Showing posts with label gluten free. Show all posts
Showing posts with label gluten free. Show all posts

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Chocolate Peanut Butter Caramel Crispy Treat

OH MY !!!

holiday or not...these are a HUGE hit!

crunchy, gooey
sweet, salty
(can be made gluten free)

the recipe can serve a might even get 36 squares depending on how you cut them.  the squares can be more like bite size because they pack a flavor punch and just one bite is a mouthful.
i found these on pinterest and knew they would go directly to my "must try" board.
the original recipe comes from Debbie F. at Key Ingredient.  i'm sure these have been made many times over with all sorts of combinations, but i decided to go with a gluten free option.
it dawned on me that "rice" krispies are probably gluten free already, but i wasn't sure they were totally gluten free so i used chocolate crispies from Mother's...sorry i forgot the brand name, but it definitely stated "gluten free" on the box.
i threw some gluten free pretzels in as well to make up the full 7 cups.
NOTE...i am not gluten free, and i am not serving anyone with a severe allergy, so you will want to check all of your ingredients for your particular needs.


3 tablespoons of butter
10 0z bag of mini marshmallows
1 Tbsp of vanilla
6 cups of gluten free chocolate crispy cereal
1 cup gluten free pretzels, crushed to small pieces
14 oz bag of unwrapped caramel, i used Werthers
2 Tbsp water
1 1/2 cups peanut butter, divided,,,i used Jiff
12 oz bag of semi-sweet chocolate chips
1/2 cup roasted salted peanuts for the top
NOTE...i threw a few whole peanuts into the rice crispy marshmallow mixture as well...

butter a 9 X 13 inch pan.  also butter the pot and utensils you will be using to melt the marshmallows

place 3 Tbsp. of butter and the marshmallows in a medium saucepan and cook over medium heat, stirring frequently until melted.  when completely melted and smooth, stir in the vanilla.  turn off heat and stir in cereal until completely coated.  the mixture will be VERY sticky.  use buttered hands to press evenly into pan.  mixture should be firmly pressed into pan.  try to have the top even.  place in the fridge to chill.
in another sauce pan (or just quickly clean out the one you were using) the caramels and 2 Tbsp of water over low heat, stirring frequently until melted and smooth.  add 1 cup of peanut butter (i suggest store bought like Jiff, not fresh).  stir this mixture until fully incorporated and smooth.  pour the caramel/peanut butter mixture over the chilled rice crispy mixture in the pan.  get it into the corners and as even as possible.  place the pan back into the fridge.
clean your saucepan again and, over low heat, melt the chocolate chips, stirring frequently so as not to scorch or "seize" the chocolate.  LOW HEAT.
when melted, add the remaining 1/2 cup peanut butter, stirring until smooth.  pour this mixture over the chilled caramel layer, spreading to the edges in an even layer.  tap the pan a few times on the counter and give it a jiggle to even out the chocolate layer.  sprinkle on nuts if you choose to and place in the fridge to set for about an hour or until chocolate is firm to the touch.
cut into squares while still firm.
bars are easiest to cut while chilled,

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Dark Chocolate Breakfast Bar

with granola, hickory smoked BACON, espresso beans and pecans

what self respecting chocolate lover doesn't dream about chocolate?

well, now you can wake up, enjoy your chocolate and feel fabulous about the day ahead.


of course there are health benefits in dark chocolate.  pecans have their omegas, bacon has protein...HA HA...and granola is...granola,
but the best part about chocolate is that "moment"
that feeling that everything is gonna be okay



1 pound of good dark chocolate.  i use Guittard 61% coverture discs
BACON...about 8-10 slices cooked crispy and chopped or crumbled
1 1/2 cup of good plain (gluten free) granola
1/2 cup "sweet-spicy" pecans, some cut, some whole.  try Trader Joe's
1/2 cup chocolate covered espresso beans
1/8 cup cocoa nibs
1/4 tsp hickory smoke flavoring in a bottle
1/8 tsp chipotle powder...a little more maybe?
1/4 to 1/2 tsp cinnamon
smoked sea salt for top sprinkle.  try Maldon's flaked

NOTE...have extra goodies (granola, pecans, bacon etc.) on hand in case your mixture looks too "soupy".  ingredient size and shape can vary.

