Thursday, March 19, 2015

Roasted Cauliflower with Lemon Dressing

Roasted Cauliflower with Lemon Dressing

Do you like cauliflower? 

If you answered no, you might want to try this recipe to see if your opinion changes.  When cauliflower is roasted, the natural sugars caramelize and it takes on a complex nutty flavor that can’t be achieved with boiling or steaming.

But beyond just roasting this veggie, we finish off this side dish with a bright lemony drizzle that’s perfect for spring.  I seriously urge you to try this one.  This might just become your new favorite veggie.

Roasted Cauliflower with Lemon Dressing
Prep time: 10 min
Cook time: 40 -45 min
Servings: 4-8

  • 1 large head cauliflower (leaves removed & core end trimmed)
  • 3-4 tbsp garlic infused olive oil
  • 1 lemon
  • pinch of crushed red pepper
  • 2 tbsp parsley
  • salt and pepper

Video Tutorial: 

  1. Preheat the oven to 425°F or 220°C and spray a foil lined baking sheet with nonstick spray.
  2. Slice the head of cauliflower into 6- 8 wedges and place them onto the prepared baking sheet.
  3. Brush with garlic oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper then roast for 20 minutes on the first side, flip the wedges and roast for 20-25 minutes on the second side while you mix the dressing.
  4. In a small bowl stir together 2 tablespoons of garlic oil with the red pepper flakes, parsley, the juice of the lemon and salt and pepper to taste.
  5. When the cauliflower is done place it on a serving plate and drizzle on the lemon dressing and serve.  

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Little Caesar’s Bacon Wrapped Gluten Free Deep Dish Copycat

Little Caesar’s Bacon Wrapped Deep Dish
Gluten Free Copycat

When I saw the advertisement for Little Caesar’s deep dish, bacon wrapped pizza my initial reaction was … DAMN YOU GLUTEN.  Do I have to miss out on everything that’s new and exciting in the world of fast food?

But after my initial frustration wore off, I thought, I can tackle this.  What other option did I have?  If I was ever going to sink my teeth into a big fluffy slice of pizza with all that bacony goodness, I’d have to climb that mountain myself.  And so I did.

May I present to you my Little Caesar’s bacon wrapped deep dish gluten free copycat. 

And yes. It is that good folks.

Little Caesar’s Bacon Wrapped Gluten Free Deep Dish Copycat
Prep time: 2 hours (including a 90 minute rise time)
Cook time: 30-35 min
Servings: 8 large slices

  • 1 Bobs’s Red Mill gluten free pizza crust mix
  • 8 slices bacon, raw
  • 4 slices of bacon, cooked and crumbled
  • 16 oz shredded mozzarella
  • 24-26 slices of pepperoni
  • 1 ½ cups pizza sauce

Video Tutorial: 

  1. Preheat the oven to 425°F (or 218 °C) and line two 6x10 inch pans with parchment overhanging the 2 long sides of the pan and clipped in place with stationary clips then sprayed heavily with nonstick spray.
  2. Lay 4 slices of bacon around the edges of each pan.  Each slice should have the leaner side facing up and the side with more fat should be overlapping the bottom by ½ inch then refrigerate the pans while you make the crust.
  3. Prepare the dough according to the package instructions then instead of letting the dough rise in the bowl like their instructions state, immediately divide the dough in half and press into the pans using plastic wrap to press it into place without having to add any water to your hands or the dough.   Make sure that you work the dough to the edges so that it is on top of the bacon on all the edges. (see video tutorial) 
  4. When both pans are done, to help level out the dough even more, for each pan of dough (covered in plastic) use the other pan to press down firmly to get it pretty level.  (see video tutorial)
  5. Let the dough rise at room temperature covered with plastic wrap for 1 ½ hours to get as much volume as possible with the crust.
  6. Remove the plastic wrap and cover each pizza with ¾ cup of pizza sauce being very careful not to deflate the crust as you apply the sauce then bake for 10 minutes without the other toppings. 
  7. Remove from the oven, top with a little more sauce if the top looks too dry then add about 8 oz of mozzarella to each pizza and divide the crumbled cooked bacon between the pans.  
  8. Bake for an additional 15 minutes before adding the pepperoni.
  9. Add the pepperoni and bake another 5 to 10 minutes depending on how dark you want it. 
  10. Let the pizzas rest in the pan for 5 minutes then lift the pizzas out of the pans using the parchment as handles.  Let them cool for an additional 5 minutes then you can slide the pizza off the parchment onto a baking rack to keep the crust from getting soggy.  Slice and serve.

