the third or fourth setting. (in the video I rolled it to the fouth setting).  If the pasta is rolled too thin, it could get mushy or even start to fall apart when it’s cooked.  
  7. When rolling the pasta it’s easiest to start rolling the sheet through the machine then grab it gently with the hand that’s not turning that crank and once the whole pasta sheet passes through the cutter, lay it down onto a lightly floured surface.
  8. To cut the pasta, start rolling the sheet through the machine then grab it gently with your free hand and when it all passes through the machine, slightly twist the bunch of pasta onto a floured cutting board or baking sheet.
  9. Once all the sections are cut, to cook the pasta, bring some heavily salted water up to a boil, drop in the pasta and cook for 2 minutes.  Be sure to have your heated sauce ready since the pasta cooks very quickly then toss the drained pasta with the sauce and serve.

Notes:  There is no salt added to fresh pasta dough.  Adding salt would attract the humidity in the air and cause the dough to get stickier as you work with it.  Be sure to cook the pasta in heavily salted water so that your final dish doesn’t taste flat.

Thursday, April 9, 2015

Schar Gluten Free Pizza Crust - 3 Ways

Schar's Crusts Done 3 Ways
 Video Tutorial Below

If you read my blog post with the chocolate almond orange gluten free dessert pizza then today's post is no surprise. 

When Schar sent me a few boxes of their crusts to review I thought it might be a good idea to see just how far I could push their product to see how it performed.  

Each box of their gluten free pizza crust contains two individually wrapped which makes it conveniently easy to use  one crust at a time.  The shells measure between 9- 10 inches which is a pretty nice size as far as gluten free pizzas go.  Another nice feature is that instead of the crusts being totally flat like most brands, theirs has a raised border which works well to keep your ingredients from sliding off.

The crusts are actually made in Italy, the birthplace of pizza, so you’d expect them to be a cut above other gluten free crusts on the market.  Since I haven’t tried many other prefabricated crusts, it’s hard for me to make a comparison.  I can tell you that when you follow to package instructions they bake up crispy and delicious.

And their crust works well in both sweet and savory applications or for any meal of the day.  I got pretty creative with my toppings as you can see in my YouTube tutorial.  All the pizzas were delicious but I’d have to say that my favorite was the breakfast pizza.

What I like most about Schar’s gluten free pizza crusts is that they’re shelf-stable.  Freezer space is a valuable commodity at my house and I usually don’t have room for pizza crusts.  I’m not sure if anyone else is even making a shelf-stable gluten free crust at this point but I can see these crusts becoming a popular addition to gluten free pantries everywhere. 

Have you tried Schar’s gluten free crust?  What’s your most interesting way to top a pizza?

As far as my favorite pizza creations go, I didn't feel the need to type up actual recipes for today’s post.

It’s all covered in the video tutorial. 

Besides, making pizza is a highly personal experience.  So go forth and hunt down all of your favorite toppings then watch my tutorial for a few tips and create your own masterpiece. 

The Video Tutorial: 

And encase you missed my last post, the pizzas that are covered in the above tutorial are detailed below.

The Shrimp Pizza
After brushing the crust with a small amount of anchovy paste and garlic infused olive oil, this pizza was topped with lemon zest, baby spinach, shrimp, grape tomatoes, Kalamata olives, capers, crushed red pepper flakes and small amounts of pecorino Romano cheese and mozzarella.

The Pepperoni Green Olive Pizza
Since my daughter wanted nothing to do with the shrimp pizza, this creation is her brainchild.  It’s a classic pepperoni pizza with the addition of some salty green Spanish manzanilla olives.

The Breakfast Pizza
This crust was brushed with the bacon fat that rendered while I fried the bacon.  Next I topped it with baby spinach, grape tomatoes, mushrooms, crispy bacon, eggs and cheddar.  Once the pizza was cooked I sprinkled over a little sriracha sauce and enjoyed what turned out to be my favorite pizza of all the savory varieties I did.  

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