prepare an 8x8 inch square pan.  lightly butter the bottom and sides. this will help hold the parchment to the sides.  line the bottom and two sides with "the parchment sling" (baking tip from Suzie Sweet Tooth).

this is rather important in my opinion.
tempering keeps your chocolate fresh and snappy instead of a melting blotchy mess.  it will keep at room temperature and be a lot more enjoyable to wrap and give away...TRUST ME.
this is not a hard thing to do.  i think the "microwave method" is easiest.  see my tempering instructions HERE or visit Alton Brown's instructions HERE.
IN A NUT SHELL... you will slowly melt the chocolate, bring it up to 115 degrees (for dark) and slowly lower the temp to 90 degrees before using...but please click on link for instructions.

once your chocolate is tempered and at about 90-91 degrees, start to add in your goodies. a few bits and pieces for a sprinkle on the top.  when adding in the powdered spices like chipotle, i like to do this through a small strainer for more control.  i wouldn't want one person to get a mouthful of heat...right?
also be very careful with the "hickory flavoring".  this can make or break you.  use a light hand with this for the first time using.  i found that just about 1/4 tsp was good enough.
don't go wild with the mixing or everything will lose it's individual unique flavor, ie...the spicy pecans, the smoky bacon and the cinnamon granola.  you want everything including the dark chocolate to shine on it's own.
pour/spoon mixture into prepared pan.  let sit on counter until solid or put in the fridge.  when set, loosen sides with a knife and lift out by the "sling" handles.
cut into desired pieces with sharp clean knife.

Friday, September 13, 2013

Greek Yogurt Lemon Tart with Rosemary Almond Crust


sweet tart lemony citrus desserts are so refreshing especially this lovely tart with it's little rosemary kick.
i seem to forget about lemon desserts.  they get pushed aside for the dark chocolate, the savory peanut butter and the gooey caramel goodies.  i often post about bacon, chocolate, pig ears, pork belly and various decadent sweets and savories, but i bet you'd never guess... i actually DO eat a lot of yogurt, egg whites, grilled fish, steamed vegetables, aloe vera, kombucha, blah blah blah...
i call it my "yin and yang theory".
a little good and a little bad keeps everything in balance.

but...about this recipe...
i'd say it weighs in on the "good for you" side.  i found the original lemon rosemary tart on pinterest at Good Things Grow and pinned it to my "must-try" board.  i finally got around to it, but wanted to make a gluten free crust.  i am not gluten free, but i love to experiment and i have a few gluten free friends.
the original almond crust comes to you from Flourishing Foodie.  i love the almond flour crust idea so i just added the fresh dried rosemary...delicious.  the crust was crisp out of the oven and would be perfect served the day of, but alas...i needed to shoot the tart the next day so i stuck the finished product into the fridge.  the crust lost it's crunch, but was still a winner.  i would compare it to a cheesecake style crust.  it holds up and slices well, but got a little moist after refrigeration.  solution?...i added some crispy lightly toasted almond slivers to the servings and "voila"...the crunch was back in the mix..

Rosemary Almond Crust
Gluten Free
almond flour crust original found at Flourishing Foodie

2 cups almond flour
2 Tbsp granulated sugar
pinch of sea salt
1 1/2 tsp fresh oven dried rosemary
1/4 cup unsalted butter, chilled and cubed
1 egg white
1/2 tsp vanilla bean paste

preheat oven to 400F.  lightly butter a 9 inch tart shell.  i used a silicon pastry brush.

in a food processor add almond flour, sugar, salt, rosemary, butter, vanilla bean paste and egg white.  pulse until all ingredients are combined and start to stick together, resembling coarse not over will get mushy and ball up.

put mixture into tart shell and press out with your hands and form up the sides of the shell.  create an even layer.  i used a flat glass to lightly tamp  it down.  it will seem quite thin, but will cook to a nice crust as shown.

bake on middle rack for 15-20 minutes, or until it is light brown.  remove from oven and cool completely.

original found at Good Things Grow

1 cup plain greek yogurt
1/2 cup sugar
2 eggs
1/2 cup lemon juice
1 to 1 1/2 tsp lemon zest
1/2 tsp vanilla bean paste

preheat oven to 350F
place yogurt, vanilla bean paste and sugar in a medium bowl and whisk until thoroughly combined.  whisk in the egg, one at a time, then add the lemon juice and zest.  whisk until completely smooth.

pour into prepared tart crust.  i poured as much as i could and only had 1-2 Tbsp left over.
BAKE at 350F for 25-30 minutes or until the center is set and only slightly jiggles.  mine was in for 28 minutes and i could have pulled it at 26 minutes.  as you see i had a few cracks, but it was not over cooked.

allow to cool completely.  stick it in the fridge for just a slight chill and a complete "set"...i refrigerated mine over night and the crust got a little moist.  it resembled a graham cracker crust, but still delicious.  i think it would be best to slightly chill and serve the day of.  this tart served very well.  it might be a bit more crumbly (not a bad thing), yet...crunchy and crisp if served the day of.