Friday, March 6, 2015

Bacon Wrapped Jalapeno Poppers

Bacon Wrapped Jalapeno Poppers

Who doesn't love jalapeno poppers?  Before I found out I had problems with gluten, I frequently ordered them from any number of neighborhood fast food joints.  Now I don’t have that option.  Even though living in a big city means there’s a take-out place on practically every corner, there’s no one I know making gluten free poppers.

I remember them well with their crisp breaded exterior and all that warm gooey cheese how could I not fall in love.  Of course they can be made with gluten free bread crumbs but it’s a lot of work.  This version is super easy and low carb too.  When you see how well the smoky bacon goes with the gooey cheese and spicy peppers, I don’t think you’ll ever be trying to make breaded poppers yourself again.  I know I won’t.

These are simply out of this world.

Bacon Wrapped Jalapeno Poppers
Prep time: 15 min
Cook time: 25-30 min
Servings: 12

  • 6 large jalapenos
  • 8 oz softened cream cheese or Neufchatel cheese
  • 2 oz grated cheddar, jalapeno jack, or habanero cheddar
  • 12 slices of bacon

Video Tutorial: Coming Soon

  1. Preheat the oven to 375°F (or 190 °C) and line a baking sheet with foil then place a baking rack on top.
  2. Mix the cream cheese and cheddar together until you have a well combined mixture.
  3. Slice each of the jalapenos in half lengthwise.  Try to slice right through the stem since it looks nicer in the final presentation to have a piece of the stem attached to as many halves as possible.
  4. Scoop the seeds and internal white ribs from the peppers then stuff each with about a tablespoon of the cheese mixture.  Wrap each pepper with a single slice of bacon slightly stretching  and overlapping the slice as you spiral around the pepper.  Finish with the end of the bacon on the bottom and pressed firmly in place before placing onto the baking rack.
  5. Bake for 25-30 minutes or until the bacon looks as crispy as you want it.
  6. Let them cool on the rack for 5 minutes before transferring onto your serving dish.  

Thursday, February 26, 2015

Lemon Pie Pop Experiment

Gluten Free Lemon Pie Pops

These Lemon Pie Pops are like a foreshadowing of the sunny weather that will soon be upon us.  Spring is less than four weeks away here in the Northeast corner of the country.   Oh I know it’s four weeks away for the whole country but where I am it will actually feel like spring.  And as far as I'm concerned, the warm sunshine can’t come soon enough.

In the meantime I thought I’d try to cheer my winter blues with these lemony pie pops. 

Actually, I should warn you in advance that this post is out of character from what you are used to reading when you visit.  It’s more of an experiment than an actual recipe.  When I made the apple turnovers I had made a double crust cream cheese pie crust.  I used half in the turnover video and the other half was used in my chocolate pecan tart.

That should have been the end of the story but when I trimmed the crust from the edges of the tart pan I was left with a small pile of scraps.  I turned those scraps into two cute lemon pie pops.

Check out the video:

If nothing else, this pie pop experiment taught me two things. 

First, the cream cheese crust is virtually indestructible.  It can be abused and still maintain a tender beautiful consistency in the final product.  I rolled it out for the pecan tart then rolled it out twice to get the shape I wanted for the pie pops.  Back when I was working with regular pie dough, that type of abuse would have resulted in a cardboard crust.  I'm not sure if it was the cream cheese in the crust recipe or the fact that when you’re working with gluten free flour it has no gluten to fight against, but this crust is outstanding.

It will be my go-to in the future.

The second thing I learned is that I need further experiments to see if I can create a more successful pie pop.  The sticks were very wiggly and unstable and in the end I yanked them out and ate these like mini pop-tarts.  I’m not sure if it was the top-heavy shape I chose or the fact that the dough itself is so flakey and tender, but my pie pops need some work.  If you have a few tips for success please let me know.  
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