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Flourless Chocolate Cake with Dark Chocolate Ganache and Candied Bacon


i now believe i found the perfect flourless chocolate cake.  as stated before in previous posts...most all flourless chocolate cakes are going to be delicious...that's a given, BUT most are very difficult to serve.  i usually end up with little chocolate crumbles on me, the table, the floor.  chocolate mess is not a bad thing, but i like the presentation to look as good as the cake will taste.


smooth, rich dark chocolate
fudgy, yet light
not overly sweet
a perfect canvas for extras
serves like a charm
gluten free
a definite crowd pleaser

the original recipe comes from Gourmet Magazine, Nov. '97.
i decided in my usual fashion that it needed a little something extra.  i can't help myself.
Guittard dark chocolate
vanilla bean paste
a little espresso
a sprinkle of cinnamon
and, of coarse...a pinch of chipotle

oh...and don't forget

with a spicy Mexican twist
original from Gourmet Magazine Nov. '97

for the cake...

4 oz dark or bittersweet chocolate, chopped small and evenly
(i used Guittard 61% coverture discs)
1/2 cup butter
3/4 cup sugar.   i used super fine sugar
3 large eggs
1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 cup good cocoa powder, again...i used Guittard
1/2 tsp(slightly rounded) cinnamon
1/4 tsp ground chipotle powder
1 tsp powdered espresso

preheat oven to 375F.  line an 8 inch cake pan OR i used an 8 inch spring form pan.  line the bottom and sides with parchment and lightly butter or grease the parchment.  the sides might not be necessary, but that's what i did.
in a small bowl add the cocoa powder, cinnamon, espresso and chipotle. whisk to combine and set aside.
in another small bowl add the chocolate and butter.  use either the microwave or a double boiler to slowly melt the chocolate/butter until smooth and shiny.
pour warm chocolate mixture into medium mixing bowl with the sugar.  whisk to combine well.  now whisk in eggs one at a time, waiting until each has been fully incorporated to add the next.  add the vanilla.
sift cocoa powder mixture into the chocolate mixture and whisk until WELL combined.
pour into prepared pan.  bake for approximately 25 minutes.  i turned the cake after 15 minutes.  start watching after 20 minutes.  mine took about 23 minutes.  toothpick should come out clean with moist crumbs attached.
allow cake to cool for 5 minutes.  if necessary, run a knife around the edges and invert onto serving platter.
NOTE...since i was going to ganache the cake i inverted onto a piece of parchment on a cooling rack.
let cake cool completely.

for the ganache...

6 oz good dark chocolate, again Guittard 61% coverture discs
6 oz heavy cream
1 tsp clear corn syrup

prepare your cake for ganaching...choose your "nice side", either the top or the bottom.  put cake on an 8 inch round that you will serve off of.  use cardboard or i used the removable 8" bottom from a tart pan.  set cake on a rack over a sheet pan to catch the ganache "fall-off".  you will want to save this for truffles or just a big spoon-to-mouth.
chop chocolate into even small pieces and set aside in a glass bowl.  (i like to wrap a kitchen towel around the bottom to keep the working ganche cozy).  warm cream and syrup in a small sauce pan until just a boil.  pour hot cream over chopped chocolate and let sit for 1 minute.  begin to gently stir from the middle.  take your time, you will see the ganAche magically come together.  now stir to fully incorporate and there are no lumps and it is nice a shiny.
pour warm liquidy ganache over cake...starting with a pool in the middle and spiral out wards.  work fairly quickly so it does not set.  pick up the cake and jiggle the ganAche so that it covers the whole top.  it is a messy job, but you will get the hang of it.
DO NOT go back and try to fix the top, but you can gently add to the sides where the chocolate might have missed while dripping off.
add chopped CANDIED BACON in the middle for appearance or all over for pure indulgence.   NOTE that the bacon does not make for a clean slice, but i'm sure you can work around it.  LOL !
let cake sit  to set undisturbed until serving.  you may refrigerate, but you must take it out of the fridge at least an hour or two ahead so that the condensation from temperature change slowly disappears.

for the CANDIED BACON....

preheat oven to 390F convection.
this can be done the day ahead, but you will need to re-crisp the bacon in the oven before using.  line a cookie sheet with heavy duty aluminum foil.  lay out as many pieces of bacon you can...extra will disappear before you can get it on the cake.  set timer for 15 minutes, but don't go far the first time trying until you get it down.  remove from oven and pour off excess fat into a heat safe glass might want to save the bacon fat as I DO to use for "bacon-butter".  flip the bacon.  sprinkle the slices with brown sugar, cinnamon and chipotle powder or chili powder or cayenne if you want some heat.  put back in the oven until good and crispy.  remove from oven and let cool on wire rack.  if it is not crispy enough when cooled...put them in the oven on the wire rack and watch not let them burn.  save in air tight container with parchment.  if using them later you might want to re-crisp them a bit.

Thursday, August 8, 2013

Chocolate Chipotle Almond Cake


flourless chocolate cake
and, of course, in my usual fashion...
espresso to deepen the flavors with
a smoky chipotle kick...even better

everyone loves chocolate cake and i seem to be obsessed at the moment so there will be quite a few coming your way.




full fat, full sugar...INDULGE!

 GLUTEN FREE for the whole crowd to enjoy.

this cake is an easy one to make and there's no need for icing or frosting...the cake speaks for itself.   a great choice for a party.  i bet you could get at least 10-12 maybe even 14 good slices because it's a lot easier to slice and serve than the classic flourless cake.
i've made quite a few flourless cakes (a great recipe coming soon).  i love them, but i have always been disappointed with the presentation on the plate.  serving them is a mess.  chocolate all over the the knife, me, the table.  this one slices like a dream.  it's the almond meal that makes this cake very stable.  i was worried that it might make the texture a bit grainy or less "truffle-like", but it turned out smooth as silk.  i will definitely make this cake again.   
to the true chocolate aficionado, this would not be considered the "classic flourless chocolate cake" like "the Chocolate Valentino"...example shown HERE.  the aforementioned aficionado would not compare the two... 
BUT i guarantee....


recipe found at No Special Effects...original from River Cafe
i adapted in a few flavors and changed the temp and time.

180g (6.3z) 70% chocolate
180g (13 Tbsp) unsalted butter
200g (2 cups almond meal)
2 whole eggs, room temp.
6 egg yolks
4 egg whites
1 vanilla pod, split and scraped
200g (1 cup) caster sugar
15g (1 Tbsp) caster sugar
60g (11 Tbsp) dutch processed cocoa powder
1 tsp espresso powder
1/4 rounded tsp of ground chipotle powder...i could have used a little more
pinch of salt

preheat oven to 300F?...says all posts using River Cafe recipe...SEE MY NOTES AT BOTTOM
spray a 9" cake pan and line the bottom with parchment.  spray the parchment again.
break the chocolate into small pieces and cut the butter into cubes.  heat both in a double boiler just until melted and combined.  remove from heat and set aside to cool.

in a large bowl, beat the 2 whole eggs, 6 yolks and the 200g caster sugar until combined.  add the almond meal and the cocoa powder until combined.  scrape the vanilla seeds from the pod and add to the add the melted chocolate mixture and stir until well combined.

in a stand mixer, beat the egg whites until frothy.  add pinch of salt and beat until soft peaks...add 15g caster sugar and beat until stiff peaks are formed.

fold egg whites into chocolate/almond mixture doing this 1/3 whites at a time.  the chocolate mixture is stiff so just do this carefully and gently while keeping volume in the mixture as well as possible.

pour the combined batter into prepared pan and bake in preheated oven for 25 minutes...??? are my notes...
IMPORTANT NOTE  about temperatures and time...the originals (this recipe is on a few sites) did not state convection so i used regular oven setting.....i knew in my mind there is no way a chocolate cake with 6 eggs is going to cook at 300 degrees in 25 minutes.
i found this out the hard way.
i started at 25 minutes the cake was still batter.  i turned the oven up to 330F and baked it for an additional 22 minutes.
my cake came out perfect, so if you would like to follow what i did i would suggest doing the same and watching the cake.
OR...might i suggest using your own "baker knowledge" and again keep an eye on the cake.

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Pandan Honeycomb Cake. A Vietnamese treat..Banh Bo Nuong

Pandan Honeycomb cake

i had no intention, but...
 this has Holiday Springtime written all over it.

is this cool?...or what?!

this is a might say..."unique cake".
a little difficult to make, but totally out of the ordinary, interesting and fun.  something different to amaze your foodie friends for the holiday parties.
straight out of the oven it looks like a normal cake with a lovely crisp outer shell, but when you cut into it the bright green is a shocker and the honeycomb is fascinating.  the tapioca flour gives it a slightly chewy texture and the pandan smells of fresh baked vanilla...or something from the vanilla family.
friends and family were amazed with the bright green, the different texture and the subtle flavor of pandan.   "what is pandan? and why is this so green?  but i like it!"
the green color is from the pandan extract.  it's found in quite a few Asian desserts. Green?...i suppose to imitate the color of the pandan leaves.  flavor?...i couldn't really tell you what the flavor of "pandan" is, but the cake tastes like it has vanilla in it...and low and behold?...i read HERE that it is sometimes referred to as the "Asian vanilla".
the honeycomb effect is created by using single acting baking powder...did you know there was such a thing?...or that it makes a difference?  this sounds elementary, but... single acting works once.  it activates only with the wet ingredients.  double acting works twice...once with the wet and again with the heat of baking.  don't quote me.  i'm not a chef or a scientist.  i'm just passing on information i came across.

i would just about call this one a success.  i DID have a horrible failure (lovely photo at the bottom) on the first attempt, but with perseverance i conquered the Vietnamese Honeycomb Cake.
well, at least it looks as though i did.  i know i could do better and i will try again.  as you can see it fell a little bit on the bottom,...

but when i sliced this puppy open? ...SHAZAMMM! 
i sure did get the honeycomb effect.  that's what i was looking for...


aka Banh Bo Nuong
many thanks to Pinkie Food blog with step by step photos

200ml thick coconut milk (1/2 can)
150g sugar
6 eggs
200g tapioca starch/flour
5-6 drops pandan extract/paste.  i used 1/2 tsp plus a few drops

preheat oven to 350F degrees
in a small sauce pan heat coconut milk, sugar and extract until the sugar dissolves.  set aside to cool completely
in a separate bowl, mix the tapioca starch and baking powder.
in another separate bowl, lightly beat the do not want bubbles or foam.  i have read in many other recipes you should beat just until they look mixed.  one tip is to keep your whisk touching the bottom of the bowl while gently mixing.
pour cooled coconut mixture into eggs and gently combine well.
***at this time put your greased/sprayed cooking vessel (bundt pan) into the oven to preheat***
gradually add the tapioca mixture to the egg/coconut mixture and quickly, but gently, beat until just dissolved/combined.  
NOTE...i have found that tapioca starch is a hard one to combine.  i sifted it in and quickly, but gently whisked until very few lumps were left.  then, when i strained the batter into the pan i pushed through the remaining lumps.
remove hot baking pan from the oven.  strain batter through sieve into the hot baking pan and put in the oven for 30-35 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean.  i let mine sit in the budnt pan for about 10-15 minutes...then turned it over.  i read that might help it from falling.  i was anxious and removed the cake from the pan after about 20-25 minutes with a little tap on the counter.  YAY, no sticking. 

in conclusion...there are so many different recipes and methods for this cake.  i have tried 2 so far and this one seems to work well.  i'll let you know if i find a new easy one.

but for now...i'm very pleased with this unique Vietnamese treat!

as you can see, i opted for the heavy Nordic Ware bundt pan.  this would be my suggestion for a first try.  i think i'll try the 9 inch cake pan next time with this same recipe.

above is my first encounter with Bahn Bo Nuong that i purchased in Little Saigon a few weeks ago.
i had never seen anything like it.  i was fascinated.  i did a little research and gave it a go...
the first try ? obvious failure....the middle was...let's just say...gummy bear-ish?  i am not a quitter, so i gave it another try.  HONEYCOMB !  YAY !

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Best Black Bean Chocolate Cake...Gluten Free

here you have what i believe to be 

in the world of diet conscious...GLUTEN FREE...waistline friendly treats...this dark chocolate 'brownie cake' is a winner.  even those not seeking "healthy foods" love this darn cake.  i've made it 4 times with a few variations.  you absolutely would not know there are black beans in this cake.  friends were amazed after i shared the ingredients.
i've tried a few other bean cake/brownie recipes, but they didn't come near this cake posted by Josephine at A tasty Love Story.

AND it's only 90 calories per fat chocolaty slice.
 you can feel good about eating it...a lot of it.  go ahead slather it with peanut butter or your favorite homemade jam.  eat it for breakfast with vanilla greek yogurt and some fresh berries.  an afternoon pick-me-up with a nice cuppa joe...a late night chocolate attack...

slightly adapted from A Tasty Love Story by Josephine Malene Kofod
please check her blog...lovely photography and fab foods
makes 1 medium loaf tin.

1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
3 large eggs
1/2 cup sugar...i have used Zsweet substitute as well
3 heaping Tbsp cocoa powder
1/2 cup/50G dark chocolate chips or chunks
1 tsp espresso powder
1/4 tsp chipotle powder, optional
1/2 tsp vanilla bean paste
1 tsp baking soda
juice and zest form 1/2 orange
pinch of salt

preheat oven to 350 F
in a blender or processor combine all of the ingredients, except the chocolate.  blend until smooth.
NOTE...i do the beans first in the processor with 1 egg until VERY smooth.  then i add the rest of the ingredients.
pour the batter into a parchment lined medium loaf tin....Josephine notes that the batter will be very runny.  that's okay.  distribute the chocolate solids in and on the batter.  i like to push some down in so you get some in every bite...
bake for approx. 35 minutes.  do the toothpick test.  don't over bake, but make sure the center is baked through.
cool completely before removing from pan.
variations...more chipotle, a little cinnamon, peanut butter chips, toasted pecans, cocoa nibs ?...

approx. nutritional facts
1/10th of loaf using Zsweet

calories...90,   protein...5g,  carbs...11g,  fat...3.8g,  fiber...2.8g

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Healthy Oat Waffles...Gluten Free

break out that waffle iron.
they're better than wheat toast and more fun than a bran muffin.

you know there's one in the house somewhere...along with the other once a year items...
waffles can be good for you and they're definitely more fun than a bowl of granola.  they don't always have to be thick and fatty smothered in butter and full of empty calories.  although i have been known to throw down a few of those.

these are pretty low calorie, waist friendly, GLUTEN FREE, full of goodness, super easy to throw together and they freeze well.

my waffle iron has now earned it spot in the "kitchen pantry"
maybe soon it will earn it's way out of the box...

Gluten Free
makes almost 6 round Belgian waffles depending on your waffle iron.

1 cup old fashioned oats (gluten free if necessary)...processed into flour
1 Tbsp ground flax
1 cup cottage cheese
2 large eggs, whole
1 large egg white
1/2 cup unsweetened almond milk, or milk of choice (more if too thick)
1 tsp vanilla
1 tsp cinnamon...maybe a dash more
a few grates of fresh nutmeg,  optional
1 tsp baking powder
1/4 cup Stevia 'cup for cup' sweetener (or sweetener of choice)
pinch of salt

put the eggs and cottage cheese in the blender first...blend until smooth.
add the rest of the ingredients and, again, blend until smooth...let sit for 5 minutes while your waffle iron heats up.  if they are a bit too thick, add a touch more milk.  proceed as you would with any might have to dig out the iron instructions that are still in the box like i did.  i have found that the first one usually doesn't come out as crisp as the rest, but that's just the nature of the beast.

makes almost 6 round Belgian waffles (per waffle as shown)
carbs ...11.5g

kind of a hassle to dig out the waffle iron and deal with yet another electric kitchen gadget in the kitchen, but you can double the recipe and freeze them for on-the-go breakfast sandwiches.
ditch the plate and berries and throw together a spicy waffle breakfast sandwich with egg, sausage, jalapeno and creamy ricotta.

Friday, March 8, 2013

Country Pate with Gluten and Dairy Free Panade




one of the most satisfying foods i love/hate to make.  every time i make it, i curse at myself for the time and detail i go into and how i can make this one even better than the last one, BUT when it's time to unveil and i get that first perfect slice.  OR hear someone say, "did you really make this?"  oh, there's nothing like it....
pure satisfaction of the beautiful specimen set in front of me...and "I" made it.

i must say, when it comes right down to it, there is no exact your Mom's meatloaf probably doesn't have an exact recipe...she just knows how to throw it together and it always comes out right.  every pate is just a little bit different, but the general ingredients and instructions tend to stay the same.

for this pate i will give you my measurements that fit perfectly in a "Pullman's"loaf tin.  these measurements are not set in stone.  you can work them a little bit to suit your taste.  as for the size?  you want to properly fill one loaf tin and if you have a little left over? what.   make little patties and enjoy right away because you will be waiting for the pate for a few days.

fits in 9"x4"x4" pullman's loaf tin.

879g pork shoulder, cut into i-2 inch pieces (3 to 3.25 lb.)
232g ground pork (1/2lb.)
62g raw chicken liver trimmed (2 1/4 oz)
50g shallot, finely diced
3 cloves garlic, finely diced
2 1/2 tsp sea salt
1 tsp quatre epices (recipe below)
1 lrg. tsp dried rosemary, crushed or chopped fine
approx 1/8-1/4 cup minced parsley

ADD-INS...5 cooked, sauteed chicken livers chopped into small pieces
1/3-1/2 cup shelled pistachios
2-3 oz of smoked ham steak cut into long thick slices

2 EGGS, slightly beaten

CAUL FAT or BACON SLICES for the exterior
i have done the bacon wrap many times and it makes for a great presentation, although the bacon does not crisp...just to let you know.  Bacon wrapped Pate shown HERE
BUT...this time i found "caul fat" and had so much fun.  it was a bit difficult hunting it down, but when i finally got to work with it i fell in love with it's weirdness.  i like the presentation and flavor better than the bacon...can you believe i just said "better than bacon"?

put the pork shoulder, the ground pork and the raw liver in a bowl.  take 2/3 and process it in a food processor until chunky.  remove from processor and put in the other 1/3 mixture.  process this a little more than the first batch.  mix the two batches of meat with the shallot, garlic, salt, quatre epices and dried rosemary.
saute your chicken livers and set aside.  when cool give them a little chop and set aside.
in separate bowl, mix together your gluten free panade.
now mix the panade into the meat.
add in the cooked chopped chicken liver and minced parsley.
now comes the IMPORTANT part...TASTE TEST.  cook a small amount in a skillet and check for seasoning.  pates need a little extra salt so if the test is "well" seasoned your good to go.

preheat the oven to 325F.  place a few bay leaves on the bottom of a slightly buttered loaf tin or pate mold of choice.  line the bottom and sides with caul fat or bacon slices or you can just use heavy plastic wrap.   make sure you have enough over-hang to cover the top.
note...put some water on the stove to heat for a bain marie.
pack the mixture into your desired vessel.  put the meat in, pressing down so there are no air pockets.  don't forget to put the long thin slices of ham and the pistachios intermittently throughout the pate mixture...don't over do it.  you just want it to be seen.  smooth the top and tap it on the counter to solidify and get rid of air pockets.  cover top with "over-hang" of caul fat, bacon or plastic wrap.  put a small piece of parchment on the top and cover tightly with aluminum foil.
place the pate loaf tin/dish into a larger heatproof baking dish and add enough hot water to come 1/2 way up the sides of the pate. put in preheated 325F oven for approx. 1 1/2 - 2 hours, or until the pate reaches an internal temperature of 160F degrees.  juices should be clear.
remove from oven and water bath.  let rest for about 30 minutes, then place some weights on top.  i keep a tinfoil covered brick on hand or 2 heavy cans of something will work with a flat piece of aluminum covered cardboard to fit on top of the meat.  when it is room temp. place in fridge (with weights) overnight or another day is even better.  the weights can come off after a few hours when the pate is good and cold and set.

serve room temperature or chilled with baguette, cornichons and dijon.
OR my favorite...slice and sear in skillet to add to a burger, serve with a poached egg for a decadent brunch or make Pate Paninis with melted brie and sliced pear or apple...YUM !

1/2 tsp pepper, 1/2 tsp ground cloves, 1/2 tsp ground nutmeg, and 1/4 tsp ground ginger.